Runaway Future

28.3.2011

come so far, but not at all

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 0:15

Five and a half years ago, I went to some charity event at the Lower Deck put on by someone in Derek’s class.

This was back in the days that the guys were all in university and we used to get drunk every night and watch hockey. But that’s irrelevant.

The relevant fact is that the charity event (fundraiser of some sort) was a bust. Barely anyone showed, certainly not enough to make it a successful event. I remember when we all left, we walked with the girl who organized the thing. She had these ridiculous heels on and kept stumbling, not really falling, but almost losing her balance. You could tell she was crushed, her eyes were red when she said goodnight, but all I can remember is her stumbling as she walked home.

I don’t know what to do if that ends up being me.

 

20.3.2011

Supermoon makes people loony

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 23:22

Just a quick trip to the 24-hour drugstore tonight:

It was -4 at the time and there were 5 people in line, but curiously, despite the cold weather, all of us were buying ice cream.

I saw an elderly couple having an argument in motion. Both of them on motorized scooters as they chased each other up the sidewalk.

For some bizarre feat of engineering, the automatic exit door to the drugstore swings out onto the sidewalk of Spring Garden Road. Because of this, it has a sensor on both sides of the door, to prevent it from whacking people walking on the sidewalk. Which set up a hilarious situation tonight with an old lady on outside yelling through her husband at the other side that he just needs to approach the door and it will open. Of course, it didn’t, because she was blocking it. So as she re-entered the store, in a huff and complaining that he couldn’t figure it out, the door ‘magically’ swung open.

18.3.2011

Mr. Kelly, I’m concerned

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 23:31

Dear Mr. Kelly,

My name is Kevin Forbes. I am a resident of Halifax, living in the downtown area. I’ve cc’ed Dawn Sloane, my municipal councillor, because I believe she should be aware of the concerns of one of her constituents as well.

Mr. Kelly, my concerns are based on these recent talk about finances and the concerts on the Commons that has played out over the past week. I’m sure that this isn’t the only message you’re receiving about these issues and I hope you do take the time to at least read my message and hopefully take the time to reply.

Let me be clear, when it comes to who was responsible, how much was known and the entire question of whether proper policy and procedure was followed, I will keep an open mind and hope that the investigation by the Auditor-General will bring forth clarity and resolution for you and your staff. I am more than happy to wait until the Auditor-General finishes his investigation.

My concerns are more with how these issues are being dealt with presently. Mr. Kelly, I’ve watched you on television, listened to you on the radio, read about you in the newspapers and online. This has no doubt been a busy week for you. It’s currently quite late on Friday night and I hope you’re getting some rest.

With that said, you continually talk about leadership. How the buck stops with you, as Mayor. How this issue is yours to own, to wear, because you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your staff, in your role as Mayor. These are the qualities of the person I want to represent me in the Mayor’s office.

But then, Mr. Kelly, I listen to your voice in a media scrum (as posted on thecoast.ca) and how you stick to your talking points with very precise responses. I hesitate to call them answers because they don’t seem to match the questions, and while I’m hardly an audio expert, the recording doesn’t sound manipulated or otherwise censored. Furthermore, I read your official Facebook page and I see critical or concerned posts by citizens like myself appear and disappear, with other people commenting that some messages are being deleted.

You talk about leadership, Mr. Kelly. You talk about responsibility. But your actions don’t match those words, which is why I am concerned. I can understand and respect the fact that you may be wary of the media, because they haven’t made things easy for you this week, but when looking at Facebook, those are voters, those are the people that you claim you are responsible to and instead of listening to their issues, their concerns are being erased, deleted and muted.

It’s quite possible that perhaps this message will be treated the same way. Perhaps you, or your staff, haven’t even made it this far in my email. Maybe your cursor is presently heading towards the ‘Delete’ button even as these words appear on your screen. But I don’t feel that is right and that is why I am concerned.

Those are not the actions of the kind of mayor I want representing me. I want the the kind of mayor that you speak of.The one who is responsible, the captain of the ship, even when the weather turns foul. Mr. Kelly, despite the criticism from all fronts, this could and should be your finest hour. This should be an opportunity for you to step up and be the leader in the face of whatever more is headed your way, as opposed to shrinking behind deleted messages from the voting public and ducking media questions.

I expect better, Mr. Kelly. As a voter in Halifax, I demand better. Maybe I’m asking too much, maybe I’m idealistic. But I’m disappointed and my only hope is that before this situation continues to get worse, YOU can at least be better.

Thank you for your time,

Kevin Forbes
Church Street

7.3.2011

a voice to clear the air

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 0:49

I’m clearly a child of the technological age, having grown up as much in front of the computer as the television and more plugged in and connected everyday. This is only further enhanced by my own choice of careerpath.

But in the same breath, I desperately hold onto increasingly anachronistic views, despite (or perhaps due to) the constant digital noise that surrounds all of us. I’m as nostalgic as someone can be about the idea of print media, especially long form from magazines. One of my original goals in life was to write the back page of Maclean’s, an idea that I sadly must admit has been perhaps irreparably sullied as of late after the Rogers Communications-owned magazine threw journalistic integrity out the window to run an op-ed that greatly favoured the ISP’s point of view in the recent talks about the CRTC and usage-based-billing for the Internet in Canada. Words can’t describe the disappointment I feel to see a standard bearer I once respected opt to toe the line drawn by those who sign the cheques rather than accurately reflect the views of the Canadian population (whose own outburst against UBB has led the government to direct the CRTC to reverse their decision).

But journalistic endeavours aside, I also carry a much baser point of view along with me when it comes to trying to find a balance in a connected but impersonal lifestyle. More and more, I’m almost demanding that my important conversations take place in person. I’m not making these demands externally, but rather to myself, forcing myself to not sit behind a keyboard or on the other side of a phone and instead to ensure that things that I want to say (and be heard) are done within earshot and sight of those who I want to hear it.

It’s been a subtle change and has really only come up a few times, but I always just feel that words on a screen are worth less than actually speaking them. Apologies and confessions, declarations and requests, over the past year, I’ve made sure that if it was important to me and if I was physically able to, those conversations happened in person.

It’s just one of those little things I need to do to keep my own life as unconnected as possible.

6.3.2011

another excerpt

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 16:02

Foreigners, immigrants, have to learn what everyone who grows up here knows instinctively: any president, any majority in Congress of the Supreme Court, is not the whole country. You can revere them or despise them and work to replace them, but they are not the whole ball of wax. They are temporary phenomena. They may do marvelous things, they may screw things up for a while, tilt toward this or that interest, make foreigners tremble in their beds, but they pass on and the country’s true values endure.

Looking for My County, Finding Myself in America by Robert MacNeil

Powered by WordPress