Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Still scraping the tar and feathers off my body after my The Good, Bad and Ugly of the CNP Fire Department post. Although there were far more laurels than bricks for what I did, it still stings. :-(
When I was in sixth grade my best friend and I got caught in class doing some juvenile prank or other that I can't remember right now for which I was singled out and asked by my teacher to squeal on my friend, which I refused to do. The teacher told me to wait out in the hallway, which I did. When I was called back in the teacher again asked me in front of the class to again tell on my friend, who now with others in the class was smiling and laughing in a grand conspiracy of sorts with the teacher, shaking their heads up and down that it was okay to tell. When I still refused, they shook them side to side in dismay. That was my first taste of being humiliated before my peers for standing up for what I thought was right. What I learned that day was what sheep men are to blindly follow authority for authority's sake, forsaking principles, loyalty and honour in order to obediently appease ‘the man’... and be good little boys and girls.
I'm not in sixth grade anymore, but I still won't rat on a friend. So don't expect me to tell you my reader who it was that told me those things in the above linked post. That's where I stand on this matter. End of story.
Where I don't stand, on the other hand, is behind a group whether they be Firefighters, Masons or Ratepayers, for example, who expect as a god given right that I should blindly and without question stand up for them out of some sense of misguided loyalty, when they have never stood up for me... and probably never will?
I told the firefighters two weeks ago, when meeting with all of them along with the executive of the Ratepayers at the Bellevue Fire Hall, not to turn in their pagers without getting a legal opinion first. That it could backfire on them; to wait it out, until after the petition, or if need be until after the next election. Keep their jobs and positions. I stood up for them then, as I stood up for them when I was on council, but I don't recall them ever standing up for me? In fact, its been exactly the opposite.
I know quite a few Masons in town, some of whom I consider to be friends, including a former councillor. Individually I have found them to be good people but collectively they are a blind, obedient, self-serving lot who I feel have been largely responsible for holding our community back for decades (as did the firefighters) by ensuring an egotistical, retrograde and incompetent mayor stayed in power. Allowing him to mismanage this place so badly that this present council has basically had to demolish our house including its very foundations, so to speak, in order to rebuild it so that it’s structurally sound (albeit, trying to fix in just three short years twenty-five years of rot while literally destroying our volunteer base at the same time is wrong-headed and just asking for trouble, which is what they now have). On a personal note, I'll never forget, like Willy Sygutek I’m sure never will either, the election of 2001, when these good people threw a celebration victory party for Irwin at their hall in Frank.
Yesterday, at the conclusion of the G&P Meeting of council (at which council once again for the umpteenth time deferred the report on the costs of this year’s Rum Runner Days) an executive member of the Ratepayers took me to task in what can only be described as a verbal assault for having given a forum on my blog for the other-side to be heard, believing as I think she did that I had somehow betrayed them for doing so? Somehow she forgot that the Ratepayers Petition was not solely about the Firefighters. They are simply the final straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
It always amazes me how groups you wholeheartedly and unquestioningly have supported countless times will turn on you like a wild beast the moment you dare to have an independent mind; willing to listen to both sides of an issue. Or to challenge them on their belief system and/or modus operandi.
“A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion.” I learned this in sixth grade. ;-)
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.