Thursday, 13 October 2016

Donald Trump does NOT respect women (in my opinion)

                                         Donald Trump does NOT respect women (in my opinion) (YouTube Video)

This presentation does not have a political agenda. I am a Canadian, I cannot vote in the US election. I have far more invested interest in my own Canadian government, and how the current Canadian government affects me and my country.  

  I am however deeply concerned about Donald Trump's negative and damaging attitudes and behaviors concerning women. It concerns me because Donald Trump has so much influence over American society. And half of that society is made up of women.

  I am also disturbed by the multitude of people who dismiss, excuse or downplay Donald Trump's unhealthy attitudes and behaviors towards women. Because it illustrates that our society has a serious sickness when it comes to how women ought to be perceived and treated. 

  I will attempt to illustrate that Donald Trump does not respect women, and why his attitudes and behaviors towards women is damaging to all women.
  In the recent leaked 2005 video of Donald Trump speaking with Billy Bush, Donald Trump says;

  "Yeah, that's her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait."

  I personally believe that this not only brings into question, Donald Trump's lack of self control over his own sexual urges but that kissing a woman without her consent is inappropriate and wrong. 

  Unless a woman has established a consensual relationship that merits a man kissing her, it is an intimate invasion of her personal space. And the truth is there are many women who are intimidated and uncomfortable with being kissed by a man who they don't even know - all you need to do is ask women, and they will tell you. 

   Now from country to country there may be cultural differences regarding acceptable ways to greet the opposite sex but if there's a chance it may make a woman feel uncomfortable, and intimidated, than why would you do it?

   Than Donald Trump goes on to say;

   "And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything."

  And Billy Bush asks;

  "Whatever you want?"

  And Trump replies;

  "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

  So now Donald Trump is positing that because he's a star, he has special permission to sexually assault any woman, and they'll let him do it. Not just grab them by the genitals, but do anything you want. 

  This is a 59 year-old man essentially bragging about sexually assaulting women. 

  This is extremely troubling, because at 59 years-old, this man has still not learned that sexual assault is not only a crime but absolutely wrong. And goes on to further promote a behavior that can easily turn to rape. And rape destroys lives of women.

  And far more troubling is the possibility that Donald Trump is talking from experience. Otherwise how would he know he could get away with such actions towards women? I suspect that Donald Trump severely lacks appropriate boundaries when it comes to interacting with women. 

  And this man may even justify his behaviors towards women as appropriate if there fails to be any  protest on behalf of the women. But just because the woman in question does not protest does not mean she approves. She could be feeling shocked, humiliated, embarrassed, or angry.

  Than in 2016 (9 years later) after Donald Trump's comments were made public, he issue's an apology;
  "I never said I was a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more than a decade old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me, knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize..." 

  Then he goes on to talk about how his travels during his campaign changed him, and how he's  humbled by people's faith in him. And he pledges to be a better man tomorrow. And says he will never ever let you down. 

  Then goes on to say;

  "Let's be honest, we're living in the real world. This is nothing but a distraction from the important issues we are facing today."

  Here are my issues. He starts off his apology by saying, "I never said I was perfect." That sounds like an excuse because he is implying that any imperfect man could or would do the same. And all men are imperfect. So it can't be that bad, right.

   Then he goes on to state that the video is more than 10 years old, and that anyone who knows him knows those words don't reflect who he is. One thing we can be sure of is that that video reflected exactly who he was 10 years ago when he does not think he's being recorded. 

  So there could be a bit of a contradiction because a man is the product of his past. And even Dr.Phil will tell you that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. But maybe he did learn that his comments were wrong after-all he said I was wrong, I apologize.

  But then he dismisses the seriousness of his comments by saying, "this is nothing but a distraction from the important issues." 

  I could not disagree more. Number one this is an insight into how Donald Trump viewed and perceived women just 10 years ago. If his views and attitudes concerning women did not change during the first 59 years of his life - how likely is it that they changed during the last 9 years?

