I will begin with the simplest illustration of bad turning into good. . Its inspiration was revealed in a telephone conversation between high school friend Lynne and myself.
Me: It looks like Christmas is upon us. I hate, despise and detest Christmas.
Lynne: I do too. The only good thing about Christmas is the egg nog lattes at Starbucks.
Me: I cannot believe this. I totally agree with you. When I was visiting in California last month I did a live video on Instagram from a Starbucks in Larkspur. “You cannot believe this, Christmas music is already being played in Starbucks stores BUT the egg nog lattes are here as well!
Lynne: Yes! Egg nog latte with an extra shot.
Me: That is exactly my order.
My experience being stranded in Victoria provides several examples of bad turning to good. I was able to stay in the Empress Fairmont Hotel waiting for the weather to clear and I had such a fine time for many reasons. The staff were so genuinely gracious, many had worked at the Empress for most of their lives and were so proud of their commitment to the hotel. This is, of course, in marked contrast to the staff at Trump International Hotel whose liaison is brief and rather nefarious.
The concierge at the Empress arranged a tour of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, conveniently so close to the hotel. I briefly sat in the visitor’s gallery during a very boring session but then it was off to a guided tour which proved delightful and I was able to learn the history of my new-found province while examining many artifacts.
But then sheer serendipity struck, there was a coincidence collision. I emailed my namesake, the wonderful Richard Alan McBride who is not a relative. I met him at the Trump International Hotel – he was visiting with a staff member. Namesake and I instantly hit it off. I tell people that he is so weird, that he makes me look normal. We laugh so much and encourage each other to be more outrageous than we already are. Namesake underwent awful surgery in Germany, escaped the hospital and flew home to Victoria a week earlier than anticipated. He opened my email and we lunched at the Empress before I was finally able to wing my way home, where I was stranded. He made the sweetest video that I am attaching to this blog. He so cleverly reenacts the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Richard does not resemble Audrey Hepburn particularly but is it very darling.
But now we are back to bad because this is the sad tale of Tiffany’s in New York. It is adjacent to a Trump Hotel – so everything is cordoned off with a terrible police presence complete with with homeland security dogs and other armaments. I suppose the good news is that I will not go to New York and see such a desecration. Namesake says that the message of the iconic move is: “nothing bad ever happens at Tiffany’s.” Breakfast was obviously filmed pre-Trump.
I am. for many reasons, back to my Trump rant. Kurt Andersen, writing in the September 2017 edition of The Atlantic discussed the role of religion in turning the GOP into a group of “fantasy prone true believers”. “One reason I think, is religion. The GOP is now quite explicitly Christian. The party is the American coalition of white Christians, papering over doctrinal and class differences—and now led, weirdly, by one of the least religious presidents ever.”Andersen goes on to talk about the role of religion and economics. “But as the incomes of middle-and-working class-class peopled flatlined, Republicans pooh-poohed rising economic inequality and insecurity. Economic insecurity correlates with greater religiosity, and among white Americans, greater religiosity correlates with voting Republican. For Republican politicians and their rich-getting-richer donors, that’s a virtuous circle, not a vicious one.”
I became an atheist while studying the Sociology of Religion at the University of Alberta. It was so obvious that the church was being used to oppress the poor, keeping them under the control of the rich. I, only recently have had dealings with the super-rich. I was out of my league, I was misled and lied to. But I have seen the error of my ways. Those rich folk never will see the error of their ways because they live in a world of make-believe.
Hopefully Richard Alan McBride’s delightful video will be attached. I have also included a photograph taken inside the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.