Monday, 26 May 2008

"Tapetes Chez Nous"!

In more charming news from Québec--the NATO headquarters of Designer Oppression--we learn that popular author Victor-Levy Beaulieu has called Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean a "nigger queen" ("une reine nègre"). Beaulieu hurled this rather constitutionally confused abuse as a way of scolding the Governor-General for being a traitor to her province (and, of course, to her "nation" as well, thanks to that infamously stupid Parliamentary motion) in her capacity as vice-regal representative of the Queen, the most perfidious symbol of les maudits anglais.

Of course, absent the crude racist invective, this spasm of petulance would hardly be news, as dogmatic Québec provincialists have been denouncing pro-Canada Québecers as race traitors ever since Benedict Arnold's failed invasion of the province in 1775. It is just one of the many depressing facets of life in a province which, despite its past glories and latent greatness, has spent the last three decades demoting itself to an angry, bitter, self-cannibalising backwater.

In a bizarre attempt to take the edge off the nastiness of his outburst, Beaulieu provides some awkward comic relief by declaring that Ottawa is "using Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to "forcefully integrate" the province into the Canadian ensemble" (the joke here being that, of course, Québec voluntarily integrated itself into the Canadian ensemble in 1867).

Strangely, Beaulieu asserts that the office of Governor-General is offensive because "it forever reminds us of the presence of British colonization from the time they were the colonizers", but he voices not the slightest disapproval of that entity which reminds us all of French colonization from the time when the French were the colonizers--the province of Québec.

Gosh...I suppose some colonial vestiges are better than others. Between the two just mentioned, I wonder which one is more offensive to Québec's Native peoples (who comprise the province's only real nation)...

37 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

I've never understood why the nationalist intellectuals thought they could get away with their ahistory, or why they thought it was even moral to indulge in it. It has been their most glaring weakness.

There were always plenty of good arguments to make for sovereingty, although I guess even they realised they just weren't good enough.

As for this:

"Anything she can do to erase the francophone, Quebecois differences, she does it."

No monsieur, that is incorrect. That started when you and your ilk incorporated Gabielle Roy and Cano into anthologies of culture québécoise, kept a whole generation pig-ignorant of the history of French Canadians in Canada and propagandised to such an extent that it still takes me several minutes to explain to mystified francophone foreigners why I am not a Québécois. Even if I would dearly love to call myself that, I just can't muster the intellectual dishonesty that comes so easily to you and your cohort. Even my mother, an actual Québécoise, gets annoyed by the fact that explaining she's from Canada is simply not informative enough to outsiders.

These people have been an embarassment to French Canadians and Acadians for decades now. And. They. don't. care. They can believe anything they want, from erasing the right of self-determination and territorial claims of the people they colonised, to disappearing a million other francophone Canadians (dare I call it cultural genocide?) to calling the Governor General a nigger.

Ti-Guy said...

Pedanty alert: Tapettes. Unless you were invoking the German word for wallpaper or some other usage I'm not familiar with.

Peter Burnet said...

That was good, Ti-guy. I sense as well the "Rage of the Declining Boomers" in his remarks, a syndrome characterizing much public debate today. It must be galling in the extreme to be one who was once on the cutting edge of history and who marched defiantly on the Rue St. Denis picking up the sexiest doxies along the way suddenly sensing he is seen as a boring old fart. "Mom, do we have to stay home and listen to Grandad tell us stories about Woodstock again?"

From the link:

Last winter, Beaulieu threatened to burn his entire body of work if something wasn't done to stop the swell of bilingualism in Quebec...Beaulieu said he has since backed down on his threat

Is that the Quebecois equivalent of those Americans who repeatedly threaten to emigrate to Canada if the Republicans win?

Aeneas the Younger said...

Reprehensible of course, but all we can do is sit around fiddling our thumbs waiting for the Troublesome Twins of Confederation (Alberta & Quebec) to start their whining over some perceived injustice.

