The Christmas Tradition

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A picture talking about ownership of Christmas traditionsYesterday someone posted this on Facebook where I could see it. It made me so unbelievably angry I had to go out for a while before I could sit down and think about it sensibly. Those who celebrate Christmas claim it’s a time for sharing and showing love to one another then this is posted. How hypocritical can you get?

Let’s break this down. First, let’s look at these traditions you claim are yours. Do you have a Christmas tree? Are you getting gifts? Going to have a nice Christmas feast? All these things can be traced to earlier pagan traditions from around Europe. See, back in the day when the Holy Catholic Church (which appropriated the shreds of the Roman empire) was establishing itself, the pesky pagans refused to give up their traditions. Things like Samhain and Yule which later became Halloween and Christmas. Oh and don’t even get me started on Easter traditions.

Yule, or the Winter Solstice, was a time to celebrate the sun’s return to earth. So, boughs of evergreen were brought into the home, feasts were had, gifts exchanged. This made the Church nuts. Darn pagans. Didn’t they know that their traditions were wrong? So, in good Christian logic, they simply moved the day of Christ’s birth to the Winter Solstice and appropriated the pagan traditions as a means to celebrate.

I’m not going to get into whether Christ was a real person or not but if He was, He wasn’t born in the middle of winter. Most likely he was born in spring. WHAT?!?! Yep. As a matter of fact, the whole Nativity story is a crock. It’s stolen, almost wholesale, from the Egyptian story of Isis giving birth to Osiris. Minus the magi, of course. Funny for a person claiming this is their tradition, isn’t it?

So let’s get to the heart of this posting. What it says is that no one better mess with Christmas. After all, this is MINE, god dammit and you have to agree to it. In short, I’ll do what I want and fuck you. I’ve run across this attitude before, ironically it happens most often at Christmas and I’ll give you a brief overview of the person that usually mouths this sentiment. They’re the ones that have the most lights on their house complete with a Nativity scene in the front yard. They send out picture cards every year of their family in matching outfits and even subject the dog to this humiliation. They go to the office Christmas party and smile and show what a good person they are. They donate to at least three of their favorite charities and it’s usually a big donation. At Christmas dinner they have a glass of wine, never beer, and tell everyone what they’re so grateful for this year. On Boxing Day they’re out in the malls and stores, making people work, so they can get the best deals.

This person would never dream of inviting a stranger in need to Christmas dinner, knowing they’ll be alone for Christmas. They donate to charities because they feel guilty for never giving those in need a thought the rest of the year. They put on a great show for this one day out of the year but never show respect for any other traditions happening at this time of year. Well, they might say “Happy Hanukkah” to their Jewish friends. After all, they’re not racist.

However, ask them to change a little so as to include everyone in the celebratory nature of this time of year and they will throw fits. Share the season with another tradition?? BLASPHEMY! Open your celebrations to someone of another culture? NEVER! Christmas is theirs and belongs to them, dammit. How dare they want to share it? They’ll take that “Merry Christmas” and like it.

What truly saddens me with this posting is the idea that someone would think that this is in any way keeping with the true meaning of Christmas, no matter your tradition. All over the world there is a common theme to this time of year; love. Yet, in the desperate need to be right, to be better than others, they would trample over the feelings and traditions of others. So when you stop to say “Merry Christmas” consider why you’re saying it. Are you saying it to show off your Christmas spirit or are you saying it to wish another the love of the season? Christmas isn’t the exclusive right of one group of people. Christmas isn’t yours.



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Having anxiety is like having spiders infest your brain.

My regular readers won’t be surprised to hear me say I have anxiety. New readers may be a bit shocked to hear me say it. However, it is a fact of my life and one I deal with daily. Sometimes it’s bad enough to stop me in my tracks and other times it’s like a dull throb in the back of my mind. Either way, I have a life to live and need to keep moving forward.

There are supposed to be aids to help people like me but the rules are so narrow that it’s ineffectual. You can’t merely be broken, you have to be shattered. The rule is that you have to have medical evidence proving that you’re unable to provide for yourself. Great. Except there’s one problem; what’s said on paper and what happens in reality is often two very different things.

Part of the problem is I have Non-Verbal Learning disorder. Because of how it manifests, it can often be mistaken for Asperger’s or Autism. It’s a different disorder and has different problems associated with it. They’re in the same spectrum but have very different outcomes.

