Friday, April 13, 2007

Creation stories

Part of Stephen Harper's "celebration" at Vimy last weekend included the mention of a "creation story" - how Canada suddenly became a country because more than three thousand of its young men were massacred in one day in just one more battle of a bloody and pointless war. So bloody and pointless was it that its vindictive treaty provisions plunged Germany into poverty and set the stage for Hitler and the Second World War.

Creation stories are for pulpits and firebrand ministers. I was surprised to see that hardly anyone picked up that blatantly religious/mythological reference, except the lunatic right-wing fringe who worked so hard and paid so much to get the Harpocracy into office.

But the connection of Vimy to Afghanistan was just too much. When the news of the inconvenient deaths of six more young men from CFB Gagetown, NB by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan raced through the assembled company, Harper and Hillier were seen by several reporters to consult with each other in whispers. They may have been trying to ignore it and hoping that no one else had heard. Tough bananas, guys! Canadians on the whole are way ahead of you.

There is nothing, NOTHING, about Afghanistan that is similar to Vimy, except that young people are dying for no reason, a connection that was remarkable in the speechifying for its absence.

Canada became a country a long time ago. It does not need to be recreated into a war-mongering, selfish, vicious and nasty little country by the all-form-and-no-substance neo-Conservative New Canadian government run by the Harper cabal. It was quite a nice country. It even managed to recover from the Mulroney infestation it went through a couple of decades ago, although there are side effects from that dark period that still plague it. The thought of Harper as a majority prime minister is like the horror of a fever dream.

Kurt Vonnegut, someone who had actually been through the horrors of war, didn't think much of the Bushite policies that Harper seems so fond of. He died yesterday at the age of eighty-four. In a commencement speech at Syracuse University in 1994, he told the graduates about the greeting he received from his uncle when he returned home after the Second World War.
When I got home from World War II, my Uncle Dan clapped me on the back, and he said, ''You’re a man now.'' So I killed him. Not really, but I certainly felt like doing it.

...As I have told you, I had a bad uncle named Dan, who said a male can’t be a man unless he’d gone to war.
We are already a country, Mr. Harper. We don't need to kill any more people to prove that.

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