The Quebecois never cease to amaze me; do they not realise from where "Je me souviens" originates ?

Je me souviens que né sous le lys, je croîs sous la rose"

("I remember that born under the lily, I grew under the rose")

Rose of England anyone?

Cartier and the "Bleus" were cognizant of the fact that France had abandoned them and that the only hope for keeping the French fact in North America alive, was the British Empire. And so it has been.

Talk about biting the hand ...

Ryan said...

ATY-

Agreed. It seems strange to me that Quebecois view Canada as a much larger threat than American cultural imperialism. Like Cartier, they should realize that Quebec can resist the CNNs and SpikeTVs tide with much less difficulty together with Canada which has historical precedence in protecting French-Canadian culture.

Ti-Guy said...

Talk about biting the hand ...

That doesn't help. I don't feel any gratitude to you Imperial holdovers and it's insulting to think any living person should. It's just the same as expecting First Nations People to be grateful that we didn't brutalise them more than we have.

The British realised early that the only way they could have dealt decisively with the Canadiens was either through genocide or expulsion, something I don't believe they had the energy to do at that time. So they opted for a legal order to accomodate/pacify the population and expected the Canadiens to disappear through assimilation at some later date while they maintained sovereignty in a part of North America that they were losing it another.

Cultural/linguistic survival was largely the achievement of French Canadian society itself, done at the expense of modernisation.

We can start speaking about real cooperation around the time of Baldwin and Lafontaine, but before that, it was more pragmatism and circumstance than anything else.

Ti-Guy said...

they should realize that Quebec can resist the CNNs and SpikeTVs tide with much less difficulty together with Canada which has historical precedence in protecting French-Canadian culture.

I would think about this a little more. Why would Quebecers think the Rest of Canada can be helpful to them in resisting Americanisation when the rest of the country appears to a lot of them to have already succumbed to those influences?

I've met a few Quebecers who gain a better understanding of the nuances between the rest of Canada and the US once they venture outside of Quebec, but for a lot of them, that's an immigrant experience that can be daunting.

I suspect the next few years, with the decline of the American Empire, will bring a different dynamic into the national bargain; we already glimpsed that when miserable old Bernard Landry stood up for Canada's sovereignty when the country came under withering criticism for not joining the invasion of Iraq. Who ever expected that to happen?

Aeneas the Younger said...

"That doesn't help."

And yet it is true.

You take what I am saying too literally (and ethnically), but it was the British Civic values that predominated in Canada that allowed the Quebecois to remain French. From the idea of tolerance to the Westminster System to the BNA Act itself, it was the British idea of Canada that both passively and actively allowed French Canada to survive.

Yes, Lord Durham wrote of assimilation, but more in the manner of and expected outcome _ which given the British paramountcy of the time, and burgeoning sense of progressive mission can now be understood.

The fact is, and whether we like it or not, it was the British and English-Canadian sense of nationhood and hopes for sovereignty that allowed Quebec to remain French. By default or not, the end-result is the same.

This would not have happened with the Stars & Stripes billowing over Ottawa.

I do not for one minute deny the Economic control (and resentment of such) that the English & Scots had in Quebec would, and did, create some social and political problems and tensions. I see that issue as having more to do with Culture and Economics than Politics.

Canada in general, has been a very good deal for Quebec. It would be nice to see some more public recognition of that fact.

Ti-Guy said...

but it was the British Civic values that predominated in Canada.

But why did they predominate in Canada? Those values certainly weren't in evidence in Ireland and other parts of the world a century and more later.

I claim that these things, with hindsight, appear more essentialist and dogmatic than they really were. That a lot of that arose from the specificity of time and place. Also, it's important that you bring up the Sottish, who, for all they're dourness, have always had a better reputation among French Canadians than the strictly English. I think they probably had a more realistic understanding of how those "civic values" would have to play out as they administered the Empire in Canada.

