...the rest of today's Moncton Times and Transcript is stunningly wretched - even by the standards of the Irving press.
Well worth reading are Alec Bruce (editorial page), Lynda MacGibbon and David Suzuki (op ed page), and some of the letters to the editor.. (The weather forecast is worth a read, too.) I'll say a little about Lynda MacGibbon's column because it's both thoughtful and unusual. I mean, how often do you see a column about going to church? (No. This will not be a clap hands for Jesus blog.)
Ms. MacGibbon, now living in Toronto, wants to go to church - but she is overwhelmed by it. It's not so much the choosing of a church; it's the long, awkward, and sometimes hard work of getting comfortable with a strange community - and with all the responsibilities (and joys and stimulation) that are involved in being part of a community.
She remembers her childhood when seventy percent (now twenty percent) went to church regularly. And it was far more than a Sunday service. Church was the normal social centre, almost seven days a week, for the whole community. Church was Boy Scouts and Girl Guides and CGIT, the Lady's Aid, the carpet bowling crowd, the annual bazaar, the bakery sale, the boys wrestling club, the teenagers' dance club where I met the first girl I loved truly for forever and ever - more or less, the Young Peoples' Union... It was the place of discussions and concerts and baseball games.
The end began with radio. Shows like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope killed the Sunday evening service in most churches. Then came TV - and the prosperity that meant better salaries to go to movies and clubs. And then the computer. All the above not only drew people away from socializing of any sort, it cut at the root of organized social life in the church by cutting off that essential supply of adult leaders willing to give their time for the activities.
As well, the church can't be the centre of community activities any more - because there are no communities. That's why so many children visit each other - then don't speak a word to each other. They just sit in the same room - each playing with his or her own computer - or five kids blanked out watching a TV screen - or hundreds of them blanked out watching a movie screen.
All around Moncton, you can see churches, empty, like the abandoned saloons in a western ghost town.
Lynda MacGibbon isn't just looking for a church. She's looking for something we lost a long time ago - a community, social relationaships, serous discussion on all kinds of topics...learning with others...purpose.... I can only wish her luck.
Then there's what isn't in the Moncton TandT. There is almost certainly going to be a war with Iran. Israel's Netanyahu wants it now. Obama doesn't want it yet. Netanyahu, as he has said publicly - though not in the TandT - doesn't give a damn what Obama wants. He is quite prepared to go to war without Obama's consent, knowing well that Obama, with an election coming, will have to support him. With luck, Netanyahu can be stalled with the gifts of military equipment Obama has promised him - such as air tankers, essential for Israeli fighter bombers on their strikes against Iran. Maybe - maybe - Netanyahu will wait until the American election is over. Maybe.
Whenever it starts, Canada will be in it because Harper has already said so. So will Britain. Russia and China will see this as a direct challenge to them. Nobody, nobody can guess the consequences for the Middle East or, indeed, for the rest of the world when that war breaks out.
Can China and Russia afford to sit by while the West takes over Africa and the Middle East? Or do they decide that it's nor or never?
All this is, supposedly over an Iranian nuclear threat - which probably doesn't exist and which, if it did exist, would be a far, far smaller threat that those posed by the nuclear arsenals of the US, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, China - and Israel.
It's a war that really has nothing to do with Iran getting a nuclear bomb, but everything to do with the economic power of the US, Britain, China in the world - and the strategic dominance of Israel in the region.
The TandT has nothing on it. However, It does have a big story on Prince Charles and Lady Camilla visiting Canada. oo-h-oooh.
One could talk forever about what is wrong with the rest of the paper. But I'll settle for a disgusting editorial. It attacks Transpo Workers. They want $24.50 an hour? What a hell of a nerve. The job doesn't take any brains or ability. They'd be overpaid at $20.00. The editorial pours out contempt.You can do that when nobody knows who you are.
Let's forget for a moment, that the editorial writer would not have the balls to say any such thing about Mr. Irving. Indeed, I have never seen an editorial in the Moncton Times and Transcript that was critical of Mr. Irving or his hourly pay. No, for it's opinion of him, can get get it only by ear, from the sound of editorial lips kissing a naked rear end.
But it's okay to insult people who aren't rich and who have to safely drive busses full of people at all hours and all weather conditions. What kind of a foul-mouthed, contemptuous, boot-licking lout writes editorials like that? And how much does he (or she) get paid for his (or her) intellect and ability?
Mr. Irving, of course, deserves to earn thousands of times what those drivers do. That's because he has unimaginable power of intellect and ability.
And it has nothing to do with having had a father named Irving.