Imperial Defamation

I’ve had it up to here with being lied to by politicians. I’m through with being cheated by businesses. I’m fed up with being shut out of the conversation. My generation has been betrayed. We won’t be treated like second-class citizens anymore. It’s time this country lived up to its obligations.

It’s metric or nothing.

I don’t know what a Farenheit is. I’ve never met a gallon, although I know there are at least two kinds. My doctor records my height in meters and my mass in kilograms. Temperature is degrees centigrade, speed is clicks, and mileage is kilometers. I buy my salmon in grams and my mangos in kilos.

This is what we were taught in school. This is what we grew up with. The people I meet every day are from metric countries: China, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Iran. Even America, ever the last country to accept modernity, made metric official over a hundred years ago. The old fogies here who insist on imperial measures truly are that – imperial. They dream of forcing their idiosyncratic traditions on a world that has moved on.

At one time, so that customers could fairly compare prices, governments instituted standard weights and measures for goods sold in stores. Today, cheese and deli meat are sold in grams – usually. Fruit and vegetables and fish and other meat are sold in kilos in some places, pounds in others. What is cheaper – salmon at 5.89 a pound or 13.99 a kilo? How much does it cost to list metric on every sign? How much does it cost to build a satellite which misses?

This is my country. It is an international country. A cosmopolitan country. A metric country. There is only one response to the imperialists in our midst. If French Quebec can do it, we can too. Until there is metric on every sign, we will fight. Support the Imperial Defamation League. You have nothing to lose but your pounds.

A friend suggested doing something comic but serious about the metric situation in Canada, something like Adbusters. We would call it the Imperial Defamation League.

2004-07-28

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