Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Fault Lies Not In Our Stars

We choose our culture.

The left believes that our messed up culture is the result of the 1% foisting things on us we don't want. Powerful privileged people control our world and exert such a degree of control that we don't even notice all the ways in which we are being controlled. Our minds are battlegrounds. Our bodies are battlegrounds.

Paradoxically, they also believe that mass popular uprisings- emphasis on the mass, because none of us are as strong as all of us- can and have improved our culture. If a mass popular uprising leads to widespread death and repression and people being generally worse off than they were before, that's because 1) the uprising didn't go far enough, i.e. it didn't remove capitalism entirely, and 2) people not on board with the uprising sabotaged it from within or without, thus proving the absolute power of the people doing the oppressing in the first place. 

And these two beliefs, hand in hand, are so very powerful because they remove all responsibility from the individual.

Nobody- not even conservatives- wants to be responsible for their actions. Freedom is great, but responsibility.....not so much. If there's one thing we all get, left or right, it's how there are ALL of the reasons why whatever happened to us was the result of something utterly beyond our control.

None of us, for example, is responsible for the Rob Ford story. Not Ford himself (who's in the grip of something bigger than himself he can't control), not Doug Ford (who was only protecting his brother), not the Toronto Star (who do Activist Journalism which is super important), not the people who voted for him (because he was authentic and the message of stop the gravy train "resonated"), not the international media (who grabbed this story and lifted it up for the world to see) so that now, going forward, the Rob Ford story will be the new standard in what Canadian political journalism looks like. After Ford is gone, we will have to elect some other bozo just so the media will have something to play with. And then nobody will be responsible for the fallout from that either. It's not our fault- it's what's expected.

The Liberals are not responsible for Justin Trudeau's general vacuity, for events hosted by the Liberal Party of Canada that are advertised as if they are meant to procure women for the Liberal Leader, for the ongoing debts of the other leadership hopefuls, for an absence of policy, for being out of power since forever, for anything at all. 

You don't tell people who are below the poverty line that maybe they could make changes that could benefit themselves because their poverty is in no way, shape or form their fault. You don't tell Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin that maybe they should have realized that what worked in the world of broadcast journalism doesn't work in the Senate.

You don't tell Kathleen Wynne that the economy is important because she's off making ads about running down a country road. She's the Premier, and it's the Premier's job not to fiddle about while the province slowly crumbles, but here she is with an ad about running. Running is a nice activity that doesn't hurt anyone and nobody can be blamed for having a nice run. Everybody runs! Why do you hate running? The PCPO will close and/or privatize running!

None of this, of course, really obscures the fact that there are, and there must be, hard, brutal consequences for actions. The province will burn. That is obvious, especially since people unable to accept the fact that the PCPO lost the last election two years after the fact are busily leaking election plans to the media.

But when Ontario does burn- likely after yet another mass popular NDP-and-union-fuelled uprising gone wrong- it will be so, so important for each of us to be able to put up our hands and say, "It wasn't me! It was the one-armed man!"

We just had Remembrance Day, where we're supposed to remember the horrors of war and all that kind of stuff, and in some vague way think about what it means to go to war and put your comfortable life aside and take responsibility for your life, the lives of your fellow men and women, and the lives of the people on the other side and who you're protecting, and about how we're supposed to be carrying the torch that these soldiers threw to us from failing hands, or something. Whatever.

Then after that ordeal is over, let's go right back to being like Kathleen Wynne in that ridiculous ad, so utterly insubstantial as to not even register, running down a deserted road that leads nowhere, talking about goals that don't exist, looking all the while like you are doing something so meaningful and so significant that you have to make an ad about it and share it with Ontarians who have bigger problems.

We choose our culture.

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