Since when does a corporation's right to make money, trump a human's right to eat?

2018 06 08 - 18:48

This was posted as a comment elsewhere, but I thought I'd share it:

There are so many issues that need to be addressed with precarity and wages; not the least of them being eradicating the entire idea that (as an example, for the sake of argument) service industry jobs should continue to be relegated to the 'lower class' as we have put them.

You aren't supposed to want to do that your entire working life; you're supposed to go to university and get a better job. Well, I hate to burst the dream bubble of the folks for whom that sort of thinking is a viable lifeplan, people with the means of having the luxury to think that way, but the world of employment doesn't work that way. Not everyone can go to university - and not just for reasons related to money. It's just not meant for everyone, nor does every single person want it. Some folks want a simple job they can leave at the end of the day. Some folks are not able to do work that's more complex. And, frankly, these lovely university-educated jobs that we're all supposed to be striving for, don't exist in the numbers that we need them to in order to satisfy this 'dream'. I did it. I went to university. I ended up twenty-four thousand dollars in debt with an education I was happy to have, but it's done me no favours employment-wise. I come from a generation that, when young, still had the advantage to think that a university education was an automatic stepping-stone to employment. What they should have told us, is that it will make you employable, it just won't (necessarily) get you employed.

Service jobs are no longer the temporary stepping stone to bigger and better things that we used to see them as. This is what there is. This is all that some folks can get. We must take the labour that's available to us, and hold on to it, because there's nothing else out there. Temp jobs become permanent jobs, because the ladder has no more rungs on it.

I know people who have children with varying levels of Autism which is going to greatly impact the work they do. Do these kids deserve to live in poverty because they might not be able to do something more? Do I deserve to work only shit jobs, and get paid a slave wage, because life dealt me a disability that prevents me from aiming for certain kinds of other work?

Some people also don't think that youth should get paid the same wage as an adult, for doing the same work. There's another classist concept that needs to be eradicated. Work of equal pay for work of equal value, assuming they're doing the work equally well, doesn't just apply to gender. It applies to everyone; or should.

Speaking of education, we need to stop making it such a horror-show for young people. We have turned graduating from university into a ritualised debt. No kid should leave school at the age of 22, tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Who's paying that off on an entry level wage, especially with rents the way they are? My student loan payments were initially $450 a month, and that was when minimum wage was $10.75 an hour. That's a generous version of $10.75, if it can pay bills and debts and leave you enough for food. Way back in the misty dawn of time, people used to have to pay for high school if they wanted their kids to do that past grade 8. At some point, the government realised that in order for anyone to survive, to get work, a high school education was becoming necessary, so they took the step to include it in their funding, as they had with primary education. It is LONG past the time when post-secondary training - whether that be university, college, specialised training, or apprenticeship - has become necessary in order for anyone to gain footing in the work world. It should be covered.

And before anyone has a cow about people abusing the system, let me point out that every system gets abused. Also, it's pretty easy to build in safeties to ensure that the system is used, not abused. Such as: Require that a person keep a certain average, or they have to pay for that term/year/whatever. The sort of people who would wish the heavy continued burden of education debt on a kid as some sort of grotesque rite of passage, especially since "if I had to do it, they have to do it", is a small-minded ass who, hopefully, isn't homeless like many university students in Canada are. Yes, that's right, there are homeless students in Canadian universities, sleeping in lounges on campus because they can't afford a place to live. How is that providing a means of success to that person? Let me help you out: It Isn't.

We also have to get rid of the idea that anyone who's living a low-income life, deserves to be poor, and deserves to be grateful to be poor. It's a disgusting attitude, but that's going to be a hard battle to fight.

Businesses thrive because of demand, not because their workers get paid low wages so a company's profit margin can survive. Businesses thrive because people spend money at them, so you need to give them money to do that spending. The rich do not drive the economy. Trickle-down economics is a farce. As Nick Hanauer puts it (paraphrased), "I make a thousand times the median wage, but I don't spend a thousand times more on clothing, or eating out at restaurants." (Nick Hanauer is a billionaire venture capitalist in the US, who is a vocal supporter of a living wage. Watch his TED talks.) It never fails to stun me, how much people are willing to do to sanctify a company's profit margin, rather than support quality of life. Since when does a corporation's right to make money, trump a human's right to eat? Why do we do this to each other?

