Roxanne Tellier – Love It/Hate It: Thanks Giving 2015
I love that our Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, a cold, clear breathing space before the run up to winter and it’s festivities.
I hate that companies like Sears try to ramp up their sales by aping America, calling upon a “Canadian Black Friday” to stimulate shoppers, and oh, by the way … Christmas is coming! Start spending now!
Speaking of scary stuff, this holiday weekend marks the beginning of advanced voting for our October 19th election. The turnout has been fantastic; Friday’s advanced polls were up 26% over normal. It took a lot for Canadians to get off their duffs and care about who will steer Canada through the next four years. But it’s happened, and no matter which party is chosen, it’s great to see our nation galvanized.
I’m grateful for a lot of things, including those people who have raised their voices, be it in song or print, to help everyone understand the issues our country is facing. Not all voices or writers are equal in talent, but everyone who’s spoken their mind speaks from the heart.
(I also find it a little odd that no songs seem to have emerged savaging Trudeau or Mulcair.Hmmmm …)
I hate that I’ve seen and heard, on Facebook and in person, some of the most vicious and racist rhetoric I’ve ever encountered, during discussions on the niqab, and its apparent potential to obliterate Canadian democracy. I’m not gonna insult anyone by pretending that we’re afraid of that little bit of cloth. Of course, it’s the fear that, under that cloth, there is an ISIS warrior with a gun or a bomb, or some way to hurt our fragile flesh. But it’s never happened here. And it sure as hell is happening over there, which is why the refugees are running to safety. Making it all about the niqab has allowed the government to sweep our compassion under the rug, and allowed us to cast aside that image of 3 year old Alan, the little boy whose crumpled body washed up on a beach, in favour of demonizing those fleeing bombs and torture.
I’m grateful for my family, all of ‘em, even the crazy ones (and we have our share, thank heavens!) I like that we encourage each other, touch base for no reason, and somehow manage to stay connected, despite the miles that separate us. I’m grateful for the many ways we can keep in touch, be it by phone, post, or internet.
I hate that miles separate us. Growing up in Montreal, my extended family would gather each week at one of the family’s homes, and we’d share a meal and good times together. Today, we’re all scattered across this great land, and seem to only physically reconvene in times of stress. But our loyalty, formed by years of forced conviviality … I’m kidding! I love you all!
I’m grateful for my friends, all of ‘em, even the crazy ones … maybe especially the crazy ones. Some I’ve known for decades, some I’ve met only recently, but with each encounter, my capacity to know and love the goodness that lies within people grows.
I hate that I’ve lost family and friends along the way, some to death, but many more to differing views on life. I’ve always believed that we don’t really change as we age – we just become more adamant about our beliefs. What we’ve lived through shapes us, for good or ill. Some maintain the child in their heart, others let her die.
I am grateful that I’m still able to appreciate art, both new and old. I hope I never close my mind to ‘what the kids are up to,’ in any sphere, be it artistic, technical or social. Getting older causes some people to fear youth … something about their energy and vigor can feel threatening and dangerous. But the kids are our future.
I hate that so many in business, politics, and yes, the arts, cling to out-dated, outmoded, and obsolete business practices, despite advances made and being made in every field. I’m not saying, “jump on every bandwagon,” but I am saying that continuing to sell buggy whips long after the horse is gone says more about you than your customers/voters.
I am grateful for the growing number of commercial, big buck comedy/news shows available. There are those who say, “I’d never get my news from a comedy show.” But you are, dear ..it’s called FOX News. Meanwhile, the Daily Show continues with new host Trevor Noah, I’m becoming increasingly respectful of Larry Wilmore’swork onThe Nightly, and the best reason to watch the Tonight Show is the rapier wit of Stephen Colbert. And if you are not watching the incredibly well researched and up to the minute investigative journalism cut fine by humour of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which is available free of charge every Monday on YouTube … shame on you.
I hate that the conservative mind seems unable to understand humour, or at least express humour in a way that lacks pomposity or self-awareness. Oh, you’ve got your Larry the Cable Guy, and Jeff Foxworthy, but guys like that tend to poke fun at people like themselves, not social issues or politics. Maybe the answer lies in the reality that choosing any artistic pursuit puts you squarely against the principles most conservatives hold dear; you’ll probably work harder and yet make less money than your friends who chose a more conventional life course. Who knows? I just know that a preponderance of fart, racist and sexist jokes, with an emphasis on crudeness and personal entitlement, doesn’t turn my or most liberal’s crank.
I am grateful that I can speak my mind, in person or on social media, and, at least for now, do so freely.
I hate that our world grows ever more fearful, causing those who DO know what’s going on, to be silenced by commercial interests.
But most of all, I am so grateful I’m not a Kardasian, even an honorary one, admitted because of my long, black hair.
And I hate that we’ve put a lot of unworthy people on social pedestals for very little reason.
Get your turkey on, fellow babies! Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian peeps!
Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday
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Roxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’.