Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blah Blah black sheep

As I was listening to the heated conversation by the water cooler about a nursery rhyme being totally racist, these lines from an old nursery rhyme went on in my head. The rhyme was 'Baa Baa Black sheep.
Have you any wool?
Yes Sir! Yes Sir! 3 bags full.
One for my master, one for my dame
One for the little boy who lives down the lane.

Back in 79, when I was singing these lines over and over in the tuneless voice of a 5 year old, at the top of my lungs, I had no idea that this song would one day be banned.... strange! I did not even know that there was a hidden meaning in there. Such seemed like a normal rhyme. A boy has a sheep and he is singing to it.
My older daughter at age 2 sang this song...something like this 'Baa Baa Baa Baa Baa Baa Baa' (fill in the proper tune here folks)
My second daughter sang the same song at age 3 and it went something like this 'Blah Blah black sheep, have you many full?!' LOL!
So many funny memories associated with that rhyme. Imagine my surprise when I heard that it was actually the racist lyrics that have made the schools in UK ban this poem. What do kids know about racism ?! nothing more than what we as adults teach them. I mean has anyone ever seen pre schoolers display anything even close to that. Tsk!! I would think we should embrace our past instead of trying to change it. Sure bad things have been done but how about we learn from it and stop harrassing each other but Good Lord! no, we will shove the dirt under the rug since it's way easier.

All I am going to say about this is that we have such a funny tendency to go about things in wierd ways. We won't stop fighting each other based on color, race, religion, region etc. but heck!! we sure will ban a kid's poem because it has racial innuendoes. Boo hiss on that!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not Enough Food?!

As I sit in front of my television watching the BBC news about grain or rather wheat shortage in the world, somewhere from the long forgotten memories in my head, I hear my grandmother telling me about how food was rationed in the 1940's. What kid with a full belly and a happy childhood would ever pay any attention to such talk from the good ol' granny so I really did not care much. However now as a working adult I know the cost of living, how hard it is to work and earn money and all the wonderful things that as children we were oblivious to but have to worry about as an adult.

So they are saying due to several reasons (exploding population=more demand to say the least) for this shortage. Prices of gas have already taken a hike, now we are seeing an increase in the price of other staples like wheat. Australia the biggest producer of this grain has suffered several droughts making the production fall three times shorter than previous years (who knew it even rained in the outback, not to mention that they supply so much grain to so many countries. Tee hee! I just thought they produced hot looking people who just drink and hunt Kanagroos!! just kidding). China the nation with the largest population is already worrying about how they are going to feed the over 1.3 billion people residing there. I am not even going to think about what impact this is going to have on the poverty stricken areas of India, where the population is already half starved.

When my grandparents had to live in the refugee camps after the India/Pakistan split, they had to make do with a severely restricted ration of food and other necessaties. oh! the things we take for granted, how did they manage?! How did they live without personal bathroom and bedroom? To be stuffed into one tent with a family of seven!!! Did they get any sleep on the hard ground?! (maybe I should think about it when I am complaining to my husband that our camping gear is not comfortable enough for me to sleep on) How could my pregnant grandmother give birth to my aunt in a camp? what facilities did they get if any!! ok! I am veering off topic here। We were discussing food shortage and rationing so here is how that works। Each family is alloted a certain amount of food/oil which they are able to purchace at a normal rate (probably subsidized by govt।) and what ends up happening is that the retailers in order to make a profit start hiding materials and selling them for higher price under the table. What do we get, as always, a situation where people with money can buy how ever much they want, middle class people struggle to get enough to maintain their standard and the poor simply starve.

Now before you go on thinking, 'Ah! just another tree hugging socialist', listen I am not. I have studied enough Economics to understand why things are run they way they are. My problem however is with corrupt and simply inapt administration. Why can they not give money to farmers to grow food but can blow plenty of tax payor's money on some stupid agendas. Come on people!! we are living in the 21st century, we have landed on the moon, we are contemplating space stations, we have done successful cloning and we cannot even produce enough food to feed ourselves!! Excuse my language but HOW BLOODY RETARDED IS THAT?!! We certainly have enough resources to be able to ensure that there should not be any human or animal for that matter on the face of this earth who goes hungry. But of course what am I thinking, wouldn't that actually require forgetting our petty political wars and fights for a moment. And God forbid we should actually do that!! What actually get over our political and religious boundaries and work together as one human race....NEVAAAA!!!

