To the “Hear Our Side” People

My e-mail message to “Tony” upon posting this entry:
I posted a new entry in my online journal in response to your comment. You will note that my opinion has not changed and that I still favour Sunday shopping in Nova Scotia, with several major caveats that you seem to have missed in my original journal entry of May 24, 2003. You may, nonetheless, post your comments to my latest entry if you wish, provided that you are willing to provide refreshingly new insights I have yet to hear from “your” side.

Sincerely,
Maurice Michaud

Thank you, Tony (whoever you are), for your links to the free Angelfire/Tripod-based and excruciatingly poorly designed “Save Our Sundays” website which promptly crashed my computer upon entering it.

I’m intrigued by how your comment arrived to me on a Sunday morning, when I would have thought you far too busy upholding “family [values] first” rather than sitting at a computer and attempting to force someone you don’t even know to visit a website that’s a member of the “Canadian Christian Business Federation.” However, I appreciate how, by doing so, you’ve come clean with respect to one of my comments in my original entry, namely how I wished people like you would “come out and say that they’re trying to keep one last little vestige of Christian values within the state.” With my confusion safely put to rest, I can now confidently assert that OUR Sundays you’re bent on saving are not mine, but YOURS.

I find this moment in aMMusing‘s history rather rich for a variety of reasons, for anyone who knows me and reads this blog regularly (as opposed to simply stumbling upon it from a search engine) also knows that:

  1. I live in Nova Scotia but am not a Christian (at least not a practicing one);
  2. as someone who seems to lack the gene that makes most people want to own things, I despise shopping — even when I desperately need to purchase something, and
  3. I am staunchly pro-union and dedicated to protecting all workers’ rights.

Even if the Islamic and Jewish communities are small minorities in Nova Scotia, I don’t understand why the majority of Nova Scotians, by the sole virtue that they are the majority, should be so disrespectful and have no qualms in forcing individuals from those communities to work on their religious sabbath. Perhaps that’s what troubles me the most about YOUR position, and the fact you seemingly chose to ignore my alternate proposal on Sunday shopping, namely that retailers should be given a choice of which day of the week they can close.

Furthermore, on your website — such as it is with its confusing navigational scheme and its catastrophic grammar — you present photos of a deserted parking lot in a local shopping mall on a Friday afternoon. Again you seem to have missed how I raised a similar point, namely through the anecdote of when my parents were in town for a day trip from Moncton on a weekday and we happened to venture over to Mic Mac Mall:

It was Monday afternoon and we could have shot a canon several times without hitting anyone. Stands to reason: Most shoppers were at their 9 to 5 job. Besides, Monday is a notoriously dead day for retail.

Ostensibly, a major premise of your argument is that those of us who support Sunday shopping are looking for another (as in, “an additional”) day to shop. But I don’t think that’s what we’re saying at all. I think we’re saying that, because we’re busy working on weekdays and certainly don’t have the time to go take pictures of empty shopping mall parking lots, we wouldn’t mind having a few hours on Sundays when we could fit shopping into our schedule. Plus, while I’m by no means enamored by consumerism, I don’t see how a Sunday afternoon family outing to Sobeys to get the week’s groceries or to WalMart to get Bobby and Cindy’s school supplies or clothes — by golly, those two do seem to grow like weeds, don’t they!? — can be construed as against “family values.”

I firmly believe that good, sensible legislation that hasn’t a whiff of religious connotation could still ensure that each worker has the right to a weekly, even fixed, day of rest. Also, a bit of common sense by yielding to the laws of supply and demand would go a long way. It is utterly nonsensical to “supply” time for shopping when there is no “demand” for it. Conservely, despite years of a “tradition” of closing at 3 p.m., banks finally yielded to the public’s “demand” for greater “supply” (of hours to do business).

This situation requires more imagination than a polarized for or against “solution” can offer. I’m simply amazed — perhaps I shouldn’t be — that no one seems to have the guts and/or political will to suggest redistributing the current number of hours when retail outlets are open. Or is it that YOUR side is wont to imagine Sunday as the only possible, even sancrosanct, day of rest for everybody, regardless of everyone else’s beliefs and values?

I Like Comments …to an Extent

Some people have asked me why I have the following warning directly above the spot where I allow aMMusing visitors to comment. [Ed.: This warning appeared when this blog was powered by Movable Type; it’s been powered by WordPress since March 2005.]

If you haven’t commented before at aMMusing: Thank you for wanting to post a comment, but first, please look at the date the entry was written. If the entry is more than 10 days old, chances are the authors and readers of aMMusing won’t notice your comment. Also, know that the authors of aMMusing view this “Comments” feature as an opportunity for friendly dialogue, not for duels.

Aware that some people enter aMMusing through the archives as a result of a search on Google or some other search engine, I have made a point of including this warning in the archives. But lately I’ve been receiving more comments than usual on old posts, which regular readers of this blog won’t know about unless I bring them to their attention — often comments that are off-topic or suggest the commentor didn’t read the entry carefully. Unfortunately, since I’m not an expert in the programming language in which MovableType is built, I could only find a way of preventing comments on old entries in the individual archives, not the category or monthly archives. Yet I want to keep comments open so that we can read what people said about the entries when they were posted.

In my next entry, I’ll explain what prompted this diatribe. But for now, suffice it to say that a comment I received today from one called Tony is the reason why I put that warning up in the first place. While I hasten to say his comment was passive enough not to be construed as a call to duel, I am convinced he didn’t burden himself with looking beyond his narrow opinion/world view to consider the point I was attempting to make in the entry on which he commented.

Fogged Out Again

There seems to be a plan (by I don’t know who or what) to prevent me from going to the beach. The weather’s been unstable for more than a week now, with fog into the late morning or afternoon, then overcast skies and maybe two hours of glorious sunshine in the late afternoon before the return of the cool, damp fog. It hasn’t been cold, though. Quite warm, actually. Except not exactly beach weather, damn it! (BTW, that image is enlargeable.)

Week Off

The plan to go to Fredericton from Monday to Thursday is still on, but Indiana Jones‘s mother, affectionately a.k.a. Trickles, decided not to come. Also, Poupoune is arriving in Halifax on Thursday, and the Bar Hopper is “allowing” me to take her all day Friday. Do note my suspicion that’s only because the Hopper has to work on Friday. ;-P}

The Quit-Smoking Update

The Bar Hopper and BeeGoddessM are holding up. Indiana Jones is also holding up, although he looks like he’s coming apart at the seams. And I have stopped pretending that I’m trying.

Yes, I want to give it another shot soon. I just couldn’t handle it right now. One of my reasons for trying to quit this time was to lend support to Indiana, whose doctor is urging him to quit. We’re planning on going to the beach tomorrow and I will go sans tobacco. Maybe Indiana and I need to work our way down first, then turn to the patch.