Opening Statement



Saturday, 2 January 2016

From On the Couch: The Walking Dead?!?



Normally, I'd post a Happy New Year blog, but quite frankly, they have a very short shelf life. I liked last year's on Disturb the Universe, with the poem [LINK] *, so I have re-tweeted that a few times instead. Otherwise? Janet and I ended up passing on a house party with some good friends, because we were too holidazed out. Er ... see my last blog! Instead we curled up together on the living room couch. Are watching the Walking Dead New Year marathon, many of the episodes for the umpteenth time. By and large here we stay just because we've survived -it's 2016!

Been vaping the Walking Dead; rolling them over in my head a bit. I've said this before. Methinks they are pretty much the perfect metaphor for our life and times. The world today. Most folks dead from the neck up. Eager to eat ones' brains. Then we will join them, become walking dead too. 

The Walking Dead are quite dangerous -yes! ** BUT, they are also quite quite blank, mindless, and talk about slow! You can outwit them, even race circles around them, with relative ease. The biggest problem being that there are just do damn many of them. Outnumbered. Overwhelming. They just keep coming! 



Eventually we trip up! The Walking Dead inevitably get you. Unless the living do first. Actually the living can be much more dangerous, vicious, the most evil of all. Eyes wide open. Brain lights on. Firing off all cylinders. And so the great and not so great issues of life and death, indeed of our life and times, go. On and on and on .... why? Well, for starters, just because -it's 2016. They've survived too!

True! There is nothing new under the sun. Been toying around with that thought more and more lately too .... But no matter! It's a new year, we are survivors. Call me a dreamer, but we are still here. You too, if you are reading this.

Congratulations! Kinda sorta. As our reward, Janet and I have chosen to also just stay here on the couch for Day 2 of 2016. Relaxing at home, idly entertained. I was going to go downtown shopping. But realized that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that I really need. Nothing that money can buy. A new computer perhaps, but I'll order that online. Why venture out into the mindless, consumer, hordes of the walking dead for another day or two?!? Nope! Hooray! There is no reason at all!

And so here i sit ......



Because it's New Years 2016, I'm also just going to post a few leftover links for my first blog of the new year. Before I continue with this month's Teachers' Free Teacher January News and Views. Here are some interesting links that are mildly amusing or just for fun! Or maybe, sometimes, they just go to show that life goes on, and that there might be hope yet. Just maybe! Hope you enjoy too:

The News Year that Was: Canada is NOT the US. Our new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has seemed to finally open the door to new hope for change. The verdict is still out. He has lots and lots of promises that need keeping. The basic power structure has not changed. We will see. Still, this year was a real roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs including the Truth and Reconciliation Report, Restorative Justice, police shootings, racism, the Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario teacher/ public service strikes, the Leap Manifesto, Syria, Iraq, refugee re-settlement and the "War on Terror" etc. etc. etc. Here's a Canuck 2015 "In The News" list @ Rabble.ca

Dept. of Media "Oversights"?! Here are 20 humanitarian crisis you might not be fully aware of, what with all the sensational hype over the War against Terrorism. Burundi? Central African Republic? Congo? Haiti? Libya? Mali? Myanmar? Sudan? The list goes on and on .... The real human cost behind all the posturing and news stories @ Rescue.org

Pope Francis' 10 New Years Resolutions is rooted in church teachings but the basic ideas are inclusive enough to have wide spread appeal @ WordonFire

Here's a list of the Top 10 Wins for Girl and Women Rights in Canada, at the UN and around the world in 2015 @ Because

Here's the Top 15 worst anti-LGBTQ list for 2015! This will be for my American readers. Reads like a who's who, but there are so many @ Huffpost 

Here are the Top 10 Dumbest Conservative Party of Canada Facebook memes of 2015. Zombies must've eaten their brains for sure @ Press Progress

The Winner of the Rank and File Labour News Scumbag of the year is the President and CEO of Canada Post Deepak Chopra! The readers have cast their vote. I understand it was a tight race. Runners up, on the Labour front include our own OLP Premier Kathleen Wynne @ RankandFile.ca

