Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Attack and destroy in politics and in hockey...with impunity

By Susan Delacourt, Toronto Star, May 16, 2011
The Canadian forces’ best weapon may be Don Cherry and the particular brand of combat patriotism that he pushes on Hockey Night in Canada, according to a new study.

Cherry is the common link among hockey, soldiers and a bolder, more aggressive strain of Canadian identity — an identity that may leave some women and multicultural communities cold, according to the study by University of Western Ontario academics John Nater and Robert Maciel.
Cherry speaks of soldiers almost as much as he talks about hockey in his Coach’s Corner segments, according to Nater and Maciel’s analysis.
“For Cherry, Canadian nationalism rests on an unquestioning support for the military, support of traditional institutions and (a) view of hockey that highlights the physical nature of the game,” they write in their study.
“This guy has a huge viewing public and, even if it’s only a small segment of society that actually takes what he says to heart, it’s a significant audience that he reaches with this particular view of Canadian nationalism, which doesn’t take into account multicultural society (or) women,” said Nater, who provided an advance copy of his paper to the Star.
Let's assume for the moment that there is truth to the thesis that physical rough hockey is the model for the new kind of Harper politics.
Just think of the casualties in both arenas:
  • Sidney Crosby taken out by an irresponsible elbow perhaps in a career-ending casualty to the game's admittedly best player, without so much as a penalty, a fine or a suspension...the offending player's name is Stekel and he continues to play without tarnish to his career. Crosby has not returned from the hit he took in the first week of January.
  • Max Pacioretty, the Montreal Canadien who was drubbed into the stancheon  and broke his neck, driven there by Sdeno Chara of the Boston Bruin, once again without penalty, fine or suspension for the incident
  • Stephane Dion, that former Leader of the Liberal Party, literally and metaphorically driven out of the leadership by what were obviously political assassination attack ads, without any penalty, fine or suspension for the kind of politics that Harper has become famous for
  • Michael Ignatieff, once again, politically assassinated, left with a broken political neck and a concussion from the "legal" attacks of the Harper Conservatives....
The case has so many examples that it  can rest on these few, as illustration. And what's more, it is a sign of a kind of masculinity that is based for the most part on a denial of the potential of any sophistication, nuance and sensibility that accompanies both the kind of hockey played by Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and yest even Sidney Crosby that uses skill, imagination, intuition and discipline as its hallmarks, rather than the kind of back-street bullying kind of mentality that requires a punch from  Todd Bertuzzi that results in a career-ending blow to the head of his opponent while the courts consider the civil suits that are still pending.
Perhaps, in order to terminate this kind of political/hockey supremacy, Dion and Ignatieff need to take up a class action suit against Harper and his gang of thugs, and let the Supreme Court decide if this is the way Parliament was intended to be operating.
Anyone seeking funds for such an action, please given me a call and I will be happy to both subscribe and to offer whatever time and muscle I have to that cause.

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