Monthly Archives: July 2016

Fear for the Future

When two dogs get into a fight what happens the vast majority of the time is that one dog will lie down and show its belly to the other dog. It submits. You won, you are the leader. Rarely does the superior dog then continue the fight and kill the dog that has submitted unless it has behavioral issues, which tend to be more common in breeds like pit bulls, not because they are hardwired to kill other dogs but because they are chronically mishandled by their human masters which leads to said behavioral problems. But let us not digress.

The “right” has been submitting to the “left” now for the last 50 odd years. Pretty much since the 1960’s the right has been showing its belly to the left and conceding ground on all manner of social and cultural issues. It’s a misconception that true conservatives are against social progress on matters pertaining to women’s equality, gay rights, race relations, cultural diversity. But what conservatives try to petition for is Balance, Stability and Rational Government. Progress is great, but taken too far and too quickly it unbalances society, produces instability and results in governments that want an activist role rather than merely manage the affairs of civilization. Unbalanced, unstable and irrational is not a successful formula for any society and inevitably over the long haul leads to human tragedy, suffering and pain.

The pit bulls in my metaphor are the left, the social justice warriors (SJWs) and progressives who are constantly on the march, unable to acknowledge victories and completely amnesiac to where we were as a society even a few short years ago. There seems to be on the left a pathological impulse to fix the world whereas conservatives would tend to argue the only lasting fixes are internal as individuals. Stop asking for the government to fix every ill in the world; look in the mirror, adjust your behavior accordingly, set an example for others and trust that people will follow.

This was a long way of getting to the current Ghostbusters movie and the controversy over Twitter banning Milo Yiannopoulos. The movie looks like it sucks but that’s almost beside the point.

Hollywood is pretty devoid of new ideas and risk adverse so for the most part all you see lately are endless sequels and remakes. Hence their lack of imagination leads them to the brilliant idea that they should remake Ghostbusters with an all-female cast. Firstly, the original Ghostbusters wasn’t all that funny; could they not find a funnier 80’s comedy to remake? Second, comedy remakes tend to be busts because so much of the success of the original is dependent on cast chemistry and jokes that are relevant to that era… fart jokes were hilarious in the 80’s, now it’s got to be upgraded to ghost slime in vaginal cavities? OK, whatever, har har. And lastly, nothing against an all-female cast, Bridesmaids was hilarious for example, but why not create a new comedy for female comedians? Why scavenge a thirty year old comedy, ironically written by men, and simply try to swap out the cast genders?

So the trailer for the movie becomes the most disliked video ever posted to YouTube. Then after it comes out one of the lead actresses, Leslie Jones, gets into Twitter war with trolls that lasts more than eight hours (does she not realize the best thing to do is ignore idiots? Not feed them? Or was this part of a publicity scheme?) It ends with her threatening to quit Twitter and then pleading to Twitter that they do something and they do – they ban the supposed ring leader, Milo despite the evidence that he never actually called her anything racist.

Now Milo Yiannopolous is definitely an acquired taste. He’s a flamboyantly gay libertarian who likes to go after “third wave” feminists and SJWs. Watching him do it is quite funny and provides a perverse satisfaction; it’s like when your older brother would grab your arms and starting forcing you to hit yourself with your own hands and asks “why are you hitting yourself, what’s wrong with you?”. They can’t combat a gay man attacking them in the most un-PC way; they don’t know how to respond. But his soaring popularity is indicative of the times.

Brendan O’Neil writes a pretty good piece on this story, but now he’s under attack… on Twitter. His column is not completely nonsensical.  The only caveat I’d have is this; the left shows no graciousness and so even if a conservative were to show proper decorum, were to attempt to discuss things rationally, there is no reciprocal behavior.  The left act like the aforementioned pit bulls. So in the end a lot of people on the right give up and say, “Hey, if you think we’re incurable bigots then fine!  Let’s be incurable bigots!” and a large segment then give themselves permission to indulge in their worst instincts. No more submission. It’s what has given rise to Trump, an unapologetic bigot who hilariously has had the past two night’s speech upon speech at the Republican National Convention about what a wonderful husband, father and human being he is, despite being married three times, a serial philanderer, and a crook who stiffs people who’ve worked for him. A guy who is on trial for fraud. One of his character witnesses is Rudy Giuliani, a man who let his wife know about their divorce during a press conference after months of running around in public with his mistress. But you know what? None of his fans (or Milo’s fans) care, if the other side doesn’t care about standards, why should we?

