Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jean Wharf, "Fuck Yoga" pins and Shaw Pet Homes

William Shaw, owner of Shaw Pet Homes of Calgary, you have WRONGED ME!

Okay, I'm just kidding (That's Shaw Pet Homes, Calgary, Manufacturer of Alberta's BEST cat furniture! Visit them today at CrossRoads Market in Calgary! It is Calgary's LARGEST Indoor/Outdoor Market!) I don't really have that big of a beef against William Shaw. Or do I? Well, YES I DO, darn it all.

I love it when business owners make me mad. The thing is, when you are representing your business along side of your own personal conversations in social media, it does open you and your business up to being discussed. And, right now, William Shaw, owner of Shaw Pet Homes of Calgary, is on my mind. We just had a lovely interaction on Facebook where he was a complete and total jerk to me! Oooooh, that burns me. Actually, I really shouldn't get into debates on-line anyway. It never really seems to work out. Do they ever? They usually end in everyone telling each other off and everyone walking away mad. At least this is my experience.

Anyway, the topic at hand? According to a short, not very in-depth article posted by the CBC (you can read the article here!), apparently, a girl by the name of Jean Wharf, who was riding (or attempting to ride) a SkyTrain in Vancouver was kicked off because she didn't pay the fare (fair enough if that is true), but then a comment was made that she couldn't ride the train again while wearing her pin that read "Fuck Yoga". Now as the owner of shirts that say "Fuck Homophobia" and "Fuck Your Fascist Beauty Standards", I have to say that I defend wearing items of clothing or accessories that contain the word Fuck. I don't really like to say the word. I try not to use it on a regular basis. About the only time I use it is when I am really angry. Anyway, this was my first comment about the story:

It's pretty hard to make an assessment based on such a short article. If she indeed was kicked off the train because she had a button with the f-word, then that is ridiculous. If she was kicked off for not having a ticket, well, that's different. I have many pins and several shirts with the f-word on them. I haven't had any trouble wearing them and I would be very angry if I did get into trouble for wearing a free country anyway. I don't wear them wear I am living now. I would end up in jail...:)
I didn't think that was too bad, was it? Now this was Mr. William Shaw's first response to the article:

Too bad!! She is a theif and theif is a criminal and criminals don't deserve fredom of speach. Besides, her button was one that was meant to insult and insite dissension toward a system that promotes well being. What is she, an emo goth, neo nazi squatter?
Well, okay then. That seemed a little intense. But, that is just my opinion. His response to ME!
Suck it up, Chris! She was probably lippy to the transit cop and she got what she deserved. As well, she steals from tax payers by not paying fair, but now she is costing tax payers more money because of this stupid inquiry. People like you and her have no positive purpose for society as a whole.

Because I don't think being told that someone can not wear a "Fuck Yoga" pin on the subway is right, I have no positive purpose for society?? Wait a minute here. That seems a little intense. Why oh why would you take this approach Mr. Shaw (owner of Shaw Pet Homes in Calgary)? Why? Look, the girl did nothing wrong with her pin. She did wrong by not paying to ride the train, but she did nothing wrong with her pin. Yes, I defend her. I think it would be a shame if we started to clamp down on things like this. Freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of ideas is very important in our society (meaning Canada). Today it is that pin, tomorrow it is blasphemy laws! Well, maybe not tomorrow, but using the slippery slope idea, well, ya, it could happen. There are many (too many if you ask me) who would like to see that happen.

In previous blog posts, I have expressed anger about other people's opinions, especially when it comes to homophobia. Well, I stand by those. I have not called for business boycotts, I have not called for anyone to be arrested. I have spoken out against ideas that I feel are wrong and destructive. I have expressed outrage and concern. But, I have not called for freedom of speech to be curtailed. The hope is that in the future, discrimination based on sexual orientation is squeezed out of society. And, the hope is also that a person wearing a pin that says "Fuck Yoga" is not being told they can't ride the train because of it. Yes, it may offend people. I have seen those pins. My interpretation is that these pins are criticizing the excess commercialization of yoga and the turning of it into merely a fitness craze (Power Yoga? Come ON!). I think that is a fair assessment really. Again, this is how I interpret the pin and if I were to wear it that is the spirit I would wear it in. And that is why I support her. Maybe if someone had asked her, "Why do you wear that pin?", people might find out for themselves what her reasons are.

Most of the posts on that article revolved around the use of vulgar language and how unacceptable it is that someone would have the word Fuck on a button. Well, ya, it is a vulgar word, but it isn't illegal. Also, if that is the worst her button has to say, well, that's not too bad, really. If that is the biggest complaint people can have, then Canadian society is doing pretty darn good, if you ask me!

Now, remember to visit William Shaw at Shaw Pet Homes in Calgary and pick yourself up one of his UGLY as SIN cat houses and lizard dens or whatever the heck those those things are. I think he has a few little spider homes and stuff too.


1 comment:

  1. I had to laugh SO HARD at this post (I found it doing a google search) as I have had some recent online run-ins with the same guy - good lord, he has an opinion on EVERYTHING, doesn't he?