Micro Managing the World

Submitted by Deborah O’Connor.


Have we all become a bunch of whining micro-managers? Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when did our opinions take over our lives? Has the explosion of readily available information and social media led to us all becoming know-it-alls?

For me it started with the federal election in the fall of 2015. So many of us were desperate to remove Stephen Harper and his Conservatives from power, and that’s understandable. What became less understandable was the partisan hats some of us wore night and day, probably in the bath tub too. It wasn’t enough to get Harper out, the squabbling over which party should do it became unbearable. Friends could no longer talk to each other over the big divide if they supported the “wrong” party. Bad feelings took many months, perhaps longer, to overcome. Some people never got over it and friendships became shattered over the issue of who should lead Canada.

Then came the American election, and all hell broke loose. The unthinkable happened when Donald Trump won the presidency, and every day new horrors await us when we turn on the television or open the newspaper. The future looks grim for all of us, with few options to wriggle out from underneath the weight of growing fascism.

Yet, as much as we all agree on many issues, we are fractured, divided by the sureness of our own convictions about how to fix things. Nobody listens anymore; consensus is almost impossible. It’s “my way or the highway” for too many of us.

As for this tired old Canadian, I’ve seen the error of my ways. Finally I have come to understand there is no single perfect answer, no politician who will do exactly what I think they should. Time for me, and all of us, to grow up, shut up, and listen to what other people are saying for a change. Be flexible and willing to consider what others have to say. Who knows, perhaps together we can find solutions to our problems that might not be perfect, but might just be acceptable, might just do the job. Like John Lennon said, “give peace a chance”. I’m ready, are you?

6 comments for “Micro Managing the World

  1. February 27, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Great post Deb, btw I can’t find John McE comment on the site either, so John please rewrite it. As for me much soulsearching has gone into the old psyche over the past few months and being on sabbatical (living somewhere else where all we have to worry about is “How hot will the sun be today”, many of Deb’s woes are occurring here.

    As we only get seven channels here, CNN and Fox being two, we are inundated with the travails of Trump and the pundits 24/7. It is depressing to say the least but not as depressing as seeing the sunny ways dissipate into the same old foggy ways.

    But as Deb says we should be old enough to leave our partisan pasts and just become “old political curmudgeons” beholden to no one. That thought alone should give Ms Rudd pause.

    I for one, if one can believe have learned to stay away from most of the political discussion down here. The odd times I do let er rip most of the conversation disappears as what is said is contrary, loud and usually profane. Must be getting old Deb!

    Thanks for prodding the old juices, not warmed up yet but working on it see you all at the end of the month.

  2. March 4, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Mmmm…nope. No agree from me.

    My take on the same? Social media and the internet more generally for sure have their internal contradictions and problems, but very, very,very generally they have served to open the world up. So, to use one of Deb’s favourite examples (:-)) Canadians, especially Canadians who don’t find an electoral party they can support (support being harder and harder for many as the internet makes being informed about such things much easier for those who are so inclined) are only now becoming aware of how such things as proportional representation work in other countries. So they demand those things and are less inclined to make the compromises needed to drag their arses out the door on E-day.

    Political debate is becoming more about policies and tracking adherence to it by the elected folk than about making compromises, voting on Day 1 and then looking back again to see what happened on Day 1000+ before voting again. And in between just crossing your fingers.

    Instead there’s an inclination to vote (or not, after all with first-past-the-post an increasingly large minority, soon perhaps a majority, have concluded that it matters not a lot whether you do or not) based on p[olicy and now, with the means available, we can track adherence to election promises and express opinions knowing that they will be read and tracked and aggregated and perhaps reacted-to in some fashion not just by our ‘friends’ and ‘followers’, but by the political parties we are trying to influence.

    That isn’t whingeing. It’s something closer to continuous democracy. And that “consensus” Deb misses so much: that was compromise rooted in a lack of choice and a lack of voice. It was settling for the least bad of the choices placed in front of us.

    • Deborah OConnor
      March 4, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Funny that you thought this was about proportional representation, Derek. It wasn’t. Do we still have to talk about that?

