a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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Technology

Strictly Speaking. . .

We communicate in many ways.

maxresdefaultWe communicate with our eyes, our facial expressions and body language but most of our communication is with words. Interestingly, our non-verbal communication tends to be the most accurate because it is subconscious most of the time; a natural emotional response to what we feel about whatever is being communicated by or to us. Words, on the other hand, can be used to both deliver information and to obscure it.

George Carlin used to say that there are no bad words, only bad intentions and he was right to a point. Words like Nigger (or “the ‘N’ word as the politically correct refer to it) has negative connotations for some in society but is often used positively by many in the black community. The meaning of the word doesn’t change but its social acceptability is determined by who is using the word rather than by what it means.

It’s the same with the word ‘fuck’ which for a very long time was considered to be the ultimate uh-oh word in polite company. You could take the Lord’s name in vain, curse someone out until you were blue in the face but you refrained from using the Big F generally and virtually never in mixed company.

That has changed, of course. Fuck is now one of the most common expletives used these days and even parents and their off-spring will use it comfortably in front of each other. The meaning of the word hasn’t changed and neither has its various uses just its social acceptability has undergone transformation. Continue reading

Stumbling Into The New Year

I intended to kick off the New Year’s blogging season yesterday with my predictions for the coming year but got sidetracked. It’s not my fault. Maggie and I decided to acquire Apple TV last Saturday to replace the incredibly boring selection of mediocre television offered by Bell ExpressVu.

It never ceases to amaze me how we can do so little with so much technology. Bell’s satellite system offers duplicate and triplicates of the same shows from television stations across the country instead of a diversity of programming from around the world. For their part, mainstream cable networks seem to have fallen in love with nickel and dime reality shows about people pawning stuff and other folks hunting crocodiles. There are endless talk shows: The View, The Chew, Wendy This, Ellen That and, of course, the shows that are all about paternity tests.

God save us. How is it possible to have so many channels and so little selection? Continue reading

Need A Video Of Mayor Ford Smoking Crack? No Problem – It’s Easy To Make One

There has been an unbelievable amount of press coverage over an alleged video that purportedly shows Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, smoking crack cocaine. The allegations were originally made on the American website Gawker and almost pathologically jumped on by The Star, Toronto’s largest newspaper and anti-Ford crusaders.

Not long after, Canada’s largest national newspaper the Globe and Mail was out with its own story about the Mayor’s brother, Toronto councilor Doug Ford. Quoting unnamed sources, the Globe alleged that Councilor Ford had been a drug dealer in his younger years.

Since then, it’s been a feeding frenzy of abject stupidity with all kinds of people and media jumping all over the two stories. Everything is examined in minute detail. Why didn’t the Mayor sue The Star? Why are so many of his staff leaving his office?  Every new detail becomes one more piece of ‘pseudo’ evidence that he is guilty.

But even if he isn’t, his attackers have almost achieved their objective. Guilty or not, they have succeeded in turning Toronto City politics into a circus sideshow for which the Mayor is being blamed. There’s nice work if you can get it. Continue reading

Social Media – Socializing Our Understanding Of The World

imagesBarack Obama is the Anti-Christ. I know this because I read it online this past week.

Actually, I’m a bit confused because originally, it was only that the actor in the Tv series The Bible who plays Satan, sort of look likes President Obama. But since that first got posted, it has been updated and verified by a significant number of people online that they are one in the same and Barack Obama not only plays the devil in the Tv series, he is the Anti-Christ.

Apparently, the Anti-Christ dabbles in politics and acting when he isn’t laying souls to waste.

I learn a great deal online which I never learned in school or all the books I’ve read.  I’ve learned that Jesus was white and looked like one of the Bee Gees, polar bears will turn brown if the polar ice caps melt (which is a major improvement over earlier assertions that they would die off) and how to use pee in our garden. This last one was particularly encouraging because I am seriously into recycling. Continue reading

The Difference Between Reality And Virtual Reality

I was watching the tweets flow by on my Twitter timeline for a bit last night; probably because it was either that or watch the Academy Awards with Maggie and I’d rather poke out my eye with a sharp pointed stick than suffer through that much insincere sincerity.

I have a few followers and sometimes – well all of the time, actually – there are just too many tweets flying by to catch them all but one small series did catch my notice. It was a conversation between three people about a tweet made at the Oscars. They didn’t approve of it and were expressing their criticism which is fine by me. I consider it my duty to criticize something every day so I feel a certain kinship with others equally as committed.

They were discussing what should be done about the person behind the offending tweet. They agreed that they didn’t want to see the person “go to prison or anything like that” which I thought was quite magnanimous of them considering they were discussing a tweet they didn’t like, not an armed robbery or a terrorist plot.

One person suggested that they should ban live tweeting from the Oscars. My first thought was that person must work for the government.

Banning, restricting, regulating, preventing and just generally interfering with something is always the approach taken by government once they’ve established they can’t tax it. Continue reading

Bullying and the Lord Of The Flies

 

The death of Amanda Todd has touched many. It has also put the issue of bullying on the agenda once again and there is a considerable amount of talk about bullying and its causes. Experts are appearing on newscasts, committees are being formed, meetings called and even a Member of Canada’s Parliament has called on the formation of a group to study the issue of bullying.

They could save a lot of time and money if they stopped meeting and consulting and simply spent an hour on Twitter. Nowhere is the descent from civilized behaviour into intolerance and bullying better exemplified than in that world of 140 character messages.

In his novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding told the story of a group of English schoolboys stranded on a deserted tropical island. It is an allegory for what happens to a society without rules or respect for the rights and lives of others within their society. Continue reading