Daydreaming somewhere in Toronto, Joy Thompson is clapping, snapping doo-pop for the world weary, introspective soul. 

I Just Want A Patio, Some Ribs and My Constitutional Rights ... 

That's it, that's the post. It's been a long, dark tea time of the soul and I am very much looking forward to seeing friends without having to go on elongated walks in the freezing cold or whatnot. This lockdown has been incessant (it's been ongoing in Toronto/Ontario in some form since December) all because Doug Ford is an absolute fucking moron.

Mental health is on the decline and businesses have been shuttering like crazy all because Doug is an absolute idiot who won't listen to experts. There's no reason small businesses should ever have been closed, at 25% capacity, yes but closed, no. Now big businesses like Walmart and Canadian Tire? Absolutely they should have been curbside pick-up only (Canadian Tire to their credit has been). It is infinitely easier to control the volume in a small business than to try to regulate the virtual dance parties that seem to be going on in a damn Walmart.

Here's the bottom line, Doug Ford is a Rich, White Cis-Het Man who only cares about other Rich, White Cis-Het Men, "these are the facts." If you voted for him, I'm sorry to say but you may be an idiot, because you really screwed the pooch and hurt a lot of people in the process. Do better next time, truly. It's time for people to realize and understand that voting with only your interests in mind damns the whole world as well as yourself. 

Real Talk: You are not an island and you wouldn't have the wine to drink with the dinner you are eating had the vineyard and/or farmer not made or prepared it nor the truck driver not delivered it to the Grocery Store or Wine Rack where the store clerk then sold it to you, all those people should be kept in mind when you are voting, not just yourself.

We are in this toxic, abhorrent situation because of solipsism and individualism and we will not get out of it without abandoning those same notions. For the love of God can we please just do better? Feeding everyone, clothing everyone and giving everyone a place to live should be the bare minimum, people. The bare minimum.

Just as an aside it behooves you to know that Doug Ford's latest dictatorial act (and I truly mean that) involves smothering your constitutional rights in the form of blocking advocacy groups that purchase political advertising, say for example Teachers or Nurses, who he has unequivocally dumped on and endangered via, well everythingI mean, everything. 

Now if you haven't been living under a rock in Ontario then surely you know how hard Frontline Workers have been fighting for Paid Sick Days, Vaccinating Hot Spots in conjunction with the Teachers fighting for proper safety measures including diminished class sizes in schools.

You would also be aware of just how acutely Doug Ford ignored every single one of those logical pleas and continued to do whatever he could to help his rich friends, (including giving the Westons COVID testing kits to sell in Shoppers Drug Mart when they were donated to the province) and as the horror show spins on, Doug Ford went to court to try to stop the unions like Teachers and Nurses from running any ads against him (ostensibly detailing his litany of sins to those who were unaware) during Election season. He lost.

Judge Ed Morgan (quite appropriately) ruled Doug Ford's dictatorial efforts unconstitutional, however almost immediately Doug Ford and his cabinet of clowns decided to overturn that rule using the "notwithstanding" clause in the Charter. The "notwithstanding clause" is a clause which a government can use to override personal rights including rights involving free expression (such as this).

This notwithstanding clause is a clause that has never been used as all previous governments (presumably) had some modicum of common sense and decency and perhaps assumed that the Judge presiding had an inkling of an idea what they were doing. Not Doug Ford however. Never Doug Ford.

Prithee hear me as I say this with my chest, if you voted for this (and I hesitate to call him this after all the suffering he has caused) man it is time for your Mea Culpa, it is time to do right by all those around you, all the future those around you and do right by yourself. Vote NDP, tell your friends, tell your family, tell the dog next door. It's time to live in an Ontario that values everyone not just people who conform to the creed, skin colour, ability or sexuality of your choice.

 

J

215. 

If you've heard the news regarding the mass grave of CHILDREN found buried near a Residential School and you're mad (and sad) as hell I have a course od action for you....

1. Write to Justin Trudeau, Your MP and Jagmeet Singh

Justin is our Prime Minister (obviously) your MP is your representative in Parliament charged with bringing your issues forth and Jagmeet Singh is the Leader of The Opposition, charged with holding Trudeau and his government accountable. 

