Archive for May, 2015

May 14, 2015

Choose Guilt, she said. It seemed odd advice… but I get it now.

I was having coffee with a friend yesterday who quoted Gabor Maté from his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Close Encounters with Addiction. On page 378 the author quotes a therapist: “When it comes to a choice between feeling guilt or resentment, choose the guilt every time.” Maté then adds, “It is wisdom I have passed on to many others since. If refusal to take on responsibility for another person’s behaviours burdens you with guilt, while consenting to it leaves you eaten by resentment, opt for the guilt. Resentment is soul suicide.”

I was perplexed at first. I thought, “If I’m feeling resentful, how can I change that to guilt,” and then the penny dropped. If I’m about to do something that will result in my feeling resentful, the advice is not to do it even if the result is feeling guilty.


May 11, 2015

DOXA Immersion – and Post-Festival Blues – 19 films in 11 days. Whew!

I’m just coming out of DOXA Documentary Film Festival 11-day immersion. I volunteer and get a pass for doing 20+ hours.  I treat it as if I’m out of town and do very little of my “regular life”.  How else would I manage to see 19 films in 11 days?

I’m sufficiently unavailable for regular connections that on Sunday I saw a friend who said, “Is DOXA over?” “One more day,” I replied. “Good, We’re looking forward to having you back. I’d like to get together with you.”

It’s a little like being at an extended conference. You begin to recognize people you know – sort of – or you see by their t-shirt, bag or name tag that they’re part of your tribe. You learn some people’s names and can wave and say, “Hi, Gerald. Sue. Linda. What have you seen that you liked?”

You may also see some people you’ve met before at previous festivals. There are regular arts volunteers who as one person put it, “will work for tickets.” Sometimes you’re lucky enough to make a new friend who you’ll see post festival.

Sometimes through serendipity you’ll see someone who’s not even at the same event but somehow you both surfaced in downtown Vancouver. A friend I worked with in Toronto a decade ago and lives in Victoria, greeted me as I was heading to the bus stop after the very last DOXA screening, last night around 10:30pm.

We hugged, reminisced, kept repeating the mantra: I can’t believe we’ve run into each other here.

We agreed we’d keep in touch on facebook and sure enough this morning I got a facebook message just saying how fun that was.

That can happen when you’re travelling too.

So, in 11 days I saw 19 films. Well, a few were partial movies. On volunteer shifts, some of the volunteers get to go in if there’s space so long as there’s enough coverage at the desk.  After a volunteer shift at Vancity where the last film during my last volunteer shift was sold out, I dashed up to Cinematheque and caught just the last 20 minutes of The Creeping Garden, about slime mold. So maybe that one doesn’t count. But on the other hand, I listened to two Q&A sessions with Victoria Lean, director of After the Last River.

The juxtapositions are delightful to my sense of humour. You might go from said film about slime mold to one about a 90-year-old fashion icon to climate catastrophe.

And now…

I think I need to go doc-free for a week or so and digest the ideas and images.

I’ll go to the volunteer party and hope to connect with my new friend.

Maybe I’ll be ready to watch online at

before the free preview runs out.


May 10, 2015

Virtues Project cards help give me focus to my day

I’ve been doing an online “Virtues Pick” for a couple of weeks now.  I can of course practise the other 51 virtues, but I find it helpful as I go through my day, to know that the virtue of the day is Resilience, for instance.  Here’s a photo of all of the cards.

Not sure if they can be purchased locally – I’ve sent a note to Banyen books to see if they have them in stock.

May 8, 2015

Green Party – Predictions of Sunny Weather with Claire Martin

I just learned that Claire Martin, everyone’s favorite weather person, is the Green Party candidate in North Vancouver.

Sunny. Definitely sunny.

Congratulations to all concerned.

May 7, 2015

Is that Platform “plank” or platform PRANK?

DOXA is messing with my mind. I’ve seen so many films it’s affecting what I see.

After seeing the Yes Men on Wed night, I read a news article about “platform planks” as “platform pranks”.  I decided not to click after all.

May 7, 2015

DOXA takes me on A Walk Down Memory Lane and then Pow! Right into the Present

At Doxa Day 6, I went to see She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry and it brought forth many memories. Many memories. The woman beside me gasped when they showed Help Wanted – Women and Help Wanted – Men ads. I said, “Yep. I applied to those jobs.” The conflicts, confusions, self-doubt, anger, enthusiasm, optimism, resentment – all that and more brought both smiles and tears to me as I watched these “women libbers” now in their 60s and 70s and their younger selves in the film.

The post-film discussion with panelists introduced as “some young feminists” seemed to take the attitude of objecting to the admittedly celebratory tone of the film. A woman in her 70s or so stood up and said, “We did not mess it up. I was part of a group that founded the first abortion clinic in Vancouver and it’s still running.”

News that Rachel Notley took Alberta with the NDP was greated with what I heard as disdain from two of the three panelists.

Ah, yes, conflict among the ranks. I remember it well.

Here are the panelists:

Jarrah Hodge is the founder and editor of the feminist blog, and has been published in the Vancouver Observer, The Tyee,, Bitch Magazine and The Mary Sue. Jarrah is also a volunteer organizer for the Vancouver chapter of Women, Action & The Media (WAM!).
Lucia Lorenzi is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia, as well as an anti-violence blogger at Her activism focuses largely on sexual assault in educational institutions. Her research interests include trauma theory and Canadian Literature, and her dissertation examines the relationship between silence and sexual violence.
Leah Horlick is a writer and poet from Treaty Six Cree territory in Saskatoon. A 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry. She identifies as a nonZionist Jewish lesbian of mixed descent, and currently lives on Unceded Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver, where she co-curates REVERB, the city’s only queer and anti-oppressive reading series.

The DOXA Festival Justice Forum series and panelists can all be found here:

See a 3-minute trailer here.

May 6, 2015

I Heart the Yes Men – DOXA Day 7

Today I saw #chicagoGirl – great film, rollercoaster of emotion, sad in the end, even sadder after hearing the Q&A update on Syria afterwards.

Fell asleep several times in the 3pm film Rivers and My Father. I’ve been spending too much time in darkened rooms with comfortable seats but tend to agree with the Father in question that a lot was repetitive and unclear.

The hit for me today was The Yes Men Are Revolting. I’ve loved them since they called Sarah Palin pretending to be Prime Minister Harper and this was a rollicking movie at the same time excruciatingly serious.

Also a nod to Sean Devlin who did a great job of suggesting that “we all could do a little bit more.”

Tomorrow off to:

7:00 PM VT From My Syrian Room [France/Syria/Germany/Lebanon/Qatar] Justice Forum
Satire & Subversion
9:00 PM CIN Le Paradis (Paradise) [France] French French
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