Archive for the ‘Introduction’ Category

New Years Introduction

January 8, 2009

I think it’s a fair bet you’ve been writing a pretty good blog when people are reading two weeks after your last post : ) And score – a bra website spam comment too! I got stuck back home in Saskatchewan when my car wouldn’t start in the cold, and I just didn’t like the feel of trying to blog from the computer there. In any case I couldn’t be a very regular blogger if I tried… it’s just not like me – too drifty I guess.

This is a new introduction first because I never explained the title of this blog but more that I’m changing a couple things. As for the title, my dad told me once that General Wolfe was my great great great great uncle or so through a marriage. I used to want to paint Canada’s old flag, the red ensign, on my ’73 Dodge Polara and make like a good old Canuck boy. It means to me a love for Canada and our history and a bit of a rebel cry, not for going back but for moving forward in directions the self appointed progressives probably wouldn’t call progress. But it is : ) So that’s what this is – The General Wolfe, a vehicle for Canadian rebellion.

And what I’m changing – don’t pull a Barack Obama. The first introduction signalled a desire to wander the field of the culture battles. In search of places of common ground I thought I could hop on out of my trench and use my capacity to both empathetically understand both sides and rationally judge their validity. In fact, pretty much the same thing as Obama – who once said that his freindships with more rightwing or libertarian people enabled him to synthesize a middle ground. This is ironic because I don’t think much of that idea – that Obama seems to think he can find an absolute truth that will unify America. I had thought it would just mean packaging his far left principles as moderate but it seems that even hyperactive left wingers too have caught on that “unity” can mean combining opposing sets of worldviews in a way that does not do honour to either side.

Yet that’s similar to what I was doing. And whatever the value, wandering the cultural battlefield alone seems to have left me badly exposed. In elementary school I recall impassive lunch hours where the other kids would bug me and I’d almost hover up out of it. One day, the bravest thing I think I’ve ever seen – a girl told everyone to shutup, and said “he has feelings too”. I was more shocked than anyone… feelings? Me? I was completely not there. Over the years I realized that I didn’t want to live life so aloof of everything and that it was not humble to be like that but more proud than ordinary pride. So I returned to myself, but still without any normal defenses. There is a quote that speaks of a mind that questions everything and even risks questioning itself if it is not strong enough to bear the weight of its ignorance. I think I was close to that. The weight of my ignorance is a heavy burden. A few things –  finding out in a rude way that the fundamentalist church I grew up in isn’t right about everything at all (imagine a series of the people you grew up trusting and loving as God’s surefire appointed leaders getting up to the church camp pulpit and telling everyone that when they say nobody can pull pranks on engaged couples it’s exactly the same thing as Jesus saying that), dissatisfaction with parts of my conservative trench, the economic crisis which made easy ideologies of economic growth look groundless – these all left me with very little for foundation. I wanted to recreate one with my ability to be empathetic in the thick of things and rational outside of that. It led to this post, which may be brilliant… but also unfair. It’s unfair first to myself, which led to being unfair to others. It’s too much.

I wrote in ada drive about a feeling that is irrevocable. I find that it is, but it is not overwhelming. It has to do with what Mir said in her comment:

I think many organized thoughts ie; faith, government, modern economics are in a moment of truth right now…

My moment of truth came, and I come out with more than a hint of freefall to my outlook. It’s not downwards, but forwards. My once path of a pilgrim’s progress is let go, for I cannot handle being so near and needing something so much which my mind must question and doubt at the same time. Without a provided foundation and too small to ever know one or just where I’ll land, I’m off the straight and narrow and now skydiving through my timeline.

The one thing I won’t question is myself, and accepting the burden of my ignorance I don’t need to grasp for texture to replace my foundation. Instead I can trace my path to reach out for these things without desperation. I’ll always have my unknowing wistful slouch, I think, but already I can stand straight more easily because the unknowing is outside me. I won’t need to shoot down things that threaten an unprotected and doubted self – my freefall will be easier. I can’t go back into any trenches but I won’t wander the battlefield alone. I’ll get in a foxhole on the side and try to ease off on the big guns.

So that’s The General Wolfe – Canadian rebellion, and a freefall with warm boots, rubber bullets, and texture.


The General Wolfe

May 6, 2008

***new introduction***

Welcome to the The General Wolfe.

I told my brother-in-law that I was thinking of writing a “journal of understanding things” making a case for “awesome-wing politics”. More in the line of poorly disguised right wing hackery I’m sure you’ll agree.

Beginning with the issue of gay marriage here in Canada I have come to recognize that the level of political discourse in my country is not reflective or anything that could be called a debate. It is a cultural battle by relatively civilized means. There are differences which cannot be reconciled and an oppositional system of government is essential in holding the ruling party to account but this culture, which Ayaan Hirsi Ali describes as western tribalism, does not encourage thought – and the General holds this truth to be self-evident: that an unthinking political culture is invidious to freedom and civility.

The intention of this journal is to counteract this.

(Update: also to not be so dorky about it)