Archive for the ‘Real Life’ Category

Me On Canada 150   Leave a comment

Since I live in Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Québec, Harper sort of arm-twisted me — uh, make that “sweet-talked”; I can feel Harper staring at me as I write this, and she’s across most of a continent — into writing about Canada on its sesquicentennial birthday.  I don’t know if I’m really the right person for this; I may live in Québec, but I’m not native Canadian.  (I was born in upstate New York, and then my parents moved here some years ago.)  But I’m the closest thing to a Canadian on hand, so I suppose I’m anointed.  (I was also supposed to publish this on July 1, but Second Life must wait for the RL working schedule.)

And there’s really a lot to be proud of as a citizen of a country as great as Canada is, even if I wasn’t raised on hockey and poutine.  Harper actually said a lot of good things about us last year, when she happened to write a piece in this blog for our 149th birthday.  And she got it mostly right.  But there’s always a few exceptions to quick observations, some missed at the time, some which slip in later.  For instance, our eminent publisher didn’t really catch the ambivalence of many here in Québec toward being part of a country whose original rulers kicked out the king and government that founded us years before — specifically, France.  A separatist referendum back in 1995 was defeated — by only 1.16%.  Stresses exist to this day between Québec and the other provinces, and Québec has never approved the 1982 Constitution.

And then there are the relations with the First Nations peoples, who in the US are called Native Americans or Indians.  There have been few wars of “pacification,” along the line of the Indian Wars of the American 19th century.  Great efforts have been expended in modern days to work with tribal leaders.  But there have been many rocky moments as well, with promises broken by the white man; the British and Canadian governments of the 19th and early 20th centuries did have a history of land dispossession, Indian residential schools and forced assimilation.  A “reoccupation” tent was raised on Parliament Hill by an indigenous group in the days before the Canada Day celebration in Ottawa, as a reminder of these past blots on the Canadian copybook.  In a politically shrewd move, the tent was not ejected, but moved closer to the Centre Block Peace Tower — and the celebration stage.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited it as a gesture.

And things like this are actually a sign that gives Canadians hope for their country.  In the long run, Canadians have tried to live up to the more noble aspects of their country and culture.  The country itself (more properly, the Dominion of Canada) was confederated in 1867 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on the principles of “peace, order and good government,” and the full patriation of its Constitution from British control (in 1982) included a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that codifies constitutionally Canadians’ protections — aside from one interesting “notwithstanding” section that can be invoked, but rarely is due to political costs.  Outside of, perhaps, the House of Commons and the provincial legislatures, there’s usually a real attempt to find dialogue and consensus between sides of a question.  And the old chestnut about Canadians being just plain nicer than other peoples has a lot of truth to it.  (Aside from, maybe, Stanley and Grey Cup championship games.)

So yeah, I’m glad to be a Canadian in many ways.  It’s not the perfect place to live; but what country is?  And it strives to be better than many other places are around the world.  Canadians have worked hard for 150 years now to hold their place among the other countries of the world, and we’ve made our contributions, to politics, science, medicine, economics, and entertainment.  We’re gonna keep on working hard, and we should be here in some form or another for a few more decades.  Maybe we can even help keep the rest of the world from destroying itself, if we can export a little “Canadianness” to other places around.  Our children will find that out for us.

Donate Blood Today — The Gift of Life   5 comments

Today is the first day of summer, and that reminded me of something I once wrote about back in my political-blogging days:  donating blood.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fearless Girls   Leave a comment

This little girl, done in bronze and sort of “smuggled” into position overnight (with a city permit allowing them) either says a lot about the future of business on Wall Street, or doesn’t say anything, depending on who you read and talk to.  The statue, Fearless Girl, was dropped deliberately in front of another famous statue, Charging Bull, as a sort of symbol.  She is supposed to represent future women standing up to Wall Street and corporations who have almost no female representation in board rooms and executive suites, demanding that this change, and soon.

Admirers think this is great.  There’s a lot of detractors as well, though, pointing out that the statue was commissioned by an investment house that sells a branded package of stocks from companies with women on their board — and the plaque at Fearless Girl‘s feet is nothing more than advertising the package, complete with brand.  It’s also pointed out that less than a third of the company’s own board is female, so shouldn’t they be putting their money where their mouth supposedly is?

Harper and I see this as a beginning, not an ending.  Less than 30% representation certainly isn’t equal, but it’s a beginning.  Societal mentality changes slowly — as slow as a glacier at times — but it changes.  While as much progress as women have made in the corporate area in 45 years is about as slow as that glacier, remember that those big ice cubes have ground down mountains over time.  It’s time to start improving corporate performance, yes.  But it will come, one way or another.

OFPC Extra — 2017 Vanity Fair Cover   Leave a comment

Photo by Annie Leibowitz; copyright 2017 Annie Leibowitz and Vanity Fair magazine.

Photo by Annie Leibowitz; copyright 2017 Annie Leibowitz and Vanity Fair magazine.

Appearing together (L-R):  Emma Stone, Lupita Nyong’o, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Ruth Neggia, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Aja Naomi King, Dakota Johnson, Greta Gerwig, Janelle Monáe.

See the 2017 Hollywood Portfolio at Vanity Fair magazine, online or on your newsstand.

signature 3

Bread and Roses: The Rising of the Women   Leave a comment

I was never planning on making this a political blog, but recent events in American politics are rather pulling posts in that direction, at least for a brief time.  This won’t be a habit, but we wanted to put this in for your thought.

In the light of the world’s Marches on Washington this past Saturday, we’re sharing with you a blog article I found. I hope you will read it all when you hit the link, then take the power we share out into the street and the state house and the ballot box, and continue the struggle both for bread and for roses — the equality of the sexes, the recognition that we are people and not to be marginalized or objectified, the struggle for human dignity for all people, no matter sex or creed or country.

signature 3 Jem's signature Conan's signature

Strixian Woods

Photo courtesy of the Illustrious Katie RoseAn offering to the Crows: Photo courtesy of the Illustrious Katie Rose

“What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist — the right to life as the rich woman has the right to life, and the sun and music and art. You have nothing that the humblest worker has not a right to have also. The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too. Help, you women of privilege, give her the ballot to fight with.”

—Rose Schneiderman, 1912

As we stood circled and gave final thanks to the Gods, spirits, and allies that inspirited the temple, the crows called outside and the sacred space shifted, changing it’s role like a breath held at length finally released.  Where a moment ago stood the Temple of the Morrigan and Her Tribe, was a simple bare hotel room stacked with sacred items and offerings.  …

View original post 1,160 more words

A Bitch of a Year

Just the latest —

2016

signature 3

Posted December 28, 2016 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal, Real Life

Tagged with , ,

For Dani Plassitz

for-dani-plassitz-1

for-dani-plassitz-2

for-dani-plassitz-3

We at Around the Grid just picked up the news of Dani Plassitz’ sudden death on December 15.  While not a friend, I admired Dani’s dressmaking skill many times, and her abilities as a singer and performer are also well known to many in Second Life.  Her many friends will miss her, and I hope you will join us in praying for her and her family at this time — an especially hard time to lose a loved one.

Both dresses by Dani

signature 3

Save

%d bloggers like this: