things – so many things – that I don’t understand…
I want to end the year with a self-revelation: The total tonnage of things I don’t understand would stop a team of oxen in their tracks.
The list is immense, but today, I thought I would highlight a few things that I see that I don’t understand – things that I will try and work on in the new year.
1. I don’t understand my neighbour – who did this to his house for Christmas.
I’m not against it – this excess of spirit. And I think we should support our eccentrics rather than shun them. For no other reason than they challenge our ways of seeing ourselves, and our world.
2. I don’t understand single women who pack their Saturdays with so many things to do that they are perpetually running a 1/2 hr late for everything on their lists, and then, fall exhausted into bed at 11, having had barely enough energy to drink a single glass of red wine.
3. I don’t understand people who treat their dogs like children. I don’t understand that Americans gave $1.5 million in loose change to Halloween UNICEF boxes, but spent $300 million on Halloween costumes for their pets.
4. I don’t understand the weather. It’s a week before Christmas in Halifax and it feels like the middle of April. (Well, I do understand, I just pretend that I don’t.) I should not be able to jog in shorts in Hlifax in mid-December!
5. I don’t understand why / how the movie Left Behind got made. Again reminded of how Nicolas Cage will do anything for money.
6. If 2014 taught me anything its that most people don’t care that they are under constant surveillance; that their rights are being whittled back in the name of “terrorism; that innocent people are being tortured in the name of “terrorism; that Christianity is slowly being put back in schools; that Stephen Harper says science facts are just matters of opinion – like the Bible; that global warming is happening at an apocalyptic rate, yet all the while, we drive more cars and take more airline flights than ever before in history.
I don’t understand any of this.
7. I really don’t understand our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. I understand the differences between conservatives and progressives – that’s easy enough and differences of opinion can be understood for their nuances – but two recent events truly highlighted for me how little I am able to understand Stephen Harper.
Two Bills are working their way through Canadian Parliament at the moment. Bill C-2 (as I have mentioned in a previous blog) will allow that a person accused in court will not necessarily have the opportunity to confront his/her accuser in court.
Take a moment to think about that.
Imagine, that you have been accused of doing something and have been charged with a crime, but you don’t know who accused you of the crime. Nor will you ever get to challenge them in a court of law.
The other bill working its way through Parliament, Bill S-2, will allow for the government to change laws without having to tell the public.
Imagine being charged with breaking a law that you did not know you were breaking?
Not only that, but you don’t know who has accused you of breaking that [unknown]law?
Is this all starting to sound a bit like a Kafka novel? Does this sound like what used to happen in the old Soviet Union? I suggest that if you don’t know Franz Kafka, that you spend some of the holidays reading Kafka’s The Trial.
Bill C-2 and S-2 will be passed – Harper has a parliamentary majority, and no one in his party has the balls to stand up to him lest they be exiled to frozen northern Alberta.
Kafka quotes: “No,” said the priest, “you don’t need to accept everything as true, you only have to accept it as necessary.” “Depressing view,” said K. “The lie made into the rule of the world.”
“But I’m not guilty,” said K. “there’s been a mistake. How is it even possible for someone to be guilty? We’re all human beings here, one like the other.” “That is true” said the priest “but that is how the guilty speak”
8. And finally, while this was to be a somewhat light-hearted look at things I don’t understand – the Taliban decided yesterday that it would be a good idea to decimate a public school – killing 141 – mostly school children. That children have been slaughtered in the name of politics, power, or religion goes back as far as the bible (and probably back to the beginnings of time). The heatlamp of poverty breeds extremism; it nutures psychopaths; it supports sociopaths.
I don’t believe in a biblical God, but I pray today for the families of those children. An impotent gesture,to be sure, but it’s all that I have to give.
This is the last blog before the holidays.
Tomorrow we leave for the world of farm animals, and trees, and snow, and no internet connections.
I wish each and all a safe and happy holiday!!
See you in the new year.