Is there a cutoff time for certain foods? If not, I think there should be a social norm established which dictates when you can or cannot eat things. Case in point: in one of my classes this morning, I had a clear, unobstructed view in front of me, until this fat oaf comes and sits down. No big deal. About ten minutes after she arrives, I start to smell something...meaty. Wondering what the hell it was, I sort of peaked around her and noticed that she was eating a baloney sandwich. I have a problem with baloney to begin with, as it seems like one of the most disgusting "meats" you could ever put into yourself, but what made matters worse was that she was eating this at 8:40 in the morning, in class, making everyone around her nauseous at the smell of this pre-processed meat loaf. I just felt like asking her: "So, is this breakfast or lunch? Or is it brunch? Or the mid-morning snack?"

Let's get this straight, out of respect for others, you can't fucking eat baloney before 11am. If you do so, don't fucking do it in the middle of class. Do it while hiding in a dark corner somewhere like the dirty person that you are.

And I'll bet this girl wonders why she's so fat. "I'm just big-boned!"


Congratulations on the baby

As I was getting my hair cut today by a rather attractive woman, I couldn't help but notice that she had a fatal flaw: a bit of a belly sticking out. She had a great body, except for that. Then the more I thought about it, the more I discreetly stared at her through the mirror, the more I started to wonder if she was actually pregnant and just starting to show. I became convinced of it, and she was about the age that most mothers are at when they get all preggo for the first time.

I was about to congratulate her on the baby when all of a sudden it struck me that this could be a fatal move. Here is a woman that is cutting my hair with sharp scissors. Not only was my wonderful coiffe in perilous danger, but she also yielded a pair of sharp blades next to my throat! I figured that if I got it wrong, and she just has this awkwardly out-of-proportion gut, that it could quickly turn into an awkward situation. I still think she was pregnant, though...


Why Don't You Like U2?

Every fuckin time my parents play a U2 CD or DVD or it comes up in a conversation, my mom always asks me why I don't like U2. This doesn't seem like something I even have to justify. I could ask her why she doesn't like Gerry Boulet and I wouldn't ask her to write me a fuckin essay on it (not that I really listen to Gerry, though it's quite cult).

I've heard this thing about U2 about 15 times a year for 3 years now. Every time I don't see a need to elaborate as to why I don't like them. I have, however, in the past, argued on the band's merits, much to my mother's offense. She always just ends up saying "they're a great band, it's a great show... you really get into it... how can you NOT like U2?"

I find this to be a funny comment. How can I NOT like U2? Like they're the one band in the world that everyone has to listen to religiously and enjoy as if it were the greatest thing since sliced bread. I just don't get it. So I responded that I simply didn't like their music, I didn't find it to be musically interesting, all their songs were rather similar, and the instrumentation was very average. This, of course, offended my mom. She said that I say such things to "pick a fight" or just to say the opposite of what others say. That seems really distorted to me. The worst of it all is that we actually ended up fucking arguing for 5 minutes about why I don't like U2.

So then we got into this big thing about how The Edge is an amazing fuckin guitarist. THE BEST... obviously. I completely disagreed and said that he was extremely average, and his only claim to fame is that he is the only guitarist who will willingly set his delay pedal to the max, which makes it sound "complex", but anyone with half and ear and a little bit of musical knowledge will know right away that it's very simple, and if you removed all his effects pedals, he'd sound like a two year old with a ukulele. Everything else in the band is just average. I don't get the fuss over these guys. It's like they've started a revolution amongst middle-aged people who think this is a real "rockin'" kind of band that is somehow ahead of the curve and the cool thing to listen to. Reminds me of the time my 70 year old grandfather thought that Pink Floyd was a new band...


A few thoughts on labour, Marx, and alienation

I was reading Marx's Alienated Labour earlier for my political thought course, and thought that his thesis was quite interesting. I've had a quote by Marx on the subject of production on the sidebar of this page for some time now, but this essay goes further in depth as to how and why we are alienated from the commodities we produce, to the point of becoming no more than commodities ourselves.

The idea that struck me the most in the text, however, was how we give up ownership of products that we manufacture. This applies for almost any type of work except for academic work, in which you can still feel somewhat attached to what you are producing. The point is that work tends to make us miserable and unhappy because our labour is forced or coerced. Instead of being a need in itself, it is a means to satisfy other needs. Marx looks at the question of who production belongs to, then. He concludes that, in ancient civilizations like Mexico and Egypt, production often belonged to gods to which were dedicated pyramids and other buildings. Men would build palaces for kings or gods, but live in hovels.

