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Dr. Dreimer's Diary, 2nd H, 2018

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Preamble

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 -- 1900)

The idea for Dr. Dreimer’s diary came from the excerpts from the diary of Samuel Pepys published daily in the National Post. We thought it would be interesting to write a modern diary using the more formal language of an earlier era – in this case we have attempted an approximation of 18th Century expression. What is perhaps most evident is the capitalisation of nouns, which gives an emphasis, and suggests a cadence entirely missing from current written expression. The language is more cumbersome and formal, and tends to favour the use of parallel structure for rhetorical emphasis.

Style is inseparable from attitude and tone. Dr. Dreimer observes mankind as if from a great height, or from another, more sensible century.

 

 

 His judgements are often unflattering, and his scorn and disdain palpable. They may be expressed directly, but are often revealed through an ironic approval of some mindless folly. He may appear to some as a pompous windbag; to others as a curmudgeonly but correct observer.

As it has turned out, the diary is not a conventional diary at all. Apart from the occasional references to the mythical Aunt Myalgia, languishing in the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto, or to the Lumpenbangen Studios in the inner reaches of Hamilton, or to the Haven of Wind-in-the-Pines at Silver Lake, we gain little insight into the trivia of Dr. Dreimer’s own life.

The diary is, in fact, a commentary on events in the news.

 


 

Latest additions to the site:

August 18, 2018 Diary -- Bernier cat among PC Pigeons; Obs. 1437-9
August 17, Diary -- Burkas and Letter Boxes; Observations 1435- 6
August 15, Diary -- Our Man in Tehran
August 14, Observations 1426 - 34
August 11, Observations 1420 - 25
August 10, Observations 1414 - 19
August 8, Observations 1409 - 13
July 30, 2018 Drivel -- Climate chronicles I; Observations 1403 - 08
July 23 Diary -- Shooting at Danforth and Logan; Observations 1387-1402
July 15, Drivel - Homespun philosophizing on the Taijitu
July 8, Limericks -- Trudeau's apology
July 3, Limerick -- Out to lunch; Observations 1377 - 86

 

 

 

August 18, 2018
 

We note that the Bernier Cat has been loosed among the politically correct Pigeons.

We do not think that the Pigeons will fly away; they are well-fed with unending Crumbs of Support from the Media, and, no Doubt, from many intellectually challenged Citizens of our divided Land.

The Trudeau Liberals, not surprisingly – being incapable of any extended Amount of coherent Thought – find it easier to communicate with feel-good Buzzwords. Words such as "Multiculturalism" and "Diversity" have a connotative Element of Feel-Goodery at their very Core. Thus we are constantly being praised for our generous Multiculturalism, and told – as a mollifying Mantra of the Modern Age – that, "Our Strength lies in our Diversity."*

The great Advantage to Buzzwords is that they do not invite rational Analysis: they compel Assent and reinforce Assumptions through constant, mindless Repetition.

Mr. Bernier has had the Temerity to question the Buzzwords. He has said:

Having people live among us who reject basic Western values such as freedom, equality, tolerance and openness doesn't make us strong. People who refuse to integrate into our society and want to live apart in their ghetto don't make our society strong.

And:

                   Something infinitely diverse has no core identity and ceases to exist.

Such Truths would appear self-evident. The ultimate in Diversity is simply Chaos; the Society which lacks a core of common Values – a gravitational Ethos – will fly apart and cease to exist. "Multiculturalism" is a fine theoretical Concept – but fails to take Account of the Fact that Cultural Values can be antithetical and incompatible.

But Mr. Bernier’s Remarks have been greeted with varying Degrees of Alarm and Horror. The Media have used such Words as "divisive," "ill-advised," and "dangerous and inflammatory." It is reported, darkly, that the Conservative Caucus has begun to see Mr. Bernier as a "Liability," and lament the Fact that Mr. Scheer would need Majority Caucus Support to get rid of him.

To be fair – there is a strategic Argument to be considered. We have long observed that Conservative Ideas – although accurate and true – have less Appeal to Voters than Feel-Good Buzzwords. "Reality is always the dowdy sister to Fancy. "The cautious Approach to getting elected, therefore, is to keep relatively quiet, and let the lengthening List of Liberal Follies pile up upon the Decks, and sink the Ship without Shots being fired.

 

Indeed, Mr.Scheer has simply distanced himself from Mr. Bernier – by saying that his Opinions are personal, and do not represent those of the Party.**

We cannot say that prudent Caution is out of Place in this Instance.

However, we would note that Mr. Scheer now appears weak. He is unable to affirm the Truth for strategic Reasons, but also shrinks from convincingly embracing the feel-good Follies of the Day – by dispatching Mr. Bernier to the political Wilderness.

We admit that we are intrigued by a contrary Argument.

There are Signs -- here and abroad -- of an incipient popular Revolution – which might be in the Process of revealing Buzzwords in their true emperorial Garments.

Brexit occurred – we suspect – largely because of Concerns over uncontrolled and uncontrollable Immigration. Mr. Trump – a very flawed Individual – has an intuitive Understanding of our instinctive Tribalism. His great – but redeeming "Crime" against the politically correct Temper of the Age is to proclaim that some Things are better than others – that America can become "great" again. And Mr. Ford was elected as Premier of Ontario – despite the Hand-Wringing of the Media – we suspect – because of his plain Speaking rather than pusillanimous Pussy-Footing.

Would it, in Fact, be better for Mr. Scheer to recognize both the full Sea on which we are now afloat, and the benign Current, which, taken at the Flood, may lead to Fortune?

Ultimately, we have Confidence that the Truth, like a Skeleton in the Closet, will rattle its way out – eventually. "Multiculturalism" is a Term of Virtue-Signalling which has Nothing to do with the practical Difficulties of Immigration Policy. "Diversity" is not an end in itself; it carries the Risk of Chaos.

But sometimes the Truth can be resisted for a very long Time.
 

*We might be forgiven for concluding that we are living in the dystopian Novel, 1984 – where War is Peace, and Freedom is Slavery.’

**It has been noted that Conservatives in Canada often elect Leaders significantly lacking in Lustre. The great dilemma of conservatives is that they wish to get elected, but know that their view of reality, while accurate, is not what voters wish to hear. They often put forward as candidates, inoffensive robots, carefully programmed to sound pleasant but say nothing in particular. But robots are seldom a match for agreeable liars. (Observation #1438)

 

 

 

 

August 17, 2018
 

Freedom is the great and desirable Good that every Citizen wishes to have. But not all Freedoms are possible, and sometimes one Freedom is in Opposition to another, and some Determination must be made between the Two.

We note that Boris Johnson has exercised his Freedom to criticize the Burka by comparing the Women who wear them to Letter Boxes and Bank Robbers.

This Type of Criticism -- especially the Reference to Letter Boxes -- is termed Mockery. Mockery is, of course, an endangered Species of Freedom, consistently hunted down with Dedication and Determination by the Politically Correct, armed with their Rifles of Rectitude, and Shotguns of Sanctimony.*

Mockery, it should be understood, is an Invitation to Laughter – and Laughter arises from a sudden, triumphant Perception of Incongruity. The great modern Crime of Laughter is that it is agnostic with Respect to Feelings. It lacks Empathy. Indeed, if Empathy should intrude, Laughter will cease.

Our favourite Example of the Opposition between Laughter and Empathy concerns the large Man, dressed with ostentatious Elegance, who slips on a Banana Peel into a muddy Puddle. The Incongruity between the pretentious Implications of fancy Dress, and the Result of falling into the Mud, is likely to arouse Laughter. When Empathy is involved – when we learn that the Man had rented the Outfit to attend his Daughter’s Wedding, and has suffered a serious Injury to his Back which will interfere with his Employment and the Support of his seven other Children – the Laughter is likely to cease.

The Politically Correct value Feelings above all. Empathy is a Requirement, a Necessity. Not only should Laughter not be directed at an Individual, it should not be directed at any Ideas held by the Individual – since that could result in the Calamity of Hurt Feelings. Hurt Feelings are a Calamity because they strike a Blow against the cherished Notion of Equality. Everyone should have equally high Self-Esteem.

This, perhaps, explains, why the Politically Correct are required to give up any Sense of Humour they might have -- inadvertently -- acquired during their formative Years. Only if they give up that potentially cruel Sense may they obtain the Rifles of Rectitude to which we have already referred.

The Rifles obtained, the Politically Correct soon give up Laughter under any Circumstances. In their World of perfect Equality, any Incongruity is a Shame, and should be lamented. The Risk of any Sort of Laughter at all is that it carries the Possibility of Offense of Someone, somewhere. This is why the Politically Correct are always frowning and angry. It is safer and more pious than smiling.

