I lost a friend in a system that didn’t care about him. Sadly, he represents a trend in higher education, not an outlier.

Photo by Loïc Fürhoff

Last night, I learned that one of my childhood friends had died. Though I had not been in contact with him for several years, the news was shocking. A statement from the parents suggested he took his own life.

He was away at university while it happened.

As a friend, I mourn the joy he brought to those around him. I regret not keeping in touch. I can’t help but utter a sullen “why” — why did…

A message for a friend

Earlier today, a friend of mine told me that George Floyd shouldn’t be idolized because he was a known convict. This sentiment, echoing that of black conservative pundit Candace Owens, is a direct affront to the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s why:

Photo by Vince Fleming
  1. The quality of George Floyd’s character is irrelevant to the discussion around police brutality and the mistreatment of black Americans overall.

As Owens put it in her polemical Facebook stream, “George Floyd was not an amazing person.” Guess what? It doesn’t matter. …

Why we should rethink the goal of happiness

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia

These days, I find myself complicating my life. I turn simple unconscious decisions into dialectics. I greet commonplace questions with tangled answers; or worse — more questions.

As I become further accustomed to the norms of academic life, my prior indoctrinations seem to fade away, leaving blank spaces where cultural certainties used to be. My typical white-Canadian-liberal values of nationalism, multiculturalism, and tolerance slowly morph into question marks; into placeholders for the dominant ideology. Every situation seems to need a post-modern analysis, and every analysis seems to require an analysis of its own. …

What our rear-ends teach us about ourselves and society

Photo by Mitchell Orr

I’ve always found something inherently funny about adult diapers. Every Depend commercial that pops up onto my television screen leaves me positively guffawing. However, until recently, I never stopped to think about why I so mocked the bladder-leakers.

Perhaps it’s the ironic juxtaposition between the infantile and the aged, or it could be that I inherited my father’s scatological sense of humour. A more psychoanalytic reading would suggest that my predilection for potty humour is nothing more than a defense mechanism, subduing my fear of aging. …

On hipsterism and the avoidance of death

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

Authentic identity is hard to come by these days. Messages ambush us from every corner of our lives, reassuring us that consumption is the true path to authenticity. Our advertisements urge us to salvage our identities with products and the ideologies which accompany them; our social media platforms validate those who consume and isolate those who do not consume enough. Universities and YouTube ideologues alike propagate the consumption of knowledge as a promise of meaning; of a fulfilled identity. Despite the power of these messages, implicit as they may be, there exists a confused sense of individualism rampant in our…

And why it doesn’t really matter where they stand on the issue

1973 was an eventful year for the United States; the Vietnam war had officially ended, the American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee, Billie Jean King defiantly shattered gender norms in the “Battle of the Sexes”, and for some reason, people still wore bell-bottoms. The seeds of liberal humanitarian values had already been planted by the civil rights and second wave feminist movements; values like tolerance that have sprouted into entire moral frameworks that guide liberals today. However, one 1973 event seems to supersede all others in its relevance to [very] contemporary legislative decisions: Roe V. Wade. …

Photo by Toa Heftiba

I can’t help but notice them daily. Their vintage flannels infiltrate my eyes; their scent of beard shampoo floods my nostrils. I entertain the thought that there must be a Conference for Skinny Lumberjacks in town — what else could account for the city’s man-bun inundation? The idea seems reasonable until I concur that they are either inefficient tree-cutters or lumberjacks who forgot to adjourn their [fair trade, sustainably sourced] coffee break.

Hipsters have been popping up in gentrified neighbourhoods since the 1990s and have been steadily growing into a significant subculture in many Western countries. Though the term ‘hipster’…

How one drug shattered my relationships (and why I’m sober today)

Photo by Sam Manns

The first time I smoked weed was the day after I got rejected by my crush.

The rejection stung, and my thoughts were rubbing alcohol to my emotional wounds. I called up my school friend, who I knew could help me out, and hopped on a bus to a new chapter of life. I forgot much of myself behind me.

After greeting my friend and exchanging commonplace remarks about school and the like, it was time to claim the escape I was seeking.

I remember my first hit.

The “am I doing this right?” moment. The coughing and the glistening…

How to make great content by challenging your inner-voice

Photo by rawpixel

Sometimes I doubt my abilities as a writer.

Sometimes comes pretty often.

When I invite one insecurity into my mind, all the others tag along to the party of shame. It gives me a headache.

On some level, I know that I am an adequate writer; my sentences tend to be coherent, my ideas are more or less succinct, and I know enough three-dollar words to spruce up a bland phrase. But that doesn’t stop me from doubting myself — from delrailing my thoughts onto a track of worry and dissatisfaction.

There’s a slippery slope that I go down when…

By getting over your hangover

Photo by Jakob Owens

So, you got hammered last night. Your head is pounding like an off-beat drummer. Your stomach feels like flashbacks of an ill-fated Taco Tuesday. You look at your phone to see a text message in reference to your spectacular talent for projectile vomitting.

Looks like someone had a wild night.

But now you find yourself in a predicament: how can you get over your hangover quick enough in order to get wasted for a consecutive night?

Don’t let a silly hangover ruin the party — follow these simple steps and ignore your liver’s cries for help — and you’ll be…

The Schmendrick

I am a stupid, ineffectual fool. So are you, and that's okay. Join me in discovering the world - one flaw at a time.

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