Ted Cruz recently announced his candidacy for president. My heart slowly slid back down my throat after the doomsday scenario was played in my head. The one that has eighties horror movie synths whirring in the background, while lousy superimposed flames lick around Ted Cruz’s cackling mug, while money from telecom lobbyists rains from above, while I have to pay extra for my blog, that no one can get to. I realized something. Ted Cruz and Pat Buchanan look very similar.
Go ahead, google it. I will wait here patiently. It can’t be denied can it? It isn’t so much that they look alike, it is that Ted Cruz looks like Pat Buchanan after some heavy plastic surgery. You can see it right? Especially around the eyes and forehead. The chin!
Pat Buchanan has ran for president several times and was never the guy tapped to get in the ring for the big bout. The sci-fi nerd in me got all titillated at the thought that maybe this is Pat’s time to shine. He hasn’t ran in recent years. It could be interesting if this is his comeback. Reinvented from the ground up. New face! New name!
Has anyone seen Pat Buchanan lately? Furthermore, has anyone seen Ted Cruz and Pat Buchanan in the same room? I am sure Patty is hanging out somewhere around Fox news. I am not sure, I seldom go there. When I do, I get a burning anxiety, like I am doing something intrinsically wrong. It feels worse than the gaggy bad feeling I get when I go to the polar opposite, Huffpost. Either way, apparently I am some sort of progressive moderate that doesn’t identify with the extremes and I haven’t seen him.
For those of you not in Canada, Bill C51 is in the same vein as big brother. In a nutshell it wants to increase spying on citizens and give Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) the ability to be a civilian police force on top of its existing spy agency powers. Why is this bad you may be asking? Well, CSIS was created through the actions of the MacDonald Commission which took the existing spy agency powers away from the RCMP. Because there are problems with giving one group too much power, and most certainly so, when given even greater power than the first group that proved incapable of handling too much power.
If there is too much bureaucracy between these two agencies, that a simple communication from CSIS cannot get the RCMP over to someone’s abode to stop them from doing something not deemed socially acceptable, then that is what should be fixed. Not giving CSIS the near unlimited power to trace someone’s interactions and movements. Then just show up on the doorstep and detain them. Just twitter, no warrant.
Giving organizations too much power is bad. It isn’t a question of if it goes bad, it is a matter of how long until it goes bad. Right there, in our history books and two paragraphs ago, you will find that we already went through this. Once you slam your hand in the car door, you don’t wait thirty-three years and do it again, even harder. You remember it was a bad idea the first time! We are only human and humans have a tendency to go a bit bat shit when acting in a group and given great power. We are only trying to save us from ourselves. And to prevent CSIS from eventually looking like a bunch of assholes.
I think the scarey thing is that this bill is being rushed through Parliament. That the Conservatives and the New Moderate, Please Vote For Us, We Have Offspring Party of Canada seem to be in cahoots and aggreance. Which leaves the official opposition, the NDP, and other parties, such as the Green Party to speak for us schmos.
Has no one up at the top read 1984? Does everyone not see the prophetic scathing cynicism of sci-fi when we do something like this? If you want to know what I am doing, Stephen Harper, follow me on twitter and read my blog. Please share it on facebook, I need my readership to go up.
I am going to be honest. I’d never heard of Charlie Hebdo before the shooting. I suspect that a majority of my continent hasn’t. Sifting through the articles, I don’t fully understand what the comics are saying. I pick out words. I draw conclusions from the images. I find a lot of articles stating Charlie Hebdo is racist, xenophobic, homophobic and every other kind of phobic there is. Which I suspect, is how people without senses of humor view satirists. Ultimately, that isn’t what this post is about. I want to talk about the reaction and the subsequent reactions.
Free speech gives the freedom to say what one wants. To be critical, to be edgy, to be challenging. The right to say what one wants, is there to protect the people with the unsavory statements. Saying nice things, doesn’t have to be protected. Everyone likes to hear nice things, even dictators.
The other side of the coin is the responsibility to listen responsibly. Which means if one wants to exercise their right to free speech, they in turn, should listen to the otherside. If they disagree, they are free to refute. If they get too uncomfortable they are free to ignore the other side. To change the channel, to not read the work, to just walk away.
There is a practice both sides should exercise. A quality that seems to be so easily lost, that it makes me wonder if it ever truly existed at all. Empathy. Empathy is the practice of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Seeing the opposing view’s side. An attempt to understand the other side. A key part of empathy is respect. If not for the other person’s view then, at the very least, enough respect for them as a human being.
What happened on January 7th, 2015 wasn’t the flip side of the coin. It wasn’t responsible. It was an escalated reaction. There was no respect for the other human. Say what you will about Charlie Hebdo. It is a satirical magazine that makes fun of seemingly everyone and everything. Those were artists that were killed. They disagreed, they challenged, and they were killed. That, is fucking scary. Just because a few assholes didn’t like to be challenged? Those asshole’s actions have tainted an entire people. Slanted views. Thrown fuel on other assholes fires. One side’s extremists have riled up the other side’s extremists and the ones in the middle are going to be the ones that suffer. That, is even scarier. Empathy.