But we digress overmuch.

Mr. Johnson, who is not numbered in the Ranks of the Politically correct, has noticed that some human beings dress themselves up in such a Manner as to conceal the very Essence of their Humanity – the Facial Expressions which enable human Empathy. The Comparisons he makes are mocking. The less imaginative one is between the Burka-Wearer and the Bank-Robber. The Commonality is the anti-social Element. The Bank Robber uses a Mask to conceal his Identity so that he can pursue his selfish, anti-social Agenda. The Burka-Wearer expresses her Rejection of Community – her Refusal to engage with other Members of Society.

 

The more imaginative Comparison is to a Letter Box. The Burka suggests so complete a Rejection of Humanity that the Wearer is a mere Object – one capable of receiving – but not responding to "Input."

It will be no Surprise to any Reader who has not just awakened from a thirty-year Hibernation that there has been considerable Outcry resulting from Mr. Johnson’s Remarks. Because Everyone knows, deep-down, that Islam is a problematic and frightening Religion, Everyone has decided that it should be accorded special Respect, and accorded a solicitous Mollycoddling.

You see, the great Revelation of Truth in the modern Era – we are on the Road to a Damascus of Daftness -- is that there is an underlying Equality of all Things. Thus, the more unsatisfactory, unworthy, and absurd any Element of Culture appears, the more it must be supported , encouraged, and protected from Criticism. This is known as the First Law of Cultural Paradox.

Islamic Face Masks, which represent, variously, the Oppression of Women, a deliberate cultural Insult, or a Stance of Superiority which claims the Right to read Faces which it denies to Others are wonderful Examples of bad Ideas. They discourage Empathy, are a Barrier to Integration, and ensure social Isolation. That is why they must be encouraged and supported at all Cost.

It will be no further Surprise to any hibernation-free Reader, that Britain’s largest Islamic Organization The Muslim Council of Britain, has sent a Letter to Theresa May, demanding that Mr. Johnson face a disciplinary Enquiry.

We are hopeful that the party will not allow any whitewashing of this specific inquiry currently in process. No one should be allowed to victimise minorities with impunity. (The Guardian, August 12)

The Freedom they seek, of course, is the Freedom from Criticism and Mockery.

There is, of course, a Place for Empathy. The Ridiculing of Individuals should be done sparingly. We think that those of political Prominence – like Mr. Trudeau – whom we have described as having an Intellect which would feel lost in the Vastness of a Thimble – are justifiable Targets.

But bad Ideas and unhelpful cultural Practices should not be protected from Mockery. The Point of Mockery is to reveal and draw Attention to Incongruity or Absurdity. If Absurdity is protected, then we cannot complain when the Lunatics imprison us in their Asylum, and our Freedoms are but a distant Blur on an ancient Horizon.

Mockery – the appeal to Laughter -- is the acerbic Test which we must be able to apply to all Ideas to determine their true Worth.**

We await the Outcome of the Inquiry into Mr. Johnson’s Remarks with Interest. His Freedom to mock should trump the Freedom of Bad Ideas to persist without Objection.

 

* Do not groan. We left out Peashooters of Piety.

** While it may not be appropriate in every venue, and on every occasion, mockery is the guardian of reason, the enemy of pretension, and the mirror to folly. No belief, no passion, no commitment should be considered immune from the acerbic test of ridicule. (Observation #47)

 

 

August 15, 2018

The belief in multiculturalism is one of the chief follies of the age. It ignores the diversity of cultural beliefs, the powerful roots and bonds of traditional practice, and the essential incompatibility of some traditions with any humane continuance of the human project. In particular, religious certainties -- which have no basis in evidence -- are resistant to reason, and to the moderating effects of secular perspectives. (Observation # 1084)

Our Man in Tehran

We recently watched an Edition of Frontline entitled "Our Man in Tehran." "Our Man" is Thomas Erdbrink, a Dutch Journalist who is the Tehran Bureau Chief for the New York Times. He has lived in Iran for seventeen Years.

The Program attempts to show the "real" Iran – as opposed to that Concept held by most in the West. Mr. Erdbrink is shown speaking to many Citizens in Iran – and, true -- we observed that none of them had Horns. Iranians are – like People everywhere – trying to muddle along in the Circumstance in which they find themselves.

