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Trampoline Hall's Idealistic Approach

Trampoline Hall, the monthly lecture series given by speakers who are not professionally expert on their topics, tried to get idealistic last night. That was the plan anyway. The night's stated theme was "ideals & idealism". The first two speakers however, seemed more concerned with the dangers of idealism.

Murray Enkin, a former obstetrician, elaborated on seven stages of ignorance and the value of not taking one's self too seriously. The seven stages boil down to and culminate in a graceful acceptance of life's uncertainties. They're meant to apply to everyone, though Enkin admitted that people acting convincingly like they know everything, are sometimes hard to disprove. Likable and self-deprecating, Enkin seemed to embody the values of graceful acceptance he promoted.

Growing old gracefully was ideal to the night's second speaker as well. Timothy Comeau recalled his grandfathers fondness, in later life, for tea and crackers before bed and cited it as part of his personal vision of "the good life". Comeau offered up personal conceptions of "the good life" as a replacement for religious, set in stone morality. He shied from any hierarchical ranking of morals or enforcement of a community standard. While his own ideal life, that of a vegan cyclist, seemed firmly at odds with the thrill seeking speed boaters he suggested as embodying a different sort of "good life", Comeau preached only understanding and tolerance in the face of difference. When pressed, he did hint towards some vague Do No Harm principle. I couldn't help feel that this approach would have to involve banning oil dependent thrill seeking and setting morality in stone anew, if a more environmental vision were to prevail. Yet I was made to feel that if I want to steal from the rich and give to the poor, begin a round of well planned political assassinations or force people to like good music that thats something wrong with me.

Amy C. Lam, the night's final presenter, talked about money and garbage and losing your wallet in garbage. She had a very strong visual presentation with an actual bag of garbage and a vietnamese soup spoon, but I was completely mystified as to the point of the presentation.

Regardless, it was great fun listening to each speaker and participating in the Q&A's that followed. The night even wrapped up early enough for me to come home and have some tea and crackers before bed.

*Trampoline Hall takes place every month on the second floor of Sneaky Dee's restaurant.

**photo by laurent_croquemonsieur on flickr


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