What John Said

It’s been a busy few weeks: the last of my proposal career, I swear. I took on a piece of work that I shouldn’t-a. Which reminds me of a goofy song from my yute.

But the work will be over soon. Or I will.

Anyway, my half-formed plan to do a new video for Canada Day went nowhere. My half-hearted hope to get funky new shots of the Parliament buildings (since, you know, they’re not being used at the moment)? Likewise.

Instead, I offer a link to a John Robson article, where he says what I think about Canada. (How did he know?) I hope you had a good Canada Day. And I hope to be back to my normal activities next week.


Exactly. There’s nothing to celebrate about Canada and no Canada to celebrate. Hip hip dead silence. Or snarling about whose grievance can throw whose over a fence.

There is an alternative. We can acknowledge that almost everything that used to be a staple of Canada Day rhetoric is true, yet so are many of the criticisms. Even our statesmen in years gone by held racial attitudes we now struggle even to comprehend, let alone forgive.

If you wonder how I could celebrate such a chequered accomplishment . . . you need to get out more and realize humans are a scurvy lot. So what’s wrong with the radical critique isn’t the critique, it’s the radicalism: The assumption that our past could easily have been better and certainly would have been if they’d been there . . .

. . . it is necessary that we should challenge what we celebrate. But also celebrate what we challenge, realizing that while Canada is not perfect it is excellent because it recognizes and corrects its failings, unlike how it was in the Soviet Union and continues to be in communist-ruled China, fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, and so forth….

So yes, it is our tradition, its achievement, and its potential, that those boys fought for at Vimy and Juno Beach. And yes, they were boys, and mostly white, with some Aboriginals who if they survived the war went back to a country where they were legally and socially oppressed. But they risked all their tomorrows for the freedoms already won, those still to be secured, and to rescue from genocide a minority still often despised, even in Canada.

So Happy Canada Day after all. And many more like it.

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6 Responses to What John Said

  1. Tom Watson says:

    The last? I have said that before, and it didn’t work out. Just sayin’…

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Get thee behind me. Actually, there’s no risk of me taking anything on again in, say, the next 2 years. And as my memory fades, so, too, will the corporate memory – folks just stop calling. And that’s a good thing.

  2. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – a sure way to do no more proposals. Close out your business number, HST number and file your last income tax allowing for any taxes owned on remaining Capital Depreciation for business property. Once that was done, I hadn’t a single inclination to re-instate all of that just because someone wanted me to work on another proposal.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jhn – Good advice from a fellow victim. Thanks! Who’s in charge, anyway, yeah?

  3. I hope you are singing that wild tune, Isabel, to carry you through your last proposal. Or, perhaps, “One Last Time” from *Hamilton.* I sometimes feel that way about my racing merry-go-round life replete with imperfectly solved problems, grand dreams, and ludicrous obstacles. But there is something satisfying about sticking with the challenges.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I shouldn’t-a oughtn’t-a sing any wild tune, really, although I sometimes do. Usually in an empty house. But I take your point – and yes, there is something satisfying about sticking it out.

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