The changing nature of totems

3 photographs taken at the end of September 2017 in the City of Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada

The Native Totem pole used to be a ritual pole placed in front of Long Houses of Big Houses on Vancouver Island, BC Canada. Now the nature of the totem pole has transformed in the City of Duncan to be a tourist commodity. These totem poles in the City of Duncan have for the most part been carved by natives from the island, however the purpose of the totem poles is like a business. I have taken tours of the City of Duncan where the Entrepreneur foundation hired a local to show the totems to be in the City for a fee.

Advertisements

What would happen if society solved homelessness first? Sep 29, 2017

Within Human history and dating back into Biblical times, when Jesus tried to help the marginalized such as Mary Magdalene and Lazarus – Jesus got penalized and was reported. In the end he was forced to punishment and killed.

Is that how our Western society is still today, September 29, 2017?

Why has society not really tried to solve homelessness properly?

Is it because it has to do with the Medical Model? Is the Medical Model a completely separate unit from the rest of the other industries such as the homeless industry in the City of Victoria, BC?

Is that why no politicians has tackled homelessness in the City of Victoria head-on?

I went to a community meeting organized by the Mayor of the City of Victoria Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada at the start of September 2017. I listened to the community feedback to the Mayor and I started to see how many of the details from the audience were deterred away from being put of a high priority list to be addressed and fixed. This single act alone was symbolic to me of the City of Victoria’s Municipal political system. I believe the essence of the City Hall in Victoria City is to portray the impression that that City is the best, and at the same time to try to hide and make obsolete the problems and complaints the citizens in the sub-communities have. Of course, I am not saying this is true or false, as I often do not operate in absolutes, however it is my personal observation of the meeting.

If this operation was even remotely true, that means that the City of Victoria, BC has some transparency issues that may need to be addressed in the future. I do not believe that sweeping anything under the carpet in politics or in business is a good thing. In fact, I believe that when that is done, that it creates an environment and a community based on fear. Fear leads to censorship and when this occurs what will often occur within the hierarchical structure of the leadership is that an autocracy with form. I have my suspicions that this form to at least some extent is occurring in the City of Victoria, BC but it is based on impressions versus pronounced statistics. All in all, Freedom of Expression is one of the current freedoms we still have, at least to some degree, left in our city. It would be very sad if that turns obsolete too.

{Photograph taken in the staircase of Vancouver Island University (VIU) September 28, 2017}

22047877_10154794854727019_6717303610714817367_o

Cub Cities take care of vulnerable first

Cub cites are cities that are created to take care of the most vulnerable individuals first. The symbol of cub cities is the British Columbia Canadian spirit bear cub, often found on Vancouver Island. They are anomalies. (See pictures of two spirit bear cubs here under).

Eindhoven city, The Netherlands

Eindhoven is a city in the South of Holland. It started off as a small municipality and once Philips started his famous Philips company the village started to grow. now it is considered to be Holland’s fifth largest cities. What makes Eindhoven a special city? Well it all starts at the Central train station (Eindhoven CS).

In the main hall, there is a quote in large neon yellow letters that reads:

“Conventie, een soort herinnering, is het grootste beletsel om te genieten van leven en kunst.” Piet Mondriaan

Which means convention is the obstacle between art and life.

It is the kind of quote that makes you question your life, your actions and your independent role as an individual. It is because of this one quote that I changed. I changed my vision of the world, my vision of people, my goals, dreams and aspirations, I no longer could find peace within tradition or culture instead I knew I needed to follow my own way.

To me, going to Eindhoven and seeing that quote in the CS was the most valuable experience in my world travels.17170342157_5156ab17d2_b

 

2854801799_1cd2995154_b

Master or Victim

Title: Master or Victim

“Everything happens for a reason.” You either believe this statement or not. If you do, then you will be the Master of your own destiny and if you do not, then you will be the Victim. Which one would you rather be?

In June 2007 three (3) huge things happened to me at the same time.

First, my income was cut-off without any prior notice.

Second, my relationship ended which led me to have no roof over my head because I couldn’t pay the rent without an income.

I was a hair away from sleeping in my car and begging on the streets of Victoria City.

None of the three circumstances were planned, I had no control over them and I could not have prevented any of them from happening.

When the dust begun to settle, I started to think about how to piece my life back together. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I started to take action. I started looking at the good things in life, like:

  1. where I was
  2. that I was healthy, strong and determined to turn things around
  3. that I had family living close by
  4. that I have a passion for art and I have a dream to start my own museum
  5. that I could spend time on my own thinking about things

I still had a lot to be thankful for, even though my life seemed to be spun out of control.

I felt grounded within myself. My foundation was protected and I felt safe within myself. My core values was still the same and I knew who I was. I knew deep down that I would be able to take the bull by its horns and conquer each of the challenges that came my way. This power came from within me, like a ray of light guiding me to make the right decisions.

