Tag Archive | responsibility

Ready to pass The Ball?

All across New Zealand, High Schools are gearing up for Ball season. It’s a curious event The School Ball, generations have experienced it. I’m from a time when we actually had to formal dance and I was secretly delighted having been sent to ballroom dancing lessons and couldn’t wait to show off my skills. But I’m not sure if that is something young people miss or want, I’d be interested to find out. If we are going to hold onto such a tradition should we be making more of an effort to hold onto some of the rituals that came with The Ball up until a few years ago. Some of the markers of the modern ball are schools recognising that not everyone wants to take someone of the opposite sex and I think this is a change worth celebrating.

I do know, that regardless of your date, a lot of effort goes into preparing. It is a chance to dress up for a night and some of the worries about the big night are just the same. Do parents still give ‘the talk?’ and the ‘curfew’ or has the age of technology enabled a more fluid kind of arrangement? I know we never had ‘the Police talk’ but then our ‘after ball’ was a few mates around with the record player/tape deck (now there is a generation marker for you) turned up loud. I’ve got a feeling after balls have taken on a whole new meaning or am I missing something? What does The School Ball actually mean to young people and do we still need it? What do parents think of it? Is the After Ball actually more important? And how is technology influencing the capturing of the moment the good the bad and the ‘ugly.’  Read More…

Obligation — where does it come from?

Most people would say they feel obligated as a result of someone else’s expectation(s) of them. That’s no surprise when you look at the dictionary definition:

an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment: [ with infinitive ] : I have an obligation to look after her.

• [ mass noun ] the condition of being morally or legally bound to do something: they are under no obligation to stick to the scheme.

• a debt of gratitude for a service or favour: she didn’t want to be under an obligation to him.

• [ Law ] a binding agreement committing a person to a payment or other action.

Morality, legal binding, that’s pretty weighty stuff. Here’s another way of thinking about obligation that, for me, feels easier to swallow: Read More…

In defence of Justin Bieber and other child celebrities

Justin Bieber

I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the rather ugly responses to Justin Bieber’s misdemeanours over the last few days. Sure, some of the reactions have been comical, like this YouTube video, and RuPaul’s tweet of his rather beautifully made-up mugshot (I’ve just been told it’s transphobic — no offence intended).

But a 100,000-signature petition to have him deported from the US, for doing something that a good many, if not most, teenage boys do, seems pretty mean-spirited and exaggerated to me. Particularly as Americans have, until now, been happy to claim him as their own (I didn’t even know he was Canadian until this hit the news).

The blatant exploitation of child celebrities by the music, film and television industry has never sat well with me. Michael Jackson is a classic example of what happens when children are exposed to the crazy hype of modern entertainment from too early an age. Read More…