NEWS FROM THE FROZEN WILDERNESS ABOVE OUR HEADS
Tens Of Thousands Protest Bush Visit
People are marching in the streets in Canada, peacefully protesting war, injustice, and electoral fraud. We don't do that here, any more, in America. Whatever happens now, we just sit there and take it. Pretty much everybody has more brains and more balls than we do. Almost makes you want to get the fuck out of here.
Ever been to Canada? It's nice. I like it. Only ever been to Montreal, Quebec city, and a few small towns in Quebec province. Nice people, the French up there. They live well, in their dark cold corner of the world's largest country. Good food, good company, good music. They know how to live, them Frenchies.
I remember sitting in a cafe in the Rue St. Catherine, kind of a main drag in Montreal. A cross between New York's Fifth Avenue shopping district, Greenwich Village's bohemian cafe society, and Times Square's former adult fun. I walked from one end of it to the other, window-shopping, people watching, bar-hopping. The strip bars featured total nudity with alcohol, always a boost on a chilly night. Ain't girls beauty-full? I ended up in the red light district, and stopped in at a warm, friendly-looking coffee shop.
Sitting in the next booth were four hookers, one of whom kind of reminds me, now, of the fake French one on "The Kids In The Hall." She was a girl, though, but with the same kind of scandalous French exuberance. I believe they call it joie de vivre. We don't do much of that here any more, either, en Amerique. The ladies of the evening were discussing their clientele, hilariously. Right behind me sat a full table of kids and their parents, on a family night out. It was well after midnight, but everyone was quite lively. The kids were switching effortlessly back and forth between French and English, accentlessly, as far as I could tell: Well, Canadian/ Quebecois accents, only.
It was wonderful sitting there between these two extremes of Montreal society. Not something you would be likely to see in the States, even in New York. The two tables chatted away, not entirely oblivious, not at all inhibited, not disrespectful of one another, just peacefully co-existing in the same cafe together, enjoying a rest and a meal after an evening out. Hard to imagine this kind of unconscious tolerance in the United States, today.
I have family in Canada. I once thought of moving up there, during the Vietnam War. Instead, I just kept moving. I ended up in the Marines, much later, as a volunteer, not a draftee. Lots of people escaped the draft by moving to Canada, back then. Some of them are still up there. Lots of people in the U.S. are contemplating Canadian exile now. It's a big country. The population is only about the size of New York State's. Much less than California's. And it's cold. And very white. They never had slavery, and most U.S. runaways got off the underground railroad before the very last stops, up in Canada. So, it's different up there.
If everybody goes up there, it won't be the same any more, in Canada. We might not be able to resist Americanizing it, like we do everything else. They might not be able to resist us. And, I wonder, can the US really afford to lose a lot of good people right now, just as a few really bad people are taking over down here? I don't think so. So, I guess I'll stay put. I think we all should stay put. And fight. Fight for that joie de vivre. But thanks, anyway, Canucks. Way to give Bush the what-for.
"M. Bush veut se réconcilier avec le Canada"
"A very Canadian protest"
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