I attended a Committee of Council meeting yesterday, partly to see my brother who was in attendance, partly to hear what was being said under the descriptions of “Queen Street Rapid Transit Master Plan from Downtown Brampton to Highway 50” and “Central Area Update – Story Map” Central Corridor update, both passionate subjects for this author.
Work duties interfered, and I didn’t get to sit in on the whole meeting, unfortunately, but I’ll review the Minutes when they are posted. But while I was in attendance, I thoroughly enjoyed a particular question posed by Councillor Dhillon. “What does “Future Ready” mean? Have we actually defined it?”
I have railed against useless jargism on this site before. It serves no purpose, means nothing, and only serves to undermine the political system as the slipper operators hide behind insubstantial slogans to avoid being the subject of any quantifiable or objective measure of accountability. If your only promise in life is to to “change the status quo” then really, buying a new stapler is mission accomplished! Its nonsense, its rubbish, and Councillor Dhillon gets it.
“Hey, World! Brampton is future ready!” Okay. Great! Come on Future! Poppa needs a new pair of shoes! No I don’t, here they are! Turns out my feet were Future Ready too!
What is Future Ready? Do we having floating streetlights for our flying car highways? Do we have transporter landing pads for Mr. Scotty to station when the Captain beams in?
And who’s future are we ready for? Mine? A self employed white man with a nuclear family?
Or my mother’s? A Disabled Senior who’s career in self employment left her with an inadequate pension to cover some of her medication costs?
Is it the future of Unionized bus drivers we are actively trying to downsize by switching to less labour intensive rail transit systems?
Or is it millenials with their fickle taste in condos and fair trade coffee beans?
Have we solved regional or world hunger?
Have we built enough affordable housing units? Or day care units?
Have we ended racism? Sexism? or Agism?
What does it mean to say we are future ready?
Boxers train for a fight. They get in shape, they practice techniques, fighting styles and develop a strategy for their upcoming opponent. Is that what we are talking about? The future is our enemy and we are ready to slay it like a mythical dragon? Are we taking down Ivan Drago in the 15th round and winning over the hearts and minds of the Russian crowd?
This all comes to mind, on this the 4th of May, when the world celebrates rebellions of the past (a long time ago in a galaxy far away, in fact) and (somewhat ironically in the context of this post) the victory of mysticism and the ancient ways over the glossy future of technological progress.
Maybe future ready just means we have stocked up on ammo and Apple MacBook deployable computer viruses to combat the foretold destruction of Brampton by a moon shaped Death Star? I don’t know either, Councillor Dhillon. No one does.
But hey, it sounds like a thing we are doing, so let’s go with it. “Fake it till you make it” is as good a strategy as any, I suppose. So lightsabers up! May the 4th be us!