note:cancontent will be back again in september as we are taking the summer off. some stuff to look forward to in the fall will be articles on the hemp industry in canada, history of native education, and a look at resource based communities. feel free to send us your thoughts and rants.
Recently I realized that, for Television-viewers, Television and Reality are inseparable. As media, Television mimics Reality and, in turn, Reality mimics Television. For TV viewers, Television and Reality define, alter, and support each other. The relationship works like and equation: Television mimics reality; so Television represents Reality by trying to recreate it- something which cannot accurately be done because Reality is too complicated. Next, viewers experience the simplified Television-Reality, to some degree accepting it as accurately reflecting the original Reality. Viewers then leave their TV sets and enter existing Reality, bringing with them the simplified version of Reality, applying it to understand and deconstruct the existing Reality. As a result, viewers filter the values of the simplified Reality into society; thereby altering that societies nature- the existing Reality- to resemble more closely the Reality of the Television. Perpetually, the media mimics Reality, alters it, then mimics the altered version again.
Television mimics reality; so Television represents Reality by trying to recreate it- something which cannot accurately be done because Reality is too complicated.
a few simple characteristics were chosen to model females on: fear, febbleness, and an incapacity to deal with physical threats. Viewers left their TV's, entering the 1950's world, believing to some degree that women really posessed the characteristics of those female leads
In "The Day The Earth Stood Still", Patricia Neal, as the female lead, is cornered by the murderous robot Gort. As Gort draws near, Neal drops to the ground in a glob of paralyzed helplessness; she is so frightened
Joan discovers the ant, leaps up, and runs a total of seven steps across flat, uncluttered sand before tripping and falling in a terrified, quivering heap
Viewers of 1950's sci-fi's eventually left their TV's and entered existing Reality where they treated women as if women embodied the characteristics attributed to them. Eventually, by acting in Reality with the Television-Reality's values, we changed our world to reflect the attitudes espoused by the TV. By looking around you today, you see that some of those old stereotypes still exist, whether in the same form or in an altered one. Now really, I don't want to argue whether sexism or the Tube came first; that's not the point. The word 'media' is the plural form of 'medium' which comes from the Latin medius meaning middle, or between. The media is something between a person and the real event, the real place, the real people. The media is between, seperating a person and Reality. The solution to media influences on perceptions of Reality: go out and see it yourself.
Bob Barnacle of Noname Manitoba tells you about his love for woodcarving and shows you pictures of the last time he gashed his finger. Judy Jingleberry of Holeintheground Saskatchewan shares with you her most intimate pie recipes and shows you pictures of her country fair award-winning quilts. The Johnson family tells you about the mental problems their family members suffer from, show-and-tell you about their last family reunion in British Columbia, and share with you their predilection for terrible sounding midi Beatles songs. Oh the wonders of self-expression and the internet!
home-page software has become less complicated and readily available, and the result is that anyone who ever had an inclination towards anything has a little second home on the web
This sort of exhibitionism is made so abundant by the fact that there is an anonymity to the process of showing yourself via a webpage. You build the page at home (adding in all your likes, pet-peves, and a billion other personal variations we've all seen shown on various pages) and put it on the internet without anyone necessarily knowing you are doing so. It is a silent monologue in an evergrowing conversation. And the beauty is that you never have to meet the people (normal, weird, or otherwise) who stumble across your little plot of cyberproperty.
Then there is a growing number of people who seek out other homepage builders, craving some sort of personal contact. One means to this is through ICQ chat. More and more sites are listing their ICQ chat numbers in accordance to whatever province they live in. For instance, Cris's Canada Page has quite the impressive collection of east coast Canadians ICQ numbers (he supports the ICQ Atlantic Canada! program). Now all these anonymous faces are unifying in various communications and modes of expression. People send you the URL which will transport you to their homepage, their personal paradise of self-dom. You can meet all sorts of faceless people through random conversation and then be whisked away to their world in which you learn all the details about their life (even the rotten ones you'd rather have not known about).
