Saturday, January 9, 2016


Yup. Words. So tough to deal with sometimes. So obtuse. Good thing we don't need them in order to communicate. Eh

Two stories that highlight the problem with trying to communicate with words, one from the big old scary world and one from less big but equally scary personal world

Let's start with the real world. A tale of words and how the enemy of all humanity, Political Correctness, wants to use them to control our very thoughts.

Laurentian University in Sudbury has a psychology professor named Persinger who teaches a course in which he uses "salty" and profane language. In this day and age where our precious little school students would rather Instagram than think about things they find icky, he realized that some of his pupils would find this language offensive and, god forbid, "micro aggressive"

So Persinger had the students sign a waiver. It included examples of the language which included the f bomb, the c word (no, not cat) and an insulting term for a homosexual person that resembles an old expression for a bundle of sticks. If you didn't like this sort of language, perhaps this course would not be for you

Well. A student complained. About the form. About even having to think about something they may find offensive and dealing with it. "Er, you want me to decide what I find offensive? Um no, Mommy said I don't have to think. You think for me, and just don't offend me. Or I will cry. And Mommy will sue you"

Well, universities, apparantly these days, are places for suppressing thought, not encouraging it. So when the little darling got his Gap nappies in a twist, the administration came to his rescue. "There there darling, no need to think, this institution of learning will save you from that. Now just make sure Mommy keeps writing us those cheques"

And Persinger has been pulled from teaching the class. The admin says this has nothing to do with freedom of speech, it has to do with the prof overstepping his station and asking the students to sign a contract. Tsk tsk. The university does not allow this sort of thing, this is interfering with curriculum and had they been aware ...

Well Prof Persinger has been handing out these forms for ten years. On the recommendation of his dean at the time. So, yeh. If the admin was unaware of this practise .. well let's just say I find that concept fishie as fucking hell (You did sign the waiver before reading this post didn't you)

Now, I live for irony and there is some major pants swelling irony at play here. The course that the prof was teaching? It was on the power and impact of language. Hence his use of possibly offensive words. THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF THE COURSE WAS THAT SOME PEOPLE GIVE WORDS THE POWER TO OFFEND. Well, I guess we now know that that is true.

For the love of god, if the little sphincter of yours that mommy wipes every day cannot deal with "bad words" why the hell sign up for the course in the first place.

Of course, the Political Correctness Nazis know all too well the power of words. And they want to take them away from us

OK big sigh now. And let's move on to something not quite as contentious. I know you need to dry your eyes and wipe your sphincter

I walk dogs. Or rather, I play with dogs. I play with them in a private lot owned by the man for whom I work. It's a fenced in lot, with trees and grass. It's in an old industrial area just on the northern border to Toronto's portlands. It is tucked behind a waste management company and a bus garage, there are no signs and there is no yellow brick road. It is private and we like that you can drive right by the place and never know it's there. In this city where people poison dog cookies in public parks, we like our anonymity.

I describe this place as a park. I always call it a private park. And oh my goodness, that seems to confuse some people.

When I say park, even when prefaced with "private" people think they know this place. "Oh Cherry Beach, I go there"

No, not Cherry Beach. That is a public park. This one is private.

"Oh yeh right, I know the place, south of Lakeshore"

No, we are on Lakeshore, the north side

"Right, in the offish area"

No. You are thinking of a public park. This is a private park

"You can't have a public park"

Well, we do

"Right, I know where that one is ..""

Yeh, big sigh.

Wurds bee diff occult

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