When Trump won the 2016 election, I was very surprised. But my surprise took a distinctly different direction initially….I was, of course, distinctly unimpressed by Trump, the pig, but I was stunned at what that perverted victory ACTUALLY said to me. It said, “The White House is NOT a sanctified place. It is NOT special. In fact, the White House is currently occupied by rich white trash and millions of vermin are cheering him on.”
Trump instantly and single-handedly put the ‘holy ground’ of the White House into the same real estate category as the lowest trailer park. Trump took all the magic out of the White House and showed it up as the Motel 6 it really was. The White House was a dump and so were the trashy people who occupied it. That revealing ugliness was quite a shock. It was a reality check.
Put more accurately and succinctly today, I now feel as if the ‘mythical’ White House is just an old building and a corrupt one at that. The pedestal has been removed. Perspective has been gained.
I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s (five years in California). The threat of nuclear war was taught to us weekly. We even had school drills on how to duck and cover under our desk (for an atomic bomb, no less). And, of course, Russia was, until 1989, the really BIG and SCARY bogeyman that embodied international evil. Let’s face it, they still kind of do. Or, better put: they did!
It turns out, Russia is NOT the ‘unstoppable force’ of evil I thought it was. It is just a country with an army, just a country with poor, young soldiers, just a medium sized tyranny run by a tiny weird man. It can and does, in fact, screw up on a large scale quite often – maybe just as bad or even worse than other dysfunctional countries. Russia is simply a neighbourhood bully is all.
Put more bluntly: except for their nuclear missiles, Russia is not really much of a threat to the West. Not even their next door neighbour. Russia is just a bigger North Korea. The curtain has been pulled back and the little wizard has been exposed. Perspective gained.
This ruination of mythical institutions can take many forms. Catholicism, for instance, has shown itself over time not just as a spiritual guide, a holy movement for good. It is often just a human, ugly, weak institution cloaked in false or covered-up history, fancy dress and ritual all at the same time. They have done evil. That is not a revelation, really. Most of us have rejected religion while still having a sense of a higher power or, as a friend of mine puts it, a omnipotent Universal Force. But the whole of a ‘bad’ church in such disgrace is a very dramatic and steep decline.
And, yet, we are watching a very slow and gradual exposure of all of our institutions – just like the Catholic church – as having feet of clay and hands where they shouldn’t have been.
Canada’s revered Health Care system is coming undone, too. It is now bloated and often ineffective. Our cops are showing up as taxpayer-funded gangs of thugs. Education is NOT working – not for the betterment of humanity, anyway, and few of the degree holders are living happily. Our politicians are increasingly, greedy, elitist and stupid. We are seeing the reduction of myths and fantasies into blunt, harsh realities of vulgarity, coarseness and ugliness. .
Conclusion: the facades of our cultural institutions (and those of other cultures, too) are falling away….
How did all that happen in barely one generation (well, during my generation, anyway)?
Observation: culture is formed more by mass communication than anything else. The priest speaks, the cop speaks, the teacher speaks, the doctor speaks, the news anchor speaks….and we used to listen and obey. Advertising, media, institutional propaganda and the like all once carried some kind of mythical status by communicating en masse one basically similar message. We believed their myths and, as Marshall McLuhan said so well, “The medium is the message.”
But the main disseminator of mis/information today is NOW the so-called ‘social media’. The public is drenched in social media – right, wrong or fantasy – we are saturated, immersed and engulfed in it. When I was younger and being brainwashed, I had to be home to hear ‘information’ on the 6:00 News. Or read a newspaper. Today, I can access tripe, crap, hate-speech, lies, propaganda, and occasionally some truth, in seconds anywhere and at anytime. Our information, misinformation and just-plain lies proliferates like the virus we also endure.
Is social media now just another false-front institution? Have we replaced old, fallible, human, rigid institutions with something MORE fallible, sub-human and disorganized? If so, that does not seem like a good trade-off.
And, like that now-familiar Covid virus, we do not know what is true and what is not anymore. That is perspective skewing at the very least.