Now put the NLD together with the anxiety, stir well and put me in an office.

Let me explain NLD a bit. First, NLD people love words. In my case it means I became a writer. However, in face to face contact my love of words causes some ostracizing. I tend to use large, $5 words and I talk a lot. I’m aware of it, I just can’t do a thing about it. I’m the person that will give you a paragraph answer to the question, “how are you?”

That leads to problem number two. NLD people tend to have problems with spatial recognition which means that we don’t have the same sense of space as “normal” people do. This may seem like a small thing. However, it is this skill which helps children gain a sense of non-verbal communication. NLD people simply don’t see non-verbal body cues. However, we hear everything.

NLD means there is a gap between what we hear and what we see. Therefore, our interaction with the physical world, especially as kids, tends to be minimal. We’re loners and we like being loners. Inside our own heads we can construct entire worlds and, in my case, put it down on paper. We can think through a problem in our heads and come up with a solution that is so far outside the box that it’s on another plane of existence. That’s our strength. It’s also our weakness because no one else lives in our head. When we come up with a solution, we’ve already thought ten steps ahead and left others behind. However, when others see our solutions, what they see is something nearly unrelated to the problem. Since we have problems with communication, we can’t explain the solution. Big gap.

Imagine you’re a manager and you’ve hired me. You ask me to do a task you think is pretty simple. An hour later I come back and the task is done but in a way you never imagined possible. Okay. Once it’s funny. Twice is cute. By the third, fourth and fifth times, you’re getting pretty angry because you want it done a particular way.

A kitten curled up in a ball and frightened

Now let’s add to that problem with the other staff. I am a social platypus. I will happily give you the entire history of an event or tell you the entire psychology behind your favorite show. I don’t know the difference between sarcasm and a simple joke so the two are pretty interchangeable. Socializing for me is on a skill level with constructing a warp engine. At best I’m seen as weird and at worst I’m pushy or even rude. As the manager you start getting complaints from your workers about me.

So, as the manager you have a worker who can’t seem to follow the simplest instructions, needs to take regular time off for therapy (which won’t do a damn bit of good) and has coworkers complaining about them. Add into that the fact that this worker has regular anxiety attacks. Solution: fire that person and hire someone who causes you less grief.

So who wants to hire me?

Yet, to access help, none of that matters. On paper I can get therapy and do little “tricks” to minimize problems. I don’t do tricks. Dogs do tricks. I live my life and try to move forward. My brain works in a certain way and I can either decide that I’m broken and try to fix it or I can decide that this is who I am and learn to live with it. Apparently option two isn’t acceptable to the Government of Alberta.

According to Government of Alberta rules, I’m broken but not all the way broken. More like bent. All the trees in the forest must be straight and grow a certain way. No room for bent. Bent doesn’t get any help at all. Only broken and I’m not broken enough on paper.

It’s frustrating knowing I’ll have to go and try and explain all this to people who don’t care. When they leave the office at 4:30pm I cease to exist. They read paper. They don’t hear my words. Words that are nearly impossible for me to verbalize. They see me as a platypus with no place in their world. Not as the wonderful, beautiful, intelligent raven I am and I can’t explain it to them because they won’t hear me.


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A wordle text of a story I wrote

The Power of Words

This past week lessons abounded in the power of words and the effect they have on people. The Universe has an odd sense of humour and when things like this happen, it’s best to just go with it. Otherwise She gets cranky and the lessons come with bruises.

We’ve all heard the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” That is a dead lie and I think we’re all grown up enough to know it. Words do hurt. Sometimes words can leave scars deeper and more painful than any belt or fist.

When I was 12 years old, I picked up a discarded copy of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I’ve always been an eclectic reader so I picked it up and read it. This book was the first book that made me realize just how powerful words were. Disturbed, I went to a teacher who tried to explain that the book was simply enduring. I didn’t understand so I went to the library.

The library happened to be having a reading by an author whose name I no longer remember. I walked up to the author after he was done and shyly asked about Lee’s book. I didn’t understand how it could affect me so powerfully.

The author smiled at me and said, “writers craft words. We use them to build cities or to kill nations. Each word we use has its place and time. Words have power” (yes, I’m paraphrasing since I don’t remember exactly). I do remember the phrase, “words have power.” It’s stuck with me ever since. As a child in a powerless situation (I was the victim of abuse); to be able to hold power in my hands, in my mind was intoxicating. I went home and recreated those stories, those songs that I loved. I learned my art through mimicry. I would use the style of Pink Floyd to write a story about a princess and a dragon, the style of Harper Lee to write a love story, I even mimicked Robin Williams at one point with mixed success. From this imitation grew my own style over years and years of putting words on paper. A style as much a part of me as my own skin.

