September 26, 2011

I Used To Write Songs.

So you're a musician.

Well Me too. I have a guitar, a piano, a keyboard, a harmonica, a drum to beat on, annnnnd some spoons. My skill level at each of them? Not great. But I could get better, I swear. Then I could maybe even one day be famous. Quasi-famous? Non-famous? Infamous.

I stopped writing songs when I realized I couldn't sing. This was an unfortunate realization since the songs I wrote were actually pretty good!

The idea of someone possibly falling asleep at night to the melody that you created is pretty special. The thrill of  having someone clinging onto every last lyric of a song that you wrote is especially exciting!  Especially when you can secretly fool them all with some deep, dark & mysterious metaphor in your song that only truly makes any sense to the people you are most intimate with in your life. Or better yet: nobody else in the world but yourself.

The potential for metaphors and symbols and often not making a whole lot of sense makes the art of song-writing a very romantic endeavor. It doesn't matter if you are writing a song about pain, love, life, or death. Heck, even the punkest of punk bands can still write a song that tears at the heartstrings because of the degree of passion put into, say, bringing down the government! But outside of punk rock, a guy can still write a heartmelting song that can truly make the person he devotes it to become short of breath, perhaps a little bit dizzy, and maybe weak in the knees.

The opportunity to create intense admiration (ranging from "just a fan" to "I know all your songs" to "sexually stimulated" to "cyber-stalker" to "roadie/groupie" to "follow me to my van after the gig") from members of your fanbase is also intriguing. With only 3 1/2 minute songs, a musician can gain this kind of power over their audience. Songs that beckon each and every one of its listeners to fall head over heals in love with its creator. Songs that are so incredibly beautiful, sensitive, and tragic that the degree of vulnerability on display with the artist's most inner soul will make even the most straight-faced cold-hearted cynical person weep

These are the songs that I would sing for you. These songs I would dedicate to you.

Dedication. This is what having success in most things comes to in the end. A little luck doesn't hurt either.  Dedication: to tour, to write, to perform, to endure, to put out easily accessible & affordable non-tacky music & merch, and to not sell out.  Any musician seeking fortune or fame has to put in some pretty serious dedication - year after year after STD after year.        
Since I no longer write songs, and it is unlikely to ever become a viable vocation for me,  I often think about the other ways that I might be able to get her attention/fill up my days.  In life, don't a lot of people at least try to develop themself into a more dimensional, complex individual? Enroll in a Mediterranean cooking class. Take Tai Chi. Learn another language. It would be sooooo much easier to just be a musician! I think it must be like living in a dreamworld to be a successful musician - especially a lead singer in a band - where alll of those endless, fantastic things happen to you, whether you are drunk or high or not. The mundane routine of playing the same songs while earning little money at dirty little clubs with the same sleezy cocktail waitresses time and time again... WOULD BE GREAT!!! For a while. I can understand how some bands cannot overcome the ennuyeux of similar setlists and drunken fans/cyber-stalkers/roadies borderline harassing them (or begging to get harassed by them). But in the end, I think that the band learns to  evolve and put out incredibly stimulating material less frequently (TOOL, Propagandhi, Radiohead), or else fizzles out completely. For this reason, I guess I just have to be happy that I do not write songs. If I can simply spend some time with people I like that also don't mind wasting their nights away watching these musicians give themselves up for us, then that's fine too. 

SNFU can be credited to the title of this blog:
chapter 110.

September 22, 2011

Drive to Kill!

They call it an accident. A  slamming of the breaks and a wrenching of the steering wheel - seconds? milliseconds?? after impact. Whether that impact is with a gravel truck, lamp post, mini-van, or teenager on his bike travelling at night through an unmarked crosswalk, it's often too, too late.  2,011 vehicular collisions resulted in a daughter, father, sister, uncle, aunt, mom, brother being killed 2,209 times in Canada in 2009.   Why? Even if the numbers of these tragic deaths are down from generations passed, this unneccesary taking of life will never be the same for the families that are left behind. Sometimes, destroying that family beyond any hope of repair.

