Archive for the What Pissed Me Off Today Category

SCHOOL BOARD BANS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

Posted in What Pissed Me Off Today on May 16, 2011 by brandonlayng

I spent Mother’s Day taking a 3 hour drive to drop off flowers at my mother’s grave. For those of you who don’t know, she died of breast cancer. She didn’t have any in her actual breast this time. She did the first time, ten years before her second battle with the deadly disease. The second time around, breast cancer cells had migrated into her brain and lungs. They gave her six months to live and she fought for nearly two years. That was two years ago.

A week after I placed those flowers I’m saddened and angered to find out the school board in Oshawa, Ontario, (the city where we lived) is in essence, banning a breast cancer awareness campaign.

I’m previously from Oshawa, I’ve dealt with the Durham District School Board’s policies as both a student and as the parent of a student. I can’t say it surprised me when I read in this article on MSN  about their decision to ban the “I Love Boobies” bracelets.

Naturally, as a child who lost a parent to breast cancer, I am disgusted with their decision. The reason behind it? I’m sure they’ll give tons of other reasons because that’s the kind of responsible educators these administrators are. I’m sure it falls under their rule about inappropriate words on clothing, which is part of their dress code. This same dress code stipulates that all skirts or shorts must reach below fingertips when standing upright when arms and shoulders are relaxed. Try that test out yourself and you’ll see how short these skirts and shorts are. I have long arms and if this was my guideline for choosing shorts they would barely cover my buttcheeks while standing, never mind bending over.  But the main reason is the word “Boobies”. Yeah, BOOBIES. Not TITS, or KNOCKERS, or  MILK CANS, or any of the numerous other nicknames for our lovable mammary glands. Boobies. Before I was taught to their were called, BREASTS, I was told they were called BOOBIES.

The bracelets also say BREAST on them as part of the breast cancer awareness campaign’s slogan to catch attention and encourage education. Click here to find out more about the campaign. Thanks to The Keep A Breast Foundation, a breast cancer campaign is finally targeting a portion of the populace that is often portrayed as the family of breast cancer victims instead of potential victims themselves. TKABF should be applauded and encouraged instead of stomped on by so-called educators who claim they are looking out for the best interests of their students.

In Canada, supporters of the Public School system often criticize Christian home schoolers for not educating their children on topics of sex and same-sex relationships. Talk about hypocrisy. The I Love Boobies campaign has as much to do with the health of these children as teaching tolerance and understanding of STDs or Homosexuality. Because I’m sure the numbers are nothing like they should be, I want to encourage teens (both female and male) to take part in my polling to find out how many of them are performing self-exams on themselves. Take the poll, click here.  The first time my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was 16. I knew nothing about what breast cancer was, how it was treated or what the survival rate was. I was lucky that my mother was a nurse and was capable of answering my questions. The Durham Highschool I was attending at the time was aware of my mother’s illness and never once was I asked if I wanted to speak to the school counsellor about it or asked if I had any questions. Nothing. When my grades fell from stress and depression, they didn’t ask me why. When I skipped school because I couldn’t cope, they didn’t ask me why. They gave me detention and threatened suspension. That’s how the schools in Durham dealt with these issues a decade ago. I’m not surprised not much has changed.

I’m left wondering, if this campaign existed while I was still in school and my mother had died back then — instead of two years ago — from breast cancer, would they have denied me the right to show my love and support for her, and a campaign aimed at preventing further deaths by wearing at bracelet with the word Boobies on it? Because I’m sure there are teens at Durham high schools who are coping with the recent diagnosis of a loved one and they ARE being denied this right.

I’m sure there are kids wearing these bracelets for negative reasons, but instead of educating them, the Durham Board is punishing children seeking education and showing support for breast cancer sufferers/survivors.

I’m putting out a call to everyone who has been diagnosed with or has a loved one diagnosed with breast cancer, or has lost someone to breast cancer, to contact the Durham Board and protest this decision. I’m posting a template of what I recommend each of you should say in asking them to reverse this decision. Please be polite, respectful but passionate. Don’t damage our efforts by being mean or abusive. That kind of attitude is no better than their banning.

You can write to them at

400 Taunton Road East, Whitby, ON, Canada, L1R 2K6

Or call them at (905) 666-5500 or 1-800-265-3968

Fax them at (905) 666-6474

I also encourage residents of Canada, especially the province of Ontario to write their MPs, MPPs and if you live in Durham Region, your municipal representative, to ask them to make a change to this ban put in place by the Durham Board.

Please take a minute to vote in my poll on breast cancer self-screening.