LOL, ok I am losing it :-)

Maybe Mahatama Gandhi and Swami Dayanand were right in saying that up until we have enough food to go around we should try to share what is there. They had a theory that if every single person would fast at least once a week, it would ensure there was enough to go around for everyone. Nice theory guys, if only I could make my ever increasing girth to listen to my Conscience and actually fast. Plus I am not that gullible to think that having surplus commodities would ensure that the have nots of our society get fed. No sir, not when I distinctly remember America throwing away bushels of grain rather than donating it to African countries or to India.

To each their own though and I am going to try and be a good citizen to my planet and remain vegetarian one day a week and not throw away food (which seems to be becoming a really bad habit of mine, tsk tsk! how lazy Shivani)

Nasty bag of a driver!!!

If you don't want to hear me gripe about atrocious people then don't read this, however if you are fed up with nasty drivers then read on....

I have been stewing over this incident since yesterday and finally decided maybe I will write it down so it can finally get out of my head. Now I am all for following roadside courtesy and following the rules and understand that sometimes drivers are just not paying attention but this irksome nasty lady just really bugged me.

Let's start from the begining. I was walking merrily towards the train station, thinking what a wonderful thing that Edmonton is getting Spring in March for once instead of June. I come to the traffic lights and stop to cross but the right turning car cuts me off and keeps going so I wait for another one to go. Finally the hand started to flash and I thought I better hurry up and start walking if I am going to make the light and this van almost runs me over and keeps making her right turn, so I back off and lift my hands as if saying 'what the heck is wrong with people today?' as if that wasn't enough, she actually then stopped her van midroad, rolled down her window to yell at me, "The walking signal is not on so what the hell are you shaking your hand at me for!!" I was so taken aback but just kept walking as I needed to get to the other side before I got hit by some other crazy ass driver. My first instinct was to think "oh!! maybe she is right! I shouldn't be walking when the hand is flashing" but the more I thought about it the more I realized 'no dammit! I was trying to cross when the walk signal was on, not my fault that do-do heads of drivers just keep going' and let's not forget in Canada pedestrians have the right of the way. It's not like I was trying to cross the street on the red light.

Anyways, I ranted to a few of my work buddies who had various suggestions like 'you should have jotted down her lic plate number and reported her' 'you should have yelled back at her' 'should have thrown something at that Bi_ _ _' but I still thought before I begin to curse the woman, I had better check to make sure I wasn't the guilty party so I called up the Motor Vehicle office and spoke to the lady there. I also checked with an instructor of a driving school. Sure enough, I had the right of way in this case.

Now that I had determined that and was still blooming ticked off at that woman for not only cutting me off but having the galls to actually yell at me!!! Usually swearing at someone helps a person blow off some steam but of course I still cannot think of any good swears for her that won't actually be demeaning to womankind in general and I absolutely refuse to use them just because a few members of my gender happen to be sooooooooo nasty!! Therefore all I have to say to her is "You are a VERY VERY BAD WOMAN, BAD VERY VERY BAD!!" (fill in the accent of your choice here people, I have imagined the sentence in several ones lol)

Aaaahhh!! ok now that it's off my chest, feeling much better. However, that does make me think when will people learn roadside courtesy. Should that not be taught in driving classes?! I cannot even begin to count the umpteen times I have seen impatient drivers pull dangerous stunts on the road. It's time people learned how to share the road - Stop zooming at a high speed through resdential streets, near schools, pedestrians, bicyclists. Quit honking at people to make them move faster, if someone is going slow on a snowy road IT IS FOR A GOOD REASON!! slow down yourself. Yield when there is a yield sign, last time I checked in the driving books, it most certainly does not mean MERGE! talking about merging, for crying out LOUD!!! people let others merge when the situaion demands, if you speed up to stop them for merging in you are just going to cause an accident.

Now that warmer weather is here, along with that are going to come a lot of people using their bicycles on the road. And as much as it annoys me to have to slow down or watch out for them (all the while thinking, they are doing so much good for their health and planet when I am sitting on my fat bottom creating more greenhouse emmissions) I understand that I don't own the road and if I am getting late, it's bloody well my own fault that I did not leave the house sooner.

Hoping to cross roads and streets without any further incidents, this is Shivani signing off for now :-)