Saturday, 8 September 2012

Light Housekeeping

Just a little commentary for those of you redirected from familiar pages:

This is now IT

If you've been following for the last few years, you were likely redirected from the former public blog (aka my soapbox) or private blog (for those few with passwords). Public and private have merged, meaning you will now get both the 'soapbox' and the 'editorial' version of my brain on a single URL. Sorry...
The amazing journey that has been the past year has really brought about a new clarity and purpose in my "real life", so it only makes sense for my virtual world to follow suit. It's a relief to have one's inner most thoughts and passions coherently united with the works and expressions that make up daily life. :)

So, welcome. You'll adjust. Really, you will.

The old content may now be inaccessible, but, take heart! There is always new. And, actually, some of those golden oldies will occasionally transfer over via copy-paste. :)

As Seen On TV (or How It All Began)

"... we apologize that you have taken offense to our Win a Wife contest ..." 
And so began the canned response to my letter expressing concern over a contest on our local radio station that offered up a "mail order bride" as the prize. 

Watching the news over dinner this past September, I heard about this "Win a Wife" contest and was appalled. I realize "shock" is a great marketing tool, as is finding a way to push the boundaries of cultural taboos. However, there are some issues that, as far as I'm concerned, are morally off-limits in the quest for advertising gimmicks and profit-making - these issues are generally the ones that exploit a person or population who has no choice and no voice. (Watch on CTV)

I was delighted to see, in the evening news article, that our (then) provincial Minister of Employment and Immigration responded quickly and decisively by pulling his departments ads from the station. I strongly applaud his actions. From a SUN News article:
     Although [Thomas] Lukaszuk could not say how much money his ministry spends on
    Bear advertising, he vows to no longer pay for air-time on the station. “Whether it’s $1 or $1
    million, the number doesn’t make a difference. It’s a statement against what they’re doing,” he      

I have yet to talk to anyone who thought this contest was in good taste, but beyond that, a "What's the big deal?" sentiment was been expressed by most. 

The reason that this doesn't seem like a "big deal" is that the issues the contest covers up- human trafficking and exploitation - are usually so far hidden in the shadows we are hardly aware they exist.

Be it mail order brides, "massage" parlours, escorts, strip clubs, or prostitution, the reality we tend to ignore is that many of the "workers" are not providing services of their own free will or for their own benefit. And the commercial sex industry is just one form trafficking takes on- this issue is way huger (and much closer to home) than I ever would have imagined.

Around the time of this radio contest I stumbled across some statistics that drew me to investigate these issues- which I had never really heard of before- more deeply. What I discovered is a human tragedy on a massive scale that most of us are surrounded by in our immediate day-to-day lives without even knowing. 

I would strongly encourage you to look into this a bit, give it some thoughtful consideration in your own heart and conscience, and then answer the question - "What's the big deal?"  - for yourself.