Let your voice be heard! Since when is “Boobies” a bad word?

Brandon

P.S. Please feel free to add your personal experience with breast cancer to your call or letter to the Durham Board. Let them know why this banning hurts.

Call or Letter template:

Hello, this is (state your name) and I am calling after hearing about the Durham District School Board’s decision to ban The Keep A Breast Foundation bracelets. This decision greatly upsets and disturbs me. I believe you are giving the wrong message to kids about educating themselves about breast cancer. I think the Durham Board of Education should be embracing this campaign and its message instead of shunning it. I’m asking that your administration reconsider this decision and instead use this as an opportunity to set aside class time for discussion and education for both female and male students. This is a time for teaching respect for women and awareness about a disease that affects men and women of all ages. If you choose not to reverse this decision, I would consider it a show of disrespect to the students and families in your district who are affected by breast cancer. I hope you will consider what kind of message you are sending to the children who have lost a mother or father to breast cancer. In banning the “I Love Boobies” bracelets, you are stripping them of the right to grieve and cope by doing something positive about it.

Thank you for your time. It is my hope you will apologize for this misguided decision and do the right thing.

WE DID IT! Don’t forget the LittleGuy!

Posted in News, What Pissed Me Off Today with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2010 by brandonlayng

Our efforts bore fruit. The Pedophile’s Guide to Love & Pleasure has been pulled from Amazon.com. I’d like to thank Amazon.com for doing what’s right, for listening to their customers as they stood united against this book. I’d still prefer to know that all profits from the book have gone to make reparations to victim support groups. But I’ll leave that up to Amazon.com and the author to make that wise decision.

Now it’s our turn.

We need to remember that a continued boycott of Amazon.com means we’re hurting the people who deserve our support. #SupportTheLittleGuy and return to your regular shopping. Many small press/indie publishers and authors depend on Amazon.com as a way of continuing to provide us with hours of entertainment with their written words. If anything we need to show them now more than ever that we support them. In your anger don’t forget the LittleGuy.

Please buy a book from a small press publisher or author today.

I’ll be removing my previous post later today, because I don’t want people to misled into believing this issue continues in regards to this individual book.

Note: I would like to add, that if you purchased this book, out of curiosity or any other reason, I strongly suggest you consider making a donation to victims of sexual abuse support groups. You should also feel shame. You’ve lined this man’s pockets and shown others that a book like this can make money because of people being morbid. You’ve helped to encourage his cause.

Hold Amazon Accountable for Pedophile Guide!

Posted in What Pissed Me Off Today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by brandonlayng

NOTE: This post was deleted later today. Amazon.com has removed the book and we can all get back to supporting the small press by buying a book today. Please visit http://www.supportthelittleguy.wordpress.com to find out how you can join the Twitter based campaign to help bring more attention to the small press.

Thank you to everyone who took a stand. I’m proud of you.

Brandon Layng

Cheap Ass Filmmakers

Posted in What Pissed Me Off Today with tags , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by brandonlayng

CHEAP ASS FILMMAKERS
(This edition of “What Pissed Me Off Today” has been written for the Hearing Impaired)

Here’s the thing; I’m a writer. If you’ve been to my site before or read my work, you already know that. As a writer, I am also a reader. I also enjoy watching movies. Don’t worry, this is going somewhere.

The are strange people in the world like myself that enjoy having the subtitles on when watching their movies, even when they’re not in a foreign language. Is the reason for having the subtitles on just because I enjoy reading as I watch? No, not entirely. The problem is that many filmmakers have difficulty understanding the ratio between soundtrack/special FX volume and speech volume. It almost seems as if they don’t want you to hear how crappy the dialogue is (ex. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). However, it isn’t only the films with all action and no substance that fall prey to this affliction, there are great films that suffer from this ignorance as well. Add onto all of that, the “actor factor” – some actors mumble/stumble over their lines worse that Bob Dylan singing a song.

This is why I enjoy subtitles.

