Updates from July, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:21 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    A mixture of cheers and boos greeted the royal couple in Montreal on Saturday, although Toronto papers are putting the negative stuff up front in their headlines. Mostly I’m grossed out that anyone thought it was a good idea to make a ruckus at a hospital.

    Evidently nobody told the princess you pin your hair up or tie it back before working in a kitchen

    Later: lots of pictures from the Daily Mail and People Magazine and a more sober report from the Guardian. And I hope that’s it for this story.

    • qatzelok 10:05 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      My favorite Royal Visit meme was “Prince gives royal nod to Afghan effort.” I like how he (He?) emphasizes the importance of trashing the third world in order to maintain Anglo hegemony.

    • Kate 11:00 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      One of the major roles of royalty, here as well as in England, is to support the armed forces, so that gesture is part of the prince’s job.

      I realize the question of what armed forces are for is complicated, and the question of Afghanistan is also complicated in a different way, but the Canadian forces were arguably doing more for Afghanistan than merely “maintaining hegemony.” Rex Murphy is right in that column that there was never a clear definition of military aims for Afghanistan (if anything, the current adventure in Libya is even worse in that sense): we never hammered out the old Clausewitz thing about war being force used for political ends because it was very hard to discern what those were going to be.

      This blog isn’t really the place for a debate on what Afghanistan is, but it seems to me part of the problem that in the west we want to force Afghanistan to define itself as a nation in the same terms, say, as England or Canada (or Denmark or Brazil for that matter) whereas it never has been a nation, but rather a vaguely defined mountainous area populated by tribes that exist in a constantly changing pattern of alliances and feuds. Democracy is supposedly an ideal, but democracy also means that you have an answer when another country asks “Who’s in charge here?”: the rest of the world gets antsy when there’s no clear response to that.

      Whether we should be forcing Afghanistan into the same pattern as other countries is a moot point. It doesn’t work, but nothing else does either. I have no answers here, but the role of the British royal family is pretty negligible in terms of the whole issue.

    • qatzelok 11:06 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      “the role of the British royal family is pretty negligible in terms of the whole issue” Not really. A strong military is necessary to maintain nepotism. The reason the royals support the military is because militarism is all about grabbing status out of the dying hands of “others.”

    • Kate 11:23 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      Except the places that have tried to replace this kind of thing end up with much the same mess, human nature being what it is.

    • qatzelok 11:35 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      Kate, I realize that “nature” makes some ants queens and others, soldiers. But humans appear to be physically too similar to one another to say that it’s our “nature” to have parasitic celebs for soldiers to worship and to die to enrich with status symbols. If this system was natural, we probably wouldn’t be so near extincting the globe.

    • Kate 12:30 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      “Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean beneficent.

      It appears to be our nature as a species to create nations. I have no worked-out theory here, but it seems to me that a system like the UK-Canada-Commonwealth thing has, so to speak, rubbed off the sharper corners of its political system in the years since 1215. Yes, this risks having things stagnate and I’m well aware of that, but on looking at the 20th century’s various experiments – Stalin’s Russia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Hitler and pals, China’s cultural revolution – even the U.S.’s oddly balanced government, which unifies the head of state with the head of political life in a way I think we can all agree creates problems – I think our system is doing better for us than almost anyone’s – yes, even with Harper in charge.

      Yes, it is a shame that privilege gets passed from generation to generation with no regard for whether the ensuing generations deserve it, but just try to devise a system that breaks this pattern without spilling blood and without landing us in exactly the same situation again within a couple of generations, and I’ll give you a prize. We are a corrupt and nepotistic species.

    • qatzelok 15:26 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      The most corrupt thing about our species is how we’ve lost touch with nature. And to say “everything is natural” (invading Afghanistan based on lies is natural) is to destroy the meaning of the word.

    • Kate 17:01 on 2011/07/03 Permalink

      We can’t lose touch with nature. We are nature.

