Opinion – How we select our ‘pressing problems’ and ignore others

The French postmodern thinker Michel Foucault wisely pointed out that history is about a series of competing discourses vying for social power and legitimacy.

People Dying

Just recently I read that more folks than ever are dying homeless in the streets in my city but other than a passing reference on our local news channel, few take heed. The homeless don’t have much of a voice. They have no power whatsoever, so many just die.

Other horrors like a mass stabbing, however, suddenly make international headlines.

Why is that?

Surely systemic problems affecting many are just as important as the trend toward violent crime. When I was a kid, violent crime just didn’t happen in my neighborhood.

With no disrespect intended to the victims of violent crime, the numbers are more than double when it comes to deaths due to homelessness. In Toronto, we currently have about 10,000 homeless people, and one shelter alone expects 200 deaths this year.

Source – CBC.ca

But I don’t see that on Reuters, Euronews, BBC or any other worldwide outlets.

While Trudeau waffles about helping the oil and gas sector meet the real and pressing demand in Europe, many Canadians plea that he scraps the carbon tax during the inflation crisis. But does he care? No. Like all good authoritarians, he must be ‘right’, and adapting policy to alleviate a real emergency seems utterly below him — unless, of course, it means ruining the lives of working-class truckers. Then Trudeau will declare an emergency and clamp down with an iron fist, freezing bank accounts and sending those people into despair and economic ruin.

Climate Change

I found two interesting stories about climate change this morning. Actually, about the many causes of climate change. Oil and Gas of course were #1 at the top of the list. But another interesting cause is city construction and concrete smothering our Earth.

‘straight from my phone’ – Just My Stuff

Why do we never hear anything about this?

And why is nothing done?

Could some local politicians be ‘greased’ by overzealous developers to make zoning bylaws about as firm as a sheet of toilet paper?

Noise Pollution

Speaking of pollution, the noise pollution has been so bad on my street that I just had to get out for a walk yesterday. I plugged my ears, knowing that the city itself is noisy, and went for my trek.

It was actually quite nice with the foamy earplugs in. But without them, I would have been assaulted by dangerous decibels pretty much the whole time. A new Light Rail Transport, Condos going up everywhere, gas-powered leaf blowers… a walk in the city is like a walk thru bedlam. And this is just midtown!

‘straight from my phone’ – Just My Stuff

Right now I am in pain around my ears from wearing -30 dB over-the ear protection. Even inside the home, for the past couple of weeks, I have needed protection. I alternate between putting foamies inside my ears and wearing two different headsets over my ears. One method creates pain inside, and the other is painful on the bone near my ear. Just now I put on a hat and then over-the-ear phones. That’s helping but the situation is absurd.

Noise pollution is a serious health concern and it has made the last couple of weeks extremely challenging in our supposedly ‘quiet’ neighborhood.

And yet this will not make international headlines.


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