Posts Tagged ‘Critical Thinking’

Cancel culture is the new en vogue. It is simple enough to understand as accountability for one’s posted content/thoughts/actions/behaviours. For those of us that grew up in a healthy and positive home environments with authoritative caregivers/parents that gave us boundaries, rules, expectations with warmth and love this is understandable.

As stories emerge, and folks loose work one sees the blatant hatred, racism, queer hate (sorry note homophobia, this is not a DSM-V classification for a fear that is so anxiety inducing it fires out fight-flight-freeze system this is simply hatred), bigotry, prejudice, etc. Accountability within a 24-7-365 world were everything is recorded seems laudable. For the most part it is, we learned at very young ages that words are just as destructive as acts of physical violence, and there has been far too many examples of what cyber-bullying has led to in our youngsters.

YET…there is always a yet, as we unpack what is happening within out world through a critical lens. Is it truly a world of accountability? A step in the right direction towards reconciliation and moving forward? Or is it simple acts of vengeance as the course correcting pendulum swings power from one side completely to another, with the other acting without having learned the lessons of corruption?

Pause and first think of the destruction of statues (iconoclasts), which has happened throughout our history with regime changes and history. Is it wrong to destroy monuments to hate? No. Yet, what are you going to replace the vacuum with? For if a statue is simply pulled down, or destroyed you are leaving the replacement in the hands of those the may have erected it in the first place?

Are you working to have the full story shared? Moving beyond ideological entrenchment of complete where everything on either side is holy/sacred and the other is seen as satanic/profane. A space where we cannot speak out against corruption, ills, contrariness, or violence/abuse within our own movements without being seen as “traitors” to the cause.

Are we working to replace the statues with images that represent the full story of the era that is glories/joys/scars/traumas and everything in-between? The truth of the era and what the time is to represent?

Yes, filling the vacuum with education, so as a society we get better, we learn and heal together. The onus being on each citizen to learn (not on the oppressed to constantly teach)…laying the course after truth opens up the way to reconciliation (moving forward as a society into the new). The truth stage is our moments of prototyping the new, before crystallization of the new begins (using the concepts of U Theory).

Within the arts, why are we simply removing those items that may offend instead of looking at how it can be used to teach where we were, and where we are? Is there a way to use these shows and movies, think like PBS used to have the discussion folks before and after to place the piece in its proper historical context, and discussion points for today as a result (think of how you should have been taught things like Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice in High School, we have examples within the last 100 years that need the same teaching surrounding them).

Which brings us into the other pieces of cancel culture making the mainstream and social media circuits. As we have allowed our politics to denigrate into this power anger grab match of gotchaisms to show corruption and ineptitude, so has cancel culture evolved. It is not about rooting out the asininely that is currently perpetuating hate, but rather from this old hacks perspective digging through early days of social media to catch some celebrity in a moment (possibly) of stupidity, and then using that to end their career.

Is this reconciliation? Is it making our world better?

First, is there a statue of limitations on racism/hate? Yes/no. Say what? What type of fence sitter am I?

I’m not. But I do believe it is looking at the journey of the person to see if it is in need of cancelling accountability or a case study in what the power of education and reconciliation can bring about.

When we are looking at allegations from 1-20 years old, we need to look at the person and ask…what does the pattern show? Has there been a change? Because within the journey and the change creates a case study that creates strength within the cause for a better world, for when those saying that do to (insert reason here) change is impossible, a list of those that have changed, and continued in life shows the difference.

Yes, life is about evolution and development. You are not the same person you were last year, 10 years ago, in adolescence, young adulthood, early or middle child hood. Some things may remain the same, some beliefs have strengthened, some have faded away or radically transformed. The lens you bring to personal reflection within your own journey, you need to bring to look at another’s (that whole Jesus thing of loving neighbour and loving self).

This comes out of reflecting on cancel culture and my own journey as a semi-public figure with many media interviews, public talks, sermons, and workshops out there of my thoughts, and evolving beliefs. As well, 34 years of publishing of stories in all genres and types within fiction and non-fiction. Some in the public record and archives, others in post-secondary, still more within the unpublished realm shared through friend and professional pools.

Is there anything in all that I could get cancelled for? Honestly, I do not know. I know in the time and context when the piece came from, what is there is where I was on my journey. Where I am now is what is written and shared now, there is transfiguration and transformation each day of my life as I reflect, learn and grow what it means to build a world of belonging for all.

The shift that needs to happen is not one from hate/oppression to revenge/vengeance… it is truly a shift to sharing the truth of the events of our world. Then the greatest shift in actions and attitude, through education and love, moving into authentic healing for our communities to reconciliation and into hope for the future.

Are you willing to take the first step towards HOPE?

Not just create the vacuum, but fill it with the new.

Say what?

See the source imageA trope is a device used to propel a story forward, one of the most famous raised in pop culture recently was the PG remix of Deadpool 2, Once Upon a Deadpool, where Fred Savage explained it in the context of “fridging”. Which grew out of a new era Green Lantern in the 1990’s Kyle Rayner, who’s girlfriend was murdered and shoved in a fridge by a villain to move the plot forward. But I digress, why the idea of a trope?

For it sets the scene for the court room drama. Many can come to mind, Matlock, Perry Mason, JAG to name but a few. JAG is the one the twigged this as it follows a very simple plot idea of mysteries. The defense attorney trying to prove their client’s innocence (this was inverted with the CSI shows) of the charges brought against them. The prevailing populist view as charges had been brought is that the person is guilty (yes, I know it shifts how the justice system should work, but think of reality and how when we see someone is charged we make the same assumption?)..

This is the learning within watching these one and done style mystery shows (or made for t.v. movies), it is a great way to begin to unpack how to discuss many issues. Not due to the adversarial nature of a court room, for that is usually downplayed in the series. For it was more about seeing what are the red herrings (those deflections, and misdirection’s that lead away from the truth–hmmm…do we see any of these existing in our public discourse on issues today? Political announcements? The Covid-19 situation, and the conflation of independent rights over social distancing? The list can go on). For it is bringing together the other evidence that is left out of the discussion because it does not fit the narrative.

If it doesn’t fit the narrative is it because it is inaccurate? If so, then it should continue to be left out (does the data, both qualitative and quantitative, pass the litmus test? or not?). If it only doesn’t fit the narrative because the narrative is designed to fulfill an ideology, not a fact statement–well then, the discarded facts need to be brought to light to challenge, and break apart the false narrative, and set the soon to be wrongfully convicted free.

What is happening as you work through a court room drama mystery? As you begin to put the different pieces of evidence together you begin to have a dialogue between your held ideology/belief/assumption and the different facts. This dialogue is healthy, it allows us to have our lived experience (which creates a bias base, that is normal) into dialogue with the data, and out of that to craft a healthier narrative that actually not only follows a line of fact, but also aids the journey towards a better society.

For it is not just the destination that matters, but the most important piece is the journey, and the journey is what can adjust the destination as we open ourselves up to the dialogue partners that eliminate our own ideological red herrings, and clear up the mud and fog of the false discourse, the dualism every system wants to create where one side is Holy/Good and the other is Satanic/Evil, to walk, what Anglicans would call the Via Media, the middle road.

For that is the other piece of the court room drama, both the prosecutor and the defense, provide their narrative of the facts, the judge/jury then are to unpack the narratives and boil it down to what is happening and what this truly means…

Which means eventually we become the judge, the adjudicator of the facts in their isolation and presentation, and have to be open to adjustment, context, and precedence that interworks within us. By following this path, we can discover our behaviours and attitudes may shift and change over time, as our core values become clearer and assert themselves with less and less dissonance in our lived out life.

Are you ready to actually enter into a dialogue within and without yourself?

3 days.

2 sleeps.

Until vote day.

It has been almost 18 months since Mayor John MacCurtis also known as the super powered adventurer PinBall and Bionic Archer perished under the control of the ancient alien demon known as Thor.

A vote waits for a city to choose a new identity. A new path. Years ago the heroes of old took a stand against the blood thirsty of the new and ended a siege.

Out of that siege a new religion took a foot hold, where a cult of killers were able to get sanctioned by the government and a tax exempt status. A former villain turned hero trainer with a man of Mystery entered the heart of the Church of the Killer Face…only to have the Mystery Man remember his heart of evil.

The church was renewed on its primary mission of control, death and mayhem (plus casino money as a non-profit) with their new “Pope” of the Killer Face—K, ancient Nazi killing Supra reborn into the 21st century at the helm.

As the scrutiny comes closer. As the opioid trade and sex trafficking is further traced back to the church, the youngest members of the Great Crime Fighters (okay 2/3 of the team remaining) were dispatched to keep an eye on the cathedral of doom as the police and RCMP have come to short hand it. Johnny Power pulls his duster around him a bit tighter as the rain continues. Speedster pulls the yellow hood up to cover her flaming red hair.

“Anything?” She asks.

“Worshippers in robes walking in and out. Also, Mrs. Kobwash-Saturn’s chief rival just went in wearing red suit.” Johnny Power said as he floats a bit above the wet ground.

“Red suit. High up on the council then.” Speedster said.

“Yip, Arch-deacon I believe.” Power said.

Speedster was raised a devout Anglo-Cath in the Traditional Anglican Church of Canada. She was excommunicated when she was open about her Polyamorous relationship that did not fit the oppressive structures of control. Despite that there was something about the Liturgical style of worship and study that still filled her soul and on the quietest of times of recharge she could be found tucked away in a high back pew of a Roman Catholic Church at Mass communing with how she understood the Holy Mystery.

