Saturday, June 30, 2012

What the Heck is With This Kissing Business

What the heck is with this Kissing Business?
Well now, that’s the question. Nobody seems to know how to do it anymore for heaven’s sake! You see it on the TV all the time; people embracing, touching cheeks and blowing kisses right past each other’s ears like spit balls – both sides even. Or, in the movies they open their mouths and eat each other’s teeth or stick out their tongues in an oral wrestling match. Yuck! Makes me want to puke. Why anyone would want to mangle such a fine and meaningful expression of affection is beyond me.
According to Wikipedia, a kiss can express sentiments of love, passion, respect, affection, greeting, or friendship. Well, I guess that’s about right. Why would anybody want to mess with that?
Of course, the first place to look for a culprit is quite naturally in Hollywood. I did that and was surprised that he wasn’t there – well, not exactly anyway. It turns out that there’s a bunch of envelope pushers in the movies business. That is, there’s writers and producers of movies who are always anxious to push beyond the bounds of normalcy for the sake of titillating audiences.
It all started with an 1896 Thomas Edison film called “The Kiss” – a forty-seven second re-enactment of the kiss between May Irwin and John Rice from the final scene of “The Widow Jones”.
Well, talk about your moral outrage! To quote one critic; “The spectacle of pasturing on each others lips was beastly enough in life size on the stage but magnified to gargantuan proportions and repeated three times over is absolutely disgusting.”
You don’t want to throw down a gauntlet like that to them Hollywood types without expecting consequences. And it was probably a mistake to compare kissing with “pasturing on one another’s lips”. One of the things these Hollywood creatures are good at is to wear down the censors and moral police. They continually push the envelope with things they know will be unacceptable and will grab the attention of the censors while quietly slipping in more and more cleverly disguised unmentionables. The censors fall for it every time.
So it’s easy to see how this pleasurable “pasturing” on somebody’s lips has deteriorated to a ridiculous eating of teeth and tongue wrestling exercise. I suppose by bringing the matter up, I run the risk of fanning the flames for some other unimaginable variant of “kissing”, although for the life of me, I don’t know what. Perhaps they can introduce some pyrotechnics into the whole process. That seems to be a logical progression. There are a few times in my memory that fireworks went off while “pasturing”.
But in all honesty, the whole business is going right off the rails. All this tongue wrestling, teeth gnashing, and whizzing kisses past the ears is nothing other than silly.
 All this thinking about the pleasures of kissing has brought on a sudden warm memory of people like Shirley Gill, Arlene Chornenki, Mary Ostapiuk, Dorothy Satcher, Marg McKay – largely classmates and fellow “spin – the – bottle” participants. Maybe my mind is fooling me, but I think they were all good kissers. There are, in fact, a few others whose names come flooding back to me at the thought of “pasturing”.
These games were really not sexual in nature. Well back then, what did ten and twelve year-olds know about sex anyway? These games of course were taboo if your parents found out, but there wasn’t too much chance of that. Even if they did, they’d probably played them before we did anyway. Where else would we have found out about such games? It was probably all good practice for later years.
I’ll tell you what though. There isn’t a woman in my family who would even think of whizzing a kiss past my ear. They all know where lips are supposed to go when you’re kissing someone. And there’s no greater pleasure than savoring the intimate affection of a pair of soft full lips planted squarely on your kisser. At least, that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kids in the Hall

