Tag Archives: youth

Day of Silence Reminds Us of Need to Speak Up

By Jason Menard

As powerful as today’s National Day of Silence has the potential to be, to affect real change we need to use the other 364 day to speak up against name-calling, bullying, and harassment not just in schools, but everywhere.

The National Day of Silence is an event led by the U.S.-based Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. It’s intent is to get students to take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered name-calling, bullying, and harassment. Continue reading

Grammar’s Greatest Protectors Actually Doing Most Damage to Language

By Jason Menard

Today is National Grammar Day and while there appears to be increasingly little to celebrate if you survey the linguistic landscape, perhaps it’s time to reassess where the actual blame lies.

We all know about the challenges to the language that are our youth. Schools have increasingly abdicated their obligation to teach, instead settling for the lowered bar that is comprehension. Text and on-line messaging have also conspired to diminish the language as the next generation’s current form of communication is actively impeding their ability to express themselves.

So we could blame the kids – after all, that’s the easy way to do. Continue reading

Clothed-Minded Parents Wrongfully Fearful of Sexuality

By Jason Menard

How am I not gay?

Seriously. I mean, I’ve dressed up as a woman TWICE in my life: once in my mid-20s on Hallowe’en and once, way back when I was 17, and we went to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Actually, I guess I was dressing as a man, who dressed like a woman, but you get the point. Continue reading

Pageant Cancellation Means My Hollies Are a Little Less Jolly

By Jason Menard

My hollies are a little less jolly today. Earlier we found out that, as a result of multiple school closures caused by Snowmageddon, Son of Snowmageddon, and Hey?-Isn’t-This Just-a-Normal-Canadian-Winter-But-We’ve-Been-Spoiled-By-Higher-Than-Average-Temperatures-Lately-And-Why-Are-You-Still-Not-Driving-On-Snow-Tires-Ageddon, the highlight of my holiday season has been postponed into the New Year.

Yes, it’s true. The annual Christmas pageant has been cancelled. So where else am I going to find that wonderfully festive combination of shock and awe? This is the most wonderful time of the year – especially for those of us with school-aged children. We approach this day with equal parts anticipation and dread! Continue reading

Epic Overuse Symbolic of Me-Now Generation

By Jason Menard

Fed up of the word epic? Join the club. Unfortunately, we’re only going to see more of it as it’s the perfect word to illustrate the narcissism of today’s youth – a narcissism that we’ve created and nurtured.

Nowadays, everything’s epic. It was bad enough when Web hipsters coined the term ‘epic fail’ to describe whatever pseudo-hip meme they posted on the Internet showcasing someone screwing up. What we used to call badly voiced-over Bob Saget-era America’s Funniest Home Videos and brushed off as mindless, now lives on in the Internet bestowed the same categorization Virgil’s Aeneid and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Continue reading

Lennon’s Latter-Day Lessons Also Lost 30 Years Ago Today

By Jason Menard,

On this day, 30 years ago, the world lost one of its most influential poets. And while today’s a day to remember the life and music of John Lennon, it’s also a time for those of us approaching a certain age to consider what else we lost on Dec. 8, 1980.

I was only seven when Lennon was murdered in front of his New York home, so his passing didn’t even factor into my life. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-to-late teens that I discovered The Beatles – and it was very soon after that first exposure that I firmly became a John fan. Continue reading

Halloween Should Be Child’s Play

By Jason Menard

Apparently, without knowing it, I dressed up last night for Hallowe’en. My costume? A curmudgeon.

It didn’t start out that way. In fact, I inadvertently dressed up as something else Sunday evening – a popsicle. And apparently the cold had an impact on the trick or treaters, or lack thereof, on the evening.

As we were accompanying our eight-year-old daughter through the streets on her mad candy grab (she was determined to hit as many houses as possible), we noticed a marked lack of younger children on the streets. Only a handful of babies, a few toddlers, fewer still children my daughter’s age, and a smattering of pre-teens braved the sub-freezing temperatures.

But there was one group that seemed to be out in full force – the teenagers. Continue reading