Is this webpage revolution profoundly personal and wonderous- people in this hostile society actually opening up to one another and seeking peaceful and fulfilling communication with their country-people and fellow humans? Or is it nothing more than egos going wild, people feeling that they are somehow important and that the rest of the world actually gives a shit about their problems, hopes and dreams?
There are a whole host of ways to express yourself on the internet, but the real question is whether or not anyone really cares. Is this webpage revolution profoundly personal and wonderous- people in this hostile society actually opening up to one another and seeking peaceful and fulfilling communication with their country-people and fellow humans? Or is it nothing more than egos going wild, people feeling that they are somehow important and that the rest of the world actually gives a shit about their problems, hopes and dreams? Regardless, the channels are open and one can only hope that the facelessness of modern civilization can be reconstructed; that technology can connect us all as people whose places in the world are important.
For links to Canadian Homepages and Web Rings, go here.
As someone once said, "you can't understand what people do in the name of a religion without understanding the religion."
when i think about religion in canada, no one specific thing jumps to my mind. there are so many faiths represented in this diverse nation of ours that no one group sticks out, unless you live in an area predominantly inhabited by that group. but when one looks at the statistics, there is a significant number of people in few faiths.
additionally, there was a great increase in eastern non-christian faiths. in total there was an increase of 144% between 1981 and 1991. The largest increases were
according to the 1991 census a significant number of new religious groups were established canada
|vineyard christian fellowship||1,200 people|
|new age||1,200 people|
according to the statistics canada 1991 census (all stats. from this unless otherwise noted), there are over 12 million roman catholics (from a population of just over 26 million at the time). that means 45% of canada was roman catholic. making up another large piece of the population are the protestants at 9.8 million (36% of canadian population). in total, though, 84% of adult canadians identify themselves as christians.
in contrast to this are the 28,160 people (0.1% of can.pop.) belonging to "para-religious groups" which include sects, cults, and various other religions. as well, there are 3.3 million people who reported no religion (apparently this is a 90% increase from 1981. of these 3.3 million, a small number of these people reported as being agnostic (21,970) or atheist (13,510). in fact the smallest identified religions in canada, with 400 or fewer adherents are: confucian, satanism and kabalarian.
and in terms of actual attendance of church, surveys by the angus reid group (canadian public polling organization) show that about 21% of canadian adults attend church, circle, mosque, synagogue, temple etc. weekly. The number appears to be dropping gradually, about 1 percentage point per year.
now people are forced by technology and the seven day work week to push forward, even if it means leaving their faith behind. in the hustle of today's world, religion is one of those things that seems expendable
and what of technology? how has it's advances altered religion? to me religion has always seemed to be an important means of explaining the unexplainable and providing support and comfort to humans. with scientific advances, things which we feared (weather phenomenon, natural disasters) became more understood and thus less foreboding. However, technology cannot explain all the mysteries of life, and the most terrifying mystery to so many still remains unsolved- death. death is inevitable, can strike at any time, and is incurable. we don't know what happens after it, and so it remains the great unknown- and what we don't know or understand, we fear- and when we fear we look for support or answers.
the belief in a higher power can be comforting for such rotten issues as death and dying. religion, or faith in a higher power at least, gives you a support system which provides you with answers, so long as you are willing to follow it's rules. and to many these rules, or guidelines for living, are the perfect antidote to the chaos of everyday life.
however, it seems that fear of death is not a big enough factor alone to draw people into religion. belief in a traditional christian god seems more rigid and unruly than many desire; so, a movement towards non-christian religions (such as buddhism, baha'i, hinduism, islam, sikhism and hundreds of others- although they are still only 4% of the can.pop. which are of these faiths). many of these non-christian religions have similar principles to christianity, yet change itself seems a welcome factor. perhaps for some it is a means of escaping or rebelling against family tradition, while for others it is a welcome support system. the main fact is that people have more options now, because an increasingly diverse and multi-cultural canadian population provides a more expansive religious base to draw from.
