“Billy – title theme”, Bob Dylan, from the soundtrack album of “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid”, (July 1973)
It seems that, without fail, every time I raise my head above the parapet to take note of the goings on in the mundane, I quickly observe something that sparks anger and outrage, that provokes me and leads me to sinful behaviour instead of charity and compassion.
My last post here turned into a polemic about how the behaviour of our leadership reflects poorly on us as a nation. I apologize for that post, which turned out to be an ill considered rant by an old fart with a twisted sense of humour and a nasty temper. I am stuck with it forever courtesy of “The Wayback Machine“. Sigh … so I changed some of it.
That reflexive outrage at the venal buffoonery and duplicitous utterances, the “Press Releases”, of the poltroons currently prancing about as our secular, and in some cases religious, betters is a serious occasion of sin for me. So I firmly resolve, for the most part, that I will continue to try to ignore whatever topic du jour has torqued my customers today.
I will avoid following up on stories which seem to make no sense at first, because the real story is often even more anger provoking than the curiosity provoked by the customer’s account of the story. I will strive to continue in, and increase my blissful ignorance of the daily media performance, thus avoiding all provocation and anger in my life.
The next 10 or so paragraphs is just me bragging about why I am qualified to express this opinion – your mileage may vary and you can just skip them if so inclined …
For better or for worse I am blessed/cursed with a combination of personality traits including intelligence, perception, and outspokenness, a willingness to be confrontational when confronted, a desire to direct players away from predictably bad outcomes by pointing out the likelyhood of those outcomes, and offering a measurably better way to accomplish the targeted ends.
I sailed righteously and serenely through my first career in the NAVY, followed by a 10 year stint in the Department of Justice (Corrections) without a blip … I thrived, was promoted to staff officer, and “was mentioned in dispatches“. HA! Life was good.
Then I became a civilian and discovered the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Evil seems to proliferate when there are no immediate consequences for the perpetrators. I was told, by a senior VP no less, soon after gaining employment as a IT professional with a major health region, that the objective of every effort was to place the organization in the bottom 25% of peer organizations.
That was the sweet spot for budgets and effort … never in last place because that attracts lots of negative attention and we are made an example of, … but rather we should strive to always be second or third worst, thereby always getting the lion’s share of budgets to “improve” our performance and incidentally building the Departmental Silos ever taller. I tried my best to accommodate and adapt to the culture of the organization, but perhaps didn’t try hard enough.
Sensei, Sinsang, Sonsaeng, Seonsaeng or Xiansheng is an honorific term shared in Chinese honorifics and Japanese honorifics that is translated as “person born before another” or “one who comes before”, one’s senior or one’s superior perhaps. Another, perhaps better, take is that of Senpai … I guess that would make me the Kohai.
Senpai (先輩, “earlier colleague”) and kōhai (後輩, “later colleague”) are a pair of Japanese words which describe an informal hierarchical interpersonal relationship found in organizations, associations, clubs, businesses, and schools in Japan.
Anyway, I never made a complete change to the civilian way of “doing business”. I was later chastised severely by some senior bosses in my civilian career, for having “an over developed sense of justice“, of right and wrong, which brooked no denial and demanded that the guilty be outed in their bad behavior, even if the guilty happen to be those very bosses.
I can assure you that taking that stance is a career altering decision. On the other hand it keeps one out of prison, and perhaps even out of Hell, so I guess it’s a wash. Senpai? How do you spell whistle-blower? I guess I have an acknowledged talent for being an “annoying a—at” at certain times and with certain people, and that’s all my own fault and my sin. I choose pride and self-righteousness instead of humility and compassion.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
My sister, having spent her corporate career as a director of personnel for a multinational communications company, states that I am a classic ENTJ. I think she majored in Myers Briggs in university (joking), and sees all people through that particular filter but the agreement of my daughter with that analysis based on her own Myers Briggs studies seems to lend it some credibility.
That may be a reason for my behaviour but it does not excuse that behaviour. There is good reason that I spend an ever declining amount of time and resources worrying about and observing the daily goings on of our society outside of my immediate daily existence viewed from my library window.
Perhaps all of the above is merely an expression of my own pride, my hunger for approval, and the desire to be “acknowledged as right” and “on the side of the angels”. If I was truly humble and contrite maybe I would not write anything like that, but there really appears to be nothing of lasting value to see or hear in the wider world.
We have only the the current rogues gallery of media idols misbehaving and lying about it, twisting the who, what, when, where, why, to fit their narrative of the day and the public reaction to their latest tweet.
But I have on good authority that even the most egregious scandal monger caught in the very act of wrongdoing, especially in an act of sexual misconduct of some sort, as in “he had been caught in flagrante with the wife of the Association’s Treasurer“, can, in spite of the unlikelihood, experience conversion and repentance and go on to a life of great holiness.
A case in point might be St. Augustine, bishop and doctor of the church … just read Augustine’s “Confessions“ for the whole sordid but eventually uplifting story.
