Saturday, September 30, 2006
Calgary- Support The Troops Rally- Redux
I made it to the rally. Those of you who know Calgary will recognize the C-train as the very best access to the city center. I climbed on at Canyon Meadows Station resplendent in my Made in Canada T and a Flames Ballcap. Round about Heritage Station this huge feller boards with a furled CanFlag. We make eye contact and a few nods are exchanged.
I disembark at Olympic Plaza and follow a Vet off the train and onto the platform. Ahead of us is an obviously disheveled native man who reeks of amonia. I increased my pace to get up wind of this pathetic soul. As I passed him, he turned and looked at me with eyes that said, "I quit." I moved on into the plaza infront of city hall as a quiet crowd assembled.
I thought I would observe.
What I saw has both broke my heart and gave me a glimmer of hope.
The turn out on what could only be described as a gorgeous Calgary fall afternoon was dismall.
By my estimation (I counted them) there were about 350 people in attendance...Pols included. The ones that did attend include Jason Kenny, Ted Mortinson, Wayne Cao, Rob Anders, and a few others from the blue-stripe that don't impress me much.
Noticeably adsent, were any Pols of the red or orange (yellow?) stripe. The big three were there too, Global, CTV, CBC. I have to admit, I felt really bad for the girrlll reporter from the CBC. The obvious, gratuitious bitch-slaps were taken at Mother Corp, and Taliban Jack. Some young gal sang an original song entitled, "Canadian Soldier."
I nearly cried... The Pols spoke out, Kenny and Mortinson being the best of the stripe.
The crowd (such as it was) consisted of mostly white, old/young, Canadians. I saw alot of guys with PPCLI T's. Obviously alot of the kids in the crowd were offspring of serving men. Then there were the Vets, about 15-20 of them.
Then we got to hear from an Afghani refuge named, Abduul, (no shit,) who spoke passionately about the reality of Taliban rule. He got the biggest cheer.
I stepped back from the rally to get a larger sense of what was really going on. What I saw does not bode well.
The bum on the park-bench, not the pissy one (this feller had moved on beyond that,) seemed annoyed at this intrusion into his space. He spooled up his backpack after trying to rub the crabs out of his arm-hair.
I jumped back on the train, and so did the feller with the flag. His stop was before mine.............we both avoided eye contact....but as he got off, it was unavoidable. We both shook our heads, and a little part of me died...
Then I got it, the juxtaposition. We live in a country that takes freedom, prosperity, and entitlement for granted. It's no fucking wonder, given the pricks running the show.
There is something desperately wrong with a country, a city, a province, a jurisdiction that can elicit the support of half a million people for a celebration of minority sexuality. The same country cannot find in it's soul to support the children that fight for Us.
I think we're fucked...