The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

July 3, 2008

High Emotion, Mixed Morals

This was a spectacular, somewhat ironic and even funny news week when it comes to morals, the high ground, the gutter and everything in between, if you think about it and tie a few things together.

In the U.S., Senator Jesse Helm of North Carolina, one of the Far Right's most dangerous and powerful men and a staunch opponent of segregation and black equality and heroes such as Martin Luther King, died Friday of natural causes.

Helm, who appeared many times on Christian televangelist shows like Jim and Tammy Faye Baker's and Pat Robertson's, was also a rabid anti-abortionist and a dyed in the wool supporter of the U.S. military, whoever they were blowing to smithereens.

He was also anti-gay, anti-Communist and a whole bunch of other anti's, but you get the point. The scary thing is there are a whole lot more like him, especially in the U.S. south. But anyway...

His death at age 86 came at the tail end of a week in which Montreal's Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who fought and won to make abortion of unwanted pregnancies legal here, was awarded the Order of Canada.

This appointment, Canada's highest honour, is of course stirring a raging controversy up here as the anti-abortionists and the pro-choice groups battle it out. Oh, the horror. Here's the latest:

A Calgary-based activist group has filed an official request to the Governor General, asking that she strip abortion crusader Dr. Henry Morgentaler of his membership in the Order of Canada.

The Canada Family Action Coalition, which bills itself as a group dedicated to restoring Judeo-Christian moral principles in the country, Morgentaler should never have received the award.

"Henry Morgentaler's conduct is unbecoming that of a member of the Order of Canada and thereby tarnishes all recipients of this tremendous award," the coalition wrote in its letter to the Order of Canada advisory committee.

Morgentaler, 85, was named a member of the Order of Canada on Tuesday after fighting for decades to have abortion legalized in Canada. His battle was won in 1988 when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country's abortion laws.

One priest who started up a school for boys and who also received the Order of Canada says he'll return his medal in disgust.

This priest, who just coincidentally also got into legal trouble as a priest and faced charges involving assault and sexual assault, received the Order despite those incidents, for which he was eventually found not guilty.

(Thought: so was O.J. Simpson)

Still, he said, if a baby killer like Morgentaler -- whom I've covered and talked to many times in the past when he tried to set up an abortion clinic here -- is getting the Order, this priest says he doesn't want his.

Back to Helm.

If he would have just waited another two weeks to croak, he could have been part of all this and maybe been saved, who knows:

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I guess my final reference to something I read or heard recently is more about the question of morals and values and integrity and the choices we make as so-called advanced societies (I'm talking North America, Europe, Australia, etc.)

It was a column that dealt with some big fancy-schmancy rescue of a pet dog, I think it was, in California or somewhere and this generated a huge media buzz for its cost and scale and heroicism and all...

And the columnist made the point that hey, we can go to these lengths to save a pet dog or any other animal in our own back yard and yet we can't spend a small amount of money per day to help keep an African child from starving.


These ARE confusing times. And I realize this is a negative post.

Stories and sound bytes ravish our minds every millisecond from every conceivable corner of the planet. Images on TV or on the Web over-stimulate brains that weren't evolved to handle the overload.

It's information, but it's always got a spin on it. CNN is ALL about spin. The information is instantaneous and we get that immediately, we know what has happened almost as it's happening.

But it's all the follow-up and analysis that's so rehearsed and so spun and so designed to not let us make up our own minds about what's B.S. and what isn't. CNN and the rest of the mass media make it too easy for us.
Actually, they're making it too hard.

Obama-Clinton and now Obama-McCain, all they do is throw on professional spin doctors from either side to cough up their rhetoric on the latest issue or CNN-made controversy to drive their ratings.
We as viewers are like a lost spaceship, plummeting out and spun out of control in orbit.

There's no objectivity any more. We're saturated by opinions and lobbying and bullshit. The airwaves are filled with so-called reality shows that are so far from reality we don't know if we're coming or going.

