Sarah Harmer on the Environment

I recall musician Sarah Harmer being an activist with the release of her concert and documentary film, The Escapement Blues. Great to see thirteen years later she’s still using her voice to make change.

Sarah warned: “We need to understand the threats in Bill 66 that concerned so many of us are the same that we have with the endangered species act review,”

ELLIOT FERGUSON / ELLIOT FERGUSON/WHIG-STANDARD

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Milestone songs

My parents’ wedding song was the Turtles’ “Happy Together.” The Turtles’ Flo & Eddie are a bit of an odd-ball pick by any standards, but the sentiments are all there. One of my favourite mommy blogs, Cup of Jo, did a feature on First Dances.

I have to admit I have never given this thought. I’ve actually given more thought to my requiem than the song I celebrate a forever relationship to. Inspired by reading this article way back, I thought how fitting it would be to celebrate one’s life with the Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year” (thanks, Zooey Deschanel!). Funny enough the very same Cup of Jo piece cited two Zombies tunes as wedding songs (including “This Will Be Our Year”). M Ward picked the more traditional, “Amazing Grace,” which if you can recall not-so-long ago Obama also chose to remember a lost life.

And who can forget this gem of a scene from everyone’s favourite film, Love Actually?

Or Six Feet Under‘s epic ending featuring Sia’s “Breathe Me” before she got noticed:

Here are a few more suggestions for funeral tunes compliments of Australian newspaper, the Australian, via Exclaim!

Searching for a new Mayor for Toronto

 

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One redeeming quality of the Ford family is that they have pushed many indifferent citizens to take some sort of concern for politics in Toronto. I attended the first part of the mayoral debate focused on arts and culture. It was curated by stunner Damien Abraham of Toronto-based band Fucked Up.

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Here are some moments I took with me:

  • Ford wants to create a mega music festival, but can’t see what Toronto has already established. Continuously praised Texas festival Austin City Limits to many frustrated sighs and giggles. The guy wouldn’t know what a good music festival was if it beat him on the head with a stick.
  • New high school graduate Morgan Baskin showed some serious homework in calling Ford out on his past votes against key art hubs in the city. High fives!

TIFF ’11 four: ‘Whores’ Glory’ directed by Michael Glawogger, McSweeney’s, Toronto

Michael Glawogger’s film Whores’ Glory has made me really think and re-evaluate how I look at prostitution.

Prostitution is not illegal in the province of Ontario, but it has so many other laws surrounding the issue it is very well-restricted. This has proved to be problematic and has recently become an issue brought to the attention of Canadian courts.

Toronto Judge Susan Himel is fighting hard to strike the other laws that pertain to prostitution in Ontario. She has made the claim that current laws in place severely hinder the safety of prostitutes.

A solid example of these supporting laws is –

  1. Criminal Code prohibitions against keeping a common bawdy house, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating for the purposes of the trade.

So political jibber jabber aside, I’d really like to hammer down some thoughts I’ve been troubling myself with lately. Prostitution has a serious negative connotation as a dirty industry ridden with drugs and alcohol. I’m certainly not on this train anymore.

For instance, the word “prostitute” is not exclusively used in this context. But metaphorically can be extended to the act of working towards an unworthy cause.

Dictionary.com defines it as: A person who misuses their talents or who sacrifices their self-respect for the sake of personal or financial gain

Not exactly a neutral tone and that ain’t slang.

Whores’ Glory was a film that revealed and informed. I loved exploring the different communities that fostered prostitutes. The cultural comparisons were tremendously interesting to spectate as with each different country they varied drastically.

I recently stumbled across a column in McSweeney’s that is about a Toronto-based “escort with a day job.” Short articles that tackle many of the above mentioned issues in the context of the job in Toronto. “Bianca,” the writer, is very candid and honest without showing a stitch of pretension as a writer or an escort.

Another thing I picked up:

  • A customer of a prostitute is regarded as a “john,” “trick” or a “punter.”
  • Men who drive around designated areas are referred to as “kerb crawlers”

YOU’VE STILL GOT TIME TO SEE THE DOCUMENTARY Whores’ GloryAT TIFF!!! Friday September 16, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 10:15pm