Here goes nothing…
I had a bit of a moment yesterday.
It’s just that I’m so incredibly excited and energized right now. I’m starting to move on a variety of really cool projects and endeavours.
A little over a year ago, I claimed I was about to “up the diversity” on this blog. Better late than never. Here’s me committing to actually begin talking about a Catholic case for free culture. I have been giving it a lot of thought and making lots of notes, but I just need to get over the urge to write an essay instead of blog post so that I can start getting the ideas out.
The other theme I hope to explore in depth is the full potential of a true free culture approach to transform music. I’ve had some fascinating conversations with Nathan Simpson, Roman Verzub, Matt York and Josh Newman, and I’ve been putting the pieces in place at blaise.ca/music to start turning some of these ideas into action. I plan to expand on this at length in future posts.
I feel like these two ideas will be prominent themes in much of what I do in the next few years, and beyond.
Then, there’s the work I’ve been doing on the Drupal Creative Commons module and, more recently, the new Creative Commons Canada website (hope to have something to show soon…), among many of the other cool things I get to do through Alleyne Inc. My band is showing signs of life again, and I’ve been gigging on violin. I’ve also been part of a great team with the University of Toronto Students for Life, and I’ll be putting on another pops concert with the Hart House Chamber Strings in February. The day after that, I’m headed to Philadelphia for a week-long immersion course with one of the leading scholars on the Theology of the Body.
Oh, and I’m getting married next summer.
This post originally appeared on the UofT Students for Life blog.
I’m not usually a fan of any pro-life arguments that focus on potentiality, because it tends to obscure the fact that from the moment of conception we’re dealing with actual life (and just potential growth)… but that caveat aside, this new ad from CatholicVote.org is amazing (via AmP):
This is the second ad they’ve produced (here’s the first). Can’t wait to see what else they come up with.
Unless you’re one of those crazies who believes in creationism, guns, families, bibles and babies, you’re going to love this piece (via The Dawn Patrol) over at the Feministing community site by freethinkr (that’s not a typo — “er” is so Web 1.0). Conservatives and the religious right keep going on about “family values,” but… why hasn’t anyone dared to ask the obvious question?
More importantly — why reproduce?
That’s right. Freethinkr suggests that we need to say no to reproduction if we really want to combat inequality in society. Freethinkr writes, “my understanding of reproduction is that it is the basis of the institutions of marriage and family, and those two provide the moorings to the structure of gender and sexual oppression.” Get it? We’ve all been busy trying to reinvent marriage and the family to counter oppression, but that’s just treating the symptoms, not the root of the problem — reproduction.
Yes, babies are what’s wrong with society.
Reproduction is really the root of inequality. As freethinkr points out, “families prevent… the flow of money from the rich to the poor: wealth accumulates in a few hands to be squandered on and bequeathed to the next generation, and that makes families as economic units selfishly pursue their own interests and become especially prone to consumerism.” Freethinkr must have aced logic class. This idea may seem radical to some, but ending babies is the only logical response to poverty and inequality. Families are just inherently selfish. We need to get rid of the family, to get rid of reproduction, if we want to truly be free. We’re conditioned by our biased, gendered, patriarchal, immoral upbringing to believe that reproduction is somehow “good”, that it’s a psychological or even a biological need. This is simply false. Freethinkr recommends “emotional conditioning” to counter this supposed need that we’ve been socialized with.
And guess who brought us up to believe that we “need” to reproduce? That’s right — our families.
We need rational thought to win out. Apparently, we need to free-think.
Another feeling came from growing up near the poor: married people become much less charitable when they had their children to ‘take care of’, which means expensive schools, football clubs, game consoles, etc., etc. Because of the social premium on marriage and family, the poor also have children, only their children have no future and can easily be exploited by the economic system. If families are for raising and ‘taking care of’ children, what about the poor and their children? With high incidence of domestic violence, child abuse and ‘juvenile delinquency’, there are little ‘family values’ that the underprivileged can realistically talk of.
Clearly, the poor would be better off without families. Family and, ultimately, the notion of procreation as some sort of good, are two of the most dangerous ideas in society. Family doesn’t solve problems, it causes them. Reproduction breeds inequality.
