Thursday, May 17, 2012

We've Got Bigger Problems in North Carolina

Dear Politically Enamoured,

Yesterday I lost all respect for North Carolina.

To be more specific though (because blanketing generalities are always a slippery slope), I've lost respect for those who supported the Amendment One that defines marriage as a union between a man and woman. Not only does it discriminate against certain sectors of the public, it devalues the force that motivates people to come together and to get married in the first place: the love of another person. Some of the arguments put forth by the opposition have been regarding the "sanctity of marriage" or the "natural way of living", ideas wrought with religious undertones.

Firstly, the sanctity of marriage can, and has, been destroyed by straight couples before and probably will continue to be ravaged until the end of time unless we come up with a better system of keeping tabs on spouses. On top of that, there are individuals throughout history who have felt an obligation to marry the opposite sex because of societal values, and have left their heterosexual partner in shambles because they finally had the courage to accept their sexual identity. Wouldn't it be advantageous for the majority if everyone could be open about sexuality, so that such relationship misunderstandings could be avoided? Besides, wouldn't the sanctity of marriage refer to the fidelity of one individual to another? If a person is not even being honest with himself, the probability that he would be true in a relationship is slim to none because he would never fully be honest with his partner.

Secondly, the nature of things is to evolve. We no longer use our flight or fight response to flee from rabid wildlife (once again, there are always exceptions), but instead are plagued by adrenaline when public speaking. ANIMALS are homosexual: mammals, sea creatures and insects have all displayed homosexual behavior. Why then are we using the argument that nature did not intend for same-sex marriage? Aerodynamics did not intend for bumble bees to fly, yet nature has allowed them to.

To be honest, I respect the public's right to practice a religion and to posses religious values or views, but cannot respect someone's decision to force those upon others, especially when God is used to justify a law. One of my absolute favorite people is a devout Catholic, but also has a different gender identity and is a lesbian. Her response was "If you think that it's impossible to be gay and a Catholic, then you obviously are not a Catholic". An opinion that I think screams "Northerner", and calls for respect in times of debate. Love is a human right, in whatever form it manifests itself. 

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that Obama thinks there are bigger problems in North Carolina than people falling in love.

Love more everyday, in every way,

arctic hipster

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Post Written in Cautious Tones

Dear Claustrophobic,

This morning the walls began closing in on me; I was afraid I'd be encased by plaster.

Everything about my family, my high school, my friends is so achingly familiar that the word "home" has taken an extended meaning. The cracked side walk where I used to stop to collect pieces of concrete while walking with my mother as a child, is home. The back table of Tim Horton's beside the window, where we teenage hooligans talk far too loudly and stay far too long, is home. My friends copy of The Poisonwood Bible on the bookshelf across from my bed, a novel I have yet to read but at which I gaze softly at as I fall asleep, is home.

The issue at hand is that I am so accustomed to living like this, that I'm terrified of becoming a rare tropical bird who's niche is ripped away from her when I go to university; I don't want to flutter and flounder as a student only to try to fly my way home to a place that no longer exists. Let me explain: as much as I could possibly want to return to "home", it is a temporal destination. Were I to stay here next year, the aspects that make home great would not be the same. My friends would be working or at university, I would not be at school enjoying a first period spare, and I probably would feel very, very lonely.

Perhaps that's why leaving home is such a touchy subject for me right now. My family will always be supportive, and friends will come and go but the great ones will always stay, but well, I don't know who I will be when I come home.

So this morning I felt cornered by the realization that I would be losing my room to my brother next year, but mostly by the fact that even my physical definition of home is changing.

Home is where the heart is,

arctic hipster

Monday, April 23, 2012

In Memory of an Adolescent Chemist

Dear Lovelies,

Last night I wrote a response to an acquaintance's poem about my friend.

