There are few refuges during a brutal winter; so few places to hide and stay calm and warm.
It’s not the weather that has made this winter brutal. It has had its violent ups and downs but it is winter weather we have been getting used to over the past few years.
No, it’s not weather that has made this winter so distressing and cruel. It is the swelling madness in the world around us. It is depressing.
Hunkered down in his Maine hideaway horror author Stephen King Tweeted the other day:
“Somewhere in America there must be a bar for depressed people featuring Unhappy Hour.”
The craziness is everywhere.
In Syria they can’t bury the bodies of the women and children fast enough as government and Russian warplanes relentlessly rain down bombs and rockets.
In Ontario, Patrick Brown and the Conservatives continue to rip the party apart like a pack of wild dogs.
In the U.S. they want to arm teachers to stop the school massacres occurring roughly once a week. If that doesn’t work, perhaps they’ll arm the students, offering them bonus grades and National Rifle Association discounts on textbooks.
In Canada we have been treated to the Bollywood performances of the prime minister and his family on a taxpayer funded vacation in India. Wow, that white sherwani with golden threads, the kurta shirts, the embroidered saris and the garlands of flowers strung around their necks!
And, those awesome bhangra dance moves! Our prime minister certainly can preen and dance.
Wonder who is getting the bill for all those costumes?
And, wasn’t it just a few months ago that there was raging controversy in this country over cultural appropriation? Several media editors lost their jobs because of it.
When winter madness becomes too much, there is only one escape: The movie theatre.
I am a reluctant movie goer because today’s films often are too much bang-bang, boom-boom special effects efforts. Much gunfire and explosions but little in the way of real story.
February actually was a good month for the movies. There were some meaningful movies with stories that carried important messages.
The first I saw was Wonder about a boy with a facial deformity who is ostracized and bullied at school because of his different looks. In the end he wins an award at graduation and receives a standing ovation.
The message: Treat people with understanding and respect despite their looks, or their race, creed or colour.
Then there was Black Panther the mega-hit with lots of sci-fi stuff and special effects but some important messages. The film is elevating, raising up black people, women and African countries that the U.S. president has called s-holes.
Black Panther is a movie created by black people and starring black people but it is a movie that applies to all people. Our colour doesn’t matter. We are all people working to solve problems to create a better world.
I also saw The Butler, an older movie about a White House butler during the 1960s civil rights wars in the U.S. It is a story that shows just how far we have progressed in trying the eliminate racial prejudice.
I’m glad I went to the movies. Because after seeing these three I was no longer looking for a bar that offered Unhappy Hour.
The movies left me with the feeling that despite the world’s current descent into madness, there is hope. They showed how real people have overcome bigotry, bullying, plain stupidity and over time have continued to make the world a better place.
Progress in making the world a better place has slowed for now because too many political leaders are narcissistic, not-too-bright duds. That will change, however, when more of us realise we must stop accepting mediocrity and start electing real leaders.
That will happen. Real people will begin electing wise leaders who will help build understanding and tolerance, and work relentlessly for the common good, not just for themselves, their party or a political pressure group.
As the superhero of Black Panther tells the United Nations in the film’s final scene:
“In times of crises, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build walls.”