Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Needless Things

I'm not a huge Stephen King fan, and I do find it annoying when he has a Trump tantrum only because adults aren't really supposed to cry like little girls, at anytime but still, he was the swamp creature in Creepshow.  I'm kidding, he was but what I meant to say is he is a pretty huge talent.

So I had a good laugh when he Tweeted "...I would never consider diversity in matters of art.  Only quality.  It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."  He's absolutely correct but why I laughed is I love to see when I see a group eat its own, in this case, the far-lefties/SJWs/NPCs.  The sheep that commented on his tweet were priceless, probably because the flock probably didn't understand what he was trying to say.  All they saw was something negative because someone used the word diversity without their permission.

It's pretty simple: good is good and it doesn't matter where or who it comes from.  At least that's what I got out of it.  Maybe that's me being normal.  But the thread devolved into a bunch of whining from anything-boys-can-do-girls-can-do-better to White Privilege.  If you actually believe there's such a thing as White Privilege, you'll probably believe anything.

Here's an example of Quality vs Not Very Good.  Pretty simple.

The most recent comment in the thread was pretty ridiculous.  It's an SJW sheep named @NotNikyatu, a self-described Filmmaker+Asst. Professor / #SuicideBySunlight=Black Vampires protected by Melanin day-walk among us. She/Her. 

Pronouns in the profile.  That's a good sign not to take that person seriously.  Anyways, she's another one who's ego is bigger than her talent:

"To imply quality and diversity are mutually exclusive tells us quite loudly how threatened you are by the potential of a level artistic playing field in which said ‘diverse’ stories are exponentially more compelling, vast, resonant, poignant than your own...Difficult as creative industries are to penetrate, you KNOW us women and poc who make it past myriad obstacles stacked against us ARE QUALITY. We‘ve had to excel & eclipse our white male peers all our lives just to sit at their mediocre tables.

Stop with your willful ignorance."

The funny thing is I thought it was going to be a comment on what makes quality art, but she went somewhere else saying that the artists are quality people.  Maybe they are but that's not the point.  A lot of shitty people can make great art, and shitty art isn't made better because you're a nice person.  But sometimes you can be shit at both, like Rosie O'Donnell. 

And when someone goes straight to the race card, they know they don't have a legit argument.  Diverse stories are compelling, and they're already grouped into what's know as "genres", which all SJWs should love since they're always putting things (like people) into groups.  And then she rambles on about how unfair things are to a negative person, so somebody is sour grapes.  I'll be honest, I have no interest in seeing her vampire movie that doesn't seem to have a plot.  It just seems to be they're just black vampires.  Even Blacula had a plot.  I hardly think Mr King would be threatened by her work.

How's this: I've put out 15 CDs over the years and I'm barely known.  I'm not bitter.  Maybe my stuff isn't for the mainstream.  OK, I know it isn't but that's not my thing.  And guess what?  I have had the same amount of barriers as anyone else.  What I don't do is sing the blues about it.  So @NotNikyatu should give her mouth a rest and try being creative.  And you know someone with this kind of attitude doesn't get far because of their attitude.  It's off-putting.  Now, if I saw her name on anything, I wouldn't be inclined to go see it no matter how it good it was because she's a racist weirdo.

Then there was some Nancy Boy that did a bit of virtue signaling.  I want to tell all Male Feminists right now that virtue signaling won't get you laid.  Then one guy tried to shame Mr King about his "privilege" until someone corrected him.  Maybe it's easy to forget how many thousands of hours Mr King put into writing books when the person making the comment was born 20 years after Stephen's first book.

Speaking of bitching, @chrisiousity seems like she's had practice:

"I would have thought you were smarter than this, honestly.  The first problem here is that most of the people deciding what counts as "quality" art are and have been white dudes. The subjective nature of art means that what resonates with them and their experience tends to be stuff produced by or with an eye to pandering to people just like them.
To say that this has had a deleterious effect on quality would be an understatement. It has caused a narrowing and hardening of what is possible in art, assumptions about what is and isn't "viable", and 2/"

This is coming from someone who describes themselves as Agnostic but Spiritual, Youtube Feminista, slightly used bisexual seeking justice.  So that made her nonsensical two-tweet rant even more baseless.  Good thing there wasn't a third Tweet like she led on.  It's funny to see someone with no credibility try and shame Stephen King.