Today I’m well aware of the power that writers wield but I’m even more aware of the power that everyone has with the words they use. I was walking through a mall when I heard a parent tell their child, “you’re being stupid.” I was shocked that a parent would say that to their child but when I looked back, the parent carried on as though nothing happened. The child, though, gave me a look of shame that I will never forget. That parent has no clue of the impact of that casual phrase they threw out. The child will never forget, sadly.

Casual hurts are tossed out all the time and we don’t realize it. A teen girl refers to herself as a “ho” and her boyfriend as her “pimp” (overheard at a bus stop), a friend tells another friend they’re an idiot, a parent tells their child they’re stupid. We use these phrases and words casually and never think twice about the impact. Yet each word lands like a blow and leaves its mark.

I’ve been known to spend days trying to find the perfect word. Other writers will spend weeks or even months just to get that word that sets the tone. Do we really think that the words we say to each other has less importance? It’s time we stopped using words as weapons and started using them to build each other up.


Mutilating the Labia

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I had my first sexual experience when I was six years old. A female friend and I were curious and played several rousing games of “what does this do?” I don’t regret that early experience, it allowed me to realize that my body can make me very happy. I know now that I’m an anomaly and not many other girl children do this. Apparently, though, parents will rarely bat an eyelash if a young boy is caught masturbating. It’s met with some giggles and blushes but that’s all.

This childhood memory makes me realize the difference between male and female behaviour and what is acceptable or not. The difference isn’t in our thinking or roles in life, it’s in the control we have over ourselves and who we are as people. Men who control their own destinies are seen as powerful and virile. A woman who tries to control her situation is seen as a controlling bitch, she is derided as a harpy and can be called butch. A man can be strong in the boardroom or in the bedroom yet a woman is expected to be the pure mother figure by day and a whore by night in the dark behind closed doors. Still there are those who question feminism’s validity. As though feminism is simply out to destroy their life or make the work environment difficult.

So I thought about some of the things that women in our country have to endure. I’m not taking this outside of Canada. Heck, I won’t even take it out of Alberta. I wonder if men would endure the same things. So let’s do a little switchup. Okay?


Women aren’t bullied, are they? Women are the bullies. Damn. We expect those blonde jokes to stop but they’re so funny. So here’s the turnaround; a man goes in to work and the first comment he hears on how his female boss likes how tight his new pants are. When he makes a comment that he’s uncomfortable, she slaps him on the ass and says, “oh, can’t you take a joke?” He files a complaint with his human resources department but the boss is only given a slap on the wrist. Instead, he’s offered a chance to move out of that department. Forget that he’s spent five years in his current position and his boss has only been there for two but HR says this is for the best; change or leave. After all, they have to keep everyone happy. Besides, the boss did mean it as a compliment and is he so sensitive that he can’t take it?


Equal pay for equal work, right? By and large, women are paid far less for the same job men do. As a man, you automatically earn more for the same job as a woman. So, men, how would you like to do your current job but take an almost 25% pay cut? Yes, women earn around 75 to 80 cents per dollar men earn. Oh and that job your currently doing? Let’s add a few more duties but you’re not getting a pay raise.

The Old Boy’s Club

Think this is gone? It isn’t. In many companies, meetings are held on the golf course. Well, women golf, too, right? They do but they are less likely to be invited along to one of these little events. So let’s turn this around. The CEO is having a spa day and has invited three of her female managers. You, a male manager, expressed interest in going but she says you’ll be bored and she’ll grab a coffee with you some other time. Not a likely scenario? Think again.


Well, guys, don’t worry; this one’s an equal opportunity game. Men are just as likely to be abused as women in a domestic relationship so this not one I’m going to do a switchup on. However, there is more societal pressure on a woman to “make things work” in a relationship. A woman is supposed to be caregiver and homemaker and if the relationship falls apart, there are movies and books pointing to how it was her fault. How she failed as a woman. This one is a toss up, though.

