"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Okay, so I'm a gazillion miles away and can't go, but those of you who are in Edmonton (and you know who you are Shini, Chunklets et al) who drop by here on occasion would make me very happy if you were to take in a couple of fabulous art shows by an old internet pal of mine from way back in the my preblogging days of hanging out on the BBC's Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy site - especially on the "Should Chief Gordon Lightfoot reinstate the Saskatchewan Rhinosceros Hunt" thread.
And if you go the the receptions and you meet the artist and tell him Rev.Paperboy sent you, you'll probably score a glass of wine and some cheese on a cracker or something, or a least a bewildered stare for the rest of the evening.
- February 18 to March 20 at the VAAA gallery 10215, 112 st 3rd floor (reception Feb 18 7-9:30)
- March 15 to April 3 at the Spruce Grove Art Gallery 420 King Street, Spruce Grove (reception March 20 1-4 pm.)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Really, you'd think by now that the National Post, given its plummeting circulation, would shy away from going out of its way to offend roughly half the population. But clearly that is not the case. Now, after taking a potshot at Women's Studies in particular and feminism in general, they are backing water like a sculling crew approaching Niagara Falls. And I'm not the only one who noticed. Lots of others are now having a go and putting the boot in.
This story is beyond the mere garden variety child abuse nightmare tale. This is something that would not have happened the way it did if George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their gang of bloodthirsty ideologues had not decided to invade Iraq. This soldier pretty obviously has PTSD and will probably never be the same. And neither will the four-year-old daughter he waterboarded because she wouldn't say her ABCs.
And sorry to Gerard Alexander if I'm being condescending by pointing this out.
P.S. Gerard, when Obama says to a Republican congressman "That's factually just not true, and you know it's not true." That isn't condescending, it's what Driftglass so accurately described as "unsheathing three feet of Verdad" and using it to carve up the disingenuous, dissembling, mendacious, prevaricating opposition - you know, the lying douchebag Republicans.
Monday, February 08, 2010
From the brain-dead goons who ape Christianity that brought you "God hates Fags" picket signs at military funerals, a new swan-dive into the the shallow end of the crazy pool.
Westboro Baptist, the group that puts the "mental" in "Fundementalist Christian" has decided to start picketing hockey games, because "God H8s Ur hockey!"
No, no, no. Admittedly, God hates the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that's understandable. God loves hockey and he's a Habs fan. Obviously, he's just been busy with other things lately.
I'd love to see Westboro Baptist ice a team against the Flying Fathers, or maybe just some old Flyers.
"When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children any way they could"
So many authoritarian nitwits, so little time to blog. This kid is probably lucky they didn't taser her when she started crying. Almost as disturbing is the reaction of America's least favorite conservative law professor and box-wine sommelier (as noted by Pandagon). Obviously, the teacher cannot ignore a student writing on their desk and must instill respect for the property of others blah blah blah, but I think handcuffing and arresting a12-year-old teaches another lesson - fear your teacher! Don't step out of line! fear school!
Way to put the "Pal" in "Principal" Ms. Grant! What do you do if the kids chew gum in class, waterboard them? I was a fairly well-behaved kid in school, and my high school shenannigans tended to the bizarre and comical, rather than the destructive, but if I had a principal like this running my school, there definitely would have been major problems. It may be that by completely overreacting and responding in a way that would be considered child abuse if a parent had done it, Principal Grant may have done 12-year-old Alexa a favor and taught her a lesson she won't soon forget. Not the lesson she intended, but a lesson nonetheless: The people in charge aren't here to help you. The people in charge will abuse you any chance they get. Property is more important than people to the people in charge. The people in charge are a vicious bunch of hysterical fools more intent on showing they are in charge at all costs than actually doing their jobs.
Twelve is pretty early to learn a lesson like that, but at least there is time for her sense of idealism and trust to grow back.
I don't mean to malign all teachers and school administrators, far from it. I think teaching is a noble profession and that teachers get too little respect, too little credit and too much blame in our society. The vast majority are hardworking,nurturing souls who care about the kids they are trying to educate. Hurrah for teachers.
That said, as in any profession, there are those who have gone into it for the wrong reasons, those who have been defeated by the challenges of the job and now just coast and most dangerous of all, those who abuse their authority. In teaching, as in the police, there is no one more dangerous than a petty tyrant. Bullies suck in any line of work, but one with a badge, gun and taser who has been given a licence to hassle people is dangerous, not only for the abuses of power they commit, but for the effect it has in undermining respect for the law and police.
The same is true of authoritarian principals, vice-principals, coaches and teachers who think that they are entitled to bully and abuse the children entrusted to their care. Not only do they traumatize the individual kids they "discipline," but they also destroy the trust of the other students and parents in the system. They teach kids not to ask questions, not to stand up for themselves, not to think independently. Ditto for those petty dictators who insist on enforcing ill-considered "zero-tolerance" policies to the absolute letter, even while completely ignoring the spirit of the rule. They teach kids that being tolerant, reasonable, flexible and even merciful is wrong and that the kid bringing a plastic butter knife in his lunch to spread cream cheese on his bagel has committed the same crime as a kid who brings a machine gun to class.
Principal Grant may think that by having a kid arrested and jailed for writing her desk that she is sending a message to the other kids that she and the school will not tolerate any misbehaviour, but the message the kids will take to heart is that if they are to be hung for a sheep, why not take the whole flock? If just writing on the desk gets you sent to jail, you might as well set fire to that sucker, and the classroom as well, since you are going to be treated the same way for any offense, no matter how small.