My apologies to anyone offended by the use of the word hypocrisy in the title. As soon as this was posted a bunch of people said to me, “YOU are a hypocrite!” And they are quite right, I am. It’s a tendency we all share and part of human nature. But we can learn from our mistakes and become better people, a better city and a better country, and that’s what I’m trying to say in this post.
The other day I noticed that this blog had received 100 hits linked from a discussion forum on the Calgary Flames fan site Calgary Puck. I thought “weird” and visited the forum to find out why.
Unsurprisingly the thread where the link was posted contained the usual unoriginal statements we have all heard in criticism of Occupy Calgary. I joined the discussion for a brief time and eventually left in disgust. The disgust was not based on the site members’ criticism of me personally or even of Occupy, but the suggestion repeated by several members that the sculpture gifted to the city be melted down and made into various items. A group of people claiming to respect hard work and skill suggesting that we destroy the product of someone else’s hard work and skill disgusted me and I let them know it.
Occupiers have been trying for 2 months to shine a light on human rights violations in the name of profit. We have been criticized for damaging a public park, flouting bylaws etc in the name of a better world for all humans.
Let’s take a moment to consider the Red Mile phenomenon of 2004 where over 50,000 people participated in a celebration which actually did cause huge disruption and expense to the city. Hockey fans occupied 17 avenue for over a month. Police resources were largely dedicated to one area of the city. Girls flashed their boobs in public. The road was eventually blocked as partiers showed no respect for vehicular traffic. You couldn’t even walk down the street without getting bumped and jostled by fanatical, red painted maniacs. You could hear the sound of chanting and yelling from 10 blocks away and I’m sure residents of lower Mount Royal got no sleep the entire time.
Yet Calgarians are actually proud of this, despite the drunken idiocy, public nudity and disrespect for people just trying to get to work. This event was commended because it was peaceful. So peaceful many people were afraid to go anywhere near it. Some people claimed that their use of Olympic Plaza was disrupted by the tents pitched in one corner not even blocking footpaths. I say, gimmie a break.
During hockey season there are few places I can go without encountering blaring TVs and screaming fans. Yet if complain of my inability to enjoy my favorite hangouts because of hockey, I am told shut up. Deal with it. Get into the spirit!
Hockey is a time honoured Canadian tradition and despite my dislike of the sport I can respect that. I suggest we need a new Canadian tradition: resolute determination to uphold human rights. I suggest that instead of cultivating a reputation for being cute, backward hockey lovers we work to become world leaders in finding solutions to poverty and inequality. We are a great country and already well on our way. Let’s make it a priority at the citizen level.