  And secondly, if this man truly does not respect women what kind of president will he be when he is representing that half of the US population that is made up of women? And if he becomes president will he appropriately deal with other women in positions of power? And what kind of example and message will his conduct concerning women have on the US population and other countries.

  So I believe it is a potentially important issue. It is more than a distraction - it's a serious concern.
  The key here is that Donald Trump never explained 'why' his comments were wrong. I honestly believe he does not know 'why' his comments regarding women were wrong. And if he does not know why his comments regarding women were wrong than how can he truly learn from it, and therefore truly be apologetic.

  But then during his second debate with Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump refers to his comments on tape as, 'Locker Room Talk.' And goes on to posit that they are 'just words not actions.'

   To brag about sexually assaulting women as locker room talk is deeply troubling. That is to posit that it's common for men to brag about sexual assault in the locker room behind closed doors.
  But that does not mean it's any less wrong. 

  Even if there is a multitude of men speaking this way in the locker rooms it does not mean it's okay to do so. Even if women have heard worse than those words spoken by Donald Trump - it does not make it okay. What it means is that there is a serious societal sickness when it comes to how men in general ultimately perceive women and what they think of women.

  A sick perception that needs to be addressed.

  It is not indicative of a man's human nature - it is indicative of what a man has been taught as being acceptable behavior. And women who think this is simply who men are by nature have been desensitized to the very ugly nature of this type of behavior by the frequency of this behavior.

  The inherent danger of this type of talk, belief and attitude is that it will ultimately mold the actions of certain men concerning women.

   Going back to Donald Trump's statement that his comments were just words and not actions. Women like Temple Taggart (21 Year-old, Miss Utah) was reported to have been kissed by Donald Trump without her consent back in 1997. 

   In an interview with the New York Times, she commented;

   "He kissed me directly on the lips,"

    "I thought, ‘Oh my God, gross."

    "There were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like ‘Wow, that’s inappropriate."

   This sounds exactly like what Donald Trump essentially admitted to on the 2005 leaked video. I just kiss them, I don't even wait.

  Remember during the second debate against Hilary Clinton, moderator, Anderson Cooper asked Donald Trump, "Just for the record, though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago, that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?"

   Back in 2005, on the Howard Stern show, Donald Trump admitted to going into the dressing rooms during the Miss USA pageant which he owned while the contestants were changing. 

  Trump also has bragged before that, as owner of the beauty pageant, he is entitled to walk in on contestants.

 “I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else,” he told Howard Stern.

  “And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it.”

 Trump continued from there. “You see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”

  A contestant at the 2000 Miss USA pageant told BuzzFeed Trump had walked into a pageant changing room when everyone was naked.

  Now there's a report of Donald Trump walking into the change rooms of the Miss Teen USA pageant back in 1997. 

  Buzzfeed reported that Mariah Billado, a contestant from Vermont, who recalled having to get dressed “really quickly” because Trump had entered the room.

 Girls were “just scrambling to grab stuff,” she added.
  Billado paraphrased the GOP presidential nominee as saying: “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.” When she first learned that Trump was running for president she thought, “Oh, gross, this guy walked in on us in the pageant.”

  BuzzFeed said three other women also remembered Trump entering the changing room while the contestants - some as young as 15 years old were in and out of their clothes.

  So this guy feels it appropriate to walk into a changing room filled with women changing, women who could be naked just because he owns the pageant.

  I don't care if he paid for their schooling, paid their bills, bought their houses - he has no right to walk into a women's changing room, period. That to me is nothing short of perversion.

  No warning, of his entering, no everybody has 5 minutes to cover up Donald Trump wants to inspect how things are going. That is just absolutely wrong.

  And if the story of Donald Trump walking into the change rooms of Miss Teen USA are true, than that is beyond inappropriate - especially when there are girls as young as 15 years old.

  This man has absolutely no sense of appropriate boundaries when it comes to women.

   Now, there is increasing news reports through various media of Donald Trump sexually abusing women. At least 5 women who allege Donald Trump sexually abused them. Honestly I cannot keep up with these reports.

   Whether you believe the newest reports of sexual assault, Donald Trump admitted to Howard Stern that he goes into the Miss USA pageant change rooms and gets away with it. 

   As a note, however, the newest allegations of sexual assault do align very well with Donald Trump's comments on the 2005 video, "grab them by the pussy, you can do anything...and they'll let you do it." Perhaps these women only coming forward now after so many years gave Donald Trump the impression that, 'they'll let you do it.'

   Another concern regarding Trumps attitudes towards women is his objectifying women. In a recent 1992 video, Trump asks a 10 year-old girl if she's going up an elevator, she replies, "yea." Than Trump turns to the camera and say's, "I'm going to be dating her in 10 years - can you believe it." 

  Trump has made his share of highly questionable comments regarding women. Back in 2006 on the View, Trump made a comment regarding his daughter, Ivanka, "I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps, I would be dating her." 

  His comments are creepy because they are aimed at those people that we don't associate sexual thoughts with like his own daughter, and a 10 year-old girl. 

  There is no shortage of insults aimed at women that can be found online on behalf of Donald Trump. Most comments usually carry a commentary insulting their appearance. 

  In fact, there are too many for me to comment on. 

 In fact there is far too many examples of Donald Trump miss treating women for me to comment on. All you need to do is do your own research. And you will most likely come to the same conclusion that I have that Donald Trump does not respect women. 

  Alas, let's not forget that on the 2005 video, Donald Trump talks about trying to have sex with a married woman. Donald Trump is heard saying," I did try and fuck her. She was married.."

  This is a man who thinks nothing about a respecting a married woman and the possible consequences of destroying a marriage, and possibly lives connected to that marriage. This demonstrates a complete lack of empathy for the possible consequences of one's actions on other people's lives. 

  I have worked hard on this presentation because Donald Trump has become a role model to so many people, and as such, his negative values concerning women carry a huge influence unto American society. And I am making the point that his perception, values, and behaviors towards women is not appropriate and should not be tolerated. 

  It is my opinion that Donald Trump approaches women as if they are all sexually available to him, and that their quality as a human being can be rated by their appearance - with no consequence to him. And that is not acceptable, period.

  I don't believe my presentation will be popular with too many people, but I have to stand up for women because half of humanity is made up of women. 

  And women live in a reality where they face the possibility of stalking, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, discrimination based on sex, being objectified, rape, and unwanted sexual attention. It's not right that half the human population has to put up with this. 

 People want to be appreciated for who they are, not taken advantage for what they have.


Darryl Learie


Friday, 19 August 2016

Beautiful Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 360 Degrees - 360 Photography (Google Trusted Photographer)

Beautiful Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 360 Degrees - 360 Photography (Google Trusted Photographer)

Introduction & Google Maps

I have been shooting photospheres (pictures that rotate 360 degrees left and right, and 180 degrees up and down) for the Google Street View app since 2016 05 28. I will not go into any further technical explanation as the focus of this blog is to expose the beauty of the City of Edmonton through 360 photography. But I also use the Google Maps app to view my summarized analytics, like views per photo.

I have shot 1,408 photospheres, resulting in 1,067,708 over-all views (758 views / photosphere) - The actual view count is actually higher but the views have not updated since 2016 08 11. And of all those 1,408 photospheres I have painstakingly chosen the top 15 photospheres of Edmonton to feature on my blog. I have also created a Google Photo Album of my top 89 photospheres of Edmonton provided in a link within this blog.

I have since become a Trusted Google Photographer and pursue this passion as a volunteer, adding photospheres to the Google Maps that the Google Car (Google's car that drives on the roads with a mounted 360 camera) can't shoot from the roads. I focus on the parks of Edmonton which receive little to no exposure.

My voluntary mission is to provide a window within Google Maps so people can see the hidden beauty and beautiful parks of Edmonton without having to go there. It is just one of my many ways of giving back to the world - and I spend many hours working very hard at it.

For those who are Google Local Guides, here are my statistics. I am a Level 5 Local Guide with 549 points.

 (1,408 photos - 1,067,708 views - level 5 - 549 points)

(Frank & Etta Wilde Park my most viewed photosphere with 390,956 views)

(Parts of Edmonton I have shot for Google Maps)

 For those who would like to see my complete work for Google Maps, the following link will take you to my Google Maps profile. 

