Friday, August 24, 2012

Pardon my Absence

It feels like I can finally sit at a computer long enough to put out a blog piece again, after a very frustrating week and a half, as my neck issues seem to be easing off a bit. I had no idea how attached I was to this device until it was impossible to interact with it properly. Well, that's not really true: I had a pretty good idea how attached I am to it. Didn't make it any easier, though.

So, did I miss much? Let's see, there was our buffoon of a mayor ignoring all the signs that clearly were not meant for him and walking into the Calgary Stampeders' dressing room while he was at a football game. Nothing really new there. Also this week came the news that Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger are engaged. The only possible good that could ever come out of such an unholy union as this one is the chance that Lavigne might "pull a Yoko" and break up Nickelback. If that were to happen, she has my vote to appear on the next $100 bill. Unless she's too "ethnic". Hey, you never know.

Then there is the story of the high school valedictorian in Oklahoma, about to enter college on a full scholarship except for one small issue: her school refuses to give her her high school diploma (which she obtained with straight-As, I might add) because she used the word "hell" in her speech. Never mind that she was actually quoting a movie that is very popular among her demographic; never mind that she didn't intend to quote it directly, but I guess it just happened that way; never mind that a valedictory address isn't supposed to be for anyone else but her classmates who gave her that honour. No, her school won't give her the diploma unless she apologizes. Here's hoping she doesn't. Oklahoma, seriously, I think you have other, more pressing things to worry about. But let's look at the bright side here: at least Oklahoma isn't Missouri, located right next door. Because Missouri, at the moment, is home to one of the dumbest, most despicable men to hold any power in the States right now. Missouri is home to Todd Akin.

The despicable Todd Akin
credit: Jeff Roberson/AP
If you don't know who Todd Akin is then I urge you to find out who he is and why he's evil (you can click on his name in the previous paragraph) and do not vote in any future US elections (if you live there) until you catch up. Todd Akin is, almost literally, everything that's wrong with his party of choice in the US wrapped up in one ugly little package. And he is a six term Member of Congress. Six terms. (And we think we have it bad in Toronto with Rob Ford.) In an email exchange with my friend, Adam Socha, I wrote the following paragraph and I wanted to reprint it here because it sums my feelings up perfectly.

How have we come to this? When did the intelligence of man as a species reach its upper limit and begin to backslide? How is it possible for someone like Todd Akin to get to where he is? I can understand that people like him - damaged, darkly-warped people - exist in the world, but how did it come to the point where they not only reach adulthood as successful people but are fully capable of standing in front of a microphone and saying such things as he said as if it were the most normal thing in the world? This is not psychotic behaviour, where they try to "fit in" to society; this is a man thinking that his kind of thought process is not only not shocking but normal. And worse still: he might not be far off, as there is an entire, giant political party in the "Land of the Free" (which represents around 50% of their population) based almost completely on this sort of thinking.

How did this happen? And is there any way at all for it to be reversed?

Not too long ago I was lamenting the drop in our global IQ of recent years. I felt quite depressed about the whole thing and I'm pretty tired of being depressed about it. I feel like, for some reason, I have turned a corner recently and now I am angry instead. I am furious at the stupidity and lack of basic human understanding of far too many people who hold far too much power in our world, or at least our corner of it. I don't care how "Fundamentalist" you are; I don't care where you stand on abortion or Jesus or any politics at all: there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to have reached the advanced age of the Todd Akins of the world and still have absolutely no idea how babies are made, especially when you have some of your own. Worse still -- oh, far, far worse -- his six children have all been home-schooled. Now just stop and think about that for a moment. When Todd Akin dies he will have left behind six people that were taught at home by a man who truly believes that a woman's body can try to "shut that whole thing down" and not allow a pregnancy to occur if that woman is "legitimately raped". Six people to carry on his "word". That does not bode very well for the future, now does it?

And again, I ask: how have we come to this? And is there any way at all for it to be reversed?

I know I'm a bit late to the party with this post and I apologize for that. But you didn't really think I was going to let it go completely, did you?

In the meantime, Pussy Riot are still in jail, the inspectors that came to see Marineland can find "nothing wrong", and some moron shot up the morning commute (or it could even have been the police, details are sketchy) at the Empire State Building today.

I feel like it's going to be a very interesting autumn here in North America. I just feel it. Am I alone?

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I've kept my comments open and moderation-free for many years, but I've been forced to now review them before they post due to the actions of one member of my family. I apologize for having to take this stance, but that's the way the world is headed, sad to say. Thank you for your understanding.

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