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Snapshots: oil campaign, pro-life is pro-daycare, math anxiety, and viral campaigns

Current commentary on current conditions: oil campaign, pro-life is pro-daycare, math anxiety, and viral campaigns



Print Edition: October 16, 2013

illustration by anthony biondi

Oil campaign hard to swallow

So, why does Harper plan to squander millions of dollars in advertising this time?

Well, he’s having a bit of difficulty these days convincing local folk that a potential oil spill in our lush temperate rainforest is a good idea. Go figure. Also, everyone seems to be so negative about his pet project in Alberta. Oh, and those darn international organizations keep criticizing our government’s policies on this sort of thing.

I keep remembering my favourite Harper catch-all rebuttal from the last election, which he used to dismiss any views he didn’t like: “That’s simply not true!” True to form, instead of addressing widespread concerns and perhaps reconsidering his government’s unhealthy fixation on dirty oil, Harper would rather forcibly pour oil down our throats with a $24 million ad campaign.

Ah, so this is why we can’t afford to fund scientific research!


illustration anthony biondi

Pro-life is pro-daycare

I’m pro-life. I like living. Most of the time, I don’t want to kill anybody.

I think it’s a good idea to help young girls have babies. I’m pro-babies. But why is it that once a girl has a kid, that’s it? Our support systems seems to say, “Once that baby comes out, you’re on your own!”

If you want to save the babies, I applaud you. But remember that those kids live a long time and they get mad when they’re hungry. If you want life, you might want to think about helping Mom and Dad give the kid a good one.

Pro-lifers, put your money where your mouth is. We need universal daycare. We need to tell moms and dads that being a strong parent means being there for your kids, not buying your way into their hearts.

Pro-choicers, we need your help in this, too. The best society we can build is one where women have support— no matter what they choose. Every life is sacred; young, old, inside the womb, or out.   The abortion debate of “when life begins” bores me to tears. What is clear is that we need to do a better job of taking care of the kids that are walking around.


illustration by anthony biondi

Math anxiety: a mental state or a cop-out?

From a very young age, kids are taught to fear numbers. The new fad “math anxiety” seems to be taking over, giving students and people working in jobs where arithmetic is needed an excuse to perform poorly.

Apparently there are even physical symptoms related to this state of mind: tension, sweating, increase in heart rate. These symptoms are often coupled with feelings of apprehension and fear, and as a result the individual’s math skills suffer.

It’s interesting to note that there is no such thing as literature or painting anxiety. But then again there is never any shortage of English or Arts teachers. Meanwhile, the highest paid jobs are math-based. How sad.

I suppose most people are content to regurgitate cliché metaphors and lame juxtapositions rather than buckle down and fire up synapses to solve real-world problems.


illustration by anthony biondi

Like campaigns

What do going to Disneyland, having a child, getting a dog, and reassembling a failed marriage have in common?  With the “like” campaign phenomenon on Facebook, they are all up for grabs.

Scrolling down  the news feed, a seemingly endless stream of cat memes, photos of food, “shares” from news media, and a post from a kid requiring one million “likes” for their parent to allow them to get a dog appear.  While wishing for the children to succeed in their conquest, it begs the question, “why do they need to do this?”

If you need to gain so many likes in order to proceed with a campaign, is it really worth it?  Strangers aren’t likely to understand the complexity of the situation before clicking “like,” so why post beyond the people who matter in your life? In this case, your social network, not random unknowns on the internet.

Although the potential to become a viral hit may seem to be a cool thing, if you are trying to get attention for the average decision, please keep it to your friend list.


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