So Lord, from the desire of being right, and being seen to be right, deliver me.
But, what are the irritating highlights of the view over the parapet today? What is my observed truth, my reality?
First, we have the political arena, with Justin and Rachel, and Donald, and a host of other players whose names just don’t stick in my mind because they don’t live in my back yard.
We seem lately to have arrived at a place where we, or rather Justin, our favorite proxy, are pissing off everyone, in a minor sort of way, by trying to be polite to everyone, in a minor sort of way.
And all the usual suspects are jingoisticly trying to drum up outrage on all the social media networks about being insulted by China when in fact the Chinese have merely shone a light on the truth. If we look rather slaternly in that light perhaps the solution is to amend our behaviour as a country? But what do I know, here in the boondocks of flyover country, after all I am just another bitter clinger.
The current brass trophy seems to be deciding whether or not to have Chinese spyware in our electronics or American spyware in our electronics, all the while trying to save face and not piss off the bogymen our leaders are most afraid of, which is actually we their own citizens. Sigh … who gives a rip who is spying on us, as long as the electronics work reliably and the related satellites don’t fall out of the sky.
Second, we have the religious arena, momentarily being the religion of Material Realism with its whole “everything is just a reactive process” idea, and we can say anything we want about anything at all because all that is real is our narrative of relativity.
That canard gives us all the great evils of the last hundred years or so and lately, global warming or global freezing as the propaganda ministry sees fit to expound on. It also gives plausible cover for whatever tax and power grab the Brights are intent on this month.
For an example of the inverted thinking and writing that this mindset can produce, read this article. And of course in the 70’s (remember the 70’s? They came after the 60″s which no one who was actually there remembers today), anyway, in the 70’s we were all going to die from starvation brought on by over population and global cooling.
“Somewhere In Neverland”, All Time Low, from the album “Don’t Panic”, (2012)
We are doomed unless … sound familiar? Check out the articles here , and here for some entertaining reading about environmentalist’s predictions in the recent past. The malleability of these forecasts boggles the mind but the underlying agenda never changes. FUD conquers all.
The bottom line for the man in the street, in winter Alberta, is that the destruction of the Alberta economy resulting from the FUD being spread about by our leadership at the behest of various anti-western anti-economy, pro socialist environmental groups such as George Soros‘ “Tides Foundation“, and Tides Canada, is far more harmful than any flavor of spyware or foreign information gathering activities through our new fridge or GPS. With any kind of spine we could just ban all American and Chinese products and import everything from South Korea.
What Canada does instead is import our political morals from North Korea and then pretend with much virtue signaling that we are not being screwed over by either the Chinese or the Americans, or anyone else for that matter, depending on the day and the latest tweets on Social Media.
These dubious sources seem to be where most Canadians get most of their “information”. Just for the record, my readers understand that I include the CBC and the BBC in the domain of “Social Media”, with all that that implies with respect to their honesty, accuracy and reliability.
Third, we have spiritual arena, and the current return of ancient syncretism amongst even some nominally catholic authorities. Where to go on that front? Nothing but grief and pitfalls down this path, right? Unless of course one believes that none of it matters anyway, don’t ask, don’t tell, no harm, no foul.
Where do we go when some church leaders seem to be saying that although technically a breach of some code or law or tradition may have occurred there is no need for punishment, apology or retribution if no actual damage occurred.
A rose by any other name … what is Truth? So what to do? What is acceptable to think and talk about then?
Well, following the lead of social media and the progressive materialist members of my family we could “think” about “Global Warming”, right? That’s gonna work out just fine for coffee klatch, also kaf·fee·klatsch (kŏf′ē-klăch′, -kläch′, kô′fē-), also known as a casual social gathering for coffee and conversation.
[Partial translation of German Kaffeeklatsch : Kaffee, coffee + Klatsch, gossip; see klatch.] Elsewhere referred to as “I don’t care about your damned facts Joe, I just want to have a pleasant conversation over coffee with my friends“.
But details and facts actually matter very much. Get your details and facts wrong and you get your decisions and choices wrong. Get your choices wrong and you get your politics and economics wrong. Get your politics and economics wrong and you get Venezuela … and every other failed nation state in the history of the world. Hey! Who cares about details and facts … who cares.
It is the sort of “thinking” that gives us the “Polar Vortex” as a result of “Global Warming’. But “Global Warming” was what the progressives gave us when the “New Ice Age” didn’t pan out in the 70’s and 80’s … just more of the same old story.
Yep. The world is going to come to an end and humans will be extinct in 20 years . . . UNLESS government empowered, billionaire funded, NGO’s strictly control every human being’s existence, activities, and wealth.
It is the same old con game to fleece consumers and screw taxpayers to benefit the political class, their cronies, the big multinationals and the Ubber Wealthy international billionaires that fund the lobbyists. All that glisters is not gold, in fact it is often shyte in a bucket, the staple diet of the chattering classes everywhere.
