The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “prejudice

Hibernating Bigotry

Posted on June 18, 2015

WITH A FEDERAL ELECTION HEATING UP, the political establishment will come after citizens once more, asking them what they want and promising to give it to them if they would but vote. You’d think that after a time, especially following years of political dysfunction, that this being catered to every four years or so would begin to grate on us somewhat. And perhaps it has and that is part of the reason voter turnout continues to decline. But politicians know something about us that they would never say and we would never admit: we aren’t just a people of myriad opinions, but of latent prejudices that we quietly live out each day but which we never let fully out into the open. Thus the…

The Partisan Mind (1)

Posted on October 8, 2013

The dictionary defines the word partisan as an “adherent or supporter of a person, group, party or cause.  A person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance.”  It also carries a military connotation, meaning someone “engaged in harassing the enemy.”  We get our English word from the Latin pars, which means “particular” and which evolved into the word “partiality.” The term has always possessed a kind of edge, yet previous times viewed a partisan as a loyalist who held to certain views.  Today it accumulates increasingly negative baggage and such a person is frequently viewed as incapable of understanding and blind to further truth.  That’s a shame.  Sincere partisans are everywhere in politics, believing in their cause, and furthering their point of view.  All of…

Goodwill Hunting

Posted on December 26, 2012

And on earth, peace to those of goodwill … Luke 2:14 Today I turn 62. A birthday is always a good occasion for reflection and this past year has been more notable than some. From having my daughter Kristy move back to London with her son Jack to undergoing major surgery, from seeing how Londoners responded so generously to the food bank during demanding times to finishing my book on London – these made the year meaningful, challenging, and inspiring. My Mom, Dad and brother all died of cancer when they were 62 – an irony not lost on me. Yet I feel there are still many more things to do, to accomplish, to share with others, and to enjoy. While in hospital, I…

Beware the Sciopods and the Blemmyaes

Posted on August 15, 2012

Prior to more detailed reports returning with people like Christopher Columbus and other explorers of the oceans in the 15th century, it was common to suppose that any creatures discovered along the way would be filled with horrific traits. Poetry, folklore, religion, and just plain prejudice and racism, helped to lead the way for millions who were superstitious and mostly illiterate. They heard of Pygmies, who braided their long hair into clothing. Homer’s earlier writing of the Cyclopes convinced even those of later centuries that one-eyed monsters still existed. Antipodes (meaning “opposite footed”) supposedly lived at the bottom of the world and walked upside down. Even Shakespeare wrote of the Blemmyae – creatures whose heads grew beneath their shoulders – and the one-footed Sciopods,…

  

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