I'm supposed to be working, but as usual, I can't get wordy there until I get wordy here. By there I mean the new sheet I have pulled up behind this, that is as blank as Bev Oda's face whens she gets asked a really hard question. Like, "did you think they wouldn't notice you used a Sharpee to correct that contract?" or "you do know what will happen if they find out you took the bathrobe, right?". At this point, Bev is just looking at me, well, blankly, because we both know nothing will happen. She could have the little dude who delivers $16 orange juice jammed in her carry-on, and we will all just whistle and look the other way.
Sometimes I just can't catch the thread of a piece to start writing it until I declutter my brain over here.
I've been down at CHCH a bunch lately, and I've noticed a funny thing happening. If any of you watch the show, Square Off, you'll know it's mostly a romp through events of the day. It gets put together that morning, and we're usually amending and changing on the fly as things happen. The aim is to take any topic - political, cultural, personal, business - and present differing viewpoints on the subject. This should be easy, and it usually is. You have a stable of rightwingers you call on, and a stable of lefties, and off you go. The hosts generally shape the conversation, and get out of the way if the wheels start coming off. This is often quite fun.
I appear as a guest, which means yapping away and being as pointed or political as I like. I also appear as a co-host, and am expected to keep the spotlight on the guests, not my beliefs.Wait. I have a point. I'm getting to it.
It's getting harder. Not to control my leanings, but to discern what anyone's leanings even are, anymore. You pull on a think tanker funded by right money, and one funded by left, and I'll be damned if the two of them don't start agreeing on some stuff. And, I sit there with my notes on a topic, realizing that my own thinking is not complying with standard party lines - any of them. Here's a link to a poll that basically says the same thing. Politicians? We hate all of you.
I'll admit, I'm thankful that some of the circus acts we've been seeing have made it easy for many of us. Dalton is leaving holes in arguments you could drive a truck through. How any conservative can defend Bev Oda is beyond me. It's probably beyond Bev, too. I think nobody wakes up more surprised to be employed each day than Bev Oda.
Spinning and lies, contempt and chaos. That's all of them. More and more people I speak to feel lost, politically. It's a wilderness, but I have no problem saying that each and every party is woefully lacking in vision, respect for voters, transparency and leadership. The NDP is being held up as a saviour. I'm sure Mulcair is a lovely man (though I wish he'd shave), but remember all those newbies that floated into government on the Layton wave? I found that disrespectful. They woke up with a job in the House of Commons; they were as surprised as Bev Oda.
When Alberta went to the polls last week, I was reminded of another vote that had the country waiting and watching. Remember the 1980 Quebec referendum? I do. I was 16. I watched as our country came within a hairs breadth of blowing apart. At least that's how it seemed, and how it was played, and could have played out. I thought then for the first time what being a country actually meant. We watched the same way as Alberta seemed to be heading in a direction I couldn't fathom; I just couldn't. Racist, backwards thinking was really being considered the road to the future?
I have many friends in the U.S. I cannot describe how polarized that country is politically. It's terrifying; it really is. I've also noticed a weird tendency in people over the past decade or so. We are almost making decisions, and voting, as if we are daring someone to show us how bad it could be. We are becoming careless. I'm sure it's a pushback against the fearmongering that has replaced actually running a campaign, but people are using anger and an odd sense of 'well, it could never be that bad' to make important decisions. It's like we're all playing a video game, and we know if we blow up we can start again, in a few seconds. And again. And again.
We are becoming mean. We are becoming hateful and distrusting. And our leaders seem content to keep it that way, knowing fear works.
I think what they are all forgetting is that when you no longer have anything to lose, that stops working. Keep stripping us down, and wait for the concept of the Polite Canadian to become a myth.