The following is just a rant.
I love my kids very much, but damn, sometimes you just want to lock them up and throw away the key. In my case, it's from about age 2 1/2 to 5. The foot-stomping, screaming, gimmie-gimmie, temper tantrum stage for both my kids is not fun. It's a frustrating combination of "I can do it myself!" and "I can't do it! HELP ME!" often within seconds of each other. It's sleeping through the night 90% of the time, but on the nights when it's not (and for Kat that's right around the full moon for some reason) it's shrieking fits until she's settled again. It's everything being Just So or it's time for a melt down. It's picking on her brother, being a tattle tail, fighting in the backseat over toys, fighting over the window being up or down or part way, food, dessert, EVERYTHING. It's exhausting for everyone, but especially her I think.
Some nights she'll say to us "I'm ready for bed now" and find her blankie and her bunny, pick out pajamas and patiently wait for us to come read a story. This stage of the game, not bedtime but preschooler time, is also the most affectionate. She says "I love you so much!" all the time and gives great hugs and kisses. Buy milk? "Oh thank you! I love you!" Pick out the perfect story? Same thing. Kat will crawl into bed with me in the morning and bring me a toy to snuggle or so I'm not lonely if she leaves. She's SO HAPPY to see us after a long day of daycare it's impossible not to melt inside when her eyes light up and she runs into my arms.
I have to go now; she's pulling all my pads and tampons out from under the sink in the bathroom, asking me if it's my moon time.
Boys n girls, I have to admit that the French language face a face debate on TVA was a bit of a disappointment for me. There were some funny moments, one in particular that everybody will be talking about for awhile. I’ll get to that later; hint: it was a Freudian slip by Justin . . . → Read More: About Last Night, Mon Amour -Face a Face TVA Debate Review
Best debate ever. And maybe because it couldn`t be fully appreciated if you didn't already live in la Belle Province and have a good ear for Québefrancais, but dang!
I watched all the debates, and this one took the cake. For once, Harper was on the defensive and getting pummeed all throughout. Trudeau and Duceppe - and especially Mulcair - smacked him down for the best 120 minutes of the past 10 years.
On more than a couple of occasions I was animated towards my TV like nothing you have seen since the last Habs playoff games.
That said, Mulcair mostly made the gorgeous passes while Trudeau potted the goals. Anyway, I loved every minute. For once, Mulcair was himself mostly. The attack dog making sure Harper won't get away with anything. And Mulcair allowed himself to be himself, and not some weird uncle with the fake smile trying to sell you crystal meth as some hard candy.
Trudeau blew everyone out of the water on debating points, and called Duceppe "mon amour" at one point, completely endearing himself to all québecoise (according to my Québecoise wife) and providing a bit of candor to his otherwise ironclad demeanor. The niqab was debated responsibly. The Middle East conflict and our role therein was debated (marginally) intelligently. Everything I saw in two hours surpassed the past five years of HoC theater. Bravo, all.
Bonus points to JT for calling out Harper on his cowardice vis a vis gay marriage and abortion rights; plus for saying a couple of real truths over the course of the night.
- 30 -
So I’ve been watching a BBC mini-series from 1988 called A Very British Coup. There’s an understated but powerful scene wherein the Labour cabinet is debating its spending proposals; at one point, a frustrated and beleaguered Chancellor of the Exchequer declares that there’s little point in further discussion. The Prime Minister, wonderfully portrayed by Ray McAnally, gently admonishes him: “Democracy takes time. Dictatorship is quicker, but too many people get shot.”
Lord knows, I’ve been known to go on about civic engagement and the responsibilities of citizenship. But they’re becoming an even bigger challenge nowadays, and the underlying reasons reflect not just on this or that facet of governance, but on the nature of democratic society itself.
I know, I know — “democratic deficit” has become one of those overused terms that gets thrown around so frequently and so carelessly that it starts to lose its impact. At some point, however, certain events or patterns can bring it back into focus.
Exhibit A: Toronto City Council voted, this week, to reverse an earlier decision and reject the notion of ranked ballots, in a pronounced FU to notions of accountability, representation, and years of effort and outreach by local activists. From what I’ve heard, the discussion lasted about a minute and a half. I’m not going to rehash the details here: my friend Daren does a far better (and angrier) job over at his place. Go read.
What does it say about democratic culture, though, when people supposedly charged with stewardship of the public good can blow off their responsibilities in such a cavalier and thoughtless manner, and face little or no political consequence?
Let’s chew on that a while, and then move on to Exhibit B: the cesspool currently masquerading as our national conversation in the context of the federal election campaign. Let’s forget about the Islamophobia, the manufactured controversy over the niqab, and the coded messages in expressions like “old stock Canadians” for a moment, and focus on something even more basic and troubling.
What if, on reflection, you’re not convinced that the current system really offers any meaningful choices? What if none of the established parties hold out any hope that they’re going to address things that actually matter to you? What if the current conversation isn’t speaking to you? What if, with all the sound and fury, you still don’t feel represented?
Is it so unreasonable to point out the arbitrary exclusion of certain viewpoints? Is it irresponsible to observe that the parameters for Serious and Reasonable Ideas are set by a very small, privileged, and insular class of people?
What if there’s no popular mechanism influencing whose voices matter and whose voices get shut out? What if the manufactured narratives in the corporate media aren’t resonating with you? What if all kinds of questions aren’t discussed in any detail because of an apparent tacit agreement among the major parties and media outlets?
Is choosing among a handful of pre-packaged brands on polling day really comparable to meaningful popular input? By the same token, if you’re not convinced that any of those brands are going to undo the damage of the past few decades, is refusing to participate in the charade really so unreasonable?
I don’t have any easy answers. Over to you, internetz.