All good things…..

We have been in Phoenix for almost 7 weeks.  Escaped all the BC snow ‘cept for the first few days.  Been living in sunshine down here ‘cept for the first few days which was mostly just refreshing rain with a lot of sunshine in between.  The desert was beautiful.  No question, Phoenix in January and February is a very pleasant retreat from a Canadian winter, even the mild ones we have on the coast.

And, today it snowed again around the Salish Sea. My host wrote to tell me, “It snowed again!!! Change your flights, stay another week, save yourselves man, for the love of God!!!! 

We missed four earthquakes, too.

To stay is tempting.  A little.  But NOT tempting enough.  Why?  I don’t know, really. There is no place like home?  I am not a cowboy…?  Flat and brown gets me down….?  I don’t play cards and ‘do’ BBQ with old folks….?  Seen one mall, seen ’em all…..?  I don’t really know…..

It’s probably just that I am old. I thought I’d be drawn to play golf.  I really like golf. But, well, I was more drawn to writing the book and we are definitely closer to the end of that exercise.  This trip turned out to be a writer’s retreat and, in that vein, it was superb.  Takes time to read and re-read the same book ten times and changing it every time.

It was also a chance to peak into the ‘media’ and ‘news’ that is right here in the heart of Trumplandia.

I confess: NPR and PBS is good.  CBS and CNN are good.  Of course, the BBC is good.  So is the NY Times and a handful of other news sources.  Instead of flag-waving and ignorant propaganda, many ‘Merican news sources seem to be making an extra effort to be ‘neutral’ and fact-based.  This new trend to ‘fact-checking’ may, in fact, reestablish the MSM as something to listen to.

Last night FOX News did a report on Sweden’s Immigration problems as touted by Trump.  They interviewed two ‘security advisers’ to support their contention that Sweden is having unreported difficulties with immigration. By this morning, several major news agencies reported that no officials at any level of government in Sweden had ever heard of the so-called security advisers interviewed on Fox. Fox simply made up the titles!

Mind you, ‘security adviser’ is hardly a title restricted to only trained and specially educated people.  I am pretty sure I could claim to be a security adviser.  Who can say otherwise?  But the claim had implications of official status, authenticity and legitimacy.  It was none of those.

But my point is: the media war is on.  Fox lies on Saturday night and is debunked Sunday morning.  The MSM has never been so ‘on the ball’, so diligent in their fact-checking and so focused on truth-telling.  I think it is a good thing.

But, so far, that kind of professional journalism has not spread to the Vancouver Sun, CBC or Global.

I.e. Where is the OUTRAGE at the BC Liberal party for the blatant ‘bribing of the electorate’ (with the electorate’s own money) just before the next election after years of withholding?  Where is the condemnation of the site C dam that has been crumbling in various ways from the get go and now has a major crack in the wall? Where is the follow-up story on the make-us-all-rich promise of LNG?  Where is the anger at the Kinder Morgan pipeline sell-out?  Seriously? The US media is better than ours.

I admit to having watched much worse media than ours, too.  The local Arizona station did five or six stories in a row that were not stories at all.  ‘Police getting nicer’ (some feel good cops talking to people took up gobs of time), a story on ‘therapy dogs’ for the mentally challenged, a practice session for some applicants in the Special Olympics, some motorcycle rider’s traffic accidents and a day care that is not up to scratch with cleaning and such.  Half an hour of less-than-gossip. Stupid-making gibberish passing as news and filled with advertisements for lawyers and drugs.  Very weird.  In effect, it was cheap, amateurish local news-gathering used to convey an extraordinary level of huckster-style-advertising.

My biggest take-away from Arizona is a confirmation that the common people everywhere share so much of the same values; kindness, consideration, generosity and friendliness.  These are nice folks.  Ignorant?  I think so…..but benignly so for the most part.  They prefer sitcoms and football, BBQ and shopping malls, fast food and country music to anything more complicated.  But they’ll share their BBQ and beer at the drop of a hat.  That ain’t all bad.