Beautiful Edmonton in 360 Degrees - 360 Photos of Edmonton

Note: using your mouse place your cursor on the image, left click and hold than simply move your mouse to rotate the picture. 

The top 89 photos out of 1,408 pictures (Link below)

 The top 15 photos out of 1,408 pictures browse below

1. Groat Road Bridge
2016 08 17

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2. Spot 1 Footbridge
2016 08 15

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3. West Edmonton Mall
2016 08 07

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4. Downtown
2016 08 06

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5. Downtown
2016 08 06

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6. Legislature Grounds
2016 08 06

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7. Legislature Grounds
2016 08 06

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8. Legislature Grounds
2016 08 06

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9. William Hawrelak Park
2016 07 21

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10. Beaumaris Lake
2016 07 21

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11. 97 Street & 128 Avenue
2016 07 19

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12. Patricia Lake
2016 07 19

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13. North Saskatchewan River
2016 07 12

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14. Tiger Goldstick park
2016 06 16

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Tiger Goldstick Park
2016 06 16

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Thank-you for your interest in my photography, Darryl Learie

Friday, 29 July 2016

The ramblings of a confused moral conscience

The ramblings of a confused moral conscience

It would seem that we were born into this world with no choice. We did not ask to be born, nor did we ask for the circumstances we were born into. Some will be blessed from birth and others will be cursed from birth. Unless there is some divinely inspired purpose for this, the reality is absolutely unfair and unreasonable.

  However, some time after we are born into this world we inherit a moral responsibility to others in this world. And that moral responsibility is not to further harm others by our actions or lack of..

  Every individual born is equally important because every individual is self-aware, continually thinking, and personally experiencing real emotions and physical sensations. Furthermore, the extent of pleasure or pain that can be felt (emotionally or physically) by any individual seems to be not only profound but beyond comprehension.

  Self-awareness alone (or consciousness) is the greatest phenomenon that exists in the known Universe - it is only paralleled by the phenomenon of the Big Bang (The very beginning of space-time, and existence). The true miracle of life is that the Universe itself has become self-aware, and has done so through every individual born.  

  We must respect this experience of being truly alive in others because it is also our own experience. Not only that but we all have the very same psychological and physical needs. This is my initial argument for empathy.

  Why should we be careful not to cause pain and suffering to others? Because we all share in the same reality, we all experience the same paradigm. Like the Golden Rule illustrates, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We live in a world of cause and effect, every action on our part has a potential consequence affecting the very well being of others. It is logical not to inflict pain and suffering on another because we do not desire the same for ourselves.

  When we intentionally or unintentionally harm another we have no control over just how much pain and suffering we have caused that individual. And at the fear of being redundant, the extent of pain and suffering that individual can experience can be so severe - it can be beyond what we can imagine or comprehend. It personally amazes me just how much pain a person can feel.

  Every human being has earned their right to exist. Every human being is the product of genetic material that has survived despite the deaths of many previous generations of life not selected by the process of billions of years of evolution. To go even further, the odds of you being you and not somebody else is astronomical. It requires the right sperm out of millions exchanging DNA with the right egg out of tens of thousands every time across thousands of generations of the right people.

  We as individuals are inherently valuable. But we must seriously consider if our presence is an asset or a liability to others who make up society. Is society as a whole benefiting from our existence? Of course if we go around causing others to suffer than society would not deem us as valued members of society.

  How do we know if we are good people? This is a question that continually concerns and haunts me - how do I know if I'm a good person? How do I know if my life has had a positive net affect on society as a whole?

  Am I truly a good person if I am kind to strangers, but hurtful to someone in my family, one of my friends, or even an ex-girlfriend? Have I out of ignorance hurt people in the past? Have I posted something on-line that has negatively affected others? Is my ideology, and what I believe constructive or destructive to society? Am I merely a product of my environment, and if I was, was that environment conducive to learning to becoming a good person? Is my psychopathology destructive towards others? Could I be a bad person and not know it?