The Kids in the Hall
Just how many nano-seconds do you think it takes a kid to figure out when he’s got an advantage over “the system”? It’s obvious that the various school boards and departments of education are still in the dark about this. The teachers know, but they’re hog tied by the school boards and departments of education (and probably sworn to secrecy too).
Well nobody told me to shut up – so I won’t. I can tell you that you can count the nano-seconds on one finger, that’s what, before they know that in order to get a passing grade of fifty-five percent, they only have to have their names on the school roster. As far as getting assignments done, writing tests and exams – that’s only secondary and can be easily negotiated as can their presence in class.
The whole business of grading students didn’t really come up until a few weeks ago when a teacher in an Edmonton school was fired for giving a student a zero on his performance. Can you imagine? The kid didn’t do any of his work, didn’t hand anything in, and got a zero for a mark. Well, that sounds pretty logical to me.
But a complaint arose and the teacher was automatically fired. Go figure. Apparently teachers are not allowed to give zeros. The students must be encouraged to complete their work and thus live up to their full potential. How many chances they get at it is unknown but it must be pretty close to an infinite number as far as I can determine.
I thought I should look up the rules of the game because I just couldn’t believe that anyone, especially a school board, would be that silly. Just what do they think they’re doing? It appears they are trying to encourage students to live up to their potential by giving them chance after chance to do so. There are so many things other than doing the work they can get marks for – like attending class, having a pleasant personality, spelling their names right, and whatever. No need to have any losers in class.
And so they all graduate from grade school to middle school to high school to university. There’s not a loser in the bunch. The teachers have done their job well and passed all the little buggers right through whether they have learned anything or not. The parents are prouder than peacocks.
Of course, now it’s time to get into the workforce. And by workforce I mean upper management type positions. These kids didn’t spend their time avoiding classes and assignments just to have ordinary jobs. No way! They’re better than that. They have after all, an education. It says so on their diploma or degree. Imagine the disappointment of the employers meeting all these graduates who have one finger up their ass and the other one on their Ipad. Thankfully, there still are those few who actually do their schoolwork and earn legitimate degrees and diplomas. They are swept up in jobs so quickly it makes their heads swim. The rest remain disappointed in the menial jobs left over for them, like electricians, plumbers, taxi drivers, clerks and so on.
So employers have a choice. They can either outsource their work or bring in foreign workers for whom these tasks are not too menial.
Well, I’m getting way beyond my topic here, but you see what the results are. There is a deliberate dumbing down of Canadian youth for no useful purpose that I can determine. And it’s neither the kids’ fault, nor that of their parents as we popularly like to believe. No, it’s the bloody bureaucrats! They’re the ones setting the policies against challenging the intelligence of students to truly reach their intellectual potential.
And the result is: a less competent labor force, a less competent management force, diminished production, higher unemployment and a dumber society.
Now I ask you, who was it had that brainstorm of a policy? It wasn’t anybody with any common sense, that’s for sure! At least that’s how it seems from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin’.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cardboard Canadians

Cardboard Canadians

Never in all my years of observing political foibles have I ever been this incensed at anything those jerks have done. If I didn’t know better, I would just dismiss this latest initiative as a stupid mistake. They are after all, politicians. What else would you expect?
I got the regular newsletter from Joy Smith, Conservative Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul the other day. I thought it was going to be important because of the bold type, so I read it for once. It turns out to be the announcement of a contest to see which riding is the most patriotic riding in Canada. It’s called a “Proud to be Canadian” campaign, and apparently it’s going all over the country, so it’s not just the (hair) brained idea of Ms. Smith but comes directly from the PMO.
Page three of the flyer points out the instructions: 1) Cut Out (the colored 5 x 10 inch piece of paper included). It’s even got a dotted line to indicate where to cut for heaven’s sake. 2) Fill Out (the questionnaire that comes with the whole business). The colored piece of paper is of course a replica of the Canadian flag – colored on both sides. What we are to do with it is to tape it to our living room windows to show our allegiance to Canada. Jeez Louise, does that mean we must take down all the other stuff we have pasted to the living room picture window to make room for “the flag”? And hey – where’s our gold star if we do it?
Almost as an afterthought, there’s a form you must fill out and send in declaring whether or not you’re a proud Canadian or whether or not you display a flag year round. Or whether you’re not interested in participating. Innocuously below that, is a little questionnaire asking which party best represents our views on today’s important issues. Hahaha! Are we supposed to have already forgotten the Robocall affair? We know very well where this information is going. How dumb does she think we are?
This government is advertising loud and clear its opinion of Canadians as being little school children, given to respond to the teacher’s urgings. Do they really imagine us taping a crummy little piece of paper to a picture window to show our Canadian-ness? Well, I guess they do. As I said before, they’re politicians after all.
So basically, what we are in the eyes of the politicians, is a bunch of school children taping a piece of paper to our expensive picture windows and being satisfied that we are now good Canadians.
Maybe if we begin to acknowledge the intelligence of these creatures who run our government, we’ll begin to be able to make wiser selections and perhaps get this country back on track. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mother of the Commonwealth

