Saturday, April 28, 2007

Strokin' the Token

Remember last month when I said that we'd entered the Age of Minorities? There were no comments; there're never any comments, of course, I write this because I have something to say and I don't expect a single word back, however... I was reading the Gazette during my lunch break today and I came across an editorial about how - get this - we can expect more minority governments in the years to come!

Well of course we can expect more minority governments! The right's consolidated it's power, the liberals have killed their credibility, the Bloc will never lose it's Québecois fortress and there's not a single interesting promise or leader among the major parties. In addition, the parties are no longer in semi-fascist / totalitarian control of the country and the democratic process seems to be paying off - as I said last time I dealt with this, things are getting done.

It's a bit flattering that it took the mainstream media this long to catch on to something that I've known since february and that I'd already written about and forgotten before Québec's new government was a week old. As I find my theories about the future of Canadian politics getting confirmed more and more often, I sometimes wonder if'n maybe I should be working for these newspapers. I mean, is it really fair that two or three people on the internet should be the only ones to have the privilege of drinking from the fountain of knowledge which my mind has become?

I believe the fountain needs a bigger spigot.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Interesting Query

Why are we trusting a party in power whose members are incompetent that they have to blow all their plans for announcing a new green policy because someone accidentally sent a copy of the new policy to the opposition party?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ungodly Unhelpful

I do not like using this argument to justify anything - it does not prove or disprove the existence of anything. It does, however, say quite a lot about the nature of the beast. It says a lot about morality as so many of you have accepted it (well, maybe not you, if you read this blog with any regularity, you might be of my opinion on the matter).

Just about every major religion preaches the existence of a benevolent deity who blesses the faithful and curses those who oppose him - leaving aside the inherent problem of whether or not that makes any moral sense, I wish to address the question of benevolence.

I have a friend, a close personal friend who, from the moment I first met her, has spoken of her desire to one day have children and a family - to be a mother to a new person and to mold the life and mind of a productive member of society. She can't. Ever. She found out today that her ovaries will never produce an egg and that, even if they one day could have, she needs to remain on the birth-control pill for the next thirty years because the hormones they provide are not created naturally by her system.

Her dreams were dashed. She told me this after a rant I'd gone on about my desire to not have children - something I am fully capable of doing and which I cannot stop surgically because no doctor will perform the surgery on someone as young as myself. When she'd finished telling me her unpleasant news, she said, quietly, that she had to trust that God had a plan and that He knew what was best for her.

The fact of the matter is that, regardless of anyone's plan, it's plain to see that it would not change very much in the grand scheme of things to give this one, good, kind and caring person the same opportunity as so many others enjoy - the same opportunity that unpleasant and all around bad people such as myself outright scoff at. It is unfair that she be subjected to such ill-treatment and to ascribe such a thing to benevolence is insulting.

If we assume, for a moment, that the postulated deity genuinely exists and it is He who, in His "infinite wisdom" decided that such a kind and caring and decent person be deprived one of the most basic pillars of human life, how can we, in our limited, worldly and - importantly - ultimately pragmatic wisdom accept that such cruelty be wrought against us? How can we worship at the feet of a being who a) demands that we accept his existence without any proof or evidence and that we submit ourselves entirely to his will and judgement; b) subjects us to "test" after "test" which have as their only goal to make us question his existence in an attempt to "strengthen" our blind belief in him and c) so cruelly abuses and disabuses those who are devoted to him of their dreams and ambitions.

It is an evil and wicked creature which treats his "children" in such a way and it is evil and wicked men who fly his banner while telling people it is okay to suffer in his name. It is not okay. It will never, ever be okay. I am an atheist for reasons I have not ennumerated here; this here is my answer to Mr. Blaise Pascal. I am willing to bet my eternal soul on God's non-existence because, if I come to the moment of judgement and the God of Christianity stands before me demanding my submission, I will walk, on my own, unescorted through the gates of hell.

I would rather suffer for the rest of eternity than pay the toll that cruel bastard exacts on those who enter paradise.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Holey Babble

For some years now, my friend and I have been crafting a new faith - something which we could present to people as the definitive view of the creation of the cosmos. The Holey (not a typo) texts being accumulated slowly in the Babble weave a tale of a world forged in Deistic Relief and human rebellion and indecency.

This text contains, so far as I know, the most plausible postulate about the creation of our universe ever advanced by one human being and explains, in the first few books, a great many things about human nature.

Also, it is a series of texts which do not shy away from the most important natural functions of the human body: Sex, Defecation, Murder, Violence, Narcotic Intoxication and Drinking.

