Remembrance Day

Don’t you dare forget to remember

A couple things stuck out at me this passed November 11th. Without a doubt, the big news was that Grapes was finally let go from Hockey Night in Canada at the ripe young age of 112-years old. Many people have had their takes on the controversial pundit, many opinions and views have already been expressed.

It’s not my bag to speculate on what ‘you people’ means, whether it’s immigrants, millennials or simply all of those who were in attendance not wearing a Poppy.

I mean, what if nobody had change? Simple as that. Many folk pay exclusively with card or phone, Occam’s razor, motherfuckers. I didn’t buy one because I never have coins, get at me.

I digress.

A lot of people were acting like this was somehow out of character. Dude is a lightning rod for alactritous, old-timey racism and prejudice. My earliest memories of the cat are hearing him call Pavel Bure a ‘Russian Weasel’ in the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs. I think he blind-sided A goon names Shane Churla on the Stars, a Good-Canadian Kid. He ain’t change, we did, the world did.

It also sets off this whole Youngins vs Boomers discourse. A-fucking-gain. Tell me, when has the old ever given respect to the young and when did the young ever give the respect the older cats think they deserve? It’s a generational disconnect and will happen forever. Trap-music is Disco again. The only difference now is that we have about a half-dozen or so Vietnams at any particular moment.

That I the part I find most interesting.

No disrespect to the souls of our elders that fought and lost their lives in battle. Nor the cats that trudge out to the Middle-East and everywhere in between.  But, the older cats have to recognize that time washes away the meaning of damn near everything. It has been a long time, and while you can try to argue that that shouldn’t decrease the amplitude of the holiday, it very much does. As a society we have a collected conscience. As the make-up of our country and culture centre on the youth and move towards the burgeoning younger citizenry, outpacing and diluting the aging, it’s only fitting that the memories of things long-passed are weakened and replaced by things more pertinent and felt more poignantly by those who compose the majority.

I’m in my thirties. I remember being taken to the cenotaph and feeling so disengaged from the proceedings, though that may speak more to me than to my age group. The younger cats? They are so removed from this war, the first and, let’s be honest, more frivolous of the World Wars. If we can get over our or malignant sense of tradition and eschew this notion of heritage for a moment, let’s look at what the kids born in the last 30, 20 years are facing.

Wars like a motherfucker. Towers fell, bombings in public all over Europe, the rise of school shooting, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Turkey, Congo, Boko Haram, climate change, Ferguson, Syria, South Sudan, North Korea, Crimea, China, Iran; holy fuck that was just off the top of my head.

We have several globally-integrative wars happening, constantly, at once. We have attacks so close we have to check social media to see if they’re alright. We have the lights dimming on our species, the same hands that wag fingers at us for disrespect did a lot of work to adjust the brightness. We have the technology to be bombarded with dread and doom around the clock and an investment in our social spheres that was hitherto unthinkable.

We have a lot of danger that dances around our heads like mobiles that turn to cartoonish stars like when a loony tune is cracked in the dome-piece, and still there’s more.

I’m old enough where I catch myself looking at a teen, consumed by their mobile, unable to speak with eye contact and concerned with such paltry things that I wonder how they’ll make it. Then I remember I was the same way, I just didn’t have dope-ass cellphone with everything I could ever want to know right in my pocket. Comic books became popular after WWI as a form dissociation with the ills that came with that war. Let the little fuckers go on Insta and shit, they deserve a break from being pelted with some kind of doomsday-like attrition.

Fuck all that nostalgia shit because we’re not moving backwards. Yeah, it’d be nice if you could bike to your friends and check-in instead of texting or go to the library to do research. But, the kids don’t have to. Why would they make it harder on themselves? The people who created all the tech and gadgetry that isolates the youth are the same ones demonizing them for consuming it. I think it’s jealousy. You know what masturbation was like in 1997? Not this easy. Props to the Hub.

We’re not moving backwards. We shouldn’t dwell on the past, we can’t. We have to learn from it. We have to keep forward, breathe easy and bite our lips for the next dirty bomb or hijacked plane. The past becomes the past quicker than it did.

Back to Don Cherry.

I’m not surprised by what he said. Like I mentioned, he’s been railing against Europeans and whoever didn’t fit his ideal-type forever and a day now. You can say fuck that guy, and you wouldn’t be offside, but I respect him for not walking it back.

It’s one of those cases, and Jesus Christ I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record, where freedom of speech is so vital. Freedom of speech, freedom to agree or disagree, freedom to ignore and freedom to respond. Let the dinosaur, that human anachronism, speak his mind. And let us disagree with him. Let some nod their head. Let some turn their back. I don’t care if that got him fired, he probably should have been taken to the farm long ago. But, are you surprised an old, xenophobic white dude feels that type of way? You can break down what he said and squint-out any racial or ethnic insensitivity, but why bother? My guess is only old crackers goin do that. We know the cat and we know how he thinks. He’s your racist grandpa. I believe that you don’t have to love him even if you share the same DNA. Family is coincidence and sometimes a cancer. (Love you mom.)

