Remembrance Day again… we can take a sigh of relief that we have “done the right thing”, take the poppies off our coat, and begin shopping in earnest for Christmas. In our public sphere… the offices and malls… Remembrance Day is marked by the small donation box on the counter, while the merchandise and activity everywhere else screams Hallowe’en, or Christmas!
In Ontario this November our media focussed, not on the men we served to protect our freedoms, but on two atrocious political scandals that demean their sacrifice. The three disgraced and temporarily suspended senators apparently fiddled with their expense accounts. The monetary amounts were trivial compared to the sin of being in the wrong party at the wrong time… the turmoil over the scandal is just more proof that our Canadian senators, appointed for life, do not have enough real work to do. The problems surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford are quite different. The man is intemperate, dishonest, unreliable… and there is no constitutional means to bar him from office.
There is a connection, at least for me, to Remembrance Day. Ford admited to smoking crack cocaine and uttering death threats in a furious foul-mouthed tantrum… all caught on tape and initially denied. He excuses this behaviour as having occurred in one of “his drunken stupors”. My father and the men he served with in the RCAF in WWII undoubtedly drank… frequently and in quantity. I never saw or heard tell of my father, his brothers, or any of his friends “in a drunken stupor”. Undoubtedly it happened, but it was a mark of shame. A real man was supposed to “hold his liquor”, to “know his limits”. Anyone who could not or would not do so was a pathetic fool. Rob Ford admitted that he was too drunk to even remember that he had taken crack cocaine…but probably just once, mind you, experimentally, because he is not an addict!!!
I wrote about both Remembrance Day and Rob Ford last year. The links are in the next two blob posts.