Mythos & Marginalia

life notes; flaws and all

j.g. lewis

original content and images ©j.g. lewis

a daily breath...

A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .

cloud songs

        Our paths shift, circumstance and
              attitude shaping our trajectory.
   The company we keep alters both
       our outlook and destination.
           We are where we are
        mainly because of who we are 
                          and whom we are with.

 

04/16/2024                                                                              j.g.l.

Mondays are just young Fridays

A wish for words more delicate and 
refined will only lead to
an unnecessary edit, constrained curiosity,
and a smudge of indifference.
Emotions scoured from the page,
its patina reflective now of a chaotic mind, 
you are no longer (or never have been) 
satisfied with what is there.
Speaking freely, nowhere near the truth, 
a humane reaction may not be soothed.
Not always. No matter what.
No longer plain and simple. Perhaps
it never was?
You question the questions.
The flaws in your self can only add up
to a greater expression of your being.

04/15/2024                                                                                       j.g.l.

 

April is Poetry Month
flaws and all

 

damn truth

We do not touch the money, now
only digits on a screen. Ingredients
in our foods unknown, or what
scientists contribute to the scheme.
Price at the pump keeps going up,
still our cars can’t seem
to get enough.
Politicians are not worth knowing, or
deeds in which they partake, sin or
scandal widely-known, we
elect them anyway.
Damn truth be told,
between utter lies; they won’t salute
the dead, so many innocents die.
We won’t wash our hands, but
still waste the water
and share the blame.
We don’t care if we don’t want to,
our days continue just the same.

© 2018 j,g, lewis

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
well-rounded,
other times
dull or
occasionally
broken.
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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Free Speech Or Hate Speech

Posted on October 30, 2019 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

There was a substantial protest last night outside a downtown Toronto library demonstrating against an author speaking her views on gender identity.

The event went ahead as planned, following a great deal of media attention, weeks of protest, a hefty on-line petition in opposition, and ‘no place for hate’ signs liberally taped up through the city.

Vancouver writer Meghan Murphy unapologetically promotes her opinion not to recognize the rights of transgender people. Reportedly, about a hundred people attended the event. The number of people protesting outside was far more than twice that number.

While the event has broadened conversation on transgender rights, it has shone a light on the gap between diversity and inclusion. It has also opened up a wider debate on the role, and purpose, of a pubic library.

In any city or town, libraries are traditional civil institutions dedicated to culture, history, free thought, information, and ideas. The purpose of a library, as I was raised to understand, is to encourage and advance opinion. The library is a place of learning. I have long carried a library card.

The library as I know it, in any of the cities I have lived in, is also central to the community as it hosts neighbourhood meetings, presentations and exhibits for all ages. I attended a pen and stationery show last Sunday in this city. The pen show, while not offered by the Toronto Library system, used public space within the library.

Last night’s presentation was not sponsored by the Toronto Public Library, but took place in library space. The use of this space, above the topic of the presentation, has been questioned. The mayor has publicly voiced his displeasure over the contentious event in a city library. A local councilor has said she will present a motion to council directing the city manager and solicitor to review booking rules for all public spaces.

What last night’s event does is question the difference between free speech and hate speech, and with that there are further questions we must continually ask ourselves.

When does refusing a speaker, or book, constitute censorship? When do we take opinion at face value and when do we give it more gravity than it deserves.

I’ve not read anything by Murphy. I have not bothered clicking onto her Feminist Current website. This event is actually the first I’ve heard of the opposition to her views on gender identity and apparent anti-trans stance. Last night’s protest, then, may actually be giving the author more of a platform because of the anger aimed at the Toronto Public Library system.

I have heard concerns, through the media, over the past week that some authors will no longer appear at library events. I’ve read that performers will cancel their roles in popular children’s programming because of this event. I’ve also read that trans-women will no longer feel safe in a Toronto library. I am saddened and fearful when I hear all of these examples because a library should be a safe place for all individuals and families. This is how I have always known a library.

Efforts to reduce services or withdraw participation within the library will only further harm the Toronto Public Library system. When people do not visit, or books are not lent out, and when crowds no longer gather in these magnificent spaces, it will eventually lead to budget cuts.

But this is not as much about future funding as it is the future itself.

You have to ask one major question.

When they attempt to take away an author’s right to say, or write about what they think or feel, when will they next attempt to silence you?

© 2019 j.g. lewis

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