Finding my Perfect Medium

I’ve always been very expressive but always had trouble deciding what medium was most suitable- which is one of the many reasons why I pursued a degree in Communication Studies. It gave the opportunity to tap into all these fascinating theories around why we communicate, to whom we communicate, and analyzing how we communicate along with gaining first hand experience in film making, audio production and even new media design. From all this I conclude that sound and print as being the most effective tools for communication.

Sound, particularly music has the deepest impact into the core of our being. Music is the universal language that speaks to the spirit of humanity. All I have to really say to prove my point is Michael Jackson. Can anyone else have made such an impact on Earth from just a few songs?

And why is it easier to listen to a radio, rather than watching completely silent movie?  Why are we affected by the sound of someone’s voice and not their appearance?   The frequencies really hit a deeper nerve I believe!

Print is also a super effective communication tool.  Well, a word is a word. I don’t have to pay a sound guy, rent a fancy camera, or rely on flakes. With story writing I’m judged on story telling and not on my budget. It’s the most democratic and strongest way of telling a story. Words alone can illustrate details very vividly delving deep into your mind. Movies does the imagining and for that it doesn’t pull you into the story as much…

Reasonable Accomodations in Quebec – A Story of a New Canadian not Tolerated

When I heard about the whole controversy on Quebec’s reasonable accommodation forum, a story came to mind.
Many years ago in my French class, my teacher, who wore midriffs, told us to pick a very controversial topic and present the points of both sides. At first she gave us some topics to choose from, racism was one of them. “I don’t want to hear the points supporting racism!” said this one girl. And everyone agreed.
“Okay, fine you can chose your own topic”, she said.
Everyone tried to steer away from controversy, including myself. I chose to talk about censorship in music, a guy from Alberta talked about the NHL, but Song decided to talk about gay people. Song was new to Canada from Eastern Asia. He was quiet all year and had an awkward composure, but now he got up in front of his class to present his argument against the gays. According to him,  it wasn’t natural to be gay, that it was wrong.

Big mistake. Immediately everyone just shot at him. “what do you mean?” said one girl
“Oh my god, he did not just say that,” a girl beside me said. Everyone else continued to yell at him, in English.
The only person that I thought would have said something was the dyke, but she sat quietly. I must say it was a very awkward moment.
Song just left the class and never returned.

This is what kind of bothered me. Song, probably in his mid 30’s, had recently moved to Canada. He, like a lot of immigrants, was most likely raised with a traditional upbringing, and in a culture that rejects homosexuality. How could we expect Song to come here and right away erase his values and adopt ours? I don’t think Song will join a hate group, or beat up someone because he is gay. He seems pretty peaceful, but he just doesn’t think being gay is right. Are we going to shout at him so he can think otherwise? Are we going to cast him away until he agrees with everyone else?

Yelling, intimidating, and isolating someone isn’t the way to reason with their beliefs.
Instead of shouting at him that day, I wish we just reasoned with him. It was a rare opportunity to confront his beliefs and explain that its not up to us to decide what’s natural for others, and that this was a multi cultural society that accepts everyone despite differences.
Song was one of few newcomers who openly spoke up about his beliefs and he was not even tolerated, let alone being accommodated.

Anyway, Song never showed up to class again.

Socially irresponsible Malls.

I went to Scarborough Town Centre today, a local mega mall, to find out there were absolutely no recycling bins to be found.

This is particularly disturbing as reciepts are issued by the second, newspapers are being bought, and worst of all flyers are being distrubited all to end up in the garbage bins.

It came to my attention when I saw promoters aggressively handing out stacks of flyers and brochures to everybody. As he waved one in my face, I asked him, “Did you wonder where those flyers and brochures go after people are done with them?”

They end up in the garbage bins conveniently located every 10 yards.

It wasn’t the promoters fault for sure, but I implored him to please advise the management… something I took upon myself to do later on anyway.

Frontline guest services were eager to help relay my complaint. It didn’t came to their attention before it seemed.

How could it not have? Malls are demons when it comes to landfills!

Especially their food courts. Sure, luckily there are bins provided for cans and bottles, but this is as far as they go it seems. The reality is that so much left over food are thrown out into mounds along with their disposable cups, plates, and cultlery.

Why won’t more food-chains provide reusable cups and plates? Why can’t the food left over be composted? Do we really need our subway sandwhiches to be wrapped in an assortment of paper?

It’s not a one way street, people need to make some changes too. Why can’t people bring their own tupperware for food to be put in next time they buy it? (Maybe that’s a bit too far). Whats the harm in bringing reusable napkins?

Its small changes like these that are required to get closer to a cleaner and more sustainable society.

– I have yet to hear a response from Scarborough Town Centre’s Management.

Shake Hands with the Devil – A Movie Review

It’s been over 10 years since the genocide in Rwanda, the worst thing to have happened in recent history, and nothing has been able to tell this story better than the movie “Shake Hands with the Devil”.

This movie is probably the closest we will ever come to understanding the genocide as experienced through the eyes of General Romeo Dallaire. No details were spared, as this film included the callousness behind the systematic mass murder of a million people, the superpowers’ cold shoulder, and the anguish in one man in his relentless drive to put an end to this all.

All parts were brilliantly filmed in their original locations. As well, the actors were greatly casted (especially leading actor, Roy Depuis). This movie, in its heart wrenching, and upsetting moments, communicates the facts straight.

Absolutely be sure to watch “Shake Hands with the Devil” (and read the book).
And be grateful that Canadian funding still exists to tell these stories.

And on a side note, did you write to your MP about the badly needed aid in present day in Darfur?

Car Crazy At Fairvew

For anyone who is a public transit user that tries to get to Fairview Mall in Toronto, this post for you. I voiced my opinions to the powers to be and got no response.

When the Sheppard line was constructed, it was generally expected that Fairview Mall would be connected to Don Mills Station.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, as many public transit commuters found themselves traveling across busy parking lots to get to the main entrance.

The alternative entrance that is closer (but still not connected) can only be used for metropass holders. Occasionally, during rush hour there may be a ticket collector standing at the door to collect the fare. But its always a guessing game, and chances are you have to go through that obstacle course each time you want to get on the bus. And if its winter, you will have to endure its harsh blows as you travel across the parking lot.

This inconvenience seems as though they prefer to cater to their driving guests. Fairview mall, not only has overground and underground parking, it also conveniently placed a 5 or 6 story large parking buildingwhen Don Mills station opened! Those who want to leave their cars parked for the purpose of using the subway are not allowed to do so.

If this is any concern to you, please contact the powers to be, Cadillac Fairview and Councillor Dave Shine of Willowdale (Ward 24) via phone 416-395-6413 and e-mail 
[email protected]

We definitely need a tunnel connecting Fairview mall and Don Mills station!

I will update you when I get a response!