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?


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.