The Ottawa transit strike is thankfully over. What is not over is bus-related debate: Today the discussion on my morning news station was whether or not it was right or wrong for Ottawa transit to say no to the atheist ads going around. In fact, it’s the substance of this CFRA Soundoff Poll. I just voted, in favour of free speech. (That side is losing, by a long shot.)
But while we’re at it–take a look at these ads, also, travelling about the city on Ottawa busses. I have not a sweet clue what they are trying to say. The Gods of Rock compel women to iron? The Gods of Rock will get you pregnant, seems to be the theme–and will make you morose. Either way, I find these ads somewhat offensive but also just plain dumb. I’m quite sure I’m not their target audience–the question remains: who is?
To summarize–in Ottawa atheists are out, pregnant ladies are in.
Tanya adds: I almost hate to point out that the target audience for The Gods of Rock ad is men. Not all men, of course…but some men. And keep in mind, it has nothing to do with having children, but everything to do with getting them pregnant. Very classy.
Patricia says: I agree with Andrea that it is not up to OC Transpo to decide which issues merit public debate and by which means that debate should be generated. I would of course draw the line at public decency, although that seems a laughable limit given the “Gods of Rock” ads or the ones for “dating” services that I see on the TTC here in the Big Smoke. Most times that I take my children on the TTC, I long for blindfolds to avoid the “what is that ad for, Mama?” questions. It does seem to me that if these ads are an acceptable way of generating public debate, so are these.
I would be curious to see how many of the atheist/humanist free speech advocates would be arguing for buses to carry these ads, previously barred from the Hamilton transit system (see Andrea’s post). Or are they only interested in using provocative measures to encourage public debate about the non-existence of God? (Or am I being too cynical?)by