Once upon a time men of thirteen colonies declared there should be no taxation without representation. They had grown tired of an entitled distant group dictating policy that limited their freedom to define their own course. Ignored by the ruling class, the thirteen colonies declared their independence. Independence was relative. Women were chattel and slavery was the law of the new land. Freedom was proscribed.
Those founding fathers overlooked the irony, and continued the corruption that predated their independence. Now however they lined their own pockets…which was righteous. The founding fathers rejected the model of government that suppressed their opportunity to accept bribes and make laws that favoured their friends. They created a system of checks and balances, believing they had a superior system that would prevent oppression by a ruling class to ever occur again.
They institutionalized oppression of all but the male land-owning class. The new system was as open to corruption as the previous. Most importantly they made it virtually impossible to rid themselves quickly of a government that was ineffectual.
Two hundred and some years later. Some wrongs have been righted. Women can vote, slavery is abolished. But a 4 year term has become ineffectual after two years. Lame duck has become a descriptor and special interests buy votes.
Democracy is a myth in America.
Forty-one years ago this weekend I married. The day shone. No boots and overcoats were required. Through the tears and fears hope for an equally bright future was anticipated. I carried a bouquet of daffodils for romantic reasons that I recall still. The memory of the daffodils lasted longer than the husband.
You might guess from my opening remark that I am of the “Dick and Jane” generation. All dogs were dalmatians. Rivers ran blue. Girls wore frocks and mary-janes; boys wore dungarees. Fathers new best and mothers stayed home.
As I scraped the car window for the second day in a row, I contrasted that April so long ago and this 21st century April, chillier literally and metaphorically. Hope is tarnished. Spring is an ideal never to be achieved.
Four decades later I finally understand this quote from Albert Camus: “Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”
My vision of heaven is a place where choice does not exist. Evil can exist without choice, but temptation cannot. Do I eat that chocolate bar? Do I run that red light? Do I gossip, lie, cheat? If I didn’t have a choice the right path would be so much easier to follow.
Ah…there may lie the flaw in my argument, at least in this life. What then is the right path? One woman’s right path can be another’s wrong path. In heaven without choice, perhaps right is the same for all regardless of culture and dogma? Wouldn’t that be heaven on Earth if we stopped adhering to the inflexible differences and clung to the shared similarities? Respect, love and loyalty that doesn’t come with a plastic card.
Since the first episode of The New Normal, I have been extolling its virtues as an entertaining, witty and smart comedy to anyone who would listen. I raved about Ellen Barkin as Nana – the Bitch is Back! I told you that Bryan and David, the gay couple, around whom the show revolves were solid, often times playing straight men to the antics of the supporting cast. After last night’s Boy Scout themed episode I need to rectify an oversight – The New Normal is exquisitely written, especially when it has a point to make.
The writers of The New Normal do not stand on a soapbox and deliver a one-sided diatribe. Through their characters they present cogent arguments for and against the issue they are examining, unlike news channels in the US that have become mouthpieces for special interest groups. If you had watched last night’s episode, whether you believe the US Scouting association is correct to ban gays or you believe that it is time the Scouts were inclusive…you would have felt welcome.
The New Normal came out in support of inclusion… no surprise. Granted, viewers rigidly clinging to dogma may not have changed their minds, but they would have been hard-pressed to fail to understand that David’s regret at being stripped of his membership was not a “gay” regret, but a “man’s” regret. Any man’s regret of losing something that he recognized was instrumental in shaping his character for the good.
Bryan is a lucky man to have found his David, a man of principle, and with a heart big enough to love a world that doesn’t always love him back. If only we of the real world could be like David, ready to forgive, while fighting for our principles.
While the Nonagenarian was with the doctor yesterday, I watched the arrival of the Giant Pandas in Toronto. There were other folk in the waiting room watching the broadcast. We had questions that the journalists failed to answer to our satisfaction. We dismissed the panda diplomacy…too outlandish to be taken seriously. We shared our embarrassment that the Prime Minister of our country would stand on a windy tarmac to welcome the beasts. We shared our hope that FedEx paid for the transportation. After all, their president got to speak to a phalanx of reporters and the PM inserted a plug for the courier service in his speech.
The conversation continued when the coverage ended. The thirst for knowledge had to be quenched, so I opened up my ‘droid and googled panda. We learned the average size and weight of giant pandas. We learned about their diet – 99% bamboo, 25 species of bamboo! A fact that is burned in our memory is scatalogical – giant pandas defecate up to 40 times a day. There is a lot of roughage in their diet.
This unladylike conversation came back to me this morning, as I tip-toed around the goose droppings – euphemisms for excrement abound, and range from the childish to the impolite. Spring has sprung in my neighbourhood. The geese are back and so is the mess they make.
My friend The Nutritionist wrote an article about the beauty of poop. Sharing it with you seemed as natural as…well…eliminating waste.