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Happy Dominion Day

. . . no, not Canada Day, but Dominion Day, the true name of the day that commemorates Confederation, the founding of our country, whose full, legal name is the Dominion of Canada. Its ersatz replacement, “Canada Day” or “Jour Fete du Canada”, was passed one late Friday after noon in Parliament but less than the thirteen member legal quorum by Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals.

It will never be “Canada Day,” at least not in my heart, damn it!

And that’s not the worst of it. Beginning with his predecessor, Lester Pearson, Canada’s traditions have been destroyed, one by one, by the Liberals, starting with the flag. Canada’s true historical flag is the Red Ensign, with a Union Jack in the upper right, for the simple reason that Canada was and is a British product, but all traces of our British heritage are being removed, starting with the flag, now replaced by that insipid red maple leaf.

And why attack our British heritage? Supposedly because it offended French Canadians, and subsequently because it was deemed not inclusive enough for newer, non-British immigrants.

It is beyond ironic that, in the name of multiculturalism, which is supposedly so inclusive and respective of people’s heritage, the Left is working so hard to exclude the British component our national heritage?

Can you say “hypocrisy”?

A full catalogue of the process is simply too painful to type out, so here is a summary:

  • replacing the flag
  • changing the national anthem (can’t mention the Queen, now, can we . .  . ?)
  • changing our system of weights and measures (from British to – drum roll, please! – French)
  • changing the name of the country (from the “Dominion of Canada” to plain old “Canada” because “Dominion” was thought to sound too British – it’s not; “Dominion” is a Canadian invention)
  • changed the name of the national holiday (can’t have that pesky old Dominion, now, can we . . . ?)
  • erased symbols of the Monarchy wherever possible (stamps, money, the names of the armed forces and Crown corporations . . . Papa Trudeau even tried to get rid of the “Royal” in “Royal Canadian Mounted Police”)
  • And yes, I could go on . . .

And where does it all lead? To the Republic of Canada, sans (French chosen to make a point) all traces of our British heritage in order to fully realize Trudeau the Lesser’s Brave New World of the New Multicultural World Order. Little Justin has already gone on record as saying that “Canada has no core traditions” and so is destined to be “the world’s first post national state”.

And so, what is there to celebrate for a traditional Canadian?

Not much.

The Pendulum Swings

Remember Roger Miller’s song “England Swings?”

England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy-red cheeks of the little children

 

Lots of fun.

I have witnessed the rise of political correctness over the past fifty years – ruefully, I might add. We have gone from the witch hunts of McCarthyism to the witch hunts of so-called human rights tribunals.

Back in the 1950s, in the United States, you could get hauled up in front of the Senate’s Committee on Un-American Activities,  and lose your reputation and your livelihood for being a “communist” (the definition was pretty loose). Dark days, indeed, with those in power racing to outdo each other in trying ferret out communists, but it could’t last; the pendulum had to swing back sooner or later, and it surely did by the 1960s – with a vengeance, but it started before then: there was a moment when its progress slowed and came to a quivering halt before it started to trace its return journey.

When was it? When McCarthy failed to uncover a single communist in the State Department, which he had asserted was a veritable nest of communists.

We have seen the same abuse of personal freedom happen in the rise of political correctness, from equality (which  was only fair) to equity (which was anything but), from equal opportunity (which no-one can argue against) to so-called “equity” of outcome, necessitating the reverse discrimination of affirmative action – quotas, in other words, that discriminated against able-bodied, heterosexual, white men.

Concurrently, came the rise of globalization with ever-increasing immigration, official multiculturalism, and the weakening of national borders through lax enforcement, international treaties and inequitable trade deals.

Oh, yes, the pendulum swung mightily.

In the name of inclusiveness, Western civilization came under direct attack. How often, when I was a teacher, did I hear the cry that our curriculum was too “Eurocentric”? But we are a Western nation, and the contributions of Europe are a key part of our heritage.

Oops! Wrong heritage!

For years now, I have waited to see the pendulum slow and stop and begin its return trip to the centre.

And now I have seen it.

And its name is “Brexit”.

The majority in Great Britain went against its political elite, those who are the side of globalization and political correctness, to reassert their national sovereignty against the EU bureaucracy that was bleeding it away. This is not just my theory. News commentary and editorialists are consistently painting it that way.

The majority were so alarmed by immigrants who wanted to change the British way of life (not to mention migrants who included jihadis) and madness of paying for other countries who leeched from them (think Greece) or dictated to them (think Germany). They wanted a return to a sensible English way of life, to preserve their traditions, and to be safe.