I seem to recall asking all you folks a yesr ago (?) about what news could I watch to find TRUTH, and some gave suggestions, which I appreciated. Still,I found it difficult to access and accept. So much BS, in ALL those items you mentioned Dave, so I really don’t look much any more. I enjoy Russell Brands style of presenting but know nothing of his sources. I find Joe Rogan’s guests often fascinating but otherwise stay clear of all. Thank Gawd I live of grid and have faaar too much work to do. I could really get in trouble with all that BS. Ex. CRT, critical race theory. On one side it’s all boogeyman, on the other a must have. A definite definition? Good Luck. I rather get back to cutting firewood 😉🙂 because I agree (again 🙄) with most all you wrote. Things do look pretty bad. Is it good that I follow someone I most often agree with? Does that make me not quite right? I dunno. So the wood beckons!🙂 Be Well all.🙏
Hmmm….following those who write what you already know and agree with is pretty common, pretty natural. I guess doing so helps with perspective and even a bit of confirmation in a confusing time. But it is not enough. Ya pretty much have to read ‘other’ stuff, too, if for no other reason than perspective and confirmation……Or, I suppose, one could just chop wood and let the chips fall……
I do ‘try’ to get both sides, but have trouble finding the time. Otherwise, cutting and splitting wood etc. tho is terribly honest. It fits me well. 😉
One thing I do KNOW to be true. I am truly Happy. And the wife seems very much to be. Perhaps she’d need to have the kids closer (Ontario) and her family (Beijing) but for the vast majority, ‘WE’ are just so very Happy, so We must be on the right track, and damn the rest of the insane world 🌎. 😉🙂🥰🥳😎
Chip drop… 😉
Yeah, me, too. Sal, dogs, ocean, boats, the list just goes on and on – what is NOT to like about all that? Sal occasionally gets a hankerin’ for a visit or a gathering with people but more and more she is appreciating NOT having peeps and obligations. Easy to say…hard for her to do. I’d estimate that between friends, community work, bookclub, yoga, quilting, family and the Post Office, she is busy and away with people the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week. 20 – 24 in the summer. That is too much for me. I’m good for two and a half hours a week,TOPS. I am not-so-good but still under control for an ’emergency extension’ on 2.5 to as much as 3.5 hours. Four if it is the grandkids. After four hours with ‘folks’, I am fit to be tied, arrested, convicted and hung. But – just for perspective – I have three friends who can’t even keep up that reduced pace!
So, if we ever get to doing this BBQ, we have to eat and drink fast…like be in and out under 3 hours?
Well, yes. And no. Since you are not a grandchild, 2.5. Technically. On the face of it, that may seem a bit abrupt. On the other hand, with guests coming from a distance and having novelty, they automatically get bonus hours – the longer the distance, the more they get. Scotch-bringing also gets bonus hours and times spent drinking that scotch doesn’t count as hours against. Any effort at cleaning up, cooking or wood-chopping also earn special dividend hours. There are bonus hours for everything nice and helpful. I.e. if Sal likes you, you get double bonus hours every day!. Really great guest/s coming from overseas can parlay scotch, good behaviour and pleasant cooperativeness into a very long stay. Mind you, I reserve the right to go to my room for a nap at anytime.
Am I really that silly? Of course not. I’m joking. It is just that meaningless local chit chat, gossip and trivial complaints now seems to erode my otherwise delightful personality even more quickly than before so I try to limit those ‘just show up’ occasions to the bare minimum. Oddly, I know it is NOT the peeps. It is me. My hearing is slowly going….so I do not always hear what was said (kind of an essential trait one needs in gatherings). My list of interests has been culled to just OTG and world politics. My desire to flirt with women has pretty much left the building altho I still like leering at the younger ones and looking creepy. THAT never gets old. So much fun. My attention span has been reduced to less-than-puppy. And I usually need a nap every four hours. So the problem is me. And the problem is made worse because I do not see a problem with it.
I can live with that. Scotch is definitely on my list, as will be chocolates for Sal. I’ pretty good ad wood chopping, cooking, doing the dishes….so I think we can work something out 😉
Didn’t the Pope recently say that WWIII had already started.
I think highly of Australian journalist, Stan Grant.
We have a few good ones, too, to be sure. Andrew Nikforuk, for one. Beau of the Fifth Column for another. Icould make a list. But one good link in a long weak chain can’t do it all. And even really good journalists can’t BE everywhere. So the system (Reuters, AP. BBC, NBS, CNN, etc.) inevitably comes into play. And the system is invested in profit NOT truth.
Thanks, I’ll check ‘‘em out.
It is becoming more and more obvious that our society is not working. Not much happiness out there, out here, everywhere stress is the new normal. Pass the scotch.
