Thursday, April 19, 2007

On where we're headed.

In the past few years, I have often looked at the world and been reminded of a poster that used to hang in my departmental lounge of my university. This is what is said:

Only after the last tree has been cut down;
Only after the last fish has been caught;
Only after the last river has been poisoned;
Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.

- Cree Indian Prophecy

Somehow, it just seems to fit.


Monday, April 16, 2007

The REAL reason they put benches in public washrooms.

Everyone seems to have a different sensitivity to Public Displays of Affection. Some are loathe to hold hands in public, while others seem to have no qualms about detailed exploration of their partner's anatomy whilst in a group situation. I place myself somewhere in the hazy middle of this scale: I don't consider myself to be a prude, but I wouldn't say I'm exactly an exhibitionist either. Really, I think I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to PDAs: I think it's nice to see a couple expressing their love? affection? for one another... but when a quick peck on the lips or a hand on the leg turns into obvious lust right before my eyes, I'll admit, I tend to feel awkward- like I'm peeping, even though we're all in a public place.

This brings me to an explanation of the motivation behind this post: On Saturday evening, I attended an event with a large group of friends. It was something we had all been looking forward to for a long time- winding down after a loooong couple of months while enjoying one another's company. One of our number has recently begun a new romantic relationship. He and his new amour are still in the cuddling, don't-want-to-let-you-out-of-my-sight-for-two-seconds phase, and it's really quite cute. To a point. During the course of the evening they spoke to approximately 5 people, and ended up making out in the middle of the room- taking a 30 second break every 5 minutes or so. I really would rather that I did not have as much detail as I do concerning their... mutual affection... but as they were in the middle of a rather small room, it was sort of hard to miss. At one point, they decided to get away from 'prying eyes' and proceeded to occupy one of the washrooms for a while...


The whole scenario reminds me strongly of a futuristic short story I once read (Jules Verne?) in which spontaneous sexual activity had replaced conversation as the culturally acceptable mode of relation between the sexes. The story, of course, revolved around a young man and woman who were looking more for cerebral than sexual stimulation, and thus found themselves at odds with the societal norms. It was a very interesting read, and I have often mused as to whether or not this is one direction in which our current society might be leading us...

Now don't get me wrong- no one at the party on Saturday was particularly upset by the couple's display of attraction- on the whole everyone was pretty amused: There were lots of comments along the lines of "Well I haven't seen THAT since I was in the eighth grade..." and the occasional joking "Ahhhh. Ain't love grand?" But it sparked a hot, and somewhat drunken, debate to which I now request your input. So here is the question:

Public Displays of Affection: How far is too far?

Go nuts.

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