Remember Montreal

As chigau pointed out, it’s been 29 years since the École polytechnique massacre in Montreal, yet the story is all too common almost 30 years later. A white man who thought the world owed him a certain place went out to kill women, because he thought they were taking what was rightfully his, denying him his due.

While the event shocked not only the Canadian public, the ideology that led to it is far from eradicated. From Elliot Rogers over the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High to Alek Minassian killing women in Toronto, the pattern of entitlement and violence continues. And these are only the cases that make headlines, the cases where the victims were more or less randomly chosen. It doesn#t even get into the thousands of cases where men kill their (ex) partners or just a woman they hardly knew for turning them down.

And whenever these cases happen, the discussion is the same: mental illness is blamed*, women themselves are blamed. It’s a well practised dance around the violent misogynist mass murderer in the room.

This is why on this day of all, I have no moment of silence, but loud anger. For all of our sisters who have died and who will still die at the hands of men who think they are owed the world, and at the words of those who always have more empathy for the murderer than his victim.

 

*Before somebody feels the need to mention that X, Y, and Z had a history of mental illness, spare yourselves the time, I’ve got none for that discussion. While mental illness may make it easier for those men to turn to more extreme actions, it didn’t instil a hateful ideology into them and no mental illness ever forged a gun.

Wednesday Wings

David sends these wonderful images of pelicans.  Plus a bonus cormorant, I think.

I don’t think there can ever be too many Pelicans, so here is a bunch
roosting on a submerged tree, Murray River, Loxton, South Australia.

pelicans

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

pelicans

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

pelicans

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

I got Mail: Treasures from Across the Sea

Dear voyager sent me a parcel full of wonders and I’m going to share at least the images with you.

various goodies

All the wonderful things in one place, except for the lavender, which was stolen ba my kid.

chocolates

First of all, chocolate. I’m only going to eat this once my cold has gone completely.

magnets

Unicorn magnets. If the kids behave I will share. I’ll probably put some into their advent calendar.

maps

Postcards and a roadmap from voyager’s summer residence. Now I can check where Jack walked.

bone

A bone disk, I think. It says “fill me with resin and make me a pendant.” I think I need to work on an idea here.

beach findings

Sea urchins, snails and a sanddollar. How did voyager know I was working on an underwater landscape?

leaves

The wildlife guide is full of leaves from Jack’s walks. I have a pretty good idea as to what to do with them, but I won’t say anything yet. As I expected, #1 was very interested in the wildlife guide as such…

Seaglass and seashell fossils(?) I have an idea here, too…

Not pictured: a little matrioshka keyring that went directly to my keys…

Thanks you so much, voyager. Receiving your lovely gift was better than Christmas.

Teacher’s Corner: Things I don’t have to worry about

As you might know by now, being a teacher can be “exciting”.  From wrestling out of control teenagers over having misogynistic slurs hurled at me to a mother and adult brother trying to beat us up (fortunately I was in another parent-teacher talk). Still with that level of violence, there’s some things I don’t have to worry about. A big one is guns. While there have been some school shootings or massacres in Germany, the number is low, and actually yes, we’ve tightened gun laws after the first big one in 2002. The one in 2009 could only happen because the father of the shooter had disobeyed those and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by negligence. Never say never, but  absolutely don’t worry about somebody shooting up my classroom with a military style assault weapon (and no, I’m not interested in the discussion of technicalities. You all know what weapons I mean).

I am worried about knives. They’re easy to get, easy to carry and can be deadly. But my chair is a very good defensive weapon against a knife. There’s a good chance I can get my students out of the room when somebody draws a knife while I try to calm that person. There’s a good chance that I will survive the extreme case of being hurt by a knife, which gets me to another thing I don#t have to worry about:

Healthcare cost. Should I or my students get hurt , we wouldn’t have to worry about who is paying our bills. I wouldn’t need to worry about losing my job for being sick or not getting paid because I used up my “sick days”. And I wouldn’t much need to worry about people blaming me for not having had a gun and killing somebody first.

