Friday, January 18, 2008


Next week, actually. This week you can lay into each other with whatever's at your disposal. Use all the tricks: dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire.

But it's different and a whole lot rougher if you're a middle-schooler, which is whom No Name-Calling Week is targeting with their efforts, and it's a worthy effort even if their efforts wander over into eye-rolling PSA territory from time to time and their officials speak Press Release Jargon instead of plain English:
"No Name-Calling Week offers schools an opportunity to engage students about the importance of treating one another with respect. Unfortunately, far too many students experience the negative impact of name-calling, bullying and harassment. Through proactive educational interventions like No Name-Calling Week, schools can make a difference in the safety of all of their students."

Eyes. Glaze. Over.

Still, best wishes to them - it would have been many playground butt-kickings for yours truly if the bullies hadn't mistakenly believed that my dad (one of their teachers) had been grandfathered out of the school district's corporal-punishment ban because he had been in the Navy and was still allowed to administer whuppin's. This was complete nonsense, and my dad never did have to administer any corporal punishments in 30-odd years, but it's not like 12-year-old asthmatic loser yours truly was going to speak up.

Now, for an effort that stands a better chance of working: Canadian schools are targeting the very same group (middle schoolers) to pledge not to smoke until their high school graduation...and the group behind the effort is putting five grand up for the students who can do it.

I predict a generation of Canadians with longer lifespans and a Ricklesian gift for abuse.

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