Sunday, November 3, 2013


The weather is still warm enough for busking.  Yesterday I performed twice, early afternoon at VALUE VILLAGE, then late afternoon on KINGSWARD after the Rider football game.  

I’d like to acknowledge a couple people in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE for this week:

  • Gary and Steven King, for whom KINGSWARD is named, gave Baron and I loud applause as they passed us during our Rider busk.

  • The perfect stranger who dropped a twenty-dollar bill into my guitar case before I even strapped on my guitar!

  • Krista, the owner-operator of ISLAND LUNCH gave us the perfect Hallowe’en gift, a set of musical spoons.
And speaking of Hallowe'en, I've some concerns fresh on my brain, inside my skull.

Going Blackface to a party is generally perceived as being racist – I get that.  And I get that calling a female, Dollface, is generally perceived as being sexist.  But I don’t get that denouncing a cultural holiday is a self-righteous entitlement.  Rather, it is downright dogmatism.  Let me explain.

Even though Hallowe’en is over for another year, some nonsense surrounding this past Hallowe’en lingers on my mind.  This last Hallowe’en celebrations were cancelled at an Eastern Canadian school because of inclusiveness or lack thereof.  According to the school administrators, some of the students felt left out because their parents would not allow their children to wear costumes.  Be it for religious or reasons otherwise, that choice, not to have their children in costume, pressured the school principal to disallow all students from wearing costumes during Hallowe’en day.  No costumes also meant no candy which meant no fun.  These particular principal and vice-principal in that particular school, bowing to such political correctness nonsense, and those particular intolerant parents forcing such nonsense, are DOGMATICIANS, and we know how doggedly determined these dogmaticians can be.

DOGMATISM is the tendency to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true, WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE OR THE OPINION OF OTHERS.

A DOGMATICIAN is one who promotes dogmatism.  A DOGMATICIAN can be disrespectful to my custom.

Granted, Hallowe’en began as Christian dogma, a day dedicated to the dead, the day before All Hallows’ Day, and it could be (but I doubt it) that the parents who do not want their children to dress up and ask for candy, had a quarrel with this originally Christian antic.

Our modern Hallowe’en is an evening of trick-or-treat, complete with costumes and carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, visiting haunted houses, and watching horror movies.
The real horror of this story, however, is allowing dogmaticians to spoil the party.

All of us should be on the qui vive for such junk yard dogmaticians who want to spoil such holiday celebrations.  All of us need to be dogmatician catchers.

Here is an imaginary (mostly tongue-in-cheek) passel of other holiday examples that could, or have been ruined, by a dogdom of dogmaticians:

New Year’s Day, January 1st, is the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar.  January 1st, too, is the first day of the year on the Julian calendar, which had been used in the Roman Empire as far back as 45 B.C.
The year officially starts when BIG BEN strikes twelve. 

NEW YEAR’S EVE is typically kissing during a midnight maxixe whilst listening to Auld Lang Syne.

Dogmaticians must be aware that kissing will transport germs, never mind the sexual nature of kissing in public! Auld Lang Syne, a Scottish song, is definitely an affront to the Irish, the English, the French, the Germans, the …

Groundhog Day falls February 2nd in mid-winter.  This is the day when Punxsutawney Phil, from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and Wiarton Willie, from Wiarton, Ontario, awaken from their respective naps, leave their respective dens, and observe their respective shadows.  If either groundhog sees his shadow (on a sunny morning), there will be six more weeks of winter.  If either groundhog does not his shadow (on a cloudy morning), the warmth of spring is right around the corner.

Certain dogmaticians must be aware that groundhogs do not present well.  Groundhogs could be offensive to those who would prefer the presence of the beaver or the gopher or even … the prairie DOG.


Saint Valentinus was executed for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.  Saint Valentinus died for perpetrating the concept of love.

Typically, Valentine’s Day sparks up romance with sweetheart gifts of chocolates, Cupid shooting arrows, and children sending heart-filled cards to their classmates.  Our concept of love suggests that of all the billions of potential love mates on the planet, most of us just happen to find our true loves, our soul mates in our hometowns, and in our rebounds, in our workplaces.  What are the odds!

Valentine’s Day is an affront to those who hate wine and chocolate.  And it’s not fair that for some there is no fair maiden.  So what becomes of the broken-hearted on Valentine’s Day? I say gather together, ye heartless dogmaticians, and march down to Lonesome Town en masse and bark at the heartfelt!


Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Paddy’s Day, a drunken day of parade and green beer served in packed Irish pubs. For those dogmaticians that cannot or will not be Irish, even for one day, I’ve the perfect joke:
What do you call a serpentine something that is approximately a mile long and has several assholes situated three feet apart from the front to the back?
Answer:  A Saint Paddy’s Day parade.


Good Friday, of course, commemorates the crucifixion of Christ; EASTER SUNDAY, of course, celebrating His resurrection.

EASTER, however, means to the masses (pun intended) the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts and colored eggs in baskets.
Maybe I am allergic to eggs.  Besides, why should my government holiday dollars be promoting the egg markets.