Resoundingly so. In England, they won everywhere but London, which is rife with immigrants and those who depend on international business interests.

Brexit constituted the stop of the pendulum’s swing.

The beginning of its return journey will surely be heralded by Donald Trump’s election in November. And then? People who have been silenced by being called names like “racist”, “bigot”, and so on, will speak up, more and more. Politicians (like Trump) will appear who will give them someone to vote for – even here in politically correct Canada. Rob Ford was an early taste of that.

It’s inevitable and unstoppable because that’s how history works.

If I were Justin Trudeau, I would be getting nervous.

But he’s too arrogant and probably not smart enough to figure that out for himself.

So I woke up feeling good this morning. Freedom is coming, and I await it eagerly. It will take awhile, but . . .

. . . it’s coming.

A Healthy Ego

First of all, let me apologize for the relative paucity of posts – this is the first one in about two months. I have had some health issues, but they are being resolved, and I anticipate a full recovery in not too long. I intend to use this time for revamping my diet and other routines so that I can avoid a decrepit last few decades of human life before I move on to the next stage, so it’s not entirely a bad thing. Sadly, it’s also another opportunity to see, first hand, how ridiculous our public health system is, but happily, I do not have to rely on my GP but see a first rate practitioner of orthomolecular medicine who costs extra but really knows his stuff.

If you follow my blog, you know how I feel about the human ego. I do not subscribe to the New Age (and other spiritual traditions) fondness for the egoless state. It’s unhealthy and impossible to achieve.

The ego is a wily beast: try to push it down and pretend you’ve gotten rid of it, and it simply finds tricky ways to reassert itself. I have actually heard people brag about how humble they are!

Of course, the opposite approach, allowing the ego to dominate your life, is just as harmful, and will probably make you – pardon me – a real asshole.

The best thing is to realize that the ego has its rightful place as a locus of consciousness, free will, and so, and to allow it do its job. Even the decision to try to be more humble is a choice and thus a function of ego, after all.

The trick, I think, is realize that there are other components to your psyche and to give them their due also. The names we give them may differ, but we need to give our “higher” nature some scope, as well as our “lower”. Do something selfless and reward yourself with a nice glass of whatever (for instance). I use that example lightheartedly, but also for the grain of truth it contains.

For me, there is one activity that guarantees a balanced, and yes, more humble psyche: being a minister of communion at my church.

It is something that I have chosen to do, so my ego must have bought into it on some level, and my “higher” self certainly feels good about it. I love that my only function, my entire reason for being there is to serve others, but it is not a denial of self so much as it is a choice to engage my self in that fashion. I love seeing the faces of people, people I might never talk to, coming up, all different types (teens, seniors, children, alcoholics, athletes, tradesmen . . .) all wanting to be in closer communion with God, and knowing that my whole reason (indeed my only reason) for being there is to help facilitate it.

Service is beautiful and liberating, and it serves as a powerful counterweight to the potential abuses of the ego. Jesus said, “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be the servant of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Imagine, God, having a sure sense of who He is (ego) came to earth to serve, not through a denial of His own ego, but by choosing, through that ego (or sense of self), to dedicate Himself to something that He considered to be even greater.

Surely, a role model worth trusting.

Rob Ford was, in most ways, an ordinary guy. He was “everyman” in the old Medieval morality plays.

The general populace recognized that, which is exactly why he was both loved and hated.

A lot of people are ordinary. The average IQ is 100, which means that half the population has an IQ lower than 100. Similarly, half the population makes less than $50K/year. And yes, guys, half of women have less than average sized breasts. (For modesty’s sake, I will not tell the ladies something that might be equally of concern to some of them).

In other words (and without going into stupefying detail), most of us are ordinary (or less) in most respects.

Rob Ford was fat, but lots of people are fat. Lots of people work in factories or hold other, less than stellar employment, and Rob Ford, who ran a family business, knew them as a caring employer.

Rob Ford, to use a cliche, never lost the common touch. He was at home with ordinary people because he was himself an ordinary person, in most regards, and many of them loved him for it. They were the major component of the phenomenon which the media dubbed “Ford Nation”. He catered to them with his life’s blood, and they loved him for that, too. No surprise there.

But not everybody loved him, especially the elite: people who are horrified of being ordinary (and secretly fear that they are). They reviled him and, secretly, the population he represented. They are profoundly uncomfortable with those who have been called “the great unwashed”. And they especially hated Rob Ford because he dared to become Mayor.