Two years ago a close friend of mine (who's nickname is that of an ancient city's), was subjected to a wannabe intellectual's affections. Not only did he rip her heart out, he posted various verses- fumbled and mostly written using inaccurate chemistry metaphors- about her over Facebook. Classy right? Of course I'm probably hypocritical because I'm ranting into the blogshpere, but thought it important make a witty retort. To be honest, she just laughs about the episode now and began snorting with laughter when I brought this to her attention. After all, he tried comparing her to an electron. Enjoy.

In Memory of an Adolescent Chemist

An oracle compacted into 35 Mega Bytes
Lights up an unsuspecting Muse's
Distorted grin:
The truth of a common disease contacted the masses
Through a Modern-Day-Miracle.
The only symptoms? Infectious laughter,
Swollen, weepy eyes
And russet cheeks that glimmer with fresh, joyful tears.
The Adolescent Chemist has made a discovery
Explored the perilous depths of teenage biology.
For years he has been
Proclaiming unmatched successes
Aided by the Modern-Day-Miracle.
This moment he has deconstructed
A fifteen-year-old-girl's heart,
Rummaging in it's contents and reducing
The Life to protons and electrons
Arranging these pieces in fumbled
Sci-Artful verse.
He is caught under the impression
That this muse is blinded by electronic
Fluorescent lights.
Miracles happen to those who believe in them.
As the non-chalant, over confident
Perpetually condescending
Chemist, decodes her ever changing Hormones, in clumsy language,
The Muse gingerly shuts off her laptop,
Moves past the marvels of innovation
To look out the window.
A mysterious smile plays on her lips,
As she thinks to herself, as it should be,
"He only ever wanted me for my pheromones".

Much love,

arctic hipster

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Long Exposure Photography Gone Wild

Dear Crazy Cat Ladies (and Gentlemen),

Today, we can rejoice.

After spending a couple classes being incredibly productive Red and I have created this lovely long exposure image:

Why yes, we did in fact spell "CAT" using flashlights as well as a laser pointer.  Although you may be fooled into thinking this is a merely a waste of time, I assure you this masterpiece will reshape the general public perception of felines around the world. Basically Red and I just really like cats. They are finicky and bossy and all around grumpy, which makes them kind of hilarious. Where dogs are trained to serve and seek fulfilment through the satisfaction of their owners, cats have their own agendas and develop complicated personalities. Besides, cats are very similar to hipsters.

Recent events have only reinforced the idea that living alone with several cats is probably more satisfying than ever getting married, especially because I'm becoming an incredibly invested feminist. However, this does not detract from my dream to wreck a wedding dress and take wicked pictures. But I suppose that can be done without the hassle of finding a husband.                                                         Perhaps Red and I will be crazy cat ladies together, after all she seems to be pretty excited about it.

arctic hipster

Monday, April 2, 2012

"We Teach Life, Sir"

Dear Politically Driven Artists,

Last night this woman changed the way I see art.

Rafeef Ziadah is "an Arab woman of color" who's poetry puts Keats to shame. Yesterday at rehearsal the cast began bantering back and forth about different political issues, mainly about political videos. Basically we're all incredibly opinionated about the way Canada is run and all happen to regularly research global happenings, so when I-man brought out her lap top and offered to show us a short video she thought was interesting, nothing was out of the ordinary. However, when we had finished watching Rafeef Ziadah pour out her heart and brandish her anger like an Arabian curved sword, it was possible to hear a pin drop in the rehearsal space.

It's nearly impossible to fully understand the conflict between Israel and Palestine, but listening to her for a moment sure makes you want to protest. Poetry is an emotionally charged medium to get a message across without wasting a single word, making it an incredibly effective way to get a message across. Rafeef is a Palestinian Refugee who harnesses her anger through poetry, an admirable feat considering English is not her first language. As she admits herself during a performance in Toronto, "When we Palestinians get really tired we pronounce our "P"s like our "B"s, and we become Balestinians". Her accent does not hinder the power of her words though, as she also speaks in Arabic on Hadeel, her debut poetry album.

