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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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Random Act of Metaphor – The 200 Million Year Wisdom of the Turtle

August 11th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, can we learn contentment from the aged wisdom of the turtle?

My fascination with nature tends toward winged things – birds, butterflies and dragonflies that have the gift and freedom of flight which I cannot help but admire and envy. But occasionally I expand my vision and find inspiration in other creatures.

The photo of a Painted Turtle, adorning the head of this post, was snapped earlier this summer at one of my favourite summer haunts. It looks rather prehistoric with its protective domed shell, clawed feet and piercing eyes. I should not be surprised at this appearance since turtles are one of the oldest living ancestors dating back 200 million years.

Turtles are traditionally seen as the embodiment of the notion that slow and steady wins the race. But they also remind us of the wisdom of taking life as it comes. They do not react to and resist the forces around them, but rather simply accept what is and move on with their life with fortitude and tolerance.

A Painted Turtle regarding me with is prehistoric countenance and nonjudgmental attitude – a random act of metaphor to remind me that wisdom is born of patience and that contentment comes from taking life one day at a time

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Microlearning: An Old Dog Draws His Line in the Sand

August 4th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Line in the sand

Hmmm, have 90 minute lectures morphed into 90 second videos?

I heard a young colleague refer to microlearning in a conversation with a co-worker this week. I was passing the kitchen area at the time and whimsically wondered if it was something that involved a microwave oven. Turns out, in an offbeat kind of way, it does.

I came across the term again later in the week and decided to check it out online. Why? Because it had the sound of another latest/greatest, digital age innovation that would be imposed on me – a digital immigrant, Baby Boomer whose head is close to exploding daily with all the new technologies I am expected to learn and adopt.

Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts. The learners control when they are learning. It is specifically designed for Millennials whose attention span, the experts say, averages 90 seconds.

Microlearning is often delivered via video since Millennials prefer video over other mediums. Apparently, 70% of Millennials visit YouTube monthly. Monthly? I am certain that monthly was a misprint. Daily sounds more accurate. Video-watching is fast becoming an addiction.

Let me be clear. I have no objection in principle to the concept of microlearning and of video as the primary channel for it. If it works for Millennials, go for it.

But here is the thing that gets under my skin. I have 4-1/2 years to go until I can retire. (Yes, I am counting the days, hours and minutes.) Chances are good that, before I am able to sail off into the sunset, someone in the organizational learning field will decide that microlearning is the gold standard for everyone.

I am already being compelled to learn through various forms of e-learning such as interactive PowerPoint presentations and recorded webinars. No one bothered to ask me if that kind of learning works for me. For the record, it does not. My brain is not programmed to learn that way and revolts when forced to do so.

I consider myself well educated. I have a college diploma and a university degree and graduated from university summa cum laude. But back then, learning came in the form of lengthy lectures in large halls or by reading weighty tomes. You listened, took notes and read everything on the syllabus. A good attention span was a prerequisite.

I am well aware that life is for the young. Old dogs like me have to adapt as best they can or get out of the way. I would gladly get out of the way if I could afford to do so. Unfortunately, I cannot. I will have to hang in until 4:00 on the last day and hope the farewell cake they order for me is gluten-free and will not self-destruct in 90 seconds if not eaten.

Wikipedia says that microlearning is itself a metaphor for aspects of a variety of learning models, concepts and processes. But I must object. Metaphors are not meant to be shortcuts. They are meant to unlock understanding and unleash our minds to roam free.

In my book (yes, I still read books), microlearning sounds more like an anti-metaphor. I will not be getting on board with it. Consider this my old dog, line in the sand.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Beware: Old Man Apathy is Spitting Mad

July 28th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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active shooter

Hmmm, what dark force breeds the horrific acts of violence which are occurring at an alarming rate?

First, a confession. I did not want to blog on this topic. It is a reality I would rather not enter into. But the frequency with which these acts are happening compels me to weigh in.

I will state from the outset that I accept that there is no simple answer. Yes, the accessibility of hand guns enables the perpetrators. I agree with a ban on hand guns. It is a step in the right direction. But as the expression goes: Guns do not kill people. People kill people.

The prevalence of mental health illnesses may also be a factor. You have to be mentally unhinged to perpetrate an act of violence that indiscriminately takes human lives. But it is in no way, shape or form a one-to-one relationship.