2. You can find out who your MP (Member of Parliament) is by going to ourcommons.ca and plugging in your postal code.

3. If you are unclear what to write or how to  proceed I've included my letter below

4. We can hold our leaders accountable in fact it is our duty as citizens of this country. Let's try to make this country better for everyone however we can and remember, no act of kindness is too small, ever.

 

Good Afternoon, 

I am writing with absolute horror and disgust regarding the grave of  215 children recently found. I am very disturbed that this has only merited a tweet or two from the Prime Minister of this country, Justin Trudeau.  

The Canadian flag should he flying at half mast, the country should be in mourning but this simply highlights the way your government (Liberals) views Indigenous lives. The lack of humanity in your response is part of the reason why the crime of MMIW rages on. I am writing to demand that you do something concrete to protect Indigenous Women's rights and the rights of Indigenous children. This is not the "distant past" as Prime Minister Trudeau has erroneously eluded to, this is an ongoing struggle against genocide.  

I am writing to demand reparations for survivors and victims (and their families) of Residential Schools.  

I am writing to demand you stop fighting the survivors of St. Anne's residential school in court with OUR tax dollars and that you give the people and their families their due.  

I  am writing to demand clean Drinking Water for ALL First Nations Communities in Canada.  

Mr. Trudeau you have been virtue signaling regarding BIPOC issues and Reconciliation  for over four years and have done absolutely nothing beyond that.  

You are certainly making it clear that those blackface incidents were a lot more than some "dumb choices" you claim to regret.  

It is time you do right by the Indigenous People of this country and I will not be voting for any party that doesn't. I'll be sharing my views with as many people as I can until something concrete is done in the way of providing reparations to Residential School Survivors, in the way of making concrete, effective legislation to prevent the Murder and Abuse of Indigenous Women, I will be naming and shaming you and your party until First Nations Communities receive Clean Drinking Water.  

This is a national tragedy. It is a week that should be filled with acknowledgement, amplification of Indigenous voices and true acts of reconciliation. I will say that the fact that our Prime Minister sent a few mindless tweets instead of addressing the nation when the bodies of 215 innocent children were found tells us everything we need to know about how Prime Minister Trudeau views Indigenous Communities Communities BIPOC. Shame on you!

 

Joy

"Taking A Break, She Needs a Break...." 

You and me both, Penny, you and me both. Trying to take a breather from Instagram and twitter for a minute so I don't lose absolutely all my hope in humanity. This situation in Palestine and the genocide of Palestinian people under US funding and world complicity is really kind of destroying my mental health. Black People like myself know what it feels like to be dehumanized and devalued and to have the world co-sign on their belief of your lack of humanity. This hurts. This really really hurts. I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Meanwhile on Canadian soil (Turtle Island) there are so many atrocities being committed against Ontarians with regard to covid19 whether it's the indignities unhoused people are suffering through in Toronto (co-signed by John Tory and Joe Cressy) or the inequities non-White, poor folks have experienced from Doug Ford while he prioritizes the vaccinations of the rich class and his millionaire friends like the Westons (owners of Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws) Jeff Bezos, whom has an Amazon factory in Peel region that has infected over 900 employees and still refuses to give paid sick leave even though he makes more in an hour than most of us will see our entire lives, and the police state and privatized health care he is trying desperately to institute (charging for Rapid Covid Testing anyone?). First of all if you're still buying from Amazon you are complicit in the dehumanization and degradation of so many people that it's (in my mind) a literal crime, secondly Doug Ford belongs in prison.

So here I am curving insta and twitter in a desperate attempt to regain my sanity and some sense of hope so I can keep fighting the good fight. I just wish more people cared, that's what hurts me the most. The amount of misery and degradation heaped upon those who are deemed lesser than because of our skin colour, financial situation, religious beliefs, gender, sexuality, birthplace but most upsettingly those that stand by and do nothing, say nothing, move through their lives as though nothing at all is happening. That hurts, that truly hurts me most of all.

Anyway so I'm gonna step back from the 'gram and twitter for a few days and hope to gain some clarity or at the very least to be less despondent. Wish me luck and please I beg you, support the people of Palestine anyway you can, they need you right now and they deserve our help.