Sometimes when I am driving I envision that pedestrian walkway I just coasted through. Or that 3-way stop in front of the school. Did I really do everything I could have to ensure the absolute safety of anyone that might have been there?  I like to think I did. I like to think I am a pretty good driver. But then again: So. Does. Everybody.

MADD is probably the #1 advocate towards the creation of positive change of driver attitudes. Despite sad year-to-year reports of not much ever improving for alchol related traffic deaths. Maybe for real change to ever happen though, we need a PADD - Politicians Against Drunk Driving. This is only a pipe dream though, because it is usually the politicians that can't stop drinking! In all seriousness, though, the senseless murders on Canadian roadways have to stop. I think it would be great if the city would leave the fatality signs up wherever someone has succumb to a traffic-inflicted tragedy. And perhaps when a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th or 10th loss of life occurs there, they put up a round bright orange 2 foot sign with the cumulative number of deaths at the location that it happened. This would probably result in the public's realization that current mitigation techniques at ending road deaths is inadequate.    In the meantime, families continue to suffer because someone just doesn't get it. Christopher Dew's sentencing for the murder of a grandmother of 6 is slated for today.  The conviction of this murderer might result in a 24 month or else a 30 month prison sentence, depending on whether the Courts feel that the extra 6 whole months will do him any good or not. Keep in mind that this clean-cut white boy has served as a peacekeeper in Bosnia and is looking forward to becoming a humanitarian aid worker in some poor, poor, developing country. Currently, my aunt's native-born foster child is serving a 2 year sentence for trafficking marijuana, first offence.   What gives.

Even when it isn't alcohol-induced idiocy behind the wheel, there still remains the constant potential for certain traffic death. This is often due to belligerent, ignorant asshole drivers that have no respect for anything but themselves.

Impatience is wearing thinner than ever on Alberta roadways. Merging onto a freeway can be stupidly hazordous as speed-demons cut through solid white lines, disregarding any respect for their fellow road companion or the laws of the city that are put in place to make us all feel at least a little more safe.  Stale yellows? Well, you go right ahead, but I'm not chancing it! The distracted driver bylaw? I fortunately do not have $60 or $80 for an iPhone bill every month, so fucking around on facebook while driving is out of the question. Texting is sooooo 2004. Eating while driving? Kinda gross. Changine CDs is probably my biggest vice, but at leat I am not applying mascara. Which brings me to women drivers. Without getting myself into toooo much trouble, let's just say: Yowza.  Soccer Mom's are the worst. The stress of the job of being a working Mom nowadays makes them the most insane drivers on the road. Those SUVs are indestructible though, so even with the whole fandamly in the back, she can still afford to exceed posted speeding limits by 30%. Buckle up, kids.

Extremely poor driver education and an incredible degree of ease in attaining a license do not make matters any better. Newcomers to Canadian roadways, old people, and indeed 16 year old children would all benefit from an annual re-education of 2-axle vehicle operation every year, complete with a thorough practical government administered examination for 3 years after first earning their Class 5. And old people have to get off the roads at age 75, please. The exam must be rigorous enough that the people incapable of learning even the most fundamental and necessary safety aspects of driving will NOT be driving! After all, we all know that there will be more than enough of these people that pass the testthen totally disregard everything that they were told anyways. Let's at least make it hard for them to earn that privilege of fucking around on our roadways.

If there ever is a time where a person's unacceptable driving affects you directly, I encourage you to speak up and fight for what you know to be right! Enough with the apathy. And flipping the person off doesn't do much more good either. Leaving a note on the driver's windshield is at least something, but it's better if you can muster the balls to say what needs saying to their face. Politely? Politely. As possible.  True, we can all try and exemplify a more civilized, empathetic behaviour of others' undignified driving habits or techniques. But sometimes ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! (I think it's time to pull out the 9-iron from the back seat now).

Moving On.

As globalization continues, fuel prices will increase. Eventually they will be so unconceivably high that only the privileged elite will be able to afford to drive. But please be rest-assured: the combustion of fossil fules will continue well into the 2050s. 

Urbanization will keep our streets crowded and more public transit infrastructure will go ahead REGARDLESS of how poorly it is implemented. Even the best of public transit infrastructure will not deter the privileged elite that can afford to drive their own person vehicles from driving.

And with every additional car on the road, we continue to kill our planet with every last tonne of CO2 that is emitted into the atmosphere. even if we start driving more fuel efficient vehicles, the likelihood of our old cars not being driven by somebody within the next 10 or 20 years is pretty low. In addition, "more fuel efficient cars" does not mean "no fuel" cars, and will resultedly continue to wreck havoc on the environment! This website indicates that about 50 MILLION cars are produced every year worldwide, with 600,000,000 currently coasting around city streets.  Our oil dependent lifestyle will only intensify with our desperation for newer, better, and even more "environmentally friendly" / technologically advanced cars. The production  alone of  millions of "zero" emission cars will certainly contribute to global warming in the production line! Anthropogenic climate change. This is unsustainable.

In the year 2050, disparity and inequality will run rampant, leaving our poor civilized society in shambles. Right now, I am reading Collapse by Jared Diamond who demonstrates how crucial it is for us to aknowledge the warning signs before it's too late. It's not a case of "probable" or "likely" or "mitigation" or "work-on-technology-to-save-us" It's a matter of the necessity of change. Now. Everywhere. Fast

The City of Edmonton is being laughed at for the $100M in creating & expanding cycling lanes over the next 10 years.  Maybe if we're lucky, some of those 50,000,000 cars produced annually will not make it to Edmonton, and there will be more room for those of us who enjoy riding a bike on those new paths, with having less fear of being mowed down by some F-250 Hemi Engine Pick Up Truck or Distracted Driver or Soccer Mom. At least for the 5 or 6 months that the weather allows for cycling up here on latitude 53.

Today is World Car-Free Day! And it is also the day that my cousin was killed in a traffic accident 15 years ago. She was 18. I miss you, Shantell.


September 16, 2011

Nobody Cares

Unless there is someone out there in this wonderful and fake world of the internet that you simply cannot bare to stop stalking, harassing, talking to, checking up on, or "poking" then there is really not any reason for you to be spending half as much time on facebook (or the internet in general, really) as you do.

Your youtube links of kittie videos, shared posts of politcally-motivated articles about the "serious issues of the day" , or invitations to join campaign petitions that hopes to "stop bad things from happening" are really truly boring most of your 2, 3 or 4 hundred friends.

There is the (very) small occasion where incredibly insightful stuff is written and/or shared by a small population of people out there.  They might make some really good points that NEED to be pointed out, for the sake of: humour, or perhaps inspiring the human spirit.

So, if you don't have something pretty fucking terrific to say or share, don't say it at all. Think twice: quit publishing notes & blogs, stop inviting me to your events, end wall-spamming, and "liking" things that really aren't all that likable in the first place, don't bother wishing insincere Happy Birthdays, and put off posting links to songs or comedians or kitties because really, really - nobody cares.

This is a modified creation from 11/12/08.
what a bullshit blog hey?!

(no subject)

Hey. How's it goin? Life's been pretty good lately. Nothing too dramatic, nothing overly boring.  Anyways. Hope you are well. Let me know when anything exciting's going on, k? Seeya whenever.

Isn't it almost tragic how boring some relationships can be? Just overly regular familiarities of courteous greetings, idle chit-chat, and mild "so-longs" with zero degree of intensity or passion? Relationships that can invariably be classified as acquaintances or worse yet: colleagues.

Yeah, life has been super busy lately - my boss has made me stay late every day this week, and I think I may have got one of those "green light" speeding tickets on my way home from work last night. Not impressed. I also have to go to the dentist next week, so I sure hope Mr. Potatohead lets me out earlier so I have enough time to get there without being late... See you at the thing in a few days. *hugs*  

Don't get me wrong. Friends are good to have. But friendships between members of the opposite sex? Difficult. Possible. Reasonable? Waste of time! Not if it's with the right person. But how in the world do you ever really, really talk when shields are raised and very little of anything truly significant is ever said?

I propose that 21st Century Living has taken a lot away from not just "communicating", but rather: "saying something". In this fast-paced world a lot of emphasis is placed on brevity & conciseness (unlike this blog) since everybody's time is so damn' important. Taking the time to go ahead and put yourself out there when you have something to say can be a very scary place to be indeed. The vulnerability to attacks! from mean people can end you up in hurtful places. But your friends? They won't attack you. That hardened shell is hard to crack though, when you spend your days protecting yourself from the evils of the world.          

Vulnerability. This is the only way that people will ever really learn anything from each other. The ability to open yourself up and say something is the key in finding true happiness with those friends that are most important in your life. Even if that means opening yourself up to the opposite sex; even if that means becoming susceptible to the possibility of the purest form of friendship: love.
Letters are a dying art form. In them, the writer could spend the time trying to convey their deepest thoughts and feelings to the addressee: eloquent, passionate, descriptive, and endearing. Letters would pave the road in a relationship in such a way that any time spent apart would urgently be made-up for when the couple could be together again. Texting has replaced the virtually obsolete art of writing letters in this mad, mad world. Rather than long provoking tales of the sender's thoughts & dreams, txts from qwerty iPhones with more shorthand & acronyms than you can roll out in the time it takes to address an envelope can be sent. The necessary immediacy of building (lol) "relationships" this way take definitive substance away from developing any real potentially amazing relationship that could happen - if she would only say something .  E-mails aren't nearly as ridiculous as texts, as they usually allow for semi-complete thoughts/sentences:

so how did you like the movie the other night?
Oh I had to leave early. There was some place I had to be.
Too bad. It was pretty great. u will have to watch it when it comes out on DVD.
Really? Wow too bad I had to miss it. You will have to bring me the dvd when you buy it. You buy soo many dvd's!
I've got nothing better to spend my money on - might as well be a dvd collection. I'll make sure I drop it off at your place when I get it. See you at the dog park Thursday?  
k, ttfn.

See? nothing said, nothing (really) gained. Even though it is very obvious that they both have the same interests and seem to get on reasonably well. Physical attraction? What about the attraction? We all have flaws, don't we? (she don't!) They are friends. Great friends. That just sometimes happen to kiss. Hold hands. Acquaintances. Colleagues? Say something.

Without really saying something, how do you know if there can't be something more? Schrodinger's Cat is the best way that every person needs to look at any friendship that might have the potential to... go crazy. Alternatively, a person could deprive herself of the opportunity to ever say anything significant at all and run the risk of remaining alone forever!!!    

And remember. Mistakes happen. Everyone makes them. At the very worst, you will get knocked down hard if things don't turn out right - but you know you will come back stronger than ever! On the other hand, you might end up in one of the most substantial, significant relationships of your life. And it might even last. But you need to talk to me. And you can't be afraid to let me romance your pants off.

now let's get on skype and fuck.                                                     ch. 117

September 9, 2011

Don't Lose Control Over This.

Control. What a human character flaw. The need to exert one's will over another object or being. Where does this necessity come from?!  I am sure anthropologists and sociologists have studied this to great depth through the ages.   I would suggest that the root causes of this likely goes all the way back to insecurity. The fear of death even. For example, if a shelter could be built to protect from the rain and snow, then great. Build it. When your herd of goats is being poached by a lion, put up that fence. See? It all comes right back to the will to surviveNot everybody has this fight response. Some may just flee away from the bad situation, looking for a safer, more tolerable living standard elsewhere. These futile attempts are made in vain of course, and eventually something will catch up to you. Then that old adage You Can Run But You Can't Hide comes into play again. So fight. For your right. To survive.

