Monday, March 25, 2013

Boris out...

I started blogging here in April 2006 after Dave kindly offered me a space for my voice. Thank you Dave! That's pretty much SEVEN years ago. I'm not sure how that's happened, but there it is.

I've had much less energy for blogging over the past while, my posts have gotten shorter and from my view, aren't the same class as some of my earlier stuff. I've shifted quite a bit in my thinking over the years. I look around Canadian politics and society, and see the mainstream in a different light than maybe I did a back in 2006 or 2008. Then, I had some naive hope that our institutions and public were strong enough. But thrice times Harper, and well folks, the rot is set. Our political institutions are a gangrenous limb and won't recover even if we manage to send the current group of hagfish back to the depths from whence they came.

If you ask me, I'll say bluntly that on the whole we are a country that has grown too self-satisfied, too rich, and too idle. Too many generations of ease have passed, and the liberal and social ideals that drove the Grits and Dippers  have hollowed out into mere platitudes. All are caught up in that same mindless Ottawa Shore TV series, its own fantastical deviation from realities of the world we're in. I suppose I should stop being surprised at the complete lack of balls eminating from the elected government as well as the civil service. There's barely a peep despite the loss of the long form, muzzling of scientists, and other vandalisations. Docile and complacent, thinking it all end someday, few act - like when they're out of jobs. As I've said before on this blog, they way to beat the Harper crowd is come down hard and fast. They win because they play on our docility and our niceness. Hell, they even rigged the last election and didn't even need to use the army and secret policy to do it or repress the aftermath.

Efforts focussed on the politicians and their silly little games are wasted, and probably do much to perpetuate the problem. The national high-level big-picture asylum that is our politics now feels increasingly irrelevant. The Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Greens, etc are all part of the same problem. They all feed into a system of governance that has changed little since the days before the telephone and universal suffrage, when states were often part of Empires, and wealthy elites by birth or audacity ran the show until this point. We're beyond that now, here at the forward edge of social evolution. In this universally connected world, there's little need for states and the nationalisms and othering they inspire. For the first time in human evolutionary history we are not strangers to the world we live in and each other. We have a pretty good idea of our origins, both as a species and as life. We're written into the DNA of stars. The means now exist to have us standing almost anywhere on the planet in about 24 hours. The chance to be the first person to set foot on Mars actually exists for many of us. We now, beyond any doubt, have shattered the legs of arguments promoting bigotry of all kinds.

There is no reason to fear each other anymore. There is no "other," and hence no reason to continue to rely on institutions and people that embrace the "othering" of anyone, including adversarial politics. Our best interests, means of universal survival in the face of climate change, depleting oceans, nuclear weapons, economic disparity, etc, is to focus on the intersections, the commonground and our shared identity as human beings. We cannot afford anymore the sophisticaed tribal warfare that defines state relations, community relationships, and our blinkered political systems and cultures.

Yet we are still stuck with these laggards, these old gods of conflict and anger. Best to bypass them and their institutions as much as possible. And resist them where they actively try to impede this new world we're building. Progressive change here won't come from them. If you listen carefully you can even hear them desperately try to justify themselves to us, or in the case of the Cons especially, force themselves upon us and then demand tribute for their trouble.

As is happening now, it'll come from the margins, the outliers, the Idle No More and Occupy types of movement, the students in Quebec arrested in the hundreds for daring to act for their future, and the people who will put their lives down to stop a pipeline and tanker jamboree from savaging the West Coast. It'll come from scientists who speak out. It'll come from the small groups of dedicated people promoting progressive change in their own communities through such simple things community gardens, Transition Towns, and a social justice that does not seek restribution but inclusiveness, compasssion, and understanding. It'll come from the growing number of people who simply live and act as the change they want to see.

So I'm going to take some time to take advantage of a few life changes in this vein. I may periodically return to the Beaver, and will likely comment on others' blogs, but blogging from me will be rare and quiet for the foreseeable future. If you'd like to carry on the conversation, I may still be reached at boris.gallopingbeaver at gmail.com.


Thank you all for reading all these years.



23 comments:

Godfrey Park said...

Boris, sad to see you go and what a wonderful post upon which to leave. I too have folded my blog for many of the same reasons you quote.

Scott @ Prog Blog said...

Sorry to see you go as well. Enjoyed the blogposts.

the salamander said...

Not happy to read this....
will have to re-read ..
and try to process..

Any Voice of Reason
is impossible to replace
the special ones even harder

The salamanders are very quiet today
& will send a token of appreciation later
just for you .. thank you ..

Owen Gray said...

I'll miss your insights and your rational approach to problems, Boris.

It's sad to see another progressive voice go silent.

Boris said...

Owen, I never said anything about going silent. Only changing venues and concentrations ;)

Dana said...

Congratulations on lasting as long as you did. A better man than I.

Owen Gray said...

I'm reassured, Boris.

Edstock said...

Life is change, may these new efforts yield the reward you'd like. Always check your six.