In any case, no living person or groups of people should feel obliged to be grateful for another living person or groups of people's ancestors, since that requires an admiration for greatness living people cannot legitimately make claims to (you didn't save the French, after all...I don't even know if you even speak French). Stop expecting it, because you're never going to get it.

In any case, the early establishment of French Canadians as a recognisibly distinct North American culture should also be recognised as a set of values and practicalities (which includes the métisation with the indigenous people that never seems to happen much among the strictly Protestant) are elements that helped define Canada and continue to.

It would be nice to see some more public recognition of that fact.

This is absurd. How would that help? Would the ROC start producing better movies, better music, better food, better technology to better compete with the export culture from the South? I suppose it could go some way to soothing people's hurt feelings, but...forget about it. French Canadians can be the most stubborn people there are when it comes to making English Canadians feel good.

Besides, what of Circular 17? The Manitoba Schools Act? Louis Riel? The expulsion of the Acadians? Where's my pity party? Waaaa...!

We can do this forever, you know.

Aeneas the Younger said...

It's not about making English-Canadians feel good. We already do, for the most part.

It is about recognising that we are better together than apart, which is something my French friends concede - and yes they live in Quebec (Montreal to be exact, so they are Federalistes ...).

I welcome and treasure the French Fact in Canada. It would be a nice cultural gesture to see that esteem and admiration returned once-in-a-while.

And ... there are lots of sad episodes in Canadian history. Lots of edifying ones, too.

Constant beating the "victimisation drums" gets us nowhere. Villainising my ancestors is just as unproductive.

Fighting over 1759 is plainly stupid. The British won. The country evolved from that. The French were a big part of that evolution, but not all of it. 1759 is a reality. It was a Conquest. It happened. We cannot change that.

It was also 250 years ago. Accepting it and all that it entailed is part of the process of moving on. It seems some Nationalistes have not accepted it.

Peter Burnet said...

French Canadians can be the most stubborn people there are when it comes to making English Canadians feel good.

Or relaxed. Which brings to mind comedian Yvon Deschamps's classic monologue, translated loosely as: "The English! What is the matter with them? Always asking what is is Quebec wants. Why don't they listen? It's obvious what Quebec wants. We want a free and independant Quebec within a strong and united Canada."

Aeneas, minorities don't thank majorities for their blessings, at least not to their faces.

Aeneas the Younger said...

peter wrote:

"Aeneas, minorities don't thank majorities for their blessings, at least not to their faces."

Agreed, but it is not sporting - or wise - for the minority to piss on the shoes of the majority either.

Healing is a two-way street. The Aboriginals understand this to a very great extent.

Ti-Guy said...

Aeneas, minorities don't thank majorities for their blessings, at least not to their faces.

Have either of you ever been told by an American that if it weren't for them, Canada wouldn't exist? That we should be grateful they don't invade us?

I've been told that, in a way that suggests it's supposed to be kind. I don't react all that well to it.

Do either of you feel grateful for that? Do you thank them for that?

Aeneas the Younger said...

TG:

The difference is, one is a fact and the other is a threat.

Large difference that ...

The modern Nationaliste narrative seems to deny the fact.

Sir Francis said...

Ti-Guy:

"Tapettes". Unless you were invoking the German word for wallpaper...

Really? I thought I was correctly employing the masculine form of the word. Is there no gender distinction? I suppose I should brush up on my joual invective.

These people have been an embarassment to French Canadians and Acadians for decades now.

I think the Québec nationalist attitude can be summed up by Levesque's comment that non-Québecois francophones were "dead ducks", doomed to extinction and not worth saving in any case. Indeed, the disappearance of the Franco-Canadian fact is a thing devoutly to be wished from their perspective, as it would leave Québec with a total Franco-American cultural monopoly. You know how those people hate to share.

Cultural/linguistic survival was largely the achievement of French Canadian society itself...

