The Siege of Gaza

There’s a prevailing idea that the Middle East and its history is nothing but a quagmire of conflicts and wars too ancient and complicated for all but the most scholarly. This simply isn’t true, and 9 times out of 10 it’s just a flimsy excuse for one’s ignorance on the people and politics of civilization’s cradle. The truth is, the Middle East isn’t anymore complex than any other part of the world, and by the end of this post, I’m hoping to have proven that.

This is as simple as it gets, people.

Let’s talk about a little stretch of beach called Gaza.

A fifth of the size of Los Angeles, and with a population of 1.7 million, the Gaza Strip is the world’s largest open-air prison.

That’s right, a prison. We can call it a “territory” or a “reservation” or dress it up any number of ways- at the end of the day, a gigantic holding cell is all that it is.

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BC Girl in a Québécois World

Guess where I am right now?

That’s right, Quebec! (Sorry, you don’t get a prize because I already gave you the answer in the title of the post).

Look how far away I am from home!!

Those of you who follow the blog (or know me in person) will know that I live in British Columbia. Anyone who saw my excited Facebook announcement will know why I am here, but for anyone who didn’t, I want to give you an outline of where I am exactly and why.

This past year John and I both applied for a program called Explore. It’s a bursary provided by the Canadian government that pays for English students to experience French immersion (and vice versa for French students). The bursary covers room and board along with the cost of the classes, the majority of extra curricular activities and textbooks. Students just need to find their own way to the school they’ve chosen. The bursary covers a wide variety of schools; some provide a credited program and some do not. John and I both applied for the language program in a small town called Trois Pistoles. Since it’s pretty easy to find pockets of English in both Montreal and Quebec City, we chose somewhere small that would (ideally) force us to use French as much as possible.

A picture of the downtown area, taken from down by the St. Lawrence River. As you can see, it’s not exactly huge.

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Storing Characters: If Not The Fridge, Then Where?

Not all appliances are created equal, and that certainly rings true for longtime readers of comic books. While some of us have discovered the phrase simply by taking part in the discourse that surrounds superhero titles, there are those among us who can remember reading Green Lantern #54, which featured the titular character discovering that his girlfriend had been murdered and stuffed in the aforementioned kitchen mainstay.

Since then [and thanks to Gail Simone] nofridging“fridge” has become both a noun and a verb, and occurs to a character when, according to TV Tropes, “[they are] targeted by an antagonist who has them killed off, abused, raped, incapacitated, de-powered, or brainwashed for the sole purpose of affecting another character, motivating them to take action.” It shouldn’t surprise you at all to learn that most characters who have been fridged are, you guessed it, women, and for the benefit of men to boot.

This particular topic made its way back onto my radar after an internet-response-to-comic-book-happenings debacle that I don’t want to get into [Brett White goes into what took place as well as the resulting backlash quite well, if you're interested], where one of the listed grievances against a particular writer was that he had fridged a longstanding female supporting character.

Timothy O’Neil, whose blog has somehow missed making its way unto the links sidebar, tweeted the following with that in mind:

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Fame Day: Reddit’s Response to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar

I’m writing this a few days ahead of time, so at this point I have no idea who’s even playing in the finals. Don’t tell me you don’t know which finals I’m talking about, either, because a) it’s one of the world’s largest international sporting events and b) it’s right there in the gosh darn title.

To stop you before you get to that particular stepping stone, I get it, Tim Howard jokes are hilarious. I agree that he is a very good keeper. Let’s not move in that direction and instead concentrate on the fact that FIFA is essentially an organization of lesser demons. There’s no way I’m going to be able to sum it up better than John Oliver, though, so here-

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Culture War Correspondence: Sports

GORDON: The GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAL of today’s topic is to discuss sports, ladies and gentlemen- which I thought appropriate, considering the devastating defeat of Brazil at the hands of Germany.

KAT: Yeah, it was a real blitzkrieg.

Are you a sports guy Gordon?

GORDON: Classy, Kat. Bring up the darkest and most shameful elements of German history on this, their proudest day.


But to answer the question, no, not at all. I’ve always been an adherent of the belief that if you’re not playing it, it’s probably not all that interesting.

KAT: My apologies to all my fellow Germans out there.

And yes, I think you are really on to something there. The only sport I’ve enjoyed watching at all is soccer and that’s just because I’ve played it (terribly, but I did play) so I understand (most of) the rules.

So, did you actually watch any of the games in the World Cup?

GORDON: None whatsoever.

I did follow it a little bit, but only to gauge the reactions of average Americans to the comparative success of the team. This has probably been the most invested the American public has been in the sport.

Or anything, really.

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Shame Day: Sexual Harassment, Corruption and Bullying in the RCMP

Before I begin this post, I want to be clear that I have the utmost respect for the individuals who put their lives on the line to protect their fellow Canadians. As we know from the recent Moncton shootings, working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) can be dangerous and, sometimes, devastating work.

“K9 dog Danny, sniffs the stetson of his partner, slain Const. David Ross’ during the funeral procession for the three RCMP officers who were killed on duty, at their regimental funeral at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, N.B. on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.”

Unfortunately, the RCMP is also a fallible organization. No matter how great intentions may be, things are bound to go wrong when there isn’t enough accountability. Lately the media and the RCMP itself have been looking into just what can and has been going wrong. It’s pretty disconcerting, and I’ve outlined three of the major issues for you below. Continue reading

Fixing Exorcism Movies

The Exorcist came out in 1973, and while pretty tame by today’s standards, was nonetheless an iconic film which arguably gave birth to the entire “exorcist-film” genre.

Of course, by “genre”, I mean a number of studios have been trying to make the exact same ****ing movie every single year and show no signs of stopping anytime soon.

We’re just now in July and we’ve already had a few out churned out, though what got me on the subject have been the non-stop ads for Deliver Us From Evil, the latest cash-grab which look like a soulless mash-up of both the exorcist and zombie apocalypse flicks.


Yeah. Possession that somehow spreads a la zombie-logic. Let’s go ahead and start right there.

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