On the other Hand – there are significant cultural Differences between Iran and the West. What we saw merely confirmed our View – considered heretical in this Age of Political Correctness – that some Cultures are better than Others.

The most striking Difference is that Iran is a Theocracy. It is a Culture dominated by Religion.

There are some Advantages to that Fact. Religion has all the Answers, and there is doubtless some Comfort to be derived from that Certainty. It helps to create a unified Society.

An Example of that Unity is shown, perhaps, by one of the Individuals to whom Mr. Erdbrink speaks -- Hamid-Reza Ahmadabadi – an ardent and vocal Supporter of the Regime. He has a Nickname – Mr. Big Mouth. He is an Arch-conservative – who resists almost all Change. He hates America – but – as Mr. Erdbrink reveals in an Interview with David Greene, of National Public Radio (August 13) – he does not really know why. He admits that he says Anything the Leaders tell him to say. If he is told to stop saying "Death to America" – he will.

Throughout the Program – we only watched the first Part and the tail End of the Second – we get the Sense that all Citizens believe in their Religion. Hardly surprising in a Theocracy. They are entirely disinclined to question the Religion – and our Supposition is that a Habit of Mind – trusting Acceptance – leads to a Disinclination to question anything Else.

The River which disappears – and then returns when predicted on the Media – seems not to arouse much in the Way of investigative Enthusiasm. It seems – perhaps it is just Prudence – to be classified as an Act of God, rather than a Manipulation by the Government.

Of course, the Belief in Religion – and the Regime – does not arise and is not maintained without careful Management.

It is well known that finding an external Enemy is extremely useful to any Government. It is a Distraction from Troubles at Home, and unifies Sentiment. George Orwell illustrated this Usefulness with his Depiction of the "Two Minute Hate" – directed against the Traitor Goldstein in his famous dystopian Novel.

 

In Iran, the Chant "Death to America," and consistent Sermonizing on the "Great Satan" – would suggest that Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, keeps a well-thumbed Copy of 1984 by his Bedside.

There are also many Rules for ordinary Life – especially with Respect to Women’s Dress. The coat which blows open in a Breeze, the Teacher sent Home over an garment Insufficiency, the need to "blob out" the filmed Figure of a Woman exercising – all testify to a wonderful Nit-Pickery of Approach. Perhaps this illustrates the Use of the "Broken Window Theory." When there are Rules about little Things – there is a Disinclination to contemplate serious Rebellion.

Finally, of course, there are real Consequences for displeasing the Government. One dual Citizen Journalist, Jason Rezaian, of The Washington Post, was imprisoned for four hundred Days. People die, conveniently, in Iranian Prisons. In the second Segment it was shown that a Man arrested on trumped-up Charges of Spying, died in Jail. The official Version was Suicide. Even when it was finally admitted that an Error had been made, the Man’s Wife and Sons were apprehended before they could leave on a Flight to Canada. The Sons were allowed to leave, but the Wife has been required to remain.

As Mr. Erdbrink has noted – not only is there a Multiplicity of Rules – they are enforced inconsistently and arbitrarily. This has the Effect of keeping People in constant Uncertainty. We are reminded of the similar Policy – in 1984 – of constantly revising History in order to keep Citizens divorced from Reality – hesitant to rely on their own Memories.

It is only natural that there has been some Dissatisfaction with the Regime. Revolutions never bring what they promise – because there are Constants in the human Condition not subject to Control by any State – no Matter which God it claims to speak for. Nirvana is always elusive.

Mr. Erdbrink notes that many Iranians of the Middle Class would rather drink their Coffee in upscale Cafιs than become involved in Revolution. Those who have not prospered economically are less content.

Now that Sanctions have been re-imposed, more economic Hardship would seem likely. And with it, perhaps, more Protest for Change.

We confess that we see Iranians as an Example of a certain Constant in the human Psyche. We have little Doubt that human Beings are programmed for religious Belief, and that such Commitment has been a crucial Element in human History. A famous Quotation falsely attributed to Seneca – but most likely an Adaptation from a Line of Edward Gibbon reads thus:

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

Iran shows how, in a Society with significant technological Sophistication, the Rulers have found Religion useful, and the Citizens – despite their Intelligence – are bound together in a child-like Commonness; the Wise, we suspect, keep their Mouths shut.

Mr. Erdbrink is so enamoured of the People in Iran, that he says he has no Intention of Leaving. He has not, of course, been sent to Prison.

Yet.

