Commentary | Classical, kids, and Connolly

A jargon-y defense of jargon

Re: “Activism’s jargon epidemic” | Commentary | March 27, 2008

I was troubled by the trajectory by which Floh Herra-Vega’s recent column on activist jargon issued its point. Beginning by noting the overuse of the word “radical,” she linked its lax repetition to the employment of what she finds to be obscure rhetoric. Jargon, she claims, creates an insular society of Cultural Studies hipsters in-the-know, and excludes poor scientifically-inclined first-years with a heart. I’m bothered by this equivocation. I’m sure Herra-Vega is aware that it is in the aim of clarifying the concepts of any critique that terms are reevaluated, fuzzy catchwords shorn, and more precise articulations put forward. I wonder why she glosses the impetus to replace the “Women’s Union” with the “UGE” as “progress,” when I know she was well aware that the decision reflected, among other elements, an effort to stop the exclusion of transgendered students from the UGE’s services. I’m also skeptical that Herra-Vega is unfamiliar with the rationale to specify communities as racialized – that is, not in-themselves a “race,” but given the attributes of a racial category by a confluence of history and cultural practices. Certainly, I agree any poster thrice marked by the word “radical” ought to be forgotten. But is the solution to “jargon” abandoning a commitment to precision in favour of the very habits of generalization and neglect that produce such catchwords? In truth, the purpose of most the events whose posters Herra-Vega denounces is to focus on what we mean by these terms, to clarify our discourse and analyses. Maybe she could check them out: her gripe that “people are so much more informed” and that she “doesn’t know if she agrees with them” seem to me to be two pretty good reasons to attend a workshop.

Emilie Connolly

U3 Cultural Studies

Roll over, Beethoven

Re: “The day the music died” | Culture | March 27, 2008

Am I the only one rejoicing in this change? Less classical programming on CBC Radio 2 makes it possible to relive a time before Brave New Waves was trashed and abandoned, before CBC Radio 3 was relegated to the Internet!

Reorganizing CBC Radio 2 could give CBC Radio a chance to develop the kinds of programming NPR has been broadcasting for over a decade, like: All Songs Considered, their amazing studio sessions, and some non-Western music (for once!). Would it hurt for the CBC to become a little hipper? A little more representational? And I’m not talking more indie-shmindy DJs like Jian Ghomeshi, I’m talking quality. If the CBC could in any way take a lead from NPR (which granted, totally took a cue or two from American college radio) this could be the best thing that happened to our airwaves. Sure, classical music is important, but so is everything (and everyone) else.

Less Prude! More Krug!

Laura G.

U3 History

Daily staff writer

Child care for students

First of all, I want to thank The Daily for the Children’s special issue. I think the reality of parent students is, unfortunately, not well-known on the campus. I’m a new student at McGill. I’m 28 years old, finishing my first year in Law, and thinking seriously about having a baby next year. Why? Because after considering the fact that I never stopped studying and that I have at least 3 more years to go including the Bar, I also firmly believe that besides school, there’s life.

So I was shocked to learn that the McGill Daycare Centre prioritizes staff children. I can’t believe that teachers who have an annual salary of more than $80,000 can’t find an alternative solution for their toddlers. I can understand that daycare services are precious for every parent, but considering that the places are so limited (106 spots), priority should definitely go to staff members who don’t have a salary that is so much above the average and to the students who struggle with the time constraints that make a full-time job impossible and the debts that accumulate during their studies. This is just common sense and social justice.

Geneviève Laurin

U1 Law

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