Cultural Expectations

Okay, this one’s a problem. There are cultures in the world that have practices that we, in Canada, have decided are wrong. Yet, Canada has a large immigrant population and these practices come to this country so I’m going to do a switchup here. Men, you are four or five years old when you are taken to your uncle’s home. There, you are stripped of your pants and underwear and lain on the kitchen table. Perhaps your limbs have been tied spread eagle to the table. A gag is placed in your mouth so you can’t scream or make noise. Your uncle takes a sharp knife, may even be a utility knife, and he begins cutting the foreskin off your penis. He then cuts the rim under the cap on your penis off and makes a slice down the length of your penis. This scar will grow in such a way so that getting a full erection later in life is impossible. To finish things off, he then sews your testicles in place. If you survive this little “operation”, you will then be an asset to your family. Forget about completing school. Getting married is more important. While you won’t be told to quit school, you also won’t be encouraged. Forget telling your teachers. It’s drilled into you every day that this is family business and family comes first. You will then perpetuate this horror on your sons.


Okay, men, here’s your switchup. When you got married, she was the woman of her dreams. Then, after the wedding, something happened. It wasn’t obvious but she changed somehow. She was more distant, drank more, was less involved in you. One day, she went out to get milk for the baby and just never came back. Now you have three children and no skills to get a job. With a toddler, affordable childcare is a nightmare so being away for eight hours a day is not an option. The biggest surprise is finding out that all your savings, your RRSPs are all gone and your  credit is maxed out. Welcome to bankruptcy. Next you realize you have to feed the kids so you go to welfare. Humiliated and frustrated, you dance through their game just to feed your kids and give them a life but daily you feel the weight of just living pressing down on you until you simply give up. You go through a series of women, hoping to find a mommy to your babies but the next is worse than the last. You don’t know how to make it on your own but you can’t seem to make it with anyone else. Your kids resent you for driving daddy away and depression is your daily companion. You don’t even try any longer. Heck, it’s enough that you even put on pants during the day.


This one is just for you, guys. You’re a teen boy and you go to a party. Like the other kids, you have a few too many and pass out on the couch. At one point you wake up and realize you’ve been given a Viagra and girls are hopping on you like you’re a pogo stick. To top it off, there’s someone filming. It hurts and you want them to stop. Not one is using a condom. You go to your parents who take you to the police the next day. Then comes a series of doctors examining you, blood tests for STDs and pictures of marks. Then, you go on your Facebook page and there you are in all your shame. Someone has uploaded the video of you being raped multiple times and now the entire school, including the teachers, has seen it. Instead of being supportive, everyone blames you. They say you liked it. That you wanted it. Your friends want nothing to do with you and school is a nightmare. The girls responsible hang outside your locker, pressing against you and rape you verbally over and over. In desperation you and your family reach out to the media and your story gets out. The school, though, can’t allow these girls to be vilified. They’re the school stars and the school needs them. So the school hires its own public relations person and they put a new spin on it. Now you’re not only the villain in school, you’re the prick out to ruin these innocent girls’ lives. When you try to complain, start your own social media campaign, you’re told you’re playing the “victim” card. Forget college. They won’t touch a hot topic like this. Your family is forced to move but your shame goes with you. The outcome of the trial? The girls are found guilty but of a misdemeanor. They won’t spend any time in jail and when they’re 18, their record will be clear. One girl has had an offer for a free ride from two colleges.

Men, you tell me that you’d put yourself in any one of these positions and not want things to be better. You tell me that any of this is a reasonable situation for any woman to expect to happen to her then tell me that women are not allowed to fight back. Yes, there are Oprah Winfreys and Michele Obamas in this world and thank the gods for them. However, there are far more nameless, faceless, voiceless women who are beaten down by a system that expects them to be the perfect woman. They want the mother whore to satisfy every need. Heaven help the woman who embraces her inner wild child, for she is the wanton slut and open to shaming.

It is not the women who have taken control of their lives that we need to fight for. It is the woman in the shadows who cannot speak for herself that we need to give tools to be able to stand on her own.

Sexual Assault is Never the Victim’s Fault.

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A woman walks in to her doctor’s office. She has bruises. Again. She complains to the doctor that her vagina hurts. The doctor asks what happened. She explains that her husband was a little rough last night. House rule; if she gets him excited in the least she has to have sex with him. There is no option. It’s easier to give in rather than say no.

A little girl huddles in her bed. Her daddy’s friend is babysitting her again. She doesn’t like him and refuses to call him “uncle”. The door to her bedroom opens and he walks in. She starts to cry and beg him not to play with her again. He removes his pants and starts cooing at her.

