Friday, June 03, 2005

The Cement Garden

[Note: Very sorry about the small font size. Something screwy about the posting option. Perhaps some supercooled air is being funneled down from the troposphere? And notice that annoying white bar on the right edge of the posts? Aargh! Will work on it later.]

[Note: This post was originally posted June 02. Due to finicky and annoying technical HTML stuff, it's being reposted here. New goods will arrive Saturday. In the meantime, stick to the pack ice and stay away from open water.]

[Addendum: That is, Saturday evening.]

The tape dispenser fell apart at work yesterday. The shiny black plastic wedge separated in my hand. Are they really that heavy, those dispensers? Look, inside, it was filled with dusty concrete! What I'm wondering is, how much cement is hidden in daily objects? I'm thinking I've probably got whole sidewalks buried around me and I didn't even know it.

Elsewhere, a Québécois adman by the name of Paul Coffin pulled a few nails out of his own by declaring himself guilty on fifteen counts of fraud. He's the first person being charged in the cloud of corruption called the federal sponsorship scandal. Coffin's lawyer says

Mr. Coffin wishes to bring his financial house in order so that the government of Canada can be reimbursed for whatever losses the government of Canada incurred.

Well, I suppose I'll have to wait and see (the presiding judge has the right mind in this case—"After we see how these promises come to reality, I will reassess my position"), but wouldn't it be amazing if the stolen money was honestly, openly, out-of-hand completely refunded? Who knew such a virtuous act was in the man? The Liberal gov't has so far earmarked only a paltry $750 000 for reimbursement. $750 000 out of who-knows-how-many missing millions! But Paul Coffin is ready to return every cent he's ever stolen. The charges have broken the man open, that's for sure, and I'm not saying he isn't frantically backpedalling, trying to soften up the courts. But, still, who expected this kind of behaviour from any of the hard souls involved in these scandals? Who knew this kind of right action could still exist? I mean, upstanding behaviour from the corrupt! If Paul Martin is ever really concerned about losing Quebec, he could do worse than pay attention to one of the province's natives, a man willing to do right. But Martin isn't, of course. Interested, that is. The fear of separation from Quebec merely provides the Liberals with a solid above-board reason to perpetuate the status quo and support/bribe their brother federals and the Quebec politicos. Cronyism in the name of patriotism. "Patriotism," Dr. Samuel Johnson once said, "is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Martin is helping strangle a very important part of Canada, the Québécois soul; a soul, apparently, which recognizes right behaviour, concrete principles, and wishes to act accordingly.

Reading: "The Story of Zaccheus" + Saint Luke
Listening: "Brother" + The Organ

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