19 March 2014

Shaw is Dumb; A Rant. Or Why My Bank is Awesome.

So I have shaw internet b/c I remember them being slightly less dumb than Telus about internet. However, I'm having trouble believing this right now.

I got home after work and decided that a couple missions of ME3 would be a swell idea as I wait for my evening plans to come to fruition. I mean, who doesn't like trying beat their head against the wall that is Insanity Mode? I know I love it. *twitch* However, this was not to happen as my internet wasn't working.

This isn't the first time either, in the last three weeks I've had to reset my modem 3 or 4 times b/c the internet was buggy. I've got a practically new router that gave me no troubles at MacEwan Residence last year, so I don't think that it's the problem. Bloody Shaw.

I reset the router, b/c usually that fixes things. It didn't. I reset it again b/c why not? I also reset the modem. Still nothing. *sigh* I decided to give them both one more shot for good measure, all the while thinking to myself "they're going to make me do this anyway when I call them to complain so why am I doing it again?" Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Joy.

So I called Shaw. Thankfully, Telus isn't being extra dumb today and my data is working on my phone and I can actually look up their phone number. I wait on hold - surprisingly it's only a short period of time, less than ten minutes for certain. The guy who answers is from Edmonton and he's more than willing to help me out. I let him know that my internet isn't work, my name, and that I'm grouchy so sorry.

This is where he drops the bomb. My internet has been cut off due to defaulting on my payments.

 "Excuse me?" I said "I made a payment on February 28th for 160$, it's right here on my banking app. This is completely wrong." (I totally looked it up while I was on hold b/c I wanted to know. Always good to go into the conversation with all the info.)

Apparently, they haven't received it. He wanted me to check with account it went to (I have an old account, he wanted to make sure I wasn't dumb. I don't blame him, people are pretty dumb.) I told him that I can't check which acocunt it went to b/c my app doesn't have that functionality and I don't have the internet in order to check on my computer.

He turned on my internet. (GLEEE!) So I logged in on my laptop and found the account number. It matches. Then he told me that only thing I can do is go into one of the retail stores.

Bullshit. I hate going to Shaw Stores, they SUCK. So I asked him is there anything that I can do? Can't I talk to retail on the phone? Can't billing help me?

He put me on hold while he talked to billing. Probably complaining about how I was being a bitch. I was, not that he deserved my wrath, but that's a lot of money Shaw just lost. Billing wanted me to call and confirm with my bank that it went to the right account. B/c if the bank messed up they'll fix it. (Billing was totally trying to blame my bank.) He didn't tell me what to do after I confirmed with the bank though, so I figured I'd just call back and grouch some more.

I thanked him, complained that I can't believe they lost my money, and said sorry that I took my frustration out on him. Like I said, it's not his fault Shaw is dumb. Hung up, swore, and then called my bank.

Ahhh BMO. I really like my bank, they've got some pretty shitty banker's hours (getting bettter!) but they're pretty damn good otherwise. I dial zero to get right to a human, b/c fuck that shit trying to figure out the menu, I'm on a mission bitch. The lady who answered was awesome. She varified that the payment went through, and went to the correct Shaw account number. I thanked her and said, I guess I call Shaw back and complain some more - I don't know what else to do.

This is where the lady helped out - "Do you want us to launch an investigation? We could contact Shaw on your behalf?"

Do I? You bet your sweet Aunt Francis I do!

So BMO is figuring out where my money went. They'll let me know. If it went to Shaw they'll leave the money there and if it didn't they'll claw it back and put it in my account. Win-Win. Double Bonus, I still have internet.

06 November 2013

White Poppies: A Remembrance Day Controversy


I don’t like the white poppy.

I didn’t like it when I was still studying at the U of A and a group there tried to give me one telling me that my poppy symbolised the glorification of war. I told them that my red poppy symbolised the sacrifice that my grandfather gave fighting in WW2; it symbolised the sacrifice that all the soldiers fighting gave and that for many of them it was their life.

