Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category


Image result for netflix historical roastsAh, comedy. It can pull a band aid off quicker and more painfully than the toddler that decides to slowly pull it off an adult’s arm hair. Jeff Ross has a new Netflix series that is creating controversy on cyber waves. Why? It takes the roast format, essentially satirizing a person for laughs. It is being done with Historical figures from Abraham Lincoln to Anne Frank to Cleopatra to Freddie Mercury to MLK to name but a few. There is controversy for things like other comedians dressing up as historical roasters from the person’s life.

The truth is as the amateur historian I am, I enjoy the series. Yes, at time the humour can be crass, yet the historical facts put forward are accurate. To lend credence to the study of history, it also calls out our contemporary world about what we did not learn. I have heard and seen the rumblings for the controversy around the Anne Frank roast. One of the roasters was Hitler.

Let’s pause. The roast itself celebrated the young girl, and roasted Hitler…then called out 21st Century world for not learning from the Holocaust, and continuing to repeat the B.S. today. Hitler’s jokes were crass, played by Gilbert Gotfried, but accurate of what the Reich was and how he would’ve viewed someone. It was hard to watch, but a mirror lifted up for where our own hate and anger can take us. We are a world that likes to sanitize history, and by doing such we are doomed to repeat it. It is not just by removing that which offends- instead let’s flesh out the story to encourage critical thinking, and understanding why this is a horror. It was great to hear an actual acknowledgement of all that were targetted by the Third Reich in their experimentation and extermination (Jews, dissenters, LGBTTQ2+, Little People, Persons with Disabilities, Roma, multiple births).

Humour can make us uncomfortable, it forces us to look in the mirror and ask, is this what we were? Even harder, it makes us look in the mirror about our reality today. Whether it is through the life and legacy of Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr, Freddie Mercury, Abraham Lincoln to name but a few…  It is easier to scream for censorship than to look deeper an understand the point is to learn.

Have we learned anything from our past? Historic or personal?

P.S. If for no other reason, one needs to watch the MLK episode for Jaleel White (yes Steve Urkel `90’s child) playing Nelson Mandela.

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coverA stone skipping across a pond leaves ripples with each impact.

The joys and life of traumas are the like the skipping stone through the generations.

Soul Ripples

What happens when the helper needs help?

For over 20 years Ty Ragan served his neighbour from the rough camps to the shelters to home and every where’s in-between. The simple life lesson of Jesus of Nazareth to love your neighbour as yourself was the centre question to be answered in his life. In May 2016 his life would begin to change drastically through unknown seizures and strokes.

Enter into the ripples that brought him to 2016, the transformational power of love of family and friends as he seeks new ripples in hope for his soul.

Buy your copy at Amazon.ca today.

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What if we do not deal with our provincial level grieving over what was, and will never be what it once was. What if we continue to let our anger, denial and refusal to let go, so that the new and bright can emerge? What will we become?

In 2018, the Purge movies series (yes I have written previously on these movies), came out with a prequel: The First Purge. A story of the first night. What was it? The story is actually quite familiar. The old familiar political line, that bought with political action committee money (PACS) and lobby groups (ala NRA as it is American) have left the 99% behind with their march to make the wealthier having appeared as failed, the NRA switches tactics and backs and new third party movement- The New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) who campaign on a return to prosperity and the greatness of yore.

Image result for the first purgeThe purge in this movie is a social experiment on Staten Island. For those watching through the non-violence lens you note the need to the purge though masked in the concept of a night of release of anger. What it truly is, is the purging of the working and poverty classes. Much the way the military industrial complex has over the centuries (and before you argue against that, look where recruiters first go, and the first waves of draft-ability, anecdotally I went to an academic high school but because we were a working class neighbourhood the armed forces recruited us hard). Under the guidance it is a hard “science” of social psychology and necessity, it is set up if you stay and survive you will be paid $5000, if you actively participate you will be paid more.

As it rolls out, and block parties emerge, and some rituals for those participating in the 12 hours of everything being legal including murder. It is noted the participants craft masks for themselves. Yet there is a problem, the level of murder is not where the NFFA needs it to be in this poorer neighbourhood.

The NFFA are fixated on the participation level of the largest affordable housing towers on the Island to see if it is a success. How do we know this social experiment is actually driven by a new wave of social eugenics? Simple, when the Purge is not going as active as possible, mercenaries go in disguised as criminal gangs and white supremacist groups (including the KKK) with high grade armaments to raise the body count.

