The game in the story

First, my fiery soul acted up as I read the words of a GTA FB fans who thinks it is completely acceptable to state that he kills hookers in real life to get his money back. Now the Toronto Star is reporting a new video game, describing it as a game where you can “tar and feather the Canadian prime minister… you can at least the first half online”?

Toronto Star, March 23rd, 2010

Tar and feather involves hot burning tar. It is cruel, painful, and tortured many many people, in “real” life! Either this article is mocking this piece of news, does not understand “tarring”, or is exaggerating on purpose. What ever the reason, it is a horrible play on words.

Tarring: a hateful act, as per wikipedia:

Wikipedia, March 23rd, 2010

Now here is what the Toronto Star worked with as they covered this story, the press release from the founders of this game, the Polaris Institute:

For Immediate Release:

Canada’s First Tar Sands Video Game Released TODAY

Tar Nation the game takes-on Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff

OTTAWA, ON – Today the Polaris Institute and Insidious Design are launching Canada’s first tar sands video game – Tar Nation – to highlight Canadian politicians’ support for the destructive tar sands. The flash driven game is visually set in a tar sands refinery and allows players to spray oil at Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff to get them out of the tar sands.

Included in the game is an electronic letter tool directing players to send emails to the Prime Minister and Michael Ignatieff. “With three times the greenhouse gas emissions as conventional oil, severely damaging environmental and social impacts, and negative economic consequences for other provinces, the tar sands are taking Canada in the wrong direction,” explains Tony Clarke, Executive Director of the Polaris Institute. “All Canadian political leaders have a role to play in this discussion, but right now Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff need the most help in re-thinking their support for the tar sands”.

Tar Nation is being launched today on facebook, online video game sites, and numerous websites including http://www.tarnation.ca .

“Canadians of all ages increasingly play games and conduct political advocacy online,” says Edward Newell of Insidious Design. “Tar Nation is a new development because it combines the two in a creative and engaging format”.

Play the game online at: http://www.tarnation.ca

They do not make mention nor make associations of this game to tarring and feathering anyone! They do not push the envelop that far. Why did you Mr. Bryn Weese when you wrote this piece? Does it make your article sound that much more “badass”? And if this game is indeed referring to tarring and feathering, could someone please clarify this because if it is the case, it would surely get the “worst activist campaign” of the year award.

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Being a womyn in 2010

In honour of today, International Womyn’s Day, I thought I would keep my pj’s on, skip the make-up, go out to a coffee shop and share my thoughts on being a womyn at age 34 in 2010.

The best thing about being a 34 year old womyn is being 34.

I can’t imagine how, in my twenties, I would have dealt with the physical aspects of acquiring wrinkles (not only on my face but on my hands, feet and other places), larger pores, cellulite, more facial hair, stretch marks and a permanent crinkly nose.

I wish upon a star for all womyn to embrace aging, it opens our eyes and brings us great strength!

I can’t imagine how someone who romanticized the idea of fairy tales would have faced a fortune teller telling them that at age 34, they would be childless, husbandless and living in an above average male dominated town that let’s their trucks idle in the parking lot for an hour while they eat.

I can’t imagine that I would have believed that I couldn’t be all that I could be.

I didn’t imagine that I would end up being second to man.

I grew up with a strong independent mother. I went to an all girls high school with progressive nuns and when I was a kid I believed I could do anything a boy could do. I was very athletic and would outrun them on many occasions. I believed equality of gender was a right, not a privilege. I believed it was a way of being.

The more I age, the more I recognize I was wrong. I was misled. I wasn’t prepared to live in a male dominated world where almost every single aspect is more influenced by top down male dominating power. Religion, government, security forces, business, marketing, spiritual leaders, education, health care, sports, real-estate and even activism. Albeit I recognize there are more teachers and nurses that are womyn but those in ultimate decision making power positions are principals, school board trustees, doctors and are more predominantly male.

side note: I researched yoga philosophies this year and wanted to find one that was created by a womyn. I had the hardest time finding this. Although there are many more female yoga practitioners than males, there are many more yoga founded philosophy practices created by men than womyn. There are so many examples of this in our society.

Although I put on a brave face and pretend on most days that I am living in a world where womyn and male energies share the power of influence on our culture, our decisions, our evolution, beneath it all, I hurt and am angry but somehow have the strength to not let it push me down further.

I see us working on all these worthy causes: environment, war, poverty etc… and I recognize these as important issues however I am realizing more than ever that these are symptoms of a larger problem. A problem we see as being less than many of the causes I have mentioned above.

How many womyn do you know resort to physical violence to solve a problem?

How many womyn do you know throw out their garbage outside a car window?

How many womyn do you know murder?

How many womyn to you know express great sensitivity and compassion?

How many womyn do you know nurture life on a regular basis?

I’m not asking these questions with the purposes of finding black and white answers because they aren’t. It is not because someone is male that he resorts to more physical violence than his female neighbour just because he is male. However generally speaking there are differences between male and female energy and I believe these differences are there for a reason and are equally worthy of being.

When the sperm meets the egg, they are both different entities yet equally important, 50/50. Their balance creates life.

It is my realization at 34 years old that if this world worked on achieving a fair, equal and harmonies balance between female and male energy it would have a greater effect on all worthy causes. There would be less wars, there would be less environmental destruction, there would be less poverty, there would be less “survival of the fittest mentality”. It would be a better place. A place that is possible because we have the womyn on this earth to make it possible. All we need to do is invite them in, implement their ideas, elect them in office, offer them positions of power and ensure gender parity in all realms of life.

I have to address the Margaret Thatcher argument because I predict she will cross many people’s minds in that: Well she was elected, she believed in wars, she was no different, why would other womyn be? First of all we must realized, we live in a man’s world, we are acculturated to think like them, behave like them, please them! and many believe in order to “make it” you need to act as a man. It some ways we have become assimilated.

Change takes time, cultural shifts takes time, freeing a womyn in all absolute sense takes time. In my opinion it would take many generations before we would actually witness the beautiful effects of womyn being right alongside men while making the biggest decisions on this planet and in our communities. There are many layers masking us. It will take generations for the mask to peel off and reveal its beautiful self.

Thanks 34 years for revealing to me the wisdom that comes with aging as a womyn and giving me the skills to deal with hurt and sadness in a way that doesn’t further take away from me.

Happy Womyn’s Day to all womyn irrelevantly of who you are and how great you are. You are courageous just by the mere fact of being a womyn on this earth.

Here’s an amazing documentary on the herstory of womyn and what this world may have looked like, felt like, when womyn and men ruled side by side. You will find this under the herstory tab. It was produced by the National Film Board of Canada.