True. But indigenous Canadian Anglos certainly could have prosecuted a program of extermination even if the Brits had not the energy. There was nothing inevitable about the Anglo ascendancy's live-and-let live policy. Look at Ireland by way of contrast.

It's not an issue that calls for "gratitude" on the part of anybody but rather an acknowledgment of the historical interdependence of the two linguistic communities.

The Manitoba Schools Act...

I would hope that most francophones are aware that it was Laurier (one of their own) who sabotaged Dominion efforts to remediate that outrage. In fact, selling out his own people--which was a huge hit in Ontario--pretty much won him the election.

Sir Francis said...

ATY:

Yes, Lord Durham wrote of assimilation...

...which native Canadian Anglos completely ignored, something current nationaliste ideologues always fail to mention when denouncing the Durham Report as some sort of blueprint for cultural genocide.

Canada's post-1841 House of Commons was bi-lingual, as it recognised French as a legitimate parliamentary language. Those genocidal Anglo maniacs...

I do not for one minute deny the Economic control (and resentment of such) that the English & Scots had in Quebec...

Again, nationaliste jihadis always conveniently omit to mention that the Ultramontane Catholicism propagated by Québecois elites nurtured a profound and virulent anti-capitalism that made most francophones suspicious of (and kept them away from) the centres of financial power.

Was there systemic anti-Québecois discrimination? Certainly. But people like Lionel Groulx and the tradition of clerically propounded hatred of shop-keeping Protestantisme Anglo-Saxonisant have at least as much to answer for as patronising Anglo-Scots contempt for the "backward", "superstitious" and "simple-minded" habitants.

Ti-Guy said...

You guys need to find yourselves rabid nationalists to hash out your never-ending tribal grievances.

...and I should know better, of course.

Sir Francis said...

...your never-ending tribal grievances.

And here I was (or so I thought) agreeing with the substance of your comments. Oh well...

As to "tribal grievances", we all have them, naturally--as we're all members of tribes, and as strife is a corollary of existence (or so says Heraclitus). The more interesting question asks whether one's tribe is grieving as a matter of justice and right or because grievance is the only thing that defines it. I simply feel that the Québecois are veering perilously close to the latter disposition.

Aeneas the Younger said...

SF:

Exactement!

Aeneas the Younger said...

And the same is often true of Alberta and Albertans ....

Ti-Guy said...

I simply feel that the Québecois are veering perilously close to the latter disposition.

That's pretty characteristic of most "tribes" in Canada these days. For reasons I've never quite understood, it seems that expressing grievance is what supplants observation and analysis, or alternately, indifference. Québec sovereigntists have cultivated it and articulated it as a basis for their projet national, but it's not really how most Québécois live out their identity, which happens with a lot more indifference than you might care to believe.

I don't experience tribal grievance and haven't for a long time. I don't have time for it and I don't learn anything from it.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Call it tribal if you will, but I have a real & romantic attachment to my ancestors - and their labour, grief, toil, and sacrifices. It is this connection to the past and memory that makes me a conservative. I care little for economic theory and practice, and only care the the economy be aligned with the common good.

For me (as Will Bird declaimed), "Ghosts have Warm Hands."

Ti-Guy said...

Call it tribal if you will, but I have a real & romantic attachment to my ancestors - and their labour, grief, toil, and sacrifices.

It's conflict that I'm describing here, not tribal history.

That was the topic of this thread; a current issue and a current conflict which I addressed in the first comment by criticising the reinterpretation and abuse of history by the nationalists and xenophobes found among my own people. For that effort, I'm dragged into to yet another instance of this dreary tribal conflict: "Yeabbut if Laurier hadn't...if Abbé Groulx hadn't..." I'm sure we'd have gotten around to Pearson and Trudeau, the period of history that marks where I begin and in which everything that's wrong with Canada is rooted. Because Canada, unique among all Western nations, was destined to remain the repository of a set of values and traditions that no longer seemed relevant to the people who held them and lived by them.