Why does this matter as a parable for those reading are going, yeah but Ty it is a movie, and quite hyperbole. But how did this party come to power? Simple, there was only one way and solution seen to a country’s ills, and the people did not want to see a different path. The old line political parties were out of touch, but also had been co-opted by outside money. People in general had moved away from mutual interdependence, to only worrying about that which mattered to them (not my family, not my problem mentality).

It created as the movie series progresses a national identity and cult around purge night and it being a patriotic event. We see this cult like thinking ground in with the extremes of any movement: environmentalists that want to ban plastic straws even though it is a health concern for some persons with disabilities to right wingers who are anti-refugee, even though the bombings and environmental catastrophes creates these migrants. It is the mentality that these problems and are not ours. Not our neighbours, not our worry. In the local context it is budgets where we hear catch phrases such as we as a province cannot be compassionate without money (which those that lived through the Great Depression would know the bullocks of that statement). It is breaking everyone down to a code. Codes work for appropriate funding and social supports, but when all we are is numbers on a bank statement budget, it becomes very easy to no longer notice that we are the same.

Why do we allow this to happen? It is a grief cycle, the cycle that keeps us looking back on what was as a Utopian paradise and that the present must be a post apocalyptic nightmare because–horror- things change, and honestly, for the better. The question is as a society are we willing to let go of the fear of change, and step into the new? or will we simply follow lock step into a cult like the NFFA?


I had the surprising pleasure last night of attending Professor Brian Cox’s lecture at the Jubilee auditorium, thanks to my good friend Scott. I was not sure what to expect, it was about physics was all I had heard. For those who may not know, Professor Cox is a cosmologist and particle physicist. So yes I followed perhaps 1/4 of what was being said (seriously I am smarter than that, but it is a field of interest not deep study). The hook is that Professor Cox is the one that explained the science of Doctor Who. We entered into a timey wimey fun night.

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Picture of light of Big Bang

The crux was understanding space and time, to be able to understand black holes (always cool) and the Big Bang. Whoa! Yes, dear reader, we can see the light from the Big Bang at about a billionth of a second after it happened, and, man, is it an awesome picture looks like a Dyson Sphere (my Next Gen. Trekkies will get) on fire. Robin Ince, his co-host of the Infinite Monkey Cage on BBC Radio 4 (and podcasts). As a professional comedian he brought a higher level of levity and connect-ability, though that was already present with how Professor Cox presented his lecture (though, as he said, at this price can you call it a lecture).

black hole

Image of Black Hole

Robin Ince did a great job of explaining energy transfer and re-incarnation, as different atoms from previously existing things now making us up (it was an explanation of what comes next, and death to his son).

It was a wonderful job with full images (and the dreaded Conics from Grade 12 Math 30) to explain how our universe formed, and the possibility of life on other worlds (which is a yes or no answer). In my own understanding I hold life on other worlds is infinitely possible and why no contact? Would you want to make first contact with our world currently?

There was some good questions taken from the audience as well. FYI when Ant-Man goes to the quantum realm he would not be able to breathe (but the wormhole from Thor is scientifically accurate).  Another question raised, was can physics explain good and evil.

I actually do not remember fully Professor Cox’s answer. For the lecture up to this point, seeing the wonders of all the universe again together was awe-inspiring. It truly was for me, confirmation, through evidence, that science explains the how of our galaxies. It is our spiritual beliefs that give the why behind things. In fact, this synergy is needed. As Professor Cox would take time to explain science does not exist within a vacuum. The creative is a part of it, that is the arts, drama, philosophy, etc. It all needs to work together.

Yes, the how and why is out there for what life is about. It is not found in an isolated silo, but in a multi-disciplinary sharing to more deeply understand.

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Soul Ripples my new book on inter-generational mental health, faith, and beginning recovery is available at Amazon.

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Flash Fact: Puddlers scraped molten pig iron , taking out chunks of carbon. They removed the flaws, the weak points in the metal, turned it into malleable iron.  But the thing about Puddlers was: they did’t live. The process of doing that, of removing the vulnerabilities it was harsh and hot. Breathing that air, working that furnace, it made them sick, killed them young. Almost as if what was wrong with the iron went into them.