Today, however, Marx believes that production belongs to other men (besides the worker). What is the torment for one man is often the source of pleasure and life-enjoyment for another. This is just the surface of the argument, but I found it to be profoundly interesting.

To close off, here is an unrelated quote from the same essay.
"The more man attributes to God, the less he retains in himself."


The Weatherman

As I sat watching the local news last night, and analyzing all the hosts' personalities and such, I couldn't help but notice that the weatherman was by far the most interesting. He was interesting because his voice projected in a completely unnatural manner. I wondered if this guy sounds like that when he's at home, talking with his wife.

What struck me the most, however, was that the job of a weatherman has to be the easiest job in the world. The only skills it requires is being literate and, stretching it, a good voice and a smiling face. Essentially, these guys are reading off teleprompters what is chroma keyed on the wall behind them. Anyone could do this job.

I also realized that the weather is one of the jobs that is most well-known to the population. What I mean by that is the weather report in itself is like a description of the science. Everyone and their two cousins knows about low and high pressure systems, lake effect snow, barometers, and how they affect the weather. At least that's how I see it...


What exacly do deodorants do?

I have a few issues concerning deodorants. First, I have a problem with the vocabulary that surrounds it. We say "I'm wearing deodorant", I find that to be a little extreme. I don't believe the definition of 'to wear' should cover odors and part-liquids. That's another small complaint of mine, when they call certain deodorants liquid-gels. Gel form is the stasus between liquid and solid. Liquid-gel is a oxymoron. Something doesn't work here.

My second complaint is to what the function of deodorant really is. They say it's for protection. I'm not sure exacly what kind of protection they're talking about. They now have commercials that advertise their product as protecting clothe from sweat, the protection being so great the clothes don't actually get wet. Hurray, we've got fucking products to protect the shit we wear from our own body! The problem now is the fact that no deodorant actually prevents sweat from actually happening. So are deodorants actually there to prevent smell? If so, why not get some sort of perfum...or cologne...or eau de toilet (which sounds like it wouldn't actually smell any better).

So I ask myself, when I put on deodorant...what exacly am I 'putting on', what the fuck am I whipping my armpits with?

Third problem concerns others putting on deodorant. Ever had to watch somebody put that on, then pick hairs off the top? Something about the action of somebody reaching into their shirts and playing around in their simply doesn't turn me on. Especially when I know the purpose of such said operation is to...umm...prevent sweat? mask odor? You know what, I'm still not sure.


Alpha Male, Beta Male

We had an interesting discussion going in my Canadian Politics discussion group today. The topic was gender roles, and the TA brought up the topic of masculism. He raised an interesting point when he said that men also have gender issues which should not be ignored. His point was that by trying to isolate men and women and create specific roles for them that are equal nevertheless, we are in fact losing track of the core issue. The goal should be that things be fair, not equal.

The concept of the alpha and beta male was brought up when discussing masculism. This seems very interesting to me. It would be interesting to study how men deal with these issues, because we almost appear to be schizophrenic at times. Women seem to desire the more beta-types (ie. gentler, smarter, kinder), but these characteristics are perceived as being less masculine based on whatever social constructions of masculinity that we have. The issue that was raised is that men also have certain gender limitations and requirements.

Men must act as alpha males amongst men -- signs of weakness are a bad thing, and group leadership must be achieved through a type of physical or character strength. Females demand that men be softer and more caring, traits which society has associated as being feminine. This is why it is so jarring to see the contrast of men interacting with different sexes. Somebody pointed out that women are maybe a little disconcerted now and are wondering where all the "real" men are, instead of these "girly boys". Women want their men to take control and play the traditional gender roles that society has defined, but instead they have been conditioned to be more subservient, caring, and gentle.

An interesting question to ask yourself is what man do you consider to be an example of ultimate masculinity, and what woman do you consider to be an example of femininity. There are no right and wrong answers, and I'd like to hear what you think about this question, as well as masculism and gender roles in general.


Religion in Canada

I was shocked at a few facts that I found out while looking at some data from the 2001 census. I was doing some research for my project on gentrification and urban sprawl in Montreal when I stumbled on these religion numbers. Of course, being the curious person that I am, I couldn't help but make a few calculations. Here are a few facts of interest.

-17% of Canadians declared themselves to be "non religious" in 2001, which is either atheist, agnostic or some variant of those
-This group was the 2nd largest single group after Roman Catholics, which had 43% of the population.
-Atheists rose by 43% in ten years, the only other groups to increase quicker were religious minority groups such as muslims, due to the influx of immigrants to the country

Here's where it gets really interesting. I had always made the assumption that Quebec would have a rather large percentage of atheists compared to the rest of Canada. I assumed that the Quiet Revolution had changed the religious landscape so much that it would be reflected in the data. Wrong. In Quebec, only 6% of people declared themselves to be either atheist or agnostic. While rural communities are certainly a factor in this data, the majority of the province's population is concentrated to a few large cities, where I would have assumed a large percentage of people to have been affected by Quebec's secularism and relatively liberal values. For reference, 84% of the population declared themselves to be Roman Catholics. Even Alberta has a higher percentage of atheists, at 23%, above the national average.

