Now is the time for your tears....
This is not the Quebec, or the Montreal, that I love.
I just came back from a closing shift at the bookstore where I work in Palmdale, California Rolled home about midnight or so, local time. Popped open a beer. scrounged a plate of leftovers Diane had left out. (I can never go right to sleep after a closing shift.)
Opened a window in my office to let in the night air, and listened to the coyotes whine for a while. Then I turned on my Mac to see how the Quebec election went.
It was better than I expected, worse than I'd hoped. The PQ had won, but only a minority government, thus making Pauline Marois the province's first female premier. She vowed, in her acceptance speech, to work for the common good. She even spoke English.
And then some asshole tried to kill her. Some idiot with too many weapons and too little conscience, yet another cowardly idiot with a gun, another would-be Rambo jacked up by all the divisive politics and rhetoric of racial and ethnic and cultural hatred that's become all the rage in North America: a place where a doddering, unsure actor arguing with an empty chair is now considered political discourse, and too many spineless politicians and rabble rousing "journalists"are more than willing to play the politics of ignorance and division.
Taylor Noakes, a local Montrealer with his boots on the ground, has a great blog I read regularly, and he covers it far more eloquently and with far more detail than I ever could. You can read all about it here but basically, he admits he's "devastated."
That's probably the right word. Devastated.
Lord knows, I'm no fan of the PQ, but this is actually probably beyond devastating. And stranded 3000 miles and too many time zones away, so far from home, I feel utterly impotent and enraged.
And alone. Montreal's politics of the soul are hard enough to explain to those of us who love her; never mind to an American wife who's never been there. Besides, she's asleep.
And I'm not. I feel violated and hurt. Too full of whatever it is I'm feeling (Anger? Grief? Shame?) to go to sleep for a long time.
This is, suddenly, a night nobody should celebrate. And of course it goes without saying that most of Quebec -- French, English, rich, poor, federalist or nationalist -- are as horrified and repulsed by this this as I am.
Oh, Canada. Oh, Quebec. Oh, Montreal...