The union movement in Nova Scotia earns top marks for commitment and grit in battling the Neo Lib McNeil government in that province. Here are the grass root Halifax Media Co-op's [HMC] 15 Most Read Stories for 2015 @ HMC

Here's 2015: The Canadian Labour Movement in Review: Harper, Austerity Binge, Retail Wars, Minimum Wage, and Pensions etc etc @ RankandFile.ca

The Canadian Labour Law and Employment blog's Top 10 developments in Canada during 2015 concerning our Right to Strike, Constructive Dismissal, Labour Code [C-377], Discrimination, Harassment, Just Cause, Criminal Negligence etc. etc. etc. are @ Lexology

Here's a list of CCPA [Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives] downloads from 2015 for your progressive political, socio-economic and labour erudition. Some real food for thought @ CCPA

Here's 25 facts from 2015 that are going to make you feel mighty olde! Kids today don't know what an Ipod is! PAC man turns 35! Most kids entering high school were born in 2001 @ Buzzfeed

Here's the best of space exploration from 2015: International probes and explorers explored Mercury! Mars! Saturn! Pluto! If Science is the innovative engine of technological development, then IMHO this is the way to go, rather than "military research" @ Guardian

Yup! Here are some direct "spin offs" from space technology that we use daily back here on Spaceship Earth. They including flexible solar panels, battery chargers, as well as countless other environmental, medical, safety, info, industrial developments @ NASA

Here's the best of Cuba 2015: another culturally explosive year! Of course, there were the traditional greats including trova/ folkie Silvio Rodriguez, and the Buena Vista Social Club. Also relative newcomers including Latin Grammy winner Septeto Santiaguero. Then there's the plethora of classical, jazz, and contemporary festivals. Now with the US "normalization" of relations, a plethora of international stars are finally visiting too. Truth be told tho, there is so much more Cuban culture to explore, they put us all to shame, as my blogs have attempted to show @ Granma

Last but not least, here are a funny but perhaps not so funny post it list of Teacher New Year's resolutions 2016 @ Pensive



So, Happy New Years 2016!

Pax/
Solidarity!

David C

* Last year's bonus Teacher Free Speech blog theme was "Disturb the Universe", but for 2016, let's continue with "Be the Change You Want To See", in hopes there is still hope yet! Imagine that! :-)

** Max Brooks Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead [PDF] is pretty much the Bible on all things Zombie. Walking Dead adheres to the rules of the living dead, as outlined, quite religiously for the most part. Their capabilities and lack thereof, and your options are clearly and consistently laid out in logically, coherent detail. An Outbreak Guide is provided, including a history dating back to 60,000 BC, along with the coherent "look for" signs of a Class 1-4 pandemic. It's a worthwhile read! Highly recommended you check out then buy. Myself, I have 2 copies for home and work. Review @ Zombiepedia



LAST WORD

Max Brooks on the Zombie appeal;
I think they reflect our very real anxieties of these crazy, scary times. A zombie story gives people a fictional lens to see the real problems of the world. You can deal with societal breakdown, famine, disease, chaos in the streets, but as long as the catalyst for all of them is zombies, you can still sleep. [Link]

EXTRA LINKS

Producer George Romero's original B-Grade Living Dead trilogy provided an excellent template for our modern zombie movies, as well as the Walking Dead TV show. Made on a shoestring budget, with definitive social themes relating to the issues of the day during the 1960's to 80's when they were made, they are still well worth a gander. Check them out:

Night of the Living Dead [1968] [Themes: US Society/ Racism/ War] [Youtube!]

Dawn of the Dead [1978] [Themes: Consumer Society] [See!]

Day of the Dead [1985] [Themes: Government/ Military/ Science] [See!]

See the TIFF "Higher Learning" interview with George Romero @ TIFF



MORE LINKS:

Explore my Teacher Free Speech News Link Archive 2011-15 @ Here!

My Blogsite Manifesto On Teacher Free Speech + Grass Root Renewal is @ There!

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