Monday 28 April 2014

'Tainted Love' does not exist.

"Tainted Love" ... released in 1965, is a song that was written and produced by an american artist named Ed Cobb.  Many have sung it, most have grooved to it, some have learned from it's lyrics.

"To make things right, you need someone to hold you tight."

For me, Love is Love.  There is no good love vs bad love.  Love just IS.
How many times has it been described, denounced, declared.
How many songs and hymns sing it's praises?  How many got it right?  How many truly know the face of Love?

The thing about Love is, when you give it, it feeds both they who give and they who receive.

Love can sometimes be held hostage though, amid other feelings like greed, ego, hurt.  Love can feel poisoned though it's not.  Love can feel aged, though rebirth is easy.  Love can feel toxic, until it is fed.    

Love is like Mercury ... it clings and gathers to it's likeness.
Love is like Iron ... it builds up our blood making us strong.
Love is like Silver ... it purifies the bad; protects the good.
Love is like Gold ... it may one day be, the one true currency.
Love is like Titanium ... it's strength on earth is yet unmatched.
Love is like Lead ... it gives a good comfortable weight keeping us grounded at all times.
Love is like Brick ... it builds up that fortress where you can raise your love each day.
Love is like Aluminum ... it can be spread so thinly to cover all distances.
Love is like Hemp ... it's roots clean the self as they grow.

Finally, the greatest of greatnesses about this great thing called LOVE is that it doesn't keep track of mistakes.  Ever.  I have sinned, but the love I feel, I give, I build, I share ... it is unaffected by these sins.  It doesn't even know the meaning of that word.  LOVE has eyes that see through all of our human weaknesses and faults.

This post is rooted in a conversation I had with a light worker.  Society says she has sinned like me.  But her love is ferociously great and powerful.  Someone wants to keep her supposedly tainted love from her flesh and blood grandson, simply because of past mistakes.  Love laughs at the thought of being tainted. That thought is just so void of truth.

Attempting to delay love is not only just unnecessary, but it is simply useless.  An ineffective struggle that doesn't even know it's own name.

Love is like a virus pill, or poke, or prod can kill it, stop it, delay it.

You better move outta the way .... cuz love is love ... don't run from love.

Hear "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell here:

Friday 25 April 2014

Double standards, Ignorance, and Equality

My hunni and I just moved into an eleven story tenement building.  I like it very much.  Quiet, all inclusive, rommy but small enough to keep clean with ease.  For the most part, my small apartment is my sanctuary. It's upon stepping outside that sanctuary that the issues begin.  Don't get me wrong, my neighbors are cool, and most of them love my dog Molly.  Lots of dogs in this building.  I often recognize them before they're owners.  I couldn't tell you 3 of my neighbor's names but I know one's dog is Valdez, the other is Whisky, and the third is Heidi.  What can I say?  I'm an animal person.

So when I'm taking my pooch out for her duties is when I notice this ... problem.  It's an odor.  And depending on which floor the elevator stops on, that odor could be garlic, urine, or tobacco smoke.  Of these three, I loathe only one.  If you follow my writing, you can guess which one I'm talking about.

We were here for about five days when the odor complaint came in.  We were thrilled to have a brand new counter top installed, so we made sure all evidence of illegal use was hidden from the visiting carpenter. But we didn't expect him to start so early, and well the apartment was still pungent with the aroma of a whole other plant.  The next day I ran into the super and was asked to come to the office.  Yep ... like elementary school.  I was a bad kid.  Or so it felt.  At 39, my hands were shaking as I sat and waited for whatever this stranger had to talk to me about.

So the super simply stated that the carpenter noticed a very strong marijuana smell~ yep the slang.  She then went on to ask me if I have any documentation to back up my use, adding that there were several medical marijuana patients in the building.  Privacy!!!  I should not know that.  That is not my business nor the business of anyone other than that person and perhaps their physician.  She went on to mention that there has been odor reported in the hall as well.  I immediately wanted to call bullshit.  But ... I was a bad kid.  By this time, my hands were sweating AND shaking.  My blood pressure was elevated to the point where I knew my face was red and blotchy.  This woman wasn't even so much judgey or disrespectful, just grossly unethical.

Now ... my point about smells.  Sometimes I take a long ass time to set up a story eh?  Here goes:  why is it socially accepted if not encouraged to be completely fine with the smell of tobacco in the tenement hallways but not fine with the smell of Cannabis? The first floor just past the laundry and garbage room smells like a hunting camp of filterless cigarette smokers.  The garbage room itself smells better than the actual hallway!  If I had any kind of breathing issue, I know I'd be choking and spittin' and coughin'.  But it's all perfectly legal. You can buy and shmoke as many ciggies as you can afford, and that's just fine.  In Canada, you can legally grow up to 15 kgs of Tobacco for your own personal use.  But don't you dare stink up the hallway or get caught growing that other plant.  We KNOW Tobacco is deadly.  Yet it's still legal.  And day by day more and more people are trying to find ways to deter us from using Cannabis ... NOT Tobacco!  WTF is wrong with this picture?   PUBLIC SAFETY!  And no ... I am not saying I want Tobacco illegal.

