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If you’re happy and you know it, don’t clap your hands

By Marcel Strigberger

Here is the latest on what some of the scholars of higher learning on campus are up to. No this isn’t Berkley; it’s England.

Firstly, the students’ union at Manchester University has resolved to ban clapping. The reason for this ban is inclusion. You see they conclude that clapping may cause anxiety to some members of the audience. In its stead, they ask that students applaud by waving their hands over their heads. This expression of approval is apparently called “jazz hands.” In fact, the union plans to make jazz hands part of its inclusive training for new students. OK.

In all fairness to Manchester U, the National Union of Students voted last year that students who clap, cheer or whoop should “face consequences.” I trust when the resolution was passed none present, perish the thought, clapped. I don’t know. They may have already been arrested and taken to Stonehenge to face consequences.

Not to be outdone Oxford University, yes the Oxford, has an equality and diversity unit that issued guidance to students advising them that those who avoided eye contact with peers could be guilty of racism. Actually, this one could be dangerous. During that Oxford-Cambridge boat race, there is a good chance that while the Cambridge rowers are facing forward, the Oxford gang might run aground as they are busy looking left, trying to eyeball their Cambridge peers.

I am no longer in practice but given the climate today, if the Law Society of Ontario operating out of the 18th century Osgoode Hall building, or for that matter the governing body of lawyers or other professionals anywhere, gets wind of some of this progressive action it will not be too long until lawyers and others here will be facing similar pleasantries. I don’t know about you but even if it would earn me the required equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) brownie points, I would not care to attend another mandatory seminar and have some very solemn person show me how to wave my hands around over my head. “Now ladies, gentlemen and all others, let’s all stand up and raise our hands high…”

I suppose if after the seminar as I leave I fail to eyeball him, her or whoever, consequences worthy of a racist would follow. The instructor pushes a button and I fall through a trap door. I then have to spend days trying to wind my way through the labyrinth Osgoode Hall basement. Friends, it may be coming soon to an organization near you.

To top it all off the University of Glasgow started trigger warnings for theology students about to study about the crucifix toon of Jesus. Students will be told in advances they may see disturbing images. They will be given that opportunity to leave the classroom. Phew.

Hey, the facts are what the facts are. What do they expect? It’s not as if the Romans offered Jesus a cup of hemlock.

In my view, if we are concerned about the negativities and vicissitudes of life, let’s expand this EDI stuff. I have a personal gripe. I am an avid Montreal Canadians (Habs) hockey fan. The other night the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Canadians in overtime. The winning goal triggered anxiety. I was beside myself. I believe legislation should come in ruling that every time the Habs lose this dramatically, the winning goal should not count. Just play on till the Canadians score. It will certainly make me feel included.

If you enjoyed these comments, feel free to show your approval. But watch out how you do it.

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