But I don’t think that what is top of mind in every media venue is particularly newsworthy, or even that we are actually entering into some end-times paroxysm of concentrated misbehavior. We have just become numb to the daily deviance of our society so that we no longer even find it remarkable. It’s just the same old, same old, day to day distillation of venal self love by every actor continuing to mount, and at current levels the concentration, the miasma of perfidity, obscures any sense of sin or decorum that might have remained.
Our societal idols, the players and talking heads reporting on the antics of the royal court, sin, sin mightily, and all the while have absolutely no apparent awareness that we/they are doing anything wrong, that there are undesirable consequences necessarily flowing from every deception, every misdirection, every misrepresentation, every narrative, every attempt to hide and pretend that we are not really doing what we are so obviously doing.
And in my attachment to my own almighty “rightness”, my enlightened understanding of what is going on and the “obvious” outcomes flowing from these daily churnings of the soup in the MSM soup kitchen, I jump to judgement and rail against the “obvious”, with rude aspersions against the characters and actions of all the players, and I sin mightily. I cannot know what goes on in the hearts of men … really, but I “assume” and we all know what that does, right?
So … rant in haste and anger, repent at leisure, or something like that. And again I make my habitual mistake … Who or what am I to make judgements about others … any others? This is probably a real good time for an examination of conscience.
“Hotaru” by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”, (2013)
Wondering these days why I think the way I do and about how to encapsulate my point of view, or even if that matters at all. Our society is addicted to tags and classifications by which folks can avoid actually getting to know others and just easily slip them into a convenient box.
I find it far easier to identify what I am NOT than to articulate what I am. Not a right wingnut nor a left wingnut, not a Progressive, not a Socialist, not a Communist, not a Republican, not a Liberal or a Democrat, not a Conservative and still less a New Democrat or National Socialist, not really a “Party Animal” at all.
I find some things to agree with in many of the platforms and much to disagree with in ALL the platforms. I am Catholic but not a hypersuperueberpapalist (to use one of Fr. Hunwicke’s very useful coinages). So what gives me the right to even have an opinion? What am I?
Not a knuckle-dragger regardless of the opinions of sundry relatives, not a fly-over country Luddite clinging to my guns and religion, not really a fan of any fashionable linear classification on some arbitrary plane such as the usual extreme right/extreme left continuum. Not slotted or boxed, as in someone’s poor straw-man.
I see folks rather as a spherical complex of radii of various strengths and lengths embracing the entire gamut of human feelings, positions and thoughts. No linear continuum in that model.
These days, I am more and more thinking that I feel like a “Reactionary“.
Wikipedia defines: “A reactionary is a person who holds political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous political state of society, which they believe possessed characteristics (discipline, respect for authority, etc.) that are negatively absent from the contemporary status quo of a society. As an adjective, the word reactionary describes points of view and policies meant to restore the status quo ante.
Political reactionaries are at the right-wing of a political spectrum; yet, reactionary ideologies can be radical, in the sense of political extremism, in service to re-establishing the status quo ante. In political discourse, being considered a reactionary is generally regarded as negative (ed. at least it is amongst the Left-wingnuts); yet the descriptor “political reactionary” has been adopted by the likes of the Austrian monarchist Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, the Scottish journalist Gerald Warner of Craigenmaddie, the Colombian political theologist Nicolás Gómez Dávila, and the American historian John Lukacs. ”
Seems like a good start. Where do I go from here? Well, looking at the world outside my corner office, my electronic library of antiestablishmentarianism … always remembering, of course, that what words mean can change, sometimes quite rapidly depending on who is spouting the words in question.
My usage of that nice long word means this to me: antiestablishmentarianism is a political philosophy that views a nation’s or society’s power structure as corrupt, repressive, exploitative, or unjust.
And of course whoever is out of power at any particular moment of time tend to believe that the philosophy in power is “corrupt, repressive, exploitative, or unjust”, right? Whoever is not you is wrong, right?
So that’s my plan for the next few posts … to think about the political arena for a bit, then to think about the religious arena for a bit, and finally to dip into the spiritual arena from a current Catholic perspective.
So to refocus on the all important spiritual domain rather than the vacuous banality of the mundane I will conclude with a link to a tremendously important homily by Fr. Chad Ripperger at Sensus Traditionis. This homily is slightly over an hour long and is perhaps the best single encapsulation of our global reality that I have ever listened to. It is truly well worth the hour of your time.
Denying that there will be a judgement day is just ad-hominem claptrap offered by people with no discernible factual base to their belief system.
post scriptum …
I am often amazed at the ignorance giving rise to the unfounded belief that somehow mankind is “good” and “deserving” in and of itself … kind of a mish-mash of good intentions and naturally nice giving rise to the notion that Christianity gave us nothing and we are all going somewhere nice when the show is over … hmmm. Many folks, ignorant of history and the reality of the pre-Christian world, believe, like little children, that every one is nice and good and if we would all agree and go along with the progressives everything would be just peachy keen.
I am reminded of a scene from “Life of Brian” namely “”What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?”