Saturday 24 December 2011


Up, Down, Appendices, Postscript. 
Hungry for Climate Leadership, December 21 - Winter Solstice, at Peter Kent's constituency office in Toronto.December 21 - Winter Solstice, at Peter Kent's constituency office in Thornhill.

Please take a close look at the attached photograph. The young man at the right end of the banner took hold of that pole at Steeles & Yonge, carried it up to Kent's office, about two miles, held onto it facing the rush hour traffic for two hours, and then back down to Steeles again; all in the (at times) driving rain without ever letting go. A skinny fellow, and fasting too at the time.


Look at the girl at the other end, her posture. It would take a doughty soul to want to be in her way I'll bet. The girl in the yellow poncho is with Occupy Toronto - and she is unmistakably there isn't she? Present. And the old woman in the yellow and orange coat - a smoker as I happen to know. Look at her. Make it a good long look. She also went the entire route holding onto that banner.

She tells me there is something crooked in the Occupy Toronto media group, information is getting lost and twisted; sounds like a conspiracy theory to me; she says, "Sure it's a conspiracy, what do you think? I'm from Poland, I know about that stuff."

She's right of course, though it may be subtler than outright conscious obstruction (or not). Some of: Cocky know-it-all nerds? Misplaced faith in technology? Pa-ra-noia? Paranoia? Paranoia? (to the tune of Handel's famous chorus)? Lack of experience in knowing when to stop changing platforms? Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic? Whatever the reason, it has been clear from the get-go. The website(s) have never been effective. No point going there if you want reliable information, none. I notice that the latest incarnation is "the Official online face of the Occupy movement in Toronto." Whoever they are, they don't understand irony either.

Even, could it be the perfect being the enemy of the good (to be as gentle as possible)?

[La Bégueule (Voltaire, 'The Prude' says Google Translate, but I like 'The beguiled').
     Dans ses écrits, un sage Italien
     Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien;
see also: 'Ta gueule connard!' & 'Ferme ta gueule, ostie trou de cul!']

Don't believe me? Fine. Don't do a quick compare&contrast with the OWS/Occupy Wall Street site then. An archive running back to Day 1; a Forum with many many many posts & comments every day; ... What Ever. (!)

TCC Toronto Climate Campaign.The 'official' information on the vigil is here: Hungry for Climate Leadership. They might eventually post some photographs (or not - I personally doubt it, see 'negative' below).

When I several times put out the idea of being in front of Kent's office all day every day, and then rapidly back-pedal to an hour a day at rush-hour, in shifts - it is met with total & absolute dead silence on all sides. (?) Not a word, not one, not even "no."

Does any of this have anything to do with why forty (out of three or four million) turned up for the vigil? (Of course not! STFU!)

I am not a very pleasant person: negative (or at least often mistaken for such), angry, fractious, sullen, ornery, arrogant, impolite ... unrepentant and unregenerate, a snob, an asshole curmudgeon (though not a penny-pincher) ... the list goes on ... not as smart as I sometimes think I am. A-and I smoke!

Hungry Ghost.So I guess it is not strange that I am isolated.

Like despair it is worse on some days than it is on others. Worst is when I get to imagining old-testament prophets suffering the slings and arrows, Ezekiel laying on his side for years! chained there. (Though forty figures in Ezekiel's story too ... hmmm.)

And I am feeling now that maybe I should not even be sharing these stories of the people carrying the banner. (?) I am honouring them, simple as that, but I don't know anymore when I have gone too far, stepped over yet another invisible line (and no one ever tells me).

Hungry Ghost.The basic smiley,   :-)   is easy. And there is  </3  (broken heart) which is in fact quite difficult in HTML. How about this one,   ?:-(   or   ¿:-(   for baffled & total incomprehension?

The 'hungry' in HUNGRY FOR CLIMATE LEADERSHIP and the colour of red, take me back to Gabor Maté's In the realm of hungry ghosts: close encounters with addiction and the images he invoked from Buddhist cosmology.

