Thursday, March 30, 2006

$9.4 million to destroy a nation

The Globe and Mail has a front-page story today concerning "a textbook entitled Let's Talk About Sovereignty at School, put together by a pro-sovereignty group".

The book contains 40 exercises tailored to everyone from preschoolers to university grads.

The exercises, however, might raise eyebrows in academic circles.

For example, Activity No. 1 is aimed at kindergarteners.

They are asked to make decorations for Quebec's national holiday on June 24, and the book's illustration is a child's drawing of a Quebec flag on a pole with the Canadian flag beneath it, ripped in half.

Grade-school pupils are asked: How many youth novels at $15 apiece could they buy if they abolished the position of the governor-general, which costs Quebeckers $9.4-million a year?

For high-school students, there's a proposed music class on Quebec sovereignty classics, including Canada is not my country by singer Mononc' Serge and Quebec, mon pays by legendary poet Raymond Lévesque.

College-level students are asked to trace the history of the federal sponsorship scandal, while university students are given the task of calculating how much money is wasted by federal "intrusions" into Quebec jurisdictions.

For fine-arts students, there are activities such as designing a Quebec stamp..."

So this is what it comes down to. Quebec sovereignty isn't about saving a generation from being used as cannon-fodder in some foreign war of imperialism, or about breaking free of laws that ban the French language or the practice of the Catholic religion, or about acquiring the right to vote and elect one's own governors, or any of the big issues one might expect of a movement predicated on destroying a nation hundreds of years and millions of lives in the making, with the promise of a decent life for millions yet to come, no. No, it's about figuring out how many books you could buy draining off the lifeblood of that nation. What pretty pictures you can think up to celebrate cutting it down. What symbols of mutual love, respect, and generations of toil and ideals you can teach your children to gratuitously urinate upon without a single thought to the feelings of others and all hard work that went before to give them what they have make them who they are in the world.

The people who wrote this book have the souls of salamanders, the hearts of crocodiles, and every driven urge of termites.

2 comments:

Polt said...

"the souls of salamanders, the hearts of crocodiles, and every driven urge of termites"

Hmm, sounds like the Republican Party down here. Wonder if there's any connection.

Lone Primate said...

Definitely. Both philosophies are built on the hatred of others, the villainization of those who are different, the dehumanization of the Other. Now this may seem like an ironic thing for me to say, having characterized separatists the way I just did. But the difference is, I seek to find ways to accommodate them within a community I share with them because they're different from me, and they refuse to be accommodated because I'm different from them.