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everybody must get stoned

waddya mean i've sprung a leak?
i'm constantly tracking my twitter feed for things that can give me a healthy sense of superiority and/ or
schadenfreude. i was going to save this one for friday favourites, but i think that mr. sunith baheerathan deserves his little moment in the sun- or under the high-wattage hydroponic lights- all alone.

when i first read that some poor kid in suburban toronto had been fired for tweeting about pot, i thought i was going to be appalled at his employers. i looked at the article chiefly so that i could find out which moralistic twats he worked for so that i could do a quick name & shame and move on. after all, does merely mentioning the fact that you smoke pot, or want it legalised, etc. should never affect your employment. those are your own personal opinions and you have a right to express them.

but then i read the story and was bewildered to learn that despite my forty years on the planet, i am still capable of overestimating people.

because sunith baheerathan [can we just agree to call him "sunny b" from now on?] didn't just "tweet about pot". he broadcast a request through twitter that drug dealers in the area should stop by his place of employment- which he clearly identified- and bring him weed while he was on the job. that isn't a guy who got fired for tweeting about pot. that's a guy who got fired because his employers realised it was only a matter of time until someone with such considerable reserves of stupidity accidentally blew the place up. i view it as self-preservation.

now, it's possible that sunny b's ganga-scented brain fart would have gone unnoticed, but for the utterly hilarious comeback of the york regional police: "awesome! can we come too?" seriously, i hope whoever runs their twitter feed gets an extra few bucks on his/ her bonus this year for that one.

it's that sort of snappy retort that twitter-critters [like me] live to forward. and, as tends to happen, a lot of people went crazy with the retweet button, eventually alerting sunny b's employers to the fact that their guy was making an ass of himself and them on an international scale.

having been fired, sunny b says he's "lost his faith in humanity" because he can't believe that the cops would bother coming after someone for pot when there's rapists and murderers on the loose.

look, i'm sure the york regional police aren't perfect, but just because they responded to something that was basically lobbed into their lap doesn't mean they're not chasing the rapists and murderers. i love to cook, but if you put french fries in front of me, i'll eat them. doesn't mean i'm giving up cooking.

and what's more, the police didn't come running for him. they gave him the virtual equivalent of a smack upside the head, but as far as i can tell, they did nothing else. probably because they were more concerned with the rapists and murderers.

the reason this story sticks in my proverbial craw [i have no idea if i have a literal craw, since i've never known exactly what the word referred to and actually prefer to allow it to maintain its mystery] is because of sunny b's insistence that this is a free speech issue. i've written here before about the agonies of being a modern-day proponent of free speech, so there's no reason to get into it again.

but i will anyway.

having the right to free speech doesn't give you the right to say anything at all and it certainly doesn't give you the right to say anything without consequences. that's the thing about speech. because it's powerful, it is liable to cause reactions and you should think about what those reactions are likely to be before you say something. because thinking about the reactions is partly what will determine whether it's worth saying something in the first place and to whom. your right to get someone to bring you a spliff at work is going to conflict with your employer's desire to convince customers that their cars are not being cared for by a bunch of inebriated bozos.

so yes, sunny b, it sucks to lose a job for unjust cause. but that doesn't apply in this case, because what happened to you was a completely foreseeable, understandable consequence of your own idiotic actions.

you can read the official media version of the story here, among other places.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…