When telling jokes can get you jailed…

Sometimes, I have a terrible feeling that the social engineers are attempting to create a Canada which is very much like the good soldier Svejk’s Austro-Hungaria!

Well, perhaps they are not trying, but they sure are succeeding!

Why do I think this?

The novel ‘The Good Soldier Svejk’ by Jaroslav Hasek, widely regarded as the earliest example of modernist writing, is said to be perhaps the first ‘anti-war’ novel ever.  Yet, it describes no combat, no killing, no military training…. 

I don’t think it is an anti-war novel at all.  I think, like his contemporary Kafka’s ‘The Castle’, it is anti-bureaucracy novel!  It uses humour to explain the ridiculesness of existing in a over-bureaucritized, regulations-trump-common-sense system where humans are merely an afterthought!

And, like it or not, that is what Canada is slowly but surely becoming!

All right, let’s keep the ‘big cases’ tackled by the ‘Human Rights Commissions’ aside for a while, and look at some of the other examples of where ‘bureaucratization’ has replaced normal scoial discourse:

This one, I witnessed with my own eyes, or I might have had a hard time believing it..

A man, obviously ill, produced an invalid publich health insurance card at a medical clinic. The nice lady behind the counter refused his offer to pay to see a doctor:  ‘As a resident of Ontario, you are entitled to free health care.  So, you are not allowed to pay money to see a doctor.  Just go down to the government office, get the problems with your card straightened out, and we’ll be glad to put your name down on the waiting list.’

How nice!

And while I am on healthcare, how about this one…

A elderly gentleman (in his 70’s or 80’s) came to a specialist’s office for his appointment.  Being forgetful, he could not find his ‘card’…but did not want to loose the appointment, as he had waited 3 months to get in.  The receptionist went into a bit of a panic…  Paying was out of question, that would be illegal.  Seeing the patient without having the card first – well, they could face big penalties when they got audited (not if, but when – most doctors are audited 2-3 times each year to make sure they adhere to all the government regulations, like appointment length per patient).

After talking to the doctor, she came up with a unique solution:  the doctor would see him, no card, no charge, but during his lunch.  And it would not be recorded on the official medical chart, so the doctor could not get into trouble with the government. 

How insane is that!?!?!

When doctors are afraid of seeing patients because of sanctions by the government, we have Svejk-like bureaucritization of our society! 

And don’t let me get started on education, where a kindergarten teacher is not allowed to comfort a child that fell, because it might infringe cultural practices…

The laws tell us what kind of signs we are – and are not allowed – to put up to promote our businesses.

How can one expect humane treatment, when the bureaucratic process becomes more important than people?

But all this is only a tiny, tiny part of the whole machine!

Yes, a bureaucratic machine is the universal result of an overbloated government which continuously  attempts to expand its existence by regulating more and more aspects of its citizens’ lives.  And, as a rule, bureaucrats tend to be very, very humourless…

Of course, this is where the Human Rights Commissions come in:  their role is to keep the machine going by eradicating all semblance of independent thought.  After all, independent thought might lead to independent action – and we only want machine government regulated actions around here!

Is it surprising, then, that humour just might be made illegal in Canada?

This guy, Guy Earle, is being dragged through the legal system, because his jokes were ‘hate speech’….here is his account of that saga:  (Note – may contain offensive humour/language.)

It seems insane, but the HRCs DO have the right to forbit this man from ever telling a joke again!

Since their rulings are recorded with a real court, they are binding – and were this comedian to breech it, he could indeed be jailed.  There is a fundraised for him this coming Saturday, in Toronto.

Now, I do recall some countries – under some regimes – where people could be jailed for telling jokes.  Coincidentally, they all valued bureaucracies over people.  Namely, Nazi Germany, Communist Soviet Union and its satellites, and so on. 

Oh, and let’s not forget, the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire of the good soldier Svejk!