One part to go. I won’t be giving away any harsh reveals or spoilers for the readers as we journey into what actually happened in sanctuary. What happens into the soul of a person who has lost everything, and now has no lightning rod.

That is the hardest part of healing. Sure, we can always say it is for ourselves we need to heal. This is truth. Yet, it can become a harder struggle when there is nothing tangible keeping us in this world. I for one know I am this far along my healing journey due to the love I have for my wife and kids, and the love they have for me. If they were not in my life, or if during this process I was to lose them I do not know if I would bother carrying through. It would be easy to simply give in to the rolling darkness, and the pain that exists within.

This is the allegory of the Puddler. The idea of them succumbing to the process of purging out the pain, the impurities and vulnerabilities. That is the journey of healing, as we go along and release, who is there to aid us in carrying the burdens? Who are the social supports we have? For as Sanctuary has shown the heroes, it is not just about having a space to dump, but who is there when you leave the room? What is there for you when you leave the room?

Image result for heroes in crisis 8When you make the choice to seek healing, who is there for you on the journey? It may start as the professional/paid supports out numbering the social supports. But as true healing happens, the social supports need to outgrow the professionals. When I worked building life recovery groups, the outcome was not for the person to only have the 12 step group be the only support. Rather for it to always be there, but for the person to go find new networks to flourish in as well.

The Puddler that cannot escape the harsh heat and air, succumbs to it was they take on the darkness. This is the person in healing who is not ready to face the darkness within, who does not have supports to carry through to the light…It also speaks to the seeping in, the transference of trauma and pain to others who are unaware of the journey you have chosen to begin…or choosing a social support that appears safe, but is not. Like the data files dumped on to the internet from Sanctuary about the heroes’ darkness, so is vicarious trauma lurking to go through like a lightning storm.

The rolling story of healing-pain-seeking is well laid out through the familiar heroes we have grown up with. The question is, what lessons are we taking away for a better today and tomorrow?


Image result for detective comics #1000For 26 issues it was a crime comic, then in issue #27 the Bat-man created by Bob Kane, who would eventually become Batman. The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, World’s Greatest Detective, one half of the Dynamic Duo, one half of World’s Finest and 1/3 of DC’s Trinity.

Detective Comics the title that brought us the journey of Bruce Wayne (yes there were many others, but I always liked how Detective Comics kept to a more espionage-mystery feel in their stories).

Today the 1,000th issue came out. A great collection of short stories touching on what is the theme of Batman from great writers past and present.  Paul Dini, Tom King, Scott Snyder, Denny O’Neil, Warren Ellis, Brian Michael Bendis and others (yes I realize it is a visual medium and I focus on writers, but it’s my jam).

Image result for detective comics #1000What are the themes of Batman? A cursory look at the hero that in the past has killed sometimes actively or passively, a solver of mysteries, a beach head against the insanity of Arkham, and the darkness that is Gotham City to Metropolis’ light.

What is the mission of Batman however?

Did he truly lose himself in Crime Alley when his parents’ were murdered before him? Did Bruce Wayne die that night?

The truth is a journey.

A journey to replace, no, renew and discover the new with what you have lost. Post Traumatic growth if you will for the Dark Knight Detective in renewing a new family for him.

To quote Deadpool, the 1000th issue is about the F word—

Family.

Who is your family?

I am one in 37%

Posted: March 27, 2019 by Ty in Current Events, Spirituality
Tags: , ,

Nearly a third of front-line homeless shelter staff in Alberta are living with post-traumatic stress disorder as an unintended side effect of working to give the homeless and at-risk citizens a better life. A new study from the University of Calgary shows 33 per cent of homeless shelter workers regularly experience trauma while working with…

via Homeless shelter workers feeling ‘significant impact’ of PTSD symptoms: study — Calgary Herald

What happens when the helper needs help?

For over 20 years Ty Ragan served his neighbour from the rough camps to the shelters to home and every where’s in-between. The simple life lesson of Jesus of Nazareth to love your neighbour as yourself was the centre question to be answered in his life.  In May 2016 his life would begin to change drastically through unknown seizures and strokes.  

Enter into the ripples that brought him to 2016, the transformational power of love of family and friends as he seeks new ripples in hope for his soul.

Soul Ripples

Release TBA 2019


Good Night,

Sleep tight,

don’t let the bed bugs bite.