Another one was "Damn, Stephen. Damn. I thought you were better than this. It should be obvious that diversity and quality *aren't separate qualities,* or in opposition to each other -- except in the minds of bigots."  That came from N. K. Jemisin who is a self-described "Hugo & Nebula-winning bestselling SFF writer & reviewer. I use robust autoblockers due to harassment. They catch some friendlies. Unavoidable; sorry. She/her". 

People only use blockers if they're in the habit of saying something stupid online.  But Diversity and Quality are two different things.  That's just how words work.  They're both not qualities though; that didn't make any sense.  Quality is about how good something is and Diversity is about variety.  I'm a dumb guitar player and I know the difference.  Actually, there were quite a few sheep that bleated out how could Mr King think that diversity and quality are two different things.  Well, they are.  The two can intersect from time to time but they are two separate words with two different meanings.

A doozy from @Gabino_Iglesias was: "Every writer of color reading this, including me, has had to work ten times harder to get the same recognition/opportunities straight white male authors get from the start. Same goes for women, LGBTQIA writers, & other underrepresented voices. Diversity matters. It matters a lot."

Enjoy Gabino's tweet where says "Sometimes the best way to sell a book is to let the words in it do the talking"

I think sometimes the best way to sell a book would for it to have a cool cover, because after I read that paragraph of word salad, I decided right there and then that I'd never buy his book.  Yes, someone will have to work harder when you're aiming at a niche market.  These aren't the people that say, "I want to reach the largest amount of people as I can" so they don't, and then they're broke and think everyone's against them.  And another reason Gabino fails is that he uses art to get recognition.  That's not how art works.  Using art for recognition is as weak as someone saying they learned to play the guitar to meet girls.  You might meet girls but you'll never be a great guitar player.

I loved the guy who asked Gabino, "Can I ask why you work 10 times harder?" and then didn't get a reply.  It seems Work is just as subjective as Art to SJWs.

OK, second-last example.  This one's from @acraftyarab

"But you say this from #WhitePrivilage

I wrote a quality children's book on #IlhanOmar last summer & the struggle to get it published was painful & ultimately it didn't happen

You have zero idea how to live in my world, where I can't even find one book like this for my child."

The obvious: who the hell would buy a children's book about Ilhan Omar?  This does not seem remotely interesting, and couldn't possibly contain anything that resembles quality.  Kids, along with most people, hate politics.  She struggled to make a book that no one wanted and wondered why it couldn't get published.

The best tweet that I saw that dismantled everyone else's arguments/comments was: "I could wallpaper my home with rejection letters. Probably Stephen King's too. And I'm a white male. Finally got published, not as great as you might think, very difficult road, 1% of authors sell 90% of the books."

That's because any job in the Arts doesn't pay unless (ready for this?) you're lucky.  The term Starving Artist didn't just appear out of nowhere one day.  It's been like that forever.  There aren't a lot of day jobs where oil painting is an asset.  You'd be a fool to think having a career solely in the Arts is a good idea.  Not everyone that lacks talent can get free ride to celebrity status like Taylor Swift.

These Stephen King comments relate to something I was going to Blog about the other day about how a Native lady got picked to write a Star Wars book only because she's Native.  Or Indigenous.  Or whatever they're called this year.  She was quite happy about that fact that it was only because of her heritage that she got the offer.  Even better, she admitted to not being a Star Wars fan.  So how would I get a quality product with of credentials like that?  Simple, you wouldn't.  Actually, you couldn't.

And I couldn't believe how many comments mistakenly try to tie movie-making with the Arts.  You can tell people with those kinds of comments did nothing with their life except binge-watch Netflix.  Movies are on the lower end of the art scale, just like photography.  It's not painting or music when you can create something aesthetically pleasing out of using a few mediums and your hands.

So, I started off with the intention of pointing out how quick the far-left eats itself, but I ended up reading a bunch of comments from a bunch of no-talents that are obviously jealous of Mr King's talent, hard work and success.  And a word of advice to the naysayers in the comments: if you want to get by through life, try being polite.  The only barriers you face are the ones you put up yourself with your terrible attitude.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Problem With Guys Who Have a Problem With Guys

The Problem With ‘Hey Guys’. 
A broad coalition of English speakers—teachers, retail workers, ice-cream scoopers, and plenty of others—is grasping for a more inclusive greeting.
The Atlantic |    Joe Pinsker
Joe Pinsker is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers families and education.

