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Why Dan Levy Won’t Celebrate Canada Day: “I Was Re-educated on My Place as a Canadian Settler”

By | July 2, 2021

Image Source: Getty / Taylor Hill

On May 29, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found at Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Last week, Cowessess First Nation uncovered 751 additional unmarked graves, most of which are also believed to belong to indigenous children, at Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. More than 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes from the early 1800s up until the 1990s to attend these “residential schools.” Once they were in the institutions, the children were given new names, forbidden from speaking their native languages, and made to convert to Christianity. The discovery of these unmarked graves paints a dark and long-concealed picture of Canada’s history of abuses against the country’s indigenous populations.

“I encourage all Canadian settlers, myself included, to not celebrate Canada Day, but rather re-educate yourselves on the real history of Canada by taking this course.”

In an effort to encourage Canadian residents to educate themselves on their country’s history this July 1, aka Canada Day, Dan Levy shared his experience taking part in a virtual Indigenous studies course taught by the faculty of native studies at the University of Alberta last summer. “Over 12 weeks, I was re-educated on the history of Canada,” he said in a video on Instagram on Thursday. “I was re-educated on my place as a Canadian settler, my context, my privilege. And this Canada Day, with everything unfolding in the news, I encourage all Canadian settlers, myself included, to not celebrate Canada Day, but rather re-educate yourselves on the real history of Canada by taking this course.”

The 12-week class, currently taught by Dr. Tracy Bear and Dr. Paul Gareau, explores both Indigenous histories and Canada’s contemporary issues that Indigenous people face, with a focus on “national and local Indigenous-settler relations.” “Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions,” the website reads.

For Dan, the class was an opportunity to engage in “meaningful, insightful, and transformational conversations about the lessons of the week.”

“I highly, highly, highly encourage all Canadian settlers to take this course to better understand your place within the country, to better understand your privilege, and to, hopefully, strengthen your ties of allyship and advocacy,” he urged. “Education is the key to being of better service to people.”

In an interview with The Guardian, Sol Mamakwa, a lawmaker from Kingfisher Lake First Nation, said Canada Day should be seen as a day of mourning for all those children who never made it home, not a day of celebration. “I don’t think people really understand how much Indigenous people were forced to pay to this country,” he said. “Our spirituality was taken away. Our way of life, our languages and our families were taken away. With the remains we continue to find, people are beginning to see that Indigenous people paid in full – with their lives.”

Watch Dan’s full video below, and enroll for free in the Indigenous Canada course, which is subtitled in nine different languages, here.

Britney Spears Pleads to End Her “Abusive” Conservatorship: “I’m Traumatized”

By | June 24, 2021

Britney Spears is finally speaking out about her conservatorship. On Wednesday, the 39-year-old singer appeared virtually before a Los Angeles court to request that her years-long conservatorship be terminated. Before Britney addressed the court, her lawyer Samuel Ingham III stated that the hearing was set at Britney’s request.

“The only item on the agenda apart from whatever questions the court would like to ask is the opportunity for my client to address the court,” he said. “My client is free to discuss any aspect of the conservatorship that she wishes and is welcome to say whatever she likes for the record. I would like to state I have not in any way attempted to control, filter, or edit anything she has to say today.” When conservator Jodi Montgomery’s attorney, Lauriann Wright, asked that the court transcripts be sealed, Britney interrupted, saying, “They’ve done a good job at exploiting my life, so I feel like it should be an open court hearing and they should listen to what I have to say.”

“It’s my wish and my dream for this to end.”

“A lot has happened since two years ago, the last time I was in court,” Britney began. “I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court last time.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Britney then detailed how she was forced to go on tour in 2018 and change her medication, among several other grievances. “Not only did my family not do a godd*mn thing, my dad was all for it,” Britney said, referencing her father, Jamie Spears, who has essentially had total legal control of the singer’s life. “I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I’m happy,” she added. “If I said that enough, maybe I’d become happy . . . I’m in shock. I’m traumatized . . . I’m so angry it’s insane.”

The singer also noted that she wasn’t initially aware that she could petition to end the conservatorship and that she was told that she would need to be evaluated again in order for that to happen. “I’m scared of people. I don’t trust people with what I’ve been through,” she said. “It’s not OK to force me to do anything I don’t want to do . . . I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive. I don’t feel like I can live a full life.”

Britney reportedly explained how she wants to get married and have another baby, but she has an IUD and she can’t get permission for a doctor to remove it. She also allegedly detailed how she wants to be able to do normal day-to-day things, like have her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, drive her around town and have a therapist come visit her at home. “It’s my wish and my dream for this to end,” Britney said.

The singer’s attorney told the court that Britney has not yet directed him to file a motion to end the conservatorship but that he would do so if asked. “I will abide by whatever decision she makes in that regard,” he said. Vivian Thoreen, who represents Jamie, then responded to Britney’s allegations with a brief statement. “He is sorry to see his daughter suffering and in so much pain,” Vivian said. “Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much.”

Jamie had sole control of his daughter’s estate since he became her conservator in 2008, but in September 2019, he temporarily stepped down from his role, with Jodi stepping in to take his place. In August 2020, Britney filed court documents requesting that Jodi remain her permanent conservator, instead of her father, but her request was later denied. However, this past February, Jamie was given a joint conservatorship with financial services company Bessemer Trust.