To start off with, I stayed put where I was living. I was not going to be put out on the streets. Then I thought of a short-term and long-term plan for my future. Afterwards I applied to jobs that I really “liked” and got interviews with companies.

Now, one and a half months later, I have two companies who are seriously interested in hiring me, I have a short-term and long-term plan for my future and I have lessened the hostile situation with my ex-partner.

These are all examples of how I became Master of my own destiny instead of a Victim.

What I could  have done, is curled up in a little ball and cried myself to death – but where would that have gotten me? Nowhere.

The key to mastering your own destiny is to believe in yourself, your dreams, your thoughts, your core values and your own decision-making.

When unexpected situations come your way – don’t try to dodge them by ignoring them – instead stare at them straight in the eye, confront it and deal with it. See it as a learning experience, something that will make you so much wiser in the future. These experiences are enriching because they challenge you to really look at yourself in a way you would never have done if the situation didn’t occur. Thank God for this situation for giving me the strength to turn the whole situation around.

Whatever you do in life, don’t run away from it! Instead embrace life like nothing before.

Like my father told me, “Life is hard but beautiful.”

(Image taken in Saanich Municipality, Greater Victoria Area, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Sept 17, 2017)

21686829_10154769304867019_7669259293899172276_o

Nepotism in 2017

In the 1960’s universities in the Western world used to be about two components, namely [1] morals [2] intellectualism.

Both of these components were intended to be taught through academic institutions such as universities. The idea was that through an ingrained sense of academic morals and intellectualism this could lead one to create opinions that university academics could use in their field of expertise after graduation and hence in their positions of leadership in different communities. This form of moral and intellectualism indoctrination has been replaced by nepotism all over the Western world.

The use of universities is no longer a place to instill morals and intellectualism instead it is a place to learn practical instructions as to how to have and hold authoritative power in a community through [A] nepotism and [B] protectionism.

This key shift in the Western academic university system is no longer about being able to think critically nor create more world equality instead it has transformed into a Global Locked-in Elitism.

Personally I am an academic traditionalist who holds dear [1] moral values [2] intellectualism, but I am a dying breed.

My value system does not match the current 2017 academic professionalism. Unlike Darwinism and the Survival of the Fittest theory, where most species have a predetermined destiny I believe my destiny is determined by my moral radar, my critical thinking skills (created out of intellectualism) to help me form ‘fair’ and ‘just’ opinions in order to help others within the realm of my professional and personal life components. These are altruistic qualities something that no longer fits into academic professional life.

Photograph taken September 13, 2017. Vancouver Island Canada. Myself standing in front of a portrait of Queen Victoria.

21728234_876057385880945_5450340357463995346_n

Victoria City, Vancouver Island, Canada

 

 

Victoria City is a city of extremes. Mostly the culture is ‘high Victorian’, which means that it is of British Colonial heritage. The first official judge in Victoria City, according to local documentation was Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie (9 May 1819 – 11 June 1894). The Law Library at the University of Victoria, BC Canada, used to have a statue of Justice Begbie, about 7 years ago. Then something happened to the statue, which disappeared one night into thin air. This mysterious disappearance of the statue led to the resolve of the conflict between Victoria City Colonialism and one of the Indigenous tribes. Justice Begbie is known to have hung an Indigenous chief. This act of hanging the chief of a tribe, is like Nelson Mandela’s father who was a counselor to kings in South Africa, and who was virtually stripped of all his power within his village and within his tribe caused by the Apartheid Republic of South African regime. Many Indigenous individuals, and through some course work through the UVic Law Degree, draw a parallel with Apartheid South Africa and the current Canadian government. This is a subject which I will exit, because my Dutch heritage omits me from having an opinion on colonialism. Instead, I like to venture into historic accounts and learn what historians and academics had to say on the subject. I also like to explore history to find answers to our current day society. In Victoria city – the biggest divide, is in the lack of innovation and the underdevelopment of laws. Our city of Victoria is only 150 years old, that is when the city got inaugurated; and to me, that means my birth country is still in an infancy stage. The laws to protect humans are inadequate, and it is not the fault of the country to have inadequate laws. Western Europe took more than 2000 years to develop their law systems, so it is impossible for Canada to have caught up on their sophicated laws in 1/20 the amount of time. Canada is a unique country and unique laws. It will take at least another 1500 years to reach a mature stage of law creation, modification and implementation. Until that time, there will be cowboys who profit off the economical system of free entreprise and there will be citizens who suffer the consequences of the free enterprise Neo Liberal system in which so far (in 2017) is ingrained in many British Columbian’s psyches. As of July 18th, Victoria City will have a new Premier, Mr. John Horgan of the BC NDP however, in my opinion, it is going to take more then hypnotism to try to get the capitalist Neo Liberalism wolves to transform into socialist welfare state sheep.

My city. My Circus.

(Photograph of Victoria City Hall)

victoria city hall british columbia (19).png