Heaven or hell

Section: 
Editorial

What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties… - from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Dana and I spent most of Friday at the Art Gallery of Ontario where they have a special display of Renaissance art, which indeed shows man can rise above the pettiness of day to day existence.

Around 700 years ago in Florence, Italy, the merchants became very well to do. Knowing that it was difficult for the rich to reach heaven, they hedged their bets. The merchants hired artists to create works of art for the churches of that city. Some even built family churches.

Looking at the many pieces, gathered from universities and art collections from around the world, one can’t help but be impressed at the artistic abilities of professionals working 700 years ago with materials that can’t compare with what’s available today.

Too bad that today’s rich don’t have the same hang up about heaven as the Florentines did. Instead of despoiling the earth, the giants of industry might instead spend their money to help make this a better world.

By the way, I don’t know if the artists or merchants of Florence made it to heaven or hell.

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“What a piece of work is man…” can convey the exact opposite meaning as the above.

The two brothers who set up the bombing of the Boston Marathon are fine examples of how low man can descend. Most animals kill to survive; some humans kill for fun. History is full of such people.

The latest group of subhumans  to enjoy killing other people follow the creed of radical Islam. Anyone who doesn’t believe in their ideals is an infidel and is worthy of death. The Taliban, for example, seems to enjoy killing anyone in Afghanistan who doesn’t have a Taliban outlook.

And so we have the Boston bombing, and bombings in Baghdad, Afghanistan, etc.

 Sick.

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The U.S. Senate failed to pass a gun bill that would have expanded police checks on anyone who buys a gun.

The American people wanted the law passed; the National Rifle Association did not.

I wonder how senators who voted against the bill sleep at night – 3,500 Americans have been killed by guns in their own country since the massacre of 20 children in November in Connecticut.

The U.S. problem, will unfortunately, in a few years be Canada’s problem. The Toronto Star has run a series of articles in the past week about guns being smuggled from the U.S. into Canada.

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I keep seeing pictures of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on television getting on and off airplanes as he travels around the world.

Last week, he was in England for the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He exits the plane, and as usual, waves.

But who was he waving at? Who would be greeting him in London, besides Canadian television reporters?

Funny, I thought he had little use for reporters.

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New federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau must have the Conservatives worried. They had their attack ads ready to go as soon as Trudeau was elected leader.

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Back to Toronto – the real reason we were there was a pair of tickets to the Blue Jays – Yankees ball game Saturday. Fortunately the Blue Jays play in a covered stadium because it was cold and windy outside. With 47,000 plus people at the stadium, it was an interesting afternoon.

The home team lost, which is usually the result when we go to a game in Toronto.

And that’s the kind of week it was…