The second problem comes when lines in the movie don’t match the script. This can lead to hysterical results, like in the Asian monster movie “Host”. I was busting a gut hearing and reading how different the dubbing vs subtitles were. Seriously, that is a movie that has to have the subtitles enabled to truly enjoy it. Other times it can be incredibly annoying and come off as unprofessional. How hard can it be to listen to the movie, compare the lines to the script and transcribe the words into well-timed portions that pop up on the movie screen? Maybe it can be hard, but take some pride in your work if someone is paying you to do it. And Filmmakers, take the goddamned time to make sure you’re getting you money’s worth. Fuck the commentary, fuck the deleted scenes that are normally the same scene that’s already in the damned movie but the character added a cough or scratched their head in the cut version, fuck all of that because when you cheap out on the subtitles you’re giving a big FUCK YOU to a portion of your viewing audience that paid good money to see your “masterpiece”. I’m talking about the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing audience, which – in case you didn’t realize – is a large group of people. The aging baby-boomers have a lot of time on their hands, you know and quite a few are becoming hard-of-hearing. I’m not Deaf or Hard-of-hearing, but every time I watch a movie that either doesn’t have subtitles or screws them up, I think what a jackass these people are. They’ve just snubbed a whole potential consumer base because they wanted to save a little money they could put in their own and their over-priced actors’ pockets.

I see Leo DiCrapo (it’s misspelled on purpose folks) fighting to save the environment. I see Branjell-o saving kids in 3rd world countries by bringing them home. I see quite a few actors fighting for literacy in the youth of today because the schools are failing our kids. How many of them are taking a few thousand dollars out of their pay to make sure the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing are represented and shown consideration when their films are made? I can sort of understand independent and small budget films having a hard time finding the cash to put in subtitles, but movies with multi-million dollar budgets have no excuse. I believe that Gov. Of California, Arnold Swarzen-rip-off made $1M a line or something of the like when he appeared in a Batman movie as Mr. Freeze, has he created or helped to fund a grant for independent filmmakers include SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf & Hard-of-hearing) in their films? I’d really like to know, if anyone has.

Hollywood filmmakers get off your ass and stop being so cheap. Spend a bit of money to get a bit of self-respect. Failing to provide SDH in your movies is a form of discrimination. There’s no pride in making a film that excludes a significant portion of the public. These people you’re ignoring are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and maybe your grandmother or grandfather.

I hope you read this, you inconsiderate assholes.

ROGERS CABLE wants to rip you off!

Posted in Ramblings, Uncategorized, What Pissed Me Off Today with tags , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by brandonlayng

I’m irked. I mean really, really, very pissed off. I can hear a constant whistling of steam bursting out of my ears and my face is a decidedly bright shade of red. I’m about to start ranting now. If you don’t like angry ranting I understand if you turn your computer off but I promise you it will be slightly humorous and enlightening.

At my home today we received a letter from our cable company, the same cable company that goes by the name of Rogers Cable, the same company that has virtually harassed our household to try and convince us to switch to their Rogers home phone service. That’s actually where the anger was given birth. First it was a regular series of phone calls asking how we liked the services we were receiving and before we could say “fine” and hang up they offered to switch us to their phone service. We said no. They phone again and again and again as if we might have changed our minds during the week or over the weekend. Two days ago we get another of those calls and the answer is still no. During my dinner there is a knock at the door and two representatives of Rogers are there to offer me phone service for $30 a month and they will give me $10 off my cable bill. I say no and try to explain that we have been with the same phone company my whole life, we are happy with their services. The guys don’t take no for an answer and think I’m just one of those “hard-sells”, clearly not wise enough to read the expression on my face that says; “keep talking and I’m considering switching television providers”.

They ask me why I would pay more for the company I’m with instead of saving money?

I look at it this way; Bell is a phone company and Rogers is a cable company. I won’t pay my phone company to watch tv and I’m sure as hell not going to pay my cable company to call my relatives up north. Plus by paying two different companies for two different services, I’m actually stimulating the economy. It’s not stimulating the economy by simply spending money, it’s how you spend your money. I’m helping to make sure people at both companies have jobs including the two assholes who came to my door and disturbed my dinner. Most importantly I’m ensuring neither company has a monopoly on the communications market. Bundle packages are dangerous things people. That’s why after you agree to them because they save you a little bit of money you start to notice that eventually the service begins to get crappy, because they want you to upgrade and pay more, plus they make you afraid to cancel the crappy service for another provider since you’ll lose such a “great deal”.

These two gentlemen standing at my door didn’t understand what I was saying. They asked me if I knew about all the great features that my cable package had to offer and I told them yes but it still sucked. Every night when my wife and I sit down to have a bit of peace and quiet to ourselves after spending a stress filled day going in opposite directions we turn on the tv and spend fifteen minutes scanning the 900 channels trying to find something, anything, to watch together. There is absolutely nothing on that we would be even minutely interested in watching. The On-Demand channel offers movies that appear on other stations on an annoying basis and want to charge you an extra six bucks to watch them at your convenience and you can watch it for that amount of money as many times as you want during a twenty-four hour period. I can pick up the same movie for ten dollars at the store and then I own it and can watch it as many times as I like for the rest of my life. The one gentlemen says why don’t I PVR it. Now, why would I do that? If ever I get sick and tired of their sales tactics or service and I cancel it, I lose the movie. It’s the same as, “Why do I buy paperback books, instead of downloading them onto a Kindle?” Because if I drop a book in a puddle of water by accident and it gets ruined I only have to pay to replace one book for $10 instead of having to buy a new $500 Kindle device plus pay $10 to replace each and every goddamn book I downloaded. What makes more sense to you, honestly? The fact is what is deemed easier by the corporations doesn’t always mean a logical and intelligent decision and it certainly isn’t any cheaper.

