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Imagination is wonderful. It allows us to advance, create, and sympathize. We can't experience another's pain, but we can imagine it.

By Kevin Somers
Published January 08, 2009

Imagination is wonderful. It allows us to advance, create, and sympathize. We can't experience another's pain, but we can imagine it. Imagine life without an imagination: you'd end up the governor of Texas, then president.

I couldn't imagine a less qualified person running the world and I'm the imaginer. George Bush affirms my long-held assertion that, almost everywhere where you go, idiots run the show. Imagine if they didn't.

I hope Barack doesn't disappoint too much. He's sure got his work cut out; imagine cleaning up after Bush. Imagine if one of those well-hurled shoe hit the well-heeled shark? That would have been priceless, but the man is Teflon.

Here's something fun: try to imagine the worst thing one human could do to another. Use all your imagination's creative power and dark ideas. Think.

No matter what you've imagined, it's been done.

Sometimes, I like to imagine we're really a kind, helpful species and it's good we have domain over the animals. The way it is now, however, it's hard to imagine the meat industry being less humane.

Everyone knows what animals go through before they end up on plates. It doesn't take much imagination to imagine all their unnecessary suffering. If compassion and imagination go hand in hand, how does anybody eat meat, anymore?

When people discover I don't, I'm CONSTANTLY asked, "What do you eat?" once in the middle of Fortino's vast produce section.

Of course, we're fortunate to have the option. Most of the planet would be grateful to bloat up on bountiful burgers and bacon. As Kid Rock laments in Amen, "...imagine what it's like to starve to death."

The auto industry is overrun by the unimaginative, evidently: all their cars look the same and are completely dependent on oil, still. They continue to push V8 vanity vehicles. No one in their ranks, it seems, can imagine a planet without petroleum.

Now, they're begging for bailouts. Imagine taking a private jet to ask for free money.

Conservatives, I've noticed, trumpet privatization when there's money to be made, but go public when things are bleak. It's difficult to imagine a more successful strategy for hoarding and a less successful strategy for civilization.

Imagine Mike Harris at a think tank. (Actually, he's a Senior Fellow, whatever that is, at the Fraser Institute. Sad, eh.)

Almost every time I drive, an idiot tailgates me in my little car. I usually imagine they're not really that close while going 100 km / hour in a steel torpedo, but sometimes, when my girls are in the backseat or trunk, I imagine I have terminal cancer and I'm armed. I stop my car, get out, and start blasting, reversing the tables on who's endangering whom. It's not a pretty image, but another's ugly deed planted the seed.

I imagine the motorists in Texas and Somalia are polite.

Imagine if Hamilton council passed a bylaw mandating every house and car had to have solar panels, windmills, or something, within 20 years and offered tax breaks if you bought from local manufacturers. And, rather than giving money to "developers," who exacerbate the economic disaster, they invested in facilities that made easy-to-use alternatives.

Imagine Hamilton leading the world.

IMAGINE is an acronym for Improved Methods for the Assessment of the Generic Impact of Noise in the Environment.

We're run over by (imaginative) acronyms. My favourite is Gays Of Ottawa, GOO. When the Conservatives and Reformers got together, they called themselves the Conservative Reform Alliance Party, CRAP. Imagine that.

Imagine believing your religion is more righteous than another's. I can't imagine God being pleased when people kill in His or Her name, either. Without express, written consent, I wouldn't take the risk. I imagine a lot are shocked and disappointed when they wake up in Hell and they're the only virgin.

Hell, I imagine, hasn't music, only talk radio. Imagine life without music.

John Lennon released the album Imagine in 1971. Imagine was a successful single from the LP and Rolling Stone Magazine declared it the third greatest song of all time.

On Dec. 8. 1980, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon four times in the back. Imagine.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.


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