Carolyn and I were in Canada for the election. We saw it from the safety of a Russian themed bar called Pravda in Toronto, one of our favorites (the Chicken Kiev is amazing and Andrea the bartender is the best).
We watched on a projection screen as the results came in and the initial McCain victories were soon overwhelmed by a tide of… well… for once not being a land of morons.
We left once the electoral victory was inevitable and heard the results on the radio between Toronto and Guelph. We were happy but not surprised. We listened to people describing how happy they were, Canadian commentators speaking about how “The States” was now not a joke and might perhaps once again participate in the world’s stage as something other than belligerent idiots. It was good.
Now I have to admit a bit of wistfulness at the results. Not that I didn’t want Obama to win… but I’m sorry to see Palin go the way of Kathleen Harris. Palin is such a caricature of extreme white trash, of all that is idiotic and embarrassing in America: the Tonya Harding of Politics but with a body double for her sex tape. I’m sad that tonight Jon Stewart will be boring. That for the next eight (please) years the most ridiculous news will come from somewhere other than the white house. We could have had Palin there and every day would have been a delight of absurdity. I’d trade good leadership for comedy, but it is not an unmitigated win.
Today, on the way out of Canada, I saw something that demonstrated in a small way how monumental this moment of history really is. I followed a black American man through security screening. It was obvious he was used to being given a hard time for his color, for his culture. He expected it, reacted to the scan and the follow up as if it were part of the normal sweat inducing stress he had to live through every day. What broke his stride was when he collected his things after passing the secondary mass spectrograph screening and the Indian screener said to him as he turned away “Yay Obama!”
Across boarders, across centuries, across races this is a moment that renders irrelevant such trivialities as a global depression or wars.
It turned out the guy grew up about 20 blocks from me in Philadelphia. The world is interconnected and small and overnight the good people have a reason to be optimistic. Finally.
The state of mind in the US is very sad, more so than typical. While there seems to a continuous and ongoing degradation of discourse, I’ve never before seen politics and statesmanship so irredeemably reduced to the level of a religious war.
Sadly… embarrassingly, it is not a phenomenon consigned to the usual right wing fundamentalist morons that dominate the airwaves with their punditry and inanity; rather the left too seems to have taken up the banner of unthinking allegiance.
Having just seen Bill Mahr’s Religulous (“lig” rhymes with “midge”) in Toronto, the idiocy of “faith” is fresh in my mind. Not that I’ve ever doubted that “faith” is the sad abandonment of reason, but Bill’s entertaining movie makes amusing and thoughtful light of the many entertaining flavors of absurd that are the world’s religions.
Odd thing, the local high school football field was right next door so I woke to the sound of the marching band trying to figure out Eleanor Rigby.
Why is Canada Retarded? My flights from Toronto are often retarded. Now I find that in Motreal there’s a whole store for Couch Tards. What up with that? What up with the politically incorrect language?
I took an Air Canada flight from Toronto/YYZ to Montreal/YUL on Friday. This is basically a regional flight – LA to SF, 54 minutes… but it was a two class 777, completely full. The plane was brand new and very nice inside. It had color-varying LED lighting inside. I noticed it had changed blue mid-flight, and then it cycled to a few other colors as we landed. Very festive.
I’ve been going to Toronto every week. And every week it snows. Usually my flights are delayed, many times I get to the airport and it is clear and while I’m waiting the storm moves in and the cancellations cascade.
So far there has been 189.6 cm of snow here, putting this winter in 4th place in Toronto history. But tonight it snowed again, at least a cm, and that’d put us in 3rd place overtaking 190.6cm. The record was set in the winter of 1938-39: 207.4cm.
I came here from Toronto tonight leaving in a narrow window while BOS was open. Others were not so lucky. Most of the north east was shut.
First task was shoveling the driveway so I could park. Then off to miracle of science to have a bass and beef skewers and watch the snow through the windows.
The room patch panel at the Holiday Inn on King in Toronto is the best I’ve encountered in a hotel. Watch you tube on the room’s large LCD TV… Play your iPod through the sound system. Free broadband. All hotels should do this.