Recently my one loyal reader, er, I mean, one of my many, many loyal read_DERS, wrote to ask why I had not posted anything recently, going so far as to wonder if, “all that craziness in Montreal with the students wearing you down?” Now we all know that after 35 years in the classroom students could never wear me down.
But, the truth is I was on vacation. I figured that if the student protesters and all the wannabees could take time off, then so could/should I. But, now that I think about it I wonder just what are they on ‘vacation’ from? They are not on vacation from school seeing as how they haven’t been going to school since the mess began. In effect they are on vacation from doing nothing. I am reminded of the old George Carlin query, “What does a dog do on his day off?” After a pause the late, great George would answer, “Can’t sit around the house licking his balls. That’s what he does when he’s on the job.”
All the students and their entourage had been doing was marching aimlessly; remember how they could not even tell their police escorts where they might be going on a given night? That was probably due to skipping their geography or urban planning classes had left them without the ability to navigate anymore. Presumably they are on vacation from marching, wandering, and lost in the streets of Montreal.
Naturally they would say they are taking a break from their ‘strike.’ But that just brings up another question. What are they on strike from? See, to strike, one is usually withholding work of some kind to get the employer, factory owner, boss man to give them something. Since school is not a job, the word strike does not really apply. It never did. Yes, maybe it is a job for the teachers and when they stood boldly and bravely in the ‘Do Not Enter’ lines, still getting paid all those months, er, well, nope that’s not a strike either. Hmmmm . . . . .
Yes, I know, this was all about the soon to be raised tuition fees for Quebec universities. But then that got clouded by so many other issues, the one most often mentioned was ‘democracy.’ Hmmm, once again, interesting choice of word since democracy means government of/by the people and it was the ‘people’ who elected the current government, so those fee increases, which were first mentioned in the Spring of ’11, accompanied by increases in health care contributions among others, apparently are part of democracy. Hmmm . . .. .
I always find it funny, in that odd sort of way, when people in Canada complain about a supposed lack of democracy. Canada is the most democratic country in the world. What other country would allow two, not one but two and counting, political parties whose avowed purpose is to break up the country, to even exist, not to mention sit in the houses of government, and even to form the government when democratically elected? And, what other country in the world has done more to help save, defend and preserve democracy worldwide? Go back to the dark days of 1939-41 when the good old US of A was still trying to dig itself out of the Great Depression and see how Canada shored up Great Britain and therefore Europe, preserving that island foothold from which would eventually be launched the D-Day invasion. Canada is still the Major Peacekeeper with no agenda other than, well, peace, in the 21st century.
Well, that was one hell of a mouthful, now wasn’t it?
Speaking of mouthfuls, I got a flyer through the front door last week from some pizza joint and there it was in numbers and letters, the price of a small all dressed – – – – – something like $12! WHAT the F&^%????? While tuition fees, even after the proposed increases over 5-7 years, would be going up by about 6 fold from the days when I was an under grad, the price of a pizza, a freaking pizza, has gone up by 1200%. Did the government do this? Nope, just some guy in some pizza joint and then all his competitors jumped on the band wagon, sort of like the hangers on to the student marches. Did we get to vote on this? Nope, unilateral decision, then monopolistic closing of ranks. Well, folk(s), that is NOT democratic. This is where I draw the line.
I am letting it be known that when, not if but when cause we know it’s going to happen, the students resume their, ahem, ‘strike,’ I may well become one of their entourage. For democracy, for peace and for pizza.
And if they have another one of their naked/nude marches, look for me. I will be displaying my pepperoni with pride!
–Just My Two Sense