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?