Over the last several weeks, I’ve been steering clear of most controversial topics, more than a little annoyed with popular reactions over recent events. Rather than engage in a long, philosophical diatribe about rhetoric, dialogue, political discourse and an ever-narrowing knowledge base upon which folks base these things (see what I did there?), I would like to draw attention to 4 events that have drawn a significant reaction and tell you why everything you’re hearing is wrong.
Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm is the biggest upset in every history book ever
No. Ethiopia vs. Italy still wins that crown. In 1893, Ethiopian ruler Melenik II refused to acknowledge the Italian interpretation of a treaty that would see Ethiopia become an Italian protectorate. By 1895, the two countries were in open war, with an overconfident Italy trying to overpower an enemy it perceived as inherently inferior not only in its preparation for war, but also in its alliances (Ethiopia’s sole ally at the time was Russia). In a year, the highly-favoured Italian army was sitting defeated thanks in large part to Ethiopia’s reliance on conventional warfare, superiority in numbers and feudal organization of the army, which ensured compliance with orders. Anyone who knows this history can easily see how that translates to a Holm victory through a steady diet of boxing fundamentals. Once Rousey was overwhelmed by Holm’s movement and her straight left, Holm’s Battle-of-Adwa-like head kick was simply academic.
Turkey downing a Russian warplane is the first step in world war 3
Assuming that the Cold War never happened (not a huge assumption, if you ask former security service agents on both sides), there are hundreds of years of tension between the two former superpowers to provide a reliable model on which to predict the future in Turko-Russian relations. But the media just hates that. Where we once had measured analysis of news stories, wherein major news outlets essentially played the moderator between both sides of an argument (“holy shit, we’re all going to die” and “we need to invade everyone to keep our borders safe” being the most popular ones, no matter the era), we’re now left with an alarmist 4th estate that gauges its success in page hits rather than minds informed. It’s exhausting and ineffective, and just ensures that the majority of your reactions are completely predictable. Outrage, panic, and anger are profitable, if only because they will push people to keep clicking on web sites until they have their opinion confirmed. But they’re boring, and they essentially just turn us all into a Brain In a Vat.
To everyone who has ever expressed their sympathy for victims of an act of terrorism, natural disaster, or whatever other calamity with a quickly redacted hashtag: you are a fucking terrible person. In fact, the hashtag may be the worst thing to have happened to social awareness. Think about it. Instead of a thoughtful, inspired (perhaps inspiring) response to what is most likely a tragic occurrence in the world, one elaborated with knowledge of the context behind the event, its repercussions, and honest empathy, you’re basically typing out (on average) 10 characters that are supposed to sum up how everyone feels. That’s not condolence, that’s mass fucking marketing. Legendary comedian Bill Hicks once advised everyone in his audience employed in advertising and marketing to kill themselves on the spot, because they are essentially the worst people on earth. What forethought, as our entire society has been taught to respond to every event in the same manner (see #2 above), and with the same false sentiment. We’ve become as shallow and meaningless as the adverts that are shoved down our throats during every 5-minute interval of a YouTube clip. Well done.
The Liberals are going to make everything better
Look, just because we’re not governed by a bunch of science ignoring climate change deniers, doesn’t mean that we’ve turned a real corner in Canadian
politics. Our new leader, in his infinite wisdom, declared that we could learn a thing or two on protecting the environment from First Nations people. Great. That’s an awesome thing to say, in abstract. However, the first step in acknowledging the many things we should learn from those who first inhabited this land, is recognizing that private property is completely artificial, a privilege (or a burden) afforded us through hundreds of years of indoctrination, and a concept that runs completely counter to actual defense of our environment. As long as “the economy” reigns supreme in political dialogue, we’ll fail at dealing with the natural consequences to our greed; and the Liberal government is, first and foremost, steward of the economy, and defender of the status quo. Yay, change! – JP
(JP Sadek brings his intellect and wit to a site overrun with opinionated, yet passionate yahoos. After successful stints with such acts as The Dead City Rebels, Longtimers, and Tokyo Sex Whale, JP now drums for a fantastic group of doom rockers, Loviatar. When he’s not taking on the life of a family man or ravenous fight fan, JP is hard at work as owner/operator of Wolf Lake Studios, in Lac-Des-Loups, Quebec. Every Wednesday night, HEAD ON A SWIVEL brings a vibrant, yet grounded view on everything from music, the ever-growing world of MMA, politics, art, and everything in between. Check it!)