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Saturday, 19 March 2016
Living in a world gone mad
For the moment, we’ll pretend that it hasn’t been over 7 months since I last wrote.
Join the ranks of my parents, friends and earliest sweethearts to whom I have often provided the gift of opportunities for forgiveness. Perhaps, in a later missive, I will explain myself.
For now… let us thank Donald Trump for motivating this current phillipic.
(we’ll wait while you google it…)
Actually, I’m being somewhat misleading. 1. This blog will not be particularly “fiery”.
2. There is NOTHING for which to thank Donald Trump.
And Ever. (Amen).
But he has got me thinking.
What does one do when one discovers that he/she is living in a Reality Television show? Because that’s how I feel as I watch the surrealist theatre and listen to the rhetoric of the Presidential Primaries in the U.S. Can I simply swear at Gordon Ramsay and turn in my apron? Refuse to shower and get voted off Big Brother? Is there any way that I can beg the Tribe to speak or simply dance away from the stars?
It seems not.
This show will not turn off - like “Two Broke Girls” or “Saved by the Bell” no matter how poor the writing, acting or embarrassing the situations, it’s always on!
Living in a world where public figures re-write history on a whim (Donald Trump’s business acumen; Hillary Clinton’s lionizing of Nancy Reagan and her support for people with Aids; when Bewitched brought in a new Darren) I find myself wondering what to do when the nuts are in charge. How does one live in the midst of evil, stupidity or just plain wrong-headedness? I respect democracy and I have bought into the idea that the majority have the right to determine their shared future – but how does one live quietly in the midst of those who have been fooled or hoodwinked; lack the capacity or information to make an informed and just decision?
Do I just grin and go along with it?
As teenagers, sitting in school cafeterias or basement recrooms we would often profess that, had we the ability to time travel, the first that thing that we would do is go back and assassinate Hitler before his rise to power. We knew most assuredly that the best way to deal with evil was to kill it before it could spread. However, with commitments to life, justice, the rule of law and the priority of democracy, I have to confess that I would be unlikely to assassinate anyone.
(I had always believed that there we only two assassination attempts on Hitler, but having recently been informed that there were as many as 47, I’m beginning to wonder if some or my teen age friends haven’t figured out how to time travel and are simply bad a assassination)
Of course, I could just bitch, moan and post constantly on Facebook how funny, stupid, useless or disappointing everything is. But, much like my plans to assassinate Hitler, I would like leave my teenage attitudes and practices behind me.
(Seriously… how ‘bout we give the new Prime Minister a little more than 6 months to fix everything that needs fixing and stop blaming him for looking good in a suit?)
So, what am I supposed to do?
I’ve ruled out assassination.
I’m trying to let go of whining.
I don’t want to live angry.
I’m not moving to Iceland.
French’s Ketchup aside, I’m not convinced that yelling and screaming at the Parliament Buildings, a Trump Rally or Loblaws is really going to affect much change in me or in the world. But I can’t do nothing, can I?
This Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, most churches will be commemorating the Palm Sunday parade of Jesus. And thinking about it, has inspired me and will help to inform how I will live in a Trump World… and you may live in a Trudeau world…. How we can live together in a world where we may not be entirely “at home” living with idiots.
Historically, it is likely that Jesus' little parade happened on the day of or very close to the time of larger parades. Parades that celebrated the Roman Empire; a least one parade that would have been notable for horses, chariots, loud noises, big crowds and raucous cheers in the name of Rome. A reason for celebration, but also a reminder to the local folks as to who was in charge, and how they would deal with unrest and disobedience. It’s all cheers and balloons, unless you step out of line and then these same horses, chariots and soldiers could be turned on you.
Having been born and raised in Southern Ontario, I’ve never been to parade that frightened me or carried any undertones of violence in my mind – but go to the Airshow with some Refugees some time and you may see a very different reaction to the spectacle of military jets flying overhead in formation.
In the face of this militaristic, double speak world of violence and Empire, Jesus cannot remain silent. However, he does not go to the parade and throw tomatoes… he does not scream “Fascist” and speculate as to the size of Pilate’s penis (thank you Republican Presidential hopefuls for raising the bar so high…) He simply lives and presents an alternative. He puts on another parade at the other end of the city… one with a donkey (or two) and people throwing clothes and waving palms. There are no clowns, no banners, no horses, no chariots or soldiers; there is no military or commercial might on display whatsoever.., instead, a parade of people cheering and crying out “Hosanna”. An alternative to Empire; an appeal to God and peace, hope and love… a simple act that doesn’t dazzle or manipulate, but provides another way. Kind of like the first the best of Pride Parades.
I think that this will be my best way forward should I find myself a minority awash in a sea of idiots… or a morally responsible person in the midst of a world gone mad. I will live and demonstrate an alternative to corrupt privilege of those who rule. I work diligently at loving the stranger, opening my hands and heart to those in need, I will seek peace rather than victory, I will pray rather than deride, I will keep doing what it right and trust God… and I will have a parade - many parades! I will make visible my choices, so that others may be inspired to come out of the shadows and live authentically, even if it is not endorsed by the majority; I will live and parade in loving opposition to the “common sense” choices of the masses. And maybe, just maybe… someone will recognize that “Hosanna” actually means “save us”… and our daring to hold true to what is just and loving will eventually be enough to change "common sense" and save us all.
Or we all move to Iceland. http://www.iceland.is/