She knew Johnny was an atheist due to Post Traumatic Church Stress Disorder (a very fundamentalist sect his parents were, and when the family was rocked by divorce their reaction drove his sister to a suicide). His anger drove him to believe that intrinsic piece of soul that needed to be filled was nothing more than a fairy tale. He could not understand her pondering about how the liturgical churches felt with such a holy terror using their terms of reference/office to structure essentially organized crime, mass murder and serial killings. Though part of her realized religions has always been co-opted throughout history by men and women, monsters in the flesh have used it for horrific agendas that could be classed as genocide (active or passive).

For all the good religion had done in Canada around things such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, suffrage movement, shelter systems, settlement of new Canadians, refugee aid, social justice, there was also times it was used as the Devil’s play ground with Eugenics, Sex abuse, misogyny, residential schools to name but a few.

This church Speedster looked at as the true embodiment of the Shadow of the Christianities and Religious/spiritualists of Canada if she was a Jungian. The sad part was how much the government had created mechanism for religions and non-profits to build wealth so rapidly. Wealth that was now being used in overtly predatory ways to claim lives.

“I hear the arch-deacon speaking.” Johnny said. The mayoral replacement since John MacCurtis perished to save the universe, Gordon Lived, had actively worked with council and bureaucracy to roll back police budget to units that actively dealt with sex trafficking and illegal drugs as he chose more to take the ostrich approach than the solution focus approach.

Seeing him in red, it all made sense.

“And?” Speedster said.

“Ever heard the Brother’s Osbourne song.” Johnny said.

Power was a country music fan. It had grown on Speedster in the time they had been together. “It’s not my fault ?”

“You got it.” A lightning strike just in front of the double oak doors. Johnny’s eyes go wide with the golden shimmering armoured form, sword in hand standing before the church. “He’s back?”

Speedster looks at the form. “Shotgun was meeting him toda—”

The voice was like thunder that boomed out of the armoured form. “I have come for my brother!”

To Be continued…


Why can’t there be a big red button?

-War Doctor

           Like any good science fiction questions around the essence of us (humanity) should be brought forward. This is at the bedrock of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary movie (watch trailer here), Day of the Doctor.  It is the deepest plunging into the hardest thing to  comprehend for any person… ourselves.

As the regeneration who chose themselves undeserving of the name, but asks the question as in the clips above, the Warrior Doctor, “I am looking for the Doctor.” The one who is called to heal, to help to aid…or as Clara will note the thrum of the Tardis is a sound of hope. But this is about that corner of the mind of the Doctor, no, the heart where hope has gone out.

For it was in the 9th regeneration that the fabled time war happened. When Daleks and Time Lords went to war to end all wars. Where the rest of the universes saw the Time Lords just as evil as the Daleks who view anything outside their race as need to be exterminated, which this mini-episode Night of the Doctor expertly portrays as the Doctor must make a choice to not be apart of the war or to be apart of the solution?

The haunting begins.

Much like we make choices within our own lives at any given moment with the information available. Whether it is good, bad, horrible or indifferent. It is what is possible and probably for us at that moment. Much like moments in human history (very hard to bring 21st century morals onto situation 400 years old or 150 years old as we try to erase instead of critically teach history so the cycle can be fully broken. Just ask any abuse survivor, the story and triumph need to be spoken so that it will not be repeated, in all its darkness).

This literally becomes the story. As the device designed to end the Time War by the Doctor is AI with a conscience and brings the Doctor to begin interacting with his decision. The decision? At that moment and time in war as the Daleks are all gathered at Gallifrey—to end it all, Daleks and his people. The haunting ripples this will bring through time.

The decision driven by the motto burned into a wall by him “No More.” The war must end.

The journey forward form that choice showing the grief cycle. The short regeneration shortly after not even there. The true shock.

But the struggle between who are known as the Tenth (David Tenant) and Eleventh (Matt Smith) Doctor’s to forget this period in time. How it shapers personality. One who lives in pained regret and the other who lives to forget, to move forward.

The haunting question answered by 2.41 billion.

But with the Eleventh Doctor being 400 years out…is there another decision that can be seen?

What if that decision can be tried?

What if in your moment of darkness your future selves could stand with you and you would not have to be alone?

What if, you live in acceptance of the choice and find hope in spite of it to move forward in a better life for yourself and others?

This may seem like nothing more than a toss away sci-fi movie from the BBC. Apart of geek culture and nothing more.

Yet we live in a time of reconciliation.

A time when groups who have been oppressed and the former oppressors know that something needs to change.

But how do we get there?

Sometimes a science fiction story can show us the interior and exterior journey in a way that creates conversations that can create the space for critical discussion and active listening, that other venues cannot.

Just think of using this in a religious or political or classroom setting with the Time War as the metaphor for residential schools, Canadian Eugenic practices for those with disabilities, the destructive LGBTTQ2+ laws; the dying with dignity or abortion laws; slavery, the list can go on…

For what questions would haunt our journey where the answer 2.41 billion could just be as haunting.

But even more so.

What is the new life?

What is the regeneration that awaits each one of us?

Where does hope exist?

Do you hear the thrum of the TARDIS? Or are you blocking it out?