Friday, July 02, 2010

Look into the Mirror

It occurred to me on my quiet way to work today, the day after Canada Day, that Canadians still live in the best country in the world.  You can stop rolling your eyes now, I saw that.  As I was sitting on the nearly empty express bus, watching the sun shine across the Ottawa river, listening to and being ennobled by the message in  "Northern Wish", the Rheostatics' painterly paean to our home and native land,  got off the bus and walked in to my particular workplace overhung with gently waving red-and-white flags, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of national pride and gratitude for being able to live and work here.

Despite all human attempts to destroy the planet that we live on (witness the current, horrific belching of thousands of gallons of crude oil every day in the Gulf of Mexico), economic disaster lurking at every turn, wars and injustices continuously being carried out in countries all across the globe; pointless, ridiculously expensive meetings of world leaders right here at home (see post below) and hundreds of other daily annoyances - some large, some small and insignificant in the broad scheme of things - we still have it better than most.  Hell, you want bad news, you know where to find it.  We're bombarded with it every day from all sorts of different angles. There are a thousand valid reasons why we should all be stalking Parliament Hill with placards, megaphones and possibly molotov cocktails, shouting angrily in protest of one thing or another and demanding justice, fair treatment and funding for our own particular pet cause - what used to be called "special interests". Save for a misguided, vocal minority infected with a virulent, wrongheaded sense of entitlement, Canadians don't do that.  What we do best is quietly go about our daily business to the best of our ability.  The old-fashioned work ethic that saw our predecessors through hard times in the past continues - it just never makes the news.

Don't get me wrong - I'm in favour of many of the things that reasonable, intelligent people write and/or protest about. I also believe our country needs a bit of a political and economic reboot.  There are real problems that I won't diminish.  I'm not na├»ve enough to believe that Canada really looks like a Group of Seven painting - but if you get far enough out of the city, it does...  What we often forget in our efforts to shout above the din is that there's still an awful lot of good here. Our national identity is something we've struggled with since 1867, but the best thing about the Canada that our parents grew up in was that anyone with a dream could succeed with enough tenacity (and a bit of luck).  Somehow, even with all the doom and gloom of the world today, it's still possible.  Tune out the naysayers - the world, our little corner in particular, is what you make of it.

 Happy Canada Day! 

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Time Well Spent


Roughly a week ago, give or take a few days (who's counting) some of the more level-headed members of our society decided to gather together and politely demonstrate to the worlds leaders gathered in Toronto (I like the word "gather"; it's a happy word, full of promise and joy) that they were not happy with the way things were and that perhaps a different way of thinking would be appropriate.

Apparently (I'm going on here-say) the world leaders gathered in Toronto were kinda busy so they were unable to attend any think-tank with the level-headed members of our society but they did send some representatives of the local constabulary to try and maintain peace and order. The more level-headed members of our society decided to try and circumnavigate the local constabulary in order to at least get closer to the world leaders gathered in Toronto but the local constabulary were organized and ably lead and were able (for the most part) to stay one step ahead of the more level-headed members of our society.

In the end the world leaders were able to meet in relative peace and quiet before leaving for their respective countries due largely to the efforts of the local constabulary and their ability to stay one step ahead of the more level-headed members of our society.


The police do a thankless, difficult job protecting us for ourselves and the latent retarded (in dictionary sense of the word) anti-social tendencies that we have lurking around inside our craniums and more often than not they are vilified in the media, spurned by the public and feared by our youth. We live in a country where anyone caught doing a crime has more rights than the people trying to stop them. We've all seen the images and film of the police cars burning in the downtown core of Toronto and of the pointless vandalism and wanton destruction of shops and businesses up and down Yonge Street.

To what end? Did this make anyone sit and take notice that there was problems in the world that need to be fixed? Really ?!?!

Or did it just make you think, like I did, that large groups of people suffer from terminal brain cramps? Give some reason for the large groups of the criminally stupid to mass together and protest *anything* and watch the fun! Mob mentality! Missing were the torches and pitchforks and just because there wasn't time to find a dark ages-themed shop. The only thing between what happened and what could have happened was the thin, blue line of the men and women of our police force. Working un-thanked and un-appreciated as usual.

Last week made me ashamed (briefly) of being a Canadian who lives in the GTA. What must the rest of the world think of us now.............

Good job police. Keep trying to protect us from ourselves. And Happy Canada Day.