But. Wouldn't it be nice if civilization could still be civil in an oh-so-wild world? This world where fighting tooth and nail is an invention grown out of necessity to even just survive. Fighting for resources is often just a big free-for-all, where the biggest knife that is used will end up with the biggest slice of the pie. A lot of people out there are under the impression that the world is only our play place and we have the right to plunder and pillage every last part of it to make our own individual lives more comfortable than could ever be imagined. Exploitation and the manipulation of variables are key concepts in engineering after all.

 But exploitation certainly extends beyond engineering and into everyday people's lives as well, with the decisions we make.  Simplest example: buying Fair Trade Coffee. A decision that has a pretty damn' far reaching effect on the lives of others. So really, the trick is to understand that exploitation is more closely related to power than control.  Attempts at maintaining control beyond all reasonable means is what happens when a person demands power. The demand for the cheapest damn' coffee possible, at any cost. It doesn't matter if the environment of the coffee plantation is being exploited, or the conditions of the farmers working there. I need my coffee. Control can only be a positive part of human behaviour when we are utilizing it within our own personal attempts of character development. This control could include things like building on the values of temperance, focus, commitment, and respect. The outward use of control, more often than not, goes against nature.  S' - S > 0 after all. 

Manufactured Landscapes by Burtynsky gives an excellent depiction of some of the ways that we are attempting to control the world. It presents examples of how our planet is losing its naturality from land, water, and even the atmosphere (not to mention the galaxy) through anthropogenic means.  We abuse and trash this planet incredibly hard at astounding rates and it is difficult to comprehend how irreversible a lot of this damage may be! Remediation. Reclamation. Restoration. Is anything really ever quite the same? How do you re-introduce populations of a species driven from a landscape that has been previously demolished beyond all recognition?   

Sprawl. Concrete jungles. Asphalt nations. Right-of-way requirements for car/truck-driven economies. Edmonton may not be LA, but when population densities are as low as what we have here, it's easy to understand how greed and "need" for space has spread us so geographically and metaphorically thin.  Progressive thinking towards a united community/city/country is hindered when all we focus on is how far away we can get away from each other.  China and India and Bangladesh should be so lucky.

We do our damndest at trying to control this wild, wild world.  I think Matthew Good puts it out there pretty clearly in his song:

"everything is alright/ everything is automatic/ everything is alright/ everything is skin deep"

Our attempts to simulate a Perfect Nature are never ending. Stains with "low" VOC content are made available in a million shades of brown so that our decks and fences resemble something more like wood. We tear up our soccer fields and football stadiums so that (ecofriendly?) plastic astroturf can be laid down for the new playing surface. We douse  scoops of "natural" (chemical) icemelt over our concrete sidewalks in the winter and we spray cans of pesticide, insecticide, herbicide, fungicide,  beeicide, germicide over anything that looks the least bit detrimental to our perfect plastic lives.

Hell, even beyond the environment, people are becoming more plasticized than ever before. And I don't just mean after they have died and donated their body to Gunther Von Hagen's creepy science freakshow. This shallowness is echoed in Matt Good's lyrics, in the way that we just seem to care about the easiest and most superficial ways of doing things that could ever be dreamed of!

A lot of us folks need companionship too in order to feel safe in this whacky world. And a lot of time the easiest way of commanding some degree of companionship is to... get a pet. Or mmmaybe even a Russian Bride. The need for security via completely controlling another beings is a sign of weakness and a cry for help. Beating these domesticated pets - wives? - into submission is the ultimate and absolute indication of weakness that simply cannot be tolerated on any level. Appreciation for the natural way of things is  what's necessary and that does not mean blackened eyes or let's just say... worse.

