Translating Kinsella #4
What’s the difference between a Tory and Liberal?
Easy. The Tory stabs you in the front. The Liberal stabs you in the back. Yet, a knife by any other name would still be a neoliberal procapitalist swine nose deep in the pockets of big business and more concerned with votes than with people.
Anyway onto the word du jour: APOLOGY.
When Kinsella or any Liberal make an apology it means neither an apologia (to speak [rationally] in one’s defense) nor the more contemporary “apology” (an expression of sincere regret for harmful action). Indeed, in the Liberal world an apology actually means the very opposite: a fleeting admission of wrongdoing followed by a rambling disavowal or rationalization in the desperate hope of not having an unethical action cost too many votes nor linger belatedly in the public’s mind.
We’ve seen Kinsella apologize publicly for his public stupidity (i.e. his blog) several times (his sexist portrayal of Lisa Macleod, his racist insensitive remarks), so one would think he’s learned a thing or two about contrition, reparation, apology. So how did he respond to the latest Liberal fiasco (an utterly tasteless photoshopped version of the famous photograph of Ruby shooting Oswald in the stomach in which Oswald’s face is replaced by Stephen Harper’s)???
Kinsella’s response was remarkable only in its predictability. First, take the high road. Admit it was stupid and as he says “full stop“. Oh, if only that were the case! “Full stop” for Kinsella means two things. First, look at me, I’m an honourable man who could threaten to equivocate but instead I’ll assume the full brunt of my unethical actions. In reality, it’s a pause of breath in order to buy time to equivocate and rationalize. Note the line immediately following “full stop”. The lesson is not that being an asshole is wrong, but simply be more careful next time with the crap you post. Although, based on Kinsella’s public blundering, I’m not sure he’s the best person to hand out that advice.
Next, comes the equivocation and rationalization that undermines wholly an attempted apology. What we did was stupid BUT you haven’t heard the rationatization yet.
1. Conservatives did the same with Dion.
2. At least we disciplined the idiot responsible (I wonder if Kinsella reprimanded himself after his cock ups)
3. We “apologized” (which we immediately disavowed through all this rationalization)
Of course nothing resembling a real apology was ever forthcoming. There is no ownership of the offence, no regret, no contrition. Only disavowal, beautifully embodied in the image captioned “Liberals apologize for photo”. Rather than holding up the offending material in an act of contrition, Kinsella is holding up an image of Dion, which he hopes will rationalize the behaviour of Liberals and exonerate them in the eyes of the public.
One last thing. What to make of Liberals when they behave unethically yet refuse even to “apologize”, even in the Liberal sense of the term?? I’m thinking here of their desperate smear of my MPP, in which Kinsella was a seminal participant. Does it get much worse than attempting to besmirch a person’s long earned character with something they did 40 years ago as a teenager while living on the streets of Toronto? Does it get much worse than attempting to label someone as a friend of pedophiliacs and “axe murderers” by willfully misreading passages in an award winning theological treatise and in her past sermons? Does it get much worse than translating scurrilous libel into Polish and targeting the Polish/ Catholic households in the hopes of raising their wrath against an upstart United Church minister? Yet, never an apology by any of them. Is that because their pangs of conscience prevented them from issuing their typical hollow apology? Or are they just assholes? Something tells me the former is less of an option!
Harper scares me, but no more than a Liberal. After all, a knife by any other name …