It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack

It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack

I spend an inordinate amount of my time just shaking my head

By Allan Hewitson

One of my old bosses used to pick up regularly on an often-repeated phrase by many people in different walks of life — “we live in very interesting times.”

It has been a literal truth probably since before the days of the dinosaurs. We do live in interesting times. And certainly my times are interesting – and daily events always seem not to fit in with this adage.

As a retired writer, I do spend an inordinate amount of my time just shaking my head about just how fascinating diverse daily reporting is on news media.

Trolling through the internet news on a day, just too cold to go out and half watching/listening to the Power Panel on CBC, I’m diverted by a few fascinating items:

• President Donald Trump mistakenly bragging that the U.S. has sold American fighter jets that exist only in a video game, to the Norwegian Air Force.

He claimed ‘F-52s’, a fictional warplane from the Call of Duty video game have been exported to the Scandinavian country, during meetings with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House.

It’s the kind of slip of the tongue that Trump doesn’t really need right now while the fallout from the publishing of the critical best-selling book Fire and Fury continues to rain down on Washington.

• Oprah Winfrey’s stirring speech at the Golden Globe Awards in support of actresses who claim they were sexually abused quickly whirled into appeals for the entertainer to enter the next presidential election.

A day later my Facebook features a video clip of Oprah herself during an interview on racial issues (shot some time ago) saying “older white people clinging to racial hatreds just have to die.”

Jarring, but it demonstrates just how quickly social media can find something negative to take just about anybody down.

• A day later, we see Oprah Winfrey in different circumstances, this time in gumboots on her multi-million dollar Santa Barbara property showing the damage caused around her by the deadly southern California mudslides in which so many died and so many homes were lost to mud, after surviving the blazing wildfires in the same area just weeks ago.

• In Calgary, a naturist group proposing a family-friendly naked swim event in a local pool has been forced by the city to scrap the event after thousands signed an online petition calling for the sold-out pool party to be halted.

The city cited security concerns arising from “volatile public commentary.”

The group had held similar events in the past without much comment. Calgary Nude Recreation said it was “outrageous that lawful recreation can be prohibited by an incredibly vocal minority.”

They added they plan legal action against the city. Interesting — and changing times.

• Canada has filed an expansive complaint with the World Trade Organization accusing the U.S. of breaking some 200 international trade rules, right in the middle of NAFTA negotiations. The complaint challenges the ways that the U.S. investigates products for subsidies and below-cost sales.

The U.S. called the claims “unfounded” – in the meantime, the international NAFTA negotiations resume shortly in Montreal. The action was not immediately publicized by the Canadian government. I’m pretty sure by the time this gets published our interesting times will have evolved into a noisier reaction.

Interesting times indeed.

The Olympic Games are coming up shortly in South Korea and Canada has named its Olympic hockey team, immediately dubbed by the media as Team Who.

It is Hockey Canada’s response to the decision of the National Hockey League not to participate in these 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. It’s not really Team Who either – there are plenty of ex-NHLers on the team, goalie Ben Scrivens, Rene Bourque, Gilbert Brule, Chris Kelly, Andrew Ebbett, Mason Raymond, Derek Roy and with names like Dave King, Martin Brodeur and Sean Burke on the 20-member staff group,

With all participating countries unable to use current NHL players, I see this as a bit of an advantage to Canada and I will watch the games with interest. Aye, interesting times doubled up!