29 Jan 2016, 9:32am
leave a comment

Human Rights

“When we ask people to be tolerant of others, we do not ask them to abandon their personal convictions. We merely ask them to respect the rights, values and ways of being of those who may not share those convictions. The belief that others are entitled to equal respect depends, not on the belief that their values are right, but on the belief that they have a claim to equal respect regardless of whether they are right.” – Supreme Court of Canada in Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36 [2002].

Ontario’s Human Right’s Code on Creed has the guiding principle that you don’t have to agree with someone to be fair and respectful. You don’t have to prove god exists or wiccan vampire faith (which was an individual claim) makes sense before being granted kindness. It’s functional that way.

“It is not acceptable to choose to ignore discrimination or harassment based on creed, whether or not a human rights claim has been made.” (prevention is presumed a basic human thing. You don’t have to be told to be informed. Ignorance is not an excuse just as with any traffic laws.)

“Telling students to go outside to smudge, including in inclement weather conditions, may breach the school’s duty to accommodate by not doing so in a way that respects students’ dignity.” practices of an individual gives an institutional duty to accommodate, a ventilation system up to flushing the smoke air out.

18 Jan 2016, 10:38am
Glad Game

So here,

Finished the 5th painting, this of the apostrophe and semicolon preoccupation. Calling it “peroxide blond”.

Glad to get some time to paint. I’m now out of stretched canvas, unless I paint over something or unless I’ve stashed more somewhere unexpected/disorganizedly.

Glad to use the hands. It’s quite a different iteration process to do rewriting with a pencil than computer edits, quite different to do acrylic than digital. I can’t breathe so well with the off-gassing of acrylics but then, I’m allergic and live with a cat so breathing is compromised at the best of nights.

Glad I have a laptop and a helpful hubby because I did a real number on myself. (And it wasn’t one of those fun numbers.)

About an hour into The Great Snowshoe Excursion—which ended up being 3 hours— realized that by the snowed in river one can’t exactly call a cab or hail a bus. Each step took a conscious pull and wish I could fire the fool limb off and hop on my way.

My left leg is now a match for my back. Turning over in the night was a whole other kind of adventure.

At least I can say I don’t do things halfway.

I do things more 1/5 of the way if we’re talking about my grandpa shuffle.

my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.

As Maya Angelou put it.

Inconvenient my body’s greed for rest but glad to be able to sleep because it’s better than its opposite.

Glad to hear the crows having their chat out there and see the softly piled new snow.

Glad to have class coming tonight as we dig into poems that make an argument.

Glad this is Martin Luther King Jr Day over the border. “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain/I rise/I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide”~ Still I rise

Yup, think I’m at the end of thought.

14 Jan 2016, 11:50am
1 comment


tooey lake
breaking up the scenery breaking my mind.

somewhere nearish bancroft
The fog erased the hill tops. There were 4 ravens on snags but as I walked towards the wetland, one left. One conferred and two more flew off into the back trees.

sepia (2)
Stunning area. Throw a camera mid-air on 10-second shutter release delay and get a postcard back.

Where the topsoil is thin or submerged, people are few and the rock surges up always feels more like home.

9 Jan 2016, 9:21am
leave a comment

Happy New Year you who may happen by.

Over the last couple year I have done a inventory of how I use my energy. At the end of 2014, I tested cutting back on going to readings, going to 1 or 2 a month maximum. I thought more about who to spend time with singly or in small groups with the nutrition and depth of talk can be deeper.

Hubby and I have expanded from date day once a week to making sure we spend a meal together each day and some evening time together. How crazy is it that in the old habit the closest a week might come to eye contact is seeing faces on a screen?

Last year we tried to curtail internet eating our lives and this idea of being alwaya-on, always-accessible to no one in particular. We tried turning off the internet on weekends and evenings. This year we took it further and have it on 1.5 hours a day or for a particular need then off again. This seems saner. Less back problems and fewer headaches are probably related.

I aimed to read more slower and wider and write less, but read more and wrote more. As you may have followed at the pesbo blog.

