Thursday, August 30, 2012


I grew up during World War II. As a small child, I was not greatly affected by what was happening across the ocean. I didn't understand. My parents may have gone hungry, but I wasn't aware of missing anything.
The only memories I have of the war are my grandmother weeping as she read the sepia coloured newspapers, my daddy in khakis, the rubbery stench inside his gas mask, his haversack hanging on the kitchen door, missing him when he was not at home, peering out into the twilight rain, watching for him at the parlour window, the soldiers marching down our street from the armory, and me in my father's arms at the window in a room darkened for curfew.
What I do remember so clearly of the 1940's is the movies. My Pop took me to the movies. And I grew up believing in heroes and beautiful music and lovely  movie stars in pretty dresses and gorgeous leading men, and Roy Rogers riding Trigger up to the crest of a hill into the sunset singing "Happy Trails To You".
I grew up, soaking up those beautiful images , and through my life, I have refused to give them up. I am a determined romantic and if the whole world chooses to go to hell with lies and crime and corruption, I will still insist on justice and truth and courage and beautiful music. If not one other person on the face of the earth will stand by me, I will stand alone, demanding justice and remembering beautiful music and beautiful people.
We are not the "good guys." I grew up believing our side were the good guys - the men in the white hats with their shiny badges. The bad guys in black shirts and slim moustaches You could always tell back then - in the movies - who the good guys and the bad guys were. Only as an adult did I learn that the nice gentleman Fred Rose who was well known and well liked in our community - was a Communist spy. What a shock when his sweet and beautiful young daughter was taken out of our school to be sent to Poland with her family, a land I am sure she did not know. Her friends were shocked and devastated. Everyone was amazed. We did not know who the "bad guys" were.
We are not the good guys. I will not go into detail here, but the news makes it clear to anyone who is awake and of normal intelligence. My blog, PHYLLIS CARTER'S JOURNAL reports many examples.
We are not the good guys, but we are better than many others for at least these reasons.
1. We express ourselves without violence almost all the time. 
2. We can vote.
3. We have freedom of speech -
Except in Quebec, where folks - even long time citizens - who are not Pure Laine French fear the Language Police - "Office de la Langue Francaise".
Even though the people of Quebec have refused the extremists' never-end-um-referendums again and again, they persist to this day, picking at small shopkeepers for using the word "OPEN" on the front of their grocery - and sometimes forgetting to  make the word "OUVERT' large enough on what we must now call "depanneurs" and not groceries.
The extremists continue to harass and try to intimidate minorities in Montreal in particular. Heaven forbid an English word be found too large or out of place according to Bill 101 or its interpretation by extremists.
So, in Quebec, we have limited freedom of speech and we live under endless harassment and threats of separation and the dismemberment of Canada. Evil minded haters reminiscent of Europe's demented fascists and jealous extremist groups are intent on never allowing us to have peace.They will never have enough until they get everything and eliminate all minorities from Quebec - one way or another.
Do not be quick to brush off these images. The Jews of Europe were not slaughtered overnight. While the western world looked away, the Nazis crept up on Jewish men, women and children bit by bit before coming down on them with railway cars and guns and daggers and gas chambers.
The Jewish people were the cream of European society - not just shopkeepers and tailors and rabbis, but also doctors, scientists,  musicians, professors, bankers. They always thought they were Germans. We think we are Quebeckers and Canadians. Do not close your eyes.
French is a beautiful, expressive, intellectual language when spoken and written well. But the extremists  - who often brutalize the French language crudely themselves - feel they have to force even their own people to use French, exclusively. This is not about language or culture - it is about the hunger for power - xenophobia, greed, revenge, and tyranny.
We are not the good guys, but I promise you, there are many, many good people everywhere on  earth. They just want to live and work and raise their families in peace. They usually get along with people of different backgrounds.
The problem is that they are silent  in the face of injustice that they think does not affect them - while extremists everywhere make themselves heard, and the commercial media that thrives on controversy indulges their tactics and their lust for power.

No comments: