Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Time to Take Stock - On Turning 500,000
Stay or go? I feel like a Bill Moyers zygote. I have never achieved his serene altruism, not even close. I don't aspire to his higher moral purpose. Yet I've always felt a deep affinity for the man since I encountered his work four decades ago. He seemed to find a gentle yet powerful and intensely principled clarity in his take on the world.
By contrast, I have always resorted to the baser instincts I evolved as a reporter and litigation lawyer. Far less understanding and gentile, far more pugnacious and uncivil.
When we start these blogs we're fascinated as the "hits" begin to dribble in. A few a day at the outset, eventually a few dozen. Over time we begin to develop an odd sort of relationship with our readers, even those who cloak themselves in anonymity.
The following is still modest, averaging between 400 and 900 per day, yet I'm always at a loss to understand why I get even that many. The fact is I write these posts mainly for myself and the blog is a vehicle to vent my passion in all its forms.
When I began this blog (at the urging of another, I never would have done it otherwise) I considered myself a devout Liberal. I had been drawn to the LPC when I got to vote in my first election which happened to be PET's first campaign as Liberal leader. What a time that was. How we've declined ever since.
I was always a rounder. I scored super high on the SATO and OSAT tests but was too busy with my motorcycles to go to high school much more than 3-months a term. I think I majored in absenteeism. It was going, quite deservedly, downhill and that was salvaged only by the Golden Hawks and the burning desire to fly they instilled in me when I was a child and first watched an airshow team.
So, never believing I stood a chance, I underwent RCAF aircrew selection screening and testing and - voila - I tested positive for both pilot and navigator. I naturally chose pilot with preference for fast jets. What 17-year old kid wants anything else?
With parental consent (what other choice had they?) I was sworn in at 17. My dreams and hopes came to an end in advanced flight school when I was beset with migraines, a condition that plagues me to this day. I remain convinced, however, that I was the real deal, the guy who could have bested Bishop and Collishaw.
But life stops for no man until the moment it actually does just that. I buggered off to Europe, living in London for a couple of years and Spain for about 4-months. I rode my gallant but thoroughly untrustworthy steed, a modified BSA, A65L Lightning through Europe - north, south and central - and into North Africa all before returning to Ontario for my 21st birthday. Fast jets and fast motorcycles - the perfect combination for a young, testosterone-driven kid. God but I had some good times and some close scrapes; some two-wheeled, some romantic.
Then I came back and went to study journalism at Michigan. The Vietnam War was heading straight into the shitter. I had read about Kent State in the international edition of Time while languishing in a 19th century bathtub in Madrid. Detroit burned in '67. America was spiritually afire in '70.
I went to study in the States believing all white, middle class Americans were racist. I soon discovered that racism was a plague that transcended race and ethnicity, something powerfully borne out today. In the States I had white friends and I had black friends. I didn't have white and black friends and the pain that realization caused was searing. The curious thing is that the natural instinct in that dilemma is to turn against your own. Unless you're someone named Newt or Mitt or Rick.
I went from journalism in Ottawa to law school in Ottawa to lawyering in Vancouver to retirement on the island and to blogging. I became more progressive and more environmentally attuned. I also watched the party I had cleaved to for decades degrade. And now I watch the party I had always thought alone firmly anchored in principle, the NDP, cast adrift.
Unlike any of the major parties with a realistic chance of forming a government in the near future, I see climate change as the greatest challenge confronting our nation, the true sine qua non. The science and research were conclusive six years ago when I began this blog. The science and research have flowed in relentlessly ever since then only reinforcing what was previously maintained.
When I began blogging I didn't end the day dispirited. I do now. The change over the past six years has been profound and demonstrable yet I see little acknowledgement of that among Liberals and New Democrats and none at all from the Conservatives.
Maybe it's time to hang up these spurs and find more productive venues. I'll think on that for a while.
BTW - the "Mound of Sound" appellation was given to me by the students at the last, and largest, law firm that had me. I'm assured it was only referenced to my dulcet yet strong baritone voice. Of course those same shits also called me "LEO" an acronym for "Large Evil One". Such is life. None of them survived.