 

Free Palestine,

Joy

 

Oh, I Had a Birthday 

Yeah it was on May 2cd, that was like, a superhero ago (I'm now measuring time by Marvel Cinematic Universe episodes). Anyway, it was fine enough, the fact that I am stuck inside kind of got me down but I tried to make the best of it. Lately I've been playing a lot more music so that helps, and recording a lot of cute lil' tiktok vids (despite their obviously, racist, sexist, misogynist, transphobic, fatphobic algorithm and enforcement policies). I doubt I've mentioned this before but I really love editing, I could happily spend all day editing videos, I just love looking at the finished product. I guess I'm a storyteller and there's so many ways to weave a tale, through music, songwriting, poetry, drawing, painting and video and I enjoy each medium immensely. So tiktok-ing is saving me (and many others) from a hopeless drop into entropic ennui and misery. In the immortal words of Buzz Gunderson "You gotta do something" right?

 

-J

Shall We Dance? 

That's a rhetorical question because we're still in lockdown over here (FOREVERRRRRR) but I really wish we could because I miss salsa something fierce these days. There's no cool way to explain how it feels to step into a class and start warming up with other people also there to learn something new and exciting just based on their sheer desire to enjoy life a little more. I really really miss it. I'm holding tight but it's tough in here, man. After another birthday in lockdown the realization of losing a year to this pandemic has really settled. I'm doing my best to keep learning and enjoying things on my own through reading, painting, dancing and of course singing and performing but I really and truly long for the days where I can walk into a classroom and dance with a partner again, or step onto a stage and play with other musicians. Times are tough, real tough and I guess that's all there is to it. If y'all have any movie recommendations now is the time to drop 'em baby, preferably anything with dancing, music or some sort of passion for life. Hook a sista up, friend and stay safe and sane out (in) there.

 

-J

A Love Letter..... 

Dear Little Black Girl,

You are something special. Your dark skin, your shining eyes, your hopeful gaze as you run excitedly towards everything you see. You are someone beautiful, you have promise, potential and magic within you. You are someone joyful, they will try to break you, try to erase you, invalidate you and your existence but they are wrong. You come from the continent of creation, you are from the nation which birthed this earth, you are the blueprint and you are the map. You, little Black Girl are the way home. Cherish yourself for you deserve all the flowers. Guard your heart, but not too much that you don't let in the beautiful things that you so richly deserve, the wonderful experiences, the joyful moments that will keep your heart beating strong. You, little Black Girl, you are magic and you are irreplaceable, never ever forget it.

Joy

I Mean, It's Something.... 

George Floyd liked to call himself Big Floyd, I know this because I watched one of his videos where he talked about himself that way. He said that Big Floyd loves everyone, he talked about putting good into the world. George was a multi-faceted person, that's something that Black People haven't been given the opportunity to be in North America and most of the world. To be people, varied and interesting and difficult and loving and vulnerable and tough and strange and multi-faceted, with layers upon layers upon layers.

I'd like to write blogs primarily on music how I write, how I create, how I produce, making lip balms and skin care, about learning salsa and silks. I'd like to do blogs about my search for a kitten, the adorable birds that show up on my balcony, my obsession with the MCU and Fast and Furious Franchise or my new appreciation of painting but instead myself (like so many other Black and Indigenous people) are hurled into this constant conversation of racism by people who choose to see us as less than human because of their own (very obvious) shortcomings. Right now the Premier of my province has decided that "Carding" is a good way to combat COVID19. So with the already stressful COVID situation I (and other Black and Brown folks) now have to worry about being harassed or murdered by police as we step out to get fresh air and try to find some semblance of mental health in this godforsaken (Ford orchestrated) nightmare. We would just like to have a normal fucking day where we get to be people but alas we do not have that privilege.

 

Big Floyd should be here today, he deserved to be alive by virtue of the fact that he was a human being and every one of us has inalienable rights whether racist, bigoted people believe it or not. So many White Folks do their best to criminalize Black People, anytime something happens to us according to certain White Folks it's always our fault, we "shouldn't have resisted" we "shouldn't have talked back" "shouldn't have been walking down that street" shouldn't have been bird-watching" "shouldn't have been sleeping in our cars" "shouldn't have been driving around without a license plate or with a broken tail light" "shouldn't have been driving at night" "shouldn't have been carrying a gun in an open carry state" "shouldn't have been sleeping in our beds at night" according to some of you it's all our fault all the time. That's because you don't see us as people, that's a you problem that you are making an us problem. That's a YOU problem that you are making an US problem.

