Saturday, April 26, 2014

Generation Obsolete

Generation Obsolete

Every generation it seems has its own label these days. There was the “Me” generation, generation “X”, the “Baby Boomers, etc. Now there’s generation “screwed”, referring to our grandchildren. But there’s another generation everybody’s forgot about. Let me tell you about it.

An Ojibway Elder once told me that there are four recognizable generational stages in life. He actually called them the four hills of life’s journey. The first stage is infancy he said, where one soaks up knowledge and information necessary to maneuver in the upcoming what’s to come. We soak up everything around us holus bolus without reasonin’ or examinin’ its efficacy. The next stage is adolescence. This is where we begin to test out the things we have so far learned but not proven. We all know what a disaster THAT stage is. It’s a well known fact that with the onset of puberty, one’s brains leak out one’s ears and we are left rudderless to steer our useless selves (except for those smart ass adults who keep correcting us). By the time we get through these turbulent years of absolute idiocy and our brains start functionin’ again, we suddenly realize the magnitude of our folly, and our parents and Elders become a little smarter than they used to be. An’ it’s a good thing too because we suddenly realize that we’re goin’ to need all the help we can get in order to get through this other stage called adulthood.

Even the Ojibway acknowledge that this is the most difficult stage of life. Scratchin’ and clawin’ one’s way through adulthood has never been easy. Whether you’re chasin’ down a buffalo herd on the prairie or flippin’ hamburgers at MacDonalds, it’s just a bloody rat race, filled with politics and plain hard work. Not pretty, that’s fer sure.

Well, you finally get to hang up yer skates an’ embark on the gentle down slope into old age – the “golden” years they call it. Now you’ve got it made! Ha ha! It might be all right if your damned hip wouldn’t a’ broke, or if your barrel chest hadn’t fallen down to yer waist, or ya didn’t have’ta get up every hour of the night for a wiz, or any number of other ailments you never use’ta have.

Fool’s gold is what that is. An’ then you discover there’s another little hill. It’s not very big, but it goes almost straight up! HALLELEUJAH! The hill of obsolescence, that’s what it is. By now everybody’s forgot about you, well except in an archaeological sense. Your picture was put up on the top shelf long ago an’ is gatherin’ dust. They figure yer too old to do much harm to yerself so they don’t worry. Well – talk about yer freedom! Now you can really do all the things you always wanted. Not really ‘cause yer too old an’ decrepit, but it don’t matter. Yer pride went south along with everythin’ else anyways. If you can’t do it, you just imagine it an’ that’s good enough. That way, when you go to sleep for the very last time, it’ll be a peaceful sleep. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Week

Easter Week

            Let’s face it. Not everybody celebrates Easter, or Easter week. And even those
 who do, celebrate something other than the historical significance of the events some two thousand odd years ago. It’s all very confusing. There are those in the Christian churches who mark the event of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection as the pivotal point in the establishment of the church. I think that’s what Easter is meant to signify.

Yet there are others who celebrate it with new hats and whole outfits to promenade around in and show off what they bought at Macey’s that’s different from anything anyone else bought. Woe betide any woman who is caught wearing the very same outfit as anyone else she knows.

Then there’s the chocolate culture. Chocolate Easter eggs, chocolate Easter bunnies, chocolate this, that, and the other. You add to that the Easter egg hunts for children to take part in and you’ve got total confusion on what this time is really about. All this commercialism has diluted the meaning behind the occasion to a competition between Macey’s and Walmart and all the candy companies. So this then is what one man gave his life for, it seems.

Actually, crucifixion was not all that uncommon a couple of thousand years ago, witness the pile of bones on Golgotha. Back then they did some gruesome things to people as a matter of course. That wasn’t really the issue. It was the fact that Christ was sold into the hands of his accusers for thirty pieces of silver. It was the fact that he was wrongly tried and convicted. That came to be the heart of the issue. And it wasn’t even Pontius Pilate, his executioner who was as much to blame for his death as it was Rome and the Jewish people who pressured him into it. Thus you have the original basis for anti Semitism.

The sad thing is that if you read human history all the way from King Herod through the execution of Christ, and have a look around you at the world today, we haven’t come very far. It’s a sorrowful commentary on humanity that it is able to preach about love and respect for one another and human kindness and then do the exact opposite. True not only of society, but of the church as well.

When you think about it, it wasn’t Christ who was the Christian. It was (St.) Peter who started the church business, based on his interpretation of the teachings of the Teacher. And the many forms the church has taken since are no better. It seems we are not destined to be tolerant and loving of our fellow man, but rather, greedy self serving predators bent on taking everything for ourselves at anybody else’s expense and the devil take the hindmost. So in the end, Easter has become a celebration of Macey’s and Walmart, or so it seems from up here on the top shelf. Happy Easter everybody.

