Let’s bore some zombies

was proud to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper stand up to Russia in Ukraine. Of course, I am no foreign policy expert, and Harper may have been acting at the behest of other world leaders that have too much skin in the game already. Germany, England and the U.S. come to mind.

Kerry Knudsen

Kerry Knudsen

If you think about it, Russia would have a bit of a mess if it tried to bully Canada. In my mind, Canada probably could not outright win an open war with Russia. Again, I don’t know, but that’s my impression. On the other hand, if Canada were attacked by Russia and entered into open war, it is hard to imagine that Germany, England and the U.S. would leave us to our own devices. For that reason — the certain involvement of the entire Allied Command of WWII (except Russia, of course) — it is possible Canada is simply the advance guard.

Still, it looks good on Harper. As an interested reader of WWII history, it looks to me as if the annexation of Crimea and the incursion into Ukraine are frightfully reminiscent of Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia and Austria.

In that context, I keep thinking about leadership and what leadership means in our everyday lives. For example, we often discuss North America’s former leadership in manufacturing worldwide. As we know, that was lost as jobs and businesses moved offshore to take advantage of lower costs and availability of transportation and resources. One wonders whether, in the 1800s, people in Germany and Austria viewed the arrival of North American goods the way we viewed the arrival of Japanese goods in the late ’70s? If so, it appears they developed the leadership to distinguish their domestic goods from others, and the political will to protect their own infrastructure.

Between us and the States, we seem to have filled the vacuum at the top of our GDPs with entertainment. And who doesn’t love entertainment? We paid our movie stars as if they were royalty and adopted the political musings of our singers as if they were Gospel. All the while, we were only idolizing jesters, minstrels and actors that, in European courts, would have received a moderate allowance. Shakespeare seemed to think little of a king that would defer to the opinions of an entertainer. I wonder if he had a point. Kim Basinger posing nude for bus panels decrying the use of fur comes to mind, as does Miley Cyrus’s “gender fluidity.” Is this crap necessary?

But I digress. It is clear we have handed over the leadership of our youth to almost anything opposite to what once was called a virtue. I am no Pollyanna, but if we don’t like chastity, can’t we at least stop short of twerking? (Odd I should write that word. It seems as if nobody knows it is a contraction of two words, and means she’s jerking something.) Or if we don’t value honour, must we then pay Michael Moore for his political ideas? Or duty? Or loyalty? Which pop culture icons promote wisdom, justice, and courage?

Good luck.

Then, in an almost cruel turn of fortune’s wheel, the popsters are about to lose it all. The once-golden world of pop music, for example, has become one where once again a singer must sing for his or her supper, and not much more. Scarcely an act below super-stardom can make it now selling albums. They are back to serving a boss.

So, what’s next? What will be the next top-performer in North America’s GDPs? I like to think it will return to reality. Entertainment is entertaining, but the internet, YouTube, satellite everything and the infinite capacity of the digital world for theft and suppression leave me thinking the future will return to reality. That the current status is not an infinite curve off into the void, but, rather, the classic, swinging of a pendulum. That our societies, having once again crept to the brink of social insanity, have seen enough and will retreat, once more, to boring, old, staid, value-based production of goods and services by real people in real time for real benefits.

After all, if the zombie apocalypse comes, we will all still need a house, an office, a coffee shop and a school to look back and shake our heads and be amazed that it all was not real.

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Comments

  1. Kerry Knudsen says:

    Hi, Mark: To tell the truth, the question never occurred to me. However, I checked. It’s 102.87 cm. Yourself?

    Now that we have both had a chance to discuss geography, I will provide a more thoughtful answer to your accusations.

    First, the Akhurst/Blum piece was not a rant. It was a report. This is an important distinction, because there is a legal action called a libel suit that can be used against journalists that don’t tell the truth. You will notice the report is full of verifiable facts, including names, dates, actions, etc. This is called the “who, what, when, where, how” of reporting.

    I am a professional, Mark. The real deal. My goal has been to provide my readers with the best-researched, most current, most thoughtful magazine in this or any other market. I have succeeded in this to a great measure, despite being constantly attacked by a gang of spoilers, such as those named in the Akhurst/Blum article and in the September 2013 Monograph, in case you haven’t read that one, yet. It would be interesting to know how far better off the industry would be by now, had this small gang of geriatric adolescents worked with us and our ethical advertisers to advance the interests of the industry instead of pretending they are publishers or that all magazines are the same. That concept is analogous to Kleiser Media being akin to Shakespeare. I am not name-calling. I am being as accurate as I know. To my knowledge, neither Kleiser finished university, and Bert picked up his magazine for a buck when CLB Media sold off all its other assets and nobody wanted Woodworking.

    My goal is to have a readable and popular magazine. To get there, it is absolutely imperative that I get letter from people such as yourself. Clearly, you don’t agree with my editorial opinions. This is fine. In fact, it’s fantastic. Any magazine that cannot excite an opposing opinion is only curdled milquetoast. Not worth the paper it’s printed on.

    I do, however, wish you would have been specific about what irritated you. Calling people stupid assholes is visible behaviour among grade-fivers, as well as adults, so it indicates an unoriginal and poorly formed thought process. Also, I write about five of these opinion pieces a month in three publications in both the U.S. and Canada, so I can’t remember overly general references. In this case, I don’t know what I said about Russia that irked you. I do know I have been there, I am fond of quoting Stalin as a comparison to Obama and they have annexed neutral and unoffending territories, so I am quite certain I have not been flattering. The question, however, as noted above, is whether what I said was factual.

    Our Confederation gives people the right to voice their opinions, and it protects the freedom of the press, both responsible and irresponsible. My company represents the responsible press. As such, we have the power to investigate that RCMP, if necessary, the right to mock the Prime Minister. Canada needs a media with those powers, but the powers need to be educated, experienced and professional. To allow Blum and Akhurst (or Russia, for that matter) to control, destroy or enslave the media would be a total abrogation of my duties under God and country, not to mention the very clear and widely known standards of publishing to which I constantly allude in my writings.

    Your current position seems to indicate you stand in favour of terrorist murderers, as does Blum in the Charlie Hebdo example, despotic dictators, as is in Russia and ill-educated, ill-read, ill-thinking, ill-acting publications that learned everything they know in the monkey-see/monkey-do school of Southern Ontario pseudo publishing. If I were you, I would put as much distance between them and you as you can.

    We, on the other hand, attend to our job and attract the favour and loyalty of the market. This is evident in our Readers’ Surveys, which are visible at our website. There, you will see most other readers and suppliers are supportive of Wood Industry, of truth, professionalism, legality, hard work, honesty and fairness.

    I welcome your response and debate on this or any issue, and I thank you for your attention to our publications and your interest in replying to our website.

  2. mark smithies says:

    your rant against blum and akhurst made me wonder how close your brain and asshole are to each other. after reading your Russia comments it is clear you don’t have a brain; just an oversized asshole. you are truly an idiot.

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