If the world is going to change, reproduction has to go.
We need to get rid of families.
Not only is the article a must read, but there’s quite a debate in the comments (yes, some people are actually trying to argue against this). Freethinkr’s been ripping into opponents. Take this golden line, for example:
Reproduction has a whole lot of cultural baggage right now and considering that nuclear families *is* how patriarchy replicates itself, we need people to stop glorifying baby-making and see the problems it comes with.
Is it really that hard for people to realize that babies just perpetuate patriarchy? If you want to stop patriarchy, you need to stop babies.
Are you ready to bring about real change? Stand in solidarity with freethinkr — make the commitment to be child-free! If enough people take a pledge, we can bring about real change by making sure we don’t bring about children.
Let’s make inequality history. Say no to patriarchy. Say no to babies!
Because that way we can ensure equality for… er, wait — who’s left to benefit from it? Hmm…
Michelle Dewar from Ottawa writes that the abortion debate ignores the impact on child poverty. She’s guilty of a greater ignorance — assuming what needs to be proven. Really, it seems as if every even seemingly coherent pro-choice argument falls into one of Klusendorf’s five bad ways to argue about abortion.
Those who advocate against abortion are proposing that every year another 100,000 babies be brought into this world…
Dewar assumes that aborted babies have yet to be “brought into this world,” despite the fact that the procedure on behalf of which she advocates is required to remove them from this world. At the very least, one must understand that the debate hinges on the question of “what is the unborn?” If the unborn is not human, no justification for abortion is necessary, but if the unborn is human, no justification for abortion is adequate.
Is the unborn human? How can Dewar claim that the aborted have never existed? As terrible as child poverty is, we wouldn’t “solve” it by killing children. If the unborn are human, how is abortion a solution? How can the question be ignored?
Canadian Federation of Students gladly aids members in blocking free speech, assuming what needs to be proven
(This post originally appeared on the UofT Students for Life blog.)
The York Federation of Students’ (YFS) motion to ban “anti-choice” groups from using student union resources or space has successfully been accepted by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). The motion reads:
Be it resolved that member locals [of the CFS] that refuse to allow anti-choice organizations access to their resources and space be supported. And further, be it resolved that a pro-choice organization kit be created that may include materials such as a fact sheet, buttons, contact information for local pro-choice organizations and research on anti-choice organizations and the conservative think-tanks that fund them.
This means that the CFS supports any of its members who wish to ban “anti-choice” groups from campus. The decision was made during the summer, when most students aren’t around to participate in any decision making process. Not that the CFS or YFS did any polls or surveys to substantiate their claims that most students support this. The York administration does not support this attack on free speech, and Robert J. Tiffin (York’s Vice President of students) said that the administration would try to compensate by providing its own venues and resources to legitimate debates.
Joseph Brean interviewed Michael Payton, the York student who argued the pro-choice side in the March debate:
I think it’s outrageous that they do this when students are away for the summer and when they can’t really do anything about it…. This isn’t the right of the student government to be deciding what students are allowed to hear… [It is] very much an open question how in-line they are with what students really think and feel.
It would be one thing if the YFS were doing polls on this. At least then they would be able to justify the claim that most people would be on board. But even if most people were on board, if 90% of students were on board, I would still think it’s wrong in principle. When the YFS says they believe in free speech, they believe in free speech for them, for the positions they hold, not for freedom of speech for positions they disagree with.
I wonder if the CFS or YFS would support a similar ban with respect to their tendency to favour free speech when it comes to “Israeli Apartheid” events…
The decision itself is, again, practically self-refuting. The use of the term “anti-choice” is Orwellian enough. This is a ban on clubs that are “against choice”. Against what kind of choice? I suppose we’re not allowed to ask that anymore.
Apparently, some people find it terrifying if their kids get some common sense advice about sex. As evidenced by Virginia Foxx’s pointed question, some people are against promoting restraint or abstinence no matter what the facts are. Quite frankly, that “freaks me out”.
This is the “sneaky” and offensive video:
*sigh* Pregnancy is not a disease…