Remember when Canada used to take morally courageous stands on issues and was well-respected for it? Remember when it was America on the wrong side of so many issues, rather than Canada? And remember when the lust for profits didn't necessarily trump all else in every decision this country made?
Well, I've got something new for you to all remember and it's something, when the time comes, I sure hope no one forgets: When you read about the complete collapse of the Atlantic bluefin tuna population and its eventual extinction in a few short years from now, remember that it was Canada, as much as any other nation (aside from Japan), that was responsible.
One thing I think everyone can agree on is the fact that this past decade has had more than its fair share of dicks. While almost everyone can agree on the dickishness of certain slimy characters out there, certain others inexplicably have their passionate defenders.
To my mind, however, over the past ten years quintessential dickishness has been defined by a select few.
So here it is, my list of the Biggest Dicks of The Decade:
Finally. Some great news.
It's been pretty hard being a Canadian of late.
Not only do we have a right-wing buffoon for a prime minister, but the progressive majority here in this country has been left with no attractive, electable alternative.
Then there's the fact that Canada is one of the world's worst environmental degraders, with the oil sands of Alberta becoming a bigger and bigger pox on the land with each passing day; a pox not only on the environmental landscape but also on our country's once stellar international reputation.
Furthermore, our justice system is a joke.
We've got bishops in charge of sex abuse compensation claims caught with graphic child porn.
And Celine Dion continues to record.
And, on top of all this misery, we still inexplicably have some foreign, overseas, in-bred family serving as this country's monarchy/head of state. A reality that becomes more and more pathetic as Canada moves further and further away from its distant colonial past.
"You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you
And always look on the bright side of life"
- "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" by Monty Python from the film Life Of Brian
There are those who claim that every single Canadian should feel shame and embarrassment over the fact that Canada's overall environmental record ranks eighth among the G-8 nations and that, according to the World Wildlife Fund, Canada's 33 million people "emit more greenhouse gases than half the countries in the world put together".
But I'd say that such people are simply being overly negative.
I mean, at least we didn't come in ninth, right?
Last week, in honor of Canada Day, I decided to whip off a list of The Top Ten Reasons We Here in The Great White North Should Be Both Proud and Ashamed of Being Canadian.
However, I soon realized that it wasn't something that could simply be whipped off in a few minutes, so I decided to take a few more days to think about it and here, finally, is my official list of the top ten things I love and hate about this country:
"I can't understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones"
- John Cage
What's up with Republicans and their love of stupid anyway? First Reagan, then George W. Bush, then Sarah Palin, and now Joe The Plumber. Well, perhaps it has something to do with their constant state of fear.
Drugs, terrorists, hippies, immigrants, universal medical coverage, Muslims, gay marriage, science, God, teenagers having sex - is there anything these people aren't terrified of?
I could go on and on about what a depressing night it's been watching the election results trickle in and facing up to the fact that we're in for more of the same from Stephen Harper and his reactionary Conservatives.
But I'm not going to.
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin'
- Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin'
We know that throughout history conservatives have constantly fought tooth and nail against equality and justice? But the question remains, why? Could it be a sickness?
What's up with conservatives anyway? Time after time they have been shown to have been on the wrong side of history, standing strong, tall and proud against justice, equality and progress. Yet in the present they always seem to stubbornly cling to their bankrupt way of thinking, as they insist on opposing all progressive change, whatever it may be. Of course today's typical conservative wouldn't defend slavery or deny women the vote, but, in the end, it's the same mindset and, without a doubt, today's conservatives, had they been around back in the day, would have supported the status quo then, just as they do today. The conservative mind remains the same, it's just the topics under discussion that change.
Hey all you fellow Canadians out there, as Bob Dylan once asked, how does it feel? How does it feel to have a government that is such a disgraceful embarrassment on the international stage? I mean, when your country's only real ally on a major issue is George W. Bush's America you've really got to stop and ask yourself just what the hell went wrong? And the answer, obviously, starts with the election of this Stephen Harper-led right-wing Bush-a-like government of ours two years ago. The only question now seems to be, just how far down do these jokers plan to drag us?
As every Canadian should already have heard by now, we are, per capita, the worst contributors to greenhouse gas pollution and, thus, global warming in the world. But this isn't the only thing that has distinguished us, or at least our government, as pathetic in recent times. No, when it comes to the environment, we're truly world leaders and, as of late, world famous for our resource-gobblin', nature-destroyin', bottom-trawlin' and overall-environment-thrashin' ways.