Thankfully, my grandfather didn’t die, but I refuse to believe that anyone who’s fought in a war doesn’t sacrifice something of themselves. Ask any of our recent veterans that come home with PTSD if they haven’t sacrifices something; ask the families of our soldiers if they haven't noticed a changed in the person they once knew.

I didn't like the white poppy yesterday when a captain at work talked to me about how disrespectful it was to the veterans and those currently in the forces today. And it is disrespectful. But not because of the idea behind it, but the attitudes of the people touting the white poppy and their seemingly blatant disregard for history and people.


What is it about?
The white poppy is supposed to symbolise the idea that the person wearing it remembers for peace - the slogan is "I Remember for Peace". (I found many of the comments to be full of loaded language and rather disrespectful.) It's a very pretty idea, one that I almost can identify with. This is because I think that peaceful solutions to situations are better and that war shouldn't be glorified or celebrated. You can't tell me that most people don't feel that same way, that most people don't agree with those sentiments.


Why is disrespectful?
I think that main reason that the white poppy is disrespectful isn't because of the poppy itself. I find the most disrespectful thing about it is the attitudes of the people pushing it. And they're pushing it - much like religious zealots, with little regard for the people their talking too. Case in point, this year they're going to hand them out at a Remembrance Day ceremony. A place that should be solemn remembrance and introspection will be clouded with political bullshit. Also, it’s the completely wrong location! It's like the Jehovah's Witnesses trying to convert the Mormons. I really don’t think that Dufay thought that one through.

Finally, I also think it's disrespectful because of what they say the poppy stands for - the glorification of war. If you haven't seen this article yet, go read it. I think that Gurney illustrates the points far better than I can. To summarise though, he states that the students in charge of the "I Remember for Peace" campaign haven't really studied their history. This is because the poppy is already a symbol of peace. Peace bough at the price of sacrifice; sacrifice of self, of family, of life.


The Poppy
Peace bough at the price of sacrifice; sacrifice of self, of family, of life.

That is how I've always viewed the poppy and just because I wear one does not mean that I glorify war. I am still relatively young, almost 30, but my grandfather fought in WW2. I went with him and the rest of my immediate family every year the the legion's ceremony. I wear my poppy for him. 

I also wear my poppy in honour of all those that sacrificed in any way, in any war, on any side. For me it is important to make the distinction and remember that it is not the soldier that makes the decision to go to war, but political leaders. I wear my poppy in honour of all soldiers. Just because I may not agree with their point of view does not make their life or their sacrifce any less valuable than those give or made from my point of view.

All life is sacred. All sacrifices should be remembered. That is why I wear my poppy.

13 October 2013

Rant: Why am I responsible for your inability to parent your child?

I recently read this article. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

There's a lot of different connotations to this petition and I'm not going to even get into how censorship of the Internet is a really BAD THING. I'm going to completely gloss over that with a couple statements and some capital letters. For me the bigger issue isn't censorship, though it's a big one, it's the idea that parents aren't being responsible for parenting their children.

I'm going to get very generalised on you here; my sister is a counter example of this so I know that not everyone is like this. However, I often feel that parents are no longer taking the reponsibility of parenting their children and instead expecting society to do it. While I don't disagree with the statement that "it takes a village" I don't think that society should be that village. I don't think that I should be punished b/c some parents are unwilling to actually do their job. My niece and nephew's village is their family, extended family, and family friends. It will eventually include the school system and maybe a childcare centre or two. The whole of society isn't expected to be involved in raising my sister's kids. Hell, even as part of the village I'm not expected to always be a part of "raising" them. (Side Note: Parents raise children, the village doesn't. It acts as a support system. If you have childcare centre staff that talk about how they're raising the kids at their centre - GET A NEW CENTRE.)

My biggest issue with this is that it often seems like parents aren't parenting, they're letting expecting society to do it. Being a parent is hard work; it involves self-sacrifice, putting the welfare of another being before your own, being involved in all aspects of their life, and working toward changing an inarticulate, screaming baby into a productive member of society. This includes socialising them, teaching them right from wrong, appropriate from inappropriate, and a long list of other things including that sex isn’t like you see it in porn. It involves allowing them to fail and then being there for them when they fail to show them that failure is not the end of the world. It involves keeping children safe from experiences that would harm them while allowing them experiences that help them grow and learn. It involves be active participants in their learning – maybe not all the time, but most of the time.