I think that unless we change the path we're on with respect to the need to control the world and people in our lives, we are truly heading for dark, dark places. Maybe the fact that cougars and bears and crocodiles are "acting up" in "civilized" areas of our sprawling urban developments has something to do with them trying to send a message to us humans that this kind of behaviour Just Won't Do. Or maybe I just came home from watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Random blobs of power expressed as that which we all disregard,
Ordered states of nature on a scale that no one thinks about.

Don't speak to me of anarchy or peace of calm revolt, man,
We're in a play of slow decay orchestrated by Boltzmann:

It's ENTROPY! It's not a human issue,
ENTROPY!  It's a matter of course.
ENTROPY: Energy at all levels.
ENTROPY: From it you cannot divorce.

 And your pathetic moans of suffrage tend to lose all significance!

Extinction, degradation:
The natural outcomes of our ordered lives.
Power, motivation:

Temporary fixtures for which we strive.

Something in our synapses assures us we're ok but in our dIsequilibrium we simply cannot stay,

A stolid proposition from a man unkempt as I,
My affectatious nature I can not rectify.

But we are out of equilibrium unnaturally.
A pang of conciousness at death - and then you will agree!

Bad Religion, 1990. 

chapter 61.

September 2, 2011

Let's Save The World!!!

...before it's too late...

I am not a cynical person. Especially when it comes to globalization and the human state.  I am not (blissfully) naiive about the way the world is either.  I am a realist in every reasonable, pragmatic way that a man needs  to be for 21st Century living. When I'm not dreaming, anyways.

First let's make it clear that I do indeed see a lot of good in the world. Everywhere around me amidst this insane world of depravity, inequality, pain, and suffering, I can still find beauty. Beauty beyond nature. Beauty beyond engineering, even. But on another level, I feel that the soul and spirit that lies deep within some of the  most beautiful creations in existence are likely because of some higher being.

But this blog is more about when that higher being happens to call in sick, and we are all left down here to fend for ourselves and try and come up with a creative way of not totally destructing the planet - or each other.  Because even if there is someone/something up there watching over us poor lost souls, we still remain prisoners of our own device here on earth, and therefore we might as well pimp out our "prisons" as best as we can  - for us and especially for the generations that will follow us. We live an incredibly insignificant amount of time on this planet in relation to how long it has taken our Maker to allow everything on the planet to evolve to the point it is today!

I say this now because time is running out. Sure, tell me that the fear mongers' have been saying our time has been running out since the start of the Cold War. But I do believe that a world with 8 Billion people is different than a world with 3 Billion only 50 years ago.

The hardest thing to grasp is this whole timeline thing.  A planet that is 100s of Millions of Years old is still spinning today, despite the endless atrocities that human beings have committed to it (and each other) in the matter of their lifetime.  On the same level, a lot of good can happen in a person's lifetime but mostly I think, just on a very personable level. Implementing a simple idea that could lead towards long term global sustainability likely transcends one person's lifespan. For example, electricity is nice - but when it comes at the cost of burning thousands of tonnes of coal or mitigating the threat of nuclear waste, generations of imagineers are what the world needs most.

 It's especially tough in achieving this though, with the attention span of most people nowadays. Watching these wasteful unforgiving people piss their time away can be very taxing on the human spirit. Their apathetic and selfish attitude puts unsurpassed pressure on the rest of us trying to make any sort of progress or significant impact for a lasting world.  The tiny window that we have here with our time on earth to make lasting positive change becomes even smaller. Frustration  sets in and the achievers either succumb to the prevailing, draining attitudes of most people, or else they just decide to end their time in this twisted world, under the belief that there just has to be something better than this. Killing time is indeed just another form of murder after all, and the fact that people either kill themselves in a desperate need to escape or people kill time by under-utilizing the imminent opportunities they have on this planet (like me, here, now) really pisses me off.