Is the point of history to use ancient conflicts shaped by and bound to a particular time and to particular circumstances to justify or fuel modern conflict?

I would guess SF would say no to this. What history should do, in terms of modern conflict is to help judge whether particular claims are justified in situations when resolution to contemporary problems is required, which as far as this blog is concerned, appears to me to be the reassertion of Toryism to challenge the Republicanism of current Canadian political cconservatism. And the history of that to describe a claim for possible resolution (at least in some respects) starts with a few still-living figures; Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney and Preston Manning (one of whom should be in jail for high crimes and one other for treason or terminal stupidity).

Continentalism is something all Canadians need to address now; one that is of a very different nature than the one encountered up to the Vietnam era, and is tied to the cultural, economic and social degradation of a World power, now involvent and in serious decline and subject to a degree of alarming (and apparently, infectious) irrationality that defies belief.

Peter Burnet said...

Continentalism is something all Canadians need to address now...

Are you sure you want it addressed, as in argued or discussed? Most days I get the impression you see the issue resolved more by court-ordered therapy or re-education camps.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Canadians need to wake-up. FTA was not Free-Trade, it was the only trade deal Mulroney could get. Since then, over 10,000 Canadian Firms have been taken-over by US Corporations. We again are "hewers of wood and drawers of water" (and Oil).

"With my utmost effort, with my latest breath I will oppose the 'veiled treason' which attempts by sordid means and mercenary proffers to lure our people from their allegiance." Sir. John A Macdonald - speech to the electors of Canada on commercial union with U.S. February 7, 1891

Peter: Do you know why Canada exists? Why it was created? It's raison d'etre?

Peter Burnet said...

Since then, over 10,000 Canadian Firms have been taken-over by US Corporations. We again are "hewers of wood and drawers of water" (and Oil).

Really? Then there must be a lot of wood and water companies in the U.S.

And therein lies the issue that your repeated insistence on diagnosing your opponents (Canada-hating, stupid, lying, greedy, etc,) rather than engaging them ends up concealing. It is interesting that we are discussing Quebec. As far as I can see, if radical nationalism in Quebec is on the wane, it certainly isn't because the scales have fallen from their eyes and they now see the blessings and cultural security of their British North American heritage. Nor is it because they look to us for any more leadership and guidance than they ever did, nor with more affection. Still less is it because they secretly tell themselves they really couldn't care less about French and would be happy to be English-Canadian if it bought them a bigger house and a SUV. It's because they do not fear the cultural destruction the Beaulieu's of this world tell them will befall them unless defensive barriers of all kinds are built and maintained. And fewer of them appear to perceive the English language as a bacillus sucking out their linguistic precious bodily fluids. But they don't seem to be going any weepier on Canada Day and I don't for a minute believe their national pride is any less resolved or that they wouldn't reve up the collective hostility and resistance pdq if circumstances change. Want to test that to see if they are up to the challenge or too far gone because they have sold their cultural souls for a mess of potage?

You have been around the political block for a long time, aeneas, and you must know an analagous lack of fear of the Americans is behind the conservative reaction so you despise, not to mention the near-bankruptcy of a philosophy that talks in highfalutin terms about "the good" and historical mission, etc., but that when push comes to shove has little to offer beyond a discredited statism. But you don't want to argue these points, you would rather just hurl gigantic despairing curses and accusations of treason. Beaulieu would no doubt approve.

Ti-Guy said...

Most days I get the impression you see the issue resolved more by court-ordered therapy or re-education camps.

How do you think a bunch of intellectuals (and/or know-it-alls) wibbling on about history and various other belief systems and complaing about crass/mindless mass culture are going to change how people are exposed to information and evidence about significant issues of common concern?

I'm only halfway kidding about court-ordered therapy and re-education camps, but the problem is deeply psychological when we are dealing with people who are at least a decade or so past the end of puberty and with those who consider themselves well educated, which is what I'm in numbed disbelief about the most.

