Reflections, Observations, and Analyses Pertaining to the Canadian Political Scene
.. since most politicians have earned ZERO political capital or popular trust.. (what with deficits, fraud, drone killings, military adventurism, sex with male or female pages, triple deleted emails or Blackberry endarounds, killing off of species habitat - to fuel distant Asian 'economies' .. and I could rant on.. its sweet to see a guy like Woody kick sum ass.. We prob need actors artists athletes stars to step up in place of failed flailing captured political animules.. yes.. animules.. not a typo ..
I certainly admire Woody's idealism here, Salamander, and the failure of our 'leaders' is manifest. However, I am also convinced that far too many people, through indolence, willful ignorance or simple inertia make little or no effort to do the things he suggests. We seem so mired in the swamp established by the advertising and consumer world that we go along our merry way, refusing to see or utilize the inherent power of choice that we have. A harsh assessment? Perhaps. But also, in my view, an accurate one.
I deeply regret having to concur with your assessment, Lorne. The majority of people today, certainly the populations of most western nations, are powerfully conditioned to some carefully researched behaviours. I rarely go to malls but when I do I'm always struck at watching the under-40s strolling around either reading or sending texts. Their world is, for many minutes and perhaps even hours, shrunk to the size of their smart phone. You see the data plans that cell phone companies offer and it's obvious that there's a reason people are drawn to "unlimited minutes" options.I did an experiment recently where I disabled my voice mail. If someone wanted to call me they had to reach me when I was at home or call back later. Interesting experience. When the phone did ring, chances were it was to convey something significant. Unfortunately I had to reinstate it - for emergency purposes.I recently had to replace my gas stove. The previous one crapped out after 7 years. I was stunned when appliance sales staff said, one after another, that was about right. 7-years and off to the dump. There's nothing to stop a government from mandating that manufacturers maintain a parts inventory for their products for fifteen years following introduction. I couldn't keep my old range going because the necessary parts were nowhere to be found.I'm a great believer in Steady State economics. One core principle is that resources should be allocated among competitors based on the utility of their product including its durability and upgradeability. In a world that is running out of so many resources anything less is reprehensible. Today's practices, in effect, are reprehensible.
When we had to replace our washer, Mound, the salesman told us that unlike machines of old that would regularly last 30 years or more, one is indeed fortunate to get 10 years out of the new ones, since so many of the parts are now made of cheap plastic. That he could tell us that without fear of losing the sale speaks volumes about how disposable a society we have really become. This treadmill of consumerism and constant growth is something we can't sustain, as I know you well know. I have made similar observations as you with regard to cell phone use. People have indeed reduced their awareness of the world around them quite cheerfully. Such matters do not inspire any hope, do they?