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Fahrenheit 451 (2018) (film) - contains spoilers

2018 05 21 - 18:54

HBO recently released a new film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" - one of my favourite pieces of dystopian fiction - and I can honestly say that this film version


I'm about to plot-drop and completely expose the ending, so if you don't want it spoiled for you, don't keep reading


isn't worth the paper it wasn't printed on. I don't even care that it strayed drastically from the book; but, what was not pleasing, was how weak it was, and how much of a damp cliche it was to end the film with a bird flying into the distance as a symbol of freedom. What see-spot-run bag of tropes did you people dip your fingers into to come up with that one?

The one thing that was interesting, is that they included an indictment of automation, of how we are doing the damage to ourselves by creating 'bots to do our work for us, to do our thinking for us, to choose things for us, to know things for us, so that in the end we are responsible for our own downfall by creating our own idiot race out of ourselves. Also, nice job sneaking a shot from the original film in during the opening credits. I should also point out that their use of symbols to convey a story, rather than cartoons as the original film had, was interesting and very of-the-now.

There was no 'brain' in it, no smarts; only limp-dick social commentary that fell utterly flat. They turned the whole thing into a bad action film reality show the audience votes you off the island thing.

All in all, I could have spent a better use of that time cleaning hair out of a drain trap.

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Social Résumé

2018 05 19 - 22:52

A friend posted what she referred to as her "social résumé", which I thought was a fairly nifty idea; not the least of the reasons being that I like making lists. So, let's see:

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Get me off this stage

2018 05 17 - 15:01

Every once in a while my sensei makes us teach - to explain a waza, to refine a point, etcetera. I loathe this. I don't mind teaching or explaining, but only to one person at a time. I don't like talking in front of groups, even if it's groups of people I have no trouble communicating with otherwise.

I do not like being the centre of that kind of scrutiny or attention.

I've tried to figure out how or when this started. I can't source it, though I do know some of the reasons I continue to have the problem. I'm not going to share them; they're too embarassing. I might have no fear of discussing some personal matters openly, but even I have my limits. Increased frequency has never made it easier. I barrel through it without looking anyone in the face, getting to the end of it all as fast I can so it can be over with. It's always been that way, with anything I've had to do in front of others.

Someone once suggested - in respect of singing in public - that I put on another guise, be someone else so I could get through the performance. I can't. I am who I am. I am, as I just said to someone else, no good at pretence. Faking it doesn't change the fact that I'm still the focus of attention. I'd be a lousy actor, because I'm no good at pretence. It's also been suggested that I deal with it the same way I deal with explaining my art to people. Here's the thing, though - I don't. I will tell people how I made things, what process I used, but I leave it up to the audience to find a meaning.

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Darling, I give you very best duck.

2018 05 11 - 23:21

I ran my favourite James Bond line through a few runs of Google translate ... because it's known for its accuracy:

English - Darling, I give you very best duck.

to French - Chéri, je te donne le meilleur canard.

to German - Liebling, ich gebe dir die beste Ente.

to Bosnian - Dragi, dacu ti najbolju patku.

to Greek - Agapité, tha sou dóso tin kalýteri pápia.

to Yiddish - Hilf, es vet haltn di kapkeyx.

to Hawaiian - Ae, e ho'oia aku i keia manawa.

to Irish - Sea, lig sé a bheith ag an am seo.

to English - Yes, let it be at this time.

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Dear Incels

2018 04 26 - 12:52

Don’t make the mistake of thinking incels are men’s rights activists – they are so much more dangerous - They place the blame on to women for their misery, and in doing so provide the motivation and justification for acts of extreme violence like Alek Minassian’s.

What a terrifyingly grotesque group of sad individuals you incels are. I pity you.

I've been rejected, abused, hurt, ignored, insulted, derided, shamed, called names, dismissed, used, devalued, harassed, and told I not only had no right to talk about how I felt about it, but that I should also be grateful for it, and yet I manage to get through my day without blaming the entire world for my sometimes excruciating loneliness. I don't think the world owes me anything because of it. I plug on. It's not easy sometimes, but I don't drown in it. Loneliness is like starving and suffocating at the same time, and I know it very intimately, but I channel what I can into something else - like my sword, or my art.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. If you find that women reject your come-ons, then change your come-ons, and change the type of women you're coming on to. If the common denominator is you, look to how you might be able to change that; or, accept the consequences of not changing, and move on.

