Sunday, August 12, 2007

What have they done to my prayer?

Caslon Revival 1853 edition is a treasure
LAST CHRISTMAS I RECEIVED the gift of a facsimile edition of the 1853 Caslon Revival edition of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. What a treasure. I had quite forgotten how beautiful our English language can be when used effectively. But what a change between then and now.
Evening prayer
Recently I attended the funeral of a beloved aunt. It was conducted in an Anglican setting. The family announced the first service would be Evening Prayer. How comforting, I thought...The Day thou gavest, Lord, has ended sung to St. Clement and all that.
Here comes the rude awakening. The service was conducted by two women clerics. What I found too distracting, however, was that one of the clerics could not manage to read the service without stumbling over the words, and 'umming' and 'awing' whenever she came across a word strange to her. Now, she was reading from the modernised, supposedly simply worded service. It's written at a grade four reading level, mind.
Well, if that is what my cousins wanted, and if they found that service comforting, then that is the way it shall be. I am not an Anglican, so they haven't done anything to my prayer. I just wanted to evoke the song.
In his preface to the Caslon Revival 1853 prayer book, Sir Patrick Cormack has this to say:
THE LAST FORTY years have been years of liturgical anarchy... . The quest for modernity has left congregations confused, and although many traditionalists have been alienated, the young have not been attracted in great numbers. One of the reasons surely is that the command of the modern liturgists over the language does not begin to equal Cranmer's. The language of the bus queue is not appropriate for worship, and to suggest that young people cannot be moved by noble and stirring language is to insult their intelligence.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Have you seen my ear spoon?

Victoria Day
Recently we celebrated The Queen's birthday in Canada. It started out years ago as a commemoration of Queen Victoria. As I pondered the history behind this, I thought of the Victorian ladies who were members of my family. My grandmother Lillie used to bleach her skin with cucumbers and sour cream. "Why?" I asked her.

"So people won't think I have to be outdoors working in the fields," she replied.

Aunt Eva was another great lady in our family. See photo. She was born on May 24, 1894, and received the name Eva Victoria, for May 24 was also the birthday of Queen Victoria. Aunt Eva would surely have known what an ear spoon is.

I have an ear spoon. It comes with every manicure set you buy. You are supposed to use it to 'shovel' out the ear wax. I use it, but I think Q-tips work better. Also dropping baby oil in the ear, then showering it out with hot water works. But I find it urgently romantic to refer to my ear spoon.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Who decides what is offensive?

Okay, so a couple of Christmasses ago, frenzied activities around saying 'Merry Christmas' erupted. Some bureaucrat somewhere decided that saying 'Merry Christmas' created the impression of exclusiveness. If you said it, you were excluding those who did not celebrate Christmas. And as a result, you might risk offending someone somewhere.

Walmart got on the band wagon and announced they had instructed their sales staff to wish customers a 'Happy Holiday.' In most circumstances, this would not bother me. But I am one who takes great pleasure in celebrating Christmas. For Christmas 2006 Walmart announced they were going back to wishing customers a Merry Christmas because sales records for Christmas 2005 revealed a definite fall-off in shopping. I for one did not shop there because of the Happy Holiday thing.

I feel honoured when someone wishes me 'Merry Christmas!' And because the politically correct fascists forbid those two words, I feel mortally offended. I have two words for these idiots, and they ain't 'Merry Christmas.'

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Leave the toilet seat down

This is about men's lib

What is it with most women I know? They all have this thing about me leaving the toilet seat down when I am finishing peeing. Do my women feel threatened because they have to squat to pass water? If this is a world in which men have rights, too, I suggest it's time for us men of the world to unite.
What would Carmen Miranda (photo, right) have said? 'Mama, eu quiero, uma chupeta...' In short, she would not have minded, since in Brazil where she was from, men rule.

In my workplace, we have one staff toilet. Plastered all over the walls are warnings to 'Be kind...leave the toilet seat down when you are finished.' Granted our staff includes six women and two male animals, of which I am one. But I think it's time our staff looked at fairness and equality.

Two ways to solve the problem: We men leave the seat down when we pee. And honestly, we will try to aim. But if there are droplets on the seat...all's fair in love and peeing.

Or we can have two working days up, and three working days down...alternating every other week so that throughout the working year, the toilet seat is down at least half the time.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

UN says expression 'visible minority' is racist!

Political correctness gets what it deserves
The United Nations recently advised that the term 'visible minority' is a racist term. It should not be used. They were targetting Canada's racial equality tactics.
Those Canadian bureacrats who decide what's offensive came up with the term 'visible minority' to single out members of society who are, to cut to the chase, not white. The theory is if a person self-declares to be a 'visible minority' they enhance opportunities for advancement in society. Our conceit is we are taking care to offer these folk a chance for them to admit they are racially different. And so we can take care not to discriminate against them. Gimme a break!