Yet, often I feel that parents aren’t really doing this. I've seen children as young as 7 with cell phones. What 7 year old needs a cell phone? Children as young as 3 and 4 are playing with ipads without supervision, b/c it "keeps them entertained". I'm not saying that children shouldn't be exposed to technology. Children born today NEED to be exposed to technology, it will be an integral part of their lives. However, I don't think that just dropping a kid infront of it is a good thing. Additionally, what happened to children having to social with their parents, guests, or otherwise, especially at supper? Why do young teenagers have their own computers? What's wrong with a family desktop right in the living room or office where anybody can walk in that they have access to? It allows them to do their homework, go on Facebook, or whatever else, while creating an environment where parents can actually supervise their children's interactions on the Internet. 
 
This would remove the need for censorship. Parents would know what their children are doing and where they are going on the Internet. They could create teachable moments, where they communicate values and morals. Explain that just because something is like that on the Internet, doesn't mean that it's like that in real life.

Parents shouldn't expect the government and society to raise their children. They're the ones that decided to have kids, not anyone else. So they should be shouldering the brunt of the repsonsibility. I shouldn't be punished because some people aren't willing to do the job they volunteered for and that's what instituting porn filters on the Internet would be. It would be punishing Canadian society as a whole for the parents that are unwilling to actually be involved in their children's lives because either they don't want to or are uncomfortable with the idea of discussion sex with them. To that I have two final things to say:
  1. Grow Up
  2. If you're uncomfortable discussing sex then maybe you weren't ready to have sex, so why the fuck did you have children?

16 November 2012

Here's something I bet you didn't see coming...

Just watched an interview with a phone sex operator about her experiences - she had to listen to a pedophile talk about the "horrible things that he wanted to do to his seven year old daughter". While I feel absolutely terrible for her - I'd rather he call her and deal with his urges that way than actually abuse his daughter. While I don't think that a person who is sexually attracted to children should put themselves into situations that can cause temptation I do have to give the guy props for trying to be better than his desires.

People don't want to talk about pedophilia because of the ick-factor but we need to realise that pedophilia is basically a fetish or something akin to a sexual orientation. These people don't usually chose to be attracted to children - they just are. There could be some psycho-social reason that they sexualise children or something could be wired wrong in their brains.

One Side:
Some act on their desires - and this is wrong. Children are not able to consent because they are not emotionally aware of the consequences of having sex - especially with a much older person* - nor are the emotionally capable of really understanding what sex is. And in some really horrible cases - they weren't able to consent because they weren't old enough to talk yet. As for whether these people deserve punishment or reformation - I am conflicted. I suppose that it depends on the nature of their crime. (Gods, that makes me sound so horrible). 

I'm trying to differentiate between a psychopath and not a psychopath. Can the person control their desires with help? Does the person understand that what they did was wrong? Do they have empathy? Was this a really horrible mistake or pre-meditated? Will this person make the same decision in a new situation? Can we even answer those questions? Those answers are going to make the decision as to whether this person can be reformed. I think the biggest mistake that we make in Canada is assuming that all criminals can be reformed. And while I don't know about you I'm not willing to be my niece's life on the fact that a psychopath pedophile can be reformed or not so if there is any doubt - Fuck 'em. I'm sorry, you screwed up in a really big way and I can't decide if you're not a psychopath that means you lose. Oh wait, I'm not sorry. Have a nice life in prison. 

*Assuming that they're old enough to even know what sex is - For example a 12 year old.



The Other Side:
As hard as it may be to grasp - some pedophiles never act on their desires. They know that their desires on wrong and have the potential to ruin not only their life but the life of a child. And for all intents and purposes these are good pedophiles and just like us, they're human. This means that since they're not asexual, they have a sex drive. I'm not even going to pretend to understand how these individuals go about their lives and create sexual relationships. I'm assuming that it would be something akin to living on the "down low" but even more problematic if it gets out. 

