“So where do you go? Back to the bottle And back to a tiny room somewhere. And wait. And wait, and wait. That’s all.”
― Charles Bukowski
We all need something to inspire us; a holy book, a motivational speaker, a great painting, a work of art, poetry, friends, a muse or a prompt from a WordPress blogger. This weeks prompt from Reena focused on a six minute video around movement. People and cars moving forward and backward ending with hot air balloons ascending to the heavens.
Despite all the movement in the video, my first thoughts were, with everything constantly in motion, do we really understand the direction in which we are heading and what we see on the way. My mind fixated on beggars in the street, tent cities blooming like weeds in California and people with substance abuse problems. I pondered the insanely rich Hollywood stars who protest inane issues while ignoring the plight of thousands with substance abuse in their own backyard. Alas. I am just a lower middle class guy, retired from an accounting job, who has lived in the suburbs for most of his adult life. I could not get into the rhythm writing a piece about street people.
I watched the video again and “movements and hot air” sauntered into my brain. So here are my thoughts on “movements and hot air.”
About eight years ago in Westminster Woods, articles by the Westminster Woods Resident Association (WWRA) started to appear in the local community newspaper, condemning an application before council to rezone a housing site as a religious site. Westminster Woods is a community of around 10,000 people, living in detached houses, town houses and low rise condominiums incorporated as a condominium association. Residents pay an annual fee to maintain pathways and certain artistic architectural features that enhance the area. It’s run by a property management company that maintains high standards of by-law enforcement for the area and issues a quarterly newsletter to residents. Being a resident of Westminster Woods I had never heard of the WWRA and made enquiries about the status of this entity.
The local Sikh association had purchased a plot of land in Westminster Woods and made application to the City of Guelph to have this land rezoned to build a Gurdwara (Sikh house of worship). The WWRA was actively condemning this move in the local media claiming that a religious site should not be included in a residential area as the area would be overwhelmed with traffic and it would change the character of the neighbourhood from ethnic diverse to Sikh dominated. I wrote letters to the editor condemning the WWRA on its position and stating that the Gurdwara should be allowed. It being no different than Christian churches who have historically been part of a community. I eventually discovered that the WWRA was in fact just one person. He had adopted this persona to fight against the Gurdwara by trying to change councils mind on rezoning. I wrote to my local counselor explaining the situation and asked if there were by-laws in place to stop one person from usurping the identity of 10,000 residents. The WWRA had no board members, minutes of meetings, by-laws etc. etc. I was told there was no requirement needed.
Eventually good sense prevailed and the WWRA fiasco came to nothing. The Gurdwara was built and the ethnic diversity kept its proportionality. Soon afterwards I heard, third hand, that the WWRA was a front for a local developer who wanted to purchase the property for detached housing. So here we had a movement that was all hot air.
Some other movements with hot air come to mind. 1. The Brexit/Remain movement in Britain. My view is that if a country has a referendum on an issue and the will of the people is in favour 52% – 48% than the will of the people should be carried out by parliament. 2. The Trump and MAGA red hat haters and the multitudes of legal action against him. Trump is the duly elected president of the US. Wait till 2020 if you think you can do better.
Open debate and dialogue between different factions is important so that consensus can be reached. If a democratic decision is made by the people than that decision should be respected until the next opportunity arises to exercise that country’s democratic rights. In an increasing number of events democracy is now viewed as only being viable when I get the decision that I want. That’s a sure path to anarchy.