A note on uploading photographs: If you click on the top photograph above to see it at higher resolution you will get 1,600px × 1,200px (the original is 2,560px by 1,920px, if you send me an email I will forward it to you). I have been uploading stuff for years now and only recently noticed that Blogger/Picasa resizes things to a maximum dimension of 1,600px (who checks such things?). So I tried Flickr, where the maximum turns out to be even less, 1,024px. (And Tumblr too where it is 500px.) 
Ecce Homo, Hieronymus Bosch, late 1400's.Pontius Pilate, handwashing, and so on ...

I sent off this Open Letter to some eminent k-k-Canadian prelates, and to Douglas Stoute, dean of St. James' Cathedral. I expect no reply - I have tried this kind of thing before and not had one, beyond more-or-less polite acknowledgements of receipt (and in most cases not even that). I sent off copies of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age to several of them who indicated interest to me, but I have never had a word back that they read any of it.

The Good Samaritan, Rembrandt, mid 1600's.The operative bit is here: Chapter 20 Conversions, Section 2 [pages 737 ff], or here really, in Luke 10:33:
"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, ..."
Paying particular and careful attention to what kind of seeing might be implied when they (Andrewes & cohorts I suppose) use the word 'saw' in the phrase "and when he saw him." Even a meditation on the first word of that verse, 'but', would not go amiss.

For the record, here is the event at which I listened to Mardi Tindal, Herb Gale, & Colin Johnson: Environment and Climate in Peril: How people of faith will care and advocate for creation put on in May by Oikos. And here are some previous musings of mine: Waltzing on air (May 2011), and Why nobody came ... a bust then? (October 2009).

A slightly updated notion of correctitude:

I like dipthongs. Here is homœostasis/homeostasis in the OED:
The maintenance of a dynamically stable state within a system by means of internal regulatory processes that tend to counteract any disturbance of the stability by external forces or influences; the state of stability so maintained; spec. in Physiol., the maintenance of relatively constant conditions in the body (e.g. as regards blood temperature) by physiological processes that act to counter any departure from the normal.
Hence 'homœostatically correct' and I'll leave it to you (but do note the 'temperature' reference).

It is wonderfully cute that the OED interface does not recognize 'œ' - if you want to find this word in there you must damn-well know it is in there beforehand.

Trivial Pursuit: Which was first, Rita or Katrina?

(Katrina - August 23-30 2005, Rita - September 17-26 2005)

What about Lee & Nock-ten just in August? Or Washi this last week? Ever heard of them? Google&Bing if you are curious. 
"Sail on. Sail on, o mighty ship of state.":
   (Leonard Cohen, Democracy)

Just a few bits of news:
     Politics Stamps Out Oil Sands Pipeline, Yet It Seems Likely to Endure,
     Harper warns Americans he will ship oil elsewhere, and,
     Canada 'very serious' about selling its oil to China, Harper says .

Stephen Harper & Laureen Teskey.Stephen Harper & Laureen Teskey.Stephen Harper.There is a video of Harper talking to 'Senior News Editor' Lisa LaFlamme attached to both the CTV & Globe articles - but you have to watch an ad to see it. When it gets dark later on tonight I will grab it with my trusty snapshot camera and post it on YouTube ... ok, here it is: portions of year-end interview.

They have progressed so far, these (silly?) pundits, that they see a 'risk' that America will be upset, even angry - except that the real risk is that we will make the planet uninhabitable.

The poster-boy for venal is Peter Kent (here) so Stephen Harper as poster-boy for smug begins to make a matched set, a 'suite' of poster boys. 
There are some who believe in love. I know something about love, a little bit: I have truely loved some women, and my children and their children; some other people. Far from being any sort of force I have found it best expressed in a chinese phrase which translates 'wind and cloud'. Pierre Reverdy's epigram: « Il n'y a pas d'amour, il n'y a que des preuves d'amour. » / 'There is no love, there are only proofs of love,' well, I can't forget it.

