Now that I’m Employed…

After more than four months of job hunting I have been honored to be given the opportunity to become The Jubilee Fund‘s new executive director. It’s a fantastic organization with an amazing team and an unbeatable mission and vision.

How fortunate am I? Very.

To that end I want to post a link to a radio interview I did back in December with CBC about being unemployed during covid. Here it is:

A well-known Morden man describes the emotional and practical challenges of job hunting during a pandemic. | Information Radio – MB with Marcy Markusa | Live Radio | CBC Listen

memory

i remember when this photo was taken
a little me and a little she
sitting next to grandma on the couch
i might have been four
she would have been three
and the eye behind the lens
that was a mum at twenty-three

i know this memory is real
because i know what is on my head
just a blurry band in the picture
was a paper head dress of feathers
pushed out from a book with such things

i remember the old couch
and the texture of it on my fingers
and i remember my sister next to us
small and quiet and easy to annoy

this is a memory
taken by she
who is also now
a memory,
my memory
gone, except in me

My Top 10 Favorite Video Games

I have been playing games for more than 40 years now (if you count Pong). Nothing has been more captivating for me as a form of entertainment than video games. I have said before that, when perfectly executed, the video game can be elevated to art (even more than film) as it combines all forms – music, visual art, narrative, and thrusts you into the midst of it, making it all interactive.

Now most games do not aspire to this but it is a possibility.

I like most styles of game – driving/racing, shooters, RPG, MMORPG, horror, strategy etc. Specifically I favour big, immersive, open world RPGs. I also prefer the first person perspective. I am not as fond of strategy games.

To that end here is a hastily assembled, probably rough, list of my top 10 favorite video games. These are the games I would want to have on the proverbial desert island (that is equipped with power, shelter, food and a 65 inch flat screen tv).

encrypt

as a youth
i placed my soul
inside of a box
and locked it solid
encrypted
with 72 characters
hoping one day
it would appreciate
in value

little did i know
that i would
forget the pass

it is as if
i never had a soul
in the first place

but i know its there
floating in the ether
lost and disconnected
perhaps even better off
a ghost to haunt me

i am words

i am words made flesh
words spoken across my skin
words spun through my bones
and wound round my brain

i am words of sense and nonsense
like a living tome or testimony
to something beyond my own
wit and wisdom

i am words of question and query
mostly wherefores and whys
tumbling about without completion
disconnected without continuity
a dictionary upended
whose letters have come unglued
and have fallen into some chance order

i am unbound pages without spine
scattered across a lengthening time
with no clever title to call mine
just words spilled out

Blame and the need to Believe

On February 27, 1933 the Reichstag, the main legislative building of the German state, was set ablaze by arsonists.

The event was key in the establishment of the growing authoritarian/fascist power of the new Nazi government who quickly moved to lay blame and assume emergency powers.

Communist party leadership (the biggest threat to Nazi authority) and members were blamed and quickly arrested. Whether the Nazis were complicit or not they used the event to galvanize popular support and secure a majority in the next election.

There was so little evidence to convict that four of the five people blamed eventually won the trial against them and were freed.

On the following March 2 the Nazis were able to convince the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Act 444-94 transferring all legislative authority to the Reich Cabinet effectively establishing the dictatorship which led to World War 2, the holocaust and the other atrocities of the Nazis.

There was opposition to the Enabling Act but it was small as evidenced by the vote. Otto Wels of the Social Democrats spoke in the Reichstag against the passing of the act warning of the authority it gave a party that already held a majority:

Since there has been a German Reichstag, never before has the control of public affairs by the people’s elected representatives been reduced to such an extent as is happening now – and will happen even more, through the new Enabling Act. The expansive power of the government must also have serious repercussions, as the press too lacks any freedom of expression.

But in the wake of WW1 and the economic crisis that ensued along with the recent fire at the Reichstag and the Nazi propaganda machine working overtime to convince the people of conspiracy and enemies all around seeking to undermine the will of the German people.

When people feel oppressed, when they feel hopeless and attacked they deeply desire to believe leaders who claim they can help them. Despite a lack of evidence they will believe them when they lift up scapegoats for self-serving and sacrificial means and it is difficult to convince them otherwise.

None of these things comes close to justifying what occurred and what the Nazis did. Nothing will. They simply provided fertile soil for mass numbers of people to abdicate moral and ethical responsibilities to the state.

We need to remember and be reminded of our history.

someone said

someone said
you were the best of them,
and i hung with you
to find out if it were true.
but i came to learn that you knew,
that i knew nothing about you –
and so i went away all on my own.

and sunsets are best left to the experts.
yes some sets and sunsets are best left to them;
but you know i can walk through the dark
cuz my eyes have grown accustomed,
cuz my heavy-lidded heart has grown accustomed.

so someone said
you were the best of them,
and i hung with you
to find out if it were true.
and i came to learn that you knew,
that i knew everything ’bout you –
and you were just like the rest of them.

someone told you
i was the best of them,
and you let me hang with you
to find out, to find out if it were true.
until you came to see,
that you could see everything ’bout me,
that i was just like the rest of them.

and friendships are best left to the experts.
yes some ships like friendships are best left to them…