Archive for the ‘society’ Category

I like to think I am a smart guy…I think therefore I am right, so I guess I am a smart guy, good for me. As a person of reasonable intellect I believe that I have the capabilities to understand most things in the world. Do I know how nuclear fusion works? Absolutely not…However, I like to think with enough time and research I could have a general understanding, enough so that I could carry on a dialogue about the subject if the need ever arises. Since this need will probably never arrive, I have no plans to even Google nuclear fusion, but I could. There is a wealth of knowledge out there. I used to have to go to the library and dig up old texts or look through the archaic encyclopedias kept in my parent’s basement. Now, with a few clicks on my phone I can learn about anything I want (a large part of me prefers the old way, but I will save that for another day). Equipped with a brain and a wealth of knowledge at tips of my finger no subject is beyond comprehension right? I am not saying after a quick Wikipedia search I would be able to split atoms, but I would have the gist of it, so if say my daughter ever asks me: “what is nuclear fusion Daddy?” First I will think, shouldn’t you be watching the Smurfs? But after that I will realize that I don’t have to completely bullshit my answer, because I can easily use my brain and finger tips to find an adequate answer.

I ask again, is any subject beyond comprehension? Yes. There is one subject, try as I may that I will never understand. No matter how much I read or how hard I work my brain I cannot begin to understand the gay marriage debate. Mainly, I don’t understand why there is a debate. I say this completely dismissively, it is pointless and a non-issue. I don’t mean that people’s basic rights are a non-issue, I mean the fact that we feel the need to debate a person’s right to get married is pathetic.

If you watch the news or use any kind of social media you know this is coming out of the ongoing Supreme Court of USA investigation into Proposition 8, which deals with same sex marriage. I am not a political person, and I have no desire to get into a political debate. Frankly, they bore me. I do not know a ton about American politics (I am Canadian), but I know the broad strokes (again I could learn more, if I found it to be necessary. At this time, I do not). In my mind this transcends politics and is a human rights issue. I don’t really get involved a lot. My writings are usually just humourous stories, incoherent ramblings or just simply a way to blow off steam. This issue and debate perplexes me so much that I wanted to share my own thoughts. Not that I have any great insight, trust me, I don’t. Writing has always been my best form of communication and allows me expression my thoughts, ideals and my personal favorite and very appropriate in this case, the stupidity and hypocrisy of others.

In Canada same sex marriage has been legalized since 2005. I do not make this as a statement of intellectual superiority. It is just a statement to put my writing in context. Like my general confusion on the topic I have no idea why it wasn’t legal until 2005 and why we are only the fourth country in the world to make it so. What right does any government have to regulate who can marry? I suppose in the right that marriage is a legally binding contract regulated by the government. This begs the question, why would anyone let the government decide the fate of their relationship? I would suggest, and hope that the majority do not. Marriage is not a necessity for a successful relationship by any means. Many couples are perfectly happy not to get married. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a choice. The point is that how can a government not open an institution as revered as marriage to their entire public. Dismissing a large portion of that public based on a lifestyle choice is obviously prejudicial. Canadian Prime Minister (who is famous for much more than being cuckolded by Mick Jagger) said this in the 1960s regarding the decriminalization of homosexuality:

“Obviously, the state’s responsibility should be to legislate rules for a well-ordered society. It has no right or duty to creep into the bedrooms of the nation.”

This statement makes clear what the state’s role should be. Obviously the issue reaches far beyond the bedroom. It makes the case that a person’s lifestyle choices have no baring or relevance concerning government decision making. The fact that this is a case that had to go to the highest court in the land makes me sad and if I was of a more political nature I would be more inclined to heavily question the productivity of a government that spends so much time and money on a debate where the obvious answer seems so painfully clear that you wonder about the legitimacy of common sense or basic human decency.

The religious argument….First let me say that I no way intend to offend anyone’s religious or spiritual beliefs. I recognize that the people who oppose same sex marriage from a religious stand point are a relatively small group and that they do not represent the whole. This segment is directed at the smaller majority who promote their beliefs with the agenda to belittle others. I apologize for any innocents that are hurt in the crossfire.