It’s sad. Conservatism at its roots should be about character. It already evaporated long ago on the left (Hillary Clinton 30 years ago would have been indicted), and now it’s all but evaporated on the right. Fear for the future.

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On Diversity, Segregation, Cultural Appropriation and Multi-Culturalism

On the one hand you have the supposed forces of diversity; take for example the female German politician who neglected to report her own rape at the hands of three Arab migrants because she was afraid of the racial backlash against Arabs that reporting her crime might provoke. Only after there were subsequent attacks was her friend able to convince her to come forward to the police with her own story. She certainly signaled her virtues to the world – it was more important for her to avoid potentially negative characterizations of a specific race than protect other women from the same fate. It’s as though had she come forward she would be the bad person, not her attackers. Multi-culturalism practiced as a doctrine for being a good quiet victim. It’s not the victim blaming feminists so decry, but it’s close; it’s simply on the hierarchy of grievances and victim-hood, Muslims rank higher than women.

But then you have the forces of segregation; Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, etc. Ever wonder what it is exactly that these people want? As a Canadian this ridiculousness is particularly insulting; we are not a country with anywhere near the history of racism that the US has, so why is this abomination being imported from that country? Sure, we have done some bad things as a nation to First Nations, interning Japanese and refusing Jewish refugees during WWII and such, no Western nation has a flawless record on that front. No serious person would argue that we are a country free of racism, sexism, homophobia et al, but you cannot convince the majority that racism against blacks or other identifiable groups is either “systemic” or endemic in Canada, or in Toronto particularly.

One idea that gets pounded is the idea that white people, because of their “privilege” cannot understand the condition and lives of black people or any other visible minority in our country. That is intellectually absurd. By extension then how could a black person understand the life of say, a Chinese immigrant? How could the straight Chinese immigrant understand the life of gay Chinese immigrant? How could that gay Chinese immigrant understand the life of that trans-gendered Aboriginal wo/man? How could that trans-gendered Aboriginal wo/man understand the life of a paraplegic lesbian Muslim from Pakistan? How can I understand my neighbor? He has a teenage daughter and lives 25m north of where I live, his perspective on life must be different than mine… and on and on.

At some point if you carry that argument to its logical conclusion you could argue that it is impossible for any of us to understand each other, because we are individuals. We all develop as persons with our own experiences that colour who and what we are and determine our cognitive biases. For a society to function successfully we have to accept that others will be able to, for the most part, understand us and our concerns. So when you say that that is impossible then what these people argue for is segregation; the ability to exist under a separate set of laws and conditions. There doesn’t have to be physical separation of groups to have segregation, all it requires is that there are different rules for different people. And when you provide different rules for one group then every group wants its own rules. Including whites who then turn to a Donald Trump in the US and argue, hey it’s our turn for special treatment.

Perhaps it’s not all that different from the German politician who didn’t want to report her Arab rapists – she believed that they, because of their identity, should be allowed to operate under a set of different expectations for allowable behavior. This is what progressive white guilt has created; a society that every day seems more and more hell-bent on dividing into little identity groups, white, black, straight, gay, woman, single, married, native, migrant, Muslim, Christian, atheist, kids, no kids… nothing approaching a nation or unifying culture.

Unifying culture? What a quaint idea. Here’s Justin Timberlake, a pop star that does “black” dance moves and emulates Michael Jackson wherever and whenever possible. He tweets in support of a blatantly racist speech made by a black actor at the BET awards and gets hit with a request to stop appropriating black culture. What? Should we whites then volley back with blacks should stop appropriating “white” culture in the form pianos, keyboards, guitars, brass horns… recording equipment? Turntables? Records? CDs? Where is this headed?

You’d think the left would applaud cultural appropriation. Isn’t cultural appropriation is just another word for multi-culturalism, which as we’ve discussed, is a key goal of the left… but it also is simultaneously a tool of oppression by the white Patriarchy? What? Is this an example of “intersectionality” or whatever they call this crap when they teach it in universities? I can’t keep up.

