No Roots


I can't really spell. I blame it on phonetics and french immersion. Nowadays I can hide my disability with a spell checker. Once upon a time I couldn't.

In university, I was involved in a student rally that turned into a bit of a fiasco. We were trying to keep school fees from being increased. I was in charge of getting the posters done so I ordered a few from a student run poster company. On one of the signs, I had them write "Responsability" (sic) - it was six feet across.

The rally attracted about 2000 students and our picture appeared in several newspapers locally and nationally. Soon after, there were a number of letters to the editor suggesting that we didn't need cheap education so much as a good dictionary. A political cartoon appear in the Toronto Star depicting a couple of professors looking out from a balcony onto a group of students with posters reading "we need kwality ejukation" and the like so one prof says to the other, "Maybe they have a point!"

So it was possibly the worst spelling mistake in Canadian history and I can take credit for it.

Those were days of idealism.

It's about 20 years later and these are now days of pragmatism and sometimes disappointing realism.

I had a chat with an individual today who was complaining how a bunch of NGOs are trying to keep banks from funding a certain project because it will have a negative impact on some whale species. This is a person with influence. I probed him to determine if they might not have a legitimate complaint. His last word on the subject was "It's ridiculous because I spoke with several scientist friends of mine and about 20 of the 100 species they're trying to protect already have no more females left. It's already a lost cause. Besides, there are loads of projects worse than this."

I was later given a pamphlet from my company's environmental department entitled ReponsAbility. I can't really bring myself to read it.

Fittingly, this evening I watched "How to Get Ahead in Advertising" which is basically a movie about how some people will do anything for greed. Whether it's selling diet pills or pouring mercury into rivers, I'm already well aware of how far people will go for personal gain.


I never owned up to that spelling mistake. The poster shop got the blame... but I know they just painted exactly what I wrote down.

At one point though, you need to own up.

These are all thoughts just tumbling around my head with no direction. What's clear is that I'm not part of the solution. But I have time to change that. Will I?

Labels: Furl digg Reddit TailRank Add to My Yahoo co.mments Wednesday, December 15, 2004


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