Is it just my imagination or is the gathering storm of lunacy all around us yet another confirmation that we’re lucky to be living where we are? Across most of the eastern half of the globe, American flags are being torched with reckless abandon, embassies are under siege and mayhem of every description has erupted.
The Japanese and Chinese governments are at loggerheads over five uninhabited guano-covered islands. Last week, to underscore his nation’s moment of great and defining crisis, a protester in Shanghai unfurled a banner that read “Japanese devils return home!” He then proceeded to torch his Civic in front of a Honda dealership.
In the Shining Valley, the only reason somebody would set their venerable, albeit long-in-tooth, ’94 Civic alight is to grab the insurance payout.
On a less incendiary note, Toronto the Good has saddled itself with a mayor who gets himself into more pickles than the classic Laurel and Hardy comedy team encountered in a lifetime. Rob Ford, the maestro of the art of foot-in-mouth, is giving the venerable auto manufacturer with the same moniker a bad name.
In Quebec, after a summer of outraged citizens banging on pots and pans over tuition hikes, the separatists are running the show again. They’re also playing a well-worn refrain, originally recorded on eight track nearly half a century ago. In the ensuing years that tune got transferred to audio cassette and now is available in a digital version. New format, same message. Pauline Marois’ demand to install more robust French language laws for the “tongue troopers” to enforce is right out of Rene Levesque’s song book. So is the looming threat that the Belle Province will be outta here unless the feds pump more hush money into the region.
Meanwhile, from downtown to the Garibaldi Highlands, from Brackendale to Valleycliffe, a distinct sense of separatism fatigue and déjà vu pervades. Talk to a local quaffing a Caffè Americano at Starbucks, or relishing the last bite of a honey cruller over at Timmy’s, and he will likely tell you he could care less about what goes on in Quebec. He’s heading up to the Whistler Turkey Sale next weekend for a hot deal on a pair of skis and boots.
Besides, hasn’t most of Quebec moved out here to the Promised Land, along with their neighbours from Ontario, and aren’t they happier than clams in high water that they did? And we certainly haven’t written off the French language. An army of local kids immersed in French over at Don Ross Secondary will ensure that we’re doing our part to keep the nation bilingue well into the future. As the world unravels, count your blessings all you Squamites: You’re in the right place, at the right time.