West End Bob said...

You gave Alison and I a "heads up" on this, so not totally surprised, but still sad to see it in Beaver Print.

I know you'll reappear when we least expect - but sincerely appreciate - it.

Happy Travels, Boris, and may they include our favourite pizza place soon . . . .

harebell said...

This better be a "wait out" and not an "out."
The fight isn't finished until the enemy is defeated and they are are far from that right now.
You know full well that "contact" has happened and I'll "wait out," until you have more to say.
Seriously your voice is necessary.

bcwaterboy said...

Sorry to see you go Boris, never missed a column and thoroughly enjoyed every thought provoking word you wrote. I too relegated to "commenter" status and it's just as effective to get those opinions out there, especially on sites that the "harper" and "clark" regimes frequent to see what we're up to. LOL

Steve said...

thanks Boris, in the long run History always seems to get better.

900ft Jesus said...

Salamander said: Any Voice of Reason is impossible to replace, the special ones even harder." I agree, although I understand what you say, Boris. I've gone silent several times for various reasons - mainly health issues - but the reasons you give here were also underlying factors.

Although I don't blog nearly as often as I used to, I still feel I should, even if only a couple of people read what I post. There are several reasons I feel it's important that we continue to have a voice on the Net: we can't let it be overun by the wackjobs and allow only their warped versions of reality to reach people; although some journalists are finally starting to actually write like journalists again, we still can't count on that medium to inform us; blogs are still a good way of sharing upcoming events, petitions, etc.; blogs are still a good place to come together online to hash out ideas; while they are dying out because people are looking to crap like twitter because it's so short, we still don't have a good alternative to cover those things I just mentioned, and until we do, blogs still fill those important functions; finally, I have seen many, many occasions where people who have never met in the physical world show massive support for fellow bloggers as they went through bad times.

Blogs are dying out just as we are beginning to understand their value in a world where we recognize that online communities have impact and bring real people together in positive ways.

I agree that they are losing much of the appeal they had a few years ago, but until we have something effective to do what they have done, I hope we at least take shifts when we sign out for periods of time.

The Galloping Beaver has been an inspiration to many of us and helped us set standards. Whether it continues for years or fades away soon, those thousands of posts have not been wasted. So thanks for carrying the fire, and thanks to all who will carry it further. We don't always see the impact of our words, but we know it's important to pass them on. If we don't, someone far less altruistic will fill those spaces.

Beijing York said...

Such a thoughtful and bittersweet post, Boris. I can only echo much of what others have said in the comments. I have always been inspired and informed by this blog site and your contributions have been stellar - I so appreciate your consistently thought-provoking and well reasoned contributions to TGB.

Not meaning to be crass, but sometimes it seems like our blogging communities, or discussion forums before that, never amount to more than a circle jerk of like-minded people. But at other times, as 900 ft has eloquently pointed out, there is an intense and generous camaraderie that takes daily frustrations and struggles from the personal to the communal.

And frankly, it's the communal/community that the hard right is seeking out to destroy and have been doing so for eons by appealing to selfishness and arrogance. So I will look forward to seeing quips and bon mots here and there, Boris.

ETA: Captcha is also sorry to see you go, borrys :-)

karen said...

I hope you will find your other venues more satisfying, Boris. I, too, have appreciated your voice here and will miss it.

opit said...

Bloggers have a habit of surprising themselves after the relief from constant pressing to get the story out has passed. I have never been able to come up with a constant flow of editorials to illuminate what I see and read and much admire those with that ability. Thanks for sharing - but do 'visit' bloggers. They are a more real community than one would ever know when one is of the multitudes who blog and blog without feedback.

Nancy Leblanc said...

Take care Boris! Remember the hey days? :) I certainly do. But you're right, the online dynamic has certainly changed in so many ways.

Hope you will be back from time to time. Always enjoyed your stuff and thought it was right on.

deBeauxOs said...

I trust you'll be back, when the appropriate confluence of time and tide occurs.

In the meanwhile, profitez bien du repos du guerrier, cher camarade!

Wendy said...

Sorry to hear of your decision, but completely understand your sense of frustration and despair.

Reading your blog has been on my daily list of things to do.

Your vision and insight will be sorely missed.

With any luck, a good break and some time to regroup, will bring you back to the blogosphere.

We need your voice and your incredible insights.

Thanks for hanging in all these years. You will be missed!

Wendy (Burnaby, BC)

The Mound of Sound said...

Boris, I'll miss your writing - until you return. I hope you'll still stop by my place and leave your always welcome comments. Onward and upward and never let the bastards get you down.

Simon said...

hi Boris...thank you for writing for so long and contributing to such a great blog. I feel the same way you do about our political scene. It seems so small and so detached from the reality that is bearing down on us like an express train. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading you again, later or sooner...

Saskboy said...

Thanks for your years of blogging.

Genghis Don said...

Thanks for all the articles, all the best