Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thoughts on accomodation

Here in Québec we are having a big parliamentary commission (Bouchard-Taylor Commission) on reasonable accommodation. This in itself is not a bad thing (although expensive) except that all the yahoos have come out of the woodwork (which was probably to be expected). Having listened to the commission on TV a couple of times, here is what passed through my mind as I listened.

Please people be honest, as we say in French "assume toi!". If I hear one more of you start your rant by saying that you are not xenophobic or racist and that some of your friends are visible minorities, I'll scream. When you tell the commissioners that we shouldn't allow turbans, hijabs, furry hats and long black coats, and that our poor Québec culture is being submerged by the rising hoard of immigrants with strange headgear and funny hair, YOU ARE BEING XENOPHOBIC AND RACIST! So ASSUME TOI!!!!


To the women's libbers. Yes I know that our grandmothers and our mothers and our sisters and our wives have worked hard to gain equality with men in Québec. I know it was a long hard slog and that we are finally getting there. Thank goodness for that, nobody believes in it more than I do but trying to force these rights and freedoms onto someone against their wishes is not the way to go. If they want to wear the hijab...THAT IS THEIR CHOICE not yours. They are not trying to force you or your daughters to wear them, they just want the freedom to do as they please. Forcing them to take off their hijab because you think it is a sign of inequality between men and women is taking away their freedom of choice and that is precisely the thing that you fought so hard against.
It also crosses my mind that I haven't heard you howling about the images that young girls are subjected to in our modern egalitarian society... you know the songs where women are treated as sl*ts and b*tches and the dress code is more likely to be found in a sleazy motel room than the board room.


And then there are our dear politicians... hey Pauline that bill that you want passed by the Assemblé National (parliament) of Québec, I find that it's a really good idea. You know the one that takes away certain citizenship rights, such as the right to run for political office, from immigrants that can't pass a French test. It's such a good idea that I'd enlarge the scope of it. Make everyone in Québec pass the French exam... every man, woman and child. I figure that we'd eliminate about 40% of Québecers, if the quality of the French I've been reading in the comments about reasonable accommodation is anything to go by. As a bonus, we'd probably get rid of a bunch of politicians along the way.


So Mr. Commisioners Bouchard and Taylor, if I could humbly suggest a short succinct recommendation for your report... it can be writtewn in only four words... LIVE AND LET LIVE!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Been a while

It's been a while since I've updated... a big pile of corrections (which I should be working on at the moment), many committees and not much time. Oh well, that's life. We have been having a really beautiful autumn with sunshine and warmer than usual temperatures. The trees have changed colour and the geese are making their way south. The honking of geese flying in their V formation is one of the most haunting sounds I know. It is a primal sound that has been around much longer than our modern cities and towns. Every time I hear them, it makes me think about how it must have been before we tamed the land around us. The pictures are from last week, where I had the choice of walking in the woods with my camera or writing a blog. The woods easily won out. It was such a nice day, with temperatures of 24 degrees, almost double the seasonal average, it was T-shirt time. There were even people swimming in the lake. Strange but welcome weather.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Accidents happen!

Since my lil sister Jazz isn't here at the moment, and was last seen gallivanting around Texas with geewits, I've decided to do her Friday rants with a couple of my own.

Dear lady with the cell phone,
Driving is a full time occupation, especially when you are driving on a highway, in the morning rush hour with the sun shining directly in your eyes and you have no sun glasses. (Already not a smart move.) Squinting into the sun, whilst talking on a phone, surrounded by hundreds of cars is a sure recipe for an accident. Mind you, I really don't care if you scrap your car, but if you do it'll cause a major bottleneck that will back up traffic for kilometres and make me lose even more time than I already have.
A fellow commuter

Dear older gentleman,
We are in Canada and not the UK. Please be advised that the left hand lane is not the slow lane, it is the fast lane and should be used by faster traffic. It is not normal for all the cars behind you to pass you on the right. If you were in the proper lane they would be passing you on the left, so if you see many cars passing you on the right, IT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT WHERE YOU SHOULD BE!
A fellow commuter

Dear lost lady,
I know for a fact that sometimes finding the proper road is difficult and it's easy to get lost but driving between two lanes to keep your options open is not the solution to your dilemma. Weaving back and forth at a much slower than posted speed is also not recommended.
A fellow commuter

Dear Indy 500 driver,
We are in Montreal's rush hour traffic, not the Indianapolis 500 speed way. Zigzagging through traffic at speeds double that of other vehicles, cutting in front of cars without signalling, cutting across three lanes of traffic to hit the exit, is not only stupid but suicidal. If you want to abrogate your miserable life on this planet, please use the river, (we're an island there's plenty of river to use,) in that way you won't bring anyone with you.
A fellow commuter

So ends the rant.

PS Thanks to Ian for the Awesome Dude award, I finally put it up. I'll give it on to Em but he already has it, and to Evil Spock, live long and prosper!