I used to be comforted by the fact that I thought the neconservative elite and post-9/11 "former liberals" were simply lying; now, I'm not so sure anymore.

In any case, remediation is clear. Substantive illusions about reality past (especially about the very recent past, like last week or last year) or present, need to and can be defeated with better evidence communicated more clearly. Additionally, the way children are being exposed to information and socialised during their formative years, particularly during the language-acquisition stage, is something that we really need to address. We are not just looking at a demographic that is post-literate, but one that is post-verbal in some very fundamental ways. I think the implications as far as human intellectual development are concerned are now evident.

That there is this overwhelming lack of will to engage in any kind of remediation is what's causing me to despair.

Pretending, in Panglossian fashion, that everything is as it should be or to believe the problem isn't signicant, in the absence of any information one way or the other (and ignoring the very real evidence staring us in the face), is not helpful. I don't even understand what motivates anyone to argue that position, except to remark that it is a delusion that material comfort, lack of diversity of experience and class prejudice (both in terms of elitism and populism) can go a long way in re-inforcing.

The alternative of course is to believe what motivates it are Canadians who think Canada is over and that we should resign ourselves to integration with the United States. And that is not only traitorous in the very real sense of that term, but is also suicidal.

Aeneas the Younger said...

No, I despair of a nation of people who choose baubles over Sovereignty.

Again, you miss the point. We have no programme here, for a programme would involve a electorate that cares about such things.

My blog and this blog are really about coming to terms with materialism (and the nihilism that drives it) as a cultural disposition.

The only way out is to elevate consciousness, but one cannot do this with those addicted to nihiline.

Sir Francis and I are purely engaged in alerting the few remaining sentient souls in Canada to our national plight. We hold no illusions that anyone is listening, or that anyone even cares.

We are going down with the ship; but we are waving our arms and yelling "Help" as we sink into the murky brine.

Is is treasonous to betray one's Country? Sir John A certainly thought so. He party commanded majorities on a few occasions, so it is reasonable to assume that at one time Canadians cared about such things.

Do I think you are a traitor? Not really; I think you are blind however, and that your blindness is derived from an over-abiding faith in materialism.

Ti-Guy said...

You have been around the political block for a long time, aeneas, and you must know an analagous lack of fear of the Americans...

I'll just address this point. English-Canadians have long confused a lack of fear among French-Canadians vis-à-vis the Americans with a very real and profound ignorance of America. French-Canadians understand the material trappings of American life and a certain joie de vivre that they believe (rightly in some respects, I would say) that the ROC lacks, but on a very fundamental level, particularly when it comes to America's history, imperialism, militarism, entrenched racism and class stratification, French-Canadians are woefully ignorant. Mostly because they can be, since they don't participate in the lines of communication a lot of the rest of us do.

You want to get the most irrational deluded impressions of America? Talk to a francophone who barely speaks English sometime. You'd be suprised at what you hear.

Peter Burnet said...

Ti-Guy, I meant to analogize the French fear factor vis-a-vis the English to the English fear factor vis-a-vis the Americans.

But enough argument for today. Given your thoughts on both the Americans and Quebecers' attitudes to them, I thought you might enjoy this tale: you may recall Levesque was quite pro-American and big on trying to get their sympathy and support (!!??). In his early years as Premier, he loved to send high-profile missions of officials and business people to New York and Washington to preach the message to the movers and shakers down there about what a win-win piece of cake it would be for everybody. One of his senior officials was sent to lobby the staff of a very influential Senator on their Foreign Relations Committee. He must have got a little carried away because after a detailed presentation, he ended with a great rhetorical flourish to the effect that the U.S. shouldn't worry at all because an independent Quebec would not pose any threat to the key strategic interests of the United States. To which one of the staffers was heard to mutter in reply "You're goddam right it won't!"

