Tag Archives: response

Re: “Black Lives Matter and White Privilege”

I need to state upfront that this post is not an all-encompassing response to the Black Lives Matter movement [which I will be shortening to “BLM”] and the concept of White privilege. The title instead refers to a blog post titled “Black Lives Matter and White Privilege”. Written by Ghanaian-Canadian Samuel Sey and appearing on his site Slow to Write, the article delved into his opinions on both topics.

Regular readers of the blog will know that I don’t often respond to other blog posts in this manner; the last time I did so was back in 2014, to the article “Meet The Poster Child For ‘White Privilege’ – Then Have Your Mind Blown”. I wasn’t able to read it without addressing, and outright dismantling, many of the arguments presented, and having read Sey’s post I found myself in a similar position.

It should be mentioned that Sey and I have vastly more in common with one another than I do with Tal Fortgang, the writer of the aforementioned article. He is a fellow Canadian, POC, and Christian, actually attending a church in Toronto [although he lives just outside it]. Sey and I also, and I believe I can say this with confidence, care about the wellbeing of the Black community in North America. With all of those similarities in place it made it that much more difficult to read his post and find myself disagreeing with so many key points. Continue reading

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3 Reasons Why the Paris Attack Feels like 9/11 and 1 Reason Why It Demands A Different Response

Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, I encountered several articles that criticize the way the Western world responded to the tragic loss of life in Paris. While each of these articles bemoans the loss of 132 innocent lives, they also highlight similar atrocities that happened before the Paris attack and were almost completely overlooked.

In a lot of ways this event, and its media response, reminded me of the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. While the media response to this tragedy has been a little more self-aware, our international reaction has been similar to how it was last time this kind of tragedy affected a Western nation. Rather than discuss the way we responded to these attacks, I wanted to examine why we reacted the way we did.

1) It felt close to home

I remember waking up the morning of 9/11, walking into the living room to see my mom crying. My dad turned to me and told me the world had changed overnight. Hearing about the attacks on Paris gave me the same shiver of fear that I felt that day. I don’t think it’s hard to dissect what motivates that feeling. These particular attacks were frightening because they happened to Western nations, and we in the West are very accustomed to feeling in control. We took control over much of the world during an age of imperialism, colonization, and slavery. Today we continue to control much of the world through unfair aid practices and political manipulation. These kind of attacks are terrifying because they make us feel like we don’t have as much control as we think we do.

Even though last Thursday 45 innocent victims lost their lives to a terrorist attack in Beirut and, 6 months ago a similar attack in Kenya killed 147 innocent people, many of us heard little to nothing about those attacks until their news coverage was compared to what occurred in Paris. In our effort to show solidarity with Paris, the Western world made it apparent that certain tragedies frighten us more than others.

As Elie Fares explained in his blog comparing the media response to the Paris and Beirut attack,

“When my people died, they did not send the world in mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”

Continue reading

Benjamin Netenyahu: Holocaust Denier

Readers, we interrupt your regular horror-themed post to bring you news from the Middle East- where, for anyone not keeping up, things have started heating up (even in this cold October).

Past weeks have seen a surge of violence on the streets of Jerusalem, as a spate of stabbings has left 8 Israelis and 56 Palestinians dead. Tensions continue to rise in a cycle of attacks and brutal retaliations, leading many to question if the region will see a 3rd Intifada in the coming days and weeks. With the looming threat of an all-out uprising, many within the region and internally have urgently called for peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netenyahu has not been among them.

Speaking at the World Zionist Convention this past Tuesday, Netenyahu proclaimed to his rapt audience that (and I quote):

Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time – he wanted to expel the Jews.”

-BBC World News (I’d link you to the YouTube clip, but I don’t want to give those racists the hits)

Netenyahu would go on to claim that it was only after meeting Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti (high-ranking Islamic religious scholar) of Jerusalem, that the “final solution” was implemented- Netenyahu claiming that Hitler only began the holocaust at the behest of the mufti.

And that is…

…just so ****ing stupid that I don’t even know where to begin.

I mean that every single word of that is wrong. And not just wrong but so obviously and categorically wrong. The wholesale murder of Jews/Roma/homosexuals/the disabled/communists/etc. was already well (as in years) underway by the time the mufti met with Hitler. Historians both within Israel and without, and across the full political spectrum, have poured their collective derision on Netenyahu’s barefaced lie.

-Everyone on the planet.

Continue reading

“Hail Satan Gaiman” Or “Sympathy for the Devil”

Neil ****ing Gaiman.

Whimsical genius behind countless best-selling novels and comic books. Creative cadre to such literary giants as Terry Pratchett and Alan Moore. Champion of the plight of Syrian refugees. Perhaps one of the great authors of this time, with tales and yarns extending from the worlds of realism to science fiction to fantasy.

In many respects, a modern-day C.S. Lewis, with his ability to make the magical and divine seem every much as real and accessible as anything in the waking world.

Shame some folks don’t see it that way.

Specifically “One Million Moms”, which has created a petition for FOX to cancel Gaiman’s upcoming Lucifer TV series.

