Thursday, March 2, 2017

Clippings Roundup

Clippings Roundup

Hello reader,
Got forum?

Having “perfectly good” newspaper clippings around the house—reminders of my time in a paper forum—reminds me of that perfectly good advice-Question: What do you do, while paying off your student millstone, and living cramped with other people, to store your “perfectly good” student term papers? And class notes? And everything else, school-wise, that is still perfectly good? OK, maybe not so up-to-date, as the years advance, but still, full of “sentimental value.”

Easy: You take it all home to your parents! Store it with them! Call it a “chrono tax” on them, for they lived in a chrono-space when it took a smaller fraction of your earnings to get a bigger home with a bigger basement—and they didn’t have to share with other adults.

Come to think of it, they had full time jobs, too, with benefits, rather than enduring the way employers will act today, employers having social permission to economize on the backs of the workers: Contract work, part time work, and so forth. I would mop my brow and say, “Thank God I’m not a millennial, “ but only if I could first face the reality that this is “the new normal.” For me, despite what that federal minister crudely said to millennials about part-time jobs being normal, this reality is still sinking in.

OK millennials, I know you guys are told to start your own one-person business, be your own boss, be a young energetic business consultant, whatever—and escape the claws of the modern economy. After all, your young energy for consulting can offset my advantage of real-world business experience. “Cough.” Call me skeptical, but I think all this modern advice is as silly as the cheerful advice, back in my youth, towards those being put out of work by big computers: “You can all get jobs as computer repairmen.” Or the advice given to everyone in a community where the town factory closes or becomes automated: “You men can make money by repairing radios, you wives can sew dresses.” Every family sewed one dress, and repaired one radio: their own. Their neighbors, of course, were all doing the same thing. Eventually, they were all reduced to sitting slumped on their porches, breathing shallow and blue.

As we might say in Alberta, “If the oil ain’t pumping, no one is jumping.”

Obviously we tired workers don’t want to pass any tax on to our children, no pollution tax or deficit tax. But what do we poor chickens know about taxes and economics? I can remember when everybody, including my school headmaster, honestly didn’t know that inflation was being caused by the federal government, ON PURPOSE. If the economists secretly knew, well, they weren’t talking. We thought inflation was some strange mixture of wages and prices, remember? We know now—but what else don’t we know, now? We know one thing: The elite won’t help us. They may be educated in fancy schools to know all about deficits and international trade and voodoo economics: But they aren’t sharing their voodoo secrets with us, any more than they will share their secret tax loopholes.

I’m old enough to have white hair. I never thought in my lifetime folks would look at a presidential candidate who was female, a serving president who was black, and a previous president who was from the totally opposite party, and see those three as all being more alike than they are different: Three peas in the same pod, all members of the elite.

Maybe we need to do like the Romans, after the Patricians failed miserably, and create the post of tribune to look after the interests of the common people, the Plebeians. I suppose President Trump was voted into office partly to be a tribune, but I don’t know—can he can “hack it?” At this point, I wouldn’t put him in charge of my smallest factory for making paper bags. I’m sure some folks voted for him against the elite, in the spirit of the Palestinians against the Israelis: “We will willingly hurt ourselves a big bit, if only we can hurt you a little bit.” Or as editor David Wong, from a rural area put it, in effect, “(We) voted for Trump like throwing a brick through the elite’s window.”

Well. Thinking of tribunes, Romans and Greeks, I guess all I can do is try to be like them, going regularly to the forum to converse and get help in trying to be informed. Or to the “virtual forum,” that is to say, meaning: I can take a grown up interest in the newspapers. And acquire perfectly good clippings. As for computer guys, I know they are supposed to be extra smart, but do you know what some ordinary person said about their social media stuff? “Tweets and podcasts are just like opinions: Everybody’s got one.” Nuff said.

So I read and I clip and I wonder if maybe someday I could do a long and thoughtful blog-essay about something I have clipped. “Should” I keep a clipping file? “Yes, but—” for most people, I dare say, “moving pictures” on the “idiot screen” are more fun than print—so who wants to read a blog anymore? Why should I even write, let alone bother to file? Because I “should?”

Today I have some “perfectly good” clippings, unfiled, on top of my refrigerator. What to do with them? No, I won’t inflict them on my parents, “who art in heaven” by the way. I know: I’ll just inflict them on my blog readers! Because you and I really should be good citizens, right?

Here are three clippings from the same page of the daily Calgary Sun, all from an opinion page from September 18, 2015.

From Michael Taube, the Headline: Take advantage of surprise surplus. Article begins, “Surprise, Mr. Prime Minister! You have a federal surplus!”

I think, “What the—? Oh. This was in 2015.” It will be a hot day in global warming before we ever have a federal surplus again. (This year Vancouver has dug out from a record snowfall, while over in Europe Italy has avalanches on the 6 o’clock news)

Next, I see a piece by Andrew Lawton, who has a radio show in London, Canada.
Headline: My encounter with David Suzuki. Article begins,
QUOTE It’s said that the world is run by those who show up. That can be a rather exclusive group, I learned, last weekend, as the only member of the media to attend an anti-Harper press conference by David Suzuki.

