Merci Mme. Marois

Schadenfreude is fun and all, and Marois was far from perfect, but let’s not forget a few things: She was our provinces first woman premier. I’m sure there were many glass ceilings that she had to break through to get there. She served the public for almost 35 years! She shut down the shameful practice of asbestos mining in Quebec. She was instrumental in implementing universal daycare. She was a strong defender of the rights of women. Yeah, she had lots of faults too. Her charter of values was a terrible embarrassment to our province — She was une vieille matante and had pretty shitty xenophobic views – but I can list a bunch of people in my family who are the same (if not worse). I wouldn’t project the hate on them that she’s getting now. Anyway, since she’s paying a pretty high price for her faults, maybe she […]... Read More

Religious Music

Most of my friends are aware that I consider myself to be an evangelical antitheist. This means, that like atheists, I don’t hold any belief in any deity. It also means, that unlike many atheists, I hold a positive belief that there aren’t any gods, that the belief in such things is harmful to our society and that these views should be shared with everyone willing to listen. With that in mind, some of my friends and many acquaintances are surprised to learn that I really like religious music (mostly Christian actually). And I don’t mean only songs that are often played in secular crowds during the holidays like ‘White Christmas‘, or ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas‘. While I do really like both of those songs (and play them frequently on the piano in mid July even), I also really like many overtly religious pieces — Cantique Noël, Silent […]... Read More

Student, again!

Despite advice to the contrary from this article, I am going back to school. I’ve now officially been enrolled in 3 of the 4 universities in Montreal (well, 4 is a stretch, let’s face it UQAM, you’re just an über CEGEP). The brainpickings article above does have some valid points, however I think it’s somewhat simplistic and naive to think that most or even many people would be better off without the traditional framework of academia. Most of the advice they give about forging your own path equally apply to students enrolled in a formal program as it does to independent, self-directed students. I’m now officially a Concordia student, in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences majoring in philosophy. Most of the material I’ll be covering (especially for the first half) is material I’ve already read or am currently reading on my own. However, after a certain point, it’s good […]... Read More

Dear voters, Please stay home.

As unpopular as this view might be to some, I will not be encouraging people to show up and vote. I think the arguments behind encouraging a greater voter turnout are flawed and unsound. Disclaimer: It’s no secret to most of my friends, that I am not a huge fan of democracy. This doesn’t make me a communist, nor does it mean that I support some other authoritarian or tyrannical government. For the moment, I would still say that democracy is our best option but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I just dislike it less than the other options. In my view, the biggest problem with democracy is not the concept of democracy itself, in fact, like many forms of government, it would probably be fantastic for Utopia. (An interesting aside on Sir Thomas More’s invention of the term Utopia — the word comes from the Greek: […]... Read More

Tyranny of Secularism

Pauline Marois’s Secularism Charter A recurring topic in provincial politics has come up again. Cynics say Pauline Marois and her minions are using the politics of division in order to gain votes and support by creating a false divide between pure laine Québecois and les éthiniques. While I generally despise cynicism and I would rather assume Hanlon’s Razor in cases like this, I can definitely see the source of their cynicism. Rather than infer purely bigoted motives on the part of the PQ and Marois, I do believe that they are seeking an inclusive (and unfortunately singular) society. Whatever their true motives are, the end result is division, intolerance and xenophobia. The ‘Atheist/Skeptic Community’ Bias Disclaimer: I find the idea of an ‘atheist community’ patently absurd. I’m a strong anti-theist, but I have no desire to embrace group-think or be in an ideological echo chamber to validate my own opinions. […]... Read More

PQ ‘secularism’ statement

So, the PQ says that they want to ban overt religious signs in public service. Now, generally, I’m all for government staying completely out of any sort of religion in any and every way, shape or form. However, I strongly suspect that this is just the PQ showing their xenophobia once again. I submit this as evidence: I think what they really meant to say is that they wanted to block any religious symbols by those other religions (you know, the ones that the brown people les ethniques follow). Clearly this is the PQ trying to cater to the Quebec rednecks, letting them know that they will stick up and protect the French White Catholic tradition culture. Update: One doesn’t have to go very far for evidence of the PQ’s xenophobia, other than the infamous ‘votes ethniques‘ statement by Jacques The Bigot Parizeau himself. Here’s a recent Montreal Gazette article […]... Read More

Cher SPVM/Dear SPVM,

(English text follows the French) Chers membres du SPVM, En 2008, il vous en souvient peut-être, à l’invitation de votre estimée Fraternité déçue de l’offre salariale de la Ville de Montréal, vous protestiez en portant un jean et une casquette de base-ball rouge… Nous, nous en avons gardé un souvenir très précis. Même si vous exigiez alors une plus grande part de nos impôts, nous n’avons pas répondu : en vous aspergeant violemment de poivre en vous pourchassant comme des chauffards avec nos voitures, au risque de vous renverser; en vous attaquant alors que vous étiez attablés à la terrasse d’un bar. Même si une infime minorité d’entre nous avait agi ainsi (il y a toujours quelques pommes pourries…), la dernière chose qu’il nous viendrait à l’esprit serait de défendre un comportement si honteux et d’en rejeter le blâme sur vous! Alors, soit vous n’éprouvez aucune honte, ou vous croyez […]... Read More

Nightly ‘Casseroles’ (pots and pans) Protest

Yet another awesome thing about Québec culture. This is right outside my apartment door: Every night, my neighbours are protesting the Charest government’s tuition increases. To make matters worse, Charest has been totally inept and incapable of coming up with a compromise. So these protests have been happening nightly, and they last for about 10-15 minutes. Here’s a snippet from list night: This is a wonderful way to protest, and it makes me love where I live even more! There are a bunch of these on YouTube as well, they’re easy to find if you search the French term ‘manifestation casseroles’ Charest, yoouuuuuhooooo!... Read More