Those kids today! (aka I’m old)

There have been several millennials making impressions upon me lately, and not good impressions.  I wonder what kind of parenting my generation chose in order to produce such dependent unquestioning progeny.

The young people in question have no problem describing their fears of daily events.  Not a fear of rape – but a fear of being catcalled.  Fears of independence, fears of public transit, fears of lone travel… My generation was looking forward to these marks of adulthood, and longed to conquer fear (and were embarassed by small fears).  Yet somehow, they have discouraged their own children from embracing these same milestones. Continue reading

R.I.P. Mikey

There is one less homeless person in Montreal since the “homeless census” in March. Sometime last week, Mikey died after falling near the 405/211 bus stop at Lionel Groulx.

I only know him as Mikey. I don’t know if his name was Michel or Michael or Mitch, or if he was French or English. Depending who you ask, he was 26 or 28. He was a handsome, tall, white boy reminiscent of Val Kilmer with a teardrop tattoo under the outside of his left eye. Continue reading

Public seating

On a packed express bus, with all of us now in winter gear, I made my way to the rear.  It is less crowded there, and often someone will get off at the next stop.  Through all the standing people, I came to the back to see a seat with a backpack, so I motioned to the guy absorbed with his laptop to move it, and as cheerfully as possible mentioned that there were a lot of people standing for him to leave his bag on the seat.  “Oh I didn’t notice,” pointing at his laptop.


©2005 Marion Pennell

©2005 Marion Pennell

Continue reading

Default sex

So, it seems one of the biggest problems with feminism is that is starts with “femin” because some young men assume that must mean it is an ideology to disempower men while empowering women.  Conquerer/conquest – as if every ‘ism’ is only about who is on top.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

Women have dealt with language: mankind, He, him, his – for their whole lives.  Who are the protagonists in almost every book we read in school?  Who were we studying in history?  Women were a footnote, a muse, a plot device, at best.

The default sex is not the one that produces the next generation (men have to live long enough to impregnate, women long enough to raise the spawn), but mankind, with woman as a derivative thereof.  Mother Earth vs. God our Father. Continue reading

Are you in a homophilial relationship?

Homophily, as contrasted with homosexuality, means that your friends (remember Philadelphia means City of Brotherly Love), the people you surround yourself with, are like you.  It is seen to be a natural human inclination.



Certainly, when my parents came to Montréal, they found a neighbourhood (Verdun) with others from Newfoundland.  Many cities have a Chinatown or a Little Italy or other ethnic enclaves.  A new immigrant will want to find others who share some of the basic life experiences.

Your current circle of friends may resemble yourself in many ways.  Most likely socio-economic (or class) factors would be the most common denominator.  Depending on the makeup of your town, racial or religious factors may weigh in. Continue reading