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Archive for the ‘Political Stuff’ Category

Wow, been like six months since I posted anything here. No excuse – just haven’t bothered.But writing today cause I am off to New York tomorrow to see my brother, who is an applied mathematics prof at Stonybrook. No, don’t ask me what an applied mathematics prof is, cause it’s way beyond me. It’s math plus physics plus chemistry, and involves lots of theory, from what I can tell. At least, that’s what I gather from the little I understand when he talks.

Anyway, Occupy Wall Street is in full swing, and we’re excited about checking that out. Meeting up with an old friend of Meg’s who is in the city at the same time as us, and we all figure a protest gathering is an appropriate place to reconnect. And Mica is excited about Central Park and fashion and cool shops and cafes, as a 13 year old girl is inclined to be. Mostly I’m just glad to have some time with my brother, who I don’t see nearly enough and who has been going through a rough time lately. (more…)

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Back to Liberalism?

Elections, elections. Municipally, provincially, federally, we are gearing up for elections and I, as always am following every step, even though I know I ain’t voting for anybody I’m ever gonna hear about in the news.

I am intrigued, though, more this time than I have been for a long while. OK, skip the provincial end of things, which looks exactly like it has for a couple of decades, with a super hard right wing and a bull-shit “social democratic” alternative that is continuing its tried-and-failed strategy of playing to that right. But on the other levels, something interesting is happening. (more…)

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I vote, each and every election. I don’t, however, vote for any of the major parties, the most ‘leftish’ of which is the New Democratic Party – a pretty standard social democratic outfit that gets the vote of the left simply because there’s no other viable option, and consistently steps further and further to the right in the vain hope that one day the bulk of Canadians will flock to them. This, contrary to all evidence here and around the world that such a strategy does nothing but shift the whole political debate to the right. So, no, I don’t vote NDP, instead casting my ballot each time for someone who may be marginal but at least speaks of an alternative, who at least takes positions, no matter how unpopular. Cause I don’t see my vote as a strategic tool in a limited system, but as a small but important opportunity to register, periodically, my values.

In my years of voting, though, I’ve made on exception to the above. When I’ve lived in her riding, and there’s been an election, I have always voted for Libby Davies. But not this time. (more…)

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“To be hopeful in bad times is not being foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of competition and cruelty but of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.” – Howard Zinn

So much promise and hope, and yet so much, still, of all the worst of us. That is, though, the stuff activism is made of, I suppose. While so much is so good, with many dear friends and promising small-scale commons, our little household has also been dealt with a whole lot of shit over the last year, as we came up against a hostile and profoundly aggressive radicalism that seems to be more interested in inventing ever more enemies for itself than in building alternative communities of solidarity, mutual aid and respect. (more…)

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I’m about to start reading Slavoj Zizek’s Living in the End Times. And as I look at it there on the side table, I filter through the news of the day, watching the devastation in Japan following its recent massive earthquake. The world changes, sometimes slowly, sometimes cataclysmically, and there seems no question to me that we are well into a dramatic geologic and ecological upheaval. (more…)

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More on the whole Jesus-theme today. Over the past few months I’ve read a couple of books dealing with the Jesus thing – Slavoj Zizek’s The Puppet and the Dwarf and Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith and Revolution: two books coming out of radical secular political traditions that grapple with the meat and potatoes of faith in general and Christian faith in particular, and do so with insight and with respect, both of which are all too rare in leftist treatments of religion. I also picked up Eagleton’s critical annotation of the Gospels – his contributions being an introduction and notes of interpretation and commentary appended to the biblical text. And I’d highly recommend all of these, though for different folks and different reasons. (more…)

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Been on a bit of Jesus thing lately. Thinking about religion, considering the role it plays in our understandings of the world, its function as an ethical code, a yearning for something more, a mark of community boundaries and so on. And generally considering the importance that religious symbols and religious communities have had at various time in my life. (more…)

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