It’s late at the neighbourhood bar. She came with a group of her girlfriends. A girl’s night out and a chance to cut loose. They danced together, knowing how the guys all watched them. She loved the skin-tight red dress and spike heels she’s wearing. They make her feel sexy and in control of her own sexuality. Her friends have left and she’s waiting for the cab outside. That’s when they grabbed her and dragged her in to the alley.

It’s her third date with him and she’s dressed in her best jeans. A top that shows off just the tops of her breasts, some perfume and enough makeup to hide her flaws. She gets in the car and he puts his hand on her knee. She’s uncomfortable but she wants things to go well. They have dinner and he’s driving her home when he stops in a little used back street in the industrial area. She says she wants to go home. He says it’s time to move things forward and grabs her breast. She hits his hand and backs away. He backhands her and rips her shirt open. She tries to fight him but he backhands her again.

A man wakes up in a strange bedroom. He’s naked and his hands are tied. Frightened, he tries to free himself. He took a job as a male dancer to save up some money to go to university later. A woman walks in the room and smiles. She forces his mouth open and shoves a blue pill down his throat.

There is somehow a theory that a woman’s sexuality needs to be monitored and controlled. That a woman in control of her sexuality is a whore and a slut. The woman who revels in her sexuality is to be reviled and brings on her own shame. That’s what the media and society tells us. Slut shaming is a double edged sword. The media displays the female body like an object for masturbatory material then ridicules the woman who displays her own body.

It is this mentality that allows people like the 630CHED pollsters to ask questions like “It’s very controversial but do you think victims of sexual assaults share any blame for what happens?”

There is a name for questions like this; it’s called victim blaming and it plays into the rape culture that is so prevalent in our society. We all say “tsk, tsk” when we see it happening, yet behind our hands we giggle and nod. We don’t demand that 630 CHED be held accountable for this kind of idiocy. We don’t get enraged. The woman was dressed slutty. She drank too much. She kissed him. He was a stripper. It’s jail. There’s a thousand excuses to place blame on the victim but not one reason to stand and point the finger at the rapist. Are we too ashamed? Does standing up and being in control of our own sexuality count for so little in the face of towing the societal line about being a good girl or boy?

I am a libertine and believe firmly in the power of our own choices. However, there is NEVER a time when ANYONE chooses to be the victim of sexual assault. There is NEVER a time when it is the victim’s fault and 630 CHED does not get to ask questions like that. It is questions like this that buy in to the rape culture and victim shaming.

You want an answer to your question, 630CHED? Here it is; sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault and shame on you for implying that it ever could be.

What Do You Say?

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Cartoon mouth wide open with a blank balloon beside it

What Are You Saying?

Sometimes the Universe kicks me in the ass. See, She (yes, the Universe is a female. Don’t hassle me on this one) wants me to pay attention to something and I’m like a raven, too busy playing with the shiny (or dead) things to be bothered. When this happens events conspire to smack me upside the head until I’m crying and saying, “what?” really loud.

Okay. So I get it now. This week’s theme: Communication.

I’ve had several events which I will relay to you and perhaps you’ll be faster on the uptake than I was. Who knows? Many people are much smarter than I am.

Sometimes trying to talk to each other is like trying to communicate with semaphore. Add in social media or emails and now you have a gremlin in the works guaranteed to monkey things up. There’s a lot that we communicate online to one another that is not intended or may not be clear. That’s bad business for anyone. Here’s some tips to ensure you’re saying what you mean to;