It is ironic, in a way. I am happy. I am really happy…….and I will get happier if I do not look too far outside my little ‘Dave’s World’ made up of Sally, puppies, ravens and pretty boats. Throw in a bit of scotch for fun and it does NOT get any better. But – and here is the irony – Dave’s World is very, very small. The larger one is HUGE and, at the very least, causes ripples in Dave’s World all the time. So I feel obliged to KNOW what is going on. And that is almost always depressing – especially the last few decades. I must admit, my readership friends also bring me joy.
Maybe there has to be another world scale war (already started?) to bring hopefully back faith in some of our institutions (maybe a strong leader will emerge then). Reminds me of a Kipling quote I once read:
God and the soldier we like adore
In time of danger, not before
All things gone and all things righted
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted
Kipling’s quote is accurate, I think. We pay lip service to soldiers but that is about all. Soldiers should not be glorified but neither should they be ignored. We seem to do both.
There was a professor ( who’s name escapes me) many years ago that theorized that when a totalitarian country reached 50% telephone penetration ( and this was when phones were hard wired to your wall) that the State couldn’t monitor all it’s citizens.
Now we have cell phone and internet…
Where ANYTHING that a politician says can be checked and verified.
OR anything outrageous they say or do is instantly broadcast to the world….warts and all.
There’s no more “heroes” and Kennedy’s Camelot was a sham.
I was gonna refer to Kennedy’s Camelot in reference to the lost magic of the White House but thought it might be a bit obscure. Thank you. Camelot as the name of a ghetto now.
Unfortunately my observations about the internet “outing” todays politicians only works in a democracy.
China and Russia have software to “red flag” ( pun intended) and comments written or spoken that criticize the govt or the leaders.
Try wearing a Winnie The Poo shirt when arriving in Beijing.
You will be lucky if you are only refused entry…..
Their fearless leader doesn’t appear to have a sense of humour when he is compared to a fictional bear.
Any mention of The Poo on the Chinese internet will have you deleted, questioned, banned.
These days we can’t seem to avoid talking about poo. Of course, I blame the dogs but Xi might not give me the benefit of the doubt, the poophead!
Apparently the lock down of Shanghai isn’t going as smoothly as possible.
25 million people sitting, waiting for food, water medicine to be delivered to their homes( prisons) doesn’t generate a lot of love.
That and videos of children with Covid as young as 5 months being taken from their parents and left on cots with other children…unattended.
Or the smuggled video of Covid patients being kicked, punched and dragged by the hair to the isolation van by white clad attendant’s.
Methinks Chairman Xi’s policy of “total Lockdown” is rightfully……being questioned…..just as the quarantine centers and hospitals in the megapolis of Shanghai fill to the max.
Apparently people that have tested positive for Covid but show no symptoms are being told to “go home”.
But the Chairman cannot admit he was wrong. No no.
They will stubbornly continue to enforce a Lock down policy that cannot keep up with the latest strain of Covid that spreads quickly with few early stage symptoms.
No one ever accused ruthless Communist Leaders of being humble.
The ultimate worse case scenario?
1.4 Billion people. Most crammed in mega cities.
Tens of millions ( possibly hundreds of millions) of unvaccinated elderly and others in China ( China has only vaccinated about 15% of it’s population with the less than effective Sinovaxx…. due in large part to public scepticism of Western vaccines) may die….
With the smug anti Western anti vaxx propaganda still ringing in their ears.
Burial fires and grave sites will be overwhelmed, ( India’s funeral pyres and clogged rivers come to mind) and the “lock down policy” will be revealed for what it is….an unmitigated disaster of truly epic proportions.
The long term ramifications of a huge logistic center like Shanghai shutting down for months?
While I don’t live in the wilds of alaska it is for a reason. I swore, (while in the Army) that if i got out of the Ardenne Forest during winter manuvers in winter, I would never live anywhere that got that DAMN COLD. I bought property along the Colorado River in Arizona. Built my own house and retaining walls. It is lanscaped as I choose with a great view of the river. Bring on the 100+ degree weather. Just a happy river rat. Love my 120 mph river boat. P.S. I have NO debt, nada
Nice to see you, AZD. I know your area. And I also know COLD. As a fat guy, I am generally warmer than most but, as I age, I am no longer as toasty as before. I like to get away from the cold now, too. Sometimes to Arizona! Still, all in all, I cannot handle BIG heat either and so Az is only a month or two option for me. Paradise for ten months, Phoenix, maybe, for one or two.
Building your own house ain’t easy. Congrats. But it is well worth it, isn’t it? And no debts leaves a real nice aftertaste.
I assume you are OTG. Try and stay that way. Something extra freeing about not being attached to all the umbilicals of urban living.