Walmart Canada Fashion For Little Girls


A Surrey, B.C. father wanted a summer dress for his five year old daughter. He landed on Walmart Canada website, searched “summer clothes for kids” and found this –

Unfortunate mix-up? Nope! Well maybe, but still absurd. Headline reads “Summer Style Children Dress Off Shoulder Dress Striped Dresses for Little Girls”. “Features” read – “has a design that is very sexy for little girls. Great for party, beach, festival etc. Suitable for girls aged 3 – 8. Stylish and unique design will make your kids more attractive.” WTF?

Surrey dad shocked after ‘sexy’ fishnet one-piece listed under kids’ section on Walmart website

Walmart declined to comment, but has since removed the item from their site.

Beryl Dickinson-Dash


In 1949 Beryl Dickinson-Dash was a third year arts major attending McGill University in Montreal. At the time, only 150 of 8,500 McGill students were black. Most blacks were international students, Beryl Dickinson-Dash belonged to a handful of Canadian born black students, notedly a black Canadian woman who knew of no other black female Canadian students.

Beryl with her mother Maisy

Winter Carnival was a big deal at McGill, a mid-winter festival presided over by Carnival queen and four princesses. Keen beauties required 25 signatures from male students to secure nomination. Without her knowledge, the roommate of Beryl’s boyfriend (whom she later married) submitted a photo she’d given her boyfriend on his birthday along with 25 signatures from black male students. Beryl was shocked to find herself one of 26 official candidates.

Next came the ceremonial tea, an afternoon of polite white glove decorum and radio interviews. 26 were cut to 15, 15 became 5 finalists after a second round of interviews and struts. Beryl made the final cut. Each candidate was assigned a campaign manager.

Campaigns reached fever pitch, Beryl’s boyfriend, his brother, roommate and black students rallied behind her. Telegrams were sent to McGill posing as endorsement from prominent companies and organizations. Posters of Beryl appeared in every classroom. Voting booths with scrutineers proved seriousness of a fair vote. Results were leaked several days before official crowning. Beryl won by a landside, so much so final numbers wouldn’t be released as doing so might “injure the other girls”. Just past midnight, March 5, 1949 on her 21st birthday, Beryl Dickinson-Dash was crowned McGill Carnival Queen at the Montreal Forum in front of 8,000 spectators.

A newspaper clipping from March 5, 1949, announcing the pageant victory. (Submitted by Bradley Rapier)

Beryl doesn’t know why a predominantly white student body elected her Carnival queen. “Perhaps they were tired of how things were” she said. Regardless, she became a media sensation, front page news in papers and magazines. South of the border, Color magazine sponsored Dickinson-Dash (now Beryl Rapier) for a two week trip to West Virginia – her first negro college. A painting of Beryl standing in front of West Virginia state capital building by artist William Edouard Scott titled Spirit of Democracy was presented to McGill as a token of appreciation from people of America. I remind you – it was 1949!

Color magazine sponsored a two-week trip to West Virginia for Rapier. A press clipping from that trip features photographs of her at West Virginia State College. (Submitted by Bradley Rapier)

Sadly, few people in Canada know the story of Beryl Dickinson-Dash. But for stumbling upon her story last week courtesy CBC Radio Doc Project, I’d remain oblivious to a remarkable moment in Canadian history. More photos and history at the link below –

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/docproject/how-montrealer-beryl-dickinson-dash-made-history-as-mcgill-s-first-black-queen-of-carnival-1.5605944

Ping


This week Justin Trudeau announced implementation of a Canadian COVID-19 tracking app. Deemed ‘voluntary”, currently testing in Ontario, apparently available nation-wide on July 2nd, COVID Alert is hailed as an anonymous tracking app which pings subscribers with alerts when coming in close contact with consensual participants testing positive for COVID-19.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/coronavirus-contact-tracing-app-ontario_ca_5eebbfdec5b6d9234ce7b795

Sorry Canada. If you think I’m going to voluntarily download a COVID tracing app affording supposed “anonymous” Bluetooth access to daily activities with promise of a ping when coming in close contact to someone testing positive for COVID-19 – you have another thing coming!

