Politics in the 4th dimension

Brian Jones
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When I’m working the late, late shift, one of my small joys is coming home at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. and flicking on the Discovery Channel or the National Geographic Channel for 20 or 30 minutes.

That time of the night/morning is ideal for catching some wacky documentary about, say, physicists who are researching time travel, or the existence of a 4th dimension.

Having not been smart enough to take high school physics, let alone university physics, I must rely on Channel 37 or Channel 85 to inform me that, according to the strict laws of physics as presently understood, time travel should indeed be possible.

On another night/morning, you can learn some physicists believe a 4th dimension is not only possible, but it might coexist alongside our own.

They look at all sides of a question, of course, making the conjecture even more fascinating.

According to one physicist, the equations and calculations might point to a conclusion of time travel being possible, but the best evidence it is in fact impossible is that time travellers haven’t visited us.

 (“That we know of,” conspiracy theorists will murmur.)


Left thinking

The documentary makers always leave you guessing.

They’ll serve a snippet of mind-bending quotes in an interview with an assistant professor at Miniscule State College, and you’ll momentarily be amazed by the fantasticality of it, before thinking, “Wait a minute; get a prof at Harvard or Princeton to say that, and I might be swayed.”


Alternate existence

In the social realm, a 4th dimension already exists alongside the real world, and it is occupied by politicians — as well as royalty, movie stars, athletes, billionaires, rock stars and assorted self-aggrandizing celebrities.

As a social construct, the 4th dimension is simply a mode of existence far removed from what is experienced on a day-to-day basis by an average citizen. In their daily lives, residents of the 3rd dimension and residents of the 4th dimension have very little in common.

For example, most occupants of the 4th dimension have something called “drivers.”

This isn’t because they don’t know what a steering wheel or clutch is for. It is because they are so important that, when they travel, they must be in the back seat, so when they emerge in front of the amassed media cameras they appear all-powerful and irreplaceable.

When was the last time you saw a clip on the TV news of a prime minister or president pulling up to a conference in their own car?

This is one of the intrinsic contradictions of democracy.

Despite the wonderful egalitarianism created by the rule of law, a leader of any given country has more in common with the leaders of other countries than they have with the citizens of their own country. Call it the Law of Leaders’ Limousines.


Different place

Anyone bewildered or revolted by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s comment this week that there is no such thing as a bad job, and Canadians must adapt to the economic times by being willing to take any job available, can make sense of the obvious idiocy of his statement by realizing he doesn’t live in the same dimension as “ordinary Canadians,” to use a phrase favoured by residents of his realm.

Not only are there bad jobs, there are really bad jobs, there are horrible jobs and there are even terrible aspects of good jobs.

Hearing the shallow echo — as sounds coming from the 4th dimension often seem — of Flaherty’s vacuous opinion, many Newfoundlanders (and Labradorians) must have been reminded of the pre-boom condescending slur often levelled against them: “Those lazy N------ should move to where the jobs are.”


Brian Jones is a desk editor at

The Telegram. He can be reached by

email at bjones@thetelegram.com.



Organizations: Miniscule State College, Discovery Channel, Harvard The Telegram

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Recent comments

  • Lane
    May 18, 2012 - 12:38

    Actually, common sense tells us that federal Ministers have drivers so that they can be dropped off and picked up at the door, for scheduling and security reasons. And although I agree with Brian Jones when he says there are indeed such things as bad jobs, I also agree with Minister Flaherty's point that if all you can get is a bad job, then you should be required to take it instead of going on EI.

  • Chantal
    May 18, 2012 - 12:36

    That “Those lazy N------ should move to where the jobs are” slur can be heard daily by many of the more self-righteous Newfoundlanders against other Newfoundlanders who are less fortunate than they are. We are also not beneath making condescending slurs against mainlanders, Quebecois, natives, immigrants, townies, baymen, Muslims and environmentalists. Not that you would have any part of that, Mr. Jones.

    • Athena
      May 18, 2012 - 13:38

      You nailed it Chantal. Very well said.

    • Anonymous
      May 20, 2012 - 09:42

      Hear Hear.

  • Athena
    May 18, 2012 - 09:37

    Citations needed re: "condescending slur."

  • Holden
    May 18, 2012 - 08:27

    As Bob MacDonald CBC's Quirks and Quarks pointed out in a dicussion of time travel, the earth is moving so not only would you have to move in time, but to the location of the earth at that point in time. On the EI changes this is a government with little practical experience as its members have never had real jobs. They therefore do not know how anything really works. Does anyone remember the MHA from the west coast who had to go to Alberta to qualify her nursing accreditation? Most skilled jobs nowadays require that the person maintain their training and work experience. How is this possible flipping burgers or in other low paying jobs. That business jumped on the bandwagon say volumes about their capabilities as well!