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Norm and Gord Discuss…

This monthly column features a titillating discussion between brothers Norman and Gordon McLuhan from Moose Jaw. This month’s column is sponsored by Tumblr. Want to avoid all the politics and just focus on the fan art depicting your favourite fictional characters in some, how should we say this, less than PG positions and scenarios? Try Tumblr.

50 Shades of Grey

Norm: Hi there. I’m Norm McLuhan and this is my brother, Gord –

Gord: Hi there.

Norm: – and today, we’re discussing, oh.

Gord: What’s wrong, Norm.

Norm: It’s just…I don’t want to.

Gord: Why? What’s the topic?

Norm: [Unintelligible]

Gord: What?

Norm: 50 Shades of Grey.

Gord: Oh.

Norm: Yeah.

Gord: …

Norm: …

Gord: The books or the movies.

Norm: Does it really matter, Gord?

Gord: Well–

Norm: As far as I know, they both have a line about being 50 shades of fucked up.

Gord: But–

Norm: It’s not even a saying. It’s just a play on the title.

Gord: Don’t you think it’s just a little bit impressive that this woman wrote a bestseller on her Blackberry?

Norm: …

Gord: …

Norm: No. This has been Norm and Gord –

Gord: I watched the movie for the articles.

Norm: – discussing 50 Shades of Grey.



Norm: Ho there. I’m Norm McLuhan and this is my brother, Gord –

Gord: Hi there.

Norm: – and today, we’re discussing Textualism.

Gord: Is that a kind of art-style or somethin, Norm?

Norm: I don’t think so, Gord. Producer Gary is tellin’ me it’s one of the two primary competing theories for how the Judiciary, specifically the Supreme Court, should interpret the United States Constitution.

Gord: Huh?

Norm: Basically, Textualists or Originalists think that the laws set out in the US Constitution should only mean what they meant when the Constitution was originally drafted.

Gord: So, they do things like limit gun ownership to old-timey muskets that can only fire one highly ineffective round every few minutes? That seems pretty sensible.

Norm: Well, no because the Framers would have wanted every citizen to have a military-grade assault rifle. It’s not their fault the definition of “arms” has changed so much in the past two centuries.

Gord: So, they don’t just take the letter of the law as it pertained to life in the early 19th Century and apply it to our 21st Century world.

Norm: Exactly. They interpret the law in the way the Framers would want them to if they were alive today.

Gord: So that must mean that they read a whole lot of writings and speeches from the people who wrote those laws to determine the spirit of the law.

Norm: Well…

Gord: What?

Norm: They sort of…ignore supplemental writings unless those writings support the position the interpreter is arguing for.

Gord: Well that can’t be true.

Norm: No, it’s definitely true. Given the Framers recognized that they couldn’t begin to try to govern a world they had no possible way of imagining leading them to explicitly state that the Constitution was a living document whose meaning needed to change as the country changed, meaning that Textualism itself opposes the ideals of the people it swears it holds in the highest regard.

Gord: So, they just make up intentions for people who have been dead for hundreds of years and then use those intentions to justify their personal opinions of what the Constitution really means?

Norm: Pretty much. This has been Norm and Gord –

Gord: So, Textualist Legal Opinions are basically Constitutional Fan Fictions.

Norm: – discussing Textualism.


Norm: Hi there. I’m Norm McLuhan and this is my brother, Gord –

Gord: Hey there.

Norm: – and today, we’re discussing Shipping.

Gord: Just shipping, Norm?

Norm: Yep, Gord. Just shipping.

Gord: Huh?

Norm: What’s wrong, Gord?

Gord: Nothin’, Norm. I just sort of thought Shipping was normally accompanied by Handling.

Norm: Ah, Gord, ya hosehead. That’s Shipping. Today, we’re talkin’ ‘bout Shipping.

Gord: You’re the hosehead, hosehead. Ya just said the same word twice.

Norm: I s’pose I did, didn’t I? Sorry ‘bout that, Gord. Today, we’re talkin’ ‘bout the tendency of fans of “Ship” characters from their favourite books n’ movies together.

Gord: But what does that mean, Norm?

Norm: Well, they write fan fictions about characters starting relationships with each other.

Gord: Well that seems like harmless fun.

Norm: And sometimes they write erotic fan fiction where characters start havin’ the sex with each other.

Gord: Ok, that seems like it might get a little weird or creepy but I guess they aren’t hurting anyone.

Norm: And one character will probably be part of multiple “Ships” so fans’ll start really heated, mildly bigoted “debates” online about which Ship is better.

Gord: …

Norm: …

Gord: The internet was a mistake.

Norm: …

Gord: …

Norm: I think you’ve said that before.

Gord: This has been Gord and Norm –


Gord: – discussing Shipping.