Now for the unaware, Lucifer is a comic book series spin-off of Gaiman’s fantastical masterpiece Sandman. Dealing largely with themes of free will and fate, the series sees its titular character abdicate his infernal throne and become a beach-bum in Australia.

The series has been loosely (but still earnestly) adapted by FOX, with the show’s premier airing at this year’s ComicCon and a three minute trailer released for the public at large. Continue reading

Not A Review Of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

The book in question, the eighth by Gabrielle Zevin, an author more known for her YA [young adult] fare, is one that I have altogether too many thoughts about. I’m choosing not to dub this post a review proper, as it’s really a slightly more cohesive version of one of the stream of consciousness responses to books/films/etc. that blogger/writer J. Caleb Mozzocco is so fond of doing.

In order to make this easier for all of you to read, and with no offence whatsoever meant to Mozzocco [whose writing I enjoy quite a bit] I have boiled down this post to the three primary thoughts I was left with once I’d closed the book.

To be upfront with everyone I also want to state, before starting, that I enjoyed reading this novel and while this will definitely make more sense having read it, I hope to have written it in such a way that doesn’t spoil anything and piques your interest enough to pick it up. Continue reading

In Defense of $15 an Hour

May 1st of this year marked not only the annual May Day parades celebrated by leftists across the globe but also one of the most major victories for Socialists in this nation as Seattle announced it would raise it’s minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

While the push for a higher minimum wage has existed for quite some time, the unprecedented victory in Seattle is largely thanks to the efforts of Socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant and the 15 Now campaign.

Continue reading

Shame Day: Glee

shame gleeTo begin with, I’m not a huge fan of Glee. I am a man who can say with confidence how much he loves musicals and acapella arrangements, but the show’s claim to be a melting pot of diversity [a place where Black people, Asians, homosexuals, and the disabled can belt it out to their hearts’ content] is not one I find myself agreeing with. But that’s the topic of another post.

Last week internet sweetheart Jonathan Coulton, known first and foremost for being the composer of “Still Alive”, the song that plays at the end of the game Portal, wrote a blog post in response to last Thursday’s episode of Glee. Specifically, the post was in response to their cover of “Baby Got Back” by Sir-Mix-A-Lot, which you can listen to here:


The issue being that Coulton released his own version of the song in 2006, which you can check out [and should, for comparison’s sake] here:


If you really want to scrutinize the two side by side, there’s a track on Soundcloud that simply places both tracks on top of one another [and an in-depth audio analysis, for those of you into that]. Coulton’s issue isn’t simply that Glee seems to have stolen his arrangement, but did so to the point where unique elements he added were copied as well. A duck quack is used to censor an expletive, and [this is practically impossible to ignore] the lyric “Mix-a-Lot’s in trouble” is replaced with “Johnny C’s in trouble” in both versions.

As he has kept the blog post constantly updated, four days ago he announced that having gotten in touch with the people at Glee, the following information was relayed to him:

They also got in touch with my peeps to basically say that they’re within their legal rights to do this, and that I should be happy for the exposure (even though they do not credit me, and have not even publicly acknowledged that it’s my version – so you know, it’s kind of SECRET exposure). While they appear not to be legally obligated to do any of these things, they did not apologize, offer to credit me, or offer to pay me, and indicated that this was their general policy in regards to covers of covers.

While Coulton is unsure of his exact copyright claim to the track, he had obtained a Harry Fox license to release it on an album alongside his own original music. His response is, refreshingly, a mature one in response to this whole ordeal.

He has re-released his track on iTunes under the new title “Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee). “ Thanks to using the same license as before, Sir Mix-a-Lot will collect royalties, and all proceeds from the following month will go to charities The VH1 Save the Music Foundation and The It Gets Better Project.

This has, of course gotten its fair share of media attention. From a Facebook status by webcomic artist Rob DenBleyker to posts by Kotaku and The A.V. Club,  the internet appears to have rallied behind one of its own.

In his interview with Wired magazine Coulton shared a very simple solution for the show that spends millions per episode. He suggests that “they could offer to pay artists whose arrangements they use the same amount of money they would otherwise pay a musical arranger,” and that “if they opened with that, I’m sure a lot of artists would jump at the chance.”

Somehow, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Singer-songwriter Greg Laswell’s cover of a song made famous by Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, was also seemingly ripped off for an episode in November 2011. I’ve embedded the two songs for you to compare once again [and because I’ve gotta break up this wall of text somehow]:


Unfortunately, Laswell did not quite have the fan following that Jonathan Coulton does, and as a result this happened more or less without incident. The Hollywood Reporter did a short piece on it the month following, but from what I can tell it didn’t generate much controversy. Similarly, Petra Haden’s arrangement of “Don’t Stop Believin'” may have been appropriated without permission [i.e. stolen] by Glee as well.

It remains to be seen whether or not Coulton’s lawyers will be able to take legal recourse, but for the time being I’m happy that the show is finally being taken to task by those who believe that creativity should be rewarded and acknowledged, not plundered.