An aside: Mental health illness is a complex issue. There are those who suffer from a biochemical imbalance which translates to a lifelong battle. But mental health conditions can also be situationally driven. Life can beat us down and undermine our mental wellbeing. Every one of us is but one misfortune away from losing our grip.

A number of years back, I write a post – titled Old Man Apathy – expressing what I felt was a rising wave of apathy. I was seeing examples of it everywhere I turned. I have reflected further on the issue since then and concluded that it is not a permanent state of mind.

In some cases, fortune turns in our favour and washes away apathy. But apathy that persists over time eventually migrates to something more insidious: despair, anger and even rage. Is it possible that the epidemic of apathy is making that transition increasingly and triggering in the horrific acts we are seeing?

I have also blogged about the increasing survival of the fittest mentality that prevails in our society. Looking out for number one exclusively is infiltrating our thinking. For some, the belief becomes: If I am to succeed, someone else must fail. Personally, I still believe in the power of a win-win attitude. You and I can both succeed if we help one another along the way.

But society tells us in subtle ways that this is a naïve attitude and outdated thinking. We are prodded to go all out to win at any cost. Someone always loses in that battle. Repeated failure breeds apathy as the person with the short end of the stick comes to believe that he/she cannot ever win.

Again, I assert that it is a short leap from anger to despair as the victim comes to believe that the odds are stacked against them. With nothing left to lose, all rules are suspended and the victim lashes out to vent their despair.

Many of us have at one time or another voiced the metaphor: I am so mad I could spit nails! Substitute bullets for nails and the metaphor becomes disconcertingly prophetic.

My plea to all of you: Believe in the countercultural idea of the win-win equation. No, it is not a cure for all ills. But it may just save your life.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Password Mania, Digital Footprints and My Epitaph

July 21st, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Man hand touching the screen

Hmmm, are we more real online than in flesh and blood?

I hit the centennial mark today. An auspicious occasion – it’s not every day you reach such a milestone. There really should be a reward of some kind.

No, I am not 100 years old, although there are days when I feel like I may be – and days when I feel like there are 100 reasons I’ll never make it that far.

No, I did not manage to do 100 pushups. I seriously doubt that I could even do 10. My wonky back would spasm before I got half way there.

No, I did not hit the 100 mark on my life list of butterfly species. I have seven species to go to check off that accomplishment which is a few years off.

So what historic 100 did I reach? For the 100th time, I created a user name and password and created an online profile. In this digital era, the price of participation in just about anything is surrendering one’s self to the digital data collectors.

It needs to be noted that at least two-thirds of my online profiles are dormant. Some may have been deactivated for lack of activity. But nothing ever really disappears on the web, so a ghost of me lives on each time.

Occasionally, I have been tempted to create an alias or two to use when I am required yet again to register online. As a writer I am more than capable of inventing alternate versions of myself. But then I would have to remember who I pretended to be that day in order to log in again. My brain does not need more things to remember.

Lord forbid I should have a head injury and experience amnesia! The entire online world would become inaccessible to me because I could not remember my user name or password.

I sometimes wonder about the digital footprint I am leaving. Theoretically, it is possible for someone with advanced digital skills to trace my path across the internet in excruciating detail. It would be a tedious exercise given my unexciting life. But it still might turn up an embarrassing item or two.

The reality is that if you are not online in this day and age, you are considered a dinosaur. Every organization or utility that requires regular payments pushes us to do all transactions online. No invoice to mail. No cheque to deposit. The money simply migrates online from us to them. The miracle of modern technology at work.

I have been outspoken about the fact that I participate in the online world under protest. I am there because I have to be. If I had a choice in the matter, I might well opt out entirely. But the door closed on that option quite some time ago.

It seems to me we are angling toward the day when each of us really only exists as an online metaphor of the flesh and blood person we once were. I am seriously considering requesting that my epitaph read: Logged out for the final time. Offline for eternity.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

 

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Butterfly Bonanza: A Blessed Reprieve from the Craziness of Life

July 14th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will I have to wait another four years for it to happen again?

Alert: Full on nature geek taking control in this post. Read at your own hazard.

It is a rare occurrence. Years go by as I wait for the next one. I wonder all too often if it happened on a day I was stuck inside and missed it. There are nearly there days that I think might blossom into it, but fall just short. I fantasize about it on the really slow days.

No, not that! Get your mind out of the gutter! I am referring to that elusive summer day – which can only happen if the weather conditions are perfect – when the butterfly population undergoes a mini explosion.