  3. March 5, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I didn’t say it was. It was just an example of the process (of the world now being a lot more open to the average citizen) than it used to be. Could have used drug (all drugs) legalization as the example but I KNEW you’d get the PR reference. 🙂

  4. Wally Keeler
    March 12, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Deb wrote: “…every day new horrors await us when we turn on the television or open the newspaper. The future looks grim for all of us, with few options to wriggle out from underneath the weight of growing fascism.”

    Ben wrote: “…we should be old enough to leave our partisan pasts and just become “old political curmudgeons” beholden to no one.

    I applaud both of you for your awakening. I have spent my entire life competently avoiding being beholden to any one or any ideology. I regarded it as intellectual prison. So many facts have to conform to the idea, so facts become selective, and everyone has their basket of alternate facts.

    When I was editor of the student newspaper at Loyalist College of Applied Arts & Technology, the student council asked if I would negotiate the parade permit and park permit for the anti-war rally. I did such a good job I had been invited to be one of the speakers. The offer was withdrawn when I thanked them very much, but it was immediately withdrawn when I said, “The dictators of the south and the dictators of the north aren’t worth the blood of American youth.”

    In the early 80s I examined the peace movement and it’s 98% partisanship against the USA/NATO/West, etc. I went to 3 meetings of the Toronto branch of Peace Thru Strength. It was mostly dominated with East Europeans, their bitter experiences of Soviet totalitarianism, and several embraced extreme rightwing ideology. They ranted on about commies here and there and under the bed. Well I went to other peace groups, and behold there was the mirror effect of lefties ranting on about fascists here and there and under the bed. It just seemed so juvenile.

    It was incidental that the Peoples Republic of Poetry & its inherent satire had much more appeal to poets and artists in Eastern Europe, so connections were developed during the 70s. I went on smuggling ops in and out and inbetween the E Euros. I made alliances with several peace activists in the eastern bloc. They were critical of both sides, east / west. They suffered oppression on a scale unknown to our pampered politicos and their 98% distortion.

    The peace parade in Toronto each spring and fall had a couple or more mockups of Cruise missiles. I thought this was cool, so I got financing from some refuseniks and built a Soviet SS20 and mounted it on a pickup truck, ala Red Square. What a scandal – refused to be part of the peace parade.

    I have never been politically partisan. The title of one of my favourite chapbooks says it all: AN UNROUND PEG IN AN UNSQUARE HOLE.

    So I am pleased as punch that you have relinquished yourselves from those political confinements. It must give you a feeling of exhilaration to go in any direction at any speed at any moment. It should give you a feeling of being released into the wild.

    BTW, big snow storm coming. Looks like Wednesday will be the aftermath. I want to lead a few civilians to Victoria Park beach to make a slew of snowpersons (in oldspeak: snowman) and I will colour them with food colouring. Others can colour them also. If any of you have a plastic garbage container, cylindrical, about 3-4 feet tall. I am especially looking for a damaged container. The idea is to remove the entire bottom. The remaining container will be filled with snow, and the container cylinder simply lifted up and off. Then put a head on it.

    You can make a right-wing snowperson, or left-wing snowperson, for nostalgia’s sake. Come and express yourself in multicolourfulism.

    • March 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

      It turned out that the big snow dump was not of the quality to make snowpersons (snowmen in oldspeak), but was good for snow angels. So a healthy turn out came to the Victoria Park playground to make snow angels child size and adult size. The next step, was the implementation of colour (creativity) to the snow angels. I have used several search engines and have been unable to bring up any images any where in the world of Snow Angels of Colour (coloured snow angels) Lots of pics of snow angels, but none coloured. Snow angel contests for Guinness but none coloured. So it could it be said that Cobourg is the first place on the planet Earth where coloured snow angels have touched down.

      Victoria Park is a great venue for creative manifestations. Concerning snow angels, you can politically express yourself as well as poetically express yourself. In terms of politics, you express yourself with making a left wing snow angel, or a right wing snow angel. Both go in circles, except the ones with both right and left wings — they fly everywhere.

      As for me, I’m a write-wing sorta poet. I was born with write privilege, and honed it and honed it, until, viola, write supremacy.

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