Tag Archives: Poverty

Sunday Afternoon Rainy Day Matinee’

Simon's Cat copyright Simon Tolfield UK

Simon’s Cat copyright Simon Tolfield UK

It’s a rainy September Sunday afternoon in Vancouver. The skies are a weird colour combination of lead grey and dull white clouds. The breeze is noticeably chilly, and the rain is hissing down loudly. There was even some thunder earlier today. We don’t get too many thunderstorms in southwestern BC; it’s a bit of a spectacle when they actually happen here.  I debated with myself about what kind of post I should write today. God knows there’s plenty of serious stuff I could comment about, but I’m always thinking about the balance I try to keep between serious topics and humourous ones. I don’t want to ignore the things that I think might matter to people. On the other hand, I want the blog to be enjoyable for my readers (Hi Mum!)

Today I’m going to keep things light. I was mucking about on Youtube recently, when I discovered an animated cat video.

Don’t run away! It’s not THAT kind of Youtube cat video!

There’s a British cartoonist named Simon Tolfield who has created some wonderfully clever animated videos called Simon’s Cat. How have I missed this guy? His videos are hilarious and spot-on. He absolutely nails the attitude and behaviours of cats I’m sure we all have known in our lives.

Our next feature for today’s rainy day matinee’ is a delightfully whimsical cartoon created in France by students from the Gobelins School of Graphic Arts. It’s called Pandore, and it’s based on the famous Greek myth of Pandora’s box.

The next feature is Disney’s beautifully poignant telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale The Little Match Girl that he wrote in 1845. It’s such a sad, yet sweet story that I sort of remember from my childhood. It strikes a strong chord in me today because the message in Andersen’s story is still very relevant to all of us in the 21st century. It reminds us all that ‘there but for the Grace of God go I‘. We must all do what we can for those who are desperately in need.

Speaking of the 21st century, our final feature for today’s matinee’ is a very clever cartoon called ‘Glued‘, created in 2012 by Israeli animation students from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. I think this piece speaks volumes about our obsession with technology.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Sunday afternoon matinee’. I thought it might be appropriate on a rainy September weekend 🙂

The Grumpy Ferret (Hey! Who ate all the popcorn?)

Stupid Human Tricks Part One (Or Why I Sometimes Think We’re Doomed)

I think that it’s part of the human condition to have weeks where you wonder if we’re truly doomed as a species due to our own greed and stupidity. I’m sure it’s covered in the owner’s manual that comes with each one of us when we’re born.

Wait a moment – What do you mean we don’t come with a manual? How about an app? Surely there’s an app for that?

What? No app either?!

Guinea Pigs - The Next Great Evolutionary Leap

Guinea Pigs – The Next Great Evolutionary Leap

In the last 72 hours, I’ve read, viewed, and witnessed FIVE instances of what I can only call greedy, stupid, thoughtless acts that make me wonder if it wouldn’t be better to wipe the slate clean of human beings and let another species have a go at being the dominant form of life on Earth. I vote for guinea pigs.

Exhibit #1: Global Greed

With the election of Pope Francis at the Vatican, there have been news reports about his concern for the plight of the poor in this world. I’m not Catholic; I have some very strong personal opinions about the church’s history and teachings. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I believe in God as promoted and taught by organized religions? No. One fact I read this week in a news report was that 80% of the human population lives on less than $10 a day. This would mean that approximately five and a half billion people on the planet are desperately poor. But what about globalization and the shiny new consumer society which would raise everyone’s standards of living and let us all share in the good times? We’ve seen what has happened. The economic results of globalization have been profoundly unequal. Large corporations move their operations offshore to lower manufacturing costs and avoid inconvenient government regulations. A tiny minority of humanity controls the majority of the wealth derived from the global economy. Your sacred smartphone was made by a factory worker in China who is paid two dollars an hour. At the same time, Chinese superstitions about the potency of bear gall bladders, shark fins, and tiger penises is driving these endangered species to extinction, along with the African elephant because of overwhelming demand from China’s ivory industry for making tourist trinkets. By the way, the BBC reported earlier this month that approximately 100 MILLION SHARK FINS were harvested from the ocean in 2012. 100 MILLION SHARKS killed for the LUXURY of  putting their fins in a soup pot for ‘Good Luck‘.

With globalization came increased corporate and political corruption, increased environmental pollution and degradation of sensitive eco-systems, and massive populations of young people in developing countries who have no opportunities to better themselves. I believe North Americans don’t understand how much of the world doesn’t play by the rules. Democratic societies are a rarity in this world; authoritarian control, corruption, and humans rights abuses are the norm in many part of the globe. It galls me no end to see the poobahs of business and the sycophantic economic pundits earnestly promoting all things economic as the saviour of humanity while the opposite is proving to be true. It really feels like we’re being indoctrinated to accept a ‘false’ religion beamed at us 24 hours a day (cue visions of a golden calf and Charlton Heston as Moses).

Stay tuned for Part Two – coming soon!

The Grumpy Ferret (So shall it be written, so shall it be done!)