His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naïvest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.
“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”
“To forget it!”
“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
“But the Solar System!” I protested.
“What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently: “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”
—Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in A Study in Scarlet.
I am not pretentious, but I am not stupid. I know details, and get nuances and catch on to Shibboleths. I don’t shop in Manhattan, but Secaucus, New Jersey where there are those fabulous outlet malls, for instance. I have ever since I was a teenager. I prefer the complexities of Bénédictine over most other liqueurs. Armani for the wife, Versace for the mistress, but Moschino for Alexandra.
I am not some yokel. If I don’t know something, don’t assume I wanted to know it. I heard it, determined it to not be all that, and promptly forgot it.
Such as whatever script someone spews at me. Brag all you want. In one ear, out the other.
What interests me is human motivation and strategies. Who are you as a person matters, not some bullshit story you are telling me to impress me or make me jealous.
Because I am not obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses, people think that I am going to be impressed and feel inadequate. Don’t be silly. What Alexandra wants, she gets, one way or another.
And Alexandra gets what she wants and needs all by herself.
I am choosy and I am fussy.
I love to learn. I just signed up for this Oxford short course. I love to write books, and that’s what I am doing.
I don’t have to take the course, but I like to expand certain areas of my mind, and bring them up to code.
I have three more pieces of unfinished business. Right before January, it was a dozen. None were minor.
After those are taken care of, it is the next level upwards and forwards.
But I never forget my roots.
I don’t look down on people who didn’t have the same opportunities. I respect and admire them greatly, and not in some precious, condescending way. People survived wars, slavery, incest, abuse, terrorism, illness, poverty, and victimization. They didn’t “bring it on” themselves. I am genuinely outraged that my country treats First Nations people like they were disposable, for instance, while we have grifters who live it up on the taxpayer dime.
The US Democrats act like the Catholic church — they talk a good talk about liberties, preach to tell you that you are inferior and need them to guide you, use Doomsday scenarios with their environmental policy, and yet keep begging for donations as they ride around in limos.
And like the church they emulate, they are the ones who get caught doing really infuriating things that prove they are hypocrites, making the New York Post very giddy.
What is with this whole blackface thing, anyway? I mean, it happened in my junior high during class, and even then as a tween in the 1980s, I thought it was downright racist.
I can believe in forgiveness as a general concept, but it isn’t my place to forgive. I’m a white Canadian. I take my cue from the people who were wronged.
I remember The New York Times having this priggish Op-Ed piece when Megyn Kelly said kids did it in her time, and the opinionist got all snooty, claiming it wasn’t happening in his time and he was a couple of years older than Kelly.
It happens now, but as we know, it happened then, too. I smell pants roasting.
So here is one group of people who branded themselves as a morally superior party having a cemetery of skeletons jumping out of their closets proving that it really doesn’t matter who you vote for — they aren’t authentic. The labels of these political sects is just a front for conniver who wants to wear a paper crown and will tell you whatever you want to hear.
Canada has the same problem right now. The federal Liberals are equally troublesome. While Postmedia owns both the Toronto Sun and the National Post, getting to play both sides of things, I found this National Post column interesting:
The other jab in this combination of punches is their regular mentions of Justin Trudeau’s “family fortune” — a phrase the prime minister himself used inadvisedly in a press conference.
“That amount ($5,000) is peanuts for a prime minister who inherited a great family fortune,” said Conservative Rosemarie Falk, by way of example.
…But there is good reason why the Conservatives are adopting such deceptive tactics: they are working.
What deception? That the Prime Minister has no empathy or ability to adjust his perspective? His policies are not for the poor. They aren’t good for the Middle Class. They cater exclusively to limousine liberals: people with money who do not want to be inconvenienced economically nor personally.
And then Trudeau opens his mouth and proves it, as the Toronto Sun gleefully pointed out:
“We see proof that the conservatives simply don’t understand that low income families don’t benefit from tax breaks because they don’t pay taxes,” said Justin Trudeau.
It is Trudeau who doesn’t even know the basic reality of his own poor. Poor people do have to pay income tax even if they make less than $12,000 a year.
They also pay HST on goods and services. There is no tax exemption when you buy basics.
The left-leaning press kept their mouths shut on this one, as usual, hoping not to draw attention and censoring unflattering nincompoopity from the Jive Turkey because they know if the Tories win, there is no goodie fund for them.
What you have is a prime minister completely incapable of genuine compassion and empathy:
“While we continue to stay focused on Canadians, Conservatives continue to stay focused on how I grew up,” Trudeau shot back.
Yes, because you never grew up. The Grits focus on themselves, no one else. When you keep the poorest at arm’s length, you have no idea who they are, what they need, or how they came to be poor.
Method Research would go a long way to understanding what needs to be done.
For one, I would force any candidate running for prime minister to be forced to live for two years among the poorest of his or her nation with no help. All funds would be cut off, and they would be monitored.
You are going to live in a shitty little shack. You are going to have to get a joe job. You are going to have to pay the bills with whatever you earn.
No limos. No colorful culturally-appropriate costumes. No designer clothing or children’s socks.
And, for giggles, you’d be sent up to the remote location where everything is more expensive.
Then you would be grow up, put on your big boy pants, and have a fresh perspective.
It would be good if everyone was healthy, happy, and prosperous.
This isn’t reality.
And ignoring it isn’t actually working for the Left. People aren’t blind or numb to their own whispering problems.
With Trudeau, it is shallow gestures and empathy phrases with no core to it, He apologizes for other people’s actions of the past, thinking that means something.
Not if those injustices are still alive and well in the present and you don’t see them.
Anyone with drama training can shed a few crocodile tears. So can people clocked for speeding and bawl to the nice police officer not to give them a ticket.
Kids in toy stores can do it, too.
That doesn’t prove you have empathy, respect, or compassion.
I am still haunted by my grandmother’s agonizing death. She chose to live because she didn’t want to be away from her family. To her, she did not want to abandon us and sacrificed everything to look out for us. She worried about how much sleep I got and agonized about my derailed career. She gave me pep talks and advice as she lay dying.
I looked after her 24/7. I had been so focussed on her that I abandoned myself in the bargain. My mother did the same.
And then my mother was diagnosed with cancer and then I was, too a few short weeks later.
We looked after each other. I had to trudge in the snow to walk a long way to the hospital to see my mother after her surgery three weeks after have surgery to remove my left ovary.
They gutted me. My stomach muscle was split in two. I was oozing and in absolute agony. I didn’t take the morphine I was given. I didn’t even pick it up because I could not be under any influence because I had to drive and look after my mother.
And I can barely walk, but I make the trip twice a day to the hospital where my mother lost a lot of blood and had a hard time keeping awake because of it. I had to look after her as I am terrified that my cancer has spread.
But I march to the hospital every day like a soldier. I would go to Fortinos to buy my mother something with flavour to eat as I also would bring her coffee, and try to cheer her up, and I can barely sit in the hospital chair, still in shock that asymptomatic me had motherfucking ovarian cancer.
And then she comes home, and a few weeks later, she has to have another surgery because she had something so rare that the doctor who had to operate never seen it before.
It is a never-ending siege of trauma.
And I know there are people who not only had it as bad, they have it even worse.
They have children with incurable degenerative conditions.
I have a bracelet a student made for me in jewelry summer camp that I taught one year. She was the sweetest, cutest, kindest little girl who took the class so she could make things to raise money for the fatal disease she has.
But she gave me a present because even though she is ill, she wants me to know that she likes me.
And it moves me. If I had the power, I would make her problems disappear.
But I don’t, and it bothers me.
I have known people who are going through extraordinary lengths for their terminally ill children, fighting a brawl with the heavens to extract every extra second at the expense of everything.
And we have a deluded prime minister who has his panties in a knot because his rivals have his number and keep dialling it.
We have never had a prime minister — on the left or right, who put children first.
And no, photo ops of you reading to them doesn’t count. Fuck you.
Neither is giving people money per child — it encourages the wrong kind of people to keep having them for the free money. I used to sit in the solarium and watch outside my old house on Main Street East in Hamilton and see Stroller Row.
We have children in battered women’s shelters. We have children who are sex slaves being passed around and videotaped.
The Grits give money to newspapers who fucked up their own worthless profession — but completely ignore children’s services.
This is vile and disgusting.
I like my art. I like my surrealist paintings, my books, my theremin, my Kintsugi, my Alexander Katsulin pottery, Turkish coffee, and antique furniture.
I like Sherlock Holmes, Han Hoogerbrugge, the Hives, and the Blue Beetle.
I am self-indulgent and eccentric, and if you don’t like it, go fuck yourself.
You aren’t paying my bills. You don’t care that I had cancer. Go to hell. I don’t have respect for your negging.
Because it is all meaningless if you don’t have a moral compass.
And politics isn’t the place you’ll ever find it.
Neither is this neo-Victorian façade. It’s not genuine.
A kinder world comes from empathy and compassion.
That requires vulnerability and connect, not cheap acting stunts and empty words…