This faith shall revolutionize the way all of humanity views itself.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Nationalism's Ghost

On March 26th we were privy to one of the strangest elections in Québec history. Recent history anyway. The PQ, a party that I once referred to fondly as the "Snake of La Belle Province" in another iteration of this blog (, practically imploded. I had pegged them to finish second in the election race and they came in last with the worst numbers they've posted since before their first election victory in 1976. It was disquieting.

So I decided it would be worthwhile to give the development some thought; these are the results of my musings, in no particular order:

There was a lot of dissatisfaction over the work of the liberals over the last four years, but there was an equal amount of dissatisfaction over the PQ's reinvention of itself into a three-ring circus. The "election" of André Boisclair to the head of the Parti was a joke; they had veteran politicians, skilled and liked, in the persons of Pauline Marois and Richard Legendre and yet, a combination of hard-line seperatists and young social-activists, attracted on the one hand to the cokehead's fanatical rantings about sovereignty - the likes of which hadn't been seen since Jacques Parizeau committed political suicide - and on the other hand to the possibility of showing up the world by electing a homosexual to public office. The gamble backfired.

We live in an age where fanaticism gets people killed; from terrorism to bible-belting presidents, fanatical public figures scare us, now. To see André Boisclair standing on a podium and shouting about how slighted the people of Québec are about this, that and every other thing has grown not only tedious, but downright frightening. Between Québec's economic situation, Boisclair's negative influence on the party itself and the ADQ's few interesting ideas about policy changes - cutting the bureaucracy and the like - it is easy, in hindsight, to see that the PQ simply could not have won this election.

In the new Age of Minorities, Québecois are becoming increasingly content with the federal system - the Bloc Québecois has a much more significant say in government and it's paying off; the cushier the deal gets, the less the folk known as "soft nationalists" see sovereignty as a good idea. That's the beauty of the sponsorship scandal, and the irony. It was that scandal, a program that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and enraged seperatists and federalists alike, which sparked the real move towards minority governments (though it was a liberal minority at the time, it was still very tentative). The minority governments finally started working with Québec in a constructive fashion and results on just about every front started to show up.

Nationalist outrage killed nationalism. It is a delicious irony, but one which serves simply to highlight the volatility of the soft nationalist segment of the population; what is required for a PQ victory is a simple scandal which doesn't lead to constructive cooperation, or an economic recession or something to that effect. The voting intentions of the soft nationalists can turn on a dime and the only way to properly bury the PQ now is for this minority government to continue working well and towards progress - it must be shown that parties which aren't the PQ can provide responsible, progressive and constructive government so that the simmering unrest which fuels soft nationalist indecisiveness can cool off and finally save Québec from that political uncertainty which is so undeniably damaging to our economy that even the seperatists look at the numbers and hang their heads in shame.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Late and Unasked For

I've been meaning to write this since I read an article in the Gazette at the beginning of the month; it was an interview with the hapless mother of the shooter who caused chaos and madness at Dawson College in september last year. What prompted me to put this collumn together was her statement that she didn't understand what had happened - that her son wasn't evil.

I don't want to add to her suffering - she doesn't deserve the fate that her son forced on her and I would not think of blaming her for what her son did. But that's exactly my point, no matter what her son may have done during the twenty-five years of his life, it is his very final actions which now define not only how he is remembered but the entire impact of his life on the world. He may have been a perfectly good young man for a very long time, but what he finally did was evil.

He walked into a school filled with young adults who are undertaking the first steps of an uncertain and in many cases terrifying future; he carried, in his trenchcoat, over a thousand rounds of ammunition and three firearms and he opened fire without hesitation, discrimination or thought to morality. He killed one young woman who was just coming into her own after years of adversity and he severely injured twenty other people, some of whom will suffer from those injuries for the rest of their natural lives. What he did was monstrous and in doing it he became a monster.

It is a problem which cannot be understated that in our society, in our search for justification and an answer to the undestandable question why, we end up portraying the aggressors as victims, "Oh, no! He went through all these unpleasant things in his life and he snapped and it's all our fault!"

It isn't. I've been saying it for six months; the only person whose fault it is is the monster himself. Society did not pull the trigger, a dangerously unstable, washed up young man with no ambition and a victim complex did. We cannot allow ourselves to continue to fall into this trap.

People are not victims of society because society is not a single coherent being, it is a dynamic, changing assortment of people which allows them to coexist in a way which, at least from one given view at one given time, is constructive in some fashion which helps humanity prosper; people can only be victims of other individuals and everybody is responsible for his own actions.

At the end of the day, twenty-one people were victims of a single deranged individual and an entire city felt the decidedly negative repercussions of his actions. Nothing can change what he did and those gunshots will never be forgotten by anyone who was affected by them, but for my part, I endeavour to ensure that his name, which he wanted to enshrine in our memories forever, shall be lost to the sands of time.