  1. But that’s not what I said! 80% of human face to face communication happens non-verbally. This means that we see that eye roll or that shift in weight while you tell us what a good job we’re doing. Don’t think we don’t. However, when you’re online, I can’t see your eyeballs unless I have them on my desk and that’s just creepy. Nor do I hear the melodious sound of your voice. All I see is what you type. All I hear are the pixels on the screen. That joke you sent? That’s not really funny if you really look at it. Look at your words and ask yourself how you would perceive them if you were seeing them for the first time ever. No, emoticons don’t count as facial expressions.
  2. Eighth person rebound shot! Information you’re getting may not be firsthand or even true on the Internet. GASP! Say it’s not so! Everything on the Internet is for true! Well, brace yourself, kids. The Tooth Fairy is just your mom or dad creeping into your room at night and not everything you read on the Internet is real or true. Verify your sources before you open your mouth.
  3. No do-overs! What happens on the ‘Net stays on the ‘Net. Forever and ever and ever…. Remember those fun pictures you and your boyfriend took after a bottle of tequila? Yep. They’re out there. Be careful that you aren’t saying something that will come back to haunt you for years to come. Something you said five years ago will come out to bite you on the ass today. The Internet may seem immediate but there are long term consequences.
  4. By the Power of Greyskull, I have the power! Isn’t it great to feel like a god on the Internet? You can say and do anything and no one knows your name. Except we do. Don’t do that stuff. If you wouldn’t say or do it to someone’s face, don’t say or do it on the Internet. It’s not nice and it’ll come back to bite you.
  5. Today is a good day to die. Remember, what you say and do on the Internet has an impact. If you run a business, this means it can generate more business or it can leave you broke. Your choice. So that funny blonde joke you made on Twitter? Not so funny now that blondes are angry at you and won’t come do business with you, is it? Ha ha.

The Internet is a great source of fun and information but it can really hurt, too. The person reading what you’re saying is a real person with thoughts and feelings. When you’re running a business, what you say can mean more or less business. It’d be a shame to have your business take a nose-dive because what you said isn’t what you thought you said.

Above all, communicate. That’s the message this week and the Universe will give me a spanking if I don’t pass it along. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing…


Poking the Beast

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Pen and paper

I admire Salman Rushdie. He took a subject that is never questioned and asked some very uncomfortable questions. The result was a lifetime of ostracism and living in hiding for both him and his family. Yet, he trusted his words and went forward.

Writers have an obligation to poke the sleeping beast and examine it in the light of day no matter how much fire it breathes. This is the price we pay in exchange for our gift of words. No gift is free and writers pay a high price for what we do. However, I’ve never met a writer who didn’t pay that price willingly.

Recently, events in the Alberta Legislature have me twisted in knots and the storyteller in me will not sit still. I see PC party members bailing out like they’re on the Titanic and Premier Alison Redford at the helm like a demented child. I’ve even created the hashtag #despot when describing her on Twitter. I’m angry at the way she goes through Alberta taxpayer’s money as though it were her personal piggy bank. Her communications people are oddly quiet on all matters and getting any answers is like trying to catch a unicorn and I’m not a virgin anymore.

I’ve been listening to a lot of journalists who are asking the same questions I am. All the questions boil down to the same thing; what’s going on with Redford? It doesn’t matter if you’re a supporter or not, one glaring question should be on everyone’s mind; why isn’t her office answering questions?

Years ago I made a discovery about our government. If you ask a question or have a complaint, they are obligated to supply a response of some kind. As a taxpayer, you have the right to ask the questions and expect a reasonable response from your government. This hasn’t happened with Redford’s office. Just read my post questioning her travel expenses. Three phone calls, numerous Facebook posts and Tweets. Not a single response.

Now I’m angry.

Today I went to a networking event. I am a Corporate Storyteller with my own business and need to keep in touch with Edmonton’s business community. I’m not very good at these things and I tend to blurt out whatever comes into my head. I’m rather like a Labrador puppy with a ball. Very happy and full of play but completely oblivious to the fact that I’ve just peed on someone’s shoes.

The subject of Redford came up. I know I should avoid politics but I just can’t ignore this situation. There were gasps of horror at my creation of the hashtag #despot and giggles of embarrassment when I tried to get opinions. No one was willing to go in depth. I finally got the idea that it wasn’t the time or place but if I can’t talk about an issue that affects every single business person in Edmonton at an event where Edmonton entrepreneurs are gathered then where can I?

This is when I realized I’m different from other entrepreneurs. Writers often stick out in a crowd. We don’t mean to but we do. We ask uncomfortable questions and poke under rocks when other people want to ignore things. We put ourselves on the line when we see that beast and drag it out into the light of day. I want to be sorry for making others uncomfortable but I just can’t find it within myself to be sincere about it.

So I’m putting out a call to Alberta writers to examine what’s going on. I don’t care what side of the issue you’re on, just start poking the beast. Get people talking and make them uncomfortable if you need to. There is a serious flaw in the Alberta Legislature right now and we need to look at it closely not just giggle in embarrassment and walk away.

“But it is a writer’s duty to write and speak and record the truth, always the truth, no matter whom may be offended.” ― Edward Abbey, Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast

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