Victims

Posted by bernicky - March 31st, 2004

Victims

Munich Olympics
U.S. Embassy in Beirut
Marine Barracks in Beirut
American embassy in Kuwait
Achille Lauro
Pan Am Flight 103
World Trade Center
Spanish Train Bombings

What do all these things have in common?

Everytime there is a report on T.V. about a Muslim man (or Muslim men) being arrested – as was the case in Canada and England yesterday – there is an outcry from Muslim community that they are being unfairly targeted. Nothing about the half ton of ammonium nitrate seized, only an outcry about being victimized.

I know which victims my sympathy is with.

A book by its cover

Posted by bernicky - March 28th, 2004

You would think that after 40 years on the planet some of the aphorisms that have been part of the fabric of life would have sunk in, but that is not always the case. My mother used to say What faults you see in others mend in yourself. It is good advice if you can follow it, or if you can even remember the words when they count.

Today I was substituting for a teacher who must have the patience of a saint if my experience was any indication of what he must go through daily. What was really remarkable about the day was that when I walked into homeroom I had no preconceived notions about the class I was going to teach I had never met them before. I hadn’t taught grade seven before and had forgotten how full of energy grade sevens can be. The homeroom class I had today brought me closer than any class or individual has ever come to making me lose it entirely. When they walked into class and sat down I made judgments about every last one of them based on what they looked like, how they were dressed and the way they took their seats.

More seasoned teachers probably don’t make this mistake, but I did. I was surprised when the two students I thought would give me the most grief turned out to be the two most helpful. Many of the students I had pegged correctly, but that isn’t the point, successful profiling is still prejudice. I profiled the students as they walked in and I was wrong for doing it whether or not my judgments were correct or incorrect. What we believe of ourselves isn’t often put to the test. When our vision of who we are is put to the test and we fail it is humbling. The best thing that happened today is that I learned something about myself that is also the worst thing that happened today. What faults we see in others we should mend in ourselves. Time to start fixing something.

Such is my beloved

Posted by bernicky - March 23rd, 2004

Fatigue seems to jump out of nowhere even after a long nights sleep and an easy day to blindside her. It doesn’t happen often, but it is frequent enough to be noticeable.

If a one word description of Lynn were possible these days that word would be: Angry. There is of course reason for that anger. No one wants to have cancer or to have to live with cancer. Going through chemotherapy and radiation therapy means that the cancer is gone. Living with cancer has not gone though.

The oncologist was clear if hesitant to say that the five year survival rate for women with stage 3C cancer is thirty-five percent. Lynn is angry.

She is angry that a clock is ticking in her mind and she cannot turn it off. She is angry that she may be moving towards something that is unavoidable and as unpleasant as it is unavoidable. She is angry that as much as we have done it may not have been enough. She is angry that she has been through so much and may have to go through more still. She is angry that …………….

That’s where words fail. Because anger is not always articulate and it is not always focused and does not always arise from the same source. For all I know half the anger she is experiencing is something to do with me or something to do with things that happened years ago of which I have no knowledge. Things bubble to the surface at times like this and I believe that Lynn bites her tongue all day to keep from saying things which she may regret later.

Yet again something that I can’t help with I try though. I bought flowers last week. She came home and looked at them then asked Where did these come from.

I said I got them for you because I love you.

Strange as it seems I could see the skepticism in her eyes. As usual it was as if she was trying to size up what I had done that made me think I had to buy flowers. I don’t know if it is because Lynn really believes I am a cad who despite basically working out of the house for my clients or teaching at high school and staying home every night of the week except badminton night and spending every other waking moment within ear shot of someone in the family that I am somehow still managing to betray her or if she thinks I am making a down payment on future actions. In the words of the immortal Ben Kingsley I have balls, occasionally my wife takes them out of her purse and lets me look at them.

Those were the days

Posted by bernicky - March 12th, 2004

This song came into my head today – I have not been able to get it out.

The lyrics are haunting if you are past a certain age. I remember singing this when I was a child on a school bus on the way tothe Ormstown fair. Of course I had no idea what the lyrics meant now they practically move me to tears.

By: Mary Hopkin

Those Were The Days
Mary Hopkins
Music & Lyrics : Gene Raskin

Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la…
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I’d see you in the tavern
We’d smile at one another and we’d say

Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la…
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me

Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la…
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh my friend we’re older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same

Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la…
Those were the days, oh yes those were the days

Hit and run

Posted by bernicky - March 10th, 2004

This page was blank for a day.

This happened as much because I have nothing to say as it is because I am very busy.

I am tired bone deep tired mentally exhausted beyond recovery. In truth I have felt this way since the beginning for November, but whining about it doesn’t get you anywhere unless you are one of my children in which case it can either get you what you want or a good tongue lashing.

If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets. What I wouldn’t give for a net like that.

What a load of …

Posted by bernicky - March 9th, 2004

“Vancouver general manager Brian Burke said Bertuzzi was “too distraught” to attend Tuesday’s news conference, but the Canucks right wing tried to contact Moore at the hospital.”

What a load of horse hockey.

You hit someone from behind in a deliberate action to intentionally hurt them and then when the press is suddenly against you it is a “mea culpa” PLEASE.

Not only is hockey populated by thugs it is apparently populated by cowards unable to own up to their own actions or face the consequences of the same.

Hockey, eh!

Posted by bernicky - March 9th, 2004

Being Canadian means you grow up with hockey. Growing up with hockey means growing up watching grown men fighting over a small black round piece of hard rubber. Todd Bertuzzi brought the Canadian game to an all time low last night breaking the neck of an opposing player much to the delight of Vancouver fans. Todd Moore collapsed to the ice with a broken neck with Bertuzzi still going after him fans cheering.

Hockey has always been a game of thuggery and brutality. It will probably inevitably evolve to some kind of rollerball. At least then it will stop pretending to be anything other than a bloodsport.

Feed your head.

Posted by bernicky - March 1st, 2004

White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits.

That was, and is, my mother’s mantra on the first of every month the first thing she would say in the morning. It’s supposed to be some kind of charm against evil. I suppose there are worse things you could say in the morning.

Life would be nice if you could actually prevent bad things from happening to you or your family by invoking some kind of charm. Of course religious people believe that you can accomplish this with prayer. How prayer differs from saying white rabbits three times is moot to me but I’m sure that those who believe in a higher power than the human mind have a different view.

Over the last few months I have received numerous emails imploring me to accept Christ as my savior. That isn’t going to happen. I have nothing against those who have a religious vision, but I do draw the line at trying to recruit me into your mythology. All the mythologies out there lay claim to THE truth Jew, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim etcetera all have mythologies that are as valid as those of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians or Norse. The irony is that seemingly rational people look at the religions of the ancients and refer to them as myths.

I have been told that I put too much faith in science. That is wrong I have no faith in science, I have trust in science. There is much to recommend science to the world the double blind method, the scientific method (a much misused term), inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning and most importantly independent reproducible results. These things are not about faith they are about being able to prove realities. Mankind would do well to dwell on those things which are observable and demonstrable than on things which are the product of the charismatic.

This is a greater truth than all the religions in the history of man: A body that is submerged in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal in magnitude to the weight of the fluid that is displaced, and directed upward along a line through the center of gravity of the displaced fluid. There are hundreds thousands of these truths. We would all be better off if we knew these truths rather than believing in things which cannot be seen, touched or demonstrated.