Well I don't have any patience left for racist, bigoted nonsense. I will not turn the other cheek, I will not wish you the best. It's defund and abolish the fucking police, end systemic racism, house the unhoused, period. I am grateful to see Derek Chauvin held accountable for his reprehensible actions but I am horrified that it took the ENTIRE WORLD to get us to this point and that so many of us held our collective breath to see if a man who plainly committed murder on camera would be charged with it. Black People deserve better. I said Black People deserve better and we will never stop fighting for what we deserve, it's high time the world joins us. It's not enough to say you are not racist, it's time for you to be actively anti-racist, it's time to do the work required. Black People did not create racism, it is not our job nor the job of BIPOC to fix it.

 

Joy

 

 

This Post is For Black Women... 

Hi Friend,

I know you are doing your goddamn best to put your best foot forward every day. I know you try to bring light, levity, talent, innovation and creativity into yours and others' lives. I know that the majority of the time no one notices and even moreso it seems like not one damn person cares what you contribute, I know, I feel that too. I want you to know that I see you when you aren't seen, I hear you when you aren't heard and I value you when you aren't valued. You are worthy of love, care and happiness and thank you for everything you do. You make this terrible world a bit better and that is NOT an easy thing to do.

-Joy

 

P.S Please know it's okay to want to give up and just sit in your misery. It's okay to cry until your chest shakes, it's okay to be soft and vulnerable. You are okay just as you are. You are a full multi-faceted person who exists in multitudes whether their shady asses see it or not. Keep being you, there is soooo much value in that for yourself and for all of your Black sisters who need and want you here too.

"No One Hath Asked Me But I Did Want Everyone To Know..." 

(The great Stanzi Potenza by the way, I did not craft that opener) Anyways this one's a quickie, here's a few playlists to boost your mood. If you need a hype man if you need to old school vibe a little... if you need to rage against the dying of the light or if a little nostalgia would set you right.(that rhymed, thank you very much) Finally we have the archetypal crying in the rain, or around the rain or near the rain or crying while staring out at the rain playlist. We all need one of those but please, use these playlists responsibly, we're in a fucking pandemic after all, emotions may vary.

Your Comrade in Arms,

Joy

 

BUT WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOO........ (AKA Live Through This) 

Okay,so part of that title was just a smoke screen to reference Hole's 1994 album which really does cover a lot of ground on how shitty it is to be a woman in this world. But that's not what this post is about, this post is about REJECTION!!!!!

Yep that's right, REJECTION ( I know right?, why do I keep yelling it? because this is how you hear it in your head, that's why) this post is about choosing someone that doesn't choose you, wanting someone that doesn't want you, caring about someone that doesn't care about you. Some people find out about this in a marriage, some people find out in a romantic relationship, some people find out in an alleged friendship or from a family member and some in an unrequited love situation, whatever the deal the hand sucks.

It's hurtful knowing that you care about someone who either doesn't care much or cares very little for you. It's heart-wrenching knowing that you'd like someone in your life in whatever context when that person doesn't want to be there. Well there's no solution. I'm sorry but there isn't. It hurts, it sucks but it heals with time much like all things, it may always sting a little but it will never feel as fresh as the moments when you experienced it and it won't spend forever immobilizing you and locking you in a prison of self-doubt. It's not the end of the world unless you want it to be.

It's hard to come back swinging from something like this, so often it's best not to swing, try slowly crawling out when you're ready a little bit at a time. The most important thing is giving ourselves space to heal when we need it, jumping back into life again is just a band-aid reaction that will eventually cause an infection. The trick is to feel it, suffer it and know that eventually it won't feel that way. This is the hardest part to it (trust me, I know) but human resiliency goes with the territory, we can and will be okay, it's possible. I know it sucks, I feel it, let it suck, until it doesn't.

-Joy (here and there)