Oldie but goodie

How to Destroy the Book.  I particularly enjoyed his discussion of librarians as the keepers of the culture.  It’s well worth a read.

– AM



“I almost didn’t recognize you – you look so normal today!”

“He used to be, like, so undergrad.”

“You are an undergrad.”
“Oh, I know.”

“All the schools in Manitoba… 125?  No, that seems like too many.”

“I’m a professor, but I’m actually a performing seal.”

“I have that t-shirt.  No, I really do have that t-shirt.”

“That’s me at the largest Coke can in the world.”
“I don’t know if there’s anything else to say!”

“You’ve got to keep yourself under control!”

“Do you feel like we’re requiring you to be a cute little dancing seal!?”

“My next course will be critical decolonization… with dancing!” *dances*

“I’ll do weekend dancing if you know what I mean.”
“We don’t know what you mean!”
“Where do they put the loonies?”

No one puts Kurt in the corner

A graduate student blog hardly seems the place for reflections on bullying, as its generally considered a primary and secondary school phenomenon. But this week’s episode of Glee has got me thinking. Kurt, the only openly gay character at fictional McKinley High School is pushed around violently throughout the episode by a jock who is secretly gay himself. A number of high profile suicides in the USA by gay teens have brought the issue of bullying to the fore, culminating in this moving clip by Fort Worth City councillor Joel Burns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax96cghOnY4

An before we stick our noses in the air and start assuming things are so much better here in Canada allow me to add that ignorance is not an American phenomenon. My 14-year old brothers can barely speak a sentence without a liberal peppering of the word “faggot” that might seem shocking to those who don’t spend enough quality time with pre-teens.

Why should we care? Because in many cases we are teachers and teachers-in-training and what we chose to say and what we chose to accept as normal in our classrooms and outside of them sets a precedent for what is “normal” for our students.

As grad students dedicated to decolonizing Canada we are committed to pushing boundaries in our own scholarship, whether denouncing racism, sexism, homophobia, or injustices surrounding First Nations’ rights. In many ways we believe that avoiding all that is “PC” is an effective way of deconstructing the norms we so often deride. We try to offend, hoping our words might make people recognize certain prejudices in their own beliefs.

But the line between meaningful satire and unkindness is a thin one. I remember my high school creative writing teacher, talking to us about satire, insisting that the object of ridicule must remain clear in our minds and our writing. It must also remain clear so we know what we are willing to accept from our siblings, our students and ourselves.

Groundbreaking Research

Some researchers figure out how to turn skin into blood. Here’s the latest on Canadian Studies research:
A poll of 1,500 Canadians commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies shows French- and English-speaking citizens — centuries after the rise of New France and the formation of British North America — still have starkly different views about who is chiefly responsible for creating the country.
Is this really the kind of work the Association for Canadian Studies is doing?

A “bitch” for Robert Fowler

According to former diplomat Robert Fowler: “The civic and political literacy of young Canadians is appallingly low,” the former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations told a group of University of Ottawa graduates Sunday. “Your age group’s involvement in the political process, at all levels of government, stretches any reasonable definition of apathy.”

How interesting it is that suddenly young Canadians are at fault for the state of the nation. Fowler seems to be of the mind that politics and politicians are engaging young people and that therefore young people should be paying attention.

The lack of understanding demonstrated by Grandpa Fowler’s comment is astounding. If politicians and political parties actually had policies that were aimed at young people they might be more engaged. Imagine if politicians and political parties offered strong and progressive policies on post-secondary education, or laws and policies that reflected young Canadian’s views on net-neutrality laws and copyright reform…

Young Canadians have every right to “bitch.” Their views and contributions are being ignored and ignorant old people like Robert Fowler seem to think they know better.

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