How Dare Jack Layton Make Canadians Feel Hopeful Again!

by matttbastard

David J. Climenhaga, responding to National Post columnist Christie Blatchford’s now-infamous cranky, contrarian reaction to Canada’s outpouring of love and admiration for Socialist cur Taliban Jack Layton (HISSSSSSS!):

[T]he offending column is far from the worst piece Blatchford has written, and it makes a good point that many of us who loved and respected Layton can surely agree with, or at least concede contains some truth. Its other arguments would better be dismissed with a shrug than with obscenity and imprecation.

I bothered to read this piece only because I came across some of the angry reaction on social media sites. I turned to it with a sick feeling, because I expected from the lead-up to read something truly disgusting, like the odious efforts of Calgary Sun city editor Dave Naylor. I finished it and concluded we should all take a deep breath.

The chief knock against Blatchford’s effort seems to be that she called Layton a thoroughly political creature, and assailed his moving deathbed letter to Canadians with such uncharacteristically big words as “sophistry” and “vainglorious.”

Well, OK, the latter part of this opinion is graceless, even cheesy — exactly as we have come to expect of almost any Postmedia columnist. But really, so what? It does not seem appropriate to me to respond to this kind of drivel by calling its author a “heartless cow,” or worse, or wishing on her the same horrible fate that befell Layton.

Moreover, I think most of us can agree that Blatchford’s silly allegation of sophistry and vainglory is merely a typical response, and possibly a heartfelt one, by a Tory sympathizer who must have fretted deeply about the implications of Layton’s successful appeal to the better angels of our Canadian nature. Even our dour prime minister seems to have been improved by Layton’s sunny vision, which in some circles might be seen as evidence of miraculous powers!

While making some valid points regarding Tory anxiety over Layton’s significant posthumous power, Climenhaga misses the mark: it isn’t Blatch’s petty attack on Layton that most rankles, at least to me. Rather, it’s her arrogant, contemptuous attempt to police the natural reactions of ordinary Canadians to the passing of someone they loved and respected. As far as Blatch is concerned, the massive, spontaneous public display of emotion and affection from coast to coast (including QC — thanks Jack!) is unseemly and worthy of ridicule, another pop-cult spectacle of collective (HISSSSS!) hysteria a la Princess Di.

Now, people tend to get rather prickly when told they are grieving in an inappropriate fashion — hence the vast, vocal outcry. However, I highly doubt anyone at PostMedia is crying. One could argue that all the attention afforded to Blatch, overwhelmingly negative though it may be,  = mission accomplished.

Trolling is, after all, an art.

Regardless, I’m sure le bon Jack could not care less if his final words caused Canada’s fav crotchety wingnut Agony Aunt to throw a public shit-fit. As Climenhaga rightly notes, in this Layton too could claim the mission accomplished mantle with as much, if not more, legitimacy as she (and if the stale mother-son YYZ vaudeville act of Babs and Johnny Kay doesn’t provoke a hearty chortle of righteous satisfaction from beyond this mortal coil, well, I guess I just don’t know Jack).

Don’t get me wrong — yours truly frequently disagreed with Jack Layton over the years. A lot. But, like a vast multitude of my fellow Canuckistanians (including apostate NDP icon Judy Rebick, another longtime Layton foe on the left), I ultimately found myself overcome with a sense that we had lost a statesman, truly a Great Canadian (caps and all).

Ottawa must have been reading the same tea leaves, hence the state funeral offer.

Still, the next time a Champagne Socialist from Danforth dares to die an insanely popular, highly revered public figure, everyone first make sure to check in with Christie Blatchford and co. for instructions on proper grieving etiquette.

Oh, and none of that peace and love hippie-dippy sidewalk chalk bullshit — politics is for cynics and sociopaths goddammit.

Image: Jackman Chiu, Flickr

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In The Master’s House

by matttbastard

Alison is so full of WIN (and a proud field-worker).

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Why ‘Backlash’ Should Be Required Reading

by matttbastard

I really didn’t want to politicize this day. Respectful National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women statements have been released by the NDP, Grits and Bloc. Uncle Steve and Co., on the other hand, have chosen to draft a “statement” (as of this writing not yet posted to the SWC website) that reads like an election-year style stump speech. 107 words on the Montreal Massacre; 205 spent self-righteously shilling partisan Conservative policy initiatives.

Classy.

There is also, however, this steaming, stinking load of contrarian horseshit from Barbara Kay, published in yesterday’s National Post, which is…well, good fucking God:

[T]he Canadian public never seems to weary of the annual Dec. 6 tribute to the 1989 Montreal Polytechnique shooting massacre of 14 women. Indeed, 12/6’s branding power burgeons with every anniversary: The theme of violence against women dominates the media; new physical memorials are constructed; additional programs decrying domestic violence against women are entrenched in school curricula; masses of white ribbons are distributed; more stringent gun control is more strenuously urged. Their cumulative effect is to link all Canadian men to a global conspiracy against women of jihadist proportions.

[…]

Public tributes to the fallen can bring out the best or the worst in our national character. We see the best in our beautiful Remembrance Day ceremonies, formulated in an era of national pride and cultural confidence, when male heroism was considered a quality deserving of public recognition. But now, a “grandfathered” Nov. 11 is the only day of the year when feminist ideologues refrain from overt misandry.

We see the worst on Dec. 6, a day when truly one may reasonably ask, “doesn’t grieving … have a shelf life?” We should indeed wind it down, for it is as unethical to denounce an entire gender for an individual’s behaviour as we all acknowledge it would be in the case of a race or religion.

[…]

Commemorative ceremonies serve an edifying purpose when they facilitate a unifying rite of formal mourning for national tragedies, ceremonies that strengthen collective resolve to combat real, not perceived threats. Unifying is the key word: If public ceremonies divide instead of uniting the citizenry, they demoralize rather than edify the nation.

We should not fund grief rituals that nurture conspiracy theories and phobias. The 12/6 tribute has become a propaganda mill for both. It is high time we turned our attention and public funds to worthier commemorative projects. How is it that we have yet to inaugurate a yearly ceremony for the 25 Canadians who died in the Trade Towers?

The relative indifference displayed by Kay’s ideological brethren in Parliament, taken in context with their record with regards to women’s issues, leads one to believe that her misogynistic, hate-saturated screed is, by proxy, their true December 6th statement.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers