Humanity Man: Be Great

I am so happy, my fellow zombie, that you chose to join us again. We trust and hope all is well with you.

We also trust you’ve heard a couple of feel-good stories about us both locally and nationally that our increasingly lazy mainstream media has been spouting.

Locally, the big news was that Nanaimo hit the top 10 cities in the world for air quality, according to a study done focussing on the years between 2003 and 2010 by the World Health Organization.

(Pipe down, you nay-saying zombies. The fact that the WHO focussed solely on particulates in this study, completely ignoring other dangers such as sulphur dioxide and other toxins in our lifeline is not lost here. You’d merely be preaching to the choir. That’s for a different column, though.)

Nationally, a big deal was made of a study that says Canada has the best reputation in the world. The Reputation Institute’s study on trust, esteem, admiration, and good feelings the public holds towards certain countries. Canada won, with Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, and New Zealand rounding out the top five.

(Now you can speak up, my dear zombie, as we are now getting to the meat of this column, and look at that. It only took me a third of the way through to get there. Apparently, I’m improving.)

The mainstream news media that once used to look out for us is now toeing the corporate bottom line and spoon feeding us these crap stories like baby food. Unfortunately, most of our fellow zombie citizens are eating this pablum until they’re puking.

Can’t you hear them? 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate? Us. Us! Us! Yay us! We’re the bestest!

But not you, right, my fellow zombie? You’re not falling for that propoganda, are you?

No, while you (and I) will freely acknowledge Canada is a VERY good country to live in, we have no problem in pointing out some of our tragic flaws. After all, any fair weather friend can dollop praise, but only a true friend points out that you have a booger dangling from your nostril.

So that’s your job for this issue, my dear zombie. Pick any topic you wish. It could be a local issue such as wet houses, city councillor’s pay hikes, or urban farming or provincial/national issues such as the oil sands (more on that in a bit), Czar Harper’s mule-like fetish for more jails and automatic sentencing (while our crime rate is going down!) Premier Christy Campbell… errr… I mean, Premier Christy Clark’s quizzical desire to push our crown attorneys (against their will) to apply for TV cameras in the courtroom for rioters in some kind of modern-day public square flogging, whatever.

Choose what you want and what is important to you, but do something about it. Write to this magazine, your local paper, your MLA or MP. Or don’t write anyone. Go on a march. Protest. Maybe just stand up and discuss your issue amongst other zombies in an attempt to get people aware of it.

As for me, the burr under my saddle is the Keystone XL pipeline Chairman Harper and his dirty oil bedfellows want to build. At a mere 2,000 miles long and a small 830,000 barrels of our toxic sludge per day that will travel all the way from Alberta to the oil refineries of Texas, the Keystone XL pipeline has been a contentious issue to say the least.

On one side we have Greenpeace, First Nations, eight Nobel Peace laureates, oil workers (Dave Coles, head of Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union and Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians have been arrested for protesting the pipeline) and many other Canadian and American citizens who have protested and/or been arrested at the White House and our own Parliament. On the other we have government and Big Oil. (One of the companies that stands to win big if/when this pipeline goes through is Koch Industries, a very major backer of that wacky Tea Party in the U.S.)

Everything about this pipeline is wrong. From escalating the mining of our tar sands (whose pollution is 20% higher than that of conventional oil) to the possibility of an oil spill that will contaminate the drinking water of millions of Americans to the fact that NASA expert James Hansen warns us that it is “game over” for the climate if we burn through the tar sands. This whole idea is stupid. Even worse, it’s extremely dangerous.

Anyway, my fellow zombie, it’s your call. We can sit on the bench and pat each other on the back for being a well-liked country with (supposed) clean air or we can broaden our minds, causing us to see the big picture which will make us get off the bench, hit the playing field, and actually be great.

Care to join me?

Humanity Man lives on this pulchritudinous yet goofy planet we call earth. He likes peace, love, and using the word ‘booger’ in his writing. He dislikes war, hate, and the Keystone XL pipeline.