Thursday, February 01, 2007

Notes of an (almost) native son

Pity the poor Jewish intellectual in the McCarthy Fifties.

Bewildered, dazed, stunned by New York, and no place to go.

Small wonder that they all went to MAD to produce that famous humour in a jugular vein.

I do so identify with them.

I started my career in the middle of the Trudeau multiculturalism mania.
I was fashionably European and considered myself extremely hip.

But then all of a sudden, making my rounds in the English departments, I noticed a certain bias.
"Oh, you're the other guy. Dr. Lee is the Chinese fellow."

Well, better to have the bias up front rather than couching it in political correctness.

I am halfway convinced that my old employer, Seneca College, was racist.

They hounded that poor black physics prof until he too had no place to go.

But today, in the sturm und drang of things, there has been a complete flip-flop.

There is something wrong with you if you are not ethnic.

So I am now on the side of native-born Canadians who, I swear are in some sort of Cuba-style social experiment.

Poor John Smith and Ted Brown.

There used to be a Canadian ethos, the ethos of the square dealer, fair banker, polite person. Canadians figured so prominently in medicine and science. Lester Pearson made Canada the envy of the world when it came to the best people, the best place to live and the best country to promote peace and keep the peace.

Everything has changed.

With the watering down of any folkways, tendencies, precepts we may have had, we Canadians now wonder who the hell we are.

Slow Americans?

Vigorously French?

I have lived in Quebec a number of times. I like their idea of identity. Nous sons Canadiens.
While in Quebec I really felt as if I was in Canada proper. They were so nice, even if I wasn't purloin.

I am fast developing the opinion that it is a good thing we squabble with the French all the time.
Keeps us together as a country.

There was something Premier Duceppe said (Too bad I can't voter for him in Ontario):

"We have given up our folkways, out ethos, our churches in favour of the Marxist model"

Tabernac! Finally a politician with brains and insight.

Too bad we haven't got him over here in Ontario.

.......end disjointed rant.


Shesawriter said...

You poor thing. Oh, Ivan. Non-ethnicity racism? Whoda thunk it?


ivan said...

Yeah, Tanya.

I really should have walked on eggs with this one.
But I keep hearing, "The Wasps think they have power. Ha!"

Josie said...

"It's not easy bein' green."

I used to love the Jewish intellectuals. They were the only ones with brains or a sense of humour. I wanted to go and live in Greenwich Village and be surrounded by them. I guess that's why I loved MAD magazine.

Trudeau did immeasurable damage to this country, in so many ways. Just before he died he admitted it. He basically said "Oops, I f***ed up." No kidding.

ivan said...

I kind liked Allen Ginzburg, especially his poem, HOWL.

"I saw the best minds of my generation, destroyed be madness,
wounded, bleeding..."

re Trudeau:
There was a parody of the song, "You picked a fine time to leave Me Lucille, in l977:

"You picked a fine time to leave me
"I've talked to Jack Horner and he ain't got the cabinet yet..."

But the man sure had colour:

When a rt. Honourable Bob Lundrigan, from Newfoundland challenged him during a question
period, Mr. Trudeau mouthed, "F*ck off!"
Questioned later, Mr. Trudeau said,
"Well, I may have said something like Fuddle-Duddle, you know..."

ivan said...

p.s. to Josie,

Yes, Mr. Trudea might have fuddled-up.
We do seem to be following a Marxist model.

ivan said...

p.p.s. to Josie,

Ever since they repatriated the constitution, heretofor known as the British North Americ Act, nobody knows what in tarnation the constitutions actually says.
You have to write to the constitution committee.
Okay, there is the charter of rights and freedoms, but that's pretty thin.
To find your actual rights and fredoms you have to go to the constitution commitee?
Egad, we might be the only country in the world without a constitution!
Is this why Mr. Trudeau thought, virtually on his deathbed, that he
"f*cked up"?

Sela Carsen said...

Nothing brings people together like a common enemy. Yay France!

ivan said...

That is brilliant!
There is a conspiracy theory going around in Canada that the French are trying to get their former colony back.
(I also know you speak perfect French, and have had some immersion in that country. I am sure the subject of Quebec must have come up).

Sela Carsen said...

My French is now atrophied and atrocious and I've only been there once for a few days. *sigh* They were rude, but I didn't care. The Germans were really nice, though. And Venetians only speak to you if you dress well.

ivan said...

Ah, Europe.
My former wife went to France, got lost asked for directions and found half the gendarmie was a lot like Inspector Cluseau, intense, but slightly incompetent.
I myself got lost in Copenhagen, and like any boy scout, went to the police station to try to find a town called Haslev, where my friends stayed.
Danes were great. Everybody--and I mean everybody--spoke English and the akvavit flowed rather easily.
Little old ladies were selling the grossest porn in little kiosks, and like a good Canadian tourist I bought some.
Tabernac! Nuns.
Nuns. Hands in each oher's laps.
Hands in other people's laps.
I retreated to an art gallery.
I finally found my friends and suddenly had a new insight about them. And me.
Buncha kids bragging about all he women we had.
What, thee were no women in Canada?
My vacations always seem so rococo.
Must be the company I seek out.

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