Sunday, April 24, 2011

What's your *****ist, I mean really?

When peace like a river . . .

What’s your *****ist, anyway.

I’ve cancelled my delivery of the paper version of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “Why?” you ask, in a voice feigning interest. Here are the reasons:

 Main reason: I abhor the waste of resources in that mass of paper, 9/10ths of which interests me personally not at all.

 Secondary reason: Yesterday, the paper led with a huge, front-page headline about Harper pursuing successfully the youth vote. The building interest in the NDP was buried on page 4 or so.

 Third reason: For half the price of paper delivery, I can read on-line the StarPhoenix, the Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald and/or half a dozen other papers, some of which may print news and eschew propaganda (this may be wishful thinking).

 Fourth reason: Our paper is delivered by Karen refugee kids who are helping their growing family out by peddling their bikes around Rosthern in every kind of weather. It reminds me too much of serfdom. (This one needs more thinking; it might be a reason to continue delivery).

It’s Easter morning in the middle of an election campaign. Like the StarPhoenix, both events put pressure on people to declare themselves, to accept an *****ist adjective, to put themselves into their proper categories.

“Do you believe in less government?”

“No, not necessarily.”

“So you’re a socialist.”

“No, not necessarily.”

 “A communist?”

“Don’t you have to carry a card to be one of those?”

“I myself am an anarchist!”

“Funny. I thought you were a Biologist.”

“That too, I guess.”

“At least you’re not a bigamist . . . are you?”

"Certainly not."

“Well, if you’re an anarchist and an anti-communist, you must also be a fundamentalist, eh?”

“I could be; I don’t know what that word really means.”

“Neither do I, but do you believe in literal resurrection?”

“I’m a biologist, remember?”

“Then you must be an atheist.”

“No, not necessarily. I’m probably a fundamentalist agnosticist.”

“They used to burn hereticists like you at the stake, you know.”

“I think this conversation is going off the rails.”

“Probably a good thing. How about a game of ping pong.”

"Sounds good." 

It’s Easter morning. There’s magic in waking up at 6:30 in the morning and the sun already streaming in through the bedroom window. It’s a kind of resurrection—the spring of the year—that won’t tolerate an *****ist adjective easily. It shines on everybody, no matter what their *****ist, or lack of it. It unites; it abhors division; it shines over fences and walls and says: “Good morning, my children.”

It reminds us to celebrate all those who have spoken those magic words: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

Peacemaking is a gerund - a noun made out of a verb, if you like; it’s not an adjective.

Pacifist notwithstanding.

Happy Easter.


  1. No, Colin, it isn't. As isn't hereticist or agnosticist. Just playing with the language. Thanks for asking.