Monday, August 28, 2006

Those Magnificent Little Flying Machines

When I stumbled bleary-eyed into my garden this morning after watching the Turkish Grand Prix, I was already feeling kind of bad. The arrogant hun got some points. And Sebastien read my last post and said it made him feel like killing himself. Talk about a deadly review. Oh yeah it was raining too. Talk about a horrible morning.

Then as I looked up I got another nasty shock. Some of the leaves on the trees in my garden appeared to have given up the ghost overnight and turned orange and red. Oh my ju ju deity I thought. Don't tell me this miserable little excuse for a summer is over before I even got a chance to enjoy it? Damm. As if it isn't dark enough living under this dreadful neocon regime. Even the summers are shorter. What the fuck ever happened to global warming?

Then the red and orange leaves began to fly wildly around, and suddenly I felt a whole lot better. They weren't leaves after all. Just dozens of Monarch butterflies resting up before their amazing journey home.

I don't know about you but I love these magnificent little flying machines. The colour they bring to our fields and gardens. The way they dart and bob and dive around. Or manage to find their way back to their home in Mexico. Leaving from places all over North America, and arriving in their lush valleys just about all at the same time. I was sad when their numbers started to decline a few years ago. So I was delighted to see that this year there has been a butterfly boom.

It turns out that people were able to rescue the butterflies by doing the smart and right thing so everyone came out a winner.

Too bad we can't do the same thing for people...

Here's an example of two kinds of residential housing in Toronto. On one side of the street one of the many new condos sprouting up like mushrooms all along the waterfront.

On the other side of the street one of the many places where the city's thousands of homeless people spend the night. A strip of rubber, and a torn white sheet tucked behind a tree in a park.

It's not very good when it rains, like it did last night. And it can be dangerous. Last year two homeless young punks beat an old homeless man to death there. But city workers who clean up the pizza slice boxes, and empty bottles of cheap booze, leave the rubber strip behind. Because they know too many people depend on it. It's got one of the lowest vacancy rates in town.

But while they can't build enough fancy condos, or find enough people to fill them, there is nothing for the poor. After years of not building any affordable housing they recently started building some again. But it's so very little and so very late it's going to take years to catch up.

Because we didn't do the right and Canadian thing, our cities are now full of miserable, desperate, and sometimes even dangerous people. We've had to spend millions of dollars dealing with the symptoms and the casualties. We didn't save any money, all we did was hurt the helpless, and lose our souls.

It's that kind of crazy stuff that sometimes make me feel like giving up. But not today. Today the butterflies cheered me up in three ways.

One, they reminded me that summer still isn't over. Whew! Still plenty of time to embrace my inner monkey.

Two, if those magnificent little flyers can beat their fragile wings all the way to Mexico, we can do anything. Even reclaim our beautiful country and its values, from the hideous and heartless neocons with their dog eat dog mentality, who would turn our society into a jungle.

And three, those bright red and orange flappers also reminded me that in the unlikely event that we lose, and the dark night Canada is going through right now gets even darker. And I decide not to join the resistance. I can always strap on my fancy pair of wings.

And follow them. Flappity flap flap.

To where it's always summer...


  1. Welcome to the new blogroll :)

  2. Thanks Beep!
    I'm practicing my atheist skills. From now on those who refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of the Flying Spaghetti Monster over their monstrous idols can expect to be grated down like cheese!

  3. Oh, what a mean grater you have... ;)

  4. Yes I do.... and not only that...these hateful infidels... will be providing me with lots of tomato sauce as well!!!!