Saturday, August 07, 2010

Two more for ethics class

Today's ethics debate involves where do you draw your line on curbing personal freedoms. By the way, I don't think this is going to become a regular feature of the blog, it's just something that's grabbing my attention the past few days.

Today's two examples.

1. Kid's names have always been a touchy point with me. I've mentioned many times before on this blog the horror experience I had with Letters to Santa Claus while working with the Packet. Dear God, some of the things I've seen people call their kids. For that matter, I guarantee most blog readers have had a conversation at a bar about terrible kids names they've heard. The ever popular Crystal Shanda Lear, for example. Or Justin Case.

I'm not saying a full agency needs to be created for monitoring kids names. Names do need to be able to evolve and change over time. So yeah, there's always going to be some quirky names out there, but I think a little quirk is fine as long as we don't go into full bizarre.

What I am saying is that perhaps someone at records, when they get the birth certificates, should have the power to call someone at social services to swing by and have a chat with the parents. Perhaps suggest that God or Superman would not be appropriate.

Or, you know, Adolf Hitler. God help us all, he also has siblings - Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie and JoyceLynn Aryan Nation. I especially enjoy the quote from the father - "We have a right to have our kids named. A name's a name...Our kids are beautiful kids, they're not going to grow up to hate people, they're not going to grow up to hurt people."

Except there are also reports one of the parents has a swastika tattoo and the kids were physically abused, so...

Look, there are so, so, so many ways to screw up kids (Probably one of the reasons why I'm not certain about having kids. Pure fear of catastrophically screwing it up). To hopelessly damage them before they ever make so far as a classroom. So why not cut them a break and give them a decent name. And don't we, as a society, at least owe them that little break, so they're not faced with going to school with names like Hitler or Aryan? So yeah, curb that little bit of freedom, just so they don't go into malls with assault rifles 20 years from now.

But that's just my opinion. I'm open to others.

2. And here's your second one. I loathe pet stores that actually sell dogs and cats in them. I think if you want a pet, then you go to the shelter or do your damn research and find a decent breeder and buy one. But don't go to one of the giant chain pet stores and buy a dog.

I rarely go into stores that sell cats and dogs just because I'm so completely out of sorts for the rest of the day. I'm depressed, but with flashes of rage so profound that I'm afraid I'm going to run back into the store with an axe, start smashing cages to free them all. I refuse to buy any treats or toys for Boo from stores like this. Even smaller mom and pop stores, I hate when they do it.

So you think I would be all over an idea that a candidate for Toronto City Council has, which is to ban the sale of cats and dogs and pet stores.

And yet....I don't think I am. I think the guy's heart is in the right place, but there shouldn't need to be a law in place for this. I don't understand how any parent can go and think buying a cat or a dog from a pet store is a good idea. Yes, I know that kids and cute puppies and kittens are a lethal mix, but Jesus, you have to be able to say no to them on other things, I would hope, so why not on this thing. I think this is just a slow, ongoing educational process. Where you have to keep explaining where some of the pet stores are getting their animals and the kinds of conditions they're being raised in and the issues they have. That you take your business with your feet and don't support stores that sell cats and dogs. I don't know that a law is needed.

However, I admit I'm borderline on it and open to alternate views.

Tomorrow, something other than ethics, I promise.

Last Five
1. Got myself to blame - The Trews
2. Independent thief - Kathleen Edwards
3. The marble in your eye - Sarah Harmer
4. Why do I keep counting - The Killers*
5. Film noir - Gaslight Anthem


Vicky said...

It's funny. In the first case you say that some parents are too dense to realize the implications of giving their kids wacky names and in the second, you fail to recognize that those same parents will buy animals from pet stores that deal in puppy mills....

Contradictory, no?

WJM said...

In the first case you say that some parents are too dense to realize the implications of giving their kids wacky names and in the second, you fail to recognize that those same parents will buy animals from pet stores that deal in puppy mills....

And then give their pets really trashy names, too.

Way Way Up said...

Unfortunatley, we've run into a few other people here with the same breed of dog we have who obviously did little to no research before purchasing it.

Adam Snider said...

I think that Quebec actually does have some sort of agency that regulates children's names, and they can actually say no to people.

I seem to recall a few cases in the news over the last 10 years or so where this came up. People wanted to name their kid Superman or something equally ridiculous, and the Quebec Child Naming Authority** said no.

**Not an actual organization; it's probably child protective services or something that manages this.