 

Wednesday Wings: The Story of the Kinglet

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Click for full size

In German, a wren or kinglet is known as a “Zaunkönig”, the king of the hedges, and this is how he got his name.

One day, the birds decided to crown a king. They wanted the strongest bird to be their king so he could protect them, and they decided to hold a competition. They would all fly towards the sun, and the bird who could fly the highest would be their king. They all flew as high as they could. First, the small birds needed to return to earth. Then the geese and swans. the falcon flew very high, but finally he had to give up. The eagle flew higher and higher until the sun burned his light plumage to a dark brown. Finally, he was at the end of his tether and turned around. But the small king of hedges, who was still called by a different name back then, had hidden himself between the feathers of the mighty eagle. He had waited for just that moment, and when the eagle turned around, he came out, flew a bit higher and sang his triumphant song, declaring himself king.

The eagle was very angry at the cheating little bird and swore to kill him. The little king of hedges flew into the thick hedges to hide from the eagle, who was named king by the other birds. He keeps hiding there to this very day, but he still sings his song about beating the eagle in a flying competition.

La Luna

Rq just posted some wonderful shots of the moon and the skies, and coincidentally, I’ve got some waiting as well.

full moon

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size

full moon.

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size
Of course I could either get the trees in focus, or the moon…

full moon behind trees

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size
The last two are a bit older

full moon

©Giliell, all rights reserved, click for full size

 

 

As for the musical interlude:

Hijo de la Luna

What a very 90s video. For those who don’t speak Spanish: A woman prays to the Moon for help, who wants her firstborn child in return. The child is born pale as the Moon, as the swarthy father kills the woman for feeling betrayed. The Moon now has the child and she makes a cradle when it cries.

Teacher’s Corner: Burn the whole fucking system to the ground

Some days you just can’t even. You realise that the so called “free world” is so utterly cruel that you want to cry. Instead, you try to mitigate the harm it is causing.

One of the most marginalised groups in Europe are probably the Roma people. Even though they were just as prosecuted by the Nazis as the Jews were, this is apparently no reason to protect them today. The are still prosecuted, suffer pogroms and basically nobody cares. They have no future in their “home countries” and when they migrate, they suffer even more discrimination. For example, they cannot seek asylum in Germany, because, well, reasons I guess, and since they are often from non European Union countries, they cannot simply settle either, or get any welfare payments, except for the basic child subsidy.

We have a couple of Roma kids, and many of them live in absolute poverty. They live in homeless shelters, they live in run down houses. It is often difficult to talk to the parents, because we need an interpreter (thankfully there is a charity that works with us). therefore we often don’t even know what the problem is. One kid only came to school sporadically. She’s 11 years old, has lived in at least three different countries, can hardly read or write and is often sick.

Well, it’s not that the family didn’t want to send her to school, they send her whenever they have money for the bus. Oh, and they don’t have health insurance, so they cannot send her to the doctor, but if she feels ill it’s probably, because they have no food left. But if she fails in school, leaves without any qualification, marries young and has many children, it will of course be blamed on their culture. You know, because “those people” are like that.

Now that we know we can try to mitigate the effects. Get her a bus ticket, ask her if she’s had breakfast. The bus ticket is paid by a charity, the breakfast is something we just do among us teachers. Even if we can help her, what a poverty of humanism does this reveal in one of the richest countries on earth?

Monday Mercurial: Hippos!

Hippos are just my favourite animal. We have a lot in common. For one we are both on the chubby side. And we like to chill out. And nobody fucks with a hippo. Ok I’m working on that last point. In short, hippos are awesome.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Click for full size

hippo in water

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Click for full size

hippo

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Click for full size

hippo

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Click for full size

 

They’re also plain dangerous, so better watch from a safe distance.

Friday Feathers

Peafowl from Raucous Indignation.

Oh those colours!

Peacock

©Raucous Indignation , all rights reserved.Click for full size.

Peacock

©Raucous Indignation , all rights reserved.Click for full size.

peacock

©Raucous Indignation , all rights reserved.Click for full size.

peacock

My favourite one…
©Raucous Indignation , all rights reserved.Click for full size.