We watch crap like Celebrity Rehab and Entertainment Tonight and with a flick of a button we can switch to televangelism, then we can switch again to an all-sports channel filled with airheads glorifying steroid-taking man machines making millions.

Man-made and natural disasters seem to happen with increasing frequency. Everyone seems to have their own little cause or persona in an era of complete craziness and chaos as we speed along at a zillion miles an hour.

It's all so disjointed, almost fictional, impossible to fully comprehend. I'm buzzed about it.
Information overload in the Wonderful and Wacky World of the Web is one thing, but the Sanctity of Sexy Spin that accompanies it all is difficult. The spin doctors are leaving my head spinning.
Am I the only Human Been to feel this way? Or is the answer just to tune it all out and not pay attention?
Or is this just more spin on top of the spin?


  1. I saw the priest being interviewed on TV on yesterday's morning news. Meantime, more has come to light about his molestation conviction. Has he never heard of "cast no stones..."?

  2. Andrea:

    I don't think he was ever convicted on the molestation, was he? Nevertheless, neither was OJ.

    Cast no stones is an apt and apropos saying in this context, coulda been the post title...

  3. We should all just love each other and all get on :) peace and love and all that bollocks.......


  4. As if we don't all ready have enough religious nut bags in Texas, Jesus is now coming this month?! Will he be visiting the polygamous cult ranch as well?!

    Thank god for illegal immigrants! Cheap labor! I must round some up at the local Home Depot to construct a wooden crucifix to hang, I mean, welcome this Jesus!

    I've always found it hilarious that the most vocal and staunch conservatives against civil rights are usually closeted freaks...Like Strom Thurmond, who passed away, a champion of segregation who made Jesse Helms look like small fries...come to find out, as much as he spewed against racial integration, Thurmond had jungle fever and had a black daughter! Than there's homophobe Sen. Larry Craig, who lost his seat when busted for trying to get a bj in a men's airport bathroom; not to mention that Rep. Foley from Florida, another homophone who lost his job when it was revealed he was sending sex emails to underage teenage boys in Congress! That John Baker...cheating on his wife with a prostitute...mmm..mmm...mmm...

    I laugh at these idiots...though, I wonder, would they be as vocal if they weren't in America?

  5. P.S. Sorry...Meant "Then" and "homophobe", not then and homophone...

  6. Toasty:

    If only...


    Hey man, yeah, hate to say it, but Texas does seem to be popular with some of the world's wingnuts (in addition to the intelligentia like you).

    I remember Strom...and all those other guys. Surprised how much some of us Canajuns know your politicians?

    And good question...would they be who they are if they didn't live in America? Yuk. Nope.

  7. Anonymous6:32 p.m.

    Shoot! If this were the first post I read on your blog I'd think"another nut job!" and hit delete.
    But I've been here before and I know that you and I are often singing from the same hymn sheet.
    Yes, that land to the south of you does seem to be home to more crack-pots (called psycho ceramics here!)than most other places.
    Andrea's point is a good one: we all need to check the mirror before sounding off.

  8. MoreIdleThoughts (aka Dinahmow):

    I was trying to figure out, who IS this person? The person who might have pressed delete on me?

    Your new site looks gorgeous. I might just consider opting out of Blogger too because I can't get all this html spacing stuff right and I've given up on it.

    So you so disagree with what I've said that you might have called someone else saying the same thing a nut job?

    Hey, no problem if that's the case...everyone's got their opinions...

    America is the land of the strong and free, supposedly, so that allows extremes to flourish.

    At times, though, I'm shocked at the power those extremes seem to wield.

  9. Aidan and I just want to retire from the world.

  10. Stace:

    NO! You and Aidan have to SAVE the world. Minor task, I realize, but don't retire...

  11. Yes, I should have said that I'm moving to "the opposition." Apologies.
    And it's not that I disagree; I'm with you on this.But had I not been familiar with your blog...

