Saturday, April 23, 2011

This week in the News

A few things recently:

1. I am having a terrible time dealing with cars that run the red light in front of our school. It is a pedestrian crossing with University and High School students crossing all the time.

Often times, the light will turn red and a car will zoom right through. I am fine with that. I mean, it's not a perfect world. But take today for example, Barbara the boys and I are crossing the street. I look both ways and all the cars are stopped in a 4 lane two-way street. The line of cars goes pretty far back as it is a busy road. As we are near the middle of the road I look right again. In the distance, I see a car doom out of the lineup into the wrong lane, bypassing all of the cars and then swerving around to get by us. Mind you, the light is still red. Well, I move in the way and he slows down and tries to go around me. At the time I was holding a cup of milk tea. As he swerved to go around I slammed my tea on his hood, splashing it a bit, and perhaps scuffing his car. He rolled the window down and yelled at me. I yelled back, pointing out the red light, every other car stopped, and the fact that I was with my kids. He drove off.

My theory? If someone has an expensive car, then they think that they are above the law. Most of the cars that drive through the light are nice, expensive cars. This particular car was an Audi. In the past, I have kicked cars as they drive through. In their guilt, none of them have ever stopped on confront me about it. I've even kicked police cars that drive through. The last time I kicked a car I sprained my toe, so I really want to stop kicking them.

Anyways, the issue is that, in the morning I cross to go to school and often times a car will drive through. I once saw a girl dive out of the way. I go into class pretty angry. Then, I leave class, happy after a good lesson, and then cross the street. If I see another red light runner then I end up going home to my family angry again. I know I should be able to deal with my emotions; the way I feel isn't always someone else's fault, but it sure would be nice if these few cars that think that their grandpa owns the road would start to think about other people for a change.

2. On a lighter note, today on the street I saw a Muslim woman wearing a full burka talking on a Motorola flip phone. Though their are a lot of Muslims in our city, the kind that wear this dress is rare. Even so, it was funny that, as she was talking, a Hui Muslim man and his granddaughter were walking by. The girl, in her teens, saw the woman and a look of surprise came to her face. She nudged her grandpa, he looked, and both of them smiled in curiosity and disbelief. It seemed funny to me.

3. Finally, I keep up on the Canadian news out here in China. I regrettably read a little piece on the allegations that the NDP party is secretly in cahoots with the Bloc. Now, I'm not making a statement about my political beliefs, I am making a statement on how crazy politics are. Here is the issue:

1 political party is defacing another with allegations of the other secretly dealing with the federal party that only represents 1 of Canada's provinces.

The party leader is encouraging the population of Quebec to go out and vote so that they will have a big impact on the Conservatives not getting a majority government. What that means is:

That tiny little party that only a small amount of Canadians can vote for is encouraging that small amount to vote so that they can change the way things turn out for everyone else. And, by the way, like America, we are talking about only half of the entire country (at the most) being happy with who ends up winning.

What a mess! If there is anything that needs reforming, its the process. Every couple of years the same old guys spend a few months talking about how stupid everyone else is. Then they go on TV and in English and French, spend more time yelling at each other. Then, in the end, we all vote for none of them, but the local person who represents their party.

These kinds of things are embarrassing. When at times North America thinks that it is head and shoulders above the rest of the world, I think of stuff like this. Other examples I think of?:

1. A kid breaks his arm in a playground and the playground gets taken away.

2. With all due respect, people from all over the world come to Canada for freedom, and then demand that Canada change it's definition of freedom, it's traditions, and it's culture, so that these people can feel more comfortable and "at home". I don't say that out of intolerance. I just think that Canada is a country and should have it's own identity, and the right to make it's police officers wear standard uniforms, etc. Blend in a little. Be Canadian!

3. Canada lists Lacrosse as it's national sport.

4. Tiny little Canada and it's aspirations to be some sort of Global power. Do we really want that responsibility? Don't we have big brother to help us out? Can't we just help them when they need it?

5. Equip every Western Canadian town with a Wal-mart, Starbucks, Home Depot, Mc Donalds, Old Navy outlet near the highway and no one will ever know where they are. Slowly but surely, every Canadian town and city is eventually going to look exactly the same. Am I in Saskatoon or Red Deer?

I could say more, or I shouldn't say more, whichever it is. But these are just off of the top of my head.


Becky said...

On Wednesday morning this week, 3 blocks and 30 minutes away from where I cross the street every morning, a 28-year-old girl was hit by an Edmonton Transit System bus while she was walking in a marked cross-walk. I have always been an "aggressive pedestrian" like you write about here, but that made me feel a little less powerful. It's such a crazy game.

Becky said...

Oh. And the girl died.

sara said...

Oh my goodness! About the girl! And also, I wish we had representation by population and that I didn't feel compelled to choose between these same old guys.

Lois said...

VERY good points, Brett! Dad thinks you should write a column for The Reporter - 'I wonder what things would be like if ...'!
The way they drive in your city - is it a cultural practice? Almost seems to be! Dad and I were talking about what it must be like to go to taxi driving school. What do they learn? Also, how on earth DO they get their drivers' licenses? Just be careful when they 'almost' hit you!