Monthly Archive: January 2011

Jan 21 2011

Movie Friday: The Job Interview

A reader has started her own blog, and one of her first posts features what I think is quite an interesting and funny video: There are a couple of things you should know about a video like this. First, it is an abstraction of several actual experiences, somewhat punched up and stitched together to make …

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Jan 20 2011

I’m not sure how to feel about this

Life isn’t easy or clear-cut. Inevitably, we will find ourselves confronted with a position wherein our beliefs come into conflict with each other. Whether that is something mild, like when I had to choose whether or not to go to church with my relatives at Christmastime, or something more serious like whether or not to …

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Jan 19 2011

Saskatchewan: Flat, dull, and now gay!

I have a good friend who is moving out to Victoria in a couple of months. She decided she would explore this great country of ours by driving across it. For those of you readers who are not from Canada, you honestly haven’t any idea of how huge an undertaking that is. If you’ve ever …

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Jan 18 2011

It’s not her fault, but she’s still an idiot

Last week I dashed off a quick response to the tragedy in Arizona, in which I said this: Perhaps most damning (or at least getting the lion’s share of the attention) is the “targets” used in a Sarah Palin ad to describe how Tea Party voters should target vulnerable districts in the midterm election. My …

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Jan 17 2011

Quick refutations to common homeopath complaints

At the time of writing, the CBC Marketplace piece on homeopathy (in which yours truly makes an appearance) has not yet aired. However, there are already in excess of 100 comments on the 30-second trailer. Part of this is an intentional campaign by homeopaths to troll the comments section and make it look as though …

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Jan 14 2011

Movie Friday: Protect Yourself with Censorship

While Wednesday’s article wasn’t really about free speech, it did touch on an important aspect of it – the idea that censorship can protect us against ideas we don’t like to hear. After all, the reason for censoring Huckleberry Finn is, at least in part, to shield people from having to hear words that make …

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Jan 13 2011

The face of racism in Canada – same as it ever was

There is a great scene in one of my favourite movies where a black TV executive assembles a writing team for his new black-themed TV show, and expresses his baffled dismay at the fact that they are all white. To try and explain the phenomenon away, the writers sitting around the table offer a variety …

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Jan 12 2011

Revisionist classics, part 2

I’m somewhat surprised that nobody else brought this to my attention, since it’s right within my wheelhouse: A new edition of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is causing controversy because of the removal of a racially offensive word. Twain scholar Alan Gribben says the use of the word “nigger” had prompted many US schools to stop …

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Jan 11 2011

Blasphemy – not a victimless crime

I spoke in error this morning, and so it is time for me to post one of my rare but fun retractions. In my discussion I made the claim that blasphemy is a crime that doesn’t hurt anyone. After all, while sticks and stones do what it is they do, criticizing or insulting someone, much …

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Jan 11 2011

Pakistan protests against being smart

By now I’m sure you’ve heard this story, since it is now 2 weeks out of date: A 24-hour strike organised by Sunni Muslim clerics is taking place across Pakistan to protest against possible changes to blasphemy laws [emphasis mine]. Rallies were staged in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta after Friday prayers. The government has distanced …

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