Last Sunday was the day. I headed out to my favourite conservation area hoping for a good outing. Within the first half hour, I knew it was going to be very good. Butterflies were everywhere almost tripping over each other. An hour in it made the leap to great. I spotted movement in the grass and aimed my binoculars at the spot.

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A Coral Hairstreak! I was fortunate to capture this photograph of the nickel-sized beauty with its orange spot bar resembling a miniature coral reef. It was only the second time I had sighted this species in 15 years of butterfly sleuthing. A Coral Hairstreak is a red letter day happening.

The Comma butterflies, so named because they have a comma shaped white mark on the dead leaf pattern that camouflages the outer wing, are also favourites of mine. There are four that can be seen in this area. My hope is to record them all before the end of the summer. On this day, I did the full sweep.

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Commas are lookalikes and very difficult to distinguish from one another. I believe this one is a Grey Comma – usually uncommon in this area and a good find. The scalloped wing edges, handsome markings and sun-glory colouring never fail to impress me.

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This somewhat tattered Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, which posed whimsically upside down on a wildflower, may have escaped an encounter with a hungry predator. Milbert’s are also uncommon. Some years I do not see any. But this year I seem to see them every time I go out.

My best day ever for butterflies was around this time of year in 2014 when 34 species sashayed across my path. When the count was in for this year’s big day, I had tied that record. It may not seem like such a big deal to you. But for unrepentant nature geek, it is nirvana.

Butterflies are my winged metaphor for freedom. Freedom from the craziness, the unrelenting demands and the what’s lurking around the next corner worry that defines life in these turbulent times. For a few precious hours all of that baggage faded away, and for that I am truly grateful.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Hunting Muskie Preview: The Reckoning

July 7th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Close-up of Teen Boy

Hmmm, what malfunction occurs in the mind of a person to turn them into a spree killer?

It is happening with alarming frequency – spree killers opening fire in a crowd murdering innocent people. A few years ago, I explored what might drive such inexplicable behaviour in a story. An excerpt of that story is set out below.

Note: It is not my intention to glorify spree killers or take advantage of what they do. Literary fiction writers are driven to explore baffling issues like this one in an attempt to shed light on aspects of life that seem to defy understanding. Please view the story from that perspective.

The Reckoning

I can hear the sirens now. They’re coming for me. They’ve been coming for thirty years. Their wailing sounds like the personification of grief. Strange how your senses expand when you know the end is near.

 So quiet in here now—just faint crying and soft moans—after all the chaos I brought. It’s surreal—serenity turned inside out. This sense of floating above it all after the horror of the moment. I wish he could be here to marvel at it. It’s time to write the ending. I should feel dread. But staring down the barrel is so much easier than I expected. No need for prayers to summon the will. Just one last act of courage. One—two … three—

Six Hours Later

“Son of a bitch.”

Quentin grimaced as he levered himself up in bed. His head was throbbing and his left eye was swollen half shut. Pain ricocheted across his chest when he took a full breath. He did a quick inventory: a cracked rib or two, definitely a black eye and a couple of loose teeth.

“How bad do I look, Chelsea?” He turned, expecting Chelsea to be watching him. But she was not in the bedroom. His glance landed on the alarm clock on the bedside table: 3:30 p.m.

“Damn, I’ve slept half the day away.”

“Chelsea? You out there?” He eased himself onto his feet, crossed to the door and scanned the small apartment. “Chelsea? Serves me right, I guess. She’s had her fill of patching me up.”

He shuffled to the bathroom, swallowed a couple of Tylenol and took a quick look in the mirror.

“How many punches did I take? You’d never guess looking at me that I won the fight.”

As he made his way back into the bedroom, the closet door ajar caught Quentin’s eye. He reached over and opened it wide. Half of Chelsea’s clothes and two suitcases were gone.

“Shit. Not again.” END OF EXCERPT

If you’re intrigued and want to hear the rest of the story, you’ll find it in my short story collection “Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet”.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Confessions of an Aging Nature Geek

June 29th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will I ever fully comprehend the enchantment that nature weaves around me?

I am on vacation right now and indulging the nature geek in me. So why am I blogging on a sultry, sun-bleached day custom made for butterfly and dragonfly sleuthing?

Confession: At the age of 60 with a temperamental back, I cannot hit the trails every day anymore. Rest days are a must even though the part of me that refuses to acknowledge limitations bitterly complains. So I will compromise today and take a look at some of the highlights of my summer to date.

