The Weekly Miscellany

The New Yorker gets its cycling on in this month’s issue, written by the wonderful Ben McGrath. Bike Forums’ SSFG has its panties in a twist as usual, but they are also low brow pedal punks and kamikaze biker bullies and ignorami (for real, they called the New Yorker a “sugar-coated parade magazine for the wealthy”)! From a journalistic standpoint, I was kind of dismayed that the New Yorker joined the other throngs of oblivious publications who put out a cycling lifestyle/Critical Mass piece in the past year, but a) who can blame them [ergo us/me] when an oil war, global warming, overconsumption and obesity are everywhere, and b) at least McGrath is sympathetic to cyclists, unlike other aforementioned poorly-researched and (not-so) subtly car-biased pieces.

Secondly, on the day before Remembrance Day, I’m appalled at the lack of poppies. I sat on the steps of an old house on Gerrard with Jessica yesterday, eating a sandwich and basking in the “way past Indian summer” Indian summer day. I counted 19 poppies in almost an hour of people-watching (hundreds of people passed us by), only 6 of which were pinned onto the collars of visible minorities. In Halifax this weekend it was easier to pick out the non-poppied people at the mall than counting who did remember, and Jessica suggested maybe it’s because in cities like Halifax and Edmonton, Remembrance Day warrants a public holiday — something worth remembering. Maybe it’s the multiculturalism in this city, the flood of first-generation immigrants, or the egocentric Toronto bullshit attitudes, but here, nobody cares.

In a few years time when those who fought in World War II are dead and gone, I will miss the strange brew of feeling I get when a veteran pins, with his two shaky time-worn hands, that furry plastic poppy onto my jacket.







2 responses to “The Weekly Miscellany”

  1. Jason Avatar

    It seems to me that there is a lack of poppy sellers this year.
    Where I grew up, the local Sea Cadets which I was apart of
    for a couple years (don’t laugh) used to sell them everywhere!

    The only place I ever see them here is at Davisville subway station.
    And there they don’t activlely sell them, it’s more passive.

    What is the poppy anyway? What is rememberance?
    Does on need a poppy to remember? I think not.

    The true meaning of rememberance comes not from
    buying a red plastic flower. But from reflection.

  2. Ryan Christopher Avatar
    Ryan Christopher

    I think, in a nation continually caught up in the inertia of global politics, we’ve lost our recognition of national history and the great trials which Canadians have endured for generations. The Northwestern Uprising, Boer War, First & Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam (those who went south to volunteer,) Balkans, Afghanistan, etc.

    The guy above is right–rememberance does come from reflection. I think, however, that the poppy does represent the one day which we nationally identify with our past commitments to the world. The poppy is a dignified way to keep this national recognition up and for the Legion to get out into the community, as well as for the community to give to the Legion.

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