I have known this kind of common humanity everywhere I have been in my life.  It may be soccer and cervezas, rice and chicken feet or Vodka and borscht, makes no difference, the common people are usually alright. Nice.  Pleasant.  Like sheep, really. Easy to exploit, manipulate and manage, that’s for sure. But easy to like, as well.

It’s been a good vacation.


10 thoughts on “All good things…..

  1. Hi David
    please put me down as your number 7 reader. I whole heartily agree people the world over are basically the same as us. How has politics reached this level?
    Don’t you just love Kristi Clark and her bribery technics although ever govn. does this. MSP reduction not until 2018 because they raised the cost last year. Are we not the only province with this additional health cost? Maybe Quebec.
    looking forward to having you home again. Home is home I have heard many Syrian refugies saying they can’t wait to go HOME.


    • 7 is a good number. A 16.5 increase! I think travel is the greatest educator. See people in their culture and you see yourself in your own just dressed differently. Politics has become like money – the ends justifies the means and the stated ends is just wealth and power. They have no concern for the means being honest, moral or ethical.
      This Clark openly-cynical bribe is disgusting and should be attacked on several levels. Where’s Horgan? Where’s Weaver? Where’s Vaughn Palmer?
      I am looking forward to being home, too.


  2. It has been instructive to observe the media in Canada in full cry against socialist policies. One an ongoing basis the media mocks the NDP. Let the media rail against socialist policies such as OAP, MSP, CPP, EI, ICBC, social housing infrastructure projects to list but a few and the media will still smear socialism. Canada has a media disconnected from the realities of daily life. The latest target of BC media is the Leap Manifesto which is an aspirational transitional policy to move to green sources of energy over time. Rona spent a month on a climate change deniers oil funded yacht. Bairly a peep from our media.


    • The belief that free enterprise, capitalism and markets are panaceas is false. Unfettered capitalism is what has gotten us into this mess. And social programs are never better than band-aids, anyway. The real answer is to fix our capitalistic system, our institutions and to do so based on ethics and morals. Never gonna happen. The winners are the elite .01% and the institutional heads. Why would they ever want to change?
      There has been a war being waged in the Canadian media as well. The CBC has been dying from a thousand cuts and is now a shadow of it’s former self. Global and CTV, Corus and the other private media have risen. The small town voice has all but disappeared. Big Corporations control the ‘market’ and they have dumbed it down like the sheep seem to want.
      I am optimistic but NOT optimistic by conventional routes. I am optimistic because of the contrarians, the OTG’ers, the Snowdens and the Idle No Mores. I have little trust in our too-old-and-staid ways of doing things. We need something new.


      • Corporate media is not overly helpful. Just heard Rob Ford’s brother explain on a corporate broadcaster how he and Rob ironically were for the working person. That connection is a little hazy but Rob did have a nose for the issues and he was crackingly good at finding the most potent nose. Social programmes are far from bandaid solutions. Child poverty is about 40% in BC, what economic system will end child poverty? We have 18 year olds timing out of ministry care and dying. Welfare is $610 per month. What economic system is solving that issue? I know ‘personal responsibility’ is posited as a solution but minimum wage jobs pay below the poverty line. Creating a class of working poor is no solution. Try to get training for a trade…good luck. Try and find an industrial arts teacher trained in BC! Need a woodworking, metalworking, automotive teacher then hire in the U.K. The governments that will not invest to end poverty and they are for the working man? Please!


        • We agree. That’s what I mean. We can’t have a truly unequal system and compensate for it with food banks. The only way is to fix the larger system. NOT add more band-aids. Admittedly, there will always be the mentally ill, the physically challenged and the ‘abandoned’. We will always need some Triage-like social programs. But they are NOT the answer. The answer for the majority is a better larger system. A better, fairer, equitable, honest, ethical, moral system. And it is that ideal for which I despair. I just don’t see it happening…..not the way it is trending now. If you want a better, fairer, more human system right now – a step off the grid is a step up. But it is a marginal step, I acknowledge that.


          • whaaa, you are not fond of card games, bbqs, and shopping malls,,,?
            I read on CBC Edmonton , garth brooks sold out 9 shows in a 7 day window, more then 160,000 seats, Arizona zeitgeist is not that distant


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