Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dag wants a laugh No laughing matter
This is one of the less-noticed glories of the Canadian human-rights insanity. Complainants float unburdened like puffballs in a summer breeze – blowing whither they list. Targets – Catholic bishops, Catholic magazines, fundamentalist pastors, genital surgeons, heckled comedians, school boards, fast-food joints, school-prom nights, Maclean's magazine – empty bank machines and call in lawyers while the “leisurely” process unfurls in an eerie, Kafkaesque slow motion.

Indeed, in the most celebrated case, against Mark Steyn and Maclean's, the Ontario part-time imam and self-help guru Mohamed Elmasry who set in motion the separate grinding wheels of three human-rights commissions (Ontario, federal, and British Columbia) didn't even bother showing up at the only one (B.C.) that actually deigned to have a hearing.

Mark Steyn showed up. Maclean's lawyers showed up. An expert on Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed up. (As a witness for the complainant. Who else would a TV vampirologist testify for?) The Yanks have the First Amendment. We have Buffy-sociologists.


Findalis said...

You got to be kidding. And expert on Buffy? That was their big witness?

I worry about Canada. I wonder if you guys have been smoking the wrong types of smokes.

Eowyn said...

"The Yanks have the First Amendment. We have Buffy-sociologists."

Jeeze, I wish I could write like that. (Or like any of the guys here, for that matter!)

If all this nonsense weren't so scary in its implications (and so punitive to innocent people), you almost HAVE to laugh at the absurdity.

Dag said...

I'm not only a phashun junkie, I do pay attention to style, and the piece above has lots of it. It's lovely in a big way.

I'm in a major thimk-slump here these recent months, so many ideas coming so fast and furious, and me being a big-time slow coach, I have to sit and let things digest. Peers and Charles and Findalis and so many others have put forth such problems and propositions that I have to sit down and do the hard thing, which is to think. That too has a style, and I must remaster mine from those lost years before I attempt much more. This piece above, what a guide.

Eowyn said...

dag, one of the reasons I love the way you write is related to how you characterize yourself -- that is, digesting for a long time, then coming out with a burst of inspiration.

Kind of like me, the "shooting star" :) I don't call my blog that because of any kind of narcissim; it's because it's sporadic, and not consistent. But, occasionally, it's inspirational.

Hoping that makes sense!

Eowyn said...

Continuing along the same appreciative vein --

I enjoy truepeers' writing for its measured, and exquisitely logical, quality. No words are wasted. The point is made in symmetrical eloquence. The point is ALWAYS made, and emphatically, without any necessity for hyperbole or emotional construct. Clean. Pure. Geometrical, and quite nearly perfect.

Like Bach (pere, and, a bit, fils) ... :) Reading truepeers, sometimes, is like enjoying a one-of-a-kind meal at a fine restaurant -- you know the restaurant is excellent, but you will never get the same (excellent) meal twice. Not only don't you care, but you look forward to the next incarnation.

Charles Henry, to me, manages to seamlessly blend a point with his own, unique, loving and Christian compassion. He sees everything through the lens of creation, with all its wonders. He rises above pettiness, and arrives at the point while respecting the pettiness itself. Not an easy thing, and quite amazing :)

He is both aware, and loving. This rare combination is a jewel and, I suspect, will live long for him and for all of us, karmically speaking.

Whereas you, dag, happily share your own perceived shortcomings, knowing the rest of us, more or less, have the same. You don't suffer from any of the "know-it-all-ness" so many bloggers wear like a thorny crown. You remind me of the Narnians described in C.S. Lewis' "Prince Caspian." At one point, Shasta finds himself a witness to Narnians passing by. Having never seen them, he's struck by how free, easy and devil-take-the-hindmost they are, and is enchanted. He feels he's come home.


Jeeze ... never meant a comment to become such a pomposity :)

Eowyn said...

"Prince Caspian" -- should be "The Horse and His Boy."

Ugh. *blush*

truepeers said...

Thanks Eowyn,

My sister is a musician; Bach is one of her favorites. Maybe it runs in the family, a family of hummers. Or maybe for me it's just from growing up listening to my sister on the cello, going over pieces time and again, and humming. Yet I think the compulsion to know the pattern of the human dance come from growing up often out of step...

We will have to have a reader appreciation night...!

Charles Henry said...

Wow, Eowyn,
That's one of the nicest compliments I've gotten in a long time. Thank you...

Is there anything more fascinating to humans than to learn how they appear to others... I did some thinking about your analysis, and it led to these conclusions..:

Much of what I've learned that's been of meaningful value was taught by my family. As my father lost his eyesight his laughter and delight at being alive remained undiminished, and what little perception I possess I've gleaned from his example, of finding what is most worth observing: the majestic mystery of human experience.

And my mother gave us as good an example of how to love as any child could hope for, that it's a complicated recipe of gratitude, humility and faith, in oscillating amounts depending on the circumstances du jour.

When I think of our blog, I don't think of a scale as on a thermometer, a straight line with each of us occupying some section, one after the other along the scale.
Rather, I imagine a color wheel, with overlapping areas of interests, our differences complimenting each other's contributions to the central work at hand.
With insightful commentors like yourself adding subtle hues to our own efforts, we'll someday arrive at a great tableau.

Thank God for our differences, hopefully they will remain no matter how blended our positions become; can you imagine how boring we'd be if we all thought and wrote the same?
How would we ever learn, or add to ourselves..?