The real shocker for me was looking at British Columbia's results. Atheists and agnostics actually make up a plurality of the population with 35%, far above the national average. In contrast, Roman Catholics are at 17.2%. That's it, I'm moving out to BC!

Awkward times

- Have you ever crossed someone down a hallway which you don't really care enough to have a conversation with, and you find yourself stuck saying "Hi!" but after you do so, you realize you're both heading the same way. So to fix this, you kind of have to walk slower to make sure you stay far enough behind him so you can't have a conversation?

- Have you ever had to say goodbye to a group of friends which include a lot of girls, and it seems that each one has specific ways of saying goodbye (kisses on the cheeks, on the head, hug, etc...) and you can't tell if it would just be simpler or anyone will take it personal that you just wave goodbye?

- How about the time you look around when you're eating at a restaurant and accidently make eye contact with the waiter/waitress and for a split second, you don't know if you gave them a sign to come to your table or not?

- When you're driving around with friends, and you suddenly make a wrong turn but nobody points it out, and you try to find your way again but you it takes you through long detours and the longer it takes, the harder it is to conceal your mistake.

- Or what about the time somebody is talking to you in a crowded place but you can't hear what they are saying, so you make them repeat once...twice....and a third time, yet you still don't understand after the third, but it just feels akward to ask them to repeat once more so you simply node and say "Oh yeah!".

- When you've met somebody once, and couldn't remember their name. So you see them again, and you still can't remember their name, then a third time comes around and you have to introduce this moron cause you crossed him by accident...and you still can't remember their name, so you try to remember what it is and mumble the pronounciation and hope everyone understood.

- How about when you realize you simply hate you're friend's kids. They started to talk and they sound like retarted apes. How do you go about explaining that to them? "Hey Bill, you're kids have passed the adorable phase, can I shoot them now?"

- Anyone ever wondered if they wipe their ass' too loud in a public bathroom, someone might hear you?


Oh, Stephen!

It's amazing how the media has been bending over since Harper and the neocons got into power. In the Ottawa Citizen today, the talk is about the PM's secret visit to Afghanistan in order to support our troops -- a move right out of George Bush's playbook. He showed up in a Hercules, under tight guard, and a whole bunch of photo-ops were setup.

First, we have a picture of Stephen Harper arriving in Afghanistan, wearing desert camo-like clothes, and talking to troops. The next picture shows him "piloting" the Hercules shortly before landing, looking ridiculously awkward. The last picture shows Harper with a "determined grin" while talking to troops, showing that he's the guy to get the job done or whatever. As a side-note, I couldn't help but notice how fat Harper has gotten in the last few months, but that's beside the point.

What a fucking joke this is. Harper is being portrayed at this amazing guy by the media. They have maybe 1000 pictures to choose from for this article, and they pick the 3 showing Harper in the most flattering light possible. Just a few years ago, when Chrétien was in power, you couldn't get a single picture of him published without it being the only one to exaggerate and emphasize his facial disfigurement.

Now, the funniest of it all was that the media is praising how Harper was able to keep this Afghanistan visit under wraps from everyone. When the Liberals were in power, keeping secrets meant that there was some back-door money trading between the 'ol boys. With Harper, keeping secrets is a sign that he's a witty guy or something like that. I don't know about you, but I don't consider a PM who is a good liar and can keep secrets closely guarded a necessarily positive trait.


Concepts of Customer Service

What have the Future Shops and Wal Marts of the world done to customer service? It seems like these days everyone is out to save a buck, and rightfully so. However, people appear to have a distorted vision of cost and value. Let me use a concrete example. At Henry's, if I sell a camera to a customer, and a few other products, I will often times be informed that so-and-so store is selling the product for a few dollars less. Today, I sold a camera which was actually cheaper than what Costco was selling it for (the customer had researched prices). However, the memory card was about $10 cheaper there. Now, the customer wanted me to price match this for him. This does not really pose a problem in theory.

