April Fools, Dunce
By N Oji Mzilikazi
Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 23, Number 08 April 18, 2013
Centuries of Roman Catholic Church domination and absolutism left such indelible footprints on every aspect of Western civilisation, they’re oft invisible, an unconscious influence, but inescapable.
Civilization years were numbered from the birth of Jesus. Thus B.C. (Before Christ) covers the period before Jesus birth, and A.D. (Anno Domino) which has become obsolete, the years after. 2013 thus speaks to the number of years since Jesus’ birth.
The awarding of a cup as the trophy to the victor(s) of a sporting event is of religious ideology; the cup represents the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. It’s not by chance the Bishop is one of the pieces in the game of Chess.
Bishops represent the Pope; the Pope represents Jesus, and thus bequeathed with “God-given” spiritual jurisdiction over the world. The Pope crowned emperors and kings. His doing so, his approval, birthed the Divine Rights of Kings.
Kings ensured canon law was upheld in the land. Kings sent forth soldiers often with the cross or other Christian symbols embroidered or molded into armour, to subdue and convert heathens – steal wealth, expropriate land and property, wage wars of expansion and colonialism under the aegis of the church.
The Pope was the true font of secular power. Therefore it was imperative for kings, emperors –leaders, to have a “spiritual”/political advisor, thus the bishop. Chess reflects that political arrangement.
The inability to challenge the unfettered power of the church led to endless evils — in the name of God, and tyranny.
Quebec is the perfect example of the response to the tyranny of the Catholic Church in controlling, regulating society.
Whereas the majority of curse words English speaking persons are familiar went have a sexual root, the curse words of French Quebeccers are rooted in the holy things of the church: “Colis” is the Chalice, “Este” the Host, “Tabanac” reference the Tabanacle, “Sacrament” the sacrament, and “Christ” Christ.
Those religious-rooted curse words are so ordinary; its users might have no knowledge of their origins, the unconscious influence of the church in their lives.
A dunce is a hard headed person, someone who does not easily comprehend and/or learn. Dunce has also come to mean, equated with stupid. The roots, origin of the term is in religion, religious differences.
John Duns Scotus was a 13th Century scholastic theologian whose followers, the Dunses, refused to accept the new theology of the Reformation, and were deemed hard headed, stupid people.
Neither education nor position precludes someone from being, in West Indian parlance, “duncey-head” – stupid.
Doing the same things the same way produce the same results, can never produce a different outcome. Yet we have individuals, business persons, and organisations that persistently run their lives, businesses, and operations on weak, ineffective, moribund templates, and still hold out hope for success. That is being a dunce.
Yes, self-preservation is hard-wired into humans. But when aspiration to leadership is only to “eat ah food,” and leadership is only about “eating ah food” at the expense of the people one claim to serve; whose needs and cause one promised to advance, it qualifies one as a dunce.
Political/Community leadership must have a clear understanding of the situation, mentality, and beliefs of their constituents, their people, as well as have very clear ideas for their betterment, empowerment.
Ideas must be profoundly dialectical for only well-defined strategies work.
Well-intentioned is not good enough. As goes the adage, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” And, I must add, “and corpses of the dunce and those who empower dunces.”
Colonialism hard-wired self-hate, self-sabotage, procrastination, issues with authority both real and perceived, under-achievement, the inability to celebrate the success of others, the bad-talking of others, and the spirit of discouragement, thus positioning its children to articulate from the dunce template, and have only the dunce as friends.
Don’t be that guy/gal. Check yourself! Choose as friends people that are progressive, industrious, supportive, and are about betterment.
Though humankind has yet to figure out how the pyramids were built, science and technology have people today believing they are better, wiser, more intelligent, more enlightened, and even more sophisticated than the people of bygone eras.
Personally, I believe that that people are increasingly becoming dumber, stupid, dunces and fools.
April, as everyone knows, is the month of fools. After all, April 1st is All Fools Day, and boy! Have I seen fools this month.
From time immemorial, time was either calculated, measured by the phases of the moon or the changing of the seasons. Nonetheless, the spring or vernal equinox making day and night of equal length always occurred on March 21. Consequently, earlier civilizations marked either March or April as the first month of the year. Rome went with March.