When you look at the author, and see his cred, you know you're going to be in some weird regressive headspace for 10 minutes.  I will refer to Joe Pinsker as Joe Twinker, or simply Twink.  And we're going to comment paragraph by paragraph because I don't have time right now to do a cohesive entry.  In short, the article was a wordy piece about the people Twink interviewed about how much they don't like the word Guys.  You read that right.  Italicized text is the article.

“Okay, guys,” a female coworker of mine recently began, as she addressed me and a female colleague. Then she stopped herself, said she was making an effort to use more gender-neutral language, and carried on talking.

She said she was making a effort not to offend you guys since you're the type that would tattle to HR in a heartbeat, and the last she needs is a meeting with HR because of a bunch of wannabe-guys got their feewings hurt.  I wouldn't talk to people who find the word Guys offensive.  And the only time you should self-censor is if you swear a lot and there's old people in the room.

It was a small self-correction, and a glimpse at the conflicted feelings stirred up by one of the most common greetings in the English language. Guys is an easygoing way to address a group of people, but to many, it’s a symbol of exclusion—a word with an originally male meaning that is frequently used to refer to people who don’t consider themselves "guys."

Oh, those conflicted feelings.  Such agony.  These guys should lighten up and be happy they're in a group at all.  It's not a symbol of exclusion, Twink.  Only a low-IQer would believe that. 

My coworker is one of many who have started editing themselves in response to this exclusion. In the course of reporting this story, I heard from teachers who wanted a better way to get students’ attention, an ice-cream scooper who wanted a better way to greet customers, and a debate coach who specifically encourages his students to use y’all. These are representatives of a broad coalition of people who have contemplated, and often gone through with, excising guys from their vocabularies.

First off, they weren't editing themselves, Twink, they were censoring themselves and there wasn't any exclusion at all especially when you said "Guys is an easygoing way to address a group of people".  Also, if you're in the middle of a story, you're not reporting it.  You're still researching it.  Then you do a report it when it's finished.  Guys would never make this simple mistake. 

There are, of course, plenty of people—including many women—who have no problem being addressed as “guys,” think the word has evolved to be entirely gender-neutral, and don't see a reason to change their usage. But others aren’t so sure. “I think there's a really serious and welcome reconception of gender lines and relationships between sex and gender going on,” says John McWhorter, who teaches linguistics at Columbia University and has written several books about language. He says “something has crested in particular over about the past 10 years”—something that has people examining their everyday communications.

You think it's really that serious, John?  I think there's a weird over-emphasis on sex and gender (which are the same things) lately.  You know what type of people are fixated on sex all the time?  Depraved perverts.  I'll agree this current wave of political correctness has been pushed way too hard in the last 10 years.  Also, there’s no such word as reconception.

In my reporting I heard from several people who said that the word is particularly troubling for trans and gender-nonconforming people. “As a transgender woman, I consciously began trying to stop using guys some years ago,” says Brad Ward, a college counselor at a high school in Atherton, California. She added, “When I’m included with a group that is called guys, there’s some pain, since it takes me back to my male days in a way that I’d rather not go.”

Twink, you should have been honest in that first sentence and said: "During my research, I heard from several people, who are not trans, say that the word is particularly troubling for trans and gender-nonconforming people."  If you feel pain from hearing a word, then you're a useless person.  Sticks and stones.  Also, real Trans people don't go by "transgender woman", they go by "woman" or one of the two genders they transitioned to.  By the way, Brad, you should probably change your name to something a little more feminine.  Why do I get the feeling that you probably look like Mick Fleetwood on the cover of the English Rose LP?  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you go through gender-reassignment surgery, the word Guys isn't going to bother you.

I also heard that guys could grate on women working at male-heavy companies. In tech in particular, some told me they saw the word as yet another symptom of a female-minimizing industry. “There are a lot of guys in tech and ‘guys’ is used all the time in my work and social environments by both men and women, but since it doesn't resonate with me anymore, I do feel like I'm not part of the group,” says Amy Chong, a 29-year-old user-experience researcher in San Francisco.

Male heavy?  Isn't that Fat Shaming?  And Amy, you're 29.  You've should have outgrown the need to be in a group about 10 years ago.  It's probably that cheerful attitude of yours is why you're not part of the group.