See the source image

Sweet mercy, surely contact tracing apps raise more red flags than my own?

I Think Not!


Home province British Columbia, Canada has a population of 5.1 million. Population of U.S. state Maryland is 6.06 million. As of today the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in B.C. is 2,659. Of that, 183 cases are considered active. 2,309 persons recovered, 167 died. Of the 183 active cases, only 16 are hospitalized, 4 of those in ICU. Compare home stats to those of Maryland – 58.404 confirmed cases, 2,776 deaths, 4,240 recovered. Even when taking 900,000 or so more Maryland residents into consideration, the difference is staggering.

Closer to home, ponder Washington State, population 7.1 million – 1,300 new cases over the weekend, compared to 29 in B.C. To date Washington state accounts for 24,401 confirmed infections, 1,161 deaths. And there’s impatience to open the border, why?

Total number of COVID-19 deaths in Canada is 7,835. New York state alone accounts for 30,374 of America’s 112,579 COVID-19 deaths. As more than 20 U.S. states report increased cases in the past 14 days, Canada maintains a sharp decrease. Still think the Canada/U.S. border should open? I think not!

See the source image

 

Nectrous Botanicals


Meet my daughter, driving force behind Nectrous Botanicals. Nectrous began as an idea in her kitchen. She did everything right – Health Canada certification, strict adherence to philosophy of natural ingredients and unwavering belief in her brand. Against all odds, notably the proliferation of small batch soap crafters selling bars at local markets, her products stood out. She secured studio space, went into full production. Local stores started carrying Nectrous, within weeks one store became five. Before long Nectrous appeared on shelves from Calgary and Edmonton to Toronto and Montreal.

Staying afloat, treading water despite insurmountable odds is the stark reality of countless small businesses like Nectrous impacted by pandemic shut-downs. While government initiatives and bail outs go to established corporations, businesses like Nectrous are on their own. It’s important to ponder impact of pandemic times on small business.

Unapologetic promotion, order a bar at https://www.nectrous.com/

https://scoutmagazine.ca/2019/04/09/a-conversation-with-eastside-flea-vendor-alexandra-hulley-of-nectrous-botanicals/

https://www.melanieauld.ca/blogs/melanie-auld-jewelry/alexandras-story

Quarantine Playlist


Music is a powerful elixir, tonic capable of lifting spirits with inexplicable harmonic energy. Tonight’s quarantine playlist started with Casual Viewin’ by iconic Canadian band 54-40, a curious choice considering their vast catalogue and undeniable place on my top ten list of favorite bands. 54 40 could sing the phonebook and I’d be happy, Casual Viewin’ makes me smile, if that’s not quarantine tonic I don’t know what is.

Next played Over Everything by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. Two fav artists joining to produce a song that makes me feel good –

For no discernible reason I turned to old school hip hop. Beatie Boys and Salt N Pepa –

Currently I’m digging Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel –

Quarantine playlists are fascinating. What we listen to speaks volumes about our mindset.

Staff Infection


As quarantine restrictions ease across North America, restaurant owners leapt on reopening despite regional restrictions on capacity and seating distance. On May 19th British Columbia allowed restaurants to open at 50% capacity. Enthusiastic public response filled patios to the brim, patrons wait in long lines hoping for a seat at normality’s table. Overnight, a palpable transformation played out across the city. Akin to getting out of jail, an inch of freedom gave way to miles of opportunity. I can so I will took root.

Yesterday, youngest son returned to work at a trendy Yaletown eatery.  Normal need not apply, patrons are splurging on bottle service, tipping with wild abandon and filling available seats until closing bell. His observations aren’t unique, permission to sit at restaurant tables amounts to viral imperative for familiar social surroundings.

