The Girl On The Train

I’m in disagreement with the parade of reviewers who were bored with this flick, The Girl On The Train. I thought Emily Blunt’s performance as a drunk traipsing suburban train tracks was stellar. The opening scene’s suggestion that she had a mere fascination in the lives of others proved to be an understatement. I was enthralled by her depth of obsession into the lives of characters cast into her old neighborhood and the consequence that eavesdropping from a train car would play upon unfolding events.  Her despair was gripping. I thought the pulse and flow of the movie moved in parallel to the plot as it developed and as a suspense mystery it needn’t have demonstrated the flash and effects of an action adventure.  There was eeriness to scenes typical of what one would expect given the story line. Two particular plot twists could have been better developed or omitted.  Not a film for the young ‘uns but you may be transfixed for a time.

Election Looming

Harry Reid believes the FBI is holding back on a Russia – Trump alliance of sorts and Democrat campaign Chief John Podesta wants to cast fault with FBI Director James Comey for acting his conscience in revealing new information relevant to the country’s national security.  There’s lots of finger pointing to go around with the newest email revelation but the huge fault rests with the electorate which installed delegates assigned to nominating these two highly flawed candidates for the presidency of the United States. With eight days until the election, every fatigued player of this political tempest including voters needs to stand tall on election day and muster a best effort in determining which one of these two characters can practically carry out an agenda for the true betterment of a society.  It’s now up to the individual to administer democracy absent from a strong political foundation traditionally presented by the country’s two main parties.

These are dark days for democracy will pass because cool heads will prevail when a new office of the President comes to power.  Fortunately, there will be stronger apolitical civil servants in the wings eager to execute a mandate.

Of great concern to the U.S. is the embattled monetary system and marginalization of the poor.  Just today, there is unrest in penitentiaries due to perceived enslavement of the incarcerated.  The administration of justice on the streets is an issue as is gun violence.  Elitists in Washington have been blind to the plight of the poor.  Irrespective of the mudslinging during this political season, this illumination should be considered a positive.  Whoever wins this election is going to need to rebuild some form of trust from the unfortunate position of lacking political capital.  Immediate attention will be drawn to demanding international matters while attending to systemic problems of debt, legacy debt, and hopelessness among a large population of African American people.  Legislative cooperation in Washington has been poor during the Obama Administration.  A lot needs to get figured out all at once.  Hopefully some White Knight with a conciliatory tone emerges whom has yet to step forth on a Sunday news segment.

Your Internet Power

You’ve all seen the pop up to subscribe for digital news service.  Just say no. You already pay a steep price for internet service while bombarded by peripheral advertisements. Hence; refuse to use the news page which may now have outsmarted your cookie deletion protocol. There are still credible news outlets worthy of your readership. In fact, in Canada your tax dollars support the CBC. To my delight and with the recommendation of a friend, I’ve rediscovered CBC radio as a tremendous resource not only for news but for more thoughtful music play selection compared to the likes of Jack FM or K97.

Big business wants to take you down some path of their liking and I’m seeing evidence that folks are losing self control as a result. Technological advancement does not mean you should jump because some new gadget or media request has come staring you in the face on your computer screen. Your future autonomy is going to be predicated by your absolutism in dealing with foolishness by corporate concerns today!

Forogotten U.S. Political Allegation

Amidst all the mud-slinging in the U.S. campaign for President, one disturbing allegation has not been scrutinized by the media.  In the third debate, Donald Trump asserted that the ten women (at the time of the debate) who allege that they were sexually harassed or assaulted by him were conspiring with the Democratic Party assumably in an effort to discredit Trump’s character.  I would expect some diligence by some sharp reporter in concert with Trump’s information at hand to present evidence of such a claim. Irrespective of the credibility of the women’s claims, I think it would be in the Republican nominee’s best interest to expose evidence of such an underhanded act by Democrats prior to the election.  Failure to do so simply reduces the credibility of the candidate further.

Americans in their disgust at elitist favouritism, income disparity, outsourced jobs, political purchasing power, and legislative gridlock have been so radicalized that they have repressed the quiet voice in their hearts messaging that this man Trump is coming from the wrong place in a spirit of darkness represented by behavior reminiscent of the grade school play ground bully who lacks in self esteem.  The isolated American feels that this is their best shot when confronted by a system working in opposition to their aspirations.  It’s regrettable and the divisiveness has unfortunately been accentuated.

I, for one, am absolutely astonished by this run up to the November election.  It’s very difficult to trust either candidate and of course “trust” is one paramount value which citizens should reasonably expect assigned to the White House.

Some Credit To NHL

Some credit to the NHL is in order as I took in a couple of periods of the Flames vs Hawks last night at Big Al’s pub over at International Avenue.  No fights!  Some inspired play by John Goudreau of the Flames.  Fairly tight checking with low scoring and the O/T shoot out didn’t conclude until the 7th round.  The goalies prevailed over the course of thirteen straight one on one encounters.  Some sharp stick handler tallied the winner with a somewhat controversial deposit following a deke which arguably entailed backward movement of the puck – hence testing the rules.  In fact, I’m surprised that officiating didn’t utilize video replay for confirming the game winning goal.