    If you're thinking of making a swith, do give Wordpress a try. It's really good for the techno-dunces(aka me)and it looks good, too.

    Back to nutters: recently, a gallery down south was raided by the police (yes!) because it featured photographs of a naked 13 year old girl.Tomorrow, we hang a show of "Nudes" in a local cafe. We have 16 pieces going on show (3 are mine)and we don't expect any problems.
    But we also have some vocal religious folk in town...

  12. Dinahmow:

    No, it's perfectly OK to disagree, if you had. I just wondered if it was tact I took or phrase I used.

    Personally, D, I've been blogging less and less. But I might try wordpress and experiment a bit...

    Nutters: The morality police exist everywhere. Still far out-numbered by the reasonable, but driven to be louder against the silence of the sane and sentient.

  13. Gosh, you don't ask much, do you?! We're working on it, mate, but it might take a while :P

  14. Stace:

    I was just giving you advance notice. You've got at least a week, if not more.


  15. Where to start..

    Jesse Helm was just another ig'nant old timey homophobic negro-hatin' segregationist and good f*cking riddance..
    the mere fact that some Southerners persist on supporting men like this is a testament to the failure of the Department of Edumacation...what can you say...those stereotypes of inbred crackers persist for a f*cking good reason!

    Whenever they go after Morgentaler I am reminded that it is OK to shoot and murder Abortion providers and yet a sin to wear condoms...
    thank you Vaticanistas for your blatant program to keep the parishoners pregnant and under your thumb.
    What year is it 1108?

    Cult leaders like this uber-cheesy-puerto-rican-Wayne-Newtonian-cliched-version-of god seem outrageously comical to those of us who are even partially lucid and moderately acquainted with reality, but they are insanely dangerous..
    this guy is obviously as clinically insane as Hitler.

    What drives his followers to discard all common sense and abandon reason? Never underestimate the supidity of people in large crowds.

    Lucid people should make a conscious effort to dismantle this megalomaniac before he has thousands of his zombified prisoners drinking Poisoned Koolaid in some tropical 'retreat'.

    You've managed to get my blood boiling this morning...
    I must leave and find a happy place..

  16. Donnnnnn:

    Darnnnnnn it, if I've made your blood boil, then there was at least some point to this post.

    And now I see your new avatar hides half your face and is showing you in another girly hat, sans the Aussie motif.

    I subsequently discovered that it's Jesse Helms, not Jesse Helm. My bad.

    The post was way too long as it was, so I didn't include the point that if women didn't have abortions, there would be thousands and millions more unwanted, unloved, uncared for kids out there.

    I wonder if the church would take them all in and raise them to be fine upstanding adults.

    As an alternative, I wonder if the church or governments would consider mass sterilization programs. But nope, they just want to believe people have sex only to have babies.


    Abortion shouldn't be seen as the be-all, end-all, and protection and intelligence should be exercised.

    But we all know accidents happen and people don't think.

  17. Funny you and Donn should mention abortion. On the way to work this morning, news on the radio said that a parish priest received a gift basket for the Thanksgiving portion of the mass. He brought the basket of fruit home where he discovered a bottle containing a four month old fetus.

    It just makes me so mad --- why can't they educate people about artificial contraception to prevent things like these from happening?

  18. Menchie:

    I don't know what the rest of the story is there involving that priest, so wouldn't want to draw conclusions, although on the face of it, it sounds cruel and stupid.

    The church is very complicit in this whole abortion debate because of its stance on contraceptive devices and its well-meaning but unrealistic views on the sanctity of all life, right from conception.

    Have you ever seen the movie Pleasantville? That's the world the church tries to pretend exists, in my view.

    If everything was hunky-dory, there would be no abortion and no crime and no bad stuff and, therefore, no need for the church.

    But we don't live in Pleasantville. Not everybody is intelligent and uses or has access to condoms, the pill or any other device, or cares about whether conception occurs.

    It's unfortunate, but it's true.


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