It may not be either extremes that far, but it is a factor.

I have stayed involved with the community, hosting radio, hosting the odd event, judging contests, and on twitter. And then there’s the workshop series, one now, one tbd as an online counterpart and if those go as well as expected, another face to face in summer or fall.

Do you have any last minute impulse to take a poetry workshop? It starts Monday.

23 Nov 2015, 2:04pm
1 comment

Speaking Voices

Women are changing their vocal niche.

Over the past 50 years, women’s voices have dropped significantly. Although women’s voices normally register a full octave higher than men’s voices, today they’re just 2/3rds of an octave higher. [source]

What’s the cause? Equity therefore no need to emphasize distinctions and status difference? In the same timeframe women have almost all got suffrage, are permitted to inherit property, own, rather than be owned and work in many of the same areas as men as men are permitted to be stay at home dads with less flack.

Speech habit is local.In Japan, women have a higher default pitch than English speakers here. T[here’s a Northern Cities Vowel Shift south of the border but how you talk is a function of who you talk with so the vowel shift hasn’t happened in Canada. Would accent shift be related to power? A digression for another day.] Gender and accent are related,

“Women are always at the forefront of the language front,” he said, at least when people are unaware of the trend’s presence. Linguists are not sure why. But they do know that the shift is spreading quickly because it carries no stigma–at least for the most part. [a href=”http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2007-04-10/haynie-vowelshift.html”>source]

As taller are perceived as more dominant, so are deeper voices. Toronto Councillor Karen Stintz lesson to go slower and lower. Why? Pitch and nasality correlates not just with apparent confidence but competence.

Margaret Thatcher got voice lessons from Laurence Olivier to lower her voice by 60 Hertz. She’s not the only one. Australian women speak on average 23 hertz lower than they did in the 1940s.

Society tends to the relaxed, white, heteronormative male as ideal. What position does that put everyone?

Take a deep breath voice.

Why would power be related to pitch?

I’d say that authority tends towards the deepest voice because a person who is relaxed and self-assured confidence is riding a deep breath which results in resonance, projection and more people able to hear and therefore follow.

Fear and illness result in a thin voice and is an indicator of problem. Less dominant people tend to talk from throat squeak, not diaphragm. There are structural differences in size of resonant chamber and shape and function of voice box that make the male more likely to emulate the pitch range of confidence. Those physics unconsciously drive the idea that male is authority.

Subversive to authority in this binary is that higher pitches are a marked form as lower status, as in female, gay, child, and East Indian stereotype.

It’s not only pitch but speed and control.


To be rushed is to be defensive, trying to say more before being cut off. To speak quickly is lower status compared to speaking with pauses which is a power gambit to make others wait for you. If the group doesn’t accept that alpha display, the power will be taken in the gap.


Masculinity is traditionally encoded as less emotive display, less intonation variance.

Male talking to male may deepen voice and flattens intonational curve for competing authority, dominance until pecking order is hashed out.

Females are projected as inherently more emotional and can display more intonation shift. Because female has a vestigial connection with contemptuous disempowerment, the sound range also tend to suggest less authority.


Controlled voice, controlled movements but with variation and resonance model being engaged with speech in order for the audience to be engaged.

A compelling performance strikes a balance between vocal variations and movement without there being too much movement.

Rapid, frequent and large gestures demand attention in an amateur-theatre or panicked way.


A male performing words extends into more emotionalism than gender norm.

A female converges towards male in less inflection than standard female caricature.

To speak publicly is a stylistic that is working in different ways.

Speaking one-on-one we can have a quiet background, speaker and listener monitoring one another for body language and uptake, interject for clarification, can speak in a muddier fashion, slushing consonants because there is that latitude.

In a noisy environment, one needs crisper articulation, more clear structure of thought because something will be lost to competing signals so there is less room for connecting dots. It is more necessary to speak slower with more pauses to become distinct as a pattern against background conversation and to signal power.

  • RSS Humanyms

  • Archives