Friday, 25 August 2017

Left of Left

There's an Alt-Left!? Why didn't anyone send me an invitation? Seriously... I am so put out. Hrumph!

His Nibs, The Donald, in an incurious turn of events, went off script... again... or still... or something. He literally put the notes smarter people gave him into his pocket. “I seen him do it, Bobbi-Jo. This'll be good fer shur. Thet King Donald fella gonna give it to 'em now. He dudn't tek no shee-it from nobody.”

That's when the term “Alt-Left” slipped from DT's ill-wind-aided flapping maw. (Which is the only thing flapping more than his hair these days.)

I've spent the past couple of days attempting to figure out what the Alt-Left might be. The Alt-Right isn't so hard to pick out. Generally speaking they have; guns, flags of long ago defeated nations, more guns, knives, swastika tattoos and four wheel drive trucks with gun and deer racks. They roam in packs with Walmart tiki torches and have a decided lack of hair or a scruffy beard to their knees. However, in order to define an Alt-Left person as referred to by his sanctitude, the make-believe king of America, we might have to take a closer look at the ideology of the Alt-Right. They should be polar opposites, no? After all, the universe is balanced with polar opposites; north vs south, up vs down, light vs dark, good vs evil, the Trump administration vs people who know what the fuck is going on.

Before we get to the comparisons, I have to state that "Alt-Left" and "alternative facts" have a familiar ring to them. I have to wonder if Kellyanne Conway was whispering in Trump's ear when he coined the Alt-Left thing. Probably not since her favourite position seems to be hanging out in the Oval Office on the sofa playing solitaire on her cell phone while men in suits do the important stuff... like banning the rest of the world from visiting Disney Land and trying to figure out if Ding-Dongs are Communist or not.

Back to the point.

The Alt-Right is self described as isolationist, protectionist, antisemitic and white supremacist while overlapping with Neo-Nazism, Islamophobia, anti-feminism and homophobia. That sounds an awful lot like the campaign promises of a certain orange haired, White House dwelling garden gnome. And, that is a lot of antis! Are they for anything? Well, quite bluntly, it seems they are for themselves and pretty much no-one else.

  • If the Alt-Right is isolationist, that would make the Alt-Left inclusive.
  • If the Alt-Right is protectionist, that would make the Alt-Left receptive.
  • If the Alt-Right is antisemitic (racist), that would make the Alt-Left tolerant.
  • If the Alt-Right promotes White supremacy, that would mean the Alt-Left promotes equality.
  • If the Alt-Right is anti-feminist, that would make the Alt-Left egalitarians.
  • If the Alt-Right is belligerent, combative and militaristic, that would make the Alt-Left flower power peace-nicks.

Something is wrong with the reasoning of Dopus the Potus when he proclaimed the Alt-Left was just as to blame for the combative nature of the confrontations in Charlottesville. It would seem, by simple logic and inspection, that the Alt-Left referred to simply wouldn't be at a march at all. They would, it seems, be huge proponents of live and let live. Stated plainly, if the Alt-Right marches through the streets with guns and clubs and plastic “made in China” dollar store torches all the while chanting hate slurs, the Alt-Left would be home around a campfire hugging their fellow humans and singing Kumbaya.

There is an Alt-Left.

And most of us are hanging with our friends, reading good books, snuggling with our sweeties and getting on with our lives...

