Saturday, March 16, 2013

Under the Influence: When I'm Gone (1937), Lulu & the Lampshades (2009) & Pitch Perfect (2012)

Many people recently have been sharing "the cup song" with me. It is this creative little number where an empty cup is used as percussion and a simple song is sung over top of it. It was previously very popular because of Lulu and the Lampshade's 2009 video where they mash the "miss me when I'm gone" song with this musical cup percussion. This version of the song was featured in the 2012 movie Pitch Perfect. But did you know that the folk song that we see in the 2009 Lampshades video is actually a folk song from 1937, a group called Mainer's Mountaineer's recorded the video for a J.E. Mainer greatest hits album. 

1937 - Mainer's Miners - "Miss Me When I'm Gone"
This was a group led by J.E Mainer who was a renowned fiddler in the 1930's and was born in North Carolina in 1898!!

2009 - Lulu & the Lampshade's - "Miss Me When I'm Gone"
In 2009, these ladies uploaded a youtube video that in the last 4 years has gotten over 3.4 million views! These ladies both have a cool style and nice sounding voices. And that rhythm is SO CATCHY! So catchy that it was worth being featured as the heroine/protagonists's rebellious audition song in the 2012 film, Pitch Perfect. (oh, and the Cup Song has its own website too!)

2012 - Pitch Perfect Audition
No words are needed, but this is very nice to listen to :)

2012/2013 - Covers & Remixes & YouTube awesomeness
Since it was featured in Pitch Perfect it has blown up and spawned many many hundred of video covers and remixes that are mostly awesome. I have selected these as my 2 favourite videos, so far

Titanium by David Guetta CUP SONG

CUP SONG remix by 2 random dudes

And now...where's your version?


Friday, January 4, 2013


Our world is obsessed with RAPE

"Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse"


Rape is categorized as sexual assault. To me, it is one of the worst kinds of violence as it negatively impacts a very intimate and personal part of our lives. But why…why does this happen? Why is sexual assault inherent within so many of our institutions (the notorious cases in Indian Residential Schools and pedophile priests in the Catholic Church to name a couple)? This is serious. This is deadly serious. When I type "rape" into google, one of the four drop down suggestions (which I assume they drop down because they are the top search terms that begin with that word) is ‘rape jokes’. Let me assure you, this issue is no joke.


We need to discuss what is at the root of this problem: SEX. It is considered a human need in Maslow’s Pyramid and is at the base,  along with food and shelter. If it is a need, then sex in adults is an inevitability. If it is unavoidable that adult humans have sex, then we have to think about how we talk about sex in the first place, how we educate our young people as they  physically grow into sexually capable adults. This sexual deviance and violent behaviour is a global problem. Many tie this issue with patriarchal government systems enforcing male dominance and belittling women. It could be a result of the shaming, blaming and glorifying of sex in the media. It could be the influence of Hollywood or musicians that promote hypersexualized images for all of us including our children to consume, but especially for our women to mimic. The point is, by not having this human need met, people act out in deviant ways. We have to find a way to address the core issue somehow.


In my experience, the people I have spoken to on this issue agree that rape is horrendous. Even more horrendous are communities/laws that stand by and allow these types of attacks to continue. To me, the root of the problem isn't that rape is happening, its that there are very few hard lines drawn in the sand from public laws/officials or our media that address the glorification of hyper sexuality and lack of appropriate legal responses to these crimes. Letting rapists off the hook because of a law made about unmarried women in 1872 is not the answer. In India, the response being talked about includes “tougher laws, including the death penalty and chemical castration for rapists”. In Canada, some people have called for the legalization of prostitution and stiffer penalties for those convicted of sexual assault. I am in favour of stricter legal penalties for individuals who perpetrate these types of crimes. The fact that rapes continue to happen and our legal system is constantly failing is sending a strong message to these particular criminals that it is acceptable or ok to behave in this way and there will be no significant consequences.

