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Live in Vancouver, BC and like to read about interesting places in the US. Progressive Christian, radical feminist, mother of grown son, married for 31…
About: Confidential to Canadian...
What a stupid controversy about the scientific exhibit of human sexuality directed at teens that's being toured by the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology. Our Conservative Government and the reactionary National Post newspaper has discovered that it might introduce our teenagers to the vice of masturbation, and also other-than-heterosexual orientations. Why this would be considered science and not pornography they can't fathom, and like conservatives everywhere, are concerned that their tax money is being used to banish ignorance. Presumably they prefer their money to be used for their personal pornography of teenagers and sex, since they can't imagine any scientific or educational purpose for this exhibition. It's sad that in this day and age, when education in Canada is at least supposed to include age-appropriate sex education in Grades K through 12, we've elected a government of Republicans.
Mom of Many
Some of the structure the Occupy movement chose for their decision-making seemed a little kooky from the outside, but the fact that they chose to make participatory democracy a key value and construct a new system with that in mind really stood out and impressed me. And if people can't see anything that demands action from the dramatic income disparity in our society, they're just not listening. Love the little kid from "The Emperor's New Clothes", by the way.
No one has forced the looting of shops or the fighting over designer running shoes, or the maniacal behaviour of shoppers on Black Friday, but they are symptoms of a common illness. No, I don't mean that the people who committed these crimes are free of the responsibility for them, but, like the authour, I suggest there is a connection between our culture's need for constantly inflating consumer desire for "stuff", and society's need to control the underclass typified by the English judiciary who decreed the harshest possible sentences for the looters.
There would not be a huge media/entertainment segment of the economy engaged in selling the hugely expensive enterprise of selling "stuff" on movies, TV, radio, the internet, and permutations of these if it did not WORK, and it works extremely well. People almost always under-estimate the influence that advertising has on them in experimental situations, so we can assume that we, and others, are more driven by the induced desire to buy and have things than we realize. If we are unhappy with our lives, it's logical that we would be more likely to believe that buying things would make us happier.
I disagree with Richard Isacoff that he and the rest of us are not addicted to having and acquiring more and more consumer products and consumables. When one has lots of stuff, as anyone but the homeless does in our society, the only reason to buy more is if something is used up or wears out. There is no rational purpose for closets full of clothes or a car in the city--how many of us are addicted to having "stuff" to feel: secure, valid, affirmed, adult, competent, beautiful, manly, etc. How many of us still need more?
As long as we define The American Dream as "living the good life"; doing it better and in a bigger house than our parents did it, and making sure our children do the same, we are playing into the hands of the 1% who want to keep us in our place. Consumerist culture is not realistic for the Earth, or for any economy, but if everyone is trying to "get it" for themselves (as long as we have enough cops and prisons), we can sell lots of "stuff" made in China, and stock prices will soar (and tank). We have to look clearly at the propaganda that ad agencies for corporations and other advertising is streaming at us, and we have to teach our children to analyze it. "Adbusters" magazine is a good place to start. Read it with your kids, use it at your Church and community groups.
End the drug war now. It's a failure in every sense-drug use went up, drug crime and violence went up, and evil done by the governments went up.
It's true big, excited dogs like Jupiter mean no harm to those who would try to walk them--but they do require some extra time and patience to deal with. It can be scary, too, for some people just to be so close to a dog that is so tall standing on hind legs and so muscular. Jupiter needs more time for a walk than a lunch hour.
The intellectual face of the Republican Party.
These commentors did not address the problems in the story with the budget shortfalls for adequate numbers of trash bins on campus, so overflowing trash blows around the campus (no budget for more people to empty bins, or have more ergonomic bins to reduce workers' comp. costs either).
There is already a campus pride and student driven culture where people "carry a newspaper or a can around with them until they find an appropriate recycling bin", but because of markings worn off them, and trash bins overflowing, they are mixed in with trash and "sorted" by waste management. The recycling inside buildings is sorted, and composting of food waste is led by students, but so far it looks like State funding cuts and "greenwashing" by University administration has worked. Will new recycling bins and Pepsico's generosity help enough? I hope for the sake of gardeners' connective tissue some innovative solutions come in too--not just from students.
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