Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spring! The Season of Completely Unrelated Topics

Topic One:

The federal political furor over Shane Doan is absolutely stupid, and everybody involved ought to be ashamed of themselves. But in political stupidity there is endless entertainment, and this case is no exception at all -- because Gilles Duceppe flipping out and blurting out the phrase "FUCKING FRENCH FROGS!!" to a crowd of reporters is comedy gold. My god, that slayed me.

You can imagine my amusement when I got home and began flipping through the channels on television, hitting CTV News right as Gord Leclerc warned about strong language in the upcoming piece; I honestly thought they were just covering themselves against the use of any potential epithets, but within ten seconds was I ever proven dead wrong. I came in expecting a brief, curt reading of supposed slurs from a piece of paper by an even-tempered reporter; instead I was greeted by frothing and hilariously misguided Bloc OUTRAGE, which is funny by itself and doubly funny because they aired it on the six-o'clock news.

I don't remember the exact wording, because A) it wasn't worded exactly to begin with and B) I was too busy laughing, but it was a three second snippet of an angry Gilles Duceppe that went along the lines of:

"An' you 'ave t'is guy, who-- he-- he come and say-- 'FUCKING FRENCH FROGS!!' -- or somet'ing similar!"

My sister intentionally knows very little about politics, but she absolutely adores Gilles Duceppe; she once insisted that he speaks English in the same stumbling, eager way that a puppy would speak if it wanted so desperately to communicate with you that it spontaneously learned your language. That description stuck with me ever since; all things considered, though, right now I'd rather have the puppy.

If I seem condescending, it's because I am sometimes! But I'm not being condescending about the matter because Gilles Duceppe is French; of course not. We live in a civilized and multicultural society, where -- despite what our national leaders would have us believe -- even our hockey players of different backgrounds get along with each other. No, instead, I am being condescending about the matter because this federal 'issue' is idiotic bullshit, and we as a nation would be better spending our time by considering pretty much anything else on the table ever.

Sure, Quebec receives the lion's share of money and attention from the rest of the nation, has almost limitless influence over the outcome of federal politics, has a solid and prosperous economy and is recognized as whatever the hell a 'distinct society' is -- but what good is all that? A hockey player is alleged to have made an offensive remark seventeen months ago and was later cleared by an investigation when only one person in the entire arena claimed to have heard it! This is vitally important! Priorities, damn it!

And to think they say Canadians are obsessed with hockey.

Which reminds me: also in the news, fourty years ago today was the last time that the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup. It's another hockey-related news item making certain Canadians sad -- but for entirely different reasons.

So between Leafs Nation and the "nation within Canada", there are significant chunks of both English and French Canada upset today. A country divided and united through hockey misery and terrible federal politics -- what could be more Canadian about this arrangement?

Take note, aspiring students -- if you Major in Political Studies, you get an automatic Minor in Drinking Heavily!

Topic Two:

I started my new temp position this past Monday, typing letters and filing files and futzing with the photocopier; once again I find myself working downtown.

Working in a Portage Avenue building means going out and about downtown, at lunch and during breaks, to see the sights and to experience the hustle and bustle and to feel the magic that is the endless excitement of... I'm not fooling you, am I? Well, suffice to say that I like to pop out and see what I can see from time to time.

The onset of spring is always tricky in Manitoba, what with the thermostat fluctuations and the flood watches and the inevitable last surprise winter storm -- but you can always tell that Spring is finally back in Winnipeg to stay when the empty Lucky Lager cans begin popping up around downtown like dandelions.

Spring has sprung, the grass has ris' -- can you see where the beer can is?

Yes, it caught my eye; a single can of Lucky, just chillin' in the little concrete park, all by its lonesome. A party of one! Times like these make me sad that I was never very good at writing proper poetry.

And I had spotted another Lucky can early this morning, one of the black-hulled variety, lying crushed alongside the concrete meridian in the middle of Portage Avenue as I crossed -- but I didn't stop to try to take a picture of that one, obviously, because traffic.

If you happen to be downtown, the outbreak of Lucky cans is a fun thing to keep your eyes open for. They're like demented Easter eggs! Ah, spring.

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