The True Story of Netflix’s Fatherhood Is Probably Going to Break You

By | June 16, 2021

Image Source: Netflix

Netflix’s upcoming film Fatherhood has a completely devastating premise: a man’s wife passes away the day after giving birth to their first daughter, and they must rebuild the life that follows. Starring Kevin Hart, the drama is actually based on a bestselling book titled Two Kisses For Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin. Heartbreakingly enough, the plot is actually based on a true story that happened to the author himself.

What Is the True Story Behind the Movie?

Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts who had finally settled together in Los Angeles with a beautiful marriage, new home, and baby girl on the way. One day after welcoming baby Madeline into the world, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding Madeline. As Logelin told The Guardian, “All of a sudden it hit me . . . she was going to die, today, here in this hospital. And she was never going to hold her baby.” He continued, “I always thought I’d be a good parent alongside Liz. Doing it alone had never occurred to me.” Facing both debilitating grief and the beauty (and responsibilities) of raising his daughter, Matt chose to keep moving forward for Maddy.

Logelin poured his grief, with dashes of humor and bittersweet joy, into a blog he started to document his experience and connect with other people going through similar situations of loss. On his blog, the writer documented his new daily life, describing both heart-wrenching and tiny, funny moments he experienced. Writing about Liz’s memorial service, he depicted every detail, then going on to talk about how he went to the record store to collect some new albums. The contrasts were what readers kept going back to: the honesty – and the raw reality – of grief. And all the people reading the blog made clear their support: they offered child-rearing suggestions, plus items he would need for Maddy like tiny nail clippers and hair accessories.

From Blog to Book to Movie

Eventually, Logelin turned his blog, which was attracting nearly 50,000 people a day, into a memoir. Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love is a book that details Logelin’s early days with Liz, from the very beginning of courtship as teenagers to their marriage, the pregnancy, and eventually, both the passing away of Liz and the beautiful birth of their daughter. Always bittersweet, the memoir depicts Logelin’s experience blogging, with the incredible community of strangers he found who both offered and looked for support, all the funny, real moments with Maddy and dealing with grief, and how he has honored Liz’s legacy every day. Logelin also started a charity, The Liz Logelin Foundation, which he said “was created in honor of my wife to provide hope in the form of financial grants for widowed families with children.”

Logelin makes it clear that Maddy’s mother’s story will always be a big part of her life. As he told the Star Tribune, “We still talk about her daily . . . I don’t know all the answers, but for us, it’s worked really, really well. She seems incredibly happy.” Maddy continues to get to know her mom through photos, places, and the many stories Logelin retells.

As Kevin Hart said in a statement regarding the upcoming movie, “When I started reading this script, I was immediately touched and brought to tears.” He continued, “At HartBeat, we seek to provide the audience with stories that evoke true emotions and this story does just that.”

Fatherhood premieres on Netflix on Friday.

Image Source: Amazon

Too Hot to Handle: Judging by the Season 2 Trailer, These Folks Are Losing a *Lot* of Money

By | June 16, 2021

Some people just can’t take the heat. That’s the lesson we learned during Too Hot to Handle season one, and it appears we’re all going to take a remedial class when season two premieres on June 23. Netflix dropped the reality show’s trailer on June 16, providing a glimpse into another house full of 10 singles trying to find love in a hopelessly horny place. The group’s goal really should be simple: if they avoid kissing, heavy petting, or self-gratification, they can go home with $100,000. But if the trailer is any indicator, these folks are about to lose some serious cash.

We’ve broken down a list of all the culprits who are costing their teammates money in the name of a makeout. Read ahead, and learn a little bit more about the couples who are risking it all for love . . . or at least a quick kiss.

While The Conjuring 3 Bases Its Plot on These Characters, They’re Not Actually Real

By | June 7, 2021

As its title suggests, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (aka The Conjuring 3) deals with the real 1981 case involving Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a young man who claimed that demonic possession caused him to kill his landlord. The movie connects Johnson’s case with that of two girls named Katie Lincoln and Jessica Louise Strong as Ed and Lorraine Warren search for clues relevant to Johnson’s investigation. While very creepy, the story of Katie and Jessica isn’t grounded in reality – they’re both included in the movie to drive the narrative forward.

In real life, the Warrens first met Johnson when his girlfriend’s brother, David Glatzel, started showing signs of demonic possession. Eventually, the evil spirits supposedly came into Johnson himself. In the movie version of the events, the Warrens take it upon themselves to investigate Johnson’s case after he stabs his landlord Bruno Sauls 22 times. While poking around leads, they come across the brutal murder of Katie Lincoln, a young girl who was stabbed 22 times. When the Warrens hop onto the case, police are still trying to locate her best friend Jessica. Inside Jessica’s home in Danvers, homicide detectives find a witch’s totem similar to the one Lorraine discovers beneath the Glatzel home, the artifact Father Kastner claims is set up by an occultist. In a vision, Lorraine sees how Katie’s friend Jessica murdered Katie before jumping off a cliff. Touching Jessica’s corpse, she gets a feel for where the occultist is operating.

While they add layers to the Johnson case, Katie and Jessica aren’t real, and neither is the occultist. Their appearances give the movie’s plot structure and portray the Warrens as the protagonists in the story. The actual Warrens did indeed assist with managing David Glatzel’s supposed demonic possession, but their involvement wasn’t always welcomed by the Glatzel family. Lorraine Warren later helped Gerald Brittle write The Devil in Connecticut, a book that unpacks the “Devil Made Me Do It” case. Johnson and Debbie Glatzel have backed up the Warrens, but David and his brother Carl have asserted that the demonic-possession claim was a hoax exploiting David’s mental illness. Suffice to say, The Conjuring 3 takes a lot of creative liberties despite being rooted in reality.