  Another reason it is so critical that we do not cause harm to others is because every person has the potential to greatly benefit others in society. Therefore it is important that others be allowed to mature, and develop in the most supportive, and nurturing environment possible. To negatively affect one's psychological development could potentially have severe implications for society as a whole.

  That is to say, if we hurt one person it could inadvertently result in hurting other people we are unaware of. Because of the relationships that person has with other people and how they interact with those other people when they're hurt.

  How do we effectively measure the gravity of our actions on others? How much impact do our words truly have on others, and how far reaching are those words? How has our lives shaped future generations yet to be born?

  Society is a bee-hive, we as individuals do not survive very well on our own without support from others. Society does not work efficiently unless enough individuals fulfill a specific niche (a purpose) that can benefit the hive as a whole.

  Society requires different people of various skills, strengths, aptitudes, and personalities to appropriately achieve all the roles that need to be fulfilled for society to work. Of course these roles can take the form of jobs and volunteering efforts. That is why every person is so potentially important.

  Every person despite their socioeconomic status has something valuable to offer others; like a purposeful and meaningful friendship and/or relationship.
  But there are those who like parasites do what they wish at the expense of others. They cripple the very people they benefit from by their selfishness, ego and greed. Some are bullies, some are thieves, and others  simply use people for their own gain.

   Einstein said,"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile," and Socrates said,"The unexamined life is not worth living."

   What Einstein means is that the only way our life can be truly worthwhile (or have value) is if we have in some way benefited others in our life. In other words having a purpose that results in a better quality of life for others makes our own lives worthwhile.

  Socrates goes as far as saying, if you have not even taken the time to examine your own life - than your life is not worth living.







Thursday, 26 May 2016

Dignity and Respect (An Anti-Bullying Speech)


It was his destiny to be born hundreds of generations down the line of life from Adam and Eve. Born one thousand, nine hundred and seventy‑three years after the birth of Christ himself. On the event of his birth, the three wise men were not there to bring precious gifts. But God himself still saw promise in this spark of life.

At the age of ten he would calmly stand in the house of his grandparents as it was slowly being torn apart from a fierce hurricane, reassuring everyone "it will be alright". He would stand witness to his mother speak of suicide. Haunted by such news he would repeatedly tell her "please, don’t do it”. He had an unlimited curiosity about the world around him. Indulging in his natural curiosity he spent his time excitedly taking apart t.v’s, radios, vcr's and some of his own toys to see how they worked.

Soon he learned of great leaders who changed the world and started from humble beginnings. Realizing that even he could, if he really wanted to, carry great potential. Rather bored by school itself, he would spend his day dreaming of how one day he would change the world in some awesome, profound way.

Unfortunately, the French revolution, the multiplication table, conjunctions and adjectives, just did not fall into his great plan to conquer all evils of the world. As a result his marks fell dangerously low, prompting his father to ingrain the belief in him that, "if you're not successful in school, you’ll never be successful in life".

Throughout his school life he would be going to many different schools across the country. Always being forced into the eerie situation of negotiating a new set of friends. Always being the new kid.

Soon after he turned sixteen his parents were finalizing a devastating divorce Consequently his mother promised him that his high school years would be in the country and that they would no longer move.

He greatly anticipated his high school life, remembering stories of d friends, have a good time and get good marks. Maybe even move onto college or even university. All of his life's potential seemed to rest on these last three years of high school life. This was his chance to be truly successful just as his father had ingrained in his mind.

Fate would very soon turn a very ugly face to him, for his inhibitions would do him no favors. Even though he was most motivated to make a legend out of his life. He was quiet, shy, easily intimidated and had a slight fear of large crowds.

And so on September First, nineteen ninety‑one his ugly fate quickly unfolded. He went on to do as he always had done, try to negotiate a new set of friends. Although he sensed something quite odd. It seemed that every time he tried to introduce himself, people seemed cold and uninterested. He thought to himself "there's over a thousand people in this school, is it possible that I have nothing in common with anyone?”And weeks started going by and there he was still alone with no friends. He had started feeling quite concerned. This had never happened to him before.