this increased ability to choose may also lead others such as agnostics, atheists, and humanists to feel they can pursue their own belief systems without persecution from a previously god following majority.
as well, for those who already contentedly practice a particular faith, there is the ability to study and enjoy other religions for what they are. more religious information being available, and better access to that information, means one can pick and choose bits of other religions to supplement (or create) their own.
technology cannot explain all the mysteries of life, and the most terrifying mystery to so many still remains unsolved- death
the great new access to information, unfortunatley, also means an increase in the ability to spread hatred. there are so many television stations that surely one can find a channel which will allow them to pontificate their narrow-minded views. the internet is a breeding ground for hatred and intolerance, as it acts as a virtually unmoderated forum of thought. these technological tools which are supposed to be the savior of the worker are the same tools which allow ignorance to spread.
yet, as always, the fight for religious freedom continues. for every group that preaches hatred and violence there is another which shows charity and kindness. it's just that the battle for freedom has found a new technological ground. the arguments are the same; but for faiths which are losing ground, the stakes are higher than ever. the search for a religion should not be a battle, but instead a diverse and life-enhancing experience- no matter what you choose, or choose not to believe in.
Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982Selected references related to religious freedom:
Enacted by the Canada Act 1982 [U.K.] c.11;
Proclaimed in force April 17, 1982.
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:
Section 1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
Section 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
freedom of conscience and religion;
freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including
freedom of the press and other media of communication;
freedom of peaceful assembly; and
freedom of association.
CANADIAN SENTENCING LAW
Section 718.2 A court that imposes a sentence shall also take into consideration the following principles:
(a) a sentence should be increased or reduced to account for any relevant aggravating or mitigating circumstances relating to the offense, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
(i) evidence that the offense was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on the race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation of the victim, ....shall be deemed to be aggravating circumstances;
how old are you?:I am 15
whats your favourite book?:don't really have a favorite book, but my favorit comic is Calvin & Hobbes
do you like hockey? do you play any sports?:Personally i hate hockey. I do however play rugby, badminton, wrestle, etc.
what do you think about living in Canada? what's your favourite thing about canada?:I like living here. We get all the fresh water, and nicer people.
what does "democracy" mean to you?: ?
do you have a job right now?: no, but i hope to soon.
what do you want to do for a living?: live with my mother
what kind of post-secondary (university,college, trade school) education do you plan on getting? im thinkin of being a computer programmer.
are you worried about how you're going to pay for school?: sorta, but i know by the time im 80 all atleast have half of it payed for.
what do you think about all this recent youth violence? does it worry you?:i think some of it could be the parents fault, but the youths have to quit blamming it on everyone else and take what they give.
are kids more violent than they used to be? why?: I think so, because of society. Teachers can't use the strap on students anymore, which only shows they can get away with just about anything. In the days when my parents were kids, if they did something wrong, they would get a good beating, but nowadays if you do that, you'll have a social worker down your throat so fast, you can't even breath.
what is the most important thing about life to you?: to try new things. there's nothin worse than sitting a home all day doin nothin.
do you plan on having kids?: yes i do, but only two because having one will be spoiled and three will be too many to take care of.
what is the scarriest thing about having kids today?: that the adorable little babies could turn around and stick you in a home fifty years later.
from your point of view, whats wrong with the world?: money. if we didn't have it, there wouldn't be as much greed.
if you were prime minister for a day, what would you change?: that if a child 10 and up committed a murder, he would be put in jail. Also, there would be none of this getting out early on good behavior.
do you watch the news or listen to the radio? what do you think about what's going on these days?:a lot of violence. The media doesn't say enough of the good thing, just bad things for publicity. they're just money hungry.
what do you think about technology? why is it important to you or the world?:it's sucks. It's put thousands of people out of work just to save money
someone, somewhere made the suggestion that there should be a font called "sarcastic: 12pt bold"
as a friend said in response to the news that about 30% of canadian university and college graduates are on welfare:
"yeah, cause they're smart"