You know about the other plant right?  Ugh ... I'm almost getting tired of hearing myself say these words:  the plant that has never killed anyone?  Er no ... one death ... last year when a bale of cannabis fell on a man. You literally CANNOT overdose on Cannabis.  Yet we're all so offended by the smell aren't we?  While the smell of something that kills 15 million of our loved ones every single year, is fine.  We need to get real with the world about these plants.  To this day, parents who catch whiff of the herb a' burnin' in the park run and shield their children's noses, yet the person smoking the cigarette is addicted and has the right to be there. One is dangerous for the majority of us;  the other is not dangerous for the majority of us.  And don't even get me started on the lack of fiduciary responsibility when it comes to the mixing of these two plants and the extreme and serious damage that that combination can do to your lungs.  But that's a whole other blog.

I want equality.  That's not only about marriage and sex y'know.  It's about respecting my choice, if I'm willing to accept yours.  If you can grow, buy, or ingest Tobacco;  so should I be able to grow, buy, and ingest Cannabis.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

The Scarlet Stigmatization of Society

We live in a world where every single one of us has been stigmatized in one way or another ... even if we don't realize it.  We are judged and categorized accordingly for easy control and manageability.  Based on looks, speech, address, wardrobe, recent past, not-so-recent past, past mistakes, past successes, past addictions, past ailments, past friends .... and the list goes on and on.

This wouldn't be so bad in my opinion, if it were all just you and I trying to compartmentalize our friends.   But this stigmatization is in the daily cracks and crevices of our lives.  For instance, if you have ever had any issue with pain medication and addiction, your Medical Records might as well have a giant red "A" on them.  I've witnessed this and heard the horror stories.  Basically, a person could have their Femur bone sticking out of their thigh, and depending on what their medical records state, if they go to Emerg the first thing the staff will think is "PILL-SEEKER".  It doesn't even matter if you want the pain meds.  The stigma is there.  You are inside that box where you're simply looking for a quick fix or a quick high.  I've heard of people stating very plainly upon entering Triage that they DO NOT want any pain killers. And yet, many medical professionals will simply push them into another even deeper box.  One that says that they're game-playing or that they're in denial of their need for an opiate.

And I'm no fool here Peeps.  I know it happens.  I know about addiction and how deeply those claws can dig in.  I know the lengths that an addiction will go to, to make you feed it what it needs.  And if you don't feed it, those claws feel like they curl, anchoring themselves even more deeply.  I've been addicted to legal medications that don't even give pleasure;  and I've felt addiction for non-legal substances too.  They feel similar if not identical.  Like an urgency in your gut or in your brain.  And what society doesn't seem to realize, is that every single one of us has the potential for addiction.  Addiction does not discriminate.  Not by race, religion, culture, or tax-bracket.  It's about receptors in the brain ... and nothing more.

I want to know this:  if a medical professional can seemingly judge your state of addiction by looking at you, then why the heck aren't they helping people with addiction!?  If you can see the early stages of addiction, then offer assistance, suggest programs, tell them that they don't have to live that way! Rather than assuming that a person wants an opiate, how about you discuss that need that you think they're feeling.  I thought the medical industry as a whole had the "Do No Harm" motto.  Well you're doing harm every single time you prejudge the intentions, the needs, or the addictions of those entering your workplace.  How about you discuss their addiction with them for what it really is .... a disease.  And one that can be managed if not cured.

There are other scarlet letters that are written on our files.  Especially our kids.  This to me is the most appalling.  Soon our children will all have big red letters after their names. The boxes they already had, called SDD's (Specific Development Disorders) recently needed micromanaging.  Some needed to split and create new boxes, new sub-categories.  The age old LD (Learning Disability) was way too big.  I was in there at grade 3 and 4 and it seemed very suffocating to me.  Inside or as addendum to the LD box, we now have a PDD box (Pervasive Development Disorder).  If your child is strong-willed and stubborn, they'll shove her in the ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) box.  If your son has trouble concentrating, interrupts, or has to be doing more than one thing at the same time, we'll shove him into the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) box or into the newly renovated ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) box.  And finally ... my personal favorite ... EFD (Executive Function Disorder).  Why my fave? Because of all of the labels we throw around, this is the blanket that can cover the majority of us at one time or another ... or for me on the daily. It is the box that adults and children are shoved into when they show a pattern of having problems with organization and keeping schedules.  Ahem.  Yep.

