on electoral reform, it’s trudeau’s way or the highway

[transcript below]

Wow, his previous job experience as a drama teacher is really paying off right now. I actually believe that he actually believes that Canada is better served with a smaller number of larger political parties instead of a larger number of smaller political parties. He comes from a political dynasty, with a father having served as prime minister. He comes from a party that has governed the country for at least half of all its history, and he believes it’s done quite well, thankyouverymuch.Read More »

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switching to english

My doorbell rang. There stood my former flatmate. “Where’s my money?” she demanded.

She came into my building and screamed at me for a good long while. I couldn’t breathe. I stepped outside for fresh air. It was raining. She followed. She screamed at me some more. In the rain. Even in the complete abject shittiness of the moment I appreciated the poetry.Read More »

i emailed 183 members of parliament. this is how they responded.

On 18 May 2017, I emailed each of Canada’s 183 Liberal members of parliament. The emails addressed the member personally (e.g. “Dear Mr. Aldrag”) but were otherwise identical. The subject line read: “I support ERRE recommendations – please vote YES on May 31st”. The text provided reasons why the member should vote ‘yes’ to concur with the recommendations of the all-party committee on electoral reform that were published on 1 December 2016.

The four charts below summarise their response as of 28 May.

Explanation of response types:Read More »

all my breads – by king arthur, miller

soft, gentle, shy
the grey pastel
of the hour before daybreak –
rye.
colour creeps in
a quiet blue tint
so faint, it apologised.
its strength holds up half my starter
equals with wheat
but it soon drowns
in a tide of teig
of louder flours.
having bloomed, now fades
as the backdrop, unseen
as the foundation of
all my breads
since last july.

“on one leg you cannot stand”: the frustration of injury

Germans are so committed to convincing each other – and themselves – to have a second beer that there is a saying to deploy in such situations: Auf einem Bein kann man nicht stehen – literally, you cannot stand on one leg. This implies, somehow, that you can’t have just one beer and you need a second. Nevermind the fact that with each successive beer standing becomes generally harder and harder, no matter how many legs you started out with.Read More »

how should i respond to everyday racism?

It’s fucked up how much and how often I talk and think about everyday racism, but when I actually encounter it have no nicely thought-out action ready. Whether it’s directed at me or at others, I act like a deer in the headlights: freeze. Silently will the other person(s) to become distracted by something else. Wonder if I should physically remove myself from the situation. Try and fail to think of words. Definitely fail (not even try) to say something.

So yeah, concrete situation: today I wanted to sit on a bench by the river but all the benches were occupied. One only had one person sitting there, so I politely asked if the space was still free. He said yes, and moved over to make space. He told me not to ask next time and just sit down. I said oh, I didn’t know, maybe he was saving the seat for someone else, I didn’t want to be impolite. He kind of shrugged off the idea of having to be polite, but then kind of conceded that asking was okay, too. And then the punch to the gut – he added, yeah, maybe asking was good, some people don’t ask, mainly Arabs.Read More »

economist’s take on clean energy oddly one-sided

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I was surprised by The Economist’s recent headline piece (‘Clean energy’s dirty secret’, February 25th). Not because it didn’t jibe with my worldview – that I could’ve guessed from the title – but rather by the omission of significant facts and perspectives in the story and the lack of a clear argument to reach its conclusion. I have come to expect and respect level-headed analysis from this newspaper, even on matters over which we disagree. Pro-stability and neoliberal though it leans, it is usually at least thorough and logical. Not so this time.Read More »