The one and only younger sister unit and I are in her truck a few nights ago, getting ready to get out and head over to Museum London, where her younger one was getting an award for her grade 8 Heritage Project, and we’d arrived a tad early.
The niece #2 unit, the one getting the said award, is in the back, nose in her phone, as we await the return of her mother from her entanglement with the new-fangled parking meter.
Seeing she has now enlisted the help of some group of strangers she met whilst waiting for her, I say your Mother doesn’t really get technology, does she, and she laughs her quiet laugh and replies: No, no she doesn’t.
Grandma J would be over the moon with that chicki-poos grand achievements and admire her laid-back goalie ‘tude that her teacher told her intimidates the bullies.
So once Lex had finished overpaying the machine and relaying the turn of events, something about options, and math equations, and I guess at one point everyone had their phones out doing calculations, well, just as we’re ready to get out some song came on that reminded her of Mom, which we believe is her way of letting us know she is present.
Her project had been about the Tragically Hip, great tellers of Canadian stories, tales of people otherwise many would never know even existed.
Our history has been overshadowed by the giant history-making machine on our southern border, and such we have struggled to teach the next generation all the finer details of our own, as most Canadians are far removed from Mounties on horseback, Polar Bears, Dog sleds and Inuit Seal hunters.
The awards being given out were for a range of topics, from sports figures in history to The Highway Of Tears from so many missing indigenous women, and stories of scientists, discoveries, artists, leaders and heroes alike that have defined our hearts, and/or minds, maybe our shame, and all the grand and uncomfortable details of our past.
The awarded were from all over the regional school system, with students of many races, religions and creeds, as one by one they came forth to receive their due reward for a job that had been well done, above the fray, and one by one proud parent’s smartphone cameras captured something for posterity.
Does give me hope, that perhaps some of these young people I saw will carry with them the things they learned, because, god help them, cause “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.
Those lessons are in jeopardy today I believe, as many leaders in North America, and throughout the world, conveniently believe themselves above the law, maybe even beyond it.
For some, the means now justifies the ends, long as the economy looks the part, the job numbers rock around the clock, and who cares if the cops are still called because some guy has the audacity to stand outside a coffee shop while black, whatever, details details, because I suppose white lives matter more, still, sadly in some places way to near and dear.
Now, just getting your party in power is the be all and end all, and so what if some shady dudes making shady deals with foreign powers, and maybe he did after all payoff the porn star he bopped while his new wife nursed their infant son, or what if some little pay to play was arranged with the Prez? Pft. It’s Washington, and everyone’s on the take.
As the dictator wannabe goes on another ranting tweet fest, on his unsecured phone, cause it’s inconvenient to keep switching.
Oh really??? Inconvenient?
Ask Hilary about inconvenient.
So, GOP, hypocrite much?
Pft. Who cares if he lay’s his loyalty down for a little one on one time with some Russian Oligarchs, and who can possibly keep track of all that fake news?
Anyway, some would say, aren’t all politicians corrupt?
And if Billy jumped off a cliff would you?
But whilst all the snowflakes are continuing their witch hunt against that, apparently, faithful Christian and Greatest Leader in 30 years (read Reagan era), and over on friendly Fox they are all in a tizzy over the farce of SPYGATE.
And that was just last week.
We’re on to something new, another reality, another day, revelation after revelation, follow the money as it tweets and twists itself through the streets of Washington DC, and out to feed the best swamp people one can buy off, and, oops, another one bites the dust, and on with the show, don’t you know, bulldozing everything as they go.
Blind eyes? As the U.S. Congress turns its back on the very constitutional checks and balances THEY are supposed to, um, BE! Just learned that one yesterday, btw.
And with an awkward silence from the Great Old Party, their President runs amok and admits that he discredits and demeans the media and institutions that get in his way so that people don’t know what to believe, with a modicum of success.
Now, here in Canada, as so-called progressive conservatives throw their alt-right ex-drug dealing leader up the political charts, and watch as he slides back down through his own slime of corruption and freewheeling promises, through layers of hand-picked misogynists, racists, science deniers and identity thieves left over from the last guy they turfed out. All the while, a rich man himself, he marches his troops against the very people he sells himself to.
And watch the shadows as the elitist snobs rub their dirty palms in glee at the many rules and wages he’s promised to rescind, whispering quietly in his ear make it so.
I suppose, hear no evil, see no evil, long as you get what you want and who blawdy cares a toot if no one gets hurt, much, well, physically, ya snowflake.
And what if some fragile ecosystems are put in jeopardy, what rules you bend and break, what laws are ignored, what backdoor deals are made for personal gain, politics is politics, with nationalist desires, he leads them forth.
As someone said to me last night “the difference between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives want a leader, liberals want a representative“, and maybe so, however, far-right conservatives apparently prefer rich autocrats. To each his own, I guess, but good god does it have to be in my backyard?
This is where we are, and it saddens me to think of the world my nieces’ generation is in for.
As she plies the waters of the teenage years, I hope, with her athletic swagger and confidence in training, that she tries not to let those pucks of popularity and other predators into the net, too soon, or ever.
That she learns she can dance like no one is watching, cause they ain’t.
And to listen to all those old cliches, and then throw them all away, just go and do whatever she wants anyway. And go with the flow, whenever possible.
Maybe she is ahead by a century, and who knows the places she’ll go, see, and what she’ll know, what new tales she’ll have to tell of her own, someday, it’s all to play and she’s got game, and bristol board.
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for more of The Hip see:
Gord Downie: 10 essential tracks to remember him by