Rejoice, sit with friends, drink draft beer, take comfort in health regulations requiring service staff to wear face masks. So great, right? Not so fast. What about the rights of service staff? Patrons don’t have to wear face masks, they’re not touching plates, glasses or cutlery of others. They don’t languish in a steamy dish pit, sweltering behind mandatory face masks as scalding steam covers them in particulate moisture. No big deal, what’s a handful of service staff compared to optics of economic revitalization?

Actually it’s a very big deal and frankly I’m appalled.

See the source image

 

Incel Terrorism


Incel stands for involuntarily celibate, hash-tag/moniker of a profoundly misogynistic online community united by feelings of sexual rejection. Long simmering Incel hatred of women took root years ago in shadowy forums and alt-right chatter hubs. Amid a plethora of mass shootings and violent crime the Incel movement went largely unnoticed until now. Today, Canada elevated Incel aggression to criminal act of terrorism.

In February 2020 a 17 year old machete wielding male entered a Toronto massage parlour, killing Ashley Noelle Arzaga, seriously wounding two more women. Ontario police arrested the suspect on site, initially charging him with first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Further investigation brought in the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team when evidence indicated the attack was motivated by Incel ideology. On May 19, 2020 RCMP updated charges to, “murder – terrorist activity.”

Incels favour “Chad” and “Stacey” as namesakes for hate and envy.  Chad men are attractive but intellectually flawed, Stacy are women who reject incels for Chads. Don’t scoff, this is deeply messed up psychology.  Serious enough for Canada to lay terrorism charges against a young man attacking women at a Toronto massage parlour.

Incel motivated violence against women isn’t new. The link below illustrates numerous atrocities directed at women by awkward inductees of this murky online movement. What’s new, dare I say historical is Canada’s interpretation of the offence.

Ours is not a Chad and Stacy world. Ours is a online world where Chad and Stacy loathing involuntary celibates bloom in basement solidarity. Right, wrong or knee jerk Canadian perspective, as of May 19, 2020 intel motivated violence is an act of terrorism in Canada.

What is the ‘incel’ movement that police allege inspired a terrorist attack at Toronto massage parlour?

Murder Hornets


Dubbed murder hornets, Asian Giant Hornets are poised to impact struggling North American bee populations. Entomologists suspect winter hibernating Asian behemoths arrived as undetected cargo ship stowaways. These alarmingly large (queens grow over 5 cm, minions 3.5 cm ) behemoths invade bee hives, decapitating prey and flying off with thoraxes to feed their young – beehives wiped out in a matter of hours.  Not quite Starship Troopers, but close enough if you’re a honeybee.

A dead Asian giant

Dead Asian Giant Hornet courtesy Washington State Dept. of Agriculture

First discovered in British Columbia, August 2019, the following month Vancouver Island beekeepers eradicated a large giant hornet nest. They’ve been spotted in Washington State and White Rock, B.C. In March 2020 officials in British Columbia issued a public alert – do not approach, but report sightings immediately.

“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Chris Looney, a Washington State entomologist, said of the two-inch Asian giant hornet. He displayed a dead hornet on his jacket.

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

While not generally interested in people, pets or livestock, you wouldn’t want to piss them off.  Stings from their particularly long stinger capable of penetrating a beekeepers suit is described as excruciating.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/murder-hornets-canada_ca_5eaf2190c5b69a7955198bbc??ncid=newsltcahpmgnews

Hometown Cowboy Surf Vibe


Not the first time I’ve championed homegrown cowboy surf rock, but certainly the first time It’s Gettin’ Tough by the Modelos plays as a pandemic earworm. Last time I shared this song, Trump’s America blistered. Since then, Trump jibber-jabber has intensified. Undaunted by more of the same, it struck me as appropriate to reinsert a homegrown Vancouver cowboy surf vibe to lighten the mood.

https://www.the-modelos.com/about-us