I have been saving this little gem for a rainy blog day. You remember the other day when I was musing briefly about isolation and what it does to you. The context, I believe, was the weird spectacle of the "official" mourning activities being filmed and enforced in the world's most isolated state, North Korea. I was thinking about it because I had also been musing on what sort of conditions one has to have to ensure that an entire nation of 33 million people have ex-ACT-ly the same opinions on the usual range of, shall we say, reproductive issues.
Canada, you will remember, has a press and broadcast media that is almost entirely state-run or state-vetted. The CRTC ensures that nothing in broadcasts from radio or TV comes with anything other than the officially approved editorial position. Nearly every newspaper in the country is owned by the same company, that is a heavy funder of the Canadian Liberal Party, and of course, we can count on academia and film to do its bit in making sure that everyone adheres in lock-step to the Frankfurt-school, feminist, neo-marxist, Planned Parenthood, Our Bodies Our Selves marching orders. There really is no place in Canada where you can get away from this, it is a self-contained media bubble, or was until the internet came in.
I pondered this once many years ago. Canada seems to have an ideal situation to be used as a guinea pig in a big experiment on how to change a deeply conservative country into a nation of whiney welfare-state addicted leftists. Part of it is the low population to land mass ratio. Canada has the second largest landmass in the world, but a tiny population. The population centres, moreover, are very far-flung indeed. If you grow up in, say the Gaspe, you will without a doubt have to move to somewhere larger and more densely populated like Montreal to get a job and start your life. This trend tends to isolate individuals, separating them often by thousands of miles from their family and their communities of origin.
By rigid control of the media, by creating an atomised population who have only the official state-controlled line for information and no other sources of moral or social stability but the state, you have a population that is ripe for brainwashing.
How do you shift an entire nation to the left? Look at what has been done in Canada.
I was thinking about all this because of an interesting email from a young man whose prodigious skills as a Classical Realist painter had caught my attention. You may recall that I linked to David Gluck's blog, Painting Stuff to Look Like Stuff.
Delighted that I had found more Classical Realists to play with, who moreover live in Duncan BC not an hour from my birth place, you can imagine that I wasted no time in giving them a little extra boost. It never would have occurred to me that I was not worthy in their eyes to dare to link to their page.
I received one friendly commbox note from Mr. Gluck and then, honestly, more or less forgot about him.
What with getting the news that I am much less likely to die of cancer, dealing with the long-term side effects of chemotherapy, recovering from major abdominal surgery, dealing with the emotional and physical stresses of surgically induced premature menopause and suddenly finding myself in contact with a father whom I had assumed had forgotten all about me and from whom I had not heard since the early 1980s, ... oh, and trying to get back to work...you can imagine that Mr. Gluck was not prominent in my mind.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I received the following little note by email.
From: David Gluck
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 12:20:52 PM
Subject: please remove our link
Please remove the link of my blog from your blog. I must say at first I was excited to find a fellow BC Canadian realist who was supportive of what my wife and I were doing, but quite frankly after reading your blog, I am turned off. I cannot accept intolerance of gays, transgender individuals, woman's rights, etc. I also found it in very poor taste you are trying to draw a parallel between abortion and the holocaust (especially since many of my family members were wiped out in it). You seem like a very angry individual, and we do not want your followers bringing that sort of hatred to our our blog. Thank you.
ps. You may also want to consider removing Sadie Valerie as well considering she is a huge supporter of gay rights and marriage. In addition, I am friends with most of the artists on your links section and I cannot say they would approve of your blog either.
A pariah in the Classical Realist world! Dear me. Having other things on my mind, I responded somewhat tersely,
I'll do whatever you like, but I'm disappointed that a fellow adherent to the Classical Realist revival is so narrow minded as to be unable to disagree on politics in a civil way.
I'm always shocked at the ingrained intolerance of the left.
"On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 10:13 AM, David Gluck
Trust me when I say this is me being as civil as humanly possible. I sent you a personal message as opposed to posting anything on your blog that was negative and I was very polite in the manner in which I did it. By the way, I find it a stretch to call someone who is accepting of people for who they are "narrow-minded."
Yesterday, I found out that he must be lurking about here because I received the following, "I asked you very politely to take me off of your blog. Please take me off the links section immediately. Thank you."
I thought of all sorts of replies, (like, Good grief boy, I've really got other things to think about...) but then I thought I would put it to my readers what my response ought to be. (I also considered "friending" him on Facebook, but worried that his little head would explode.)
I have thought about writing back to explain that in the world of grown-ups it is possible not only to disagree civilly on political matters, but to remain close friends with people for many years who differ radically on such issues. It is often difficult, but with the application of charity, forbearance, kindness and forgiveness, and a habit of keeping one's own faults and failings firmly before one's eyes, (I realise these are rare traits in the lefty world, but I have met them there) it is possible greatly to benefit by maintaining contact with people outside one's own political bubble.
Faithful chorus, please discuss.
(I ask only that you do not bother the poor fellow at home. No emails please or commbox messages at his place please.)