Our Traci Lords, who art in Heaven

It seems a bit odd, but maybe only to me, that increasingly I have come to testify to the awesomeness of former porn star Traci Lords. Why would a prude (or circumscribed prude) such as myself be all YEAH SHE IS AWESOME? Well, I’ll be happy to tell you but happier to show you. My first exposure to Traci Lords was by clicking in, by accident, to Whoopi Goldberg’s talk show in the 90′s, about halfway through, long past the use of personal pronouns. I had no idea who this woman was; I just knew that her charity work was amazing, and informed by an intelligence that was not circumscribed by any set of cultural blinkers. Watch and learn.

and recently she came forward about the Steubenville rapes, to testify to a rape culture in the town, a culture which contributed to her own rape, at the age of ten. She was the first and (as far as I can see) only person to talk about the fact the victim was ejaculated and peed upon. She’s turned that experience into the music video Stupidville, and I applaud her for it.

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RIP Jack Layton

Jack Layton's immortal words are right there in orange and white

Jack Layton's immortal words are right there in orange and white

RIP, Jack: one of the greats is gone. You would have been an awesome Prime Minister, and you put that kitten-whoring robot who’s serving as Fuhrer in fear of his political life!

I know what I’ll be drinking tomorrow: The Layton: orange crush and jack!

Before he left, Jack Layton wrote Canada a letter, and never was there better proof that the man held his country foremost in his thoughts and close to his heart. Here it is:

Jack Layton's Letter to Canada

Jack Layton's Letter to Canada

Jack Layton's Letter 2

Jack Layton's Letter 2

Artist Stuart Thursby has translated some of Jack’s words into the powerful art you see at the top of this post, as well as others you can download from his site (he continues to update the site with new works). (via Tris Hussey)

And here, because not everything in memory of a man like that can be somber, are the song stylings of Jack “Party for Sale or Rent” Layton. And if you despair of human nature, look at the comments on the YouTube page: that man’s power of nobility is such that it even inspired YouTubers to behave with grace.

Via Bonnie Nish of Pandora’s Collective

Jack Layton's Words. Don't forget them.

Jack Layton's Words. Don't forget them.

Requiem for Resolute Bay

This is photographer Dave Brosha‘s panegyric in praise of Resolute Bay in photographs and music. Here’s a tribute to the people of the North, from one of their own.

My heart’s in a million pieces right now. Good people that I know have been taken in this tragedy. A beautiful community that I used to call home is devastated.

To the great folks at First Air, the families of those taken on Flight 6550, and the people of Resolute Bay.

Dave Brosha

Resolute Bay Crash

Resolute Bay memorial photographed by JP Newell

Resolute Bay memorial photographed by JP Newell

First Air C-GNWN by Gilbert Hechema

First Air C-GNWN by Gilbert Hechema

In the North, any tragedy is a shared tragedy, and yesterday, we shared the terrible news that First Air C-GNWN 737-210C had crashed on approach to the airport at the hamlet of Resolute Bay. For a community of only 250, this loss is nearly unimaginable.

Fortunately for the survivors, the Canadian Armed Forces were conducting exercises in the area, practicing for emergency rescues, and they were on the scene quickly, lending whatever assistance they could. For twelve people, including a little girl, it wasn’t enough. For three others, including that little girl’s sister, it probably made the difference between life and death.

The wounded have been medivac’d to Iqaluit: two flight attendants and the little girl. Operation Nanook, the training operation, has been suspended. The Governor General, who is traveling in the North, issued the following statement:

Sharon and I are deeply saddened by the catastrophe that occurred in Resolute Bay, where an airplane crashed earlier this afternoon.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event.

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to visit many of the Operation NANOOK military units.

I was able to witness first hand the professionalism and dedication of our Canadian Forces and civilian organizations as they responded quickly and effectively to this catastrophe.

Here is a list of accidents at the Resolute Bay airport, but it’s incomplete: I can find references to a Lancaster crash on Flickr, but there’s nothing here about it. Here is the first shot of the crash: as you can see, the plane fell significantly short of the runway, crashing in the low, rolling hills on the approach. There was a very low cloud ceiling (fog) at the time of the crash, just about 1pm. Investigators have recovered the black boxes from the plane, and will be releasing the results in due course. So far no causes have been officially suggested; as with any aircraft, the plane had a history of mechanical issues and repairs, but nothing in the recent history as far as is known would seem to have indicated a potential issue.

Resolute Bay Crash by Nicolas Laffont

Resolute Bay Crash by Nicolas Laffont

There is a Facebook group set up to express condolences, and tomorrow there will be a memorial. First Air has suspended all flights out of Yellowknife, and the second floor of the Yellowknife airport has been cordoned off; First Air staff are apparently receiving grief counselling, and a Catholic priest has visited the airport.

There are more specific details, including the condition of the wreckage, on this CP post on the Huffington Post. The most up-to-date information is on Twitter, and to spare the feelings of the friends and families, most people are exercising restraint in what they post.

Escape from Vancouver Unicorn Chaser links

Vancouver Riots in Lego by Kimli

Vancouver Riots in Lego by Kimli

I guess you could say that’s looking on the bright side. Turning riots into art is a very 21st Century response.

Speaking of art, here is Lani Russworm’s amazing shot of the smoke rising from Downtown. It gives you some perspective on what this riot is doing to our city, and what kind of  city it is.

Vancouver tonight. And how was YOUR evening?

Vancouver tonight. And how was YOUR evening?

I dunno if you’ve been following sports tonight, but I can’t say as it brings me much joy to be in Vangroover tonight: neither because of the loss nor because of the dumbass riots. Yes, we have Ed Hardy-wearing douchebags here, too.

Vancouver Fuck Calm

Vancouver Fuck Calm

So, if you could use a Unicorn Chaser too, here are a lovely roundup of brain-soothing landscapes. Let your imagination pick one and drift away, possibly with the aid of a stiff cocktail or eight.

Manége de l'Hotel de Ville, Paris 1er, France

Manége de l'Hotel de Ville, Paris 1er, France by Gaston Bastini

Sure, t could be considered childish, and you’re just going round in circles, but the view is fabulous and the company charming and decorative.

Or if you’d like to opt out of adulthood altogether, there’s always this perennial favorite:

I only want a one way ticket

I only want a one way ticket

A one-way ticket will be just fine, thank you.

Treehouse of the Elder Gods

Treehouse of the Elder Gods

I think this is where Julian Assange and I will live once he’s paroled. If these cedars are rockin’, don’t come knockin’.

And finally, I’ll let you in on my retirement plans. Screw Florida!

Goodbye, Cruel World! Hello New, Improved World!

Goodbye, Cruel World! Hello New, Improved World!

It’s true: I’d dump Assange in a Cair Paravel minute if Caspian would give me the time of day.

Sigh. There, feel better? Good. Now let’s read some trivia celebrity gossip links and forget all about those nasty, nasty uni-ball-having, hockey-not-playing rioting protoplasms.

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