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Harvester

One of my first outings in early June turned up a much prized Harvester – only the second time I have set eyes on the only carnivorous butterfly in these parts. This nickel-sized, gossamer-winged butterfly, with blotching markings that camouflage it well, never visits flowers and feeds on aphids or ant larvae.

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Banded Hairstreak

Hairstreaks, always a delight to find, also fall into the gossamer-winged category. They dart out from a perch and furiously flutter around before perching again. Tracking them back to their perch can be maddening. This is the Banded Hairstreak – the most common of this diminutive and hard to find species.

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Baltimore Checkerspot

Butterflies can be a challenge to identify which is part of the appeal of this pastime. But there is no mistaking a Baltimore Checkerspot with its regal attire of black, white and orange. They are usually uncommon. But this seems to be an irruption year for this species as I saw many of them on my outing yesterday.

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Duskywings are in category known as Skippers which comprise roughly one-third of all butterfly species in North America. Duskywings are notoriously difficult to ID. But I am relatively confident that this is the whimsically named Dreamy Duskywing which surprisingly put in an appearance on the same day as the Harvester.

Since this post is titled Confessions an Aging Nature Geek, I must own up to two more of my idiosyncrasies.

I would rather spend my time pursuing these elegant creatures than just about any other activity. They hold endless fascination for me and touch a fundamental part of my being that I do not fully understand.

I have 93 species on my butterfly life list. There are few things more thrilling to me than logging another lifer. The nature geek in me has become irretrievably addicted to this experience.

As you will know if you follow my blog regularly, I interpret life through the lens of metaphor. Butterflies are my metaphor for ultimate freedom – the desire to break free from the confines of everyday life and lose myself in the embrace of nature which demands so little and offers herself up so willingly for our delight.

I am an unrepentant nature geek. If that challenges your concept of normal, I have three words for you – deal with it!

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Summer Solstice: Confronting the Ether of Relentless Time

June 23rd, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Summer solstice

Hmmm, what motivation should we draw from the longest day of year?

This past Thursday marked the Summer Solstice of 2018. I have not paid much attention over the years to the milestone days of Summer and Winter Solstice. But as I get older, and hopefully wiser, I find myself contemplating the significance of them.

First, a look at the scientific basis for these dates. Following winter solstice in late December, the Northern Hemisphere begins to get more sunlight as the earth’s axis starts tilting more toward the sun. Summer solstice occurs when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun. The result is the day of the year with the most hours of sunlight.

Around the world, people celebrate Summer Solstice with a variety of rituals often involving bonfires. For example:

In Russia and Ukraine, teenagers and young adults jump over bonfires while holding hands with a potential suitor as a courtship ritual. Scandinavians refer to the day as Midsummer and observe rituals involving bonfires, fertility and folk dancing.

In Latvia, people head to the countryside, start a bonfire and stay up all night waiting for the sun to come up. Women pick flowers to make into crowns for their head. Men strip naked and jump into a nearby lake or river.

I am not inclined to anything as theatrical as these rituals. But I do find symbolism in the fact that the days following Summer Solstice becoming progressively shorter in terms of hours of sunlight – culminating in the shortest day of the year on Winter Solstice.

At the age of 60, I am acutely aware that there are more years behind me than ahead of me. In symbolic terms, I am somewhere between the Summer and Winter Solstice of my life.

Part of me thinks that I should squeeze as much living as possible into every day that remains. But a dissenting voice argues that I should slow down and focus not on how much I accomplish, but rather on the peace that comes from opting out of the race to the wire.

Health issues in the last year stole a few months from my life. I cannot get those days back. The question looms: Make up for lost time or stop being a slave to the notion of time?

Wisdom gained over 60 years counsels me that quality matters more than quantity. But it is difficult to live into that wisdom. The breakneck pace of life in these times argues that if you are not moving ahead, you are very rapidly falling behind.

But I am beginning to believe that falling behind is not necessarily a bad thing. Lingering to enjoy the simple moments while the rest of society rushes forward to the next big thing, may just be the secret to happiness. Going against the flow takes a conscious effort. But the investment in doing so pays dividends far beyond climbing the next hill.

And so, I chose to see Summer Solstice as a metaphor for the importance of ignoring the ticking of the clock and savouring each moment before it escapes into the ether of relentless time.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

 

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The New Government Playbook: Paint by Number Politics

June 16th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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Playbook

Hmmm, will we all too soon find ourselves saying: “This sounds oddly familiar. Where have I heard it before?”