Raping Your Mother… is not ok

Not only do we in Western society, perpetuate and encourage this concept that RAPE is acceptable on an individual to individual level, but through our government and our natural resource industry, promote the raping of mother earth. People are uncomfortable with this term but I must call it like I see it. When big machines rip up natural habitats, pollute water, and leave huge open-pit excavations in previous wetlands or caribou habitat with the purpose of penetrating and extracting 'wealth' from our Mother earth, is rape. This is happening with no long term consideration on the environment, our water or our animals. Raping a women is wrong. It is wrong because our women are our life givers, our mothers and our sisters. I truly feel it is my job as a man, to stand up for our life givers and protect them from violence, especially sexual assaults and rape. But as a citizen of the world, I acknowledge the greatest life giver: mother earth. With natural resource projects, local and foreign, becoming part of the ‘Canadian Dream’ according to Stephen Harper, Canada is set to become one of the energy super powers of the world.

Sounds awesome right? WRONG!

If we continue to disrupt our lands and waters with natural resources soon our water supply will be in even more jeopardy. If we continue to eliminate the natural habitats of our animals  like caribou, the livelihood of many Cree people and communities is left no habitat in which they can survive. In Alberta, the Lubicon Cree hav2 oil wells in existence per Lubicon person. There are talks right now now of a large scale natural resource project in the Arctic, from a Chinese corporation before the Senate. Seeingtheir attitude and commitment to protect the environment is dwindling with eachnew bill (CLICK HERE) I see more and more opportunities for the raping and pillaging of mother earth to continue.

I will not allow this

I will not stand by while women in our communities are falling victim to violent sexual assaults. Its not ok here, its not ok overseas, and it certainly isn’t ok when we do that to mother earth either. I'm getting involved with young women in my community to talk about how important their safety is to me, and meeting with young men and women to talk about healthy sexual relationships. I am going to keep an eye on the cases that are currently in the public eye, raise awareness on the issue where I can and react in cooperation with women and young people to take action. I am getting involved in Idle No More because I do not believe we should be legislating even more opportunities to rape our mother earth for the sake of money. Money cannot be eaten, it lacks the nutrients our bodies need to live, true story. If you choose to get involved in protecting our life givers after hearing what I have shared, I say Biindiigen (welcome).

I am standing with our women, and with mother earth. Where are you standing?


Friday, November 2, 2012

MC the Burn Out King

Have you ever heard of burn out before? It is a term that is often used in caring professions to describe the deflated sense of helplessness that overtakes the helpers. For the past month, I have been feeling very strange. I have been feeling quite anxious, overwhelmed and feel like I have been falling behind on the things that are expected of me. This feeling of burn out is chasing me in my paid work, in my volunteer work, and in my work as someone who is regularly in the public eye. It also creeps into my social life, with my friends family and other personally important relationships.
This is an example of the items I worry about on a daily basis...Does this look like your life?!!? you need some SELF CARE!!
When you burn out (and I have done so many a time before) it often comes because you, as the helper, are not taking care of yourself. Our ability to help others is entirely dependant on our own ability to take care of ourselves. If we do not take deliberate measures to take care of ourselves, than we are not going to be able to take care of others.

Burn Out King

I call myself the burn out kind, because I think that I burn out at least once a year. I over work, over schedule and over demand of myself to give to others. I actually help out, volunteer and give so freely of my time because I am very unhappy with the current realities of our little North End Community. Also, I am very unhappy with the way the media is perpetrated. Also am very stressed out by the failings of the institutions that are intended to help us.

But I have the Power to Change that!!

Because of this large unhappiness, I use my ANTI-BULLY approach and do it the AYO way: by getting involved. If something makes you unhappy, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I have said that before many times and for that reason, I have become involved in so many community initiatives, started many community initiatives, sit on many councils and have been able to do so with a smile.

But you gotta Balance

I am here to get it off my chest: I CAN'T SMILE ALL THE TIME!! Sometimes I need to hide in my bed, not answer my phone and just do nothing.