-Ancient bedtime incantation against the blood sucking buggars

Image result for bed bugsBED BUGS! Feel it. That uncontrollable desire to itch or scratch? Don’t hide it. I know you did. I spent years being the go to in infestation control for multiple buildings. It is a creepy feeling. I have seen infestations so bad that there was a symbiosis created by tenant and insect, to the newest ones that are picked up in life transit.  We have all heard the news reports of the explosions of bed bugs on airplanes, in churches, movie theatres, low rent motels, high rent hotels, and schools. These are travelers, see bed bugs are searching for hosts. They love our carbon dioxide. The ones in public spaces are seeking a person to take them home. There is so many because 1000’s can literally be born in days. The female bed bug is impregnated by thousands of mates all at once, and births the babies in a cycle.

They are translucent until they feed. There source of food? Us. If there is a huge infestation, and they cannot sufficiently feed I have seen situations where they will feed on a pet, but usually a pet in used as a public transit mechanism for them to go to other places and spread their colonies. By what are they making a comeback so strongly in Canada? Well, we had them obliterated, unfortunately the chemicals used to wipe them out were also wiping us out via carcinogens. Dang it.

Image result for bed bugsBy mechanical function how early an infestation is detected states how many sprays are needed (minimum usually two). If you rent, the landlord in Alberta is responsible for footing the bill for the spray (sorry homeowners, its on us for our own). The responsibility of the tenant (and the infested if you own) is to promptly follow through on all instructions laid out by the pest control company to ensure the efficacy of the sprays.

Appears very simple. One notes like the picture above or less and calls in; or has noted 3 clustered bites (breakfast-lunch-dinner)together resembling small or large mosquito bites and calls for pest control (keep in mind not everyone shows bites, for the bite showing is an allergic reaction so you can be being feasted on and never even know it, it is why in communal living like hotels, condos, and apartment blocks random inspections help by trained pest control).

Yet this is not a simple carpet beetle infestation where carpet replacement or vacuuming will cure, or flour beetles that require cleaning and food disposal. This is a very intimate type of infestation and that can be missed is that part of the process is mental health supports. Sadly in 2013 in Montreal, a gent with pre-existing mental health conditions completed a suicide due to recurrent Bed Bug infestations. Though I can attest one does not need pre-existing mental health or health conditions to provide an unkind end.

Image result for bed bugsBed bugs get in your most intimate spots–truly. They disrupt sleep. They interrupt sexual relations. If you talk to others about it, they recoil and stigmatize you. See we assume bed bugs equate to dirty lifestyle or living. That is a fallacy. Bed Bugs are seeking food (us), they do not care if you are a hoarder or a minimalist, hospital clean or junkyard mucky, young, old, senior, Millennial, wealthy or poor. They just want your blood.

One would then think, well treatment happens it ends right. No, it does not, one is encouraged not to abandon their resident during treatment cycles as you are literally the bait to contain the infestation. Best case scenario, after two weeks it is free and clear with maybe a lingering of psychosomatic itchiness. Worst case scenario, multiple sprays and many if not all belongings disposed of to ensure reoccurence stops. Literally losing one’s life (material, or completed suicide).

What can this do? Lack of sleep is never a good thing for the human body. Isolation due to stigmatization is never a good thing. Fear of an area of the house (usually happens with where you sleep), but can happen with the whole residence. During treatment cycles, prep, stress, already existing mental health concerns can be exacerbated or new ones can be created: panic attacks to psychotic breaks are not out of the realm of possibility for a rather mentally healthy individual (recurrence after treatment has also been termed Post Traumatic Bed Bug Stress Disorder). For addictions, they can get worse and reach crisis levels, most prevalent being gambling, alcoholism, and drug use. One can also become more open to addiction symptoms to deal with the stress and trauma of the infestation. Sadly as well, pre-existing domestic violence can increase rapidly around this as the infestation can become the focal point of rage and blame.

Knowing that inspection brings people into one’s sanctuary (home); treatment brings others into the sanctuary and tears it apart; living with the buggars has its own terrors. Is it any wonder that mental health is something that needs to be navigated, acknowledged, and treated during and after this time? If we ignore it, we are simply ignoring what is right for our neighbour and ourselves.

Best pest control company I have worked with in Calgary is Martin’s Pest Control.

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