The Bible is pretty heavy. Literally. It must get easier standing on your pulpit as the Bible gets lighter when you tear out the unnecessary ones that may contradict your point. These opposers love to cherry-pick from the bible to prove their point. There are no bigger hypocrites in human existence that I can recall. The Bible at its best can be a spiritual guidebook, teachings to uplift people in their time of need. At its worst it is a vicious battleaxe stained will blood and bad intentions. Using the bible to demean others and classify them as anything less than equal is hateful and oxymoronic. The bible is not a literal text, but then again, metaphor might be too big of a word for some from this flock. That being said, you may not support gay marriage, and I have made it clear that I do not understand that, but I do understand that, that is your belief. Does someone else having a different belief make yours any less true? If you answer yes to that, than it is not a belief you have, but a badly placed idea. People believe in different things, always have, and always will. The necessity of some to tear down another’s belief to prove theirs’ true is also lost on me. Believe what you want. I don’t have to like it and you don’t have to like it if your male neighbours (***Gay Stereotype Alert***) look too much like Bowie and play Madonna all day. You can just smile and wave and know that their beliefs are in no way a threat to yours.

Some will say that I am going to hell for my beliefs. Well, Heaven and Hell are states of mind and matters of perspective. At the end of the day, I would prefer to go with the more accepting bunch.

“Same-sex marriage isn’t natural….” I love that one…. What is natural? Pretty sure I wasn’t meant to fly, eat ice cream or live past 35 either. Natural is subjective and ever changing. Open your eyes and ears, adjust, evolve and move on. End of point.

I don’t understand…Did I say that already? Gay marriage is the most illogical debate I have ever heard. The only possible opposition to gay marriage I could understand is if it was coming from a gay person who was terrified of commitment. Not gay? Then you have no right to oppose.

If every gay person in the world was given the right to get married, my life would not change one bit. This issue, regardless of outcome has no effect on my life. That being said, I ask the people who oppose this how a gay person getting married would have any effect on your life? No, not why it is against your beliefs….Not because a small part of a large books alludes that it may be wrong…Not because it is not in accordance the governing body of your nation….How would it change your life?

It is not a rhetorical question. There is an answer, and if you stuck allow me to assist.

It wouldn’t change your life one little bit.

Can we move on now?



I am all for community and day to day pleasantries and all around niceties that go along with being good to your fellow human…But do we really have to talk to each other?

On the surface I am a people person. I am very social at gatherings or events. However deep down I am not sure I am that fond of people. As a whole they annoy me. I like my family well enough and my friends I have acquired over the years are pretty good too (actually some of the friends I think by now are only friends by default because I have known them so long, and am too lazy to make new friends. Because really, I can only have so many friends, and probably stopped making news ones years ago.) It is the day to day menial conversations with strangers that are starting to bug me. Why are people so afraid of silence? Can two people not stand in close proximity to one another and ignore the other’s existence? What is wrong with that?

How many times a day does a random stranger strike up a conversation with you about the weather? It is 11am as of this writing and 4 random people have made comments to me about the weather (This is made more irritating by the fact that I am in Canada and it is March, which is by far the most unpredictable month of the year. So unpredictable that science has yielded the month of March to be fought over by lions and lambs). Obviously I never start these asinine conversations, but I have to wonder about the other person who instigates them. Are they like me and are also going to have the same conversation sixteen times today? Are these just the people that are afraid of silence because maybe they were locked in the closet as a child if they spilled their fruit loops or forgot the words to a Hail Mary? Or maybe they actually have something to get off their chest, and I am an acceptable receptacle for venting. If the former is the case then they have obviously yet to learn how to efficiently segue from their spiel on the weather to their true confession and should probably invest some time in coming up with a new introductory topic.