Other things that help me:

  • asking others for help
  • listening to HOPEFUL music
  • getting myself organized
  • smudging
  • having a coffee
  • doing push ups
  • eating soup
  • playing practical jokes

So, this weekend, I am going to a youth sweat on Saturday to hopefully clear my mind a little bit and get some motivation to continue with all of the important activities that are coming in the community in November. On sunday i am gonna visit my brother in Stoney Mountain, but after that...Sunday evening, is going to be a "Michael Chill the heck out and do nothing" time. I have to schedule it in to my activities so I can actually sit down lol.

Self care homies, I am trying to share my example because I do not want this to happen to you!!

with love


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kimbi is going to South Korea!!

21 year old Grass Dancer Kimbi Chartrand is one of 6 people chosen to represent Canada and the Indigenous people of North America at a worldwide event called Fokloriada (C.I.O.F.F) which happens only every 4 years. Its an international festival that brings cultures from every country together for 2 weeks. The Festival takes place in South Korea this year. the accomendations there are covered by the city hosting the event, and Kimbi just need to cover the cost of his plane ticket.

So far, Kimbi has raised $1400 by himself, he only needs $398 more dollars to be able to represent our worldwide. Please bring any donations you can to the Bell Tower tonight to hear Kimbi speak about this issue himself!

Let's support our youth as they reclaim our culture and REPRESENT!!



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How the World Works

Many people often show a lack of regard for others' chosen field of employment. I often hear people who work in Government have a love/hate relationship with those who work in Business. Those who work in business have a love/hate relationship with non-profits and those who work in Labour have a slight attitude towards those that work in Government. I could go on, but you get the point.                              -MC 

I see the world as one big medicine wheel. Each different sector of the world is integral. If you take away one of them, the circle is no longer complete. The balance is not present. We must understand what one another do/are responsible for so we can make a better decision for ourselves where we want to work and focus our own energies for our future employment and where we should be for our ideas to develop in a good way.

With Labour Day coming up, I figured I would share my 2 cents on how I see the world, and why all of these groups, need each other, and must begin to have a better understanding of how these different worlds/industries/fields of employment NEED one another to continue doing their work. But before I can explain that, I want to do a quick summary of what each of these folks do.

These are the law-makers. These people decide how our society is run, and when they say something is going to happen/needs to happen they have the authority to change laws so something actually can go ahead and get done.

These people actually carry out the work that is required. They work in construction and in other physcially demanding work. They build houses, roads, buildings and anything that must be built. Without labour, the government wouldn't have anyone to actually carry out their little plans/ideas/laws.

these are the folks who do work, and expect to be paid for their work. These are entrepreneurs, business owners and folks that at the end of the day like to make money/have a profit. They create tons of employment opportunities but many businesses have a close-minded perspective on where they fit in in the community

CIVIL SOCIETY aka Non-Profits
These are the people that do everything else. Often not expecting to be paid by their clients for the human services they deliver.Many of these groups/organizations have a relationship with government where they are exclusively funded by government dollars.

So Now What?

Now you alter your perspective. Where in this world do you fit? Where are your gifts and interests? Regardless of where you wanna work, its important to know that we cannot pretend to know everything. If i spent my whole life in Government, how could i possibly relate in a good way to those in business/cibil society/labour?? That same question applies to all industries. We have to understand that our world is connected to one another, and what you do in your job affects me. Not only me, but my family, my community and the next generation (of all of our kids). Let's build a better understanding and appreciation for those who work in the places we cannot, or choose not to. Let's celebrate the contributions of others while we refocus ourselves in sharing our gifts in the best way we can.

So this Friday, at the Bell Tower we will be learning about LABOUR day, and why we have it. We will have a few people to share with us their own perspectives and hopefully we can learn a little but more about how we, as a community can become more connected with Labour, work with them in a good way and share the load....remembering that we are not alone in the work we do. We can make changes that benefit all 4 directions.

Key word: TOGETHER!

North End MC

My photo
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.