Monday, October 31, 2005

You can't make this stuff up

Amusing story from the Maple Leaf State. Reported in the National Post:
Teachers should forego traditional classroom Halloween celebrations because they are disrespectful of Wiccans and may cause some children to feel excluded says a Toronto District School Board memo sent to principals and teachers this week.
The newsworthy aspect of this is that it isn't really newsworthy anymore, is it?

The memo continues:
"Many recently arrived students in our schools share absolutely none of the background cultural knowledge that is necessary to view 'trick or treating,' the commercialization of death, the Christian sexist demonization of pagan religious beliefs, as 'fun.' "
I love how nonchalantly one can describe something (trick-or-treating, in this case) as the "Christian sexist demonization" of pagan religious beliefs. I think author of the memo forgot to add "homophobic." She or he (did I do that right?) must have only recently obtained a Ph.D. in education.

Covering more PC bases, the memo also advises that an alternative to eating sweets in class would be to "write health warnings for all Halloween candies."

Personally, I miss the candy from when my boys trick-or-treated. The last time they went, my younger son dressed up as an IRS auditor (an idea he got from the FoxTrot comic strip.) The other kids were clueless, but I would say at least half of the parents we encountered described it as the scariest costume they had ever seen.

Back to the memo story. The part I really loved was when the reporter interviewed an actual Wiccan, Nicole Cooper, a "first-degree priestess" of the Wiccan Church of Canada's Toronto Temple.

Ms. Cooper said: "Frankly, Wiccans are a minority -- an extreme religious minority." She added: "The Halloween celebrations of North American pop culture are not actually threatening to my religion anymore than eggs and cute little bunnies are threatening to Easter."

My favorite flavor of PC victimization is when the class of alleged victims doesn't feel victimized, but is nevertheless assured of its victim status by outsiders who know better—the lidless-eyed uber-overseers also known as educated liberal white folk. One of the better examples is, of, course, the scandalous (not to mention sexist and demonizing) use of names like "Seminoles" for sports teams, which seems to upset just about everyone except tribal Seminoles.

I think extreme political correctness is the most amusing modern phenomenon. These stories just leave me in stitches.

The Wiccan thing reminds me of a pet peeve: why do they put the voluminous "New Age" section next to the paltry "Christian" section in the McBook stores? What's up with that? Am I the only one afraid of bumping someone and getting turned into a newt?

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