      I could segue here into whole philosophical essay that I’ve been percolating for awhile, but this blog is not the place for it. Suffice to say that we are natural beings and that our institutions grow out of what we are. Sure, it would be nice if we were kinder and gentler and our institutions were more just. But we’re not like that and it takes a huge effort even to slightly redirect our efforts into what some of us feel is a fairer pattern.

    • qatzelok 10:26 on 2011/07/04 Permalink

      “We can’t lose touch with nature. We are nature.” Is this true of cattle that spend their entire lives in a box? Do they remain connected to nature?

    • Kate 00:54 on 2011/07/05 Permalink

      That’s our nature. We’re not nice.

  • Kate 20:17 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    More on the trail of trash that follows Moving Day and the quantities of junk some people leave behind. The city has promised to send out more garbage trucks till the stuff’s cleared away.

  • Kate 20:15 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    Review of a modest exhibit on the centenary of Park Extension and a look at a few of the ethnic businesses there.

    Couple of things bug me. One is the density issue. The area is one of the poorest in Canada, maybe, but the vast majority of buildings are duplexes and triplexes. Surely there are areas in Canada with clusters of high-rise apartment buildings that can claim more people per square kilometer?

    The other is the description of “embourgeoisement” closing in from all sides. On the west there’s TMR, which I don’t believe is currently going either up or down the class scale. On the north there’s the highway, the Marché Central and a small piece of Ahuntsic that is not changing fast. On the east is Villeray, seeing some condo development but still more or less consisting of long rows of duplexes and triplexes on tree-clad streets. Mind you, on the south, there’s the train yard that’s meant to become a whole new campus for the UdeM, but the work hasn’t even begun yet.

    • Matt 20:36 on 2011/07/02 Permalink

      Don’t forget the condos that are going up in Parc-Ex proper. I’ve also been seeing a lot of hipster and artist types around, more than usual since summer began but maybe that’s just a seasonal thing. Remember that it’s just a quick jump from Mile-End for those who are priced out of there.

    • Caitlin 09:02 on 2011/07/04 Permalink

      I agree with Matt – I lived in Parc Ex until I was 21, and my parents still live there, so I visit often. The signs of early gentrification are everywhere, not least of all in the price of rent. Also, growing up, we were just about the only non-immigrant family on the block, but now the demographic is slowly shifting. Regardless, it’s an awesome and unique neighbourhood and will probably stay that way for a long time!

  • Kate 12:10 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    The internet’s not kidding: cats can’t spell.

  • Kate 11:26 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    Guardian UK says the royal couple have now reached the tricky bit of their Canadian tour.

  • Kate 10:13 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    The Canadiens have signed winger Erik Cole for four years and backup goalie Peter Budaj for two.

  • Kate 09:59 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    STM has a set of photos from their archives showing various events that happened in July, including one photo evoking the deluge of 1987.

  • Kate 09:36 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC finds that although Quebecers tend to be indifferent to mildly hostile towards the monarchy, about half of us are “excited” about the William and Kate visit. It’s not hard to fathom this apparent paradox: they’re young, good-looking celebrities and that always makes for good TV.

  • Kate 00:20 on 2011/07/02 Permalink | Reply  

    Sad to note that Rue Frontenac is over: the site has been bought by an unknown investor, the content’s gone and the contributors are going their separate ways. Fagstein has an item and some links to other reports, but there’s no news about who the owner is or what they intend to do with it.

    Later: See below for note on where the Rue Frontenac archive is now.

    • ant6n 15:37 on 2011/07/04 Permalink

      Another reason for putting up complete posts in rss – they would still be visible then.

    • Kate 16:15 on 2011/07/17 Permalink

      I’m replying here much later, in case anyone does a search.

      I don’t put up complete posts from other media because of the copyright nightmare involved.

      But the good news in this case is that Rue Frontenac’s material has resurfaced at exruefrontenac.com.

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