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?

21 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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      • Of course we have differences, you are almost a century older and (giggle) wiser than me. I like being a introvert/semi recluse, you not so much. I enjoy the cold/rainy/dark days of winter, finding it refreshing and invigorating (as long as there is wood for the fire). Waking up to a thumping rain while snuggled in my bed is “perfect”. Walking the dog daily in such weather is just that, same, same. Forget the rest, enjoy now, what you have, nothing else ever mattered.

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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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    • Getting a “handle” on the emotions/feelings of the only insane mammal(us) on our beloved planet is just that”insane”. For all of time we “humanity “have plotted against, killed, decieved,coerced our own. Usually for personal gain or power over others. Its why our race is simply doomed. Nature has made an error and as the world turns slowly, it takes time to issue corrections. We will die in our beds in comfort, maybe our kids, but don’t hold your breath on that. I’m a reasonably good man, I don’t plot against my peers, I don’t take from others, and pay my way. I enjoy my life, family, friends and mostly my time alone within this perfect part of the world that we are so privileged to call home. I will not fret nor grieve the end of this failed attempt. There will be many others as the world can rebuild, renew itself in a geological heartbeat, it has billions of years of time to get it right.
      Rest your head David.

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  5. I think it started with the climate change. But then Covid hit us and we were facing a pandemic on a global scale (I think last time we had this was the Spanish Flue). So we were not used to something on a global scale that also affected “us” in the Western world. So “out” went our feeling of “untouchable”. We barely recovered from 2 years of Covid and in came Putin and the war in Ukraine. So out went the last hope of returning to what we called normal. So now everyone is afraid of times ahead, with hunger, cold, shortages and worst in mankind showing its ugly face. We, humans, have very short memories. Most of us did not know war and hunger. So maybe it is mass hysteria slowly creeping in?

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    • Hard to argue with Mass Hysteria altho Mass Paranoia should be in the mix. Whatever it is, it is Mass. Mind you, the masses manifest their neurosis differently and individually as well as in their groups, masses and nations. We Canadians seem to be a bit divided, a bit confused, a bit overly reactive and still quite-a-bit hunkered down in the basement. We are somewhat distracted by the madness playing out to the south of us, I guess. Europeans have that problem, too. More than just Muslims look to the east five times a day now. It’s like the feeling one might get being sick in a foreign city and know that you are being followed. Very uncomfortable. Very distracting. Doom looms. A very strange mood stalks the planet these days. I wonder: does that mood have to ‘bust out’. Elizabeth Strout, Andrew Nikiforuk, Bill Maher and a host of others have all written/spoken about this but they do what I do…point it out but do not fully ‘get why it is’.

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  6. I think all the political correctness and Woke agendas have EVERYONE walking on pins and needles.
    ANYTHING you say can be twisted into something racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, on and on and on.
    My solution.

    Non committal grunting and glares.
    Lots of glares.
    Keeps the socially fragile at a distance…

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  7. Just give it another month or 2 and then all hell will break loose. Autumn is kicking in, people start heating their houses. Bills are exploding (in average, the heating bill is 5 to 6x higher then last winter). So al lot of people will have to chose between eat or heat, both is unaffordable. I think by beginning of december, you will see in Europe the first mass street protests.
    Then come the energy consuming factories….already a lot of them are slowing down or closing their production, because they lose money if they continue production at these high energy prices. So shortages will also start to kick in (now already shortages of furtilizer….and since Co2 i a byproduct used in beverage industry….there will be a shortage in beer too!
    I read an article last week in the Financial Times. LNG costs in the US 7€ per MMU. The same LNG is then transported by ship to Europe and sold for 68€.
    Bulding a ship like that costs around 180 M€. So in just 1 trip from S to Europe with a full LNG tanker, they have enough profit to pay for the ship. So traders are making huge amounts of money these days on our backs. If we are global, why does a MMU of LNG costs almost 10x as much in Europe?
    Our economy is going down the drain superfast, and each factory that is moved south or to US or China will NEVER come back

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    • Greed is the root of all evil and greed is everywhere. I have nothing but sympathy for the ‘people’ who, consciously or not, fill the pockets of greed simply by living trapped and vulnerable in the cities. And, of course, being the unwitting cogs in the greed machine. People are easier to exploit, manipulate and murder when they are concentrated in urban areas. I am sure the people will survive this coming winter (simply because the greedy will allow them to) but honestly, Wim, You should give some more thought to getting out. I can heat for free. We can fish for supplement. Our water is free. We can grow some stuff. It is not a 100% solution, I know. No man is an island. I get that. In fact, I estimate it to be only about a 30% solution. But, at the very least, I am not as much a part of it.

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    • Possibly. Before you use a saber, you rattle it in it’s scabbard. Most people brandish and show a gun before pulling the trigger. If Putin still calls the shots for much longer, every day brings nuclear weapons closer to the table. Will it be nuclear Armageddon for the world? I doubt it. The US would obliterate Russia from the map at the first Russian nuke in the air . I am sure they have everything one button away already. But that Russian focussed obliteration will definitely take out others. Collateral damage will be partly dependent on the wind and how much warning can be given. Best outcome for everyone right now is that the Kremlin elves take out Putin and quickly.

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