I realize that this may come as news to you, so I shall break it gently.

There are volumes other than floor-shakingly loud.

Really.

Look at the volume control on your music player. It has options for louder and for softer. You can play your awful music at a volume that I can't hear through the shared wall.

Now turn your attention to the television, and examine the volume control on it. You will notice the same options. I recommend trying the less-loud versions. You will still find yourself able to hear the dialogue, honest. But I won't.

And when you speak—when, for example, you tell your yappy dog to STFU, or when you express your anger and displeasure as you so often do at 10h00 while I am getting down to work—you can do it without raising your voice, and sharing the details of your discussions with me, through the aforementioned shared wall.

Amazingly enough, this also applies to closing doors–it is possible to go into and out of rooms without informing your neighbours that you are doing so. And to walking!

I am sharing this information with you, because it seems clear to me that nobody ever has before. It cannot possibly be that you really have failed to consider that your neighbours might not appreciate your taste in music, television, movies, and that we might prefer not to hear your discussions. I believe that you must feel deeply torn, every time you want to listen to music or watch a movie, knowing that you are inflicting your taste on your neighbours. It is entirely likely that you fervently hope that we are not home, so that you can indulge in your preferred entertainment without disturbing us.

I know that if I had not known about this marvelous ability of modern technology to replay music at less than wall-shaking volume, it would be much more difficult for me to enjoy my love of fine opera.

But now, with this new information that I am sharing with you, you no longer need to worry about us! You can simply turn the volume down, lower your voices, and close the doors instead of slamming them.

I do hope this makes it possible for you to get through your days in a more pleasant, less stressful fashion.

Best regards,
Your neighbour, who works from home.



Dear Co-workers,

No, thank-you, I didn't want or need any help unloading the dishwasher and loading all the dishes from this morning into it. How nice of the five of you who came in and out of the kitchen while I was doing so to ask me. I really do enjoy putting other people's dirty away—it makes such a nice break from my day. I especially appreciated the non-assistance from the person who saw me sorting the cutlery, and put her own dirty plate in the now-empty dishwasher, apparently unaware of the mountain of other people's dirty plates and bowls and cutlery on the counter. After all, it's a shared kitchen, so we should all do our part creating a mess for someone to clean up. And I had absolutely nothing better to do—I didn't have more than 152 e-mails to deal with, or 24 features to check, and my schedules are all totally up to date. I was just emptying and reloading the dishwasher with other people's dishes in order to pass the time.

So, thanks so much for asking the way you didn't. Your concern and fellow feeling totally made my Monday.

No love,
-z.
Dear Friend, Colleagues, and Fellow-Travellers,

Can we knock it off with the puerile snickering over People of Wal-Mart, already*? Also with the classist Wal-Mart slang—"Walmart children," "Walmart creatures," etc?

I mean, sure, it's really easy to feel superior to a population of largely poor people, many of whom are fat, many of whom may be on social assistance, many of whom do not share our values, fashion sense, or resources. These people aren't like us. So we mock them.

But really? Is there any glory at all in mocking the poor, the dispossessed, the fat, and those who might be in ill-health? Somehow, I'm failing to see the humour.

Cut for ranting. )

zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Jul. 21st, 2009 11:50 am)
The Weatherill report on the causes of and factor influencing last year's Listeriosis outbreak (the one that resulted in the deaths of 20 people) was leaked to CTV last night. Impolitical has picked up on several really bad decisions, and gives cogent explanations of why they're bad.

In a nutshell, the Harper government, and Harper appointeees
  • reduced the reporting requirements, stating that facilities need only report problems likely to cause public health concerns, and removed the Canada Food Inspection Agency's responsibility for overseeing cleanup at any facilities that reported positive bacteria tests.
  • got rid of any representation for the Public Health Agency of Canada at the Cabinet level, so that public health concerns were subsumed in the Ministry of Health portfolio
  • more or less killed CFIA as an inspecting body, relegating it to a supervisory role. What would CFIA be supervising? The inspections performed and reported on by a "self-regulating" industry
Want to ask the 20 dead people and their families how smaller government and industry self-regulation is working for them?

Dear Mr. Harper, you ghastly idealogue ... )
.

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