The game has taken positive steps to enhance the entertainment value.  In spite of there being regulations around the size of goalie equipment, in my opinion those goalie pads are still too big.  The Hawks may have won the game had the Flames goalie been fitted with a smaller catching glove.  There weren’t many penalties and much to my surprise the game was played quite cleanly.  Moments of suspense were endured by Flames fans when their team was shorthanded in the overtime period.  However; the dump and chase style of play is still evident asking one whether coaches believe that offense can penetrate to the net with the three on two rush.  This particular game was defensive dominant thereby limiting the excitement factor.  The four on four format for the overtime is a definite positive.  Advertisement interference was pleasingly tolerable – especially when matched up against the adjacent screen carrying the Broncos and Texans.  I did not witness any acts of poor sportsmanship and coverage by Sportsnet was good.  Given my criticism of the NHL, some balance was due.  A shout out to Big Al’s for your warmth as my host!

One Tough Woman

The “one tough woman” phrase gets me thinking.  Yes, it’s arisen in the context of one newbie politician attempting to walk back insults directed toward his adversary.  However; the basis of female toughness deserves scrutiny.  Call me old fashioned but I like a woman that’s not tougher than me.  I like chivalry in places and I like the interpersonal dynamic of a woman in my company who’s not fighting for equality at every turn.  Bonding is beautified in the context of protection.  The act of protecting is goodness in men’s nature and I’m suspicious of any particular woman’s compulsion to equate in the most ridiculous of situations.  I admire those women who are in fact mentally sharper than their husbands but have a skill in managing their prowess in the context of the relationship.  Genuine joy is predominant in softness as opposed to toughness.  Life requires toughness but couples require softness in order for chemistry to endure.  We are caring when our emotional posture moves like a free flowing pendulum in our daily lives ensuring that we mirror our environment existentially.

Ryerson Reports Modern Day Slavery

The Star this morning has reported on the plight of immigrants working through temp agencies.  It should be no surprise that take home pay for such workers are a pittance when factoring in day care costs, taxes and the “pimp”.  I have a client who introduced me to this label which I actually find quite fitting.  Ryerson University will be reporting on these “middle men” in an upcoming report.  When I lived in Vancouver for a time, I was registered with about five agencies.  I’d get on the phone in the morning to see what was happening and mostly get the cold shoulder.  One particular agency was responsible for the majority of my hours.  One occasion led to a respectable full time job where I was able to make an impact.  In fact, this position launched my “reworked career”.  This should be what “temping” is all about.  A worker should be in transition while pursuing a focused primary career goal.  It should not be a way of life.

In Canada, we pay too much income tax.  Employers are also burdened by payroll taxes which tempt them to temp out situations which arise in their business as opposed to binding themselves to legacy like costs.  It makes business sense.  It also reduces the burden placed on an “HR department”.  Unfortunately, socialist government models impede the capitalist instinct.  Workers are less inclined to promote themselves directly to employers and employers are less inclined to make commitments to workers.  Ryerson will be releasing a “study” but I can espouse with confidence that one doesn’t need a PHD in economics to deduct the street level ramifications of the market condition for temps.  When business can’t compete with public sector salaries and pension plans, it will look to the market for ways and means to obtain non-payroll help.  Alternatively, it will close up shop or find a more business friendly jurisdiction.

Kindness Crisis

There is a kindness crisis according to a poll conducted by Sesame Street.  Seventy per cent of parents claim that the world is unkind to their kids. This adult senses it on the street – literally in traffic. I sense it in our political discourse and I sense it in the voidance of cordial gestures of etiquette. I sense it at the poker table and in the board room. I sense it in transit and telephony systems. I sense it in the body language of souls transfixed by their electronic “devices” and in the spoken language of those perhaps ill equipped to reach for an empathetic word when “f@ck” is at the tip of a tongue. It’s as if a new substandard came into being precipitated by a confluence of events imperceptible to the naked eye producing a cultural shift engineered by a generation naive to the values of their forefathers and the historic deeds undertaken to sew a landscape of autonomy.

Materialism as a precursor perhaps forms an element. The great divide between the haves and have-nots has never been greater. A tempestuous outreach in order to “acquire” may brew in the hearts of some looking to hurdle through patronage, political partisanship, and indifference. Perhaps, it’s a proclamation of entitlement to rudeness in the face of perceived injustice casting out emotional residue to a society dumbfounded.

Aghast At Trump

My sister and I today speculated over the degree of contempt our mother would have expressed had she been alive to witness the news today of despicable behavior apparently conducted by one candidate for the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump. Our mother would have espoused that character matters in a world leader. This person would need to represent the values of the people of whom he or she would hope to lead. This person would need to possess maturity, grace, and thoughtfulness toward all ethnicities while appreciating each other’s individual differences. This person would be positive and attuned to the basic aspirations of goodness driving humanity. This person would be articulate, reciprocal, and strong with ideals compatible with shaping the common good while not interfering with one’s quest for liberty. Our mother would have expected a political campaign to be infused with conceptually intriguing debate tempting her to stretch her own boundaries of belief on public policy matters. She would have imbibed intangible “between the lines” candidate remarks and telling body language. Her attentiveness would have been keen with a perception that her children’s lives north of the border could be affected by policy produced by the U.S.A. She would have been onto him at word one.

Although hardly immune from humanity’s dark side having taught school while raising six kids, I’m frankly grateful that her life was not tainted by exposure to displays of indecency by one, Donald Trump, candidate for U.S. President.