Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


Leave a comment

Only in Toronto…

assbackwards-01.jpg licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Click image for source.

Toronto sports fans are rejoicing that the Leafs finished dead last in the NHL season this year.

Why?

Because this dismal season made them eligible for a lottery to get the first draft pick for the upcoming season. And they won the lottery. So theoretically, Leafs get to choose the best new player. I say theoretically because there’s no guarantee their pick will actually turn out best.

Many fans actually wanted the Leafs to lose their final games so they could get this pick.

To me this is the same kind of ass backwards philosophy that runs through much of Canada: Keep the dollar low so we can attract foreign business and, especially, customers for exports like good ol’ Texas Tea (Alberta blend). Meanwhile, tax more so we can (supposedly) get better services.

It’s a loser’s game… in sports and life. Far better, I think, to always do your best rather than skulk around in the mud.

 

 


2 Comments

The Pope, relationships and the 21st century

Blesed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926)

Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926) – At the suggestion of Pope Leo XIII, Bartolo Longo and the Countess Mariana di Fusco were married on April 7, 1885. The couple remained continent (abstained from intercourse), and continued to do many charitable works and provided for orphaned children and the children of prisoners which for its time was revolutionary. (Text and photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Transcript, with a few edits, from dictation with the Dragon app)

I converted to Catholicism in 2001. I did so for spiritual not political or social reasons. I felt tremendous power and graces within the church, like I’d never felt before. Maybe once or twice I experienced something similar in Protestant churches but never had I encountered anything as powerful and complete as within the Catholic setting. There’s more to the story than that but it’s not really worth going into.

What I would like to talk about it is Pope Francis’ most recent statement that married people who do not have children are selfish. I think that is a ludicrous statement. I also think it will turn off my married friends – without children – who might have otherwise considered going to Mass to see what it’s like. When non-Catholics read statements like that, it’s not going to attract them to the Catholic faith.

Not that my raison d’être is to bring people to the Catholic faith. It’s not. Anyone who knows me knows that I accept and respect people where they’re at. I don’t think Catholicism is appropriate for everyone. And I only encourage people to come with me or check out Mass for themselves if I think they might gain some benefit from it.

Now, to return to the Popes’s latest statement… Several objections came to mind, actually so many that I felt almost overwhelmed. I realized I could spend hours critiquing the Pope’s statement. Luckily, however, I found this blog.

Etheldredasplace – Traditional Catholic Blog

I think the above post (and its comments) provide an excellent discussion on the issue. But there is one facet of the conversation that is not really included. And that is the element of money. Of making a living. Something, by the way, that functional priests and popes don’t really have to worry about.

As discussed at the above link, I agree that a couple could join in a holy relationship primarily for spiritual support, for companionship, to do good works, and to spread spirituality throughout the globe or in their neighborhoods. It is also far easier for two people to make a living and pay the bills than it is for a single person. The Catholic Church, the priests, the clergy—they only have a vicarious grasp of this. Sure, they must perform within a busy schedule (some might say a partially self-legitimizing one). But they also get what could be called “free money.” If the roof starts to leak, the furnace blows, the pipes burst or the walls start to crumble, they don’t really have to fret. The “free money” always seems to magically appear from somewhere. And the very best tradespersons always arrive, pronto.

Most of us don’t have that kind of luxurious financial backup. And anyone who gets “free money” like that and harshly judges others who don’t, well I really think they should ask themselves if they’re in touch with the reality of living, and of making a living, in the 21st century.


Leave a comment

Reflections on the Olympic Closing Ceremony

Photo credit: Rob Baxter

Photo credit: Rob Baxter

This commentary also appears at Earthpages.org

Well it’s come and gone. The 2010 Winter Olympics are history.

Once again I felt compelled to watch the closing ceremony, not because I like seeing massive amounts of money spent on superficialities, but because I was curious to see how my country chose to spend them.†

Granted, the whole thing is open to debate. I get that. I mean, some say we need “spectacles” to keep life interesting, even though people are freezing to death on the streets and aboriginal teens are killing themselves because of the grim desperation that poverty can bring.

Others say that spending money on the Olympics stimulates local economies. In addition, many corporations involved in their overall production benefit. I get that too.

But what I don’t get is why the artistic director of the closing ceremony dished out every idiotic stereotype about Canada known to mankind. To spend significant sums of money on massive images of bears, log cabins, and Mounties in red ceremonial uniform seems misguided.

That’s not Canada at all. That’s just a silly cliché that, so it seemed, the opening ceremony hoped to eradicate.

Contradiction?

You bet.

Waste of money?

Well, let’s just say that I don’t agree with Marshall McLuhan’s dictum that “The medium is the message.”

I believe that part of the message is content. And in my opinion, the content of the closing ceremony was a bit of a joke. And not a good one, as intended.

Having said that, it wasn’t all bad. Neil Young and Michael J. Fox were highlights. And William Shatner was… well, William Shatner. That is, overblown but delightfully so.

How ironic, however, that these stars made their fortunes south of the border and basically left Canada to live in the USA.

Bottom line?

Even these greats came off a bit thin because, as I say, the medium isn’t the only message. Content also matters. And despite their best efforts, these three stars sent out a message that Canada is a nice place to visit but, by gosh, we wouldn’t want to live there any more.

–MC

† Opinion – Olympic opening speaks volumes

Share


2 Comments

Sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace – Bob Dylan

You know, as a practising Christian I try hard not to judge others.

But there’s always the reality of people who are not sane and really quite bent on evil.

If you think I’m being xtreme, just take a look at this document. It’s a letter of agreement signed by Adolf Hitler and the British PM Neville Chamberlain.

And we know what Hitler did shortly after.

As Bob Dylan put it:

Sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Note: Handwritten portions have been moved toward center to fit into this blogspace.


Leave a comment

How to tell a great leader from an evil genius…

I was browsing through A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis and came across an interesting passage that got me thinking…

Jung’s main theoretical contribution to group psychology lies in his claim that it is the influence of insufficiently integrated archetypal tendencies that leads to mass phenomena such as fascism.

And that really is the bottom line.

A great leader weighs all the options and acts with his or her mind connected to the heart. But a tyrant doesn’t give a damn because he or she’s in the grip of some strange power beyond themselves, a power that Jung called an ‘archetypal influence.’

In short, the one is in control, whereas the other is controlled and wants to pass that lack of personal autonomy onto others… sort of like a disease.

Speaking of diseases, I wrote a poem called “The Disease” a long time ago, several years before 9/11. It was this kind of thing that I was alluding to.


Leave a comment

just slightly ahead of my time…

just slightly ahead of my time…, originally uploaded by earthpages.

What’s the news? Well, today I worked like a beaver adding the very best news feeds available in all sorts of innovative categories. Check out the “News” tab at earthpages.ca and earthpages.org!


Leave a comment

History repeats

history repeats, originally uploaded by earthpages.