An Open Letter To Molly Alexander

– Version française en bas. –

Molly Alexander is the candidate with Quebec Solidaire in my local riding of Saint-Henri Sainte-Anne, running for a seat in the National Assembly in the upcoming Quebec election. If you share these views, I encourage you to write a letter to your own candidate, or feel free to use this one as a template. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Dear Ms. Alexander,

I am a constituent in the riding in which you are running as a candidate representing Quebec Solidaire, and I am writing to share my views with you on an issue that is of importance to me.

I would like to begin by stating that I am glad to have a candidate on my ballot whose views and politics so closely resemble mine, and who is both open to feedback and informed on matters that concern the advancement of our society. You are very much a progressive and a critical thinker – two qualities that I value in political representatives – and there isn’t a candidate who I would rather see represent me and my fellow constituents in the National Assembly.

Regretfully, your party has adopted a policy which is of grave concern to me. Following the recommendations of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, Quebec Solidaire’s platform includes a proposal to ban the wearing of religious icons of civil servants in positions of coercive authority (this would include police). I understand that this was the topic of heated debate, and the decision reached by the party is not supported unanimously. However, religious expression is a fundamental freedom and I consider it to be extremely troubling that the party would even consider that this is something that can be voted on. Continue reading

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I haven’t forgotten you.

A thought has been entering my mind with increasing frequency these past few months, which is “geez, I haven’t posted to my blog in a while.” 

Yup. My website’s gotten a little out of date. No new posts, songs, comics, etc. which contrasts the flurry of activity that followed the redesign of this site. 

I have my reasons. My reasons are valid. And I don’t feel bad about this. But, in case you’re wondering, I feel that now might be a decent time to shed some light. 

When I redesigned my site, and focused my energies on writing and creating on-line content, it was at a time where I didn’t have the flexibility in my life to be productive in ways that meant leaving the house. With a few notable exceptions, at the start of 2013 I drastically reduced the number of performances and projects I was involved in. So I devoted my time and attention to writing and blogging, two things I enjoy deeply, and find very gratifying.

I’ve since regained some of the liberties that have allowed me to engage in projects that are more tangible in nature, and rely less on sitting in front of my computer and typing. And with this shift, I let the website take a back seat and go on a slight hiatus. 

All this to say, the site is not dead. I will continue to write and post and share my thoughts, with varying degrees of frequency depending on how much time and energy the “real life” projects take up. 

So stay tuned, and see you on the interwebs. Or maybe IRL. 

Mansplainer #5: Why Whovians are Upset and Why It Matters

On August 4th, 2013, the salivating masses of fanatical Whovians tuned in to the much anticipated unveiling of the Twelfth Doctor. The announcement came in the form of a live broadcast televised special hosted by Zoë Ball. I, like many salivating fanatical Whovians, tuned in with equal measures of excitement and apprehention. You see, I’ve been a dovoted fan for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of watching Tom Baker episodes at my grandmother’s house (she had cable). And as a devoted fan, the revival of the series in 2005 has sparked a resurgence in my obsessive fandom. So you get the excitement. But then there’s the apprehension.

Steven Moffat is an undeniably talented writer. His episode “Blink” is one of my favourite episodes of any series, and an accomplished stand-alone horror film in its own right. Weeping Angels creep me the heck out, to the point that, as I will include a picture of one in this post, I will never look at this post again after it’s published. Go ahead, laugh at me. Then send me a picture of a Weeping Angel just to freak me out. You won’t be the first. So we know that Moffat is capable of great writing. He’s also capable of very problematic writing.

Caption goes here.

Still a better love story than Twilight


Continue reading

Soft-Launching the New SHAYNEGRYN.COM

Some time at the end of January I made the decision to retire my old website “shaynegryn.com” in favour of a new version that would inspire me to generate more content and engage in more social media.

For some context, the old site was run on Drupal. Installing it was an achievement, and getting it up and running required climbing an extremely steep learning curve which I am proud to have done. I’ll preface this by saying Drupal is great. It’s powerful and robust and can do pretty much anything. Using it has made me a better person. But my needs, in the last few years, have changed.

When I first created SHAYNEGRYN.COM, I had two goals. One was to create an awesome musicians website where I can showcase my music and let people know about my upcoming shows. The other was to level up my marketable skills as a network admin and computer guy, first by installing a LAMP server running Ubuntu, then by learning the ins and outs of Drupal. I like to think that I accomplished both of these goals.

At the time, I chose Drupal over WordPress based on extensive research and an assessment of my goals. Some colleagues of mine used Drupal for their websites and, as predicted, learning the skills would prove invaluable for helping them out professionally.

But SHAYNEGRYN.COM is no longer a pet project and learning experience for me. It’s time to move on. Weighing the options of updating and maintaining Drupal and tweaking it to just the way I want it vs. switching to WordPress and having it 95% there, and a heck of a lot slicker and user-friendly, I chose WordPress. My priority was no longer from the perspective of the administrator of the site, but as the primary user who wants thinks to work simply, efficiently, and with a minimal amount of wrestling with code.

So welcome to my new website. I have not even begun migrating the old content, save a few videos, but have plans to eventually, once I settle how and where I want to host my music files. Bandcamp vs. Soundcloud weighs heavily on my head right now.

Speaking of things that weigh heavily on my head, over the last couple of years, I’ve become a lot more engaged in politics and activism. So with this new website, I’m effectively re-branding myself no longer just as a musician-composer-singer-theatre-and-burlesque-producer, but as a musician-composer-singer-theatre-and-burlesque-producer-activist-comic-writer-feminist-blogger-social-justice-advocate-star-trek-fan.

Beyond just writing about myself and music, as part of this site, I’ve started a feminist blog, star trek blog, and webcomic. And this is just some of the regular content I will be posting on this site. There are more new features to come in the near future.

While we’re at it, check out Shayne Gryn Productions, which will be soon populated with historical data of previous productions.

So here we are on WordPress. This is the soft-launch because “SHAYNEGRYN.COM” still points to the old site. For now, shaynegryn.wordpress.com is the main url for my activities until the migration is complete and I switch the domain name over.

Thanks for tuning in.

Let’s be friends.