Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And then there's Baba

Early this morning I read with pleasant surprise a most reasonable article on Omar Khadr, written by someone I virtually never agree with, Jonathon Kay. Later on I read his Ma, the ever-shrieking Barbara, who is, sadly, still whinging on about Dr. Morgentaler's Order of Canada. Now it's the OC itself and the unfairness of the selection process:
"The awarding of the Order of Canada to abortionist Henry Morgentaler has stirred controversy in recent weeks. The negative attention paid to this decorous institution has led some to ask: Is this the end of the Order of Canada as we know it?" [...]

"For any rational observer of OC history knows that only people who hold the "correct" views are eligible for the OC, and Ms. Selick's views aremanifestly "incorrect."

Which isn't to say that most of the OCs aren't worthy. But then there are all those equally worthy individuals who will never get one because they hold the wrong views."

Oh boo hoo hoo. Everything with these people is "the end of (fill in the blank) as we know it"... it has to be those apocalyptic religious beliefs. So, only people with the "correct" views are eligible for the OC? Brian Mulroney? Conrad Black?? Please. There are plenty of conservative inductees that are hardly icons of political correctness. But the "wrong views" Kay refers to are primarily the regressive social conservative views on abortion and same-sex marriage.

"Case in point: bio-ethicist Margaret Somerville whose nominator was told by a committee member her candidate was "too controversial." Ms. Somerville has made a great contribution to the intellectual life of Canada and has received a cornucopia of other honours. But she does not believe in gay marriage. For the committee, offending gays is controversial, while sickening Catholics is not."

Now you're catching on, Babs. See the common thread here? The Catholics who are "sickened" (boohoo!) by Dr. Morgentaler's OC would gladly remove the right he championed, that of reproductive choice. Somerville has been outspoken in her opposition to equal marriage, presumably a right she'd rather gays didn't have. See where I'm going with this? The committee is clearly on the side of human rights, Somerville and the "sickened" (boohoohooo!) Catholics are not. So it's easy to see how not many socons, with their backward, bigoted and small-minded views, have had the right stuff to deserve an award that's supposedly given to those who "want a better country".

But whew, Ms. Kay isn't calling for the OC to be abolished:

Let the Order stand. But take away the secrecy of the process. Rotate the committee membership and make it reflective of Canada, not a university Women's Studies department. Like juries. You know, democratic.

As if the process is always cloaked in secrecy. Only in Morgentaler's case was there a significant effort to keep things quiet, and why not? The other option was 5 months of fetus fetishists spinning their bearings and going out of their minds with rage, and the barrage of emails, phone calls, letters, and months of escalating bullshit that would follow... nah. Who needs that? So Dr. M's award was kept quiet. But normally, not so much.

Kay goes on to suggest that milquetoast should be the order of the day for the Order of Canada:

"Make professional politicians ineligible. Make no controversial appointments, or admit both sides of the controversies. That would be a beginning. Most of the non-ideologically appointed members would still be there."

Well sure, we could have only the most inoffensive, non-ideological nominees. The problem is that those dynamic enough to really make a difference are often activists fighting some battle or other (or sometimes even just high-profile shitbags who've done a particularly outstanding job of looting and pillaging). There are OC recipients that in my opinion are as foul examples of human scum as you're ever likely to trip over, but for all their vileness, they made a difference. So who cares if they get an OC?... not me, anyway. The only ones who seem to give a happy monkeyfuck about who gets what is the noisy little perpetually offended peanut gallery.

Kay goes on to say that the OC wouldn't be losing anything by rejecting controversial nominees, (and dammit, if we'd thought of it sooner the evil Dr. M wouldn't have been inducted!). But Kay and her ilk already think the OC is meaningless, and neglecting to reward those who really make a difference, the fighters and the activists, would truly render it so. And making a change to the process at the behest of the jabbering socon minority is an even worse idea -- they might start to believe that someone actually gives a flying fuck what they think.