Monthly Archives: December 2018

Peace on Earth – The Dance Off

I have a new idea for the world. I believe that ninety-five percent of us want peace on earth, and though Donald Trump will not like what I’m about to say, I’m pretty sure Justin Trudeau will be on board. (Please do not message me with your opinion about our Prime Minster. Not the point, here.)

A war mongering five percent long to win battles and turn problems into wars. Does religion create strife? Maybe, but perhaps those who fight over it would use any excuse to exert their power.  What if, instead of using armies and tanks and bombs, every country, indeed, every child, had the opportunity to learn some new debating skills. I’m talking about art, people. Singing, dancing, painting, poetry. People facing off in epic battles shown live around the planet. To children heading to school, parents would lovingly say, ‘Study hard. You might be Prime Minster one day and you’ll need those recorder lessons.’

I would love to see Kim Jong-un learn a Korean ballet dance in hopes of winning the favor of the world. A panel of artistic judges would decide the merit of his case based on his performance. We’d probably excuse the Russian judge from partaking because of past Olympic problems. Other than that, everyone would weigh in. It would be reality TV at its best. All of us on the edge of our seats wondering if North Korea’s leader would have to step down. It wouldn’t necessarily be about style as much as heart. Just how much does he care? Is he fit enough to continue his dictatorship? If not, the panel of judges would proceed with a country wide vote. Hopefully they’d pick someone with acting chops, or epic slam poetry skills. Now that’s a leader worth voting for.

School yard fights would be more embarrassing but would result in less visits to the principal’s office. Two junior high boys standing in the playground battling it out to Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You,’ will be too mortified to care who won. In fact, they may decide to shake hands and forego the singing all together.

And Donald Trump…what talent would he employ? With blustering over confidence, he’d turn some past tweets into a musical mashup, using Stompin’ Tom Connor’s ‘The Good Ol’ Hockey Game.’

‘Our southern border’s insecure but I’m the guy for them,
Negative polls are all fake news, a witch hunt, CNN!
I won the popular vote if you deduct illegal ones
And my IQ’s the highest, and let’s not blame the guns.’

Oh, the good old hockey game…well. You get the point. This would be a tough one for the judges. Not many people around the world actually like Donald Trump, but he’d have to be evaluated fairly on his artistic performance. I just want one of the judges to shake his head and say, ‘Sad!’

Performance art would be allowed, but not the Hitler kind with all that yelling and fist raising. Angry diatribes in front of the judges would need to involve Opera. I can’t picture it any other way.  For smaller disputes, break dancing could be considered, along with slam poetry. Put some heart into it and you may win. Perhaps you’d get to be leader for a year. Then the people would reevaluate, and you’d be back to the drawing board, wondering what skill you could bring to the next competition.

It’s time for world leaders and anyone with an axe to grind to channel their inner artist. Tired of our immigration policy? Paint about it! Show us your passion. We need a break from all the haters out there, and I could use something new for my walls. Of course, if you’re in Flin Flon, we’d hang your art in the Orange Toad coffee shop first.

I say we put my idea to a vote. Justin? What do you think? Are you and Andrew Scheer ready to lip sync to Celine Dion? And Premier Pallister, if you insist on taking away our maternity ward, then I really want to see you dance. (You might protest that its not your decision. Well, it feels like it is.) Pallister seems to be a Scottish name, so perhaps you could do a little number involving kilts and crossed swords. It’s only fair. In 2019 we’ll reconsider the whole thing again. I have a feeling that Flin Flon will show up with a really big musical number and you’ll have no choice but to concede, thereby gifting us with a brand new birthing center. In the meantime, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and you’d better start practicing now.

I Can’t Help Myself

This blog post will come as no surprise to my family, and certainly not to my children. It turns out that I’m an impulsive person, and have the tiniest bit of OCD. Unfortunately, its not the kind that ensures a clean house or a job well done. It’s the type that fixates on something until it swirls around in my head and drives me crazy. On the plus side, I may have been granted a small glimpse into the world of serial killers.

Except I don’t kill people. I over empathize. I used to think this was a good thing, but apparently, its not. If I’m walking down the street and I see someone who looks really glum, I send a little prayer their way. But I want to do more than that. I long to hustle over to this complete stranger and ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ I also feel bad if babies are crying in their strollers and moms and dads are too busy with their phones to notice. (This is hardly anyone, so these people stand out.) ‘I’ll hold your baby for you,’ is what I want to say. What I have actually said. Only a few times, but the response has never been good.

Here’s a better example. During our choir production, many of us had chairs on the stage for those times when our guest soloist would take over, or when other members would step forward and burst into song. (For those not from here, it was a lovely concert.) Instead of fully immersing myself in the moment, all I could think about was the people whose risers were too narrow for chairs. They looked so uncomfortable, shifting from foot to foot while the rest of us sat like lumps. One of the standing women is in her eighties, and though she’s very fit for her age, I’m sure she would have liked a rest. I suggested they sit on the risers, which they did for the first half, and then they must have made a group decision because they all stood for the second half. It was like they were naughty school children undergoing punishment. Or, as one audience member said to me later, like they were going to perform their own piece but never got around to it.

I really dislike this about myself. Why can’t I mind my own business? I know that most of us are haunted by the terrible things going on in the world. But when I see toddlers with their scarves, hats and coats still on during an hour long indoor shopping trip, and the parent’s coats are off, I really, really want to say something. Maybe its the ex-teacher in me. The whole crowd control, let’s coordinate so everyone’s comfortable but mostly so I feel okay, thing.

I really dislike bossy people. Nothing gets my back up like being told what to do, unless that person is in charge of me, like Tracy at the gym, or Crystal at choir, or the minister at church. When he says ‘please stand,’ I don’t think, ‘No thank you, I’d rather not.’ I stand with everyone else. It’s those times when someone like me tries to tell me what to do. ‘You’re not the boss of me,’ I think to myself. So why do I have to be the boss of other peoples feelings and situations? I don’t picture myself walking a mile in someone’s shoes. I’d rather take their shoes away and give them a pair of comfy slippers. Whether they want that or not, of course.

It’s time to end my neurotic behavior. From now on, I’m going to ignore everyone else and just go about my business. If you’re on fire, I’ll probably help you. I’ll still pray for people, because that is in my DNA. But I’m going to loosen up a little, let the world slide by and do its own thing. I don’t have to get involved in every single thing happening. Right? Unless you need help. Or look sad, or even bothered by someone. Me? It’s me bothering you? Oh. I feel so bad about that. Let me help you.