Just sayin.     

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tempers in the House

Tempers in the House

I had just about given up on findin’ a topic to rant about this week. I didn’t want to start in on the Ukrainians again. Lord knows, they got enough people yellin’ at them. But I was interested in the news clip showin’ their parliamentarians expressin’ theirselves in the form of a good ol’ fashioned fistfight. I was impressed. Now that’s government in action! I don’t know what its conclusion was or how much blood was left on the floor, but at least these buggers were willin’ to back their opinions up.

Almost made me wish for the days of John Crosbie an’ Sheila Copps. In fact I was thinkin’ bout that when I caught a news piece on my ‘puter ‘bout how International Trade Minister Ed Fast made a gesture of pointin’ a gun at NDP critic Nikki Ashton. Actually there was a camera honed in on Ashton as he’s doin’ this. Well nobody’d a noticed except for NDP MP Dan Harris pointin’ it out as “an inappropriate gesture” an’ makin’ a big stink about it. In fact he challenged Fast to apologize for it. Of course, Fast refused, sayin’ it never happened (inspite of the incident being videotaped).

That’s it? THAT’S IT? Fast an’ Harris haranguin’ over an inappropriate gesture that Ashton never even noticed? What kind of stupid confrontation is that? It’s no wonder we have an ineffective, lame duck government. What would have happened had Ashton seen this gesture? Would she have also aimed her finger at Fast Eddie in retaliation? That would have been hilarious – a shoot-out in parliament with trigger fingers. Just like playin’ air guitars. At least Justin Trudeau had the courage to put on a pair o’ boxin’ gloves against Senator Brazeau an’ turn his lights out. An’ even that was a celebrity event not related to any disagreement.

I’ll tell you what. I haven’t seen anything appropriate that the government has done since the days of Lester B. Pearson. They can’t even get into a decent fight. The best they can do is to snipe at one another in the currently popular attack ads (which are all lies an’ innuendoes, by the way). It’s no wonder they don’t get no respect.

It seems to me that a good dust up in the house – you know, like they do in the NHL “hockey games”, would liven things up a bit. Who knows, people might even start to pay attention to these big-mouthed crooks. Might even change the way people vote. Might even MAKE people begin to vote again for a change.

 I think them Ukrainians are on to a good thing. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Foreign Aid

Foreign Aid

Five point six BILLION dollars! That’s what we spend on foreign aid every year. That ain’t no chump change an’ that’s a fact! An’ we’re about halfway down the list of donors.  Altogether there’s about a trillion bucks leaving our collective coffers every year to help somebody do somethin’ or other.  Here’s the thing. Nothin’ ever gets better for the receivin’ nations an’ yet we keep on dolin’ it out. It’s like they’re on some sort of a pension or somethin’. I can’t help but think it’s somethin’ like the senate. Ya sit around doin’ nothin’ an’ wonderin’ when it’s payday.

Well here’s what I’m thinkin’. A recent study shows that sixty percent of Canada’s northern population doesn’t have enough to eat. They go hungry every day. An’ when they do get something to eat, it’s just fast food junk anyways. That’s a pretty good gig for the food suppliers, the truckers an’ the airlines. An’ we already know there’s no drinkin’ water up there, no sewage systems no schools, no hospitals, no roads or nothin’. We been too busy buildin’ them things in places like Afghanistan. So what’s wrong with our northern population lobbyin’ the International Monetary Fund for foreign aid money to provide them with the necessities the same as them other countries we’re dolin’ out our money to?  When Lester Pearson suggested seven percent of our GDP go to foreign aid, he wasn’t countin’ on it bein’ taken away from Canadians in need. As it stands, we’re only givin’ three percent, so we’re rippin’ EVERYBODY off. I guess you could follow the money trail to where the rest goes.

I suppose you could paint an analogy of an itinerant father leavin’ his children to show off his benevolence to the world, except that he’s a cheapskate an’ doesn’t do much showin’ off except in his own mind. The upshot is that the father’s neglected children suffer in silence while the recipient others are somewhat disgusted with his tight pockets.

What the northern community needs to do is to mobilize the “Idle No More” gang to take up the cause and make as much noise as possible. There is enough evidence of its third world status and pressure needs to be brought to bear on the world for Canada to mend some of its fences at home before goin’ off into the wild blue yonder to flash it’s benevolent smile to the world. After all. A country that can’t look after its own affairs has no credibility in looking after the affairs of others. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.