The vernal equinox was such a marker of time that in the Horoscope chart/astrological readings, Zodiacal signs always starts with Aries, the period from March 21 to April 20.
Around 47 B.C., Julius Caesar revamped the Roman calendar and changed the order of the months. January, named after the Janus, replaced March, and became the first month of the new Calendar. The end result was the root names of some of the months out of sync with their meanings.
Many English words have their roots in Latin. For example, the Latin word “octo” means eight (8). An octopus is an octopus because it has eight legs. October was thus the eight month of the calendar.
The Julian calendar repositioned September (from septum meaning 7), October (from octo meaning 8), and November (from novem meaning 9) to being months 9, 10, and 11. The Julian calendar was used until 1581.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII reformed the calendar, dropping days and the like, and it is what we currently use.
In light of those Calendar changes, it’s easy to see why those who held on the April 1st as New Year’s Day would be dubbed April Fools. But April Fools do exist.
Mayor Michael Applebaum alleged he was threatened with an ultimatum by Yves Francoeur, the head of the Montreal Police Brotherhood. Either he change his mind in regards to reverting to the old police time schedule or face personal attacks.
Coincidentally, it seems as if every week there is a new revelation that impugns Applebaum’s credibility and integrity; the latest going back to 2003/2004 duplex flip and building permit that he claimed were honest mistakes.
Notice Applebaums’s defense. “The laws were very clear – I did not have to declare this property because I was not the owner at the time of the declaration.” Even so Mr. Mayor…even so…
The heat saw the mayor arrogantly tell Montrealers “to watch a little less television and take a big breath of fresh air.” Though April fools would readily believe it was about the (light) weight of revelations coming out of the Charbonneau corruption inquiry.
Bernard Trépanier, “Mr. 3 per cent” hasn’t given up anything, has an answer for everything, and former mayor Gerald Tremblay and his right-hand man Frank Zampino haven’t testified as yet. I want to watch television to see how deep the corruption went, find out if anyone else/who else on the executive aided, abetted.
It is interesting to note that quite a few witnesses at the Charbonneau Commission paints Gerald Tremblay as innocent of wrongdoing, unaware. Though zebras cannot change their stripes, but people can change, thank God, I’m not April fooled or a dunce.
In May 1991, when former mayor Gerald Tremblay was Quebec Industry Minister, he was forced to admit that the Quebec cabinet had approved a $2.9 million loan to Raymond Malenfant and had agreed to keep it secret until April 1992.
Revelations of the legal but an unusual procedure came on the heels of leaked information that Premier Robert Bourassa had chosen the Charlevoix riding — which benefitted Malenfant, for its pilot casino project. Plus, it also emerged that Malenfant was seeking a $42 million mortgage on his properties from the Caisse de depot et de placement, Quebec’s huge pension and investment fund.
While Tremblay didn’t do anything wrong. It is my belief that people in power and/or positions, who play on the edges, walk the line, use “technical” points and semantics as escape hatches have to be watched, cannot be blindly trusted. For who knows when they’re going to cross the line.
On October 1, 2005, the Montreal Gazette ran an article about corruption at City Hall, claiming contracts in the millions were awarded to companies in exchange for political donations. The same thing the Charbonneau Commission is investigating, and to which witnesses have confirmed. Tremblay defended the contracts, and denied his party ever did such an untoward thing.
The Montreal Gazette, October 2, 2005, front page story was “Lawyers Top City Donors.” Readers were informed that “four firms that have benefitted most from city’s outsourcing of legal work employ attorneys who have contributed the largest amounts of money to Tremblay’s party since 2001.”
And Brutus was an honourable man.
An American poll asking voters about conspiracy theories revealed its findings earlier this month. One in four Americans think Obama is the anti-Christ heralding the end times. The breakdown: 20 per cent of Republicans, 13 per cent of Independents, and 6 per cent of Democrats.
Talk about the blinding and fried-brain effects of racism that turn its adherents into fools and dunces.
Given that Jesus was a Jew, who according to the Bible, came to fulfill Jewish scriptures and Jewish prophecy, but was rejected by them. It stands to reason that the anti-Christ could very well be Jewish, or an Ishmaelite, the half-brother of the Jews — and not a Black man.