31 May 2006

I knew it!

Ever feel a little (or a lot) manipulated by the cute, personified animals in Telus commercials?

Other than taking pride in your inherent media savy as to how ads influence us, you should also be aware (if you're not already) that there's another layer to these promos. Cruelty to animals, specifically one hippo in Vancouver.

Although the more recent follow-up story places the majority of the blame for the cruelty on the Greater Vancouver Zoo, an earlier letter from the Vancouver Humane Society was fairly emphatic that Telus cease and desist with the hippo ads.

I'm sure the happy hippo page (link below) covered that particular incident. But I'm still wondering about all the many other animals still used in Telus campaigns.

More info:

Langley Advance
Vancouver Humane Society

And the resulting spin:


30 May 2006

Drip, dodge, smear, smudge, crop, cut

Art is messy and raw. Writing is no different, pouring out of tapped grey matter. After they emerge, most creative expressions are cultivated, controlled and remodelled by their makers.

But how far do you go altering the original to please the masses? How much do you question your own ability and the meaning of your creation? And then want feedback?

When we send pieces of ourselves out into the world, they are most effective when they start a conversation. Sometimes that conversation is neutral, but sometimes the words inspired by our images and ideas are loaded and they sting on impact.

I felt the sting when I posted a story to a forum-style contest and read the one comment - a scathing review that cut to the heart of why that story was mediocre. And she was right. Whatever bad mood (possibly elicited by my story) or unpleasant personality motivated the commenter is irrelevant.

As much as it hurts (and maybe this is the part of me that's addicted to body piercing), I value it. I welcome every barbed phrase. Whether it's criticism regarding an essay, article, painting or photo, I say, "Bring it on. Bite down. I can take it."

Why? I'm aching to be a better writer, painter, creative person. I can thicken my skin and improve my work at the same time. Every little chip in the surface is another step towards a sculpted thing of beauty.

23 May 2006

The river swimmer

"I hope that's someone's dog."


"Out in the river there, that thing swimming."

"Dude, that's a beaver."

"Seriously, you think?"

"Yeah. I've never seen one in the wild, but that's a beaver."

"Are you...


"That tail packed quite a punch."

"I'd say that was a beaver."

And the best picture we got was...

Beaver in the River

You'll have to trust me, he was a lot closer to the shore when we spotted him.
Fortunately, most of the other pictures turned out.

Unknown factory

From the shore

South of the river

Pedestrian bridge

Alberta Provincial Legislature

Leg. fountain

Leg. wading pool

Memorial torch

MOTEO sign on the path

Down on the Saskatchewan River

Devon sunset

09 May 2006

If you love me, you'll use these banners

Well, even if you just like me a bit, it would still be nice if you supported the magazine I write for.

Right click on one or more of these banners and/or buttons, pop it onto your site and link it to:


Do it and I just might be open to favours. Or mabye even love you back.