Two hundred years from now we can only hope people will look back on this time in history and laugh at what utter morons we all were.

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On Being UnChristian-Like and Others

I may be asking for a bit of trouble with this posting, because I am far from being a Christian scholar, but I would say confidently that I am a Christian and a practicing Catholic. If you are of the “right-wing” persuasion, a classical liberal or a conservative, then these are trying times to be a Catholic when the current Pope and clergy seem to asking you to view the world and behave as a progressive might.

What prompts this post is an experience yesterday whence I had to listen to a homily at church  and my priest speak about not creating “others” to demonize in life; migrants, immigrants, refugees, gays, lesbians, trans-gender… He went on to quote Barack Obama and Pope Francis extensively, the quotes being mostly typical progressive stuff about going out of our way to embrace “others” of differing cultures, races, sexuality and views.  Some stuff about Brexit being unfortunate and a vote against immigrants, ignoring the fact that in polls of Brexit voters last week immigration was a distant third place in terms of concerns behind political sovereignty and economic opportunities.

Matthew 5:39:

But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Now, I repeat, I am not a Christian scholar. But I always have thought of Jesus not as some hippy-dippy flower child but as One who preached love, strength and personal power. This passage in the Bible I believe is an exhortation to resist provocation, not to tolerate or be indifferent to bad actions, not to be pacifist. What He was suggesting is who is stronger, more powerful, more in command than the person who can restrain themselves from lashing out? Perhaps some of our modern-day snowflakes attending universities and are so afraid of people saying controversial things or using words that they find offensive or “triggering” might take something from this passage. The old “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is derivative and still a good adage for everyone to try and live by but seems to be forgotten by the political correctness crowd.

We can infer that what Jesus was concerned about when He said to turn the other cheek was the example His followers would set in how they reacted to future persecutions. He wanted people to come to Him and not be turned off by violence.

But again, He was not one to take things lying down; consider John 2:15:

And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables.

That doesn’t sound like someone who passively tolerated or was indifferent to bad behavior in His midst.

But nonetheless, Matthew 5:39 gets used to berate us into thinking that we can only be a good person if we “turn the other cheek” which has been twisted into modern times to be synonymous with the idiom “turn a blind eye.” Case in point, let’s discuss a recent story about “others”; grown men (some with beards even), Syrian refugees, attending high school in New Brunswick and harassing female students, refusing to speak English and giving Jewish students a hard time. One might think the story is being actively repressed, to the point where it’s hard to even find it on a Google news feed. Heaven knows CBC or CTV wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. It has taken a small upstart media outlet to do a FOI request to get their hands on emails between teachers and the school, emails that show the teachers have gone out of their way to accommodate these students and make the best of a bad situation and not gotten any help or seen any improvement.

This is just a very recent Canadian example, but one could add to it literally hundreds of recent stories from Europe. What does a Christian do when the Others are “others” because they are choosing to be “others” and have no interest in peaceful coexistence or conformance with even the most basic ideas we have here in the West about treating women and other religions with respect? Where is the Christian responsibility to protect the weak and those unable to protect themselves? Is it Christian to ignore the plight of teenage girls being harassed in our high schools because we want to be “tolerant” and avoid demonizing people? No, it is not. That is wrong, it has to be. I can’t conceive of a Jesus who would have suggested Christians just roll over or allow evil behavior to proceed unchecked.  Should we ignore the plight of Yazidi and Christians in Iraq being slaughtered, or maybe just try to talk with ISIS and make them see the light?  No, we need to go destroy them because they are evil.  It is justified.

There is a difference between being tolerant and being indifferent. We should strive to be tolerant of other people, their creeds, sexuality and beliefs. We should try to understand them to the extent possible. No question, and as I’ve written in past posts we have come a million miles in the last hundred years on this front. A diverse society is a stronger one provided everyone is on the same page as far as respect for each other and rule of law.

But that doesn’t mean we have to be indifferent to events, actions and persons who either knowingly or unknowingly are having an adverse impact on our way of life.  It’s not wrong to defend who and what we are without being called un-Christian.  I wish my church would stop implying otherwise.

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