Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4: It's wise to be simple, but....

....not wise to be simple-minded.

Most editorials in the Moncton Times and Transcript are written in simple style with simple, everyday language. That's good. Beware of people who love big words. Big words commonly indicate a pompous ass  who uses big words not to inform you but to obscure his points.

Conrad Black is a good example of the latter. He doesn't use words to explore a subject. Black's starting point is always that he is right, and that whatever is good for him is good for everybody. He doesn't exchange ideas. ( That's why he closes he eyes when talking to you.  You don't exist. All that exists is him and his rightness. -I had the pleasure of knowing him slightly in earlier days.) He uses big words - not to express meaning, but to smother it.

TandT editorial writers are blessedly simple in their choice of words. Alas! They are also simple in their thinking. Today's gem dumps blame for a possible delay in opening our new high school at Royal Oaks on our city councillors.

For openers, the writer uses loaded words.  City council has been 'foot dragging' , using "delay tactics"and  "posturing". All of this suggests a dlieberate policy of obstruction and, with "posturing", an accusation that the councillors have been liars in their behaviour.  And they were doing it in reponse to "pressure" from their constituents. (My stars and feathers. How dare those constituents have the nerve to think they have a right to express opinions and to put pressure on the people they elected? How dare they expect any level of government to listen to them!  How dare councillors to speak for the people who elected them!)

Apart from this assinine sneering and implying, the editorial writer has no evidence whatever for what he writes. There is no evidence that Royal Oaks is the best site for the school. the provincial government was refusing to present any evidence even as this editorial half-wit was writing. There is no evidence that Moncton High is not a viable building. Quite the contrary, the government itself has said it is a restorable building, and restorable within reasonable cost.

At no point did the provincial government show the slightest interest in consulting  the city or its people.  (Remember how Alward was going to listen to the people.?)  There are unpleasant signs that this school issue is an old-fashioned, corrupt, pork barrel deal, one that Moncton will pay the price for over the next half-century, at least.

Both city council and citizens did what they had every right and responsibility to do - and still have every responsibility to do.

Mr. editorial writer, you have a bullying and illogical style. Tell you what. There is help. I teach a writing class for Tantramar Seniors. There are some pretty good writers in there. I'd be happy to help you - and I know they would. They're a good bunch. It's on Tuesdays, 10 to 12. ( Bring your own spittoon.)

Failing that, I would love to debate you. You could come to my current events group at the library - you know, the one your paper isn't keen on advertising.

There's yet another big story on the visit of Prince Charles and Camilla, two of this world's less important people. . This time the excitement is that a New Brunswick man has often chauffeured royal visits to New Brunswick. (Oh! I could die. I could just die.)

All this, of course, is part of the Harper programme to fill our minds with triviality so we won't notice his corrupt election,  his destruection of vital prorammes, his lying over F-35 costs, etc. That's why we can look forward to inviting American tourists this summer to celebrate their invasion of our country in 1812. (Great idea. Maybe Poland, Belgium, France, Greece should be gearing up to pull in German trourists to thank them on the sixtieth anniversary of World War Two.

As usual, there is really no news in this paper worth discussing. But with the exception of that one, really distasteful editorial, the editorial and op ed pages are well worth a read. (Yes, that includes Norbert.) David Suzuki has a commentary that is more than an important read. This is one that needs and  deserves a lot of thinking.

And remember that column by Brian Cormier on looking up your family in the provincial archives? I looked it up. It's fascinating. It's not enough to put together a really thorough family tree. But it's a good start. And it's really easy for anybody to use.  Just google New Brunswick Provincial Archives.

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