Sunday, June 16, 2013

Irises, Indians, Erdogan and Harper

Whatd'ya know . . . I DO like purple!

I’m three-quarters through The Inconvenient Indian: a curious account of native people in North America, by Thomas King. Look for a review on Readwit soon. For now, just a few pithy quotations:
       “. . . colonists . . . could always console themselves with the knowledge that Whites, who had found their way to North America, were part of God’s master plan. And Indians, who had been here all along, were not (24).”
        “North America decided that Native education had to be narrowly focused on White values, decided that Native values, ceremonies and languages were inferior and had no value of place in a contemporary curriculum. This was the first abuse of the residential school system (119).”


                 How would you like to be Recep Tayyip Erdogan these days? Prime Minister of Turkey, he’s faced (apparently) with the dilemma of ardent support by half (give or take) of the population while the rest despise him and are as ardently determined to undermine his leadership and get him ousted if possible. Should he be reviewing recent history in Libya, Egypt or Syria to help him decide on a course of action? It’s probably hard to resist applying lethal military might, ready and waiting to do battle. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable” said John F. Kennedy. Franz Kafka is reported to have written, “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”
             I doubt that Erdogan reads Kafka, or would take council from any American President right now . . . not even a dead one. 


           You’re right; it’s Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Harper in Dublin on their way to the G8 summit. They’re holding a Canadian Rugby team jersey and grinning into the camera like typical tourists do when overwhelmed with the enormity of where they are and what they’re doing. “Look mommy, Here I am in Ireland and I went in a pub but didn’t drink any beer! Honest!” 
         Whether posing under the Guinness is Good for You sign was deliberate or not, I’d be surprised if the brewing company didn’t use it somewhere in their advertising, or if the Liberals and the NDP hadn’t already earmarked it for the next election campaign!

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