Not one single man I've ever given the time of day to was a "normie", in the sense they see it. I don't like GQ men or pretty boys. I've always found it incredibly hard to read a pretty boy's personality. I don't like assholes. Women don't, you know. What women want is strength, and vast numbers of men have no idea how to be strong - they equate strong with domination. It isn't. Strength is knowing yourself, being solid, honourable, confident. I have always preferred men who are off the beaten path - in attitude, in tastes, in hobbies. What I don't care for, are men who have no desire for life, men who don't look like they give a crap about anything, men who want to coast as the lowest common denominator. You don't have to have a big life, but for the love of all that's sainted and holy, whatever life it is you do have, act like you care about it and not like you're just coasting through it. If you have no interest in your own life, how could any woman ever be sure you'd have interest in her or her life? If you have no interest in your own life, why should any other person? Women don't exist to fill that void. You must fill that void for yourself, and invite others along for the ride.

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Why I was not getting your texts, and now will

2018 04 05 - 18:34

So, weird texting issue.

When I was in the store a couple off weeks back to set up service with a new mobile provider, we used a sim card from another phone to make sure mine was unlocked. Apparently that phone was from an iPhone, and automatically connected my phone with the iMessage network.

I don't have an iPhone. I use Signal on my Android phone for texting.

Having my phone connected with iMessage though, means that when anyone used iMessage to text me, it was going to someone else - very likely the person whose sim card we tested with.

I have since been deregistered from the iMessage network, and should be able to get texts just fine from everyone now.

Addendum: If this happens to you, make sure your iPhone-using friend deletes the entire text hisoty between the two of you, and starts fresh, just to make sure everything's cleaned out.

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Termination

2018 02 12 - 15:24

I work for one of those companies that foists customer satisfaction surveys on its customers. I find these things annoying, and don't fill them out.

Yesterday, however, I found out another side to this noxious habit: My job is outright on the line if I don't get at least ten percent of my inbound calls to complete the survey. That's right, something that is really beyond my control is now my fault, and I could lose my job if I don't get enough of my customers to complete that survey. It's my fault if they hang up after I transfer them, apparently. I am supposed to cajole and manipulate people into filling out this survey. If enough don't, I will be termintated.

There is absolutely nothing under the law that protects me. The only thing that could result, is if it can be proved that I was keeping up my end of the bargain and not violating this company policy, and was still terminated and they denied me the severance pay I am entitled to, I could make a claim with the labour ministry to get that severance. There is no union, so there's no protection that way either. The lady at the ministry said I could seek legal advice if I wanted, and gave me the info on getting a free half-hour consultation with a lawyer.

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New Wage Order

2018 01 01 - 06:04

I woke up around 5 and couldn't get back to sleep.

I have to work today. I'm not particularly worried about this, as I think it'll be like Christmas Day and Boxing Day - deader than a doornail. I had all the angry people yesterday - the one who called me a fucking thief, the one who kept telling me to shut up, and the one who told me to fuck off because she didn't like our prices. (Note: Only one of them was intoxicated.) Today being a stat and all, means I get paid time and a half - for at least the pittance of time I'm guessing they'll make me stay, and stat pay for the day regardless. And, thankfully, as of today, that stat pay is going to be a little higher, due to the minimum wage hikes the Ontario government put through last month.

Let me put that in perspective: This new minimum wage means that I will no longer have to live several thousand dollars below the federal poverty line. Sobering thought, right? That someone working a full-time job could still be living below the poverty line?

So, I am going to take my new wage of $15.40 * an hour (still not a living wage, per se; but I'm grateful for it), and pay my bills, start doing things I couldn't do on my former wage (necessities as well as extras), and maybe start putting money into my RDSP again, and be happy about the fact that the poverty line is no longer something I have to crane my neck to look up at.

- - -

* People who work from home for a company earn a higher minimum wage than those who work outside the home. I have yet to find out why this is so. The Labour ministry didn't know, and the government officials I contacted regarding it never responded. I'm not going to complain, it benefits me; but I really would love to know the reasoning behind it. The minimum wage went up to $14 an hour for those working jobs outside the home - those who aren't servers or students, that is - and will go up to $15 for them next year, $16.50 for me.

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Cannon Knitting Mill

2017 11 28 - 08:39

I've never been able to put a finger on what it is I find so fascinating and compelling about abandoned buildings. One thing I have noticed, though, is that I find the older ones far more interesting than modern abandons. Maybe t's because they've seen more life. Maybe it's because they seem more haunted by that life.

I remember once asking a local rampant urban explorer what the most interesting thing was that he'd ever found while exploring, and he said it was the hind end of a freshly butchered deer on the roof of an abandoned building. What, one wonders, is the though process behind that... behind hauling a deer into the city, butchering only half of it, then leaving the other half on the top of a building.

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