October 2010


It is strange how things really can change on a dime. My life really has done a 180 in basically the last week and I couldn’t be happier — so much that I don’t even mind that I just used two cliches in my opening sentences. I finally feel like my hard work has paid off!

Although I was quite down and full of angst towards my previous job, specifically because I felt as though I hadn’t lived up to being a successful graduate and was bound to be stuck in the poor house forever, all I needed to do was realize patience is the greatest virtue. I finally got an amazing entry level job opportunity with a government organization which is what I have dreamed of since before I started university. It’s strange how much I feel like my mood and demeanor have changed for the better, when I  take a step back and evaluate the situation I see that I have accomplished a lot in the minimal amount of time I have had to do it all and it feels really great to be taken seriously for a minute. Sadly though, in the back of my head I do wonder when life will be ready to finish the 360 and get shitty again.

Despite the fact that I can always think of things that would only make the present better, I don’t know if you can consider my attitude completely pessimistic as I take pride in being a realist. Needless to say, I will bask in the present tranquility I have found and enjoy it while I can, and hopefully remember to reflect on it if and when any hardships do arise. Thinking of this blog one of my favorite quotes, which I stumbled upon in second year Political Philosophy, came to mind and happens to sum things up quite nicely:

Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.” – Socrates

Since our long term incumbent mayor has decided to step down, this election has been the hot topic around the city since early in the summer. With the “recession” and all sorts of drama from within council over the last couple of years this election may very well be one of the most crucial for citizens to become involved and make smart decisions.

With our incumbent out of the equation, it became a rat race with upwards to 13 candidates for mayor at one point. At first my thought was, who the piss is going to want to read 13+ platforms for mayor alone and then proceed to read school board trustee and alderperson platforms after? I also thought good grief the chances of actually having someone who represents a majority of the vote get elected with that many candidates is going to be difficult. Sadly, one of the first people to raise hype and increase people’s interest in the election was Barb Higgins when she decided to run as she has been a known TV personality for over a decade. So help us all if she actually wins, all she seems to be good for at this point in the game is a hard ass attitude and a lack of interest in accommodating citizens. Rick McIver, a former alderman seemed to be the likely choice as he is the candidate with the experience people are looking for and an already familiar political image. Luckily I started taking notice of Naheed Nenshi’s campaign and I have not looked back. I even noticed that Nenshi, as someone who was definitely not as well known as the other 2 mentioned candidates, managed to build up his own significant number of followers and hype based on his vision alone, not his local celebrity or previous involvement in council. What I find really great about him is not only are essentially all of his platforms parallel with my own views but he is seeking support from ALL eligible voters, youth, middle aged and seniors alike — he appears to be the only candidate who has really taken an approach to appeal to an important generation who are an untapped source of votes, the youth. On top of that he is the only candidate with a “proper” education which I do believe is quite important in a political leader, having an academic background in combination with significant well rounded experience are essential for me.

High priorities for our city, in my opinion, are more efficient transit (LRT projects, increased BRT routes, incentive for transit use, no more park and ride fee, etc.), revamping of council processes, increased low cost housing, overall increased sustainability (complete communities and higher transit usage).  Nenshi addresses all of these issues and  more, and I give him kudos for not being one of those people (like Higgins) who says they will “research more” on a topic — if you want me to vote for you,  you need to have a position and already done your research!

For all you Calgarians out there, check out Nenshi!

http://www.nenshi.ca/new/

I finished my first book to be reviewed, or so I wanted to review, Francis Bacon’s Of Empire. As soon as I got into the first chapter I realized reviewing it would be a problem, the small book was full of so many things to think about and so many interesting bits I don’t know where to start or how to go about critiquing it. I suppose this should be expected from a classic philosopher so in lieu of a conventional “review” I have chose to share some of the most thought provoking quotations I found during my read.

One of the things I really did like about the way the book was written are its well organized chapters that are actually different topics that included and were not limited to envy, travel, marriage and ambition. I didn’t quite understand how gardens made there way in as an important topic to cover however the fact that he had such a strong idea of how gardens should be and how they can portray an individual was rather interesting.

Now for some of the great quotes, enjoy and please share any thoughts you have!

Of Marriage and Single Life
“Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. Yet it were the great reason that those that have children should have greatest care of future times, unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges.”

Of Envy
“A man that is busy and inquisitive is commonly envious.”

“No one is inquisitive without being malevolent as well.”

Of Love
“…it is impossible to love and to be wise.”

“There is in man’s nature a secret inclination and motion towards love of others, which, if it be not spent upon some one or a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, and maketh men become humane and charitable…”

Of Innovations
“time is the greatest innovator”

Of Suspicion
“There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and therefore men should remedy suspicion by procuring to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother.”

Of Discourse
“Discretion of speech is more that eloquence, and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words or in good order.”

Of Studies
“Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”

I basically spent my entire weekend at the Chinook movie theater, however I quite enjoyed my time t here despite the fact that the place was a flipping zoo. Firstly, having free passes for both movies is always a treat and makes it an inexpensive way to spend your time (and allows for more beer money). Secondly, both movies were actually two movies I had been looking forward to seeing for quite a while. I am often one of those complainer types that bitches about Hollywood movies’ regurgitated story lines and all around pointless message but I think my weekend choices were somewhat of an exception as FUBAR is by no means “main stream Hollywood” and The Social Network took an interesting more in depth look into our generations biggest craze, social networking.

In a sense, The Social Network was everything we have expected of it, the story of the creation of Facebook and the drama that followed after its success. The difference between this type of ”predictable” story line and the others in fluffy romantic comedies or something of that sort is that they laid the story out quite well and it is far more complicated than the ”previews” make it out to be. Not only was it interesting to see the development of something as familiar  yet almost mysterious to most of us as Facebook is, but it was also rather comical. There is something about a dry sarcastic sense of humour and people who actually tell the honest truth that I love, forgive me if you don’t think its cool, and it is kind of neat to see how Mark Zuckerberg’s dry, sarcastic and brutally honest personality was almost the most crucial element in the success of Facebook. In addition, there were so many realatable university experiences and other elements that made me thoroughly enjoy the movie! Justin Timberlake being lame or not, surprisingly good flick!

As for FUBAR, being a movie people talked about way back in junior high as a big joke movie and cult classic in Canada, no one I don’t think ever actually imagined there would be a sequel. In all honesty it took me a few watches to find the first movie entertaining but heck its good for a laugh or three! I was really pumped for this new movie after years of FUBAR references and drinking Pilsner with my friends, so come time for yesterday I busted out my good plaid and wife beater to watch in style. The atmosphere in the theater was great, people were all so pumped to be there and cheering the whole time (probably helps that Terry and Deaner are Calgarians) and it was pretty fun just to be there. It is kind of funny to me that the movie has become so popular but either way it was cool. The sequel wasn’t as good as the first in my opinion as the first was the one to get all the OMG shocking reactions from people it was already expected in this one and was actually toned down. For anyone who was a FUBAR fan, you must see it, but it wasn’t the best ever.