Musings………………………………………….As the seasons turn
Slipping from summer into autumn is a time for reflections on things passed and dimly perceived perceptions of things to come. Summer for many in Canada and throughout the world was a season of discontent. Institutional and individual greed shook the underpinnings of world financial markets, disrupting family stability, and led to loss of jobs and homes. A worker who thought he was secure on Friday learned on Monday that he no longer was employed. The same applied to women holding jobs. The shock, the cruelty, the inhumanity were felt not only by the redundant employees but by thousands of others dependent upon them for the food, shelter, and services they had been providing.
Everyone has a personal story, some horrible in the extreme, others varying from inconvenience to exasperation.
One example. A laboratory clinic which had been providing blood tests for hundreds of patients for years was shut down, without notice to staff or clients, on a Monday. Clients who had appointments turned up only to be met with a stark notice on the door saying the lab and its sister facilities were closed. No reason given. No regrets proffered. Its employees had been notified in the same callous manner.
This example was but one of many in towns, cities, countries, all the result of a recession. Somewhere an individual or group of individuals had decided to cut costs, all for the sake of corporate profits. The bottom line had become the top line, the only line, on which to base their decision.
Welcome to autumn.
Not too many people share an interest in the on-goings of two national parliaments and how they are reported by their national and local media. For one individual who perforce has shared such an interest, the recent death of Canadian Douglas Fisher prompts a slight comparison between how political correspondents, commentators, pundits in Ireland and Canada pursue their vacations. A pen picture of Doug Fisher appears on this web site in the memoir “In Memory’s Eye” and can be accessed at
http://www.vindicator.ca/In_Memorys_Eye/3_Honourable_Members_1.html#fisher from which the following paragraph is extracted:
After quitting the political realm, Fisher soldiered on as only an old trooper can, adding to his reputation as a good and worthy servant of Canada, championing its sports, especially hockey -- ice hockey for those ignoramuses who don't know better -- and entered on a lengthy career in journalism.
Fisher’s reputation as a parliamentary observer was unparalleled in Canada. He knew parliament as a former member, who knew its workings in detail, and he applied that knowledge along with his benevolent view of its people to give a remarkably even-handed treatment in his newspaper reports and television commentaries.
Of whom can that be said among present-day press and television commentators? Their biases and perceptions permeate their work, and the camera shows them “warts and all”. If there is one thing they display it is the “gotcha” virus which was anathema to the late Doug Fisher. Another is the herd mentality.
Now for their Irish colleagues. To a large degree they share their Canadian counterparts’ “collectivity”, which is another way of saying “herd mentality”. The Irish tend to use words with different shades of meaning, hence “collectivity”. And they can be directly visceral when they choose.
When have you read such descriptions as “Calamity Mary” and “Typhoid Mary” in Canadian parliamentary reporting? “Mr. Dithers” pales in comparison.
Of course they may have better material to work with.
Just recently readers in the Six Counties were startled to read that one party politician announced that he intended to defect to another party. His name—Ian Parsely. What? Big Ian? No, no. Not Paisely—Parsely.
Who’s next? Mr. Parsnips? They already have a Mr. Savage and a Mr. Spratt.
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