Aeneas: "Blind" is ok. "Deaf" too. We could even go the Victorian route and try to emulate MacDonald with stuff like: "You, sir, are a solipsistic popinjay!" Even "stupid" has its place, although in small doses for maximim effect. It's Ti-Guy's pseudo-Freudian psychobabble he picked up from the American caring professions and popular culture I can't abide

Aeneas the Younger said...

peter:

I reserve "stupid" especially for Chris over at the "Return of the Tory (DBT). He has earned it afterall ...

Ti-Guy said...

I thought you might enjoy this tale: you may recall Levesque was quite pro-American and big on trying to get their sympathy and support (!!??).

I know what you mean; I felt badly for M. Lévesque (whose integrity I never really had much cause to doubt, unlike the toad, Parizeau); that he didn't realise his passion for a cause he took quite seriously would barely register among the American ruling elite. Had I been a separatist, I would have been embarrassed.

That's a good story Peter, but why so sparing with the details?

Ti-Guy said...

Oops, I missed this...

It's Ti-Guy's pseudo-Freudian psychobabble he picked up from the American caring professions and popular culture I can't abide

Success at last. A hissy fit from Peter Brunet.

Is that how you characterise anything you are unwilling to understand or take seriously or even ask for clarification about? Pseudo-Freudian psychobabble?

My expertise is in linguistics, information and media. I think Freud has nothing to say about modern psychology and I think modern psychology is mostly fraudulent anyway. I can't abide American "caring professions," which, as far as I'm concerned, have pathologised modern life to the point where no one seems to know whether they're sane or not.

I've tried to make one simple point; that the irrationality we see around us is simply a matter of entrenched ignorance exacerbated by argument not supported by proper evidence and by lack of communicative clarity. There's nothing particularly mystifying or arguable about that, and you'd have to be insensate, driven by some hidden agenda or neurotic, not to recognise that.

Aeneas the Younger said...

TG wrote:

"I've tried to make one simple point; that the irrationality we see around us is simply a matter of entrenched ignorance exacerbated by argument not supported by proper evidence and by lack of communicative clarity. There's nothing particularly mystifying or arguable about that, and you'd have to be insensate, driven by some hidden agenda or neurotic, not to recognise that."

Don't you think it is interesting - to say the least - that we are generally more "educated" than our parents, but certainly less wise?

Ti-Guy said...

Indeed I do. The wisdom my parents passed on is that education is a lifelong process and that life gets more understandable as you get older.

I seriously doubt people who consider themselves "educated" even understand what that means, especially those who think shopping at Home Depot is an imperative of the family.

Oops. There I go, sounding like Oprah again.

Peter Burnet said...

especially those who think shopping at Home Depot is an imperative of the family.

Caught out again by our very own Canadian Herodotus. But, Ti-Guy, what is there left for we uneducated lunkheads to do but mutter resentful curses against our heritage as we try to affix bolt "A" to nut "B"?

Why do I feel a cantankerous rant is coming about how before the Harperites and neo-cons and free-traders took over, we had real hardware stores run by folks who saw their customers as people and not just sources of profit, and that acted as a focus of community that brought folks together to share and relate rather than just exploiting uneducated, atomized worshippers of mammon? And my God, but those people knew their history!!

Ti-Guy said...

Why do you ask questions you don't want/need answers to?

But, Ti-Guy, what is there left for we uneducated lunkheads to do but mutter resentful curses against our heritage as we try to affix bolt "A" to nut "B"?

Be grateful any criticism of consumer culture can be explained as elitism or cheap snobbery?

I used to be Mr. Fix-It. I've always been mechanically inclined and could fix anything; as a teenager I'd fix the dishwasher, the dryer, the washing machine, the blender, the lawn mover...I even started fixing my parents cars, although since they always bought such clunkers it was a rather a thankless task.

Then I went away to school for about a decade. After that, most things weren't fixable anymore.

...thank God for never-ending home renovation projects, eh?