5/15/2007

Power to the Home-Schooled Kid

This open letter to the Premier was written by Jesse Fontaine, 14, from Timmins. A kid this articulate doesn't need any added opinion from me.
(h/t: Angry

I am a home-schooled Christian, living in Timmins. I am currently completing Grade 8, have an interest in politics and last year won the Short Story Category at The Daily Press Literary Awards.

My interest in politics is based on the fact that it is my generation that will have to take care of our world after your generation passes the torch on to us.

I am extremely concerned about the message that your "FLICK OFF" environmental campaign sends to us as young citizens of Ontario.

Rex Murphy was doing a piece on it when I first became aware of the "FLICK OFF" program.

My family and I thought it was a joke set up by "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" or some other similar group.

When we realized it was actually a government of Ontario endorsed program I was shocked and appalled that the government of Ontario would think they needed to relate such a vulgar term to young people in order to have them recognize environmental issues. It truly saddened me and I asked my parents why the government would think that.

They told me I should ask you.

I have seen our Ontario Government's Environmental website, then we visited the
flickoff.org" target="_blank">www.flickoff.org website and saw the intentionally modified font, meant to ensure that the people of Ontario and the world for that matter, saw it as vulgarity that would normally be unacceptable.

I observed that the links on the website such as "ARE WE FLICKED," "WHO NEEDS TO FLICK OFF," and "GO FLICK YOURSELF" convey a message that I, for one and many others, would not associate with a need to conserve energy.

The "NATIONAL FLICK FEST" left the same impression of our current government with me as did the "FLICK OFF" video - not good.

From my parents, to David Suzuki, Discovery Channel and the other more intelligent sources of information available, I already understand the importance of energy conservation.

I have attended Queen's Park as a part of my home-school studies and have an elementary understanding of the process in which the provincial government functions. Based on that knowledge I cannot understand why you, as our premier, or one of your other ministers did not stop this stupidity before it was launched. Can you explain that to me please?

There must be a better way to relay the importance of conserving energy to young people without throwing our morals and values out the window to do so.

Regardless of what a person's religious beliefs or values are, surely the majority of Ontario's Canadians would not see the actions of your environment minister as wise or even as acceptable.

I am confident that the Canadian flag which currently flies from the flag pole that I set up in our yard, stands for a higher moral standard than those used by your Minister in establishing the method chosen to communicate with us in the "FLICK OFF" program.

I see now that corporations, such as Mac's convenience stores, M&M Meats and Subway appear to be foolishly following the message of Ontario's current government, which is that the best way to communicate with young people is through association with vulgarity. Today I saw a large poster in the window of Mac's convenience store, it was posted under the Subway sign and depicted a Catholic nun on her knees reaching up to a glowing image of a froster cup with "WTF?" on it. There's a lamb or goat kneeling beside the nun. There's one at M&M Meats as well.

According to a Mac's convenience stores representative, the "WTF" is supposed to stand for "WHAT'S THE FLAVOUR" but we all know that the "WTF" on the cup implies the vulgar phrase "WHAT THE FLICK" (I used "Flick" because I don't use the "F" word that Mac's, M&M Meats and Subway intentionally, or otherwise, represent with the "F" in the "WTF" so proudly posted at their stores.)

We all realize(at least I hope we all do) that if the message was meant to be "what's the flavour?" the Nun and the goat/lamb worshipping the froster cup should not be required; the message is clear and I believe meant to be blasphemous.

I am shocked, embarrassed and angered that your cabinet, and now it appears Mac's, M&M Meats and Subway; believe that the young people of Ontario are so utterly stupid that the only way to communicate with them is to use the "F" word or other vulgar phrases like that. Can you do two things for me please?

First I would like an answer from you explaining how the "FLICK OFF" campaign was permitted under your leadership. Did not even one member of your cabinet have the common sense to see that telling Ontario to "FLICK OFF" was a bad idea?

Secondly, will you please have the "FLICK OFF" program scrapped and removed from the Internet before more ad agencies come to believe that association with vulgarity is the best communication method for conveying messages to the young people of Canada.

Jesse Fontaine,

Timmins

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