Reduction Now.
  Less is more. This is another radical philosophy that a lot of people in the Western World will never fully be able to appreciate. Certainly not in a place where we are in a love affair with wasted space.  No Impact Man takes things to the most extreme with the protagonist's attempts to raise a family in Manhattan and reducing his footprint to nil. He got the point across, but in reality, a modest footprint is probably acceptable if we ensure that we are progressing towards a globally sustainable lifestyle for the majority of the world's inhabitants. Immensely modest.  i.e. not the path we are currently on.
The necessity to make drastic changes in the way we live our lives is now. Unplug. (I can't wait until the day that I have someone to talk  to about some of the good/bad ideas that build up in my head, instead of having to try and sort them out here). Park your car,  don't commute farther than you have to, don't eat meat, shop local, kill the box store, don't drink bottled water, change to CFLs,  put on a sweater, blah the fuck blah.
There is a widely accepted proposition called the Jevon's Paradox which environmentalists like Monbiot like to use in order to describe how even in the present day of fantastic technological progress and advancements, we are - of course - still doomed.  It describes how as we develop more energy efficient ways of doing things, there will be only that much more greater demand for more of those things! And beyond that, it must be understood that with every quantity of energy saved by doing some form of efficient work, there is a complementary amount of less efficient work that is freed up for the doing. George describes this in his book waaaay better than I am doing here...

I think, mostly when it comes down to it, we must be truly proud of the work we do, and the outcome that results from this kind of work on a long-term scale. And as workers, we are all getting paid in order to contribute to our role of consumers. Likewise, it would be nice if the consumer could (afford to) be proud of the choices he/she makes in their life of consumption.

So those are some of the things I think we need to keep in mind when it comes to making the most of our time here on this big blue orb. But how do we get there when we are soooo effing far off track?!?!?! These are a few ideas...

We need:

1) A leader that is RESPECTED ---- Perhaps something like having a total restructure the UN and IMF combined, where the idea of Peace Before Prosper dominates. Perhaps with no Veto players and no Americans? We need someone to lead this UN that is heard and respected by the world. Certainly not someone like Obama who is more interested in going on holidays with his family in Cape Cod when the world is going to hell. We need a leader that can not just say "Oh, my very best advisors will give us the right answers that will lead us to a solution", but instead we need someone who can just present the concise steps towards the solution, having already consulted with the "imagneers" I referred to earlier.   This leader needs to appreciate the limited opportunity he has to leave a lasting legacy to the planet and all of its civillians, plants & animals, that are all essentially at the mercy of one person's decisions.

2) Education of the Youth. The world over. Especially women. They have the brains & the know-how. Give them an opportunity, but please just don't take my (high-paying?) engineering job away from me.

3) A WORLD Commitment. With leaders like Jack Layton who can really inspire people across entire nations to be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. When people have hope, they will tend to be less antagonistic about everything!

4) Good parenting that includes raising one's children with values such as temperance, focus, and commitment. It is hard to find this nowadays.

This whole political part is unfortunate but necessary in the year 2011. Leaders that have clout and can make bold decisions are the ones that hold the key towards long-term global sustainability, just as Jack Layton was trying to do until his untimely & unfortunate departure from the power-position that he briefly held.  Now, with a majority government hell-bent on destroying most things good in the world, it's especially sad to see that the wrong leader is likely going to push us all further to the brink of destruction. The alternative is to possibly have an all-controlling government with the opposite ideals of Harper's conservatives, and we end up living in a Big Brother state like in any of the dystopian futuristic novels. Either way, I guess, dictatorships: still bad. But having faith in a leader in a time of our greatest need? Kinda necessary.

We simply need to understand the reality of the potential for any Wall-E/Tank Girl type scenarios. The privileged and elite will survive. You and me? Probably not. The Global South? GOOD LUCK!

time is running out.

chapter 46.