Refeef's passion was what really hit me. As we sat in silence awestruck by this stranger on the computer screen, all I could think of was "that's what art is suppose to do, that's why we have art".

This angry poet's performances can be found on YouTube, but I highly encourage you to by her album.

In the words of Refeef, "We Teach Life, Sir" through art.

arctic hipster

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We laughed. We Sang. We Recorded.

Dear Avid Artists,

Today I've become a recorded sensation!

Obviously I'm exaggerating, but there was a need to add some enthusiastic punctuation into this post and well, that statement basically wrote itself. However, there is some truth to it. Arctic Asian (I know that as you read this you'll probably double over from laughter, so it is in no shape of form meant to be a racist joke), who happens to be a multi talented musician, was unlucky enough to be strumming her guitar in the hallways when I was walking to class about half a year ago. She was singing "Swing Life Away" in a style that was so honest, so incredibly heart felt, that I stopped dead in my tracks. She laughed at me, and that's how we became friends.

Back to becoming the next Justin Beibs though. What possessed us to start this project is beyond me, but we are creating a Film Fest video with Red (another crazy talented accomplice, who probably has more sense that A.A. and I combined), which will include an original sound track. Note that the usage of "Original" is somewhat loose, because we are in fact doing a cover of "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver and Birdy. Our interpretation in definitely unique though; we are using a program on Red's Mac book to layer our voices, an acoustic guitar and a piano. We finally began recording the raw material today after many weeks of rehearsing, which was terrifying. The expression "Liking the sound of your own voice" is false, at least for me. Basically Red won't allow us to listen to the raw material or we'd spend days re-recording in the hopes of achieving perfection.

I'll post the finished product in a couple weeks.

Stay Tuned!

Arctic Hipster

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Dog In The Wig

Dear Suckers for Sob Stories,

This afternoon you're in luck.

It's about time for some motivation posting, considering the last couple—although illuminating important issues, providing emotional release etc.— have been incredible downers. I don't try to be a party pooper, really, just sometimes I have random bouts of profound reflexion and thus feel an unconditional need to share them with the general public. 

Anyways back to why you're lucky!  When you imagine "Sob Stories" you probably have a mental picture of that scene from the Notebook where that really sweet, sensitive, completely misunderstood guy kisses What's-Her-Face and they are drenched in rain which is a metaphor for their drowning in emotions, but really a storm of emotions, and you are crying because it's so beautiful and for some reason her hair is perfect and you kinda want to kick What's-Her-Face in the face because of that, especially because your face is blotchy but also because she's kinda stupid for taking him for granted, then again it might be  because you sort of are in love with the soaking What's-His-Name.... you get where I'm going with this?

When I think Sob Story though, I imagine crying from laughter. You know that gut busting, red faced, wheezing from lack of air laughter? Yeah, that's what's about to go down so mentally prepare yourself to die from laughter. 

Look at this Panda! He is having a bad day. Next time you're having a bad day visualize this incredibly sad Mr. Panda, simply attempting to slide, then BAM! Sad day for him, laughter for us. 

 See this person helplessly floundering in the deep snow? Notice that her leg is still resting on the fence, while her arms are flailing. However, what truly marks this picture is the fact that the photographer is leaning over the fence to capture the moment, not to assist thevictim.  

AHAHAHAHA! You know who this dog looks like? A George Harrison from the Beatles. Or perhaps a news reporter, or a pilot from the 70s... oh the possibilities are endless. However, this picture will forever be hilarious, no matter the era. Oh Dog In The Wig, you have brought me endless happiness.
"Poor hopeless sucker struggling in the snow, say cheese!"
We can only imagine what must have taken place once she was liberated from the frozen sand trap. Heh he.                                                                                                

"Happiness hit her like train on a track....
        Oh the Dog Days are over...."

Love arctic hipster