Every single week, I find myself being helped by fully capable adults who, if born today would be shoved into one or more of these boxes.  I wonder, do you think that those people, if labelled would still be the same people today?  Would they still have that job?  Still have that self-image, self-esteem, self-identity?  Or would the Scarlet letters that our society places on us all, marginalize them to the point of discrimination and self-defeat?  I know that some parents accept these labels, stating that without the label they wouldn't get the extra help and assistance.  That's shitty isn't it?  What's shittier is the fact that our schools are given funding for most if not all of the Scarlet labeled children they enroll.  Would that not automatically encourage over-labeling?

Huh ... so labels mean profit.  So in the end, this rant is once again about how much Capitalism sux.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Capitalism Sux

Imagine if some salesman came to your door selling you a health supplement.  It's not cheap, but depending on your country it might be covered.  Someone does indeed make money from this supplement~and lots of it ~if not the salesman himself.  You take it, you believe in it, the science is solid and real.  But the supplement reacts badly with something in your system, in your blood, in your genetic makeup.  It really doesn't matter why, because you're sick.  Imagine if you couldn't even hold anyone responsible, or get reimbursed for hospitals visits and medications.  Imagine if you found out that that supplement maker is governed by a "no-fault" system for litigating damages.

People react to simple things these days like Tums, makeup, foods like chickpeas.  So no one can deny that there is a chance that you or your child will react to a vaccination.  The very vaccinations that people are crying out for the world to mandate. Studies proving vaccinated kids are healthier than unvaccinated kids would go a long way to convince me.  As would studies that prove GMO food, Fluoride, and yearly dental xrays are safe too!  But that will never happen because the results will affect someone's income.

Capitalism sux when it trumps public health and safety.

Saturday 5 April 2014

Black Box Technology in Every Politician's Vehicle.

I used to be in the car business.  Such a small yet fast-moving and profitable world that is.  I remember this one dealership that I worked at really valued it's customers.  And to show that appreciation, dealers wearing that brand all over Canada held yearly anniversary parties, usually taking place at the local drive in and/or amusement park.  That's where it was held the year I took part.  Right up on the hill that our Tragically Hip speak of in the first verse of that awesome song "Blow at High Dough".  It was amazing to take part in something like that.  Imagine it.  For one Sunday all of the salespeople ... new and used ... met and helped make this one day of gratitude rock.

It was here that I witnessed one of the poorest of judgments in a fellow human being that I had ever witnessed at that stage of my life.  One young couple were driving a loaner car because their own vehicle was waiting for a part.  The ownership in the glove box had a business number a dealer name on it.

Well ... we all learned about odors and osmosis in high school right?  It wasn't long at all until management and then the actual owners of the dealership became aware of the weed smell wafting from the cracked windows of their brand new demo car.  The gall.  The poor judgement of youth.

Segue now to Toronto.  Our mayor has done crack cocaine in a drunken stupor.  To me, those are two statements that are obvious cries for help masked in some kind of elitist ideology that the drunkenness is an acceptable excuse for the crack use.  Not only this, but it's pretty difficult if not impossible to get crack home delivery these days lemme tell ya.  And they say we have free enterprise!  I jest ... truly ... humor is a coping mechanism for me now.  What's my point?

It came to me just now as I vacuumed that Mayor Ford has undoubtedly used the same poor judgement that those two young small town kids used at that anniversary appreciation day.  I, and the owners of that dealership excused and forgave that lax in sanity to inexperience and lack of respect.  What are we blaming Ford's poor judgement on?

I mean ... think about it:  It is very very likely that cocaine was not only purchased from, but then cooked in and then frantically consumed in a vehicle whose ownership reads "The City of Toronto", "The Canadian Kennedy's", or maybe .... "The Gatekeepers of Etobicoke"?

Maybe we need some good 'ol Black Box technology installed in every politician's vehicle!

Friday 4 April 2014

Love's Eternal Tide ... guest piece by my good friend Jane Lambert

Love is a force.  Love is real.  Love cannot hide.  Love cannot steal.
Love can find you, love can loose you, love doesn't lie, love can only heal.
Love doesn't need, love doesn't want, love doesn't force, love doesn't hate.
Love is sunshine, love is everywhere.
Love is sitting on a park bench in early spring, (I remember this), love is smelling a flower, (I remember this also).
Love is telling the truth even if it might piss the other person off.
Love is never wanting to let go of ... love.
Love is knowing how you feel, even if it hurts.
Love is trusting your gut, without attachments to anything.
Love is your friend in the darkest of your darkest nights.
Love is everywhere, you just have to be still enough to feel it.
Be still, my friend, be still, love's eternal wave is here ... it's ebb and flow embraces you, welcomes you, warms you, invites you, to come out with the flow.
You never know what treasures you will come back with when you reach shore.
Love is, love will always be.