Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The election is well over, but I guess I can still talk about it

Boohoo we have a conservative government and that sucks but for now I guess we just need to get over it and take action on issues we care about rather than waiting for the government to maybe possibly someday sort of do something about it. Sure, if everyone that didn't want the conservatives to win voted liberal than we wouldn't have a conservative government right now, and I know that that's what Dion wanted us to do, but I'M SORRY A REAL DEMOCRACY DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY. I was hopeful that the Liberals might get in and it seemed like a good option, but only because it was the only realistic alternative we had to a conservative government. The thing is, I have never been a fan or supporter of the Liberal party, ever. Liberals dominated politics in Canada for years and we still had our share of problems and human suffering then, so I don't see why all of the sudden the liberal party seems like the golden arches to political heaven and that somehow everyone that isn't right of center should settle for something less than what they believe in. Wake up, the liberal party is not left wing and does not share the same concerns or represent the veiws of all political parties that aren't PC.

I voted for the party that I felt would help achieve better quality of life for ALL Canadians. And that party has severl seats in Parliament, has helped prevent Harper from achieving a majority government, and will have a say on issues being passed through parliament and will therefore have an effect on Canadian politics and society.

I would like to thank Stephen Harper for making that idiodic comment about artists, you all know which one I'm talking about. You were able to turn an entire community of culturally aware Canadians against you. Good job, you really helped out my cause. But for all the artists that turned your backs against Harper, I salute you for taking a stance on this issue, but why do politics only matter to you now that you are faced with an issue that directly affects you? Conservative governments exploit thousands of marginalized people and let them suffer, and somehow this never mattered until you became one of them. However, I think Harper is a complete moron for treating the arts like they don't matter. Art is truly one of the forces that has the power to inspire and move people, and I find it incredibly depressing that children will have less access to arts programs at school. Offering rebates to families that enrole their children in extra-curricular art activities does not address this issue, as it tends to generally be children who are already artisitically enclined who will want to sign up for classes. They may not have time to pursue the arts outside of school if they already are involved in other activities, and their parents may not be able to drive them to these activities. Art should be accessible to ALL children in schools, regardless of their talent and ability, so they can learn to think differently and see the world outside of the narrow frame that other disciplines present it in. This will help students achieve a much more well rounded sphere of thinking and skills, and will help give them the tools to move on in the arts. The death of art will bring the death of creativity and culture, and make for a pretty boring world of concrete and business. Lets not turn our children into economic zombies just because our prime minister is one.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Disposable pens in regards to birth certificates

We live in a world where companies try to make more and more items disposable so that we will keep on consuming. It is quite rediculous that when something breaks (i.e. a TV or printer), most people would rather buy a new one than get it repaired because it is cheaper to do so. While this finacially may make sense, in terms of resource consumption, it is definately a very wasteful and short sighted way to deal with products that aren't made to last. The decision to buy a new item rather than get the old one repaired is a decision to buy into this wasteful system and support it. By employing one of our many talented repairwomen or men, you woud be making a statement against disposable culture, and would be supporting a more sustainable future. If enough people started doing this, corporations would realize that people don't want cheaply made products that do not last, and that we aren't just going to keep buying new items without questioning if this is really necessary.

A simple plastic pen might not seem like a big deal compared to much larger items, but if you look in your drawer or pencil holder, you will likely find many pens, which will not last long and eventually have to be disposed of somehow and you will buy some new pens to replace them. Of course this makes sense, since eventually you are going to use up all the ink in the pen, but is it really necessary to buy an entire pen when it is only the ink that needs to be replaced? Considering that a large majority of people own these writing utensils, given the enormous popluation on our planet, that equals a LOT of plastic, not only sitting in landfills for thousands of years without biodegrading, but also using oil to create the plastic, and polluting the air in the process of manufacturing. So why does everyone have so many disposal pens? Why don't we all just buy one refillable pen and do away with the whole cyclical buying and disposing process? Well, I suppose than one reason might be that the pen is not very large in size and can easily be lost. Given my collection of free pens that I have acquired since I started university, and that I still have now, this doesn't seem to be too much of an issue for me.

I also own several calligraphy pens which I refill with a small cartridge that only uses a minimal amount of plastic (4 or 5 cartridge refills would equal the amount of plastic used to make one disposable pen). I also have a wooden pen that I refill with nontoxic ink that is packaged in very slim brass refills. I used this pen to take notes in every single lecture I had in university for one year without having to refill it once. Of my refillable pens, so far I haven't lost any of them, and if I did none of them were so expensive that it would be much of a loss (except of course for the calligraphy pen I inherited from my Grandfather).

My wooden pen (Goodkind Woody) I believe cost me $3 - $4 (and came filled with ink), and it only costs $2.50 for two refills. Considering how long each refill lasts before you have to replace it, this proves to be very economical and cost efficient, so buying cheap disposable pens really isn't saving you any money.

On a somewhat related note, I have often found it remarkable how people frequently lose things and it seems nearly impossible to keep anything for your entire life, yet (most) people, regardless of their age, still have their birth certificate. This document is so important that people somehow manage it keep it safe and keep track of it their entire lives. It really is quite amazing. I am suprised that I own something that I have had since I was born, and haven't lost it yet.