(At least in most places in the world. There are still some places where homosexuality is still illegal. And you thought the States were behind the times in voting on gay marriage?)

I want there to be something in place for these individuals so that the temptation to act on their desires is as close to zero as we can make it. If these means that sex phone operators have to listen to someone for four hours talk about what s/he wants to do to a child than so be it. (I also want that person to have access to crisis workers to help them deal with the fall out because I bet there will be.) If that means we can create computer generated child-porn that hasn't taken advantage of any child in anyway shape or form - then so be it. 

Yes, it turns my stomach.

However, I would rather those individuals have access to an outlet for their desires that does not include children. 

But BJ, why not just chemically castrate them? Because I believe in autonomy. They need to make that decision for themselves. If they haven't broke the law by molesting a child and they never will, I don't care how they decide to deal with their desires. There's numerous choices:
  • Go to Therapy
  • Get chemically castrated
  • Ignore the desire and try to live "normally"
  • Fantasize about it
  • Call a phone sex operator
  • Look a weird creepy porn that doesn't have real children in it
I don't care. Whatever gets them from day to the next. I don't have to like it. You don't have to like it. Liking it has nothing to do with any of it.

What we do have to do is help find better ways for them to manage their desires that do not conflict with society.



Finally, with all that being said, it is important to remember that our feelings around pedophilia are socially constructed and that some cultures have different views. Ancient Greece practiced pederasty; Muhammad married one of his wives at 6, consummated the marriage at 9; and apparently some cultures in Papua New Guinea it isn't a big deal. (Proto-societies I guess, I'm not sure, and I find that what I found on the Inter-webs a little suspect but apparently it's legit.)




Also, if reading this entry made you go "ewww" or "icky" - just remember that writing it made me do the same thing. Comments, as always, are appreciated but please remain civil and think critically before you post.

Comments that are derogatory or dick-ish will be removed.

24 October 2012

Why am I doing this?

OK, you know what. I'm going to go out on a limb here and defend someone that I'd rather not defend - Richard Mourdock.

For those of you who do not know Mr. Mourdock is the Republican senator candidate in Indiana. I dislike the man. He supports ObamaCare being repealed, he's pro-life, and he's a Tea Partier. If that weren't all he also supports tax cuts in a country that's so far in debt they aren't going to see the end of it in several generations. He's <sarcasm> brilliant </sarcasm>.  

He also recently got himself into hot water over this little comment at a senatorial debate. Please go watch it now if you don't already know the comment. The rest won't make much sense from here if you don't.

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Ok... If you don't already know, I'm pro-choice. I believe that NO-ONE can dictate to me what I can and can't do with my body. I believe in absolute autonomy. It's rather sticky some times. 

I also believe that people who blame the victims of rape are idiots and they are going to a special level of hell. How I dress and how I act does not condone the fact that some asshole can't keep his dick in his pants or her cunt under her skirt. If you can't do that then maybe you shouldn't leave the house. However, I also think that we need to have a better dialogue with rapist. We need to know why they are raping so we can better educate our children. Apparently that makes me come off as a rapist sympathiser. Fine, whatever. I still say it. We need to know why these people think that rape is ok, or why they thought that what they were doing wasn't rape. And I'm talking about the "fluffy" rapists here, not the scary ones. There is a difference - usually one shows remorse while the other doesn't. Doesn't make it right but it does show that maybe they're not completely terrible people.

Ok, back to the topic at hand. Everyone seems to have taken Mourdock's comment completely out of hand and out of context. I cannot believe that he's in the same boat as Akin with the "legitimate rape" comment. Akin is idiot because he doesn't understand science. It's hilarious. He's being completely serious.

Mourdock sounds like he's about to start crying when he says his comment. He says that rape is horrible. (Finally! Something we agree on!) But he also says that God intended for the life to begin - not that god intended for the rape to happen - and that means that because he believes in the sanctity of life that abortion in cases of rape should be illegal.

