Saturday, June 29, 2019

Canada Day Weekend

Though today is June 29th - and Canada Day is not until July 1st - it is nonetheless a Saturday, a hot and sunny one at that, a triumph of a mid-summer day. It is for most people the centre of the prolonged holiday weekend. When I went shopping for groceries this afternoon following my constitutional bicycle ride this morning along the old railway line it was evident that the celebrations are well under way.  There were families congregated on front lawns - adorned with red and white anything; at the grocery store people swelled the meat counter for barbecue items; when returning home a truck went by with a flapping Canadian flag posted on its cargo bin.  It is impossible not to be moved by the event!  There is by any standard good reason to rejoice being in Canada.

Whether it is merely the current political climate or whether it is the natural evolution that comes with aging, the indisputable fact in my particular hemisphere is that much of the popular focus is the human rights of others - including minorities, women and LGBT communities. I was perhaps promoted to the reflection this morning while bicycling when I passed a black women walking with her ski-sticks on the trail. Seeing the woman made me question my intrinsic racism - that presumption which I suspect regularly attends white people who suffer the consequences of stereotypes and general lack of education and exposure. As an old fogey I have to accept that my social headway is far from having graduated to the familiarity of a Star Wars bar.

It also made me cast my mind upon historic biases in modern Western society far more proximate than slavery. While the first line of attack when rebutting the iniquities is the government which supports them, it doesn't require much analysis quickly to extend the scope to broader spiritual contaminations or "theologies" as they as popularly characterized - not to be confused with "sects", a far less palatable spin-off of the identical persuasion. For insupportable reasons there are those who presume to mandate the behaviour of others to align solely with their own. Equally curious in these failed attempts at logic is the often inescapable fact that no one is threatened by the conduct under attack. It reduces merely to a desire for control of some by others, with as much legitimacy as objection to dancing as a cause of immorality.  At times it makes me wonder how far we've progressed from the burning of witches at Salem - though admittedly the appeal to shallowness and fear is as rampant today. Perhaps the conclusion is that for the majority the escape from intellectualism is far less onerous than synthesizing the model to one generic scheme. This lack of insight - combined with the avaricious interests of some - may be the only ingredients required to perpetuate the currency of choice.

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