If you were a man, or more specifically, an Atlanta minister named Creflo Dollar, and you were asking 200,000 Creflo Dollar Ministries faithful to send you $300 each so you could purchase a G650 Gulfstream luxury jet for $65 million, you would not seem logical. If you were a mouse, dancing Gangnam Style in front of the cat, plucking whiskers from the tabby’s beard while singing, “I’m too sexy for my cheese,” you would not appear to be logical either.
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Enter toxoplasma. No, it isn’t the newest TV from Andre’s, nor is it Speedy Gonzalez’s new theme song, nor is it a way to miniaturize surgeons and their ship enough to inject them into the veins of patients. It is a common parasite that inhabits the brains of an estimated three billion people worldwide and one-in-five in the United States. Toxoplasma gondii is a unicellular organism that appears to override the most basic survival instincts in mice and men. Let’s say it makes them more—well—American?
Ah yes, the Excited States, where “prosperity preachers” like Creflo Dollar have a singular goal: get more of them! This is a country out of control over cash, dough, money and the almighty dollar—for the half-of-one-per-cent. These plutocrats/rats have 98 per cent of the world’s cheese now and they want even more.
Canada is almost as bad. Our prime minister is on board with Reaganomics. Stephen Harper wants Canadians to behave like Americans so he can freely arrest and detain Canadian citizens for no apparent reason, write cheques (for poorer mousetraps) to multinational corporations, and basically decimate the middle class. Secretly Stephen dreams of being Mickey Mouse, but most Canadians realize, he’s just goofy.
What about the rats in Alberta? The Progressive Conservative party had not lost an election in the most right-wing province in Canada in 44 Tory-blue years. Fifty-four brand spanking new NDP seats were won versus the Conservative’s eleven. This is not just a political thrashing, but a severe beat-down of a failing laissez-faire doctrine that has ostracized 99 per cent of us for 35 years. Dare I say that Mickey really cut the cheese in Alberta?
Toxoplasma, cognitive dissonance or plain ignorance all contribute to the colossal misunderstanding that we humans actually believe everything can be fixed with more logic. Overthinking or being too rational is the reason we so often wind up gridlocked in conflict. We fool ourselves. We believe we are rational creatures, when all the evidence demonstrates the unconscious, emotional brain regions make most of our decisions for us. To that end, we cannot be too hard on the politicians, plutocrats and billionaires who quietly sent us to the mousetrap first. Evidence of our colossal ability to be fooled can be found in our fast-paced technological world where oligarchs have us coveting thy neighbour’s smartphone constantly. Microsoft has even conducted a study aimed at learning how modern technology is impacting the attention span of the people who use it. Well, the “use-its” have a serious problem, because the study claims they have shrivelled their attention span to below that of a Goldfish. No mouse in the house has a perfect brain.
Fall further inside the techno-monopolistic rabbit hole and we find another study that suggests that humans consciously or unconsciously break possessions that they’d like to replace. Dubbed the must-have effect, it confidently describes our oops-ability to break our Android—just to get the new one. It also aids Google’s measly $13.7 billion annual profit and bolsters their 95 per cent monopoly of search in Canada.
In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck famously wrote, “Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
What happened in Alberta isn’t scary—it is stunning. Albertans simply noticed en masse, what the rest of the world is realizing now is that greedy multinational corporations, crooked Wall Street bankers and disingenuous politicians have lost all fear of the cat. The only question that remains is how long we will allow corporate rats to dance Arrogant Style in front of us, plucking trillions of dollars from the kitty while singing, “C’mon Dumbo, fly! Open them ears! The magic feather was just a gag! You can fly! Honest, you can!”