So I'm begging the liberal world to stop being fucking idiots. Stop trying to make it sound like he said God wanted the rape to happen and focus on the fact that he believes that abortion should be illegal in most cases, expect for where the mother's life is in danger, because he's trying to take away your right to autonomy.

06 October 2012

Gossip Rags and Double Standards

You know what pisses me off? 

People.

Yes, I said it - People piss me off. People drive me up the wall. People make me want to pull my hair out!

What bothers me the most about people is that we're so gods damn inconsistent. What's got my panties in a twist this time? Double standards. 

Double Standards.

OK - I'll admit it. I was browsing the gossip rags - The Examiner no less, when I happened on this "happy" article. Go read it. It'll take like five minutes tops. It's not like it's got substance to it. I'll wait. 

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Told you it wouldn't take long.

These people really piss me off. I am not going to say that Stewart was in the right, but in no way shape or form does she deserve treatment like that. 

I feel like we hold celebrities up to this unnatural standard of perfection. We expect them to better than all of us because they're celebrities and because they're celebrities they're better than all of us. An over-simplification I know, but it works. Never mind that we're expecting them to live their private lives in public. If any "normal" person had to go through what most celebrities do everyday with regards to the paparazzi, there would be mayhem. No one would stand for the invasion of privacy and yet we expect celebrities to politely acquiesce to it. When they don't we get up in arms about the freedom of the media and press. Celebrities are being charged with harassment and assault for trying to fend off people that I can only describe as "Stalkers with Cameras".
It's bullshit, straight up bullshit. 

That's not the only double standard in this cluster fuck. The other side of it involves words like:  

Slut 

Trash

Bitch

Skank

Homewrecker

My favourite is homewrecker. In the context that it is used it implies that it is Stewart's fault that Sanders fucked around on his wife. It implies that she drove his family apart. It drives me nuts! Ok - if she and Pattinson never get back together because of this then, yes, I could be convinced that homewrecker could be applied to that situation. Her actions with Sanders would have effectively broken up the family that she had created with Pattinson. However you will never convince me that she broke up Sanders' family. 

Why?

It's simple. She wasn't the only one in the "affair". Sanders was there too and yet somehow he has manged to escape the "vitriol and venom" that is being spewed at Stewart. If anyone is responsible for breaking up his family - it would be him, not her.

I swear if feels like every time I see something online about an affair it's always the woman's fault. What's worse is that it usually other women that are doling the hate! What is with this woman on woman hate?

I won't even being to say that I'm not guilty of it myself - that would be lying. I'm sure we've all said or done something at one point that was hateful for no other reason than being petty. Petty comments are derived from feeling insecure about something in ourselves. We feel insecure so we push someone down to make ourselves feel better. If you want a better explanation I suggest watching this.

Finally, I just want to point this out - as food for thought. We do not know what happened between Stewart and Sanders. Only they do. In fact, we can never know what happened because we weren't there and all we can do is take their word on the situation. We can make our own interpretations about a situation based on the knowledge that we have.



Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure

Statutory rape by an authority figure is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by the victim when:
The defendant was, at the time of the offense, in a position of trust, or had supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the defendant's legal, professional, or occupational status and used the position of trust or power to accomplish the sexual penetration.
Statutory rape does not mean that it was physically forced or that there was no consent. It can be "unforced and consented" to if the person believes that they must consent or have reprecussions.
Director:

A person who supervises the creative aspects of a dramatic production or film and instructs the actors and crew.



I am NOT MAKING an accusation here. As I already stated - we can never know what happened between Stewart and Sanders. I would never accuse a person of rape unless I knew for absolute FACT that they had committed it. Rape is a serious crime that should never be taken lightly. Not only is it terrible for actually victims/survivors of rape but for people falsely accused it can be a debilitating sentence since they are now branded as a sexual preditor.

However, I did want to point out that there are many possible explanations for what happened between Stewart and Sanders. We shouldn't be so quick to judge. 

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