The young gentlemen continued to stand there and take more punishment after I told them I thought their customer service department was terrible. I like to pay my bills in person, I hate giving companies access to my bank accounts, I don’t trust them and frankly who has every been given a reason to? But the thing is, when I go into pay a Rogers bill, I wait half-an-hour to an hour to pay it. It only takes two minutes to ring it through and give me a receipt and the rest of the time is spent waiting for the two people ahead of me to finish buying their friggin’ cell phones. The young gentlemen thinks he can sell me on their phone service by telling me that the company recently fired six-hundred customer service people. I asked him if the company was “fucking stupid” and “why the hell would they do that?” He says they were being rude to customers. I explained that he would be too if he was over-worked, understaffed and stuck with a brand new system that doesn’t allow the employees to suspend a cell phone sale to take the two minutes required to take a bill payment. They needed to hire people not fire them and the real reason for letting them go was to shift the blame and add more money to the CEO’s pocket linings.

This conversation at more door lasted twenty minutes before they realized I was having fun blasting their shitty service and was mentally deciding to cut the services I am currently getting from them to the basic plan. I wasn’t one-hundred percent sure I was going to do that but then the letter came.

Read this article here If you want to know more about what’s going on.

The letter says this and these are direct quotes.

“The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has established a new fund to which cable tv and satellite companies are required to contribute.”

Note the use of the word “REQUIRED”, it refers to the cable tv and satellite companies, specifically.

“Starting on your first bill after August 31st, 2009, you will see a new line on your invoice called CRTC LPIF fee, and a corresponding charge of 1.5 % of your recurring monthly service fee.”

Wait a minute and pardon my French, but what the fuck? The previous line said that ROGERS CABLE was REQUIRED to pay into the fund. So why does this line say I’m actually doing the paying? Oh, wait, this next line explains why.

“The fee that is collected goes directly to the CRTC’s Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF). Rogers Cable receives no financial benefit from the LPIF fee. All other aspects of your service will remain the same.”

So basically the gist of it is this. The CRTC wants Rogers Cable to actually start paying for stations that up until now they have been stealing from the airwaves without renumeration and Rogers Cable is saying, that is going to cut into our profit margins, lets flip the bill onto the customers and if they don’t like it, they will complain to the CRTC who came up with this idea but either way we are still getting these channels for free that we can charge our customers for as part of their package just like we’ve been doing all along. Get the idea?

The fact is Rogers is right the money (possibly an extra $6.50 on top of the money customers already pay the company for access to these channels) doesn’t go into their pockets. Except the purpose of the fund was to make them pay for channels they we’re getting for free and charging customers for.

Do you see why I’m pissed off? And if you’re a Canadian, you should be too. This act of greed is bordering on the illegal. It’s definitely unethical. It’s a big old “Fuck you” to their customers.

But I have a few solutions to the problem. You had to know this was coming.

To cover the cost of the 1.5% increase to my bill I will be cutting my service back to basic cable, which will cost the company roughly $65 in fees a month from this particular customer. I’m also going to suggest that other customers do the same or at least scale back services by getting rid of channels from their packages that they don’t watch anymore because after the first month, you know they started to suck the old rotten egg anyways and you won’t miss them — trust me.

I also urge people to contact the CRTC and demand that Rogers Cable be charged a penalty for conducting business this way, with a stipulation in the fine that they cannot charge it back to their customers.

I then strongly urge you to contact Rogers Cable and tell them how you feel about being price gouged. Don’t cut off their service, just cut back on the amount of money they are getting from you. The idea is to show them that if they think they can penalize you for their greed that you can do it right back.

And lastly, tell all of your friends and family about this by using your own words or sending them to this blog post. Feel free to copy and paste this article into an e-mail and send it to people you know.

DON’T LET ROGERS CABLE GET AWAY WITH THIS and don’t let them convince you that it is all the CRTC’s fault. We shouldn’t have to pay for the crimes committed by greedy corporations.