In some workplaces, people have used technology to gently push back against the gender-neutral guys so that they themselves don’t have to speak up. A group of government employees wrote a custom response for the messaging app Slack that would have a bot ask questions like “Did you mean friends?” or “Did you mean you all?” whenever a user wrote “Hey guys”; a Spotify employee embraced the idea, and the professional network Ladies Get Paid has a similar feature in its Slack group of some 30,000 members.

That whole paragraph was bizarre.  So they want to be language police but they don't want to speak up?  How spineless.  These people aren't even worthy to be called Guys.  Government employees is pretty vague.  Is this State level?  Municipal?  They just sit around and text all day?  Sweet gig.  Nobody would use the word Guys in a professional e-mail or setting anyways.  A Spotify employee liked the idea too.  I know; who cares?  Ladies Get Paid sounds like a bunch of whores.

As these examples indicate, there’s additional scrutiny these days on communications that happen within or emanate from organizations. This is likely why, after I put out calls for opinions on guys, I heard from many people who worked in education or customer-facing jobs. I heard from one teacher who switched to using folks after thinking about the inclusive-learning environment he’d like to create, and another who opted for peeps or scholars. Similarly, an employee at an outdoor-goods store told me that her company’s human-resources department had encouraged the use of more-inclusive terms when addressing customers. “Folks and y’all were determined to be more acceptably neutral and you guys was asked to be toned down,” she said.

Opinions from self-important teachers are always fascinating.  And what's the name of that outdoor goods store?  Sounds like the guys in HR are a bunch of assholes.  If the employee is that worried that they'll lose their job over a Yelp review, then customer service isn't for them.  Here's a tip, and get ready Millennials, this'll blow your mind: when addressing a group of people and you want to include everyone, say "How is everyone today?" 

Many people are trying to phase guys out of their vocabulary in social settings as well as at work. Coby Joseph, a 26-year-old urban planner currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area, told me that he no longer uses the term after considering “how much of our language centers men”; he found guys “lazy and inconsiderate” and stopped using it four or five years ago, except in cases when he’s communicating with people whom he knows identify as male.

Coby, you're going to have a long life of being disliked.  Sorry, guy.  And language doesn't centre on men.  That's lazy and inconsiderate to think it does.  Let's say language centers men (whatever that means), it's probably because guys invented language, and people like Cody don't know how to use it.  Man, guys are smart.
This crowd of guys-objectors is not alone historically. People have been resisting the term for decades, and perhaps the most passionate opponent of the word is Sherryl Kleinman, a former professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In a 2002 essay in the journal Qualitative Sociology, she wrote about the problem with male-default terms such as “chairman,” “congressman,” and “mankind.” Kleinman saw them together as “another indicator—and, more importantly, a reinforcer—of a system in which ‘man’ in the abstract and men in the flesh are privileged over women.”

Yes, resist.  It's the word of the day.  Anyways, another bad paragraph where, other than "guys-objectors", there no mention of the word Guys.  So it's just male bashing by the probably-single Ms Kleinman.  I'm surprised she didn't change her last name to Kleinperson.  And men aren't privileged over women.  Women hold all of the cards for mate selection which is a pretty big deal, if you're into life and stuff. 

She reserved a special disapproval for “you guys,” which she considered the “most insidious” of these phrases, and with the help of former students made a small card that anyone could print out and, for instance, leave behind at a restaurant to communicate their dislike of the term to an employee who had used it. “When you’re talking to a group of customers, gender doesn’t really matter, so why not replace ‘you guys’ with ‘you all,’ ‘folks,’ or ‘y’all,” it reads in part.

And the restaurant staff would say, "What a bunch of condescending, asshole customers.  They didn't tip either."  I would never replace Guys with Ya'll.  Ya'll is a cringe-y dumbed-down way of saying You All.  And Sherryl, stop being so controlling.  I guarantee you're not the moral beacon in the room.  Guys like Sherryl are so annoying.

Indeed, why not? The problem, for those who want to ditch guys, is that their language doesn’t present them with many versatile replacements; English lacks a standard gender-neutral second-person plural pronoun, like the Spanish ustedes or the German ihr. The alternatives to guys tend to have downsides of their own. Folks—inclusive and warm, but a little affected and forced. Friends—fine in social contexts, strange at work. People—too often pushy and impersonal. Team—its sense of camaraderie wears out with constant use. One might cobble together a mix of pronouns to deploy in different scenarios, but no one term can do it all.