Like humans.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

It's Good to be Trumped

I was about eight or nine years old and curious about the world in many ways that should have been left to their own devices.
When I was young, we lived on a street that backed onto a forest. I've been back to that neighbourhood since then and it's completely different. The forest is gone and is now occupied by a row of houses intended to differentiate themselves from one another only by the siding or brick colour. Other than that, it's a collection of postage stamps sold as a piece of real estate to families with a neighbour on one side who uses tweezers to cut his lawn while the one on the other side chugs onto what used to be his lawn with his mud ridden monster truck, two four wheelers and a plethora of kids bikes and toys.
Anyway, there used to be a nice forest there.
I was out in that forest one day with a friend and happened across a hornets nest. I was watching the tiny black and yellow busy-doers wander in and out of their paper nest when my friend thought it might be cool to toss a rock at it. This is the children's version of one friend saying to the other, “Oh yeah? Hold my beer and watch this!” Generally speaking, those words are followed by a visit from a panel truck with red lights, a screaming warning signal and the words “Emergency Vehicle” plastered everywhere around it's gleaming white hide. Next stop, the Emergency Ward and the detox centre... not necessarily in that order. Unless you're a kid... then it's the Emergency Ward and a stern talking to with a smack on the ass.
I threw a rock.
I'm ashamed on two levels. Firstly, I was behaving badly by disrupting the lives of creatures for my own enjoyment. My only defence is I was eight or nine and dumb as a clump of cat litter. Secondly, I wasn't very good at throwing things then and couldn't purposely hit a stand of maple trees with a fist full of pebbles.
My friend, who was much more accurate than I, hit the nest.
For a moment, the hornets were confused. Then... they organized. I started running. The hornets saw the movement and decided defending their territory was the best course of action. As it turned out, I wasn't much of a thrower but I was really fucking good at running. I got a few stings while my friend, who wasn't such a good runner, took the brunt of the assault.
Yeah... I haven't bothered with hornets much since. I have chosen to live with them rather than piss them off.
I've been looking at this whole thing since the election. Disturbing as it is, there are some who are applauding the actions taken since inauguration day. Others are appalled at the lack of humanity. Those would be the hornets. The hornets have finally become enraged enough at the establishment that they elected someone who was willing to tear down the shroud of the inner workings of the government regardless of consequence.
To purposely mix metaphors, the pendulum has swung as far to the right as it possibly can and has clunked on the side of the aged wooden cabinet of the grandfather clock with an unceremonious thud.
This is not a bad thing. That sound you hear is the bone crunching machinery coming to a grinding halt.
What we have been doing up until now has not worked. Not for everyone. While ninety-nine percent of us toil because we have to, the other one percent bandy about the planet in their yachts and jets while eating exotic foods like dolphin and dog and chocolate covered ants. Eight people have the same financial resources of 3.8 billion others. Firstly, does it seem right that anyone should be wasting those resources like the one percent? Their carbon footprint is larger than some small towns in any G20 country.
This carbon footprint extends to those we place into power in our illustrious institutions as well; presidents of country and corporation, mayors of major cities, business leaders, envoys to other countries, music and acting stars, TV personalities, sports stars, etc. They all have a larger footprint than most small corporations.
It has to end.
What Donald Trump is doing is necessary. Short of launching a ballistic missile assault on Denmark for not setting a good pyramidal example to its citizenry, the current system of haves and have-nots has to be abolished. And, unfortunately, the only way to prove to the masses that the old system will never, ever, ever work for them is to blow the fucker out of the water.
This pyramidal, top-down experiment has run its course. It doesn't work simply because of greed.
What Donald Trump has done during his first week in office is not palatable to most of us. He is crude, ignorant of international policy, intolerant of others points of view, protectionist, narcissistic, homophobic and illiterate. He's exactly what is needed to tear apart what is, surely, a one sided scheme. Our job, as socially responsible humans, is to work on what is going to replace what he is tearing apart.
For decades (centuries? Millennia?) we have had a hierarchy which pandered to the few while making empty promises to the masses. (Trickle down economics, my ass.) So? What are we going to do about it? Some ideas would be a good start. And those ideas need to start now so, when The Donald is booted unceremoniously to the curb, the pendulum can swing back toward the middle where it belongs.
Donald Trump is no more than a kid throwing a rock at a hornets nest. The hornets (us regular folk) need to sting back and set our boundaries. And, while that is happening, we need to reorganize and not go back to what we had.
It's time to build a new nest.
It's time to do things differently, equitably and for the protection of the Eco-system of the third rock from the sun... our only home.
It's time to break down the system that clearly doesn't work and build a new one.
While we're hating on Donald Trump, we need to secretly be thanking him for tearing the system down. For exposing the inner workings of a corrupt system.

Now we need ideas.