There are so many things to blog about I feel like I should start one of the YouTube channels and talk endlessly about this and that, like so many people do. I have noticed though that they tend to attract the vacuous crowd who have angst about everything and nothing. It is also a way to make a lot of money easily. SO NO I won’t do that to you world wide readers.
In the last week we have had the demi-mondaine saga of Harry and Meghan, their lives remind me of La Traviata by Verdi. They have been milking the baby story for all it’s worth. Can they now receed into the shadows and invent a life that has meaning. How about Harry going back to being a soldier and Meghan doing sit-com or reality shows. The whole affair about the baby was beyond ridiculous and now the name Archie? Really? First thing I thought was Archie Bunker or Archie and Jughead, as for Harrison ok, it’s Star Wars and Harrison Ford, was he not a boyfriend of Meghan at one point? No title for the kid but will he be on the family payroll? I also found showing off the baby in the Great Hall of Windsor castle a trifle dramatic, a bit Downton Abbey like and Meghan saying she had just bumped into Prince Philip as if… I wondered why not meet the Press at their little servants cottage at Frogmore, more genuine if you want to play how simple and down to earth you are. The two of them, phoney baloney.
A book I have been reading is the life of Maud Lewis the folk art painter. Not really a biography as much as a chronicle of a very sad life and an even sadder married life with a parasite of a husband who exploited here and barely noticed her existence. Her own brother Charles cut off all ties after her unwed pregnancy and she in turn living in shame denied the existence of her own daughter. Severely handicapped she led the life of a recluse. In spite of it all was able to produce those incredible paintings. The author of the book is a relative, Lance Woolaver, he paints a picture of Nova Scotia and the Digby area, not pretty, a lot of grinding poverty, ignorance, lack of social services, isolation, racism, bigotry, the place appears pleasant to Summer tourists who have money and travel around, but that is a mirage, all very third world. Nova Scotia today still has deep pockets of poverty and scenic beauty and a rich history. It only makes her work even more wonderful when all these elements are taken in.
In Canada politically speaking the Government of Justin Trudeau is seen by pollsters of all stripes to be sinking and we could be headed in October for a Conservative majority with Andrew Scheer as PM. God help us, this is a man who has made lying his main political plank, has no policies on anything, he is a multi-millionaire, money all made from his political activities. Copies word for word Trump’s ideology, associates himself with hate groups and neo-nazis calling for the Prime Minister to be killed. Is a religious zealot and of course attracts basically the white supremacist vote. The popularity of his party right now stems from the political troubles of PM Trudeau. Conservative Senators in our Canadian Senate have been blocking through procedures crucial votes on bills knowing that the Parliamentary clock is ticking down to the end of the Session in June.
The Green Party in Canada is hoping for big gains, which is quite possible, but will not be able to form a government. Trudeau may still get re-elected simply because of the loathing Scheer inspires but if Scheer and his cronies get elected we will be in big trouble like Ontario is with former dope peddler Doug Ford (FordNation). Populism in Canada is making big strides, there is an evil wind blowing.
And on another topic all together and quite different.
Yesterday Jean Vanier died in Paris at the age of 90, he was a doctor of Philosophy and an Canadian Navy Officer who horrified by the Holocaust and the Atomic Bomb decided to dedicate his life to Peace. He is known as the founder of L’Arche which is a world wide organization which as Vanier described it as establishing the unique value of the intellectually disabled. The principle he established is very simple, he said; ”The most important thing is not to do things for people who are poor and in distress, but to enter into relationship with them, to be with them and help them find confidence in themselves and discover their own gifts.”
Jean Vanier (1928-2019) was the son of eminent Canadians, his father was General Georges Vanier, a Canadian World War One hero, a diplomat and Governor General of Canada. His mother Pauline Archer Vanier of Montreal, a lady of great distinction who came from a celebrated family in the history of Canada. Both his parents were nominated for Beatification in the Roman Catholic Church for their Piety, Faith and humanitarian work.
Jean Vanier had siblings and they too distinguished themselves in their respected fields.
I had the opportunity to meet him in 1996 in Amman, Jordan, he came to visit his cousin who was my Ambassador at the time and a little get together was organized at the Residence. I was immensely impressed with his quiet dignity and is words which gave another look at what the world could be like. What he proposed was not utopia, he proved it by the success of L’Arche around the world and the legacy he leaves. The World today needs more like Jean Vanier, we lost a great humanitarian.
“The fundamental principle of peace is a belief that each person is important. Do you believe you are important? Do you believe that we can do something to make this world a better place?”
– Jean Vanier –