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This is how you're going to reach out and get a hold of me unless you already know me, in which case... why are you here, just pick up the phone. 

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Ottawa, Ontario

Just a little corner of the interwebz where I occasionally jot down a thought or two. Why do I do it? Partly to communicate in some way with you, the reader, and partly because it's some sad way of leaving a legacy of some kind I guess.



dates and rookie mistakes

Jonathan Tom

As with just about every other time I post something, I am keenly aware that it's been a while since having done so. There's always a reason for the absence and this time it's just generically going to be The Baltic  because that's where I've been and that's where I am. Popping in and out of ports between Reykjavik, Iceland to St. Petersburg, Russia is actually what bring me to the reason for my post here tonight.


You see, Russia is one of the countries in the world that requires a Seaman's Book to enter as a seafarer - these aren't necessarily difficult to come by if you work in the industry but unlike just about ever other certification, this one is not monitored by the company. Now, I'm not trying to place blame on the company, I should most certainly have been paying closer attention to the expiry date on this document. It's a tough thing to keep track of when you only use it three or four times per year and it's valid for a decade. 


So so here I sit, onboard typing out this post and listening to the droning of a BBC news anchor somewhere behind me and the occasional burst of hot liquid from the coffee machine around the corner as people refuel to keep them going to the end of their shifts.  

The moral of the story is to keep an eye on your certificate dates to avoid a rookie mistake.  

the great white way

Jonathan Tom

When I was younger, having just gotten into theatre and still a long way from deciding that live events were going to be a career for me, I was very interested in New York City but it wasn’t until my last year of High School that I was able to actually get there and see it for myself. I remember seeing Les Misérables and it was amazing; it is still, to this day, one of my favourite musicals.

By this time I’d decided that theatre would be something I would pursue and I enrolled in the Professional Theatre - Production program at John Abbott College. I still remember the first few days of classes where the professors told the classes that this was commonly thought of as the easy program to be a part of and they were clear that this was not the case. Sure enough, we were twenty-one people in the first class and we graduated three technicians.

I remember having to do a study and breakdown of a production of my choosing. I chose, what was then one of the bigger musicals on Broadway, RENT). It was, in my eyes, revolutionary for the time - it’s one of those shows that comes along now and then that represents and connects with a generation. All of this long winded lead up is because I think that the production the recently swept the Tony Awards is, quite possibly the musical of this generation. If you watched the awards this year you’ll know that we’re talking about Hamilton - the show about the revolution and the characters :

And the story would not be complete without the Schuyler Sisters: Angelica (Renée Elise Goldsberry), Eliza (Phillipa Soo), and Peggy (Jasmine Cephas Jones). They are basically the Destiny’s Child of the show. If you get the opportunity to see the show (good luck with that) then you should definitely do so and, failing that, maybe just listen to the soundtrack.

times like these

Jonathan Tom

UPDATE: I changed the image associated with this post after deciding the original was pretty low-res... This was the result of a little play around with photoshop. All components of the comp were gotten as a result of google searches for images "labeled for reuse with modification" - if any of these are your intellectual property and this is not the case please let me know and I will be happy to remove it.

It’s been a few days now since the tragic events in Orlando (both the shooting of Christina Grimmies and the Pulse Nightclub shooting); I’ve been thinking about whether I should write about this or not, and if so how to address it. With regards to the Pulse Nightclub shootings question arise: was this a hate crime, was this the act of terrorism directed by ISIS or was this a man simply acting on his own? It could be a combination of all of the above - the bottom line is that the result of this action cost almost 50 people their lives.

As a non-American looking in from the outside I have a hard time seeing how anyone can seriously believe that there isn’t a gun control problem in the United States. I don’t believe that guns make you any safer. Between 1983 and 2013 the United States had 78 mass shootings; the highest number of mass shootings outside that country during this thirty year period was Germany with seven.

From what I understand of the US Constitution they have very permissive gun licensing laws due to the second amendment. In contrast to most other developed countries which have restrictive laws. There is a direct correlation between the number of gun owners and the number of mass shootings according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. It seems to me that the answer to mass shootings is more restrictive gun control.

In times like these though, as cliché as it might be, I think it’s important to remember that we need to preach and practice love and acceptance of everyone regardless of what colour their skin is, what god they do (or do not) believe in, or whom they choose to love. Love doesn’t discriminate and neither should we. Our most powerful weapons don’t fire bullets, they are the weapons of love and hope. To quote Stephen Colbert’s monologue on the matter “giving in to despair is a victory for hate”.

I’d like to leave you all with an excerpt from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony award speech (full transcript here): “And love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside”. So let’s work together as citizens of the earth to practice and practice hope and love, it’s what we need in times like these.