Friday, June 8, 2018

The Golem Of Ontario

I just finished reading a book by Jordan Tannahill, entitled Liminal. Here is an excerpt that, given the Ontario election results, seems an appropriate parable. I offer it without further commentary:
He mentioned being totally transfixed by an old Yiddish story about the Clay Boy, a variation of the golem, in which a lonely elderly couple made a little boy out of clay. Much to their delight, the clay boy came to life and the couple treated him as their real child. But the clay boy didn't stop growing. He ate all of their food, their animals, and eventually the elderly couple too, before rampaging through the village.
Thus endeth the lesson.


  1. Oh, dear. Now we get to watch the shit show unfold. I wrote a piece today about a world in which every leader was some variant of Donald Trump, a world where the wheels have come off liberal democracy to be displaced by authoritarianism, populism and nationalism.

    Now,more than ever, Lorne, I'm convinced that our governments' clear priority must be in democratic restoration. If they don't reform the corporatist state that has evolved out of neoliberal globalism and restore the bond between the voting public and those they elect to office, liberal democracy cannot last much longer. Authoritarianism has taken hold in Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Austria and even America. It is rising in Germany, France, Britain and, gulp, Canada.

    Our political caste has failed us. They neglected their singular responsibility to nurture and defend liberal democracy as they acceded to the demands of special interests. They're the reason the public in so many countries today has fallen for the first charismatic to come along promising to bring back the good old days.

    Since I began my blog over a decade ago it has been dedicated to the restoration of progressive democracy. I have looked in vain for some, any sign of that coming from the Liberal or New Democratic leadership but there was none to be found. Nobody was talking about restoring the balance between labour and capital. Nobody was advocating for the breakup of the corporate media cartel, the leg irons of liberal democracy, and the restoration of a genuinely free press in Canada without which democracy suffocates. No, it was all about trade, trade, trade and perpetual, exponential growth of the GDP. Our leadership from Mulroney on have failed us. They still are.

    1. I have to say that I haven't felt this discouraged since Harper won his majority government, Mound. My faith in my fellow-citizens is also at an all-time low. The necessary change you advocate seems now like a distant ideal, one that any buffoon with outlandish promises and empty rhetoric can derail. Magical thinking on a massive scale seems to be the order of the day.

      And of the roughly 42% of eligible Ontario voters who sat on their ass, I hope they especially reap the results of their feckless disregard for the common good.

  2. When homo economicus is the ideal, Lorne, no one thinks idealistically.

    1. Disordered thinking seems to carry the day, Owen.