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    CameronConaway.com

    Cameron Conaway, Executive Editor at GoodMenProject.com, is an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer, a former MMA fighter and an award-winning poet. His international investigations into poverty, child labor and human trafficking can be found in publications such as The Guardian, The Huffington Post and the Women News Network. Conaway is a recipient of the Wellcome Trust Arts Award and currently teaches the capstone Shakespeare Seminar for Ottawa University.

Apr
16

Maria Shriver Gets It

We will never find true peace and equality in this world until we begin to at least talk about issues impacting men. Here is the latest from Maria Shriver:

Please Retweet! Here is what’s on the list:

1) Unrealistic and Stereotypical Portrayals of Men in the Media and the Culture

2) Raising Boys Today

3) The Disposability of Men & Boys

4) Parenting, Stay-At-Home Dads and Paternity Leave

5) The Prison Industrial Complex

6) The LGBT Movement and Gender and Sexual Fluidity

7) Relationships of Every Kind

8) Sports as a Lens of Culture and Masculinity

9) The Young and the Old, the Strong and the Weak

10) Helping to Solve the Bigger Problems of the World Today

Apr
16

5 Ways to Listen Better

“We are losing our listening.”

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Apr
15

Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy

Let this one sit with you for a bit:

“Love and compassion are necessities. They are not luxuries.”

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Apr
15

A Tribute to Kevin Cronin, And a Call For Donations

This morning I received word that Kevin Cronin, whose poetry we featured here, has died of a heart attack at the age of 31. By all accounts Kevin was a cool cat and a good man. Video Game Rescue, where Kevin co-hosted this podcast, is raising money to help cover the costs of burial and services. Please consider chipping in if you can:

As a tribute to Kevin, here is his poem “Daylight”:

Daylight
I sleep
Night time
Awake and not ready
What is happening?
I don’t quite know
I sit in my square and stay awake
Drifting
As my mind wanders
I can’t see past the decisions of 5 minutes ago
I hate myself
I hate my life
Getting buzzed up
And I am not ready
Dreams and reality mix
I can’t think
My mind only runs off of routines
Birthdays, Holidays, Fun times
I miss it all
Will I ever see them again?
Or deliver my blank spot
You know when you first wake up and still feel tired?
My mind is like that no matter what I do
Caffeine is my drug
I take you to live
I take you to get money
I take you to survive
Nap at red lights
Nap at my desk
Nap when I get the chance
I would be better off dead
I am useless
Day shifts to night and night shifts to day
I do not notice
Friends beckon my presence
I do not answer
Family has no idea
Lets keep it that way
I want something more
I strive to achieve
Sleep has imprisoned me
I am trapped
Pull this veil away from me
I need out
I grow anxious
I grow weary
I think I am going to BURST
I Think I Am Going To Lose My Mind
What is happening?
Get me out of here
My raw emotion is seeping from every pore
I am getting pulled away
Somebody please toss me a rope
I can’t see
I can’t breath
Everything is fantasy and I want out
Pull me out
This is not worth it
I need to get away
I need to find my solstice
Come to me and make me one
Tear this dream away
I don’t want it anymore
Time means nothing to me
I wander on
I wish I could sleep time away
But nothing is as what it seems
I no longer care
I no longer love
I no longer feel any emotions
I no longer laugh
I no longer cry
I am an empty shell
I have abandoned it all
Take this pain away
I don’t want to feel it anymore
Life is a haze
Everything melds together seamlessly through lost thoughts
2 hours of sleep
2 hours of magic
2 hours of perfection
2 hours, of coming back

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Apr
14

Enter to Win a FREE Copy of “Until You Make the Shore”

Until You Make the Shore has been called “brilliant,” “unforgettable,” and “contemporary poems in the finest sense.” See what all the buzz is about. Enter for your chance to win a copy:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Until You Make the Shore by Cameron Conaway

Until You Make the Shore

by Cameron Conaway

Giveaway ends April 24, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Apr
13

Bill Nye + Bill Maher = Awesome

It all comes down to this basic premise: There are people who are terrified of “I don’t know” and there are people intrigued by and willing to accept “I don’t know.” The former will tap into their imagination and believe in lies to assuage their fear of “not knowing,” while the latter will accept “not knowing” as one of the infinite beauties of this world.