This is a day of practical jokes and hoaxes.  From the mundane slap the kick-me sign on someone’s back to the sophisticated likes of the BBC news show, The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest, April Fool’s Day has become a laugh a minute from morn until night.

However, the term, fool, is such a subjective and hurtful term, which I find offensive.  Could it be because I am one?


These two celebratory days honor mothers and fathers respectively and complementary. Typically, mothers get gifts of chocolates and bath soaps (similar to Valentine’s Day); whereas, fathers typically receive gifts of cotton socks and single-malt scotch.

With fifty percent of our modern marriages ending in divorce, fifty percent of our children now belong in blended families.  During Mother’s Day and Father’s day there are lots of gifts for both the biological and step-parents.  This must certainly be confusing, never mind that it adds complication to the increasing economics and budgets of the gift –giving.  Children in blended families, along with children from single-parent families, are buying blended scotches, rather than scotches that are single-malt.

Also, these two days can be especially insulting for those having no kids, and for those kids who hate their parents.

Canada Day is the enactment of July 1st, 1867 which united three colonies into becoming the single country called Canada.

Independence Day (the FOURTH OF JULY) commemorates the adoption of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain).

Typically, this day in Canada and the United States is celebrated with flag waving and fireworks, and picnic and parade and political speech in between.

In Canada we do have those who do not love our country.  Such dogmaticians reside in Quebec.

In America, the dogmaticians seem only to be those who do not like the popping sounds of fireworks, and ever insist that the authorities enforce the municipal by-laws with regard to noise.


LABOR DAY celebrates the labor movement, a union driven holiday in both U.S.A. and Canada.  Traditionally, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer.  This is a day of picnic and political rallies, and the last long weekend before all students from K to 12, from colleges and universities, head back to school.

Regretfully, these dogmaticians as of late were the members of the Occupy movement, of which most of those members did not believe in work (at least not in my city).  Journalists wanting to interview these public park tent-dwellers had to wait until 10 A.M. for them to rise from their laborious slumber.   
This I know. I live within a thirty second walk to Victoria Park in downtown Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Thanksgiving celebrates the bountiful harvest and cornucopia of life that we are so privileged.  Having turkey stuffing and pumpkin pie on their minds, this is the busiest of travel times for people residing in the United States. 

For the record, I do understand the arguments of the Native American dogmaticians  who demonstrate in march and protest this day each year.

Rather than cranberries, there are dogberry dogmaticians who doth protest that travel by planes, trains, and automobiles, on this day are jammed.

The hostilities of World War 1 ended November 11th, 1918.
November 11th, known as both REMEMBRANCE DAY and ARMISTICE DAY, is a day to remember the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty; that being, sacrificing their lives to help save the sanctity of our nation.

Poppy Day is filled with veterans on parade, prayers of Lest We Forget, and the poem, In Flanders Fields sounded by every horn blower throughout the Western world.

I must confess, the only dogmaticians not wanting to celebrate our veterans, are those who hate Western world citizens, Americans and Canadians in particular.


CRISTESMAESSE (CHRIST’S MASS) is a religious holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.  Tradition has the Christ was born in a manger in the town of Bethlehem.  The commercial aspect of Christmas has bright street lights and rosy cheeked children and presents delivered by a ho-ho-ho Santa Claus (SAINT NICHOLAS) riding cross the night sky in his sled pulled by reindeers.

There is a cursed cur of Dogmaticians that have already begun to rid us of our decorated Christmas trees on display in public places, and rid us of the word, Christmas, on every public greeting or card within any public office.

I began this blog in some thoughts on Hallowe’en.  As I was leaving my workplace my buddy, Kevin, told me about an incident at a next-door Hallowe’en office party.  To the ire of others, one of the office staff prance about in Blackface, pretending to be Aunt Jamima, for which she was chastised by her immediate supervisor.   She was ordered to wipe off her blackface, and was then written up for such a blatant display of apparent racism.  The irony of this exchange is that the supervisor, in so doing all of the above, was herself, dressed as a Butch Lesbian.  

But like I said at the beginning of this blog, going Blackface at a party is generally considered to be racist, and I, specifically too, think so.  And, going Butch Lesbian at a party would definitely offensive to some, including me. 

One of the wonderful things about Canadians is that we are an inclusive and welcoming society.  One of the not-so-wonderful things about Canadians is that we are oftentimes willing to sacrifice our own customs and traditions to accommodate the lunatic whims of certain segments in our society.

Alas we are human.  And alas, because we are human we prefer the world to spin our way. Oft times these spins, though nothing more than a momentary bliss, are at the grief and sacrificial expense of others.  What is common sense to the hoi polloi is never the accepted standard for everyone.
The acceptance of dogmatician denouncements is really promoting the disintegrations of our holiday traditions.  The more we acquiesce, the more willing we are to wittingly create a Canadian counter-culture of dogmatism and fanaticism.

This is our weakness, and no one in particular is at fault.  No matter our country or continent, east, west, north, or south, it is in our human nature to be selfish.  We are all hardwired to howl and hound to get our way.  We are all dogmaticians to a degree. Some dog-bane is essential to our existence. We are all wanting to draw the long straw.

Doggonit, it is in our DNA to be fraught with schadenfreude. 

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