26 August 2005

Nesting habits of the urban communications specialist

Choosing the warmest, brightest habitat, most female communications specialists are surrounded by windows, several stories above the ground.

After an initial settling period, she begins to line her walls with brightly coloured marketing material. She will also layer her desk with faxes, post-it notes and business cards. A scribbled on paper calendar and a whiteboard are also commonly found close by.

Spot the communications specialist amongst other urban females by looking for business casual clothing and a slightly preoccupied demeanor. Her tendancy to brainstorm internally at random may be mistaken for absent-mindedness, but don't be fooled.

23 August 2005

Adventures on BC Transit

Yesterday's bus ride home had two very interesting moments.

The first was when a lady sat down next to me speaking broken English to an adjacent passenger about her "master" and what a "nice man" he is. I didn't catch much more of the conversation between these two Asian ladies, but it occurred to me that at least one of them was a mail-order bride. I felt genuine panic as I contemplated that this live person considered herself indentured to someone else. But judgment aside, I was also a little fascinated. All the years I've been riding public transit in Victoria and Vancouver and I had always thought fellow passengers on their way to ESL classes were visiting students, funded by parents or guardians. I wondered how many were learning English to better serve recently acquired masters.

I also saw my first hybrid bus while I was waiting for a #28 at Hillside Mall. Other than the fact that the word "Hybrid" was painted on the side, I couldn't tell the difference.

18 August 2005

Rethink Pink

Does the advertising industry have the capacity to act as a benefactor to feminism? It seems that the sheer practicality of listening to the majority of women is forcing marketers and advertisers to revise their strategies.

This isn't news. But has it finally become effective in changing the way society views female bodies? Led by Queen Latifa, plus size models have been moving into the limelight for years. Fashion magazines and major retailers have all picked up the buzz that women not only can't, but refuse to fit one size. Still, stereotypes haven't changed, but I'm optimistic that my friends, aunts, cousins and other beloved women will not have to endure body image ideals much longer. I think once Latifa's models conquer the runway, the transition will be complete. I'll be watching.

In the meantime, check out an interesting portal called Rethink Pink on marketing to women. Strange twist that the very industry guilty of creating unrealistic expectations may turn around and break them apart.

Advertising to women: A turn-on or a turn-off?

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

15 August 2005

Envy and Equality

What conceivable positive purpose could envy serve? Isn't human equality a noble higher goal - and unquestionably good?

Consider the possibility that envy, born of inequality, can create a drive to improve ourselves. Envy can be part of what urges athletes, artists, thinkers, business people and others to achieve and surpass past accomplishments. When people better themselves, competing against their own personal best or others around them, ripples of progress affect everyone.

In making each person in the world literally equal, therefore destroying envy, we take away uniqueness. The distinctiveness we all value would be lost. Equal human rights and a literal lack of differentiation are two very separate ideas. The latter being the problem utopians encountered in Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron.

Read Harrison Bergeron at:

07 August 2005

Moving again

Each time I pack and move from house to house, I get another confirmation that transient international life would never have been good for me. I hate moving. So does everyone else, but it's not just the hassle that bugs me. Losing the familiarity of my surroundings bothers me too. Even in a poorly lit suite plagued by problems with minimal access to laundry, lack of privacy and unstable parking. Not to mention the nightmare of nightly screeching cat fights.

I'm a little disappointed that my desire to see far off countries is overruled by my need for stability. Dorky as it is, I need to feel at home more than I need to see new horizons. I've never lived in one place longer than 2 years in the last 10. The average being 8 months to 1 year, it's exhausting never feeling free to imprint myself on my living space. I still hope to have more overseas adventures in the not-to-distant future, but I'll be so happy when this move is over and I can settle somewhere again - for awhile at least.