Remember when I was going on about the latest news in my old church? Yeah, I know. I’ve been a non-believer for twenty some odd years and yet anytime my old church is mentioned in the news, I’m all over it.
Turns out I’m not the only one. The National Post published a rather sneering little article on Saturday about what the writer sees as a growing split within the United Church. Of course, the United Church has been debating with itself for decades, but according to the Post, this is a rather new thing. But check out the comments.
When did the UCC become the latest target of conservative rage? Was it the same time Statistics Canada was preparing the latest mandatory long form census?
When I was a kid, I played Joseph in the Christmas nativity play by wearing a bathrobe and sporting a tea towel on my head, all in the name of showing how pleased we were that our saviour has come. What I didn’t know was that my Tory parents were actually indoctrinating me into radical leftist politics.
Five years ago, we moved to Lachine from Nun’s Island and I declared that the next time we moved, it will be to a house that we buy.
Well, we’re moving again. But it’s to another rental. So I lied. If we want to buy a house/condo for a family of three on the island of Montreal, according to my credit union, we collectively need a lot more money than we have and commuting in from Terrebonne where there might be houses for our budget just isn’t going to happen.
So we’re rentahs 4 life. And Gail Prue (formerly Vaz-Oxlade) says that’s ok.
The main reason we’re moving is for family. Our wee man has no friends on our street and I always feel bad that he spends his weekends hanging out with his middle-aged parents. It’s an older neighbourhood with few young families. The new place, a townhouse and apartment rental complex in Pointe Claire, does have a lot of children and the shared green space that the backs of the houses sit on will allow him to run around a little more freely than living on a busy street corner will. So for now, the plan is that he grows up a typical bilingual West Island boy (he speaks French to us now) and I expect that he’ll get bored of the suburbs and move downtown when he’s done university. Or he gets the Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. Or his skills as a carpenter are badly required for all that solar-powered housing they’ll need in the newly emerging African economic powerhouse. But no pressure or anything.
This time last year, there was a possibility that I was going to move back to Saint John but it never panned out. I’d still like to, but I have to admit that I like the life I’ve built here. As much as I love having access to downtown, particularly in the summer, I just prefer quieter neighbourhoods. Although Pointe Claire does have a lot of traffic noise, the closer you are to Boul. St-Jean.
My life would have been different had I gone to school in Toronto or Montreal but both U of T and McGill rejected me due to crappy high school grades. Had I gone, I would likely have stayed in the city after graduation. But I moved to Montreal in my thirties and just didn’t have the desire to live right in the city. Nun’s Island was an interesting experiment in that I could be downtown in 7 minutes by bus but it was a very alienating place to live. It wasn’t the friendliest, most neighbourly place.
There’s another reason for moving to another rental: laziness. I have no desire at all to be maintaining a property that I own. I just can’t be bothered clearing gutters on a Sunday morning when I’d rather be drinking a pot of coffee and watching Fareed Zakaria on CNN.
But son of Jor-El, do I ever hate moving. The cost of the hired movers, the packing, the purging, the unpacking, the stressing, the even more purging. The sudden realization that your hardwood floor actually looks that bad when the furniture’s off it.
But did I mention the indoor/outdoor pool? ‘Cause there’s that.
The main reason I keep a subscription to National Geographic is that, once a year, they publish an article about the latest findings in the field of anthropology. The idea that, thousands of year ago, we shared living space with different branches of our family tree is something I love reading about in as much as I wonder how our world would have looked had these other ancestors survived.
Today, there is an article at the National Geographic website which suggests Neanderthals may have survived longer than we previously thought. One of the theories about their extinction was that they died at the hands of our modern ancestors. Or it could have been environmental. In Robert J Sawyer’s trilogy, The Neanderthal Parallax, a parallel world is discovered where Neanderthals not only are the dominant species of humans on Earth, but they’ve also created a kind of ideal society of environmental sustainability, low population, atheism, and open marriages. They also carry a recording device embedded in their arms so that everything you ever do or is done to you is recorded for posterity. This is regarded as a good thing. But generally the novels put forward the theory that Neanderthals were not “less intelligent” than modern humans.
I guess that’s why I’ve always liked science fiction because a lot it deals with how humans cope with meeting a competing intelligence. Our track record, and how we deal with our contemporary primate cousins, suggests that we still have a lot to learn.