A Q&A with Toronto author Lydia Perović
This interview with Lydia reminded me of last year's trucker's strike and the many "man" in the street interviews done with protestors by independent media. Of particular interest were the comments of people from eastern europe, most of whom had immigrated to Canada decades ago. When asked why they were there supporting the truckers they almost to a person said that the Trudeau government's actions reminded them of the oppression they escaped from and they didn't like what they saw here at all. They fear for the future of Canada.
All of Canada is undergoing balkanization and in every way imaginable. From region to language to religion to ethnicity this division is growing into every nook and cranny of the country facilitated by a belief within our institutions that increasing division and tearing down whatever has come before equals progress. In fact, no one belongs anywhere anymore except by tribe. So any attempt to unite, to bring people together to <i>build</i> anything except walls to further separate us based on immutable characteristics, is vilified as some kind of evil and intolerant right wing extremism. As is any criticism of this progressive model. Yet the words of this so-called progress used to divide and separate the tribes from shared values seem ever so virtuous, like tolerance and diversity and equity, like recognition and reconciliation and settlement, like rights and freedoms and 'correcting' historical grievances. But these terms themselves have been balkanized to mean the opposite in practice and so the nation itself spirals ever further into social dysfunction and international irrelevancy. It seems clearer and clearer that the population of today's disenfranchised Canadian majority has become nothing more than the necessary means to be the cash cow to pay for the increasing enfranchised tribalism. And so we continue to vote for more of the same and feel righteous and patriotic for doing so.
This will not end well.
The disaster unfolding at the National Gallery of Canada warrants all our attention, especially cultural workers, and action. There is a lot of handwringing going on in the community but we have been educated to accept the museum’s authority, even to defend its autonomy, so when hijacked what can one do? Something. Anything!
A somewhat lighter take on this can be found here: https://robertlabossiere.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/CCshipsmashedpotatoes2.pdf
Thanks for this interview, Tara. i hope you have it as a podcast at some point.
"One of the earliest things that life in Canada taught me was that nothing lasts, nothing is built to last." If this is true - and i find it to be increasingly the case - how can any kind of solid culture be built? But this seems to be modus operandi of hyper-liberalism - nothing can really change fast enough. And if there were a real conservative movement in Canada, they might be something of an antidote to this. But most of what goes by the name of Conservatism in Canada is anything but conservative - it tends to be overwhelmingly more neo-liberal, with tinges of right-wing populism. So "conservatives" in Canada seem to be as much into "creative destruction" as the woke/hyper-progressive folks, just with different emphases.
Thanks for highlighting Perovic, Tara.
I agree about the land acknowledgment being a form of saying grace. Unlike saying grace, which is not said very much publicly outside of church anymore , it is unescapable. Every activity I attend, no matter how mundane, such as viewing a local gardening film online or attending a lecture about birds , includes the land acknowledgement….. a bit of mea culpa along with a good dose of shame to start each event. I understand that the land acknowledgment will be made at events, where we also sing the national anthem ( such as a hockey game) , or at the beginning of the school day etc. However, the way the land acknowledgment has crept into every facet of social and work life is feeling more and more like indoctrination into a religious belief system that may require repentance, confession and maybe even retribution. While this situation does not qualify as forced speech we are certainly forced to listen to the land acknowledgement repeatedly if we want to participate in any facet of life in Canada that includes other people. This practice does not seem helpful for reconciliation efforts or simply enjoying time with others.
You voted for this and now you're getting it good and hard.
Much of the current things seem like they are intended to divide us into tribes. Like why are we even talking about "Drag Queen Story Time" at the Calgary Public Library? That it is a bridge too far for many people should be of no surprise. Most people instinctively believe that the sexualization of children is wrong and society must protect children from being sexualized. What value is there in pushing it in the face of people who feel this way by those people who believe that it is right? Many of us have dealt with the consequences of Child Sexual Abuse, which can be shown to have horrific long term consequences on the adults who experienced it as children. I know that those who push the agenda, believe that this is different, but they show no proof, only insist that we trust them on this. The end result of the debate is extreme division. If the principle is "First Do No Harm" and in 25 years there has been harm done, what then.........
Brilliant insights, thanks Tara and Lydia.
"You don’t owe anybody any answer"..."I think we’re letting the friendship front go." True friendship is built by experiencing real things together with other people, often hard things. Being plunked in demanding situations for long periods of time where success is based on interdependence is the foundation of friendship. If we're all self-sufficient, friendship is no longer necessary. Neighbourhood is no longer necessary, especially in cities. The menial classes do all the connective tissue of tasks to keep everything running smoothly. Government of whatever level becomes your "neighbour" as you're dependent on it to keep the menials on task. Hmmmm. Not sure where I was going with this. Just following the thought trail.