Tag Archives: society

Episode 40: Losing Sight

It’s been almost two months since my last post, and for that I apologize. Life has been pretty busy, and I just didn’t really find much to inspire me to rant and rave. Recent developments, however, have changed all that…

In the news the last little bit, we’ve heard about someone getting stabbed at the Toronto Caribbean Festival, and then two deaths and several ill after taking shady drugs at the Veld Music Festival. A friend very aptly pointed out that where there are large gatherings of people, your odds of finding violence or death increase. Fair enough. But then someone commented, and I responded by mentioning that the root of a lot of these problems is children not being raised properly. That parents don’t really take the time anymore, and (to use my own words) the deck is stacked against us in terms of improving the situation and making positive change. Now of course, you all know the internet. That comment sparked a war of sorts, which was resolved when I summarily tore apart every single one of the arguments against me (you think I’m kidding, but for a change I actually just tore them all to shreds).

And then up crops this foul-mouthed article (blog post?). It’s an interesting read, and a view that I have shared before, and occasionally continue to share. A lot of what he says, I cannot deny. But his message is largely a negative one. The only time he displays any positivity at all is at the very end, where he hopes that we can still have hope. But let’s be honest, even that isn’t very positive.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t disagree with anything he says in his rant (except maybe one or two minor points). It’s very well structured, his arguments are sound, and most importantly they match up to the opinions I had already formed. My only issue is his outlook for our future. Yes, I agree that things look bleak, but I just can’t shake the feeling that things have always looked bleak, and yet as a species, we’ve always managed to pull through in the past. My greatest concerns aren’t what we’re doing to each other, but rather what we’re doing to our planet. We’re surprisingly resilient creatures. We can bounce back from things that some people might consider impossible. The planet is resilient too, but there are now over 7 billion of us on the planet all clamouring for the same limited resources. That would put a strain on any eco system.

And yes, some might argue that the scarcity of those resources is exactly why there’s so many problems with the “elite” and the poor. Fair point. But as a species, we will still push past that crisis. Even if there’s mass starvation, and the greater portion of the population dies, still there will remain some, and they can begin the process of repopulation.

Oh, but every life deserves to live, you’ll say. True, they do. But should it come down to scrambling for resources where only the fittest and richest survive? I would surely never make it out alive either. I’m not saying my life is worthless, but we all know the consequences of having too many of us on this single planet. That’s just the way things go. Sure, it’ll suck. But what can I do? At least I’ll know that the fittest, smartest and (hopefully, but doubtfully) nicest of us will survive. We will go on to become greater as a species than we were before.

That being said, we’re not at that point yet. And we don’t have to be, either. Change would be good, and if it can be acheived, then so much the better. But it’s a long, wearisome process, and it requires all of us to work together. Not just on our own partisan ideals, but on a genuine, better-for-everyone, goal. Perhaps it’s interplanetary or interstellar travel, so we can populate new worlds and therefore ease the strain on this one. Perhaps its to spread the resources more evenly (although in my opinion that’s a temporary fix). Or perhaps we should engage in mass murder and genocide (but I think Hitler and many others have shown us how that one will turn out).

It’s a fascinating problem, and I don’t have the answer. I don’t know where we’re headed. But I’m going to focus on enjoying the journey, no matter what that means for us, and I suggest you do too. It’s not all bad, you just have to keep your eyes a little more open to see the good. And if you don’t empathize with your fellow man (and woman, of course), you can never hope to see the good, because after all, we are all in this together.

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Episode 18: The Perilous Plight Of Pedestrians

Let me preface this episode by telling you how it came about. It’s a marvellous little tale, which shows the true character of your average fellow human (though I use the term loosely)…

You see, on occasion, one of my jobs involves sweeping up a parking lot in the morning. Not a glamorous position, but it keeps me employed, and it’s not actually all that bad. Although you would not believe the number of people who leave disgusting bags of used diapers or random things they can’t be bothered to dispose of properly (just recently for instance, I found a couple of VHS players). But that’s off-topic, and I’m sure you don’t care in the slightest what my frustrations are (in which case why are you even reading my blog?). So there I was, sweeping away, with my bright neon orange safety vest on, when this woman drives up, and slams on the brakes nearly running me down. As she drives by she decides to roll down her window and yell out “you should watch out around you next time”. As if I just stepped into the middle of a busy highway instead of through an empty parking lot.

And this is where my problem is. I mean, clearly she wasn’t paying attention either, or else why would she have had to slam on the brakes? Also, in a parking lot (at least around these parts), pedestrians have the right of way. And as if all of that weren’t enough, I had the safety vest on. If she had actually hit me, it would legally have been her fault. She had no right to treat me the way she did, but sadly I was on company time, so my response was limited to a dirty look.

And you might say that I should still have been paying attention, so I’m partially to blame. I agree, I should have been. But in my defence, the store was not open. There was no reason I should have been expecting some old woman to come barreling down the exact path I’m crossing. And also when I’m tasked with something, I usually tend towards zoning in and focusing on the task at hand. It’s a bad habit sometimes, I know. But none of this excuses her actions or her failure to notice the neon orange blob through her windshield. Last but not least, I’m there to do my job, which entails walking through a parking lot. I’m pretty sure whatever job she has, it doesn’t involve driving like a lunatic through a parking lot.

And if it was an isolated incident, then alright. People can be forgiven. But there’s been an ever growing belief that the driver of a car has ultimate authority, and pedestrians had better just stay out of the way. And yet… All of this is only indicative of a larger problem we have as a species, and one I will perhaps get into at a later date. Maybe even soon. I do feel like ranting some more. Hmmmm…

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