The current political rhetoric in the United States (and other countries, to a lesser extent) is all about government regulations vs. the free market. Republican candidates have been spending much time making promises about budget cuts, removal of regulations, and untying the hands of “job creators.” Government regulation is said to be “inefficient” and an impedance to the progress of the country. The rhetoric here in Canada over the past few years has been similar, focusing on “stimulating the economy” and creating jobs.
Amongst all this language about business and economies, it is important to clarify the goals or end-state that one wishes for society to achieve. Certainly, people have different ideas about what society should be like, but in general I think it is fairly uncontroversial to state that society should benefit the people within it. I would submit that a good goal for society to have is to be just and equitable, and to work toward the well-being of its citizens. It is only after we set this goal that we can start to clarify whether government regulations and policies are truly a good thing. Do they achieve this goal?Continue Reading
A while back, I got a request from my sister that I should write up something on my blog about gender roles in religion. And while I, the good brother that I am, have been trying to do so, such a topic is a difficult one to cover. The difficulty is that religion, with all its diversity, has had numerous effects, both positive and negative, on gender roles. While Hindus, for example, have goddesses that are worshiped, Islam has women living behind black veils. Such a topic would be too broad. So what about Christianity specifically? Even within just this one religion, there have been numerous responses to gender roles over the centuries of the Christian religion. But I will do my best to examine some of the answers that have been given from the first century CE until today, as well as a more general discussion about why gender roles exist and whether they are helpful or harmful to society.Continue Reading
You know what really bugs me? People who criticize teens for being clones of each other and completely immersed in commercialization. Typically these people are 30+. But I can’t stand their complaints. They’re the reason we’re the way we are today.
You see, I don’t see how we can be anything else but commercialized. Mainstream media has covered all our options. They have a label for everything you could possibly conceive. Even if I try to fight the mainstream stuff, I’m suddenly labeled as “punk” and get introduced to new “punk” clothing lines, music, and a whole new brand of commercialization. Even if I could come up with something not commercialized or find some band that is small enough to have escaped the grip of mainstream media, if I suggest the idea to any of my friends and word spreads around long enough, soon that band too will be sucked up into the corporate collective. Thus the band that I was listening to to get away from commercialization is suddenly commercialized.
Honestly, what are we supposed to do? Make our own clothes? Pay a private seamstress to make all our custom-made clothes to avoid labels and logos? That’d be more expensive in the long run than buying the expensive name-brand clothes we get criticized for. Or you could always go punk and get your grandparents’ old smelly clothes and wear them; then again, corporations latch onto that and make name-brand “old” gaudy clothes.
I’ll admit that teenagers today are, for…Continue Reading