My occasional guest-blogging friend returns with a folksy and real assessment of today’s political scene. I’m glad to provide him this space since his job isn’t so permissive as to allow him to maintain a regular blog.
I note that in today’s National Post my friend Father De Souza has made a strong case for the merits of, and even the superiority of, ploughing matches. I dare say that almost all of us have come to the same conclusion.
Only the oddest of men can resist the allure of freshly turned loam. Anyone who watches little boys playing in the backyard knows they prefer a mud bath to the traditional kind. I myself have often stopped the truck and, like a buffalo, wallowed in a freshly turned field simply for the fun of it. Like most men I hunt ducks and geese, and when I do I dig a pit, surround it with straw, and am happy to be in my burrow, shotgun at the ready, dog at my side. This is all obvious and normal. From the earth we came and to the earth we shall return. And in my opinion the more often we return to it the better off we are.
But as I said before there are odd men who refuse to acknowledge man’s fundamental and elemental connection to the very ground they stand on, but then these men can rarely stand their ground.
These men think of dirt as being dirty. They feel soiled by the soil. These are men who wear knapsacks with their suits, who bicycle to the university where they work and who recycle everything, especially the political ideas of Marx and the scientific ideas of Al Gore. These are men who pontificate, but to whom it would never occur to cultivate.
Yet one of these fussy men, with his head in the ozone layer and feet planted firmly in the ether, wants to be the Prime Minister of this country where people till the soil, mine the earth, sweat on assembly lines, harvest the sea and shoulder their rifles in the deserts of Afghanistan. And those that don’t do these things make up for it by violently hitting golf balls on the weekend, or by mowing their lawns just to smell freshly cut grass. But then these are people whom, like Antaeus, draw their strength from the ground even if their ground is a 10 by 10 patch behind their townhouse in Etobicoke, or an old cemetary in a poppy strewn field in France.
Canada is rooted in the soil, and those roots routinely shift houses off their foundations, especially the House of Commons. They can topple almost anything, especially aspiring politicians.
I am afraid that the Liberals do not understand this. Nietsche had his over man. The Liberals have their ether man. The fussy man that I have described cannot serve the down to earth people of Canada.
But while I can’t quite envision Mr. Dion as Prime Minister of Canada, or as a servant of any kind, I can picture him as Prime Minister of a country of the type where he would have magical powers like Eliot on that wonderful movie E.T. I can see him peddling furiously and flying through the air on his bicycle with his dog Kyoto in his basket, perhaps on his way to personally put a patch on the hole in the ozone layer. This wonderful scene would be set against the beautiful mystery that is a harvest moon.
Sadly however this is a fantasy, you might even say a flight of fancy, but it is no more fantastic then Mr Dion’s chance of winning over the sturdy men and women of Canada.