But.... you have to ask yourself a few questions about people's perceptions of customer service. You can basically bend down on all fours and take it up the ass by a customer, do everything right, help them with their questions, and at the end of the day they'll still gladly walk out the store and buy the product elsewhere if it's $15 cheaper and you refuse to match the price. The problem with buying something at Costco is that they offer zero customer service. It's a warehouse and little more. Clearly they have not only a cost advantage in terms of employee costs, but also in terms of economies of scale. Now, I find it ridiculous that a customer who I have spent over 30mins helping would still only buy a camera and not the memory card they need with it, for example, and instead go buy that at Best Buy. This is a completely ridiculous scenario. It's not only about money. Instead, you are paying for the service and advice you are receiving.

Picture a world where every store was a Costco or something similar. This is fine if you're shopping for apples, which requires little knowledge, but if you're shopping for a complicated product with a number of variables and options, this scenario quickly falls on its place. This, however, is exactly where we're headed. I still enjoy walking into a store and receiving personalized service. It's nice when you can trust the person who is selling something to you. I will gladly pay extra money if I value the service I get. The general mentality is, though, that service should be a free thing. Maybe the way to solve this is to sell the products cheaper, but charge a small service fee on top. Some stores would not charge a service fee because they don't offer service. This, actually, is how a tipping system was supposed to work in the first place, but that just kind of fell on its face.

While I'm on the topic of pricing, when the fuck did it become common place to barter for something? Whatever happened to the days when a product had a price, if you valued the item, then you would save up and be prepared to pay that. I don't understand this whole situation where buying a product is like auctioning stolen cars. If I had to pick, I'd point my finger at greed. On the part of business, first of all, but second of all, greed on the part of customers because they have no concept of value.

But the Future Shops of the world will continue to grow like empires because they offer good prices on crap you don't really need. Isn't it great when the same guy will sell you a washing machine and an Xbox?


Clear your debts

Alright, this is a simple update. My brother pointed out something interesting. Here's the anecdote:

This girl bought a while ago this TV set for her parent's birthday with her boyfriend. She breaks up with such said man and still has to pay half since they bought it so they pay over 3 years. Every month, she has to pay this man 120/150$, not sure exacly which one. Now, this girl has a new boyfriend and every month it's a struggle to get that money. She still works a good 20hrs a week and her birthday came up. Instead of taking the money from her birthday to pay off the debt, she decides to buy herself a Nano instead and borrows money from her new boyfriend to pay up what needs to be paid that month. The thing is, she has no computer to actually get music from.

My brother was mentionning to me that he's seen this type of behavior into Quebecois a lot. Where, when Quebecois' get riches, instead of paying off their debts they decide to think about themselves only and spend the money. It makes me laugh a bit that he mentions that because it's happened quite often that I came accross people who lived in apartments and always thought they could push payments by avoiding the owner. For some reason, the first topic of conversation they have with me is exacly that: Monetary problems. As if it was some popular trend and we were all in on the same boat. So pay off your debts first, and enjoy the party afterwards...avoiding a problem won't make it go away.


Morning Shows Revisited

A while ago I posted my comments on morning radio shows. I saw an ad for a television morning show on the side of the bus today and couldn't help but laugh. It depicted 3 smiling people -- one guy and two girls -- each with their names underneath. So it was basically like "Start your mornings off with: Randy, Susan and Betty on A Channel's Good Morning Show!" I couldn't think of a worse way to spend my morning than watching these fucking shits overly happy, sipping down their vodka-oranges and goofing off like a bunch of two year olds. What amused me the most, however, was picturing this guy getting home to his wife at night, still with his giant grin cemented in his face, and then beating the shit out of her because supper isn't ready yet. With a sledgehammer.... a red hot sledgehammer. While saying "Say it bitch, I'm Randy. I'm the king! Make my food or I'll pound in your face!"


Shitting Positions

Of all places, I had to think of this image in my head while on the bus this evening. Try as I might, I was unable to hold in my laughter and I just had this huge grin on my face for about 10 minutes, with the occasional short burst of laughter. I was looking at this man reading on the bus, and was examining his position. He was sitting with his legs crossed. Not the female leg crossing, but the semi-cross male version of the right ankle on the left knee or whatever.

Well, I don't know why, but this seemed like a bit of an arrogant position to me. So, I figured that I should start taking shits in this position now. I would just calmly sit down, cross my legs, and shit with pride, honour, and arrogance. I bet Prince Charles shits this way all the time, so it's probably nothing new. "Excuse me, servant. Will you pass me the condiments for this truffle snout.... I'm having a rather ferocious discharge!"

Butchering the language

I've got a major issue with people who cannot speak properly. I find that someone's communication skills easily gives away the type of people they are. For example, some cunt I know won't stop butchering the English language; uses the wrong words, misplaces words in sentences, wrong conjugations, etc... Everytime this cunt opens her mouth, all I want to go is break her teeth in. I played cards with her once, and when we had to drop a card except for one person she wouldn't stop repeating "about you" instead of saying "except you". I corrected her once or twice, yet she constantly fucks up!