Bald men are a visible minority
For years I have been a 'visible minority'. At age 24 I started to go bald, and almost completely bald am I today. Society demanded I do something about it so I considered wearing a wig. Or growing it long and swooping the sides over the bald spot. Or spraying my scalp black. Instead, I decided to go bald gracefully. Now, thanks to current fashion trends, bald is beautiful. More and more men are shaving themselves bald. So no longer am I a 'visible minority.'

And the Stupidity Prize goes to...
I think the prize for stupidity in all this must go to the school boards in England. These wise folk decided to ban the nursery rhyme 'Baa baa Black Sheep' from their schools. You can probably figure out why. Of course, they offered a substitute: 'Baa baa Rainbow Sheep.' Stupid is as stupid does.

Naturally, children began to question what's wrong with black sheep? And developed an ancillary notion, what's wrong with black people? And what is a 'rainbow sheep'? So where children had no interest in singling out anything black in their daily living, they found themselves being required by political correctness to ask their elders what is wrong with black.

Where did political correctness originate? Historians trace it back to the early days of communism in Russia. Remember the term 'liquidate'? Hitler raised political correctness to the level of art in Germany, but it has achieved its perfection in North American governments.

How about 'Collateral damage.'? Or 'Great loss'? And of course, 'Redeploy assets' which means 'You're fired'.

Bald is beautiful.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

So you're allergic to peanuts?


The other day as I rode home aboard Bus 66 in Winnipeg, I happened to overhear two passengers going on about a peanut-free school. At first I thought they were referring to children as 'peanuts' so continued to listen.

But they were talking about schools having 'no-peanut policies'. Why is this? Because some child allergic to peanuts might one day eat a peanut at school and die, I suppose. So why am I telling you this?

If I am allergic to peanuts, whose responsibility is it to monitor what I eat? Mine. Why should my allergy become the cause celebre for do-gooders, and set up a proscenium upon which to tout my allergy? And to create a situation where all must be denied peanuts because I may at some point before the next millenium take it upon myself to eat a peanut.

Photo: Lillie (1888-1975)
used both Tabu and
Blue Grass by Prince Matchabelli perfumes.
At Christmas, she spinkled
English lavender buds
to scent her linens and laces.

Your aftershave makes my eyes water

Why are your telling me this? If your eyes water because you are allergic to perfumes, take an antihystamine. I read the other day that Ottawa liberals (not the political party, but the usual lunatic fringe of crusaders) are lobbying for the Ottawa bus system to prohibit persons wearing perfume or aftershave from riding the bus. Why? Because someone, some where may be allergic to perfume. And may choose to ride the bus. And may suffer watery eyes.

Do I care if you are allergic to perfume? Not really; it's my God-given right to wear aftershave and you can't take it away from me. Actually to wear or not to wear is more along the line of privilege rather than 'right'.
It's all about reductio ad absurdam. Perfume may be an issue. If governments go ahead with legislation regulating cologne use, the next step is to single out persons with body odour, and those who reek of tobacco smoke or alcohol. If these perfumed bodies choose to ride the bus...where does it all end? Just take a look at what's going on south of the border.
Perhaps we can take a cue from Hitler. Those allergic to peanuts, for example, shall wear a beige triangle. Those allergic to perfume shall wear a red triangle. Those with body odour shall wear a green triangle. In this way, we can let each minority have its own colour and its own triangle. Let's not go there. Political correctness demands we all try to be so inoffensive that no one, peanuts be damned, may ever feel offended. Facism is as facism does.

In summary:
It's your responsibility to take medication or do something yourself about your problems. Oh, by the way, I use Eau sauvage by Dior.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why are you telling me this?

No, I am not going to turn this blog into an offshoot of incipient OCD and find myself driven to post every day! C'mon, I am retired.

A friend was telling me how her Supervisor came into the office, noticed the electric stapler, and asked her where she got it from. 'You know, we are over budget.'

My friend started to explain she followed procedure, and got the electric stapler through the supply office. My point is whenever someone puts you on the spot like that, respond with a question.

Like, 'Why are you telling me we are over budget?'

Like, 'Did you know scientists have found the tomb of Jesus with his body in it?'
Answer: 'Why are you telling me this?'

And so on. A question puts the ball back in the inquisitor's court. Management may pass you up for promotion if you make things difficult for them...but you won't go through life feeling defensive.