Poles Apart

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.
Voltaire

America is lost, because of all the things that America already has lost – empathy, acceptance, sympathy, good manners, ego control, anger management, social justice, patience, understanding, and public civility and discourse.

It has become a nation of whining, exclusionist, pushy, cancel-culture, entitled, thugs.  The attitude is everywhere – in politics, religion and day-to-day social interaction.  The give-and-take is all gone, replaced by take! take! take!  They advocate #MeToo, but it’s all Me, Me, Me!

The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.

No-one takes the time to consider others as individuals, especially ones with valid opinions of their own.  Everyone else is just reduced to labels.  It is far easier to shout names at people, than it is to critically think.  Tribalism runs rampant.

Woke: a selfish ridiculous attitude towards anything, by people who feel undervalued and have the need to express themselves obnoxiously without regard for others.

Their guiding principal is “never let a crisis go to waste.”  Only in times of a pandemic, a national quarantine, or volatile race relations, can the new, upscale, leftist revolutionaries use fear to push through policies that no-one could stomach in normal times.

They hate dissent.  They try to destroy anyone who questions their media-spun hoaxes.  Truth is their enemy, and fear is their weapon.  George Orwell warned about 1984.  It’s a little late, but 1984 is upon us.

A hundred years ago, politicians referred to members of other parties as, The Honorable Member, or, The Respected Mister ….  They were Opponents – equals; they just didn’t want to do things ‘our way.’   Soon though, Honor and Respect disappeared.  Those who had been Opponents, became Adversaries.  In the 1960s and ‘70s, Adversaries became Enemies.  There’s no Go along, to get along.  Death threats are now the accepted form of political statement.

Over at the Temple of Peace, Love, and Acceptance, things aren’t any better.  A Christian College has been denied accreditation as a school by the Department of Education, rendering any diplomas invalid.  Their publicly posted mission statement clearly states who they will discriminate against.  An Op-Ed letter quoted the president, saying that he loved everybody, but would not accept that Catholics, Muslims and LGBTQ+ views were truthful, and then ironically demanded equality and fairness.  I was going to fire off a superheated rebuttal, but didn’t, when I realized that I could boil my reply down to two words.  YOU FIRST!!

There’s another Civil War brewing in America.  This time, it won’t be the North against the South – exactly.  It may become a schism between the Red States, and the Blue States, or the Bible Belt against the Quietly Spiritual.  I would hate to see that happen, because the only thing that keeps public culture safely in the middle of the social bell curve, is the fact that each side balances the other out.  If there’s a split, no matter which side you opt for, with the best of intentions, the brakes are off.  It’s a long slide down that slippery slope.

We’ve lost the ability to disagree with one another, without trying to cancel each other out. Woke is the new religion.  Statues come down, and schools must be renamed.  It is the ultimate conceit to apply today’s truths retroactively.   Quite soon, a Theocracy or Oligarchy will form, which will make Nazi Germany or Communist Russia look like a day-spa.  It won’t be pretty, kids.  Be careful what you wish for.  Pandora’s box isn’t quite empty.   😯

WOW #73

Oops! This is the wrong catchpole.

I’d like to introduce you to a fine, upstanding pair of brother-words.  They don’t get out much anymore.  They’ve gone into semi-retirement because of the constant suffusion into everyday English usage, of valley-girl-speak, obvs.

Our protective pair for this week are

CATCHPOLE

and

TIPSTAFF

Catchpole: (formerly) a petty officer of justice, especially one arresting persons for debt.
Tipstaff: a staff tipped with metal, formerly carried as a badge of office, as by a constable.
any official who carried such a staff.

Gone are the days when these boys, and their Italian cousin, Fasces, could implement some social wellbeing by applying a few stripes across a few backs and butts, and some knots on some heads.  (Therefore, knotheads.)