I just said use the word everyone to include everyone.  Why is that so hard?  "One might cobble together a mix of pronouns" was funny.  There's only a handful of pronouns anyways.  Ze, Zir, Zem, etc were just made up by some attention seeking weirdos so they don't count or matter.

(I also came across some more-obscure alternatives. Some write guise as attempt to de-gender the word; I heard about a socialist political group that preferred comrades; one teacher, to draw attention to the problem with guys, said she sometimes jokingly addresses her class as ladies or gals.)

Ha!  That's hilarious...if you're an idiot.  Then again, it did come from a teacher so par for the course.  And changing the spelling of a word to one that already exists with a different meaning is as useless as the people that are changing the spelling.  Maybe those guys like hearing, "What are you talking about?"

Which brings us all to y’all, which seems to be the alternative with the most passionate backers. It has many of the necessary features to be the heir to guys—inviting, inclusive, monosyllabic. But what holds it back is its informality, as well as its regional associations, which many don’t know how to handle.

"most passionate backers".  Twink, could you start making sense?  You'll never be a real Guy at this rate.

I heard from people born and living outside the South who didn’t feel they could use the term naturally. “They’ll say, ‘y’all’? Are you from Texas?,” one Californian told me; another, who now lives in the Midwest, says she feels “self-conscious saying it as a non-Southerner.” And I heard from a Turkish-born woman living in Los Angeles who “felt a bit choiceless” selecting between guys and y’all after coming to the U.S., because of the gender politics of the former and because she didn’t “have the background to use the latter.” (She lamented that English lacks a gender-neutral second-person plural pronoun, unlike Turkish, her native tongue.)

Aww, she lamented.  Why didn't you tell her about the word "everyone", Twink?  I'm beginning to think you're part of the problem.  I bet if you took her to Skid Row, she would have said, "What's wrong with these guys and why do they stink?"  I doubt she would have said, "Ya'll want some soap?"

McWhorter, the Columbia linguist, summed up the downside of y’all by saying, “You can’t use it at a board meeting.” Might it shed its informality if more people adopt it? "That's not going to change,” McWhorter said, “especially because it's associated with two things: the South and black people. And those two things are considered informal, and many people would have less polite things to say about both of those things."

A Columbia linguist.  Is that different than a normal linguist?  And how did you magically tie that to race?  John just insinuated that all black people are informal.  What a dick.

Which is one of the reasons the gender-neutral guys has had such staying power. But over its 400-year lifespan, guy’s meaning has already changed multiple times—getting less specific as time went on. At first, the word’s definition was quite narrow: Guy referred to an effigy of Guy Fawkes, the infamous Brit who tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. The word’s meaning radiated outward from there, encompassing larger and larger groups. It started to be used to signify any effigy, then any fearsome person and/or any man. And then, in the plural, it came to mean—in the U.S. sometime around 100 years ago—just about anyone.

That thing about Guy Fawkes actually came from the Washington Post, so consider the source ("It’s derived, etymologists believe, from the name Guy Fawkes").  Those guys believing it doesn't make it true.  If we can just make anything up then it was actually because of Guy Lafleur, right-winger of the Montreal Canadiens.  The term Guy was around a long time before Guy Fawkes was born.

Many, perhaps even most, American English speakers view this evolution as a process of shedding gendered connotations. This is the view that McWhorter counsels as a linguist: “People are going to continue referring to women as guys, and a lot of the people doing it are going to be women,” he says.

Yup, I still do it.  Sometimes I'll say Fellas just to mix it up a bit.

McWhorter does recognize that even as the word’s meaning has shifted, it retains a certain male “flavor.” In fact, there are some examples in the past of words zigging and zagging in their gender associations. Anatoly Liberman, a linguist at the University of Minnesota, told me about how child started off as a gender-neutral word in Old English, remained so for several centuries, took on a male meaning in Northern England and Scotland, took on a female meaning in other English dialects, and then mostly converged on a neutral meaning again. So, language can change—and change back.

I'm going to go with the usage of Guys and Gals as why it still has a "certain male flavour".  Gals are female leaving Guys to be male.