Holding on to the man this long is a tale of how we hold on to nostalgia and expect people to observe a type of nationalism. I focus on individualism, myself. (No shit, huh.) Was Cherry was propped up and Christmas wrapped in gaudy suits because he has the most unique eye for the game? Or because it’s tradition, his folksy lunacy and free-balling soundbites are just part of the game? Dude’s a relic.

The wise adapt with the times. They use empathy to understand the new generations. They don’t have to like the music and the slang, but get it. They acknowledge the rules are changing, for the better, and decline freezing in time with beliefs and values. The world falling from your fingertips is no reason to launch into tirades and yearn for the past. Was it all that good? Tell me, what was so good about it. Small pox and casual bigotry? Gender ceilings and smoking indoors? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Parenthesis: I like that this is the Canadian version of the Duck Dynasty. Cherry guy didn’t use the N-word, but said you people and got roasted, so goddamn Canadian. Land of milk and honey.

I’m not a visible minority. I’m not a politically passionate cat. I’m not left or right or centrist. I am ambivalent, maybe indifferent or apathetic (I did Vote!) to most things and I do understand that if I was a woman, Asian, Indian, First Nation or anything besides what I was born, that my viewpoint would be different. I can only try to take the eyes of the ‘others’ and use their sight to guide my thread, to understand that what works for me might be harming another.

To this old chunk of coal, showing up to the event is massive, just making the trip. There was a blend of all creeds and colours, lineage and ethnicities. So the fuck what if they didn’t have a poppy. We nowadays speak with likes instead of actions. We are a ‘like-based’ culture now where a double tap makes you a supporter. Glib: yes. Shallow: Probs. Lazy: Arguable. But that is the way it’s going. The climate protests proves that mobilization does arise from awareness and that support is not a spectre.

I get far more likes than sales. I still feel supported. I think that the easier something is to do, it ends up having the opposite effect concerning engagement. I get an email or a message and all I have to do is respond. Move my finger and bada-bing, it’s done. But I put the shit off as some kind of devoir. But, it’s so easy. A facile task, one so easily undertaken, is harder than an arduous task. The effort required is so minimal that we play it off the same way. Someone can send you a link to peruse at your leisure, serve it on a silver tray, all you have to do is click and… 3 months later, you may visit my site. You have to accept it. I have to accept it. It’s the mind state we all collectively breathed life into.

To show up and support, especially for people’s who possibly had grandparents that fought against the Allied forces, for a people who may have been the first generation to land in Canada, for people that (and go ahead and get mad here if you must) owe the country fucking nada, is great. No poppy? So what, they were there and I wasn’t. Who’s more Canadian? And, is the poppy some kind of admission? If you’ve never read anything that I’ve ever written before this, Imma let you guess how I feel about uniforms and mandatory homogeneity.

Why are you not wearing the ribbon, Kramer!

What are the good old days? When you hit your peak? When things were most befitting to you, before they figured out your flim-flams and equaled the playing field? You know that someone else is hitting their peak and this will one day be their good old day, so what’s up? Books were the cellphones of previous century, now they are some kind of graceful medium of enrichment and not just entertainment. Tell me, the good old days, were they good for everyone?

The answer is no. Nationhood is a myth, pride for one’s country is groupthink that can get nasty and we’re all nothing more than selfish beasts trying to get-by and not get sucked in to a void of despair with all the clocks ticking towards 13. What is duty if it’s done with impure intentions. To the older ones, remember how the wars you lived through made you feel? Did you feel the same about your parent’s wars? We aren’t a static species, we are ever-changing and mercurial. Because we live in the same project speaks nothing to how alike we are. We might have shared memories and events, but we might also have interpreted them vastly different.

Boomers suck. Gen Xers suck. Millennials suck. Gen Zers suck. Everyone sucks sometimes and thinks the others suck most of the time. That sounds like something we all have in common. I could say some shit like, we should all work together to pull the body from the flaming wreckage, but shit, that ain’t me. Just have an open mind and give the other’s the same respect to voice their opinions as you would like. They aren’t dumb cause they’re younger, or ignorant because they’re older, they’re a person and probably just that way, now and then, always and forever. Your age doesn’t mean your values have to crystallize. That goes for the new generations as well, likely to have more than a couple who will remain stuck in the current day’s mode of thought and value structure. Life and culture move as a pendulum. This rivalry is nothing new. And, your all hippies to me.

Papa Croft ghost,

Sorry for cussing.

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