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Apr
12

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield Presented with World Peace Tartan

tartan

Astronaut Chris Hadfield was awarded the World Peace Tartan for the message he delivered from the International Space Station.

Victor Spence (52), (Edinburgh, Scotland) presented Col. Chris Hadfield with the World Peace Tartan during a high profile gathering on April 4th at the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver, BC.

Col. Hadfield was awarded the World Peace Tartan in recognition of his powerful message of peace for the people of the earth, given January 13, 2013, from the International Space Station.

Victor Spence, founder of the World Peace Tartan Initiative and the tartan designer flew from Edinburgh, Scotland to make the award along with dignitaries from the University of the Fraser Valley and Summit Negotiations Society.

Victor Spence, Founder of the World Peace Tartan Initiative said: ‘It was a personal honour to meet Chris and also spend some private one to one time with him. Out of all the amazing people I have had to I can’t say I have ever met someone like him. He is an amazingly grounded, generous, calm and a highly trained professional and sincere good guy.

He was really interested in how the World Peace Tartan came about and my life. We also talked about his Scottish ancestry and that he’s trying to discover more.

We joked on stage in my presentation that I actually owned the domain name realastronauts.com and would he like to make we an offer!? This had the audience laughing loudly. He said we can talk about that!

This presentation provided a platform to introduce the World Peace Tartan in the City of Vancouver. It also give the opportunity of our first formal presentation in Canada on the same weekend as ‘Tartan Day’.

The World Peace Tartan was created to make a contribution to building a culture of peace and as we recognise Chris Hadfield for his extraordinary contribution to this same end we are indeed furthering this cause. The World Peace Tartan is a universal tartan, a tartan for all, and in its design it carries the message ‘peace is the way’.

Victor Spence further added: ‘Chris Hadfield called for peace from the unique perspective of the International Space Station. He not only deeply experienced this perspective of what he could see from space of our earthly habitat but he chose to share this with millions around the world. He shared the reality of what that view brought to mind which was that we are all on this amazing planet together. As a scientist and a human being Chris Hadfield deeply understood the nature of our interconnected, interdependent and interrelated nature. We have created false separateness and Chris Hadfield took the opportunity to remind us and uniquely and meaningfully made an extraordinary contribution to building a culture of peace on earth.

Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and International Ambassador for the World Peace Tartan sent this message that was read out to Chris Hadfield:

‘Greetings from Atlanta where I am today. I am aware of your gathering this evening in the City of Vancouver to honor Chris Hadfield. I send best wishes, support and thanks to the sponsors and organisers for their roles and intentions in this event.

A significant intention in today’s event is to contribute to building a culture of peace. To take this a step a further my message is to warmly encourage you to consider and act upon the words of my grandfather and commit yourselves to ‘Being the change you wish to see in the world’.

Chris Hadfield has indeed made a significant contribution to building a culture of peace and as an International Ambassador of the World Peace Tartan and a recipient of this honour myself along with 8 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and many others, I send my congratulations to Chris.

_______________________________________________________________

Background and history of World Peace Tartan

Astronaut Chris Hadfield will join the ranks of other notable individuals around the world who have been presented with World Peace Tartan, these include His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Archbishop Desmond Tutu along with six other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates from the Nobel Women’s Initiative as well as Arun Gandhi , the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and the Lord Provosts of the Cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Mel Young the Founder of the Homeless World Cup, Magnus McFarlane-Barrow the Founder of Mary’s Meals, May El Khalil Founder of the Beirut Marathon and many others.

In the beginning:

Victor Spence added: The World Peace Tartan has a history going back to when I had my first meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Cape Town, South Africa in 1999. I was delivering letters of invitation for him to come to Scotland . He gave me a white silk scarf which is part of Tibetan culture and I had a thought that the next time I met him I would give him a tartan scarf which I did a couple of years later.

