July 1st 2012

July 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

And what a busy day it has been.

I came to Canada 31 years ago today a few days short of my 17th birthday. I grew up watching American TV, and although this wasn’t quite America, it was close enough. Everything seemed so big: the cars, roads, the buildings, the portions…the people.  31 years.

And perhaps it was fitting to come on Canada’s birthday, Canada Day or, as it was called then, Dominion Day. Even withe the above things, Canada was not America. For those who don’t remember, Canada’s motto is peace order and good government. Easily the most boring international motto. 145 years of that.

Today too is Pride Day in Toronto (well, actually part of Pride week, but the parade is today). I used to go to Pride events when I first moved to Toronto in the late 1980s  and was a part of the Alliance for Socialist Action. In those days, the Gay Pride marches were not a celebration, but a protest march. The event took place behind the 519 Church Community Centre. It went up Church Street, west along Bloor to Yonge, then South to Wellesley and over to Church. About 45 minutes. I’m not  exactly sure when Pride changed, but sometime in the early 1990s, I was selling my paper, when a marshal came up to inform me that I wasn’t allowed to sell there. Socialists weren’t wanted.  For a little while the Internationalist Socialists representative and I argued with the marshal (as I recall the Trotskyist League stood apart unwilling to get involved lest they become less pure). Finally, the marshal agreed we could stay, but we were to keep to the margins (unconscious irony alert!) .

When it began, Pride was disproportionately peopled by leftists and numbered in the hundreds. Today it’s in the hundreds of thousands (maybe even a million) and the left, well…

Lastly, the football. I cheer for England, but it never requires a very big or even sustained  commitment. This time England were messily dispatched on penalty kicks by Italy who upstaged Germany and were today decisively beaten by Spain 4-0. Quite a lovely game, and while Italy showed spirit, they were simply out-played by Spain. The  score line may be slightly unfair in Spain’s favour, but not by much.

Great weather today. Now, it’s time for the fireworks.



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