Stuff I’m Cheering For …

For the last ten years or so, I’ve been surrendering slowly.  Like a dwarf peeing on a forest fire, I’ve been raging against the forces of evil who want to turn everybody on this planet into a grim-faced, Politically Correct automaton — just as miserable as they are.  These are the folks who destroyed satire, abolished irony, replaced love with the “relationship” and sucked the fun out of every holiday from Valentine’s Day to Christmas.  And I’m not even going to go into what they did to sex and junk food!  Anyway, with Covid-19 and American politics fueling the fire, for a while there, I thought all was lost.  Man, do I need to replace my rose-coloured glasses!  There are tons of cool things happening all over the world, and every one of them is a bucket of hope to pour on the flames.  So here are just a few things I’m cheering for these days. 

Hallowe’en parents – It’s a tough year to have little trick-or-treaters, so I’m cheering for anybody who’s trying to keep the holiday alive – especially the one who aren’t boycotting Mulan.

Women who wear skinny jeans – I have no idea how they get into them, and I’m sure they can’t be comfortable, but anybody who strikes a blow against yoga pants gets a cheer from me.

Movie makers – Actually, I’m giving 3 cheers to the people who’ve decided only villains wear those hideous Man Buns.  Good going, folks!

My niece and her husband – They’ve been together forever and have never once mentioned the word “relationship.”  (I think they’re in love.)  And now they’re having a baby.  The audacity of optimism!  Total congrats!

Je suis Samuel It goes without saying that I’m cheering for anybody who stands up to those idiot terrorist bastards

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – Since she was elected leader in a very weak minority government, she’s handled a terrorist attack, a couple of natural disasters and kicked the crap out of Covid-19 – and, oh yeah — in her spare time, she had a baby.  Living proof that not all politicians are dolts.  BTW, last week, she was re-elected with the largest majority in 50 years!

That Guy in Canada – A Canadian onion seller tried to put an advertisement on Facebook, but it was rejected because it was “overtly sexual.”  (The ad was just a picture of onions.)  Laughing all the way to the bank, Jackson McLean posted the same picture and Facebook’s rejection on his own website.  The onions sold out in 3 days!  Take that, you mindless techno-tyrant!

And finally:

The Danes – Every one of them.  The Danes have a word, samfundssind that basically means “community spirit,” but it’s more about people taking responsibility for the community — kinda like “Hey, we’re all in this together, so don’t be a dick!”  This flies in the face of the WHAT-ABOUT-ME culture most of the rest of us have.  But it also means Denmark is a cool place to live.  People there are nice to each other; they wait their turn; they don’t throw trash in the streets; they say please and thank you and clean up after their dogs.  But mostly, they trust each other to be just as reasonable.  FYI, Danish parents routinely leave their baby buggies on the sidewalk when the go into shops and cafes.  That’s some serious trust!  We should all take a page out of that book.

The War On Free Speech

silence

In 1946, Martin Niemoller wrote a damning bit of prose to illustrate the rise of fascism and the cowardice of the intellectuals (including himself) who let it happen.  Here is one of the original versions.

First they came for the Communists —
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists —
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists —
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews —
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me —
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

In the 21st century, they may call themselves innocuous names, profess their moral authority and say they speak for the betterment of society.  But don’t be fooled.  This is all about power.  This is about who controls the flow of ideas.  This is about silencing the opposition.  And the pattern is exactly the same.

First they came for Hate Speech —
And I didn’t speak out
Because it sounded like a good idea.

Then they came for Controversial Speech —
And a lot of people didn’t speak out
Because they didn’t want to get lynched on Social Media.

Then they came for Offensive Speech —
And most people didn’t speak out
Because the ones who did were losing their jobs.

Now they’re coming for Opinion,
And everybody is too frightened to speak out.

So when they come for Free Speech,
Don’t be surprised
When there’s nobody left to defend it.

Common Sense – What’s On Your Plate?

grabher-license-plate

The War on Common Sense continues and, in fact, has opened up a whole new battleground – automobile licence plates.  (FYI: if you have enough money, you can choose what is printed on your automobile’s licence plate.  For example, according the BBC, in Dubai, the plate “1” sold for over ten million dollars. (That’s right – over 10 million US dollars!)  However, you have to be careful.  Let me tell you a cautionary tale.

Way back in 1990, in my country, Canada, a guy by the name of Lorne Grabher bought a “vanity plate” with his name on it – GRABHER – no space, no lower case, just GRABHER.  For the next 26 years, he drove his car around the streets with his last name in full view of the unsuspecting (and, I’m assuming, unconcerned) Canadian public.  This all came to a screaming halt in 2016 when the government received an “anonymous complaint.”  I don’t know what the complaint said, but the government shot into action, and Mr. Grabher was informed that he had to surrender his licence plate because it was a “socially unacceptable slogan.”  I can only imagine the conversation.

Grabher – “It’s not a slogan, you idiot: it’s my last name!”
Bureaucrat – “We’re the government, and we don’t care.”

Anyway, our boy, Grabher, decided he wasn’t going to surrender his last name without a fight and took the government to court.  The government, who has more taxpayer money than brains, replied with the bureaucratic equivalent of “Okay!  Bring it on!” and called in the big guns.  They retained an expert, Dr. Carrie Rentschler, Associate Professor of Feminist Media Studies at McGill University, to deliver a report on the subject.  In the report, Rentschler maintains that, among other things, the questionable license plate is an “act of violence,” “supports violence against women,” “endangers women” and implies “by the pussy.”  Strong stuff!

However, Mr. Grabher also retained an expert, Dr. Debra Soh, who has a PhD in Sexual Neuroscience from York University. In her report, Dr. Soh wrote, “Mr. Grabher’s plate is not offensive or dangerous to women by any means, and I have found no evidence to support the idea that a license plate bearing his surname would increase rates of sexual violence against women or encourage societal attitudes supportive of sexual assault.  To suggest that Mr. Grabher’s surname is ‘a statement in support of physical violence against women’ is completely unfounded”

The battle rages, and the court date, after much jockeying by both sides, is set for April, 2019.

I’m no expert either way, but this is totally nutsy!  A two-year court case over a license plate that existed for a quarter of a century before it offended anybody?  I’m pretty sure the courts have better things to do with their time, like – maybe — hearing cases of real domestic violence?  Plus, it’s the guy’s last name, for God’s sake!  Which, according to Dr. Carrie Rentschler, means his very existence “supports violence against women.”  If that’s the case, where did the guy work?  There are not a lot of companies around that want an employee whose name implies “by the pussy.”  Who were his friends?  How did he ever get a date?  “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson.  My name is “a statement in support of physical violence against women.”  Is Betty ready to go to the Prom?”  Yeah, that works!  And it goes on and on.  Given this kind of round-the -bend logic, postal workers should refuse to deliver Mr. Grabher’s mail just because it’s got his name on it.  Think about it!

Here’s the deal, folks.  Our society hasn’t lost its common sense: common sense is under attack, and we’d better start defending ourselves before it’s too late.