Friday, October 30, 2009

The Cost of Genrification

A friend and I visted Jesus People USA on Jan 1, 1994. As young guys from Edmonton I'll admit we found the inner city Chicago neighborhood JPUSA calls home quite intimidating. In the past fifteen years Uptown has gone through a process of gentrification. Some of the new upscale neighbours objected to JPUSA's homeless shelter.
The “powers that be” had listened to and heard the relentless pleas from a very fearful and merciless exclusive club. This group represented a relatively small number of people determined to promote hatred, fear and deception by painting negative pictures like violent ex-offenders living near innocent children. Nothing was investigated and propaganda had been used as a powerful tool, and the result was “no more funding!
JPUSA hasn't given up on the men from the shelter. They're still working and advocating for the homeless in their neighbourhood.
Digest this utterly false statement: “We’ve served our time and have been set free to live as a productive member of society.” Once a person is greeted into the cold angry cells of shame, that person’s rights are vanquished and they become a lifelong slave to societal fears, hypocrisy and prejudice. Guilty for life has been tattooed upon the foreheads of ex-offenders. The first strike law of public housing, mandatory minimum sentences, parole, the internet and the easy availability of criminal background checks have placed huge X’s upon every felon’s back. Sadly, the result is that housing and employment have been made virtually impossible. Thus, an endless cycle of grief and recidivism begins, and within that context, the lost sheep need to hear the Lord’s message of love, grace, restorative justice and hope.
Read the full story: Dejected but not forgotten

- Peace

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do You Like Breakfast?

Hi it's Calvin, not Dave. I feel inspired to post this video here:

PS: Don't ask me why Dave lets me intrude on IdeaJoy, but I think we can all agree this video is fabulous!

PPS: We like breakfast!!! =)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Philosopher Kings (Movie): A Short Review

Sarah took me to see The Philosopher Kings during the Calgary International Film Fest. From the official website:
In search of wisdom found in unlikely places, The Philosopher Kings takes us on a journey through the halls of the most prestigious colleges and universities in America to learn from the staff members who see it all and have been through it all: the custodians. This thought-provoking, feature-length documentary interweaves the untold stories of triumph and tragedy from the members of society who are often disregarded and ignored, and seeks out the kind of wisdom that gets you through the day and the lessons one learns from surviving hard times, lost loves, and shattered dreams.

The Philosopher Kings is a wonderfully humanizing work. Eight stories are woven together by various themes touching the nature of work, family, art and life. If you have the chance to see a screening then I'd highly recommend the movie. For 2009 I'd rank second only to Up!

- Peace

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My Stint as a Wedding Photographer

Together in Blue
Back at the end of Aug. I had the honor of being the prime photographer for Cameron and Teressa's wedding. I've posted 80 pictures from the Wedding to flickr. Wow, talk about stress. Mostly self imposed. Most of it was realizing that I'd agreed to shoot a major event for two people I care deeply about and that they are both outstanding photographers. Indeed Teressa is now doing Family Portraits. Cameron has a flickr stream that he doesn't update nearly enough.

In comedy they say you should never follow a better comic. Not sure what the rules are about shooting better photographers.

- Peace

Sunday, October 04, 2009

1500 KM

In 5th at 1500 KM
First ride since Aug. Lots of reasons why, ankle getting hurt again, taking advil for a wisdom tooth removal drained my energy. Took the birthday of a friend to get me out ridding again. Won't make 4500 km this year, but if I make 2500 km I'll be happy. BTW 2500 KM was my best distance when I was in my 20s.

- Peace