Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Holidays and Multiculturalism

Ok, so, today a little bird (duck, to be precise) told me of a school where people aren't allowed to talk about Christmas. Or Halloween. This is because the school has people of other races/religions/cultures, and doesn't want to offend them by imposing santa or jack-o-lanterns upon them.

I'm sorry, but I personally believe this to be quite ridiculous. These people have come to live in Canada, and (like it or not) Christmas and Halloween are part of Canadian society, and our culture.

Imagine if I was to visit a foreign place, and the locals immediatly stopped performing any sort of holidays or customs that they would typically doing. I would be shocked and offended! While I will admit that this doesn't hold exactly the same slant for consumerist things like Halloween and Christmas, there is no reason for us to inhibit our own culture on the basis of those who enter our country.

Speaking of consumerism, however, perhaps we should halt Christmas and Halloween for other reasons.... ;-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Running, Antisociality, and Manipulation

So, I just went on a wonderful run, just now, at 10 in the evening. It was extremely dark, and I wasn't wearing glasses or contacts, so it was quite blurry as well. However, it was once of the most wonderful things ever, and certainly the happiest part of my day except perhaps for the shower I took post-run.

The strange thing is, I enjoyed it far more than I would have enjoyed my soccer practise that I had not gone to today. I instead involved myself with debating, because I simply was not in the mood to kick a ball around with a bunch of guys. The humorous thing is, under other circumstances I would have tried to escape debating by claiming I had soccer practise.

But in the end, I'm actually doubting that I like either of them a lot. Part of it comes down to antisociality - that I would rather just think by myself than debate or go running by myself than play soccer - because sometimes I just don't want to have to deal with other people. The other aspect, however, is that I dislike being told that I have to do something.

This is what bothers me most about debating. I joined it last year, and since then I have been convinced to go to tournament after tournament, and don't get me wrong, I do enjoy them when I'm there, but they use up my weekends and I feel manipulated because I didnt want to go in the first place. The thing is, I essentially have to go to debating, and I'm not sure why. Basically, my debating coach, Mr. Castro, would be quasi-furious at me if I quit debating, and would definitely guilt-trip me so much that I might end up going back.

This bothers me. For instance, I have dance class on Wednesday nights and Friday afternoons, but I have to miss all of the Friday ones because they're at the same time as debating. Now, as wonderful a skill as debating may be, it does not have nearly as much intrinsic joy as dancing. Also, as attractive as some of the female debaters at the other schools may be, dancing is much more likely to get me involved with any girls.

Who is grumpy if Malcolm doesnt go to debating? Mr. Castro.
Who is grumpy if Malcolm doesnt go to dance class? Malcolm.
Who chooses? Well, it would appear to be Mr. Castro, at the moment.

This is probably the only true reason I resent debating (Note that I'm obligated to go to soccer practise as well, although not nearly as forcefully). What life and society come down to - and this is actually a common point in debating - is choice. Here, it would appear that I have no choice. So, being human (most of the time) I want what I don't have. However, it seems as though what I don't have is a lack of debating, and not merely a choice between. Accordingly, I want out.