Saturday, October 17, 2015

Vote but stop shitting in the water

I think people should vote if the want to and I hope they use their best judgement. It is hard to decide who to vote for in an election that comes around once every four  years. You cast one ballot and then you are stuck with that government for four years. Apparently, democracy is something that can only be done on the same schedule as the Olympics or the World Cup.

It looked like it was going to be Trudeaumania all over again and The Hair Guy was riding a wave to sure victory. His final week commercial clipped from his triumphant speech before the largest crowd of the campaign had just the right amount of fascist undertones to make him look darn near presidential.

Then days before the vote, news breaks that The Hair Guy's right hand man is sending around a  "How to get access to the Hair Guy's New Government" cheat sheet. The back room politics of access and corruption that drove the Liberals into the ground are still creeping around.

The sponsorship scandal and the insult heaped upon Quebec as being a corrupt province is what unraveled Liberal support in that province and ushered in the current regime. There is no mania if Quebec isn't dancing.

It wasn't supposed to go this way. If Jack were alive. It would be game over. It would have been a coronation. The Orange Crush would have been the new thing. Quebec and the Youth vote and the Native vote and the New Canadian vote would have crushed the Old Stock Canadians.

It would have been Real Change and instead we got Beard Guy who is no only the smartest guy in the room he's also the creepiest. He could not deliver that message of Hope that Jack delivered with so much conviction and so much humanity. But just because someone has zero charisma doesn't mean they can't be Prime Minister.

Case in point.

What is it with Damien? In his final commercial he is lit by the studio lights to look as white as humanly possible with pink skin tones and bright blue eyes while speaking blissfully from within his bleached out world.

It is shocking that he is even in this race after the corruption and scandal and crimes that plagued his government. Conservatives are supposed to follow the rules and manage money.

Conservatives support the Military. These Conservatives have treated our Veterans shamefully and yet we are at War. Conservatives are into hunting and fishing. They have removed the majority of protections for our rivers, lakes and streams.

They mismanaged the economy and watched the oil industry flounder and left Canadians put of work in that sector on their own. They sold out the last of the Canadian auto sector in the Trans Pacific Partnership. It's not about jobs.

Yet they might win this thing.

Is it really the race issue that is going to give Damien four more years? He knows the deep, dark, racist, misogynist Canadian spirit that exists in the Old Stock Canadians and that it is more widespread than most would like to admit. He knows we aren't all Martin Short and John Candy. He knows this is the heart of his base so he stirs up the shit and clouds the water.

Meanwhile we are getting ready to dump 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Laurence River. We have the technology to pump out this sewage and treat it before putting it back into the river; but we are acting like a third world country when it comes to having fresh water. No one wants to spend the money to take care of our shit so the best response is the cheapest one dump it into the river.

This is happening in Montreal. You know it gets worse from there with raw sewage being dumped all across the country. That is not the worst of it, we are planning to bury nuclear waste under the Great Lakes.

We are shitting in pool. We are pissing in the garden and poisoning the well. These are bad times and the vote cannot be your only act to save this country.

Where you shit matters as much as where you vote.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I don't want your Medicine Chest. Keep your Magic Beans. I want my Land.

I hope to die one day. I am not sure if that will be possible.

These are things that are said by teenagers. Punk rockers and 1 per centers. I am saying this as a 50 year old who is currently on no medication.

My goal is not to take medicine that is manufactured and I don't want any more parts cut out of me and then one day I hope to die.

This is not a joke. But I fear that it is.

No one has to right to keep me from dying. I am not sure if that will be possible. I know it is possible today to keep someone breathing and acting as though they have life long beyond that individual expresses that right. Your only hope of defining your own existence must be defined by law. You can make the necessary choices today.

But I plan on living a long time. Once that time comes. I don't know if I will have the freedom to die. I don't believe that choices made today will equal the choices I make in the future long after I am dead or whatever society defines as death.

If you think that is a joke you are a fool.

I have been adamant for years that I would not be offering any of my parts before I was out of here and I am pleased that at this point none of my children or loved ones require any of my particular parts.

Now that I am 50 I am sure that my parts may not be the best choice. But I can't say that for sure. Considering the fact that the majority of people seem to trading their humanity for pills. Not too many boys are going to be racing me to the top of the hill.

It is always easier to take your life as long as it doesn't take anyone else. I don't think my parts are that awesome. I have abused my self. I am sure. But I have always accepted that responsibility.

I have taken that responsibility with the knowledge that only myself will be harmed by myself. Sadly, I don't believe that will always be my responsibility. I fear that one day, before I am gone, that freedom will be taken away from me.

I fantasize that I will either drop dead or have the notion and head out into the bush or ice flow and deal with what no one wants to deal with.

I know that makes me weird. I don't care.

I am Metis Nation. I have seen first hand how the Medicine chest offered in treaty has turned First Nations into junkies.

I don't know the future. But I know. I don't want that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

True NatCon Should Be CanCon with Soul

There is a reason that you know too many Tragically Hip songs. There is a reason I know way too many Prism songs. It is CanCon. CanCon is the percentage of Canadian music all radio stations licenced by the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) must play and it is usually 35%. One out of every three songs on the radio.

The Canadian Content guidelines were introduced in 1968 and in the 1970's there was such a dearth of Canadian Music that I have only recently forgiven Burton Cummings. We suffered so that this generation could have Metric, Tegan and Sara, Arcade Fire and The Trews. It was a painful yet ultimately successful bit of social engineering.

Meanwhile south of the border it seemed Black Radio was supporting their own since always. Artists could develop a career and audience that could cross over into the mainstream. Today the mainstream is dominated by Black Artists.

What Canada needs is a NatCon system that is like CanCon and Black Radio. True NatCon should be CanCon with Soul.

There is a version that does exist now. All Type B Native Radio stations are required to play a percentage of Native artists and provide some kind of programming and even language. The required amount of NatCon can be as little as 2% and it is usually around 15% but some stations are only "encouraged" to play "current Aboriginal music." Some stations deal with their NatCon requirements in a manner similar to many Canadian radio stations in the 1970's by playing music in non prime hours or in specialty programming.

Despite minimal support from Canadian mainstream radio and support from Native radio stations that is spotty at best, Native music in Canada is groundbreaking and glorious. It deserves to be heard. It deserves to be in your head and in your car. All of it. The traditional music current and archival; contemporary music from Buffy Ste. Marie in the 1960's to Buffy Ste. Marie in 2015.

The required amount of Native/Indigenous music should be increased to 35% or more for all Type B Native radio stations and if you want to add the Soul on top of that then play more. There is so much incredible music that 24/7 should be the goal.

It is only in a greater commitment to the music by the people working at the stations and higher requirements by the CRTC that Native artists will make the breakthrough they deserve.

The gaming aspect is an important part of the equation. If a station gets the majority of its money from gaming it should be playing 100% NatCon as they are not really competing in the commercial radio market.

The exposure of the music to a wider audience will build listener awareness and loyalty to the artists, the music and the radio stations. If the artists are registered with SOCAN and the stations are up to date on paying fees and filling reports this would put a lot more revenue into the hands of music creators.

This would ensure that some of our most popular Native artists are getting paid and give emerging artists incentive to keep going.

But don't forget the soul. The DJ's and Programmers at the Native radio stations need to have that feeling that this music has to be shared and that this song is going save your life, this one will make you fall in love and this one will inspire the revolution and this one will shake your ass.