(Echoing the philosophical eddy that runs through faith to aesthetics) I am lifted out of myself by certain experiences, though not, I think, transcendentally: Handel's Messiah, when she sings, "I know that my redeemer liveth," and, "For unto us a child is given," and, "And his name shall be calléd, wonderful, counsellor ..."; the New World symphony; Bach; ... even singing some of Wesley's hymns can do it for me ...

There are some who believe in God; most of them seem to me to be using faith as a bulwark against despair. We must resist despair! But I have despaired, I didn't set out to do it but there it is - and yet, on the other side of it I somehow find myself still breathing, still loving.

I sometimes think that those who have not despaired and who still believe in a certain kind of God (with a capital 'g'), are marking time in a way, waiting for a miracle or some other magic that will save us all (and them too of course); and so they do not generally put their flesh on the line, even in struggles they know to be 'ultimate'.

Be well gentle reader. 

Probably not, except to say, "Christmas? BAH HUMBUG!"   :-)

(Who knew you could still get a rise from the wealthy so easily?) 

1. Open Letter, David Wilson, 22 December 2011.
Open Letter, David Wilson, 22 December 2011.

Mardi Tindal, Moderator of the United Church of Canada,
Herb Gale, Moderator of the 136th (past) General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada,
Colin Johnson, Anglican Archbishop of Toronto and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, and,
Douglas Stoute, Dean of Toronto & Rector of St. James' Cathedral.


I went by St. James' Cathedral park on Tuesday. They have indeed put new sod over it all, with lots of little red signs advertising whoever got the contract to do the work. But I wonder if we really need an archbishop, dean, rector and the rest of this fol-de-rol purple cloth to cover up the fact that our planet, our only home, is mortally wounded - and I don't think sod is sufficient dressing for such a wound. The Occupiers might have been, and not only a dressing but a remedy; but their tongues are now being skillfully muffled and Toronto is getting back to "normal".

Please take a close look at the attached photograph. The young man at the right end of the banner took ahold of that pole at Steeles & Yonge, carried it up to Kent's office, about two miles, held onto it facing the rush hour traffic for two hours, and then back down to Steeles again; all in the (at times) driving rain without ever letting go. A skinny fellow, and fasting too at the time.


Look at the girl at the other end. See how she is standing. It would take a doughty soul to want to get in her way eh? And the old woman in the yellow and orange coat - a Polish immigrant and a smoker too as I happen to know. Look at her. Make it a good long look. She also went the entire route holding onto that banner. The girl in the yellow poncho I don't know - but she is unmistakably there isn't she? Talk about 'going the extra mile' - and then some.

Now, IF you were leaders (which in my estimation you are not), and IF you had some few like these with you (who obviously are), well ... what do you think might happen then?

Mardi has said publicly, at least several times, that she is convinced that Peter Kent understands both 'the science' and the catastrophe we are facing. What nonsense! Convinced!? Has she no discernment? And I could speak uncomfortable truths about the rest of you as well - all from my own personal experience and observations of what you have said and done in public - but you must be living with that.

Here, read this again: Luke 10:33, and consider exactly what 'saw' means in the phrase "and when he saw him," and this: 'A Secular Age' Chapter 20 Conversions, Section 2, Charles Taylor, [pages 737 ff], being Ivan Illich's take on that story. Your reserve and forbearance (to put a gentler name on it than might be put, because I really do think that you understand at least some of this) is not helping us - who have fallen among thieves.

Be well,

David Lee Wilson,

ps - This is an open message. I have also sent it to 'The Observer', where someone I was once mistaken for is the editor; and to a few people at Kairos; to one of the organisers of the event; and to my children so they can know without the fear of contradiction that I spoke the truth as I saw it when I was able to.


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