I am not sure when a smile and nod stopped being enough to satisfy our urge to connect with our fellow humans. I can understand hundreds of years ago when people travelled on horseback or in wagons, you might not see another soul for days on end, and upon encountering one you might be more inclined to stop and visit and discuss the weather or other crucial topics of the day. In this much more solitary time I can more easily grasp the need for human connection. If only to feel out the other party to see if you are in danger of being raped and pillaged or to see if there is a chance to take part in some raping or pillaging yourself. Nowadays we are surrounded by people constantly, can’t we just all just get our coffee in peace?

The other day I was standing in line for coffee. The gentleman behind me starting talking, it took me a minute to realize he was talking to me. I was in the middle of reading a text. I wasn’t even fake playing with my phone to ignore people (Don’t deny it, you do it to. It is the best use of a cell phone). The man made a comment to me about another younger man and how he disapproved of his wardrobe. I thought said man’s wardrobe was a little ridiculous myself. Has your waist moved down to your knees? Even rappers don’t wear baggy pants pulled down passed the point of rational thought anymore. Probably because they saw hundreds of young white boys doing it and realized – “Shit, they are on to us. Let’s start wearing suits, that will really fuck them up”.

While I may have agreed with the man standing in line with me, I didn’t understand his reasoning. Was he starting his own clothing judgment committee and enlisted me as judge number two? Don’t I need need to sign some kind of work agreement for such a position? Or at the very least give verbal consent? Why would he assume that I would share his beliefs? I should have turned around and said:

“Well sir, that happens to be my mentally challenged brother, and we are letting him dress himself to increase his confidence and self worth. I do not appreciate or condone your ignorance or intolerance.”

Instead I responded same as I had a minute earlier to the woman asking my opinion of the weather : “Yep.” That is just easier, and I could go back to finish reading my text.

I quit smoking almost a year ago. (Hold for applause…..) The greatest benefit of this is that I have cut down on the amount of people I have to talk to. Whenever you go out for a smoke, there are other smokers who assume because you also smoke all of your values and beliefs are completely in line with theirs. It is like these are secret meetings smokers hold where they get together and trash the rest of the world. After spending a five minute smoke break with a stranger I would be qualified to write a biography of them and their storied family history. This is not why I smoked, but quitting and avoiding these meetings has been a far greater benefit than warding off cancer, re-growing taste buds or not having to endure angry glares by joggers.

Something has to change. I need to stop indulges these people. I am going to do one of two things the next time someone decides to wreck a perfectly good silence. Either I am just not going to play anymore. I won’t fake play with my phone, or pretend I am a deaf mute. I will just stare at them until they feel uncomfortable and walk away.

Or two, I am going to play. And I am going to win. You want to talk? Ok, we are going to talk. I am going to start carrying around folding chairs strapped to my back, so when someone wants to start up a dialogue I can throw down those chairs. We can sit down and have a nice long discussion. We are not going to talk about the weather. We are going to talk about how it was a travesty that Michael Biehn was killed off even before Alien 3 began; Or where to find the second warp whistle in Super Mario 3. I would like to hear their opinion on what is killing my grass on the north-eastern part of my lawn. I will go on at great lengths about the injustice that was done upon me when I lost out on the English award in my final year of high school to the foreign exchange student from Bangladesh.

Eventually, word should get out about me. They will whisper in the shadows about my legend. School children will tell tales of my existence to frighten their classmates. Campers roasting marshmallows will debate my existence. I will be referred to at dinner parties and town hall meetings as the ‘Folding Chair Conversationalist’. People will be instructed to avoid me at all costs for their own safety and sanity. They will run, not walk across the street dodging traffic and certain death just to avoid that fateful meeting with me.

As I walk down the streets, chairs criss-crossed on my back the crowds will part for me. People will look down, try and find something, anything to read, fake sign language with their friends or desperately grasp for the their phone, anything to avoid eye contact. I will think to myself ‘mission accomplished’ as I enjoy the sweet sounds of silence.

Thanks of indulging me.

– Jason
Follow @gskewedview