The situation only perpetuated itself, in the course of his classes the teacher would often say,” okay everyone split into groups”. And so the class would split into groups of three or four and often he would be left standing alone, faced with the embarrassment of being intentionally singled out.

He would in the course of his humility only hope the teacher would quickly assign him to any group to end his discomfort at the situation. But time and time again, history would repeat itself.

Every time the frightening words came,” okay split into groups”. There He would be once again standing by himself. His heart pounding hard, sweating and an uncontrollable blush that would cover his face with a bright red complextion.At times he tried to anticipate his move asking, "can I join your group?”But the words replied were usually quite harsh, "I don't want that goof in my group”

As months slowly dragged by he developed a fearful complex. He prayed every day to God before school, that in all of his classes in the day the teacher won't ask the class to split into groups.

The lunch bell ringing always brought a sense of relief to his worries at least for an hour. Too many times he found himself eating alone in the lunch room. So he would walk around asking others,” do you mind if I eat here?”The common reply would be "no, my friend is sitting here ", then they would laugh. He did find a group of people that didn't reject him at the lunch room table they just ignored him. And to him that was a better trade‑off.

So for the most part he would go to the library and read books. He noticed the library had chess games. He would set up the chess board and invite people to play against him. His hopes were that he could stir up a conversation throughout the game and maybe make a friend. He did manage to make two friends unfortunately neither was in his grade so it had no effect on his overall status.

His social situation still looked quite dreadful. He kept trying to build friendships with others over chess but as it would seem that he would make another friend, others would approach that person to deter them with throbbing statements like,” don’t hang with him, he’s a nerd nobody likes him "

It was severely disturbing to him that other people would almost anything to deter others from being his friend.

"These are my high school years they are supposed to be my best years”. This ideal he so much anticipated was smashed, obliterated utterly destroyed beyond comprehension.

The utter ugliness of the situation was only reinforced as people would approach him in the halls to remind him of his lowly status,” nerd, goof, faggot, loser “, and whatever other harsh label they put on him.

They even went to the extreme of spreading ridiculous rumors about him and constantly threatening him.

He found himself with no choice but to accept his ugly reality,” nobody likes me ".He realized that he was, what nobody wanted to be, 'the social outcast’.

He tried to escape his painful reality by skipping school and taking up dancing. Hip Hop and Break d thrilling thing a person could do, he thought.

Skipping school and working on dance moves soon became a habit in itself. This became a way of life to him but the situation only worsened. On the days when he did catch the school bus to go to school he would take his seat for the forty‑minute ride. The other people on the bus took the opportunity of throwing things at him, pennies, pencils, books and sometimes they would even spit on him. The pressure was building and because of all the school he had skipped his marks were dangerously low.

When school finished for the day he would be at home contemplating his pathetic existence, to take his mind off it since it was becoming unbearable he started doing push‑ups.

And so after school he would faithfully do his push‑ups in whatever sets he could handle. And of course practicing his dancing. Now his only pleasure was his push‑ups, wich he was getting better at, and his dancing.

Just after his eighteenth birthday he started going to night clubs to dance, this gave rise to a most ugly dilemma. Now he had his mother and the school authorities who insisted he did not miss school to deal with, and if he went to school he would have to deal with the students who worked at their popularity at his expense, making fun and jokes about him was the new fad.

After almost two years of this horrid situation he made his decision,” not to attend school, until they put him into another school”. For there seemed to be no resolution to his problem, at this point whenever he stuck up for himself, the threats against him only got worse.

But this was not the end of his efforts for in the last months he danced in school, sometimes he even went to school dances but was always laughed at and mocked. At one time he even asked a newly formed dance crew at school if he could join and was rejected with "you're a loser".

His last efforts did not end there for he had quite a natural gift for drawing. In exhibiting his gift for drawing to win people's approval they often seemed jealous and accused him of paying others to have drawn it for him.

Fortunately they did transfer him to another school where to his benefit there were only two months until summer. Though not enough time for history to repeat itself.

