Sobering observations

My daughter, her husband and a friend (plus dog) have come to visit us for a week. They are Albertans (you can NOW see why I cut the right-wing a little bit of slack). They, themselves, are not right-wingy, of course, but, if you live amongst dogs, you can come away with a flea or two. Peer group and neighbours are a strong influence. My daughter et al scratched themselves with their legs and said a few things ‘Albertan’.

The biggest topic was Covid related. The SiL (son-in-law) was hit the hardest and there have been some lingering complications. He has long Covid (LC). LC, in his case, meant heart abnormalities, like a runaway heartbeat and extreme fatigue. He had tests. The doctors claimed that they could not (as in prohibited-by-law) tell him that it was his heart, vaccine or Covid related. That, alone, is weird. In addition, when he attended a community meeting, he mentioned his LC and immediately was surrounded by others with ‘the exact same symptoms’, followed by the exact same tests and explained in the same oblique way “No one will actually SAY anything!” That, too, is weird.

There is no question in my mind that Covid did, in fact, alter the world considerably from the one we previously knew and it is still doing so. ATWAWKI – altered the world as we knew it.

I have another friend who is and always has been rather conservative. But sanely so. As he ages, he is trending toward CONservative. He now reads the Epoch Times and follows Fox News. He does not believe 100% in all the conspiracy theories but he ‘just knows’ that some of them are true. He’s anti-abortion, anti-George Soros and Bill Gates and believes doctors are willy-nilly altering the gender of babies. “We gotta drain the swamp, Dave! Look at Hunter Biden!” He’s quite incensed about all the Libs. And he is a Canadian!

OMG! That is weird!

Another friend cracked a joke at a small public gathering about the well-recognized penchant for the Chinese to copy/counterfeit Western products. Everyone laughed save for a woman of Asian descent who demanded the administration require this friend to make a public apology. And so a board of something summoned him and demanded an apology – the same people who laughed at the joke! C’mon! That is just plain nuts!

And so it goes. If I had to put a single word to all this other than ‘weird’, it would be ‘prickly’. Everyone is acting prickly, overly sensitive to mild infractions and interactions……..even that of the doctors who ‘would not say’ because of ‘legal’ issues. Weird. It is almost as if we have adopted yet another barrier to communicating well and deleted what tolerance, patience and understanding we had previously. More weirdness. My mother used to use the phrase, “Walking on eggshells.” when referring to someone who was prickly but it was never used in the sense of ‘all of society or the community’.

When it applies generally, overall, everyone, universally, globally….that is a weird trend.

And our community is trending a bit weird that way, too. At first any divisive prickliness was generally limited to those against any kind of community improvement projects vs those who were in favour. Not unusual, really. Then it graduated to those who were anti-vaxxers vs those who were Bill Gate’s Guinea pigs (pro-vaxxers). That got a little intense at times. That was weird. And lately it has notched up again because the local government will be administering $2M in dock and wharf improvements and self interest is looming like mold. We are getting prickly. We are divided. We are showing greed. We are showing paranoia and suspicion……..to the extent that it starts to enter the weird category.

“Dave! What’s your point?”

I dunno….old people, it seems, always tend to say, “The world is going to hell in a handbasket.” And, so, maybe it is just the natural evolution of the senior’s viewpoint. Old guys get grouchy. So, maybe it is ‘same ol’, same ol’. NOT weird. Normal. I dunno.

But, if I had to make an observation on this, it would be: we are all (as a species) acting with less tolerance, more judgment and we are only creating more divisiveness. And I am looking to try and figure out why. What is gained by that? Are we unconsciously trying to de-globalize? Are we reverting to tribalism? Is increasing racism a denial of the greater trend to homogenize? If so, why? Are we all trying to be perfect? Perfectly what? And if so, why…who are we trying to impress? Or, instead, are we evolving too quickly and are subconsciously trying to put the brakes on? What is the collective result from this growing divisiveness and how would that be of any kind of benefit?

Put more succinctly: why would a doctor be prohibited by law from answering questions from their patient? Why would people demand public apologies for jokes? Why are people so inclined to believing plots and conspiracies?

Any ideas?

9 thoughts on “Sobering observations

  1. Haha, bill Maher tonight is channeling your blog theme, he had a refreshing guest writer on who nails it.
    For myself can’t offer much ,, got a Lenard Cohen ear worm going on
    “A million candles burning for the help that never came” is that Puerto Rico, or Somalia, or Pakistan ,,?
    Or maybe Burns holocaust docu?

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  2. You know me a bit, we talk, we drink wine and Scotch together (a bit). Our difference (one of several) is that for some reason unknown or even imaginable to me you still seem to care about the surrounding shit storm. I again urge you to stop! You can do nothing relevant to the insanity that is quite quickly encompassing our lives. I leave you with this
    Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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    • Sorry, TS, I have no idea what, “Or Her!” might mean…..’Her’ capitalized suggests that God may be female and I have been thinking about that a lot. But I am pretty sure God is male. Males seem to have a better sense of humour than females (oh, please!) and, let’s face it, there is a lot of dark humour at work going on here…….this is the work of a very twisted male.

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  3. I guess the past years are getting below the skin of everybody. My glass always has been half full, but these last months and whats looming ahead also drains my glass

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  4. Yeah…and I am trying to get a handle on why everyone is feeling/acting that way…? NOT because of the obvious reasons, those are actually just the symptoms of something underlying, something more basic and fundamental to the human condition. For reasons inexplicable we, as a species, are living in bleak times the bulk of which WE created. And bleakness creates more bleakness. The only truly fundamental REASON I can see is climate change. That makes some sense as a root cause. But Trump? China? Covid? Russia? Those are things that show up BECAUSE of something dark and bleak behind it. Typically (in psychology) people, species, villages, tribes adopt a tactic that benefits them. They may be wrong in that they choose the wrong tactic (see Putin) but the motive was to gain a benefit. I cannot see how this current era of conflict, divisiveness, malais, neurosis and anxiety benefits anyone save for Alex Jones types. It just seems collectively self-destructive. To be fair, whales, Lemmings, locusts and other species occasionally take on a suicide pact…so there must be a reason. I just do not see it.

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