Thursday, August 24, 2006

Equality and Identity (poor Pluto)

Photo from

Our solar system is in complete disarray. Indeed, with Pluto being unceremoniously excommunicated from the planetary alliance, our troubles do in fact stretch further and wider than a couple of strips of land in the Middle East. If we're not careful, the Milky Way may be banished to a parallel universe. Given all this domestic and intergalactic strife, I was stunned to hear an hour of talk radio this morning ostensibly devoted to that most pressing of issues - the organization of the tribes on the coming season of Survivor.

And then a caller touched upon one of my numerous pet peeves. You see, apparently this year, the tribes will be separated by race (or skin colour, call it what you will). Someone called in to the show to express their disgust at this notion, and proceeded to explain how this was distressing in a time when we were supposed to have learned to be colour-blind. Okay, so he didn't put it quite like that - he said that we should look at all people the same way, and not even notice their colour.

Therein lies the crux of the problem. We simply don't seem to understand what the notion of egalitarianism is supposed to be. We think that to be equal means to be the same. Instead of celebrating, embracing and accepting all people, brown, white or black, we instead march relentlessly down a path that leads us to a planet filled with people who are all a sort of beigey-grey colour.

It's not just around racial equality that this happens either - the same applies to gender equality, age equality, and probably intellectual capacity too.

If we achieve our implicit goals, the human race will be entirely comprised of 35 year old, grey-skinned, esperanto speaking hermaphrodites who are all 5 foot 11, weigh 175 pounds and have IQ's of 100. We will all reproduce with ourselves, and our offspring will all be identical as well. But hey, at least we'll all be equal, right? Unless we're from Pluto of course, in which case we no longer count.

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