The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Media” Category

“And” or “But”

Posted on May 4, 2018

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” So wrote Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist.  And he’s right – perhaps in this age more than any other, when anger can flash everywhere, even across borders, at the speed of light.  It’s seems like the more we judge others the less we understand life, or history, or most dangerous of all, ourselves. Somehow, we become smaller, the better angels of our nature receding into the dark distance. Yesterday’s post about Senator John McCain was prompted by just such a circumstance.  The person I spoke to felt confident…

A Deeper Code

Posted on May 3, 2018

Senator John McCain’s name came up in a discussion yesterday following mention of what could be one of his final communications before his brain tumour takes its final toll.  The young man’s view was that this is just another self-serving politician who’s lived off the political system for years and it’s time to replace him anyway. When I mentioned McCain’s being a POW in Vietnam, the response was, “Yeah, but think how terrible he was supporting Bush and some of the stupid votes he made.” And so it goes.  We are rapidly losing the ability to place people in some kind of context that truly represents their life and not just the part we disagree with.  That will be the subject of tomorrow’s post, but…

Truthiness and Consequences

Posted on May 1, 2018

It was back in 2005 when Stephen Colbert first used the word “truthiness” on the Jon Stewart show.  The audience bellowed their laughter and overnight the term took its place in our modern vocabulary.  Colbert said he used it to describe the kind of politics that rejects reason and research in favour of “gut feelings” that someone feels regardless of the lack of facts.  Now, some 13 years later, the term is etched in our thinking. One of the clearest examples of how “truthiness” played out in real life occurred in the Republican Party’s 2012 primary race – a contest eventually won by Mitt Romney.  In one debate, Romney’s key challenger, Rick Santorum, provided a strange example of what happens when governments get too…

Peace’s Missing Component

Posted on April 26, 2018

The headlines have been fairly consistent.  “Canada Introduces a New Era in Peacekeeping,” notes Legion magazine.  “UN Peacekeeping in a New Era,” is the title of a policy piece by the Routledge Group.  The Globe and Mail headline read, “Liberals Grapple with a New Era of Peacekeeping.” It’s remains a difficult thing to discern exactly what this new era entails, but with much of the emphasis on troops, helicopters, the risks and dysfunctional nations overseas, we could be missing the most important resource.  One headline from 2015 asked a key question: “Peacekeeping Has Evolved: Is Canada Ready?”  Well, that depends on if, and how, that resource is utilized. The resource is women, in all of their wisdom, lived experience, survival skills, military knowledge, understanding…

Labyrinth

Posted on April 26, 2018

The thing about rage only two decades into the 21stcentury is that it’s everywhere.  In past eras it brewed in turbulent hotspots – the Middle East, India-Pakistan, the Balkans, the Congo, Nicaragua, among others – usually far away and, in consequence, far from our minds.  But the individual and collective anger has spread to normally stable places around the globe – Germany, France, Norway, Britain and most obviously in the United States. In his Meditations, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius cogently noted, “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”  It seems to me that some are coming to terms with this observation.  The “age of rage” has been rolling on for years and the change which that kind…

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