I was gratified by the recent decisions to use riot-geared police, complete with two-foot truncheons, to finally bring an end to both the Ottawa Freedom Convoy, and the Windsor/Detroit bridge blockade.  Police showed remarkable restraint.  They barely had to use their billy-clubs.  I thought that a few more heads could have been cracked, to engender some good manners and social responsibility.

Society is a constant pendulum – from too restrictive, to too lenient.  This current Woke/cancel culture/snowflake – nobody even gets their feelings hurt, much less their ass, or their head – has swung too far into permissive.   I don’t want police beatings in the street, any more than I don’t want guys being shot for driving while black.  But there’s gotta be some workable middle ground.

If I set up a Patreon account, Tipstaff is what you could do.  Until then, I’ll just be happy if you have Uber-Eats deliver another helping of my rants in a couple of days.  😀

Woke Up, Kitchener!

I had hoped that all this Woke Society/Cancel Culture, delusional fad-du-jour would remain in the Excited States.  Alas, t’was not to be.  This is the Information Age, which means that it’s on the internet, and spreading faster than COVID.  It has wafted North across the border, and settled on Canada like wildfire smoke, including in my usually staid, sane-thinking Kitchener.

The first symptom developed a couple of years ago, when a local artist donated a bronze statue of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and the one in charge of the beginning of Indian residential schools, where thousands of unmarked graves are only now being found.

A huge fuss was raised to prevent the statue from being put in the big, down-town park.  It eventually was shipped to a small town, ten miles west, where there is an historic mini-mansion.  It was doused with red paint twice, and finally knocked off its pedestal.

More recently, the statue of Queen Victoria in her namesake park has been painted red twice.  While she was mostly a figurehead monarch, apparently she’s being blamed for British colonialism.  A brown-skinned immigrant from India has started a petition to rename the city.  Beginning as ‘Sand Hills,’ it became ‘Ebytown,’ and then Berlin, Ontario.

105 years ago, the woke generation of English-speakers demanded that the town change its name, to show loyalty to Britain during WW I.  The local German burghers didn’t really care.  Victoria, the ‘English’ queen, was actually German nobility, from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Anhalt.

British Lord Kitchener’s name was a last-minute addition to a referendum with six names.  The outstanding feature of the plebiscite was the absolute indifference displayed by the ratepayers.  With about 10,000 voters, (All of them men  😯 ) only 892 bothered to cast a ballot, and the name Kitchener got a plurality of 346.

Kitchener (the man) was not excessively colonialist, or racist.  He was just steeped in the unthinking beliefs of the time and place.  White, British males held a Manifest Destiny to own and control the world.  It is a huge mistake to try to retroactively apply 21st Century morals.

In 1973, Waterloo Lutheran University went public, and adopted the name Wilfrid Laurier University, partly to honor the subject of my Where’s Willy post, and partly so that they could retain the same initials – WLU.

Now there is another petition being circulated to have that name also changed.  True, Willy helped administrate the residential Indian school system which damaged so many Indigenous, but, like Lord Kitchener, he did what he did out of an honest belief that it was in their best interests.

I think that we are taking this name change of streets, cities, schools, etc. way too far.  The past is the past, which we cannot, nor ever will be able to, change.  Really people, this needs to stop.  Move on.  We need to learn from it, not bury it.

I ask the woke folk to take a good look in the mirror, and ask themselves two questions.  “Looking back at your very short existence and past behaviors, is there anything that you now regret doing and would do differently if you had the chance?”  Judge not, lest ye be judged.  Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.  “Second, how did Canada become one of the best counties in the world in which to live?  Could it be because of the leaders of the past – the ones whose contributions and reputations you so eagerly want to tarnish?”

Name changes are not only inconvenient, but are also very costly.  Anything that’s associated with a data-base which contains addresses will be affected.  Passports, drivers’ licences, health cards, property and automobile ownerships, Federal, Provincial and municipal taxes, utilities accounts, postal services, road signs, mapping, GPS – the list goes on and on.

Come on, Snowflakes!  Nowhere in the American or Canadian Constitution are you guaranteed the right not to be offended.  😳