Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Dear Mr. Jack Layton

It's unbelievable to me that you are indeed gone. I always hoped I'd meet you and tell you how inspiring you've been to me, and now that that is impossible, I will have to tell you in this way how much I appreciate you.
When I was growing up in rural Ontario, my parents (and everyone else in the area, in fact) were cynical about politics. They always said that politicians were a bunch of kindergarten kids fighting about who got what and that they never helped much of anything. Being born and raised in this tradition, I began to believe it myself. I thought that it didn't matter who was running the country, because they were in it for their own benefit and not for the benefit of their people.
About half-way through high school, I began to realize how much the federal government affected the everyday lives of Canadians. Issues like health care, educational funding, northern sovereignty, and economic growth became important to me. With my growing concern came growing frustration; why were the people in charge not representing the wishes of the average Canadian on these issues? Politicians' words in the media were sickeningly noncommittal. I shared the apathy of many young voters. Why vote for any of these robots who dispassionately promised a vaguely cheaper and vaguely better future.
Then, in 2008, came my political reinvention. Barack Obama's campaign and victory in the United States taught me that a single dedicated person is a great force for good. I believe that Mr. Obama truly loves his country and truly cares about giving each citizen the best future possible.
I began to look for someone similar in Canada: someone who not only had a platform worth supporting, but who was also human. The humanity of politicians is a widely contested issue. For the purposes of most people, they may as well be androids with the ability to randomly assign laws to places in which they have no involvement.
'Til there was you.
There was something captivating about you, something that set you apart from the other kids in parliament. There was, behind all the ghostwriting and soundbites and political branding, a human being. I cannot believe I was misled in this. You believed in what you said. You were a breath of delicious spring air in the stagnant swamp of Canada's political elite.
Believing in the things you represent is what sets you apart from the robots. Instead of bending your policies to get the most votes, I feel like you simply represent what you think is the best for the country. I find this humanity comforting and overwhelmingly inspiring.
I can hardly bring myself to think of you in the past tense. Did you know what you meant to this country? You were the one who taught many young Canadians that there is a reason to be involved with their government. You stood for honesty and passion in your political life and work. What more can we ask of one human than to live with honesty and passion? Who can do better than to work tirelessly to bring about what they know is the best thing for themselves, their families, their countrymen, and the world.
I believe that you could not have done better in your work for this country. To lose you is to lose a lover of this nation, a brother in arms against apathy and chaos, and to lose a human who was of inestimable value to his family and personal friends.
Mr. Layton, I thank you for what you have taught me about what good can come of one human life. I thank you for your work, for your passion, for your honesty, and for your love of this beautiful country. You have raised up a generation who will carry on the fight for humanity. Because you have done your duty so well, and because you have been so faithful to yourself and to Canada, may you now rest in peace.
With the greatest respect and sadness;
A citizen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hercules Beetle!

For my research project I'm hoping to discover the habits and habitat of the Western Hercules Beetle (Dynastes granti), and find something out about their numbers or something. They are just cool.

We are in the middle of our huge daily thunderstorm. They're nice to have around. It's funny that it rains more here in the desert than it did in Southern Ontario. I'm also realizing that when I get back home it will be fall time and I might have missed some leaf-changing- awesome-times.

School is a-coming. My thoughts are being scattered today. I have been reading a book by Aldous Huxley entitled "Eyeless in Gaza" which is partly responsible for my broodish disposition. It's just about this man and his little social circle around the beginning of the 20th century and it confuses me. The main charachter is a protagonist, definitely, but all of the philosophical treatises of the author are presented by outlying antagonists. It is confusing on a very personal level.

I'm confused on a personal level about a great number of things. Who are the good guys? What is freedom? What am I going to do about all the people in all the places? Confusing.

Monday, August 22, 2011


I'm in Arizona! It's pretty rad here. Hot and sunny with daily downpours.

The people on my team are a mix of nice and annoying individuals. I really like the prof and her partner. Good humans. I'm not liking that we're spending so much time around bugs, because it turns every night into a nightmare parade of things crawling into my ears. *shiver*.

I've had a lot of time to myself to think about things as well. The lady I couchsurfed with and I talked a lot about global community and what it looks like in an individual's daily life. I really think that couchsurfing is something I'm going to love being involved with. My latest philosophy (no one can steal something you happily give) is going to get a run for its money on the practical end.

Deserts are pretty sick. Lots of life in the unexpected places. I love beetles (Coleoptera FTW!).

"Oh yeah, life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone." I still have the thrill of living. I am not dead yet. I refuse to die while I'm still alive. No matter how old I get, there will be mountains to climb, rocks to poke under, wikipedia articles to read, songs to learn, and offensive jokes about disabled people to make.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sitting in a Laz-E-Boy chair surrounded by hot water bottles and cursing whoever decided that the female reproductive system was a good idea. Grah!

It's been a long time since I've bee up at this hour. It will probably make the rest of my day unbearable.

I had some thought though.

Couples depress me. It's not that I dislike hanging out with couples; roomie and her bf are good times and I visit married people regularly and have a whale of a time. Sooner or later, though, I always remember that I am replaceable.
I'm a Fifth Business. To quote Robertson Davies
"Who are you? Where do you fit into poetry and myth? Do you know who I think you are, Ramsay? I think you are Fifth Business. "You don't know what that is? Well, in opera in a permanent company of the kind we keep up in Europe you must have a prima donna -- always a soprano, always the heroine, often a fool; and a tenor who always plays the lover to her; and then you must have a contralto, who is a rival to the soprano, or a sorceress or something; and a basso, who is the villain or the rival or whatever threatens the tenor.
"So far, so good. But you cannot make a plot work without another man, and he is usually a baritone, and he is called in the profession Fifth Business, because he is the odd man out, the person who has no opposite of the other sex. And you must have Fifth Business because he is the one who knows the secret of the hero's birth, or comes to the assistance of the heroine when she thinks all is lost, or keeps the hermitess in her cell, or may even be the cause of somebody's death if that is part of the plot. The prima donna and the tenor, the contralto and the basso, get all the best music and do all the spectacular things, but you cannot manage the plot without Fifth Business! It is not spectacular, but it is a good line of work, I can tell you, and those who play it sometimes have a career that outlasts the golden voices.
Sooner or later, with every person I befriend, they will reach a point when they go "Oh yah, Becca! I haven't talked to her in a while! I should check in on her." Then they will give me a text or facebook message asking to meet up for coffee or some such and I will be excited to see them too, though not at all for the same reasons. When we go out we will chat about the person's life and talk about their significant other and I will oooh and aaaahh and giggle in the right spots. Then they will ask me about my life and I will say something along the lines of work carrying on as usual. I will tell entertaining stories about me and whatever friend I recently had taken up and the person will shake their head and laugh and say "Oh Becca, you are so silly/unique/crazy/etc." Then they will go home thinking how nice it was to see that they had grown up and I had not.
I suppose what I mean that people being in couples reminds me that they are growing up and leading adult lives while I am childishly blundering on, attempting to keep my mind in the same time zone as my body and keep my body in a time zone in Africa. My relationships will always be transitory, while my peers will eventually settle down with a partner and their social circle of other couples that they like to have dinner parties and weekend camping trips with. Because I won't get married because I am untrustworthy because I am emotionally stunted I'm not going to the have the luxury of a circle of dinner friends.
Because I am not a long-lasting friend I must do my best to concentrate my effectiveness. Unorthodox, unwonted, unreasonable, unusual, unfiltered, uncomplicated, untoward, undermining, unsuspected - I'll be who I am as hard as I can at people so that even after they've gone on with their weekend barbecues and I'm in some remote corner of the internet, they will remember me happily.

I won't be depressed by couples anymore. I'll just tell myself that I must be replaceable because no one can handle a full lifetime of pure, clear, 100% all-natural Becca.