Friday, 20 April 2012

I Vote for: "None of the Above?"

Election time again in our province, and like past elections, it is time to put up with a few weeks of littering the landscape with all those ugly signs designed to try and convince us to get out there and vote for ... someone. It is time to once again be subjected to a bunch more political rhetoric and BS.

Sorry, but I just cannot get excited about it. Oh, I know all the right reasons to vote, but, well ... blah.

I remember when I first saw the picture of this campaign bus. The jokes flew fast and furiously across social media sites. I confess that I laughed too as I thought about how this moving billboard was designed. Is that what politics has become in modern western society? Has it all become just another joke to be laughed at?

Does it even matter who wins? They're all quick to point out the flaws in each other's governments and leadership styles, but at the end of the day, they themselves are just as corrupt, and they themselves are certainly no better than their opposition. It doesn't matter what so-called statistics they throw at us, the gullible public, for it seems like political statistics are often little more than just propaganda and socially acceptable lies. I am amused by the fact that there are even books out there, such as this one, on How To Lie With Statistics! (No, I haven't yet read this). The point is, whole thing is subjective at best.

But I've digressed. All this fuss and expense to put some clowns into public office who, once elected, are just going to do their own thing anyway? Do they "really" care about what you and I think? If we believe that, well, maybe we're just a little ... (oh, never mind).

I'm sorry if you think the word "clowns" sounds a little harsh, but if you do, I'd suggest you simply spend a little time watching the shenanigans in our Legislature, Parliament, or wherever else our elected representatives gather. Sometimes it looks more like a kindergarten classroom! Maybe they all need to go back to kindergarten to learn how to play nicely with each other before running for public office. Hmm.

Like past elections, I've often joked about drawing a new box on the bottom of the ballot, putting my "x" in it, and writing "None of the Above" beside it. I have also often thought of joining the masses who now cast their vote by their boycott of the whole electoral process. However, though tempted not to bother voting, I will probably do the patriotic (???) thing, pinch my nose and mark my "x" on the ballot like a good citizen.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Crap! I've Offended Again!

Photo Source Unknown
Though it may sometimes seem like that, I do not generally go out of my way to offend people. I like to think that I have a little more couth than that J

The problem is that I do tend to challenge the status quo a bit more than some people are comfortable with, and sometimes that does get me into a bit of trouble.

One place that you see this is in my views of faith and church issues. Though a Christian, and a Bible College and Seminary graduate, my views have become somewhat unorthodox, at least according to those in the traditional institutional church. As such, they have also offended a few people along the way. Where you can often see some of this is on my other blog, Rethinking Faith and Church, and on its corresponding Facebook page.

Is all of this simply an attitude of nonconformity and rebellion of an overaged teenager who has yet to grow up, as some have mused, or is there something more to it than that? Just as some people have certain traits based upon their genetic makeup and DNA, is the tendency to always question and challenge things also genetic? Maybe and maybe not. But either way, it is an interesting question that may be worth some extra research sometime.

As far back as I can remember, I have always been somewhat of a challenger of authority and social mores. I've always believed that just because society and a specific social group has always conducted itself in a certain fashion, that doesn't necessarily make it right or beyond challenge. By way of example, when society or church says that certain traditional rules and manners are obligatory, I have always asked "Why." The problem is, if someone holds those traditions or rules dearly, then they are often easily offended when others do not adhere to them also, or when others question them on those traditions and rules. That has proved true in my experience countless times over the years.

There is another side to all this, and that has to do with humour. I tend to be a bit of a jokester and I love a good laugh. Life's too short to always take everything too seriously. Not only that, but I suspect it's also unhealthy. Even the Bible says, "a cheerful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22; NIV). The problem is, humour is very subjective. What one person finds funny, the next person may not, and may actually find offensive. I can't tell you how many times I have posted a joke or cartoon on Facebook that I found funny, only to delete it again soon after as I reflected on how others might be offended by it. Still, and despite my efforts to be sensitive to others, my sense of humour isn't always appreciated or taken in the way it was intended. Oh, well, such is life.

Photo Credit: Adam Burke
Flickr Creative Commons
If I have not yet offended you, hang in there; my personal history suggests that I probably will sooner or later. Hopefully when I do, we can use my inquisitiveness as an opportunity for both of us to grow and learn from each other. Though I may ultimately reject your point of view, remember, I mean no offence. Remember too, the opposite could happen; I could also end up embracing your point of view.

The point is, I cannot blindly embrace something just because someone says so. The old adage, "we've always done it that way," never has sat well with me without first asking a lot of questions. Unfortunately, when I do that, inevitably some toes do get stepped on along the way.

Having said that, I am trying to play nice in the playground J