a unique perspective on this crazy world

Posts tagged ‘politics’

the danger of modern mythology

I wonder if we should have quit breaking his cigarettes… my sister and I grew up in the era when medical research had proven that smoking was BAD for you… toxic… a carcinogenic addiction with no potential health benefits like red wine or dark chocolate.

Our teachers had told us smoking could kill you so we broke a package of cigarettes to save his life.  It did not go down well 🙂 and we stopped…

He didn’t officially die from smoking but 66 is really young to die in the 21st century and – whether he accepted it or not – smoking chipped away at his mortality… as did his opposition to entering a kitchen to do anything but eat and his aversion to vegetables.

With better habits, today he would likely have turned 75… and I would have done something cool to celebrate.  It’s a tragedy that we can’t.

In many ways, it is surprising that my father was a smoker.  He was the first intellectual to grace my life.  He may have quit school at 15 to make some money but he had a natural intelligence that he fed constantly so that by the time I could have an intelligent conversation with him there was lots to learn.

A large part of the success I have had in life can be attributed to lessons I learned sitting on the carpet in front of my father’s leather recliner discussing matters of importance – politics, history, sports…

how it all began :)

how it all began 🙂

A lot of it felt like being a student of Plato laying out the laws of the universe.  I question everything and only hold opinions that I can support by facts because of my father.  It’s a bit funny because he veered off script at times… the student became the master… My father’s advice was tantamount to that of a great statesman… of course, saying is easier than doing 😉

In life, though, what is most critical is just being exposed to great advice.  If you adopt it, you will prosper and can rise above your station in a way you have never imagined.

For me, what is wonderful about my father is the confidence and critical thinking he instilled in me at such a young age that I was counselling other seven year olds to follow their own path and not get caught up in the hysteria and misguided aims of the masses 🙂

I can’t remember him ever saying he was proud of me and our relationship was complicated enough it might make a great melodrama but – even when I wanted him to behave differently – I was always grateful for the incredible life philosophy he had instilled in me from the time I was capable of human language.

He represented critical thinking, compassion, ingenuity, bravery and hope.

He was the guy who made me political even though I never knew whom he voted for.  There was a beauty in that – that the political process was about ideology not the dirty business of politics.  I still remember watching Jimmy Carter get elected with him.  A President that never gets enough respect.

I am sure my father would have been appalled by Trump and the forces of hate that have brought him to power.  I wish we could talk about it.  But – fingers crossed – sanity will prevail and I can drink a toast to hope in November – as I will to my dad tonight.

I wish you had paid more attention to your health but I am grateful for everything that you taught me.  To all those dads out there who inspire their daughters 🙂

my dark days with Ayn Rand ;)

I am working my ass off right now.  Ayn Rand would be proud 🙂   And, yes Republicans, I built it!  Really truly.  Not the infrastructure, including the highly subsidized education that got me here, you morons, but I am FAR more impressive than Mitt or Paul… of course that great education I got was mostly courtesy of the phenomenal world changing conception invented by the Scots I believe of making free public education available to the masses.

And the scrappy side of my family who taught me to question everything.  I should be in bed but Jon Stewart is at the Republican convention and he has rarely been more brilliant.  My brain is on fire from watching television.  Who would have thunk it?

How I am back thinking about Ayn Rand.  It’s been decades…  I am not sure if you know about Ayn Rand.  She was a crazy Russian novelist who had been through the Russian Revolution as part of the displaced bourgeois.  Seems fair she ended up an atheist elitist who hated government.

I have always been a voracious reader, one of those strange people who stressed out at a young age when they realized they would NOT be able to read ALL the books in the library!  So instead I had to try and figure out what I should be reading.  I asked my twelfth grade English teacher for a list of books to read.  And she was the one who told me to read Ayn Rand.

Being young, impressionable and fairly conservative, Objectivism initially seemed attractive.  And I was fairly bright and inordinately ambitious.  Which is how I built it.  A successful consulting practice soon to go into its tenth year.  It’s all me.  No daddy money.  No mentors.  Not even a country club membership.

But I wasn’t always so smart.  I remember meeting some cute guy on a beach in Bermuda and he said some stuff and I knew he was quoting Ayn Rand and it was a bonding moment.

Thank god I got over it.  I am not proud of my Ayn Rand days.  Unlike the Republican caucus.  I am really grateful to my father.  He always talked very conservative and I know I leaned that way because I idolized him and thought he was very worldly and smart.  But, because I thought that, when he started questioning my right wing ideas, I really took notice.

And moved toward the center.  My mom and I were just talking about what a Canadian patriot he was.  And the more I watch American politics, the more proud – and relieved – I am of being Canadian.  We do need to pay attention though.  We hear their rhetoric too often and it’s easy to be seduced.

Like people are seduced by Ayn Rand.  Personally I think “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” are good reads.  Especially when you are young and impressionable.  But, thanks to my dad, even when I read them the first time, the critical reader in me was always in debate with the author.

Sure, it’s good to promote ambition instead of laziness.  Government can get out of control and is not inherently good.  But neither are rich people.  OMG, I am just learning why Stewart and Colbert have been talking about Ayn Rand so much and bringing up my fond memories of using “Atlas Shrugged” as a pretense to make out on a beach in Bermuda.

Paul Ryan’s views are far more scary!  And obviously he IS an idiot.  I thought his economic policies made it obvious already – but apparently he didn’t realize Ayn Rand was an atheist.  Seriously, dude?  He makes his staff read the novels anyway… some kind of sneaky Republican diluted, confused, pretending to be intellectual message… read this – but only take note of part of the message… sounds pretty Republican to me 🙂

Remember – government builds infrastructure.  Education is good.  A great education that actually teaches you to think rationally is even better.  So you can tell Ayn Rand to go to hell – altruism is good, you bitch.  Selfishness and unregulated capitalism are what’s gonna take us down.  And she is dead, having been born in likely the greatest capitalist economic sweet spot in the history of mankind, so why would she care…

Colbert is just interviewing an Ayn Rand expert.  Gotta love these boys.  Some of the stuff Ayn Rand said wasn’t bullshit.  Self reliance is good.  Mixing religion and politics is bad.  Apparently just before she died she denounced Reagan for bringing religion into politics.  So she would slug Paul Ryan.  And Mitt Romney?  She must be rolling in her grave!  That’s what you get for promoting crap values and trying to bring the world down, lady.  But thanks for the make out session on the beach in Bermuda – it was cinematic 😉

And Republicans…  Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert – and all their viewers – love you.  Keep talking crap!  As Jon so brilliantly showcased tonight, you dudes sound like Charlie Sheen.  SERIOUSLY???  I know The Expendables 2 will likely play better in foreign markets and exporting your “culture” seems to be on track, but people, you are electing the most powerful man in the world.  He should be someone the rest of the world is in awe of, not a gift to smart comedians.  If only Jon Stewart would run for President…

But first you would have to build the infrastructure to educate enough people to actually understand what he says… it’s brilliant…

http://www.thecomedynetwork.ca/Shows/TheDailyShow

Everyone with a brain should watch tonight’s episode.  It will make you feel better about the world, if only fleetingly 😉

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