Everybody Knows That’s How It Goes
And so another Christmas has come and gone.
People have exchanged gifts and then rushed off to the mall to exchange them for something else; grand Christmas dinners have degenerated into left-over status and preparations are in full gear for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
We are in the Dead Zone; surrounded by the remnants of Christmas and waiting for the celebration of the New Year; a short grey time when we don’t really know what to do with ourselves.
All that rushing about before Christmas is behind us and the parties and family dinners of New Year’s celebrations are still in front of us. Fortunately, preparing for New Year Eve doesn’t take quite as much effort as getting ready for Christmas.
I don’t mind admitting that I was somewhat zoned out leading up to Christmas. I had promised myself that I would only write about Christmas in the days leading up to it and wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to what was happening in the big world – and a lot has been happening.
There was another terrible shooting in the United States, where an ex-convict set houses on fire to lay a trap for first-responders. He killed two and wounded two other firefighters and a police officer. It appears he also killed his sister before taking his own life.
The gun used was the same model as that used in the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School which has only further inflamed the debate on gun control and gun ownership.
The fiscal cliff is looming in the United States as Congress and the White House continue to demonstrate a complete lack of leadership or even responsibility in administrating the fiscal affairs of the nation. It is an unbelievable game of chicken with an incredible amount of cynical political gamesmanship which, no matter how it turns out, will cost the American people ongoing financial and political stability.
In Canada, Justin Trudeau, a candidate for the leadership of the federal Liberal Party of Canada, spoke at an Islamic Conference in Toronto. This upset many who felt he was supporting a radical faction of Islam and they were quite vocal about it which got Mr. Trudeau quite upset. He doesn’t take criticism very well when he makes an error in judgment.
Still, I’m not sure why everyone was so upset. As usual, Canada’s Peter Pan delivered nothing but the same shop-worn clichés and platitudes that have been delivered by politicians for generations and it made me wonder once again why anyone thinks this former substitute drama teacher is qualified to lead the country.
First Nations in Canada are also upset. There have been changes made to the Indian Act, a piece of paternalistic legislation that should have been scrapped long ago. The fact that it hasn’t has as much to do with the leadership of the First Nations themselves as it does with the government but the aboriginal community and progressives aren’t interested in discussing that. It might actually lead to a resolution of the issue and then where would we all be?
Instead, we have the usual blockades and demonstrations that have never accomplished much in the past being trotted out again with the usual set of vague demands. Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat Band is conducting a hunger strike until her demand for a face-to-face meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister is met.
She’s upset with conditions on her reserve and changes made to the Indian Act. I can understand her concern. Her reserve has seen the most abject levels of poverty even after the federal government has poured $90 million into it and DeBeers, the diamond mining company, signed contracts worth more than $350 million over the past five years. Along with some cash from the provincial government and the Aboriginal Casino Gaming Fund, Chief Spence and her colleagues have blown through almost a half billion in five years and have nothing to show for it except a new hockey arena with an $80,000 Zamboni and some of the most desperate living conditions in the country.
That’s basically $50,000 per year per person in this tiny community. How is it possible for it to have so much poverty when so much money has been injected into a community of less than 1800 people?
Chief Spence rejected a call for an accounting earlier this year and is now on a hunger strike protesting the government’s legislation to force greater transparency on native band councils.
We’ll be talking about this in more detail in the days to come but for now, the progressive left prefers to simply blame the government rather than ask the hard questions like, “Where did all that money go?”
It’s the same the world over.
We continue to repeat the same mistakes, argue about the same issues and basically spin our wheels like a car stuck on ice in a snow drift.
It wasn’t so long ago that we were moving forward, not always in the right direction perhaps, but we were at least mobile. Now, we’re in angry stasis; caught up in a perpetual Ground Hog Day, reliving the same issues, the same challenges and the same stupidities over and over and over again.
In both Canada and the United States, various people including the Liberal Premier of Ontario, have taken ‘decisive’ action to keep our children safe in the wake of the terrible shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The Premier is legislating a ‘locked door’ policy for all schools.
There’s dynamic straight-ahead thinking for you or as it is otherwise known – the illusion of doing something constructive. It obviously escaped the Premier’s notice that Sandy Hill did have a locked door policy in place and it did nothing to keep those children safe.
The NRA called on the government to put armed police officers in every school completely ignoring the fact that there was an armed police officer in place at Columbine. As for the fantasy of turning teachers into Rambo by arming them – well – the discussion continues to plummet into the absurd.
We learn nothing and continue to propose the same useless solutions to challenging issues in order to protect our own vested self-interest.
We’ll be talking about more of that in the days to come as well because, I for one, am tired of the bullshit and there is no other word for it. It is nothing but wasted time and effort that has done nothing to keep our communities safe or to advance any issue we face together as nations.
The Mayan Prophecy turned out not to be a prophecy at all, merely the end of a calendar cycle but we are reaching the end of something far more real. We are reaching a point where we are rushing, like lemmings to a cliff far more serious than the fiscal cliff, a long fall from prosperity, civilized behaviour and personal and collective security – a form of social anarchy built on a foundation of cynical opportunism, entitlement greed and sheer stupidity that will be far worse than anything some thought might have been part of what the Mayans predicted.
We seem oblivious to it. We continue to argue and defend, polarize and divide because in the end, we don’t seem to care about our societies as much as we do about our own opinions and entitlements. In the end, Leonard Cohen was right –“Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the Captain lied. Everybody’s got this broken feeling, like their father or their dog just died. Everybody’s talking to their pockets, everybody wants a box of chocolates and a long-stem rose…. everybody knows.”
Everybody knows the captain lied but we still salute him. Everybody knows that’s it’s now or never because everybody knows that the plague is coming and everybody knows it’s moving fast.
Everybody has that familiar feeling – you know – the feeling that something rank is going down and that it’s long past time to get down to business but everybody knows nothing will change. Everybody knows the scene is dead but we’ll do nothing because – that’s just how it goes these days
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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