Mother of the Commonwealth
Watching the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth on television was quite an experience. My God! Them Brits can put on quite a party. Makes you wonder about the recession. And it’s not only the Brits who are celebrating, but things are going on all around the Commonwealth. Kind of reminds one of the old days on the farm when everybody was bustin’ their humps durin’ the week to make ends meet, but come Saturday night, they’d throw the kids in the buggy, perhaps some food if they had and even a fiddle or mouth organ, and gather at someone’s house and let loose.
Well, and that’s the way it should be too. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The odd thing was that one didn’t see hide nor hair of a lot of anti – monarchist protestors flingin’ about anywhere. I guess they know when to keep their mouths shut.
The Queen herself is an example of why we should celebrate her long career as monarch of the Commonwealth. Standing throughout the whole eleven miles of the flotilla in “extreme moisture” in other words – pouring rain, is not an easy task for anyone, let alone an eighty-six year old lady. Throughout it all she was attentive and engaged, accepting the adulation with grace and dignity. Not too shabby.
It was fitting that they played her Coronation speech where she vowed to commit herself to the service of all her people throughout the Commonwealth all those years ago. In retrospect, she has never wavered from that commitment. That in itself is a remarkable achievement. Oh, of course there were times when she would have to rewrite the institution of the Monarchy to fit modern times, which she has done, often because of the deeds of her wayward children. Of course these are different times. It’s not like the era of the first Queen Elizabeth when you adhered to tradition or were introduced to a broad-axe at the nape of your neck. The broad-axe is put away in lieu of diplomacy. And the Queen does it well, without so much as a whimper or mis-step.
I can tell you that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who have a monarch and there are those who wish they had one. The Americans drive themselves nuts trying to figure out how to lay claim to the monarchy. Quite frankly, they haven’t figured out what the monarchy is so they’re a bit afraid of it stomping on their republic.
Well, we’re one of the lucky countries I think. Not only do we have a monarch, but we have one who has dedicated herself to our service and has stoically held fast to that dedication, come hell or high water. She is like a mother to us all, at least that’s what she reminds me of. She goes about her business in a quiet, dignified way without causing a great deal of hub-ub, yet, should she abdicate in favor of Charles or William, you can bet your bottom dollar that she’d have no aversion to kicking some royal ass should the occasion arise.
We always had a rule around our house. We must love our mother. We never found out what might happen if we didn’t, but I think it had some sort of biblical reference so that was enough to terrify us into compliance. In retrospect, I think it was a good rule.
Queen Elizabeth has done what no king could have accomplished. And she’s done it in a calm and prudent manner. We are indeed lucky to have such a mother. Long may she reign. At least, that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Parade Season

Parade Season
I’m confused. Is it parade season or is it protest season? They’re busy bangin’ pots and pans in Montreal and other places in Quebec. Is it a parade or a protest? Who knows? In Winnipeg there’s a gay pride parade this weekend – I think it’s a parade although it could be seen as a protest against anybody who’s not gay. I was at one of those following the death of my gay son at which I was asked to speak from the steps of the legislature back in 1995. Holy crap! What that was, was a protest parade!
Then there’s ‘the strides for change’ in St Vital Park on Saturday, which is a five k. hike for MADD or Mothers Against Drunk Driving. That’s certainly a protest parade against the drunks who kill people while driving. And let’s not forget the Hi Neighbor Festival in Transcona. That’s definitely not a protest parade – well it ends at the beer gardens so what do you expect?
It seems everybody is walking in a parade of some sort these days. Everybody in the Middle East is on his or her feet. Mind you, they’re not banging pots and pans down there but rather using a variety of firearms. And those damn things got bullets in them. The people in Quebec might want to consider that before the pot banging gets too loud.
Then of course, there is all of Europe on the march too, protesting this, that and the other. Well, all except the Irish. Every year the Orangemen get together to march through the streets just to piss the Catholics off. The Orangemen parade and the Catholics protest.
But you know, governments and other authorities having jurisdiction are so deeply rooted in their own agendas, their only response is to send out the cops – by the thousands. That’s got to cost a pretty penny. Them cops don’t work for nothing you know.
See, I always had this notion that governments were servants of the people rather than being their keepers. It seems I am rather naive. You could call them ignorant and/or arrogant. You could say they are drunk with power. In all these scenarios you could be right, either individually or collectively. There’s something about the mantle of office that casts a spell over these people when they put it on. A case in point is that Conservative backbencher testifying at the Gomery enquiry about Karl Hans-Schreiber. His dismissive comment was that after all, Schreiber was nothing more than an arms dealer, completely ignoring the fact that his party was the arms buyer and user, thus justifying Schreiber’s existence. Well, don’t get me started on that!
The point of this whole dissertation is to illustrate the futility of it all. The only salvation is that it gets everybody up off their collective arses and moving around, getting some exercise. Walking is still the best full-body workout there is – bar none. At least, that’s the way it seems from here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.