Monday, October 09, 2006

For Abundant Harvest, and Continuation of Peace

That would be my favourite reason for Thanksgiving Day, the bit about abundance and peace. It's the thing I would wish for these people, and there's hope yet, but here in Canada the official Thanskgiving proclamations have cited many reasons: End of War with the United States of America. End of Quarantine of Ships at Grosse Isle. For Restoration of Peace with Russia. Cessation of Cholera. You name it.

So many things to be thankful for, but far as I can tell today is still officially "For general thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings with which the people of Canada have been favoured."

We don't have enough statutory holidays in this country. There are only ten, although the provinces and territories have their own, which usually means just one extra holiday. But then there's Newfoundland, which is especially cultured and sensible, allowing six: St. Patrick's Day, St. George's Day, Discovery Day, Memorial Day (same as Canada Day), Orangemen's Day and Regatta Day.

Here's Keefer's latest wanderings, if you need to be reminded why a person should be thankful to live in, say, Vancouver. And not in, say, Dubai, where no Jews or unions are allowed:

On the one hand, it's more cosmopolitan than eastern Germany and southern Italy, more tolerant than Poland or Louisiana, and consumers spend more here than in Munich or Madrid. But on the other hand it's a dictatorship, almost a rogue state, a desert regime without a parliament or a political opposition, without trade unions, political parties or associations. All books and newspapers are subject to censorship. Sharia law is observed, including corporal punishment, and all Jews are strictly banned from entering the country.

I'm thankful I don't live in China. I'm thinking about Yang Maodang:

“Yang’s arrest brings the number of cyber-dissidents detained in China to 50,” [Reporters Without Borders] said. “We are dismayed by the attempts of the Chinese police to break the will of government opponents by all means possible. This inhumane treatment carried out in a completely illegal manner is a disgrace of the Chinese judicial system.”

(Jonathan Zittrain has some ideas about how to fight back.)

In Russia, they'll shoot you if you're not careful. In Canada, they let you get away with printing outrageous lies about Mahar Arrar, which land him in a Syrian torture cell and allow you to act all superior around Americans. Which I will now do, but only because our Thanksgiving Day was the first. It was in Newfoundland (wouldn't you know it) and it was Martin Frobisher, the guy on the stamp up above, 42 years before the Pilgrims.

Mind you, the Yanks have way more freedom than we do. They're allowed to put pistols in their underpants.

The Mahigan describes the holiday from his end. I saw the same moon. Thought I heard the same geese today, at dawn, too.


Blogger Matt said...

As witty and sobering as ever, Terry. I for one totally missed that it was thanksgiving. There was a national holiday on Monday though.

Speaking of wankers, you should read this lengthy vitriol.

7:56 PM  

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