I promise this will be my last post on the provincial election. I have one more thing to get off my chest.

I am convinced that there is a playbook that every newly elected government follows faithfully. In the case of the provincial Conservatives who just swept to power, I predict the following sequence of communications verbatim from the New Government Playbook.

One Month In: We’ve had a preliminary look at the provincial books and what we found is disturbing. The (insert name of previous party in power) were not being honest with us. We need some time to see how bad things really are.

Shame on you (insert name of previous premier)!

Two Months In: We’ve done a deeper dive into the books. The province’s finances are a mess. Thank goodness you kicked out (insert name of previous party in power). You can rely on us to fix the problem, but it might take a while. Regrettably, it might affect the timelines for the promises we made.

Shame on you (insert name of previous premier)!

Three Months In: We’ve completed a full audit of the provincial books. The situation is far worse than we thought. (Insert number) years of (insert name of previous party in power) mismanagement has taken a huge toll. We will fix the problem, but it can’t be done overnight. We’re going to have to put some of our plans on hold.

Shame on you, (insert name of previous premier)!

18 Months In: Thank you for being patient while we deal with the financial mess we inherited from (insert name of previous party in power). We’re on the right path. But it would be irresponsible of us to move forward with (insert promises you intend to renege in). We promised you we would balance the budget by (insert date) and that is our top priority.

24 Months In: Our plan is working. We’re wrestling the province’s financial woes under control. Be patient with us. We know you’re disappointed that we haven’t been able to deliver on all our promises. Tough decisions had to be made and we’re committed to seeing them through.

 Final Year of Mandate at Most Opportune Time: Our plan is working. Thank you for being patient with us while we put the finances in order. We’ve come a long way, but there is still much work to be done. We need another term in office to complete the work.

Be prepared for paint by number politics for the next four years. The only thing more certain than death and taxes is the New Government Playbook.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Bread and Circuses – The Aftermath of the Provincial Election

June 9th, 2018 by Michael Dyet
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politics-of-deception

Hmmm, was the most telling aspect of the provincial election the fact that it was a victory of rhetoric over truth?

Now that the dust has settled, we need to take a look at what went down in the election and what we can learn from it.

Lesson 1: Political experience is now detrimental to a candidate’s chances. The public, disenchanted by politician’s behaviours, now favours the common man – untested and unsullied by time in the political trenches.

Doug Ford fit the bill perfectly. He has only one term as a city councillor to his credit. He fell short in the Toronto mayoralty race but regrouped and was the dark horse winner in the Conservative party leadership race. Now the political rookie is Premier.

Lesson: The most powerful tool in an election campaign is a simple, unequivocal message powerfully and repeatedly delivered. Sadly, it does not matter if the data to back up the message is flawed, lacking, or missing altogether.

Lesson: There is a different ethical code – or perhaps a total lack on one – when it comes to election advertising. The gloves were off like never before in this campaign. The bile and vitriol that jumped off our television screens would result in slander charges in any other situation.

Lesson: Increasingly, people cast their votes on the basis of what, or who, they do not want. Election candidates spend more time digging up dirt on their opponents and mud-flinging than on proclaiming what they will do – and regrettably that is rewarded.

Lesson: Voter apathy is at a dangerous level. The numbers of people who do not vote is as worrisome as the numbers who vote against rather than for. This election had the highest voter turnout since 1999 when Mike Harris won a second term. But that high water mark is still only 58% of eligible voters.

Lesson: One person’s decision can affect a party’s future. Liberal Liz Sandals elected not to run this time in her Guelph riding. That decision opened the door for Green Party leader Mike Schreiner who became the first Green Party candidate to hold a seat in parliament.

Considering that the Liberals fell one agonizing seat short of the minimum number required for official party status, Sandal’s decision to step aside could have been the difference-maker in that fall from grace for the Conservatives.

Aside: I would bet my last dollar that Liberal insiders are scrutinizing the riding by riding results looking for a riding where the Liberal candidate finished second by a small margin so they can call for a Hail Mary recount in the hopes of clawing back that one all-important seat.

Have you heard of the bread and circuses metaphor? It refers to the satisfaction of shallow or immediate desires of the populace at the expense of good policy. I fear that is what this election boiled down to in the final analysis. Will we spend the next four years paying the price?

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~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

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