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Flying flags at half mast is supposed to honour and/or show respect for the dead. The flag outside my work is at half-mast, but who or what is this honouring? It could be the recent tragedy in Haiti, it could be Canadian soldiers dying in Afghanistan, it could be an employee who passed away sometime before I started working there, or it could be anything else.

Really, I don’t know anymore. Flags are half-masted* so often now, it seems, to the point where I hardly notice it or draw any meaning from it. It feels like an exclusive nightclub has just started letting in anybody. So what’s the point? Either there should be some higher standard of “mourning” that merits a half-mast flag, or else it’ll just seem everyone’s constantly thinking about people who have died, which is really sad. There’s probably no god, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.

And please, when you do half-mast, don’t forget to put the flag back up! Even a week is pushing it.


Celebrity Death Pool

I’m joining a celebrity death pool, where you submit a list of 25 celebrities who you predict will kick the bucket this year. You get points based on age (100 points minus their age at death), so younger people are worth more than older people. It’s kind of a depressing game, if you think about it. Here’s why:

When a player in my hockey pool scores, I’m pretty excited about it, so I wonder if I’ll cheer if someone on my list croaks. Maybe on the inside at least. Hey, I can’t be a model citizen all the time. Yeah, I’m going to hell.

The Breast Cancer Meme

Breast Cancer: a real problem, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 8 women. Can be deadly. Inspires: meaningful action.
Meme: a fad, with little to no substance. Can be boring and overdone. Inspires: bandwagon jumping.

Recently on Facebook, girls have been posting their bra colour thanks to a circulating email, much to the confusion of many girls and most boys. This is purportedly meant to raise breast-cancer awareness. But without reading the email, how are people supposed to know what this is about? When I asked a friend what the colours meant, the answer was anti-climactic. I wasn’t inspired, I was annoyed.

This isn’t because I was jealous to be left out, unable to participate. A slew of sarcastic posts came to mind, but I ignored the idea, because the whole thing is meaningless. This is just a meme. Girls are posting the colour of their bra, getting some “likes” and comments. That’s it. This isn’t raising awareness, this is just basic social networking. I seriously doubt that more than 0.01% of the population will be more aware of breast cancer next week.

So girls, are you going to do something for breast cancer? Self-examine? Donate money? Run for the cure?
Your participation in this meme means nothing.

With Regards to Catholic Education…

How does the Toronto Catholic District School Board still exist? After all this corruption among the trustees, and the ridiculous and unfair concept of one religion getting a publicly-funded school board while others do not, why doesn’t the world’s most multicultural city just assimilate the two public boards into one? Score one for diversity, by exposing more students to various backgrounds and religions. Score another for added efficiency, because having more schools means more students will live closer to a school they can go to, and resources can be distributed as necessary.

It would probably be wise to grandfather everyone, so students continue the program in their current school, but going to a new school means changing programs. After a few years, the system will be assimilated and the kinks mostly resolved.

Some people would be outraged, but most of these people would be Christians/Catholics, who should at least accept that they’ve been getting a lucrative deal this whole time. You can get a religious education at church. There is no other significant difference except the racial backgrounds of these schools. So if you’re saying the Catholic publicly-funded board is better than the secular one, it almost amounts to saying “You get a better education when you’re in school with all white Catholic kids.” I don’t think they have a leg to stand on, do they?

The private schools would probably get some questionably race-motivated enrolments. That’s all good, you can get any education you want if you’re willing to pay for it. But the Catholic school board should not continue to receive public funding.

As for the trustees… I guess they thought they were created in god’s image?

Link: National Post

EDIT: Later read an article about how some people put their kids in French Immersion programs for similar superficial reasons.

Also, this post is not anti-religion, rather, in support of fairness amongst religions and creating more diverse schools.