It’s June and the days are long and the best part is that we can spend them outside, in the garden, on the deck, on patios, on the water and in the parks and on the beaches. I could do this all year long. I joined Camp who was already seated in our usual corner. I was upset and wanted to discuss the rise of pseudo-religious far right conspiracies that seem to proliferate, especially during this pandemic.
‘Camp, we’ve been down this road many times but it’s really unsettling how many people still believe in the easter bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy,’ I said.
‘Not to mention angels, horned devils and immaculate conception,’ Camp retorted.
‘I’m not talking about established cults,’ I said. ‘Religion is for the believers, as are cults. Let me read you the quote by CNN following results of a poll done last week.
‘About one-quarter of Republicans, 23%, agree with a set of conspiratorial beliefs linked to the QAnon movement, according to a PRRI report released Thursday. These believers said they mostly or completely agreed that “the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation,” that “there is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders,” and, finally, that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.” Among the full American public, 14% mostly or completely agree with all those statements, with a broad majority saying they disagree.’
‘That’s just downright scary,’ Camp said. I bet you all of these people are also anti-vaxxers and believe that covid-19 is a hoax, cooked up by Bill Gates and the Clintons and the climate-crises is a socialist conspiracy. And guns save lives and Trump won the election.’
‘There you have it. And all of them believe in an old white, bearded god who will descend on the unbelievers, us included, with vengeance and fury. And the truth will set you free. How about those 215 children in the Kamloops Residential School mass grave. What kind of truth is that?’
‘The truth of that is to this day, the First Nations and indigenous people are treated as a substandard species, not on an equal human and homo sapiens footing as the European invaders and conquerors. Not just here in Canada but the world over, from Australia to Brazil, from the Mexico to Russia. It’s that simple and that complex,’ Camp said.
We both watched a pod of colorful kayaks paddle towards Keats island. I wanted to change the subject to something positive and closer to home. ‘Have you noticed that the menus and the food has improved in all the restaurants and eateries around here? Everybody is trying to up their ante and bring in the customers? Clare and I plan to eat out at least once a week, to support the local gastronomy and treat ourselves. A win-win as they say.’
‘I’ll talk to Muriel. I’m sure she is ready to come out of her foxhole that she’s been sequestered in since the beginning of this mess. We’ve all had the first jab and should be good to go.‘
Vicky showed up with two fresh pints, right on time. ‘Did you have your first shot?’ Camp asked.
‘Yes, finally, and it feels good. I don’t know what’s in it, how it works or who else has had it but I think we all need to do everything we can to beat this virus. I’ve read a post by an ICU nurse, a friend of mine from Winnipeg and her point of view is devastating and distressing. If nothing else we have to get the vaccine to help out those nurses and doctors. And it’s not just about me, but everybody around me.’
‘Wow Vicky, that’s the longest speech I ever heard from you,’ I said.
‘Just telling you how it is boys. Cheers,’ she said.