Crabby Dave

Time for another Jones Zone. It’s been a while but I’ve been sick for weeks with something that just won’t go away. It’s made me very crabby and I’ve had some extremely mean and scathing thoughts that I contemplated sharing just to raise some hell and release some vitriol. Luckily I reconsidered and I’m calmed down (pretty much), but beware that there may still be some crabby juice left as you read this.

First – the Ontario election: I am happy that the Liberals appear to be on the way out. We have been stuck with a school trustee who managed to rise far above her level of competency to become Premier of this province. This happened because the Conservatives blew the last election by running a disastrous American style campaign with a weak candidate (who always looked like he just sucked a lemon) thus allowing the Liberals to continue their reign of error. Wynne’s predecessor, Dalton McGuinty was an uninspired, do-nothing leader who stooped to criminality to ‘win’ that last election, then cravenly slipped out of sight to leave Wynne holding the bag. As it turns out, we Ontarians were left holding a multi-billion dollar boondoggle bag full of all the Liberal mismanagement (eHealth, Ornge, healthcare, highway contracts and a number of hydro disasters) plus the billion dollar criminal act of McGuinty using public money to cancel the gas plants for political gain which is a breach of fiduciary trust as per the Rule of Law. This election will hopefully get rid of the Liberals, unless Wynne’s ‘Hail Mary’ strategy of saying, “I’m going to lose so feel free to vote for us because it won’t matter” actually works. The Liberals have long been out of gas but I’m dubious that their replacements will live up to their promises (vote bait really) or will act in the best interests of the people and not just worry about staying in power. Make sure you vote.

About Voting: I voted in the advance poll and it was interesting. There is a new system! You check in as usual but you are handed a ballot in a sleeve. You open the sleeve behind the cardboard privacy screen and mark it in the usual way. I was surprised there were ten candidates on my ballot in Uxbridge! Never heard of or knew seven of them were even running. After marking the ballot, you close the sleeve and hand it to a person tending a machine that looks like a computer printer. They insert your sleeve; your ballot is sucked in from the sleeve and recorded then a slip is printed out! Very interesting.

About English: What is happening with the English language? One development that annoys me severely is the current trend of dropping the preposition ‘of’ in phrases we use often. It is now normal to say, “I had a couple drinks” or “I’ll be back in a couple hours”. Here is a current example from an article:

Jumping up 300 horsepower in any car makes passing a slower car or closing up the gap between a couple corners on a winding road much simpler. Screaming past a ton of cars on the freeway in just a couple seconds is so easy, and almost too addictive. (Kurt Bradley; The 725 Horsepower VLF Rocket Could Have Been So Good; Jalopnik; MSN)

This is how language evolves I suppose but it really bugs me for a couple reasons. First it’s incorrect and two it smacks of the effects of Ebonics (AAVE or African American Vernacular English) on proper English. The vast majority of us are not denizens of or even from a ghetto and sounding like we are is just silly and not even cool as far as I’m concerned. Why is it cool to say, “I axe yo pass da jiggy dis way” “Aight homey, here tis”. God help us. English has evolved and will evolve still but this crap is a travesty and dropping the odd preposition is the edge of a slippery slope.

A Good Sign: Muffin and I are watching a surprisingly good series on Netflix called “Greenleaf”. It is produced by Oprah Winfrey (who also acts in the odd episode) and is about a large megachurch in Memphis and the peccadillos of Bishop Greenleaf and his family. I wondered why this show felt so different and then I realized that while all but a very few characters are black, the plot and language are both identical to ‘white’ shows like Dallas or Leave it to Beaver. The characters are rich, well-spoken and there is a marked absence of Ebonics and black stereotypes. I applaud Oprah for producing this show and I see it as a step forward in demonstrating that people are all the same.

I guess I did manage to vent some crabby juice after all, but let me leave you with a message I give at every election: Our political system needs change that must come from the grassroots. Get involved and be the change that will see government truly work for the people.

See you soon.

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