We have an Aversion to Anything remotely resembling a lunatic Asylum. We would not consider visiting so dangerous and irrational a Place for ten Minutes.

 

 

 

July 23, 2018
 

We have heard this Day of the Shootings near Danforth and Logan in the City of Toronto. A Man seemed determined to kill Strangers on Sight. Thirteen People were wounded, and Two have died.

The Event is of more than usual Interest to us – since for many Years we owned a House and lived nearby in that very Neighbourhood. The Shooting sounds like those we read about in the United States, or in many now troubled European Countries. It seems utterly incongruous in the Neighbourhood with which we have been so familiar.

We have just heard on the Radio, from some of our Fellow Citizens: the usual Sputterings of the Shocked, the Angry and Righteous. The "Root Cause" is variously identified as the Inequality in Society, the Scarcity of Mental Health Treatments, and, of course, the Plethora of Guns.

Apart from the obvious feel-good Solution – firing the Mayor and the Police Chief -- no one seemed to have a Plan. Commitment, Determination, and "Working together" to eradicate these various Ills seemed most popular. Vagueness is the Refuge of Clueless Piety.

Mr. Tory, the Mayor -- who makes a very fine Parrot indeed -- has wondered why, in the City of Toronto, anyone would require a Gun. Doubtless his Solution would be to make Guns entirely illegal. This would have the wonderful Effect of ensuring that, apart from the Police, Criminals would be the only Possessors of Guns.

We look forward to that happy Day. The Prospect of limiting Possession of Guns to those without Regard for the Law induces a Sense of Warmth and Contentment which starts in our Solar Plexus, and radiates, soothingly, to every Extremity.

We would note that last April, ten People were killed in a Van Attack. We have not heard a clamorous Call for the Banning of Vans.

In Theory, we suppose, the Possession of a Gun could carry a mandatory Prison Sentence -- but that Restriction would have to be nation-wide and without Exception. The Farmer and the Hunter -- indigenous or otherwise -- would not be exempt. The Discovery of a Gun in Granny's Attic Trunk would lead to her Incarceration. Ignorance of the Law would be no Excuse. The Penalty would have to be widely advertised at the Border.

There would be an "interesting" Transition Period.

We are still not sure that Criminals would be deterred.

 

 

 

With Respect to Inequality: if that is indeed the Cause, then the Solution may have to wait until the Big Rock Candy Mountain is finally past the Planning Stage, and has opened its Doors to the eager and assembled Masses.

We are similarly unimpressed with the Idea that free mental Health Clinics – perhaps established in every Tim Hortons – will actually stop the seriously deranged.

Our Solution is one which is far too realistic to be given a nanosecond of Consideration by Ninety-nine Percent of Citizens – who are happy to live in the World as it should be, and are disinclined to contemplate the real one.

Our Premise is that Guns are a bad Idea, but that bad Ideas are akin to Genies: Once they have left the Bottle of Origin, they are resistant to Re-Stuffing. And, as we have suggested – limiting the Possession of bad Ideas to those with a Disregard for Laws is not Calming.

It has been noted that attempting to establish "Gun-Free Zones" is rather counter-productive. If you were a deranged Shooter, where would you seek to explore your Derangement? Would you go to a Place where you might get shot before you had warmed up to your Self-Expression -- or to one where you thought could engage in your murderous Rage for a satisfyingly long Period of Time?

No. Fire is best fought with Fire, not Fantasy.

We need Numbers of Citizen-Deputies, trained in the Use of Firearms, and licensed to carry a concealed Weapon. They should be at least forty years of Age, and of a calm Disposition. Our Prediction is that the Number of Deranged Shooters will decline as the Death Rate for that Class of Citizen rises – their Forays cut convincingly short by Citizen-Deputies.

In the ideal World, of course, only the Police have Guns. We would note, however, that when Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-at Arms of the House of Commons fired at Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in the Canadian Parliament Buildings in 2014, there was not a Peep of Disapproval. Rather, he was hailed as a Hero.

The logical Places for such armed Citizens would be in retail Establishments, Schools, and Venues for Entertainment.

It seems likely that the not-so-deranged Shooter – the One who walks into a busy Restaurant to murder a targeted Patron, would also be deterred by the Thought that he might not survive the Enterprise. 

Failing such draconian Measures, we see no Alternative but to muddle along, accepting the Fact that Criminals and deranged Gunmen will continue to take their Toll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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