So as summer kicked in he became convinced in every which way that no matter how true to himself he was, nobody would like him. It was his reality that people did not like who he was as a person. I mean let's consider, day after day, week after week, month after month, people went out of their way to tell him,” you’re a loser, you’re a nerd, you’re a goof”.

So he contemplated his future where he would always be pushed around or stepped on and of course single all of his life. He did not want that kind of life so he decided maybe he could win people's approval by being really good at something.

His‑first obsession was his push‑ups. He kept track and started breaking all sorts of obscure push‑up records. Night after night he would try to do more than he did the night before. When he went dancing at the night clubs he would practice his moves over and over. Constantly asking other good dancers,” how do you do that?”

However to his dismay he had no talent for dancing and absolutely no rhythm. And yet his easy going humbled nature and his passionate love for dance aroused an enthusiastic approval from those in the night clubs. This new‑found approval stirred feelings within him. He decided that he would not live up to this negative image given to him in school. He would not be the wimpy, goofy nerd that he was unjustly labeled as. So he religiously practiced his dancing, and did what ever he could to build friendships with other good dancers. And every time he danced he would ask others "did I do good?”But his progress in dancing was quite slow.

After some time the real world showed him more affection than he ever had in school. Out of this and his new‑found approval grew within him a certain kind of anguish towards his past in school.

He started to look for opportunities to show those from his past that he was not a wimpy goofy nerd. His so‑called potential and enthusiasm granted him this opportunity.

He joined an inner city dance crew "The Magoo Crew”. The leader "Mr. Magoo” believed he had potential. In a short time now being "Dancer Magoo" he danced with the others on a first‑time television show,” Dance TV”. In that occasion he felt exhilarated dancing on Channel 1O.And helping his crew bring home second place in a hip hop, rap contest.

Even though he only had five minutes of fame, he thought it was absolutely the sweetest revenge one could have.

After some time his name was mentioned in a newspaper article about The Magoo Crew. This time as “Nine Nine Nine Magoo”. Not to mention a group picture of The Magoo Crew appeared in the Edmonton Journal.

And by no means was he even the best dancer but it was sweet. And to top it off he even got to be the Edmonton Sunshine Boy.

But he still kept at his push‑ups and started writing letters to Guinness. He figured if his name was in the book of world records that would be awesome revenge.

He wrote dozens of letters, with no replies until one day. Charles Servizio, who did 46,001 push‑ups in a single day, wrote him a letter.

Servizio said he was touched by the letter he received which was about doing a twelve hour push‑up marathon to raise money for charity. From that point on they would speak many times over the phone.

The record holder told him that he had heart and definitely had the potential to one day set a new record. And so doing his push‑ups became serious to him.

He pursued his hopeful ideology with personal dance demo's and updating his records until he reached the age of 25 years.

Once‑again this hopeful ideology of revenge by out‑doing those who mocked and betrayed him was smashed.

The anger within him was hurting too much, the revenge was not satisfying. He was still haunted by his past; the horror was still with him. He even had nightmares of being in class not being able to understand the teacher then the students would start to beat him with bats.

He started to realize that he had not seen those who haunted him in school for a long time. He started thinking,” What if, they never saw me in the paper or on television?”, “Who even reads the paper?” he thought.

He would always have hoped to resolve his own issue. After all they stole a piece of him, that he never could get back. His dignity and respect. How could he ever resolve his issue if he could never confront those who betrayed and wronged him?

He quickly realized dancing is just dancing. And who cares how many push‑ups one could do?

It was evident from his nightmares that when forced into a social situation, failure was his inevitable fate. Depression hit him hard, his reality now,” to be or not to be ".He decided "not to be”. He brought himself to the bravest moment of his life; He knew that there would be no turning back. He grabbed the pills, his heart pounding, his hands sweating and shaking. He swallowed all of them.

He slowly fell asleep, now God himself with the last word would decide if there was any point.

The story I told is the true story of my very best friend, a person who loves me more than anything in this world. And he is here today standing on this podium. Speaking to you.

Thank you
by: Darryl Learie 
Edited and Co-Authored by, John Thompson (Professor of English, University of Alberta) 

September 30 1998