Being the believer in second chances that I am, I offered him a mulligan on the question that caused him international humiliation on Australia’s ABC in 2013 when he offered platitudes in response to a question based on number that event the IPCC has accepted

“(In 1998) global warming actually plateaued, so we haven’t seen any in the last 17 years—,” I started.
“Oh God, you’re doing the cherry picking thing,” he said, before saying heat has been absorbed by the oceans.


He was shouting…

The last question was asked by Suzuki himself. Just outside the room, he barked it to his host.
“Did you know about him?” UNQUOTE

The Calgary Sun has been described as a right-wing tabloid. Down the right of the page, for an article by Raheel Raza, she is described at the foot with, “ Raza is president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, author of Their Jihad … Not my Jihad and an international activist for women’s rights.” What? Women’s rights in the Calgary Sun? I thought out west here in Calgary, only commie-pinko-leftists cared about feminism. For example, Calgary’s police service, just now, is being dragged kicking and screaming into a culture where female cops don’t get bullied and harassed—and nobody can say yet, as big strong cops dig their fingernails into the floor, whether or not the dragging will succeed.  

Lastly there is the headline, created by editors during page layout according to how many column inches wide the story is: Ban niqab, burka in all public places.
Article begins,
QUOTE As a Muslim mother who never saw a niqab when I was growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, I am astonished to see Canada’s judiciary caving in to Islamists who have nothing but contempt for Canada’s values of gender equality.

I write as a Muslim Canadian who does not have any specific political leanings.

But in the 25 years I have called Canada home, I have seen a steady rise of Muslim women being strangled in the pernicious black tent that is passed off to naïve and guilt-ridden white, mainstream Canadians as an essential Islamic practice.

The niqab and burka have nothing to do with Islam. UNQUOTE

She goes on to quote an expert who says facemasks are not part of the religion, and that masks have certain messages in countries where Muslims and non-Muslims share the community. Well. Since 2015 a lot of us have forgotten those messages, so goody, maybe we have moved on; and hey, I don’t recall seeing any mothers from Syria wearing tents or masks, and I’ve seen more than a few refugee families in the newspapers lately. It seems to me that education by community peers works better than any legislation. At least in Syria, that is. Like with smoking.

The nice thing about living in conservative Alberta, based on agriculture and primary industry, is that even in a big room full of my liberal, liberated “new age” friends, none of us would describe ourselves as “guilty whites.” I guess being guilty for just existing must be a “big city back east” thing.

Well dear reader, I have presented three articles for you, and maybe that’s enough for today.
Wait, what about one last clip?

This one was not set down with typeface, since it’s a Bizzaro cartoon that graced my fridge door. Imagine: In the background, two Apollo astronauts are walking around in front of the lander. In the foreground, two moon rocks are talking: “Try to look inconspicuous. Uncle Bertie was picked up by one of those things, and was never heard from again.”


Sean Crawford
Calgary
March
2017

Footnotes:
~For the formerly rural guy, editor David Wong of Cracked, throwing a brick through the elite’s window, here’s a link.

~Michael Moore is someone I've essayed about before. Call me a liberal, but as regards the Trump election, I think Moore said it best: "Everyone must stop saying they are 'stunned' and 'shocked.' What you mean to say is you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair."

~It was a few years after my headmaster said the experts were baffled by inflation, that I checked carefully over my community college “basic economics” textbook, without being able to find anything about the cause of inflation. My essay about that ended up being translated by folks in Mexico.


And since I don’t believe in linking to my own stuff, because of course you are not a type-A busy business executive frantically reading this at work, right? ... You may, at your peaceful leisure, enjoy a few gracious seconds to find my essay in my archives of November 2013 for my essay Conspiracies and Inflation.      

3 comments:

  1. Your writing stretches me in unexpected ways Sean.

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  2. I went back and read your essay on Conspiracies and Inflation. You keep taking my head out of the sand and making me think! All I know is that when I was just starting work in the 1970's I had hope - hope that I could make enough money to be comfortable in life. It's a good thing my focus has changed from wanting more money to writing as writing gives me the pleasure money never could. And enjoying writing helps me cope with the fact that I don't have any money. I feel nowadays that the divide is so much bigger between the haves and the have-nots. Am I imagining this? I'm sorry but I don't trust any government to truly look out for the best interests of its citizens. I think the most we can hope for in our country is that they don't turn their tanks in our direction.

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  3. My inflation post was translated about ten times by Mexicans. I wonder what they thought?

    I think you could rate governments, good to bad, on how much inflation they cause. The colonels in Argentina were into high digits right up until the Falklands War—I think they were hoping the war would be a distraction: Not!

    Oh, as for Americans, did I ever have a moment of clarity and depression. I will write about it in a couple weeks, after I do a happier post from Free Fall.
    So yes, I hear you Cindy.

    I had supper last fall with a man who owns his own business of 150 employees. You would think such a rich man would vote for the elite. Nope. He voted for Trump (or would have, he's Canadian) because he didn't fear Trump as much as he feared the government/elite.

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