Accordingly, they treated him very, very badly. In another setting, it would be recognized as harassment, abuse, cruelty. It was shameless and gleeful.

It brought out his demons. He cracked – no pun intended. He fell. And they celebrated, publicly or privately.

The left, who pride themselves on their sensitivity, tormented him, both politicians and our left-leaning media.

The who spectacle was sickening.

Finally, he got himself together, but he was stricken by cancer, and eventually succumbed.

Cancer, like all diseases, thrives in a body where the immune system is weak, and the mind/body relationship that underlies our physical existence being what it is, an abused individual, both from the outside (and eventually from his own attempts at escape via substance abuse), will succumb to any of a variety of diseases, including cancer.

In a very real sense, I believe that the angry left and the self-loathing elite killed Rob Ford.

And to me, he is a martyr.

God bless you, Rob, and may your rest in peace.

All You Need Is Love

This afternoon, as I was washing the floors, everything became blindingly obvious to me – it’s funny how things become clear when we do housework. They say that Buddha achieved enlightenment sitting under a bodhi tree, but maybe that just sounds better than doing the dishes. For me, the greatest realizations seem to come when I am doing repetitive tasks: painting, gardening, housework . . .

This afternoon, I came to understand the meaning of life, its real purpose, the reason I am here. I think I always did, but, as St. Paul put it, “through a glass darkly”, as if reflected in a low quality mirror (as was the case back in those days of polished metal).

And that meaning, that purpose, that reason is simply this: love.

Love.

That’s it.

And I know that’s true because when it passes the sniff test, which, for me, is this: how will I feel about this when I am taking my last breath? Will I feel this way when I am dying?

Oh, I like and do other things besides love and being loved, and I think that I would get pretty bored without them. I love writing words and music – but maybe that’s just another kind of love. I like my house: it’s small and modest, but it’s enough for me, and I like being here. I could continue with a whole list of things I like, but I’m not sure that any of them will matter to me when I leave them behind, except maybe a few songs I’m glad I wrote.

I was never fortunate enough to be able to raise children of my own, but I was lucky enough to be allowed to help someone else with theirs in recent years, and it changed my life. I have two beautiful god-daughters, nine and three, and they mean more to me than I can say. The closest I ever came to it, once, was saying to their mother, “I may not have children, but I DO have grandchildren.”

I am especially close to Abbie, the older sister, maybe because I got to know her first, and have known her longer, and she’s coming here tonight for me to babysit. We’ll watch “Supergirl” (her favourite show), play some board games, do a little music (I’m teaching her piano), and talk.

She’s a great kid, and I love her, and I make sure that I tell her those things often because I know how important it is for a person to hear that. She hears it from her parents, but I figure hearing it from her honorary grandfather, too, can’t hurt.

I don’t ever remember hearing that from my own parents, so I’m glad that she hears it from hers, and I know that that lack in my own childhood had its effect on me, one that Abbie will never have to deal with.

I guess you learn something by seeing how important it is when it’s there and also when it’s not, or at least its expression is absent. I know that my parents loved me, but it would have been nice to hear it, too.

And I suppose part of my life’s purpose is supply that expression when I can.

It’s not an original thought. Brene Brown said it rather well: “We’re hard-wired for connection; it’s the reason we’re here.” The Beatles, “All you need is love,” is as true as the message of all the world religions.

And when everything else is gone, as one day it will be, that will be the only thing that matters.

Amazing!

It’s amazing what you can do when you have no choice.

(Yeah, that’s it.)

Thanks for the Socks!

This morning, I got a pretty clear indication that I am old; in fact, I would go so far as to say that it was an unequivocal sign that I have crossed the boundary from middle age to old – albeit just.

And what would that be?

I got a kick out of trying on some new socks that I got as a Christmas present.

Usually, when people asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I didn’t know what to ask for; in fact, I didn’t even know what I wanted to receive except that I wanted to be surprised, so I said, “Surprise me.” No-one looked particularly satisfied with my very honest answer, but there’s no accounting for taste, as they say. I mean, what did they want me to do? Lie to them?

I guess that was the last vestige of my youth – the wish to be surprised – having its last hurrah because this year, I had a whole different answer:

Socks.

I just love them; indeed, I adore them with an almost – dare I say it? – childlike delight, so maybe old age really is one’s proverbial second childhood.

Merry Christmas everyone.

(And thanks for the socks!)

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