When he did eventually come to Scotland in 2004 and again in 2005 he received a number of Tartan scarves. I kept the new tradition going by giving many people tartan scarves in a gesture of peace and friendship from Scotland .

It wasn’t until 2008 when I first met Arun Gandhi , the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and presented him with ‘ Edinburgh ’ tartan that the idea of a World Peace Tartan came to mind’.

The World Peace Tartan was eventually created for the 2012 visit to Scotland by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and I was deeply honoured to present him with the world’s first World Peace Tartan scarf.’

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–Photo: Victor Spence (left) with Chris Hadfield (right) / Jason Brown

Apr
11

Help Stella’s House Fight Human Trafficking

I’ll be there. Hope to see you there!

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Apr
11

If Mindy Kaling REALLY Was a Human Trafficker

mindy

Mindy Kaling jokingly referred to herself as a “human trafficker” of “handsome men” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Do I take offense to that? You’re damn right I do.

Oh, but then she added “It’s okay. They don’t get human trafficked that much.”

And then in the finale, when she kinda-sorta tried to apologize, she turned into a joke by bragging that she is…

“The first Indian woman ever to be a human trafficker.”

So here’s a short list of things Mindy Kaling would know if she really was a human trafficker:

(1) It’s no joking matter. It’s a business, and perhaps our world’s most complex and brutal crime.

(2) She wouldn’t be the first Indian woman ever because, well, thousands of Indian women have come before her.

(3) It happens all over the world and, in addition to girls and women, it wrecks the lives of boy and men.

I’ll end there. Mindy Kaling seems cool as all get out. May this serve as a small nudge to encourage her to become more sensitive to this issue.

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–Photo: AP

Apr
10

The Social Impact of #UniteBlue

uniteblue

Want to harness and leverage the power of social media to organize around key political issues? Unite Blue seems to have a few things to teach.

Disorganization is the ultimate unraveling of any social or political movement. In fact, opponents to movements are so keenly aware of this that they’ll often devise a “divide and conquer” strategy. This happened recently as I was out protesting alongside the nurses here in my hometown. Many nurses have been with our local hospital for 20+ years, but after a billion dollar global health organization bought out the hospital it was demanding the unfortunate cliche: less nurses, more patients = more $$$ at the top.

And so a union-busting organization had been hired in an attempt to break down the unity of the locked-out nurses. Guess which nurses were the first to be offered their job back? That’s right. The ones who were viewed as the leaders of the strike. Divide and conquer….

It would seem awfully difficult, then, to rally and keep organized a group of people who have never truly met, but that’s precisely what seems to be happening at UniteBlue.org, a site for progressive American Twitter users that is seeking to “Connect the left because we’re stronger together.”

At UniteBlue.org you can click each individual state to begin connecting with local Twitter users.

Full disclosure: I signed in via my Twitter account to check this out. After clicking on Pennsylvania I was taken to a page of 50 Twitter users and this was only Page 1 out of 78. This comes to nearly 4,000 users just here in my state. Each user is ranked and given a Score out of 100 based on the following categories:

rankBlueRank: Our system for identifying the most active and influential progressives and Democrats on Twitter.

Left: How far to the political left are they?

Engagement: Do they follow, mention, and retweet others?

Influence: How much do they impact the conversation?

Ratio: Ratio of users they are following to their followers.

Followers: Total number of followers.

Talkative: How many tweets and retweets do they send per day?

To see how the process works, and because many Tweeps listed were advocating for causes I’m interested in, I began to follow a few. Within 24 hours 70% of those I followed had followed me back. I’ve since had to toggle off the email settings, but Unite Blue frequently has Twitter Chats and are often coming up with clever hashtags to unleash at specified times in order maximize their impact.

While the digital warrior model has proven successful in major uprisings around the world, time will tell how or if #UniteBlue can move beyond the smaller, timely issues to have an impact on a major election. The site claims it has made 1,824,754 connections, but how meaningful are those connections? And how to measure social impact in the digital age? How many of those connections will gather together to take to the polls or the streets in an attempt to make real social change? The 2016 election will answer many of those questions.

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