I find that if someone is incapable of communicating properly verbally, it makes the tasks of others around that much more difficult. We all have had that moment where we all look at each other, hoping somebody understood what the moron just tried to say. I find it somewhat offensive that somebody would keep going down that line too. The girl mentionned above just came back from Cancun where some guy who wanted to get into her pants told her she had flawless english. The bitch actually believed him. I can understand if you're new to the language that you may have some difficulties speaking it, but the way I see it, if I'm speaking a new language, I speak slowly and try to ask around to make sure I'm saying things properly. I won't fucking speak quickly and never strive to get better.

This is often reflected in Quebecois I find. When you listen to a Quebecois speak, and you pick up on all the ridiculous swear words that pops out of the semen infested mouth of theirs from their ridiculous Jean-Luc Mongrain which they've been sucking on for decades you can see a lack of education. I had a bad experience having to be stuck next to one of these dickheads when I went to see a hockey game not too long ago. This uneducated piece of vaginal-"in that week"-discharge somehow believed that muttering under his breath insults and insights on what to do next would actually change the outcome of the game. Between almost every word, you could hear him swearing. Somewhere down the line, maybe this constant swearing about God and how God is fucking things up might just have turned some Quebecois into lazy-"it isn't my fault, it's God's fucking fault"-pricks.

I find that those who don't put in the effort to learn to communicate properly are often the ones causing all the trouble in the first place. They often make uneducated guess' and assumptions. Back to the stinking fajita-for-a-brain I mentionned before, I had to explain to her that a cellphone which is compatible with iTunes doesn't make it an iPod. She wouldn't stop saying that in the phone was an iPod. In the end, her ridiculously idiotic mind never comprehended what I was saying and it turned out I was simply wasting my time trying to explain or educate her on the subject. For her, iTunes=iPod. "About you"...up yours!


Actual minimalism

Alright, it's been a while since my last post. I manage to lose my account name and password and it took this long for Blogger to finally e-mail me my information. Now, onto a bit of theory:

I was having a long discussion about minimalism with Eric a while back. I stated that a good test for a couple would actually be to send them on a far away camping trip where the gear, equipment and other such accessories would be to an all time low and the only real thing to depend upon was each other. I've revised this theory, and I have to explain a bit of background information as to why this theory to me feels a bit out of sync with today's world.

This theory first was announced to me by the father of a friend of mine. The man explained this with the idea in mind that most women of the west island were whores who were after money and had very little interest in the world except for their own benefits. Now, on the one hand, I personally would love to send most of these disgusting bimbos into the wilderness and watch them live while bears slowly rip open their stomachs and eat their intestins. I mean hey, whatever happened to good old natural selection here? I don't want future generations to be anything like these humps of useless human waste. So to me, when this was explained, I first thought the idea was to see if the girl you were with actual was somewhat of a minimalist. The true idea behind this of course is to simply see just how ugly a girl is once she realizes things aren't going to be done for her. If anyone puts this to the test, always keep in mind that in the middle of the woods, you can get away with anything.

Now, back to the idea of minimalism, the actual important theme in question here, it turns out that when I went around believing myself to actually be a minimalist I was speaking out of my ass. If anything, pot smoking turned me into a very self centered individual. I would quickly judge those around me and actually distance myself from a lot of people. I enjoyed spending a lot of time alone. So if this theory was ever to be put to the test, of course I could live 2 weeks in the woods with minimum things, but it would turn out I would never let my girlfriend actually chose the things to bring along. My arrogance made me assume already that I would know what to do and the person I would be with wouldn't know very well and I'd have to somehow make up for the weaker link. The funny part though is how in my life at the moment, I'm even more of a minimalist then if I went out camping for two weeks in the woods: I don't come home for longer then 4hrs a day (sometimes even less then an hour), I'm very rarely alone, and I don't sleep in my own bed. This means that I don't even have what is to be considered 'personal space'. The relationship that I am into actually allows me to live with the clothes I have on my back, and a car...that's it. I don't really have what I would consider to be my room. I'm outside most of the day, without much access to as much as a computer.

Revising this minimalist theory, I can understand how some women deserve a certain banishment, but in the end I'm not sure this test should apply to all grounds. My girlfriend is around me often and she also is on the same page as me with the minimalist side, and she's minus transportation...or at my mercy for it technically. I don't think sticking her into the woods for 2 weeks would do anything but forcefully aggravate us if nature goes sour.