So there we were, minding our own business at the office, trying to set up one of those nerf basketball deals that seem to be all the rage on the new lawyer shows on TV. (Both Jimmy Smits and Rob Morrow toss up shots while mulling over television points of law.) Mostly, we were just trying to distract ourselves from the Mad Men-esque wet bar we’d long ago established. The source for many alcohol fueled eruptions and near butter knife fights but precious few drunken trysts, alas.
When this email popped up on our computer screens:
From: “Karl Haab” <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010
Subject: Fw: Advance polls open tomorrow and who to vote for
City Elections for Mayor and Councillors
You can vote in the advance poll starting tomorrow, Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Locations attached.
If you don’t know who to vote for, find the recommended candidates at www.saveyourbusiness.ca
I’ve not included the attachment as it was pretty much as advertised, a list of advance polling stations. But the link is worth a little look-see if only to see firsthand the level of discourse going on out there as we close in on election day. Misinformed doesn’t do it justice as that would suggest a certain degree of ingenuousness or wide-eyed, golly-gee how `bout this at work. Ill-informed isn’t quite right either as, again, it denotes a passivity to it.
No, I have to Poe-it here, and create a word to strike the note I’m going for. Mal-informed. As in, a deliberate act of becoming misinformed. To cause oneself and others around you to be informationally misinformed.
Why is it that people want to be wrong? How is their cause, whatever that might be, well served if it’s based on lies and distortions? If being right means being so, so wrong, I just don’t want to be right.
These are not simply ideological or philosophical differences of opinion, I’m talking about here either. A quick glance through the site reveals out-and-out lies and mistruths. As if they’re coming straight from the campaign offices of Rob Ford or Rocco Rossi.
Exhibit A: Point #4 under Road Tolls and New Taxes. Taking away automobile lanes to make way for bike lanes on Jarvis Street at a cost of $6 million. Over and over, anti-bike lane candidates have tried to pimp this one. In fact, it cost less than 1/100th of that figure. And while it’s still being studied, so far, the ‘sheer madness’ of the bike lane causing traffic congestion along Jarvis Street does not seem to have materialized as was guaranteed by Rocco Rossi.
Exhibit B: Check out the site’s Ret Hot Lies link. Here you get an entire page dedicated to non-scientist Christopher C. Horner and Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank which gets millions of dollars of funding from Exxon, debunking the myth of climate change. “A world-wide scam as large as David Miller’s streetcars and is responsible for billions of dollars of government grants and grants by charities to study it.” Blah, blah, blah.
So it goes. There’s no pro-business, anti-Miller candidate the site won’t endorse. None who display even a flash of progressive spirit that it doesn’t want to see go down to ignominious defeat on October 25th.
Who cares, you ask. Why bring such dreck up like some political hairball that has massed in the stomach, causing much nausea and discomfort. Acknowledging it only gives it more credence than it deserves.
Yes but, ignoring it hasn’t helped make it go away either. In fact, the modus operandi behind www.saveyourbusiness.ca has driven this campaign, infecting the debate with lies and misinformation, twisted logic and a mountain of anecdotal evidence that’s not worth the paper it isn’t written on. This screed has been treated with de facto legitimacy when in reality it’s nothing more than biased, highly suspect ideology.
It’s tough to engage with any contrary opinion when it’s based on pure and utter subjective bullshit. If people like those behind this website are so off the mark and clearly motivated by such egregious mendacity, why should we concede any point to them? Their motivation is clearly suspect. Their opinions skewed through a perverse lens of deluded bias. Their goal is not legitimate debate or an honest and forthcoming exchange of ideas.
**Swoosh** That’s a tres, boys! I believe I just earned myself a Manhattan.
– Kobely submitted by Cityslikr