Tag Archives: society

Hollywood’s Cover-Ups or Indonesia’s Castration Method: How Should We Deal With Pedophiles?

The sexual assault of a child is the most abhorrent crime in the world. As a society we curse those who commit such crimes and refuse to recognize them as anything but outsiders and deviants. Unfortunately, pedophilia is far more common than we care to admit.

Former child actors Elijah Wood and Corey Feldman recently drew attention to the problem of pedophilia in Hollywood. While Wood only pointed to events he had heard about (and last year’s documentary film, An Open Secret), Feldman referred to his own experience with abuse

Unfortunately for Feldman, even if he would like to call out the men who abused him as a child he is unable to do so for legal reasons:

I would love to name names. I’d love to be the first to do it. But unfortunately California conveniently enough has a statute of limitations that prevents that from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name I would be the one that would be in legal problems and I’m the one that would be sued.

In a stark juxtaposition to Hollywood, Indonesia is also in the news for their dealings with pedophiles. After a 14-year-old girl was brutally gang raped and then murdered, President Joko Widodo introduced a new law that would mean the death penalty or chemical castration for the sexual assault of a minor.

After reading about the injustice of Hollywood, where survivors are unable to prosecute the predators who took advantage of them, reading about Indonesia can feel like a breath of fresh air. However, it’s worth looking beyond our gut reaction to ask if forced chemical castration, and the possibility of the death penalty, will actually work as a deterrent against the sexual assault of a minor. Continue reading

Why Horror Movies Are Good For You

That’s right, boys and ghouls-

Good for you.

That’s not something you’d expect someone to say about the genre, is it?

Sure, you might hear about horror “classics”. There are plenty of fans out there who’ll talk about their personal favorites. You might even hear critics fondly contemplate how certain horror flicks were telling of their times. But morally edifying?

Well that’s the argument I’m going to be presenting to you today.

Be warned- spoilers may follow.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve tried to champion the macabre. I don’t expect it to be the last either- not considering the reaction folks give me when I say I enjoy the stuff.

And before we really dig in here- let me get the obvious out of the way.

Yes, a lot of horror movies are garbage. The slasher/”teen-scream” subgenres use cheap gore and excessive nudity as a crutch for plot. More serious attempts still rely on the same cliches that have been around for decades. Plenty are poorly acted and have production values that could be outstripped by a middle school enactment of Romeo & Juliet.

But that’s hardly unique to horror. Continue reading

Killing the Death Penalty

In the final hours of September 21, 2011, the State of Georgia executed an innocent man. Troy Davis, born 1968, had been wrongfully convicted and subsequently murdered after spending nearly two decades in prison. In spite of cries of protest from former presidents, the director of the FBI, the pope and countless activists, Davis was killed for a crime he did not commit.

Such is our thirst for blood- and it is blood that we’re after.

Mel Gibson’s a racist lunatic, but this was a pretty dang cool movie…

We might dress it up as “justice” or a “deterrent” or any number of grotesque charades, but make no mistake, it is an emotional drive for vengeance that is overwhelmingly behind this. Christopher Hitchens, complicated man that he was, got it right when he called the death penalty “Human Sacrifice” in his 1997 debate on the subject.


We seem to have, as a society, a twisted sense of justice. We’re happy to serve up a person- any person- for slaughter to convince ourselves that justice as been done. Someone‘s got to pay when a crime is committed, whether or not that person actually did it seems of little consequence to us, as evidenced by the long and still-growing list of innocent men, women, and yes, even children who we’ve sacrificed for our appetites.

For this reason, today we’re going to be addressing the foundations of the arguments in favor of the death penalty. Continue reading

Why Dumpster Diving Isn’t the Solution (but we do it anyway)

Dumpster diving has become a pretty trendy thing. So trendy, that the hipster-mocking TV show Portlandia even did a sketch about it.

After moving to Victoria last fall John and I decided to attempt our first dumpster dive. We aren’t freegans and we don’t wear your grandpa’s clothes but we sure were excited about having a way to save on grocery money.

We may not dress like Macklemore and his crew, but we sure do love a thrifty alternative.

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Shame Day: Slut-Shaming Miley

Everyone remember when this happened?

Do you remember how it was followed by a whole lot of this?

slutshaming miley Continue reading

The Problem With Pink

Pink is everywhere, and it’s a problem.

Let me clarify. There is nothing actually wrong with the colour pink. I’m not personally a fan, but I don’t have anything against the colour itself. I have an issue with how it is being used. It’s being used to tell children that certain toys are for girls and certain toys are for boys.

Often it’s as simple as taking the same toy and making one pink and one blue. But more often than not toys are also separated into certain play “scripts.” These scripts teach children that different behavior is appropriate depending on if you are a boy or girl. While little girls are sold kitchen sets, little boys are sold mini tools kits.

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Fame Day: Guerrilla Gardeners

I do love a good story of an individual sticking it to “the system”, i.e. the reign of capitalism. But having grown up in British Columbia’s Shuswap region, land of rich earthy gardens and succulent fruit (getting hungry?), I was shocked to discover that in some areas that act of rebellion can be as simple as growing a garden. It’s illegal.

But, but, but WHY???

Continue reading