I never thought I’d say this but I hate Canada. It’s gone nuts in every possible way. Here’s the most recent example, and don’t worry, it’s not even about COVID. It’s way beyond that.
The largest professional association in Canada is holding its annual conference virtually. That’s OK, everybody is online, whatever. But the idiot Canadians have come up with a new wrinkle. We can’t just give our talks on Zoom, like all other conferences. No, that would be too out of control.
Instead, people have to record videos of themselves speaking weeks in advance, send them to the organizers, organizers will send them to moderators, and on the day of the actual conference –
– and I want everybody to pause and imagine this –
– we’ll sit in silence, watching the videos of ourselves and others being played by a moderator. Then, everybody will be kicked off the platform because God forbid anybody should let an unscripted, unapproved word or two escape their lips.
That’s it. That’s the conference. This format was chosen after a gigantic scandal where our organization accused everybody in other scholarly organizations (that wanted a normal virtual conference) of being racist.
I’m not speaking at this conference. I mean, nobody is speaking, but I’m not speaking through video either. I’m a moderator who plays the fucken videos. I agreed as a favor to a group of young scholars who wanted me there as a big name. I feel bad for them, me, and scholarship.