This is one of the more important substantive articles on the state of so called human rights in Canada and the couch potato laissez faire state of men. Note the authors last observation. Men in Canada have no idea how their rights are being removed right under their noses. Not until the wife hands him his divorce papers will he know how second class he is compared to the other gender and all those who are hybrids. Seventy five percent of divorces are initiated by the wife and 90% of them get sole physical custody, child support, spousal support if the judge is so inclined and 50% of everything else. She may have been cheating on him, stealing from him, gone to jail for theft, fraud and forgery, beat the children and emotionally abused them, and even on the rare occasion the dad may have even been raising the children from home while she worked. It doesn't matter because she's got boobs or the other hybrids have more rights because the judiciary and Human Rights Commissions say so. The subtlety embedded in what Mr. Warren states is profound.MJM
I have sometimes thought it would be diverting to put a hockey team together. This idea is not, in itself, very original, but there are a couple of twists in my proposal that might make it uniquely entertaining. For I should like to have a "politically correct" hockey team.
Not sure, just yet, what league it would play in, but by the time it was assembled, I'm not sure what league would dare to turn it down.
The team I have in mind would consist of a couple of goalies, two defensive lines, three forward lines, for a total of 15 players; plus a coach, an assistant coach, a couple of trainers, a general manager and 43 lawyers. While the ethnicities and sexual orientations of the "invisible majority" off-ice staff wouldn't really matter, I'd go to tireless lengths to be sure the players themselves represented as much "diversity" as it was mathematically possible to pack into just 15 persons.
We'd try to represent every possible skin colour and shading, all major non-European language groups, the least probable national origins, some interesting religious affiliations, the widest possible range of body weights and ages, a selection of common physical disabilities, and as many sexual orientations as we were able to identify through diligent research -- all to be included through combinations of faculties, or absence of faculties, to the exclusion only of white heterosexual males.
And yet for all the extremes, the team would be carefully balanced. For instance, I have in mind six nominal male-type persons, six apparent females, and three unimpeachable transvestites. Though I admit that is a fairly arbitrary balance, and I'd be open to juggling the numbers in other ways.
Now, down to business. I'd certainly want my team to practise, and that's where the trainers would come in: teaching players who might never have put on a pair of skates before -- or might refuse to wear them now -- how to stand up on the ice; how to put on safety-regulation shin pads and visor helmets and so forth. We might call in some publicity and fashion consultants to make sure they all looked very spiffy for the group photographs.
Before we'd ever played a game, I would expect rave affirmative coverage from, say, the Toronto Star, and CBC television. In fact, I would suggest some sort of "countdown" feature to the media, as the team made heroic preparations for its first game. Indeed, I would make cocky declarations about how good we were -- sports journalists seem magnetically attracted to such rhetoric -- and angle for an exhibition match against, say, the NHL All-Stars.
Then the big night. After some initial, cursory protests about who was singing the national anthem, and why, we would take to the ice. All 15 at the same time, including both goalies -- who would be instructed to lean a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood over the goal mouth for additional defensive protection. As well, our cheerleaders -- an amateur chorus from a local feminist support group -- would take up positions around the opposing team's bench, and begin shrieking our team slogans: "Racist! Sexist! Fascist! Homophobe!"
It's at this point I would expect the referees to raise some sort of objection. Not to our cheerleaders, I wouldn't think, they'd be untouchable. Maybe the refs would object to the plywood, maybe to some other unusual equipment, such as the high-powered waterguns slung over the shoulders of our defencepersons, or the fact that our centre was swinging a scythe. But if they whistled us down for "too many 'men' on the ice," we'd have them cold.
Immediately our team of Osgoode Hall's finest -- the complement of lawyers mentioned above -- would swing into action, with human rights complaints against the linesman who blew the first whistle, and our first Charter challenge ready to go to court. For who says the rules of hockey -- which reflect a dark history of cultural and sexual oppression -- should take priority over Canada's most sensitively re-formative constitutional document?
But supposing the game got any further than that, we'd have process servers sweeping down from the end blues with arrears notices for alleged "deadbeat dads"; cops primed with assault charges after the first body-check; hate-crime citations against anyone who laughs; and various other devices to keep our opponents a little off their game.
We'd also be willing to negotiate some arrangements out of court. For instance: we remove the plywood sheet from our goal mouth, if the other side agrees to remove their goalie.
The long and short of it is, that after several years of taxpayer-funded litigation, proceeding remorselessly towards the Supreme Court of Canada -- and no game that lasted more than five minutes -- we would proudly accept the Stanley Cup. And this as our reward for "breaking down the barriers that hold Canadians apart."
Alternatively, and more hopefully, we would find the one issue on which the complacent reclining couch potatoes of our nation would be willing to rise up.
David Warren's column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday.a
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