McWhorter, though, would not bet on the reformers in this guys debate. He thinks that the gender-neutral guys has irreversible momentum. The question then becomes, he says, “How do we feel about it? And we can express our feelings, but if you don’t want to say it, use folks or people, but everybody's not going to join you. Language changes whether you like it or not."

You know who's going to be teased if they actually come out and say they're not using the word Guys because it's not inclusive?  All of them.

Even if guys is widely regarded as gender-neutral, there will still be a sizable contingent of conscientious objectors. They argue, not incorrectly, that dropping guys takes very little effort, and any awkwardness that comes with the odd folks or friends or y’all seems far preferable to making a listener feel ignored. (Personally, I’ve come to favor you all, which carries some of the perks of y’all without being tied to any particular region.)

Personally, Twink, I think you're kind of dumb.  And you don't have to keep virtue signaling.  Also, you and 6 other people are not a sizable contingent of conscientious objectors.

Plenty will disagree with that, and this is the way language evolves—not in an orderly line, but as a messy argument. And that is a blessing—words deserve regular interrogation. One such interrogator is a man working at a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey who had thought deeply about the use of guys in his office. “I honestly think my biggest problem with ‘you guys,’” he wrote to me in an email, “is the plural possessive form that it has spawned.” His example: “Sorry I missed your guys's meeting.” Any reasonable user of language should be able to agree that that phrase is straight-up ugly.

Sorry I missed your guys's meeting is actually poor grammar.  It should be " guys' "  Just kidding, you shouldn't hire anyone that speaks like that in the first place. 

And that was the article.  No last paragraph to wrap up the points, or if there was a point at all.  I think it was to guilt people in to not saying the word Guys but it wasn't really clear.  All I got was examples from over-sensitive people from California that go fetal when the hear the word Guys.  Those people wouldn't make good Guys.  I do highly recommend Dave Barry's 90's classic Complete Guide To Guys.  Get it before it's banned along with the Goonies.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Another Parent Ruining Halloween for Their Kids

Nothing's worse than a Woke Parent; and a woke father no less.  I came across this article written by a beta male that probably doesn't even know he's a beta male: My Daughter Wore a 1960s-Inspired ‘Indian’ Costume — And Here’s How I Took Care of That.  By Joseph Wilson  (

The first couple of paragraphs is Joseph reminiscing about days gone by, going to his Mother-in-law's and going through all the hand-sewn Halloween costumes.  Then the cringe begins: Every now and then, though, a costume will appear that has not aged well. Last year our eldest daughter, Sonia, appeared at the dining room table in a faux-Native costume: a beaded leather vest with feathers plus a leather headband that read, “White Cloud”.

Our usual coos of approval were replaced with raised eyebrows and muted smiles. She was baffled at our reaction.

“That costume is a little different than the rest,” I said.

“Why? I like it,” said Sonia.

“I know, but it’s not really fair. Indigenous people are real people, not costumes.”

We didn’t want to spoil her fun but also didn’t want her to unwittingly participate in a system that treats objects from Indigenous cultures as the spoils of plunder. When meaningful symbols and signs are remixed into Halloween bling, it is at the expense of a people whose culture has been systematically dismantled over time.

Dad's a square and no fun.  And the place that displays objects of plunder would be the Vatican.  If this is how he views the world then it makes sense that he's a namby-pamby and doesn’t realise he's his own worst enemy.

The “costume” was a pastiche of pop culture versions of “Indians” from the ‘60s; a simulacrum far removed from the experiences of an actual Indigenous person, the kind who were driven off their land and penned up in reservations across the continent.

Costume didn't need quotes around it.  Whether he likes it or not, it's just a costume.  And since it's a pop culture native and not a real one, then what's his problem?  If it's a good look, then he should put a positive spin on it, like "those natives sure knew how to dress better than the pilgrims".  Joseph should put the costume on, and instead of calling it White Cloud, call it Rain Cloud.  I wonder if Joseph remembers that the Natives fought along our troops in 1812?  Joseph reminds me of all the other Native virtue signalers these days: the kind of person that took a Native Studies course yet never stepped foot on a reserve.  

Even though we often dress up like other people on Halloween, they should either be fictitious people like Harry Potter or Wonder Woman, or real people who have not experienced a several-hundred-year history of violence and displacement. Dressing up like a firefighter, sailor or a farmer is different because those people are not joining the conversation from a position of weakened power.
Well, I might have said it a bit differently to my daughter.

But you didn’t and now she'll grow up thinking Dad's an over-sensitive Nancy Boy.  Joe, don't suggest what people should wear.  It's not your place and I know you're not the beacon of virtue that you think you are.  If you must know, Joseph, for hundreds of years that people dressed up on Halloween to blend in with the evil spirits so they wouldn't get attacked.  Nobody dressed as fictitious movie characters, Joseph, you milksop.  Pop open the Farmers Almanac and know your own history before you bleat to your daughter about someone else's culture.  You could go out as Hippocrites or maybe your Halloween costume could be Man of the House?  And what makes you think it's been hundreds of years of straight violence?  What the hell's wrong with you and where did you pull that information from?

We let Sonia run around a little while longer with her cousins and then suggested some other costumes she could wear. Everybody loves dinosaurs! Ladybugs never experienced a cultural genocide! There are safer choices.

Ladybugs.  I've never read something written by an adult that has the mentality of a child.  He must be a substitute teacher.  Here's one Joe, have her dress up as a pair of shoes since shoes have never experienced a cultural genocide.  Sure those years were rough when the Sandals arrived but it was never a genocide.  And Ladybugs just eat poison for a living.  Nice message.
She shrugged when I told her it wasn’t appropriate to wear and reluctantly took it off. I reminded her of the work they’ve been doing at school by using First Nations values to structure each month of their school year. Indigenous artists and teachers have been visiting the school to help recast their culture as contemporary and dynamic, and not something confined to history textbooks (or Halloween costumes).

Thanks, Dad.  Bring school into the conversation to bring everyone down.

There is a real paradox here that requires reflection. It’s important for our kids to know that the costume was made with love and care by a compassionate member of the family. When I was a kid, I too ran around and played “Cowboys and Indians” with my friends, including one who was Anishnaabe, although at the time we didn’t make the connection. I don’t think he did either.

Wow, what a paradox.  You should write Sci-Fi.  And who is Anishnaabe, a friend of yours?  I’m not surprised you missed your own point.  The paradox is that you fail to see that when you don't talk about race, it's not a thought.  Funny how that works.  But you planted the race seed in your daughter’s head, you chinless wonder.  You wouldn’t need a costume if you went out as Racist Dad for Halloween.

This year we’re in less murky ethical territory. Our three kids have decided to go dressed as a witch, Pippy Longstocking and a Minion. And the school’s policies have helped clarify costume policy for the kids in a manner way deeper than what we got when we were kids. Those lessons are sinking into how our kids think about Canada.

What do you have against witches, Bigot?  And making fun of Germans?  You think that's cool, Joseph?  The minion is totally going to get eaten by a spirit, so that'll be on your head.  And kids should think of Canada how we did: it's a cool place to live so we don't need snowflakes like you, Joseph, screwing things up for normal people because you can’t see past your over-inflated sense of self.  Shit, you take your life cues from a School Board?  

The other day our whole family was walking through Winchester Park just off Sherbourne Street in Toronto when we stumbled upon a beautiful mosaic, horizontal on the ground, over twelve feet in diameter and painstakingly made with pebbles. There was a turtle depicted in the centre.

“Don’t you know what that is dad?” asked Sonia pointing at the turtle.

“Uh, it’s a sea turtle.” I ventured.

“No, the turtle is the animal that represents the country for the First Nations; he holds us all up on his back. We live on Turtle Island. See how it’s round? That’s what this is.” She schooled me.

Yup, Joseph, you probably get schooled a lot and it doesn't surprise me that it's from someone that's under 10.

She continued to point out that fact that the Turtle was “swimming” in between a row of pebble-made high-rises on its left and a row of old-growth trees on its right, trying to navigate through two worlds. Sonia identified the cardinal directions by extending lines worked into the mural and explained that the Turtle was swimming due North.

From now on I’ll be the one asking my daughter about my Halloween costume before I wear it outside.

Yuk, yuk, yuk.  Joseph, you're hilarious.  You'll probably want to ban Gamera movies next since it's insensitive to radioactive turtles.

Kids, don’t be a gutless wonder like Joseph when you grow up.  I've said it before, people are people and you should treat everyone politely until they give you reason not to.  Also respect is earned, not given.  And lastly, it's Halloween, so wear whatever you want.