Sooky Rottweiler by Cynthia

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  1. Cynthia

    Cynthia GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    I was born and raised on the Acadian shores of the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence, probably the first coasts that Jacques Cartier explored in the 16th century. Sometimes, I wonder what those beaches looked like back then, before all the tourists…
    A little further up north in Gaspé, Cartier planted a cross (with a note that probably said « Jacquo was here ») to claim the territory on behalf of the king of France. He then went up the Kahnawake, renamed the Saint-Lawrence river up to an island called Hochelaga. There was a mountain on it that he called Mont Royal, or Mont Réal. All french canadian kids learn that at school since the guy is a founding father to us.
    If Cartier sailed to Montreal in 2013, his ship would pass under a bridge that bears his name. He would see islands that did not even exist in his time, built for when Montreal greeted the World in1967. The Quiet Revolution definetely made Montreal the New Paris of Cartier’s New France. For centuries, a hub of the CNR trains that carried treasures of ore, wood and grain around one of Queen Victoria’s colonies, itself as big as an empire. It is a city with the thriving nightlife of the Gay Village and rue Saint-Laurent. It has an underground city for malls, tall skyscrapers for bank headquarters. Radio-Canada, Télé-Québec broadcast from there the idea that we are all Quebeckers as long as we speak french, no matter if we live in Ontario or New-Brunswick and that Montreal is the beating heart of our civilization, our London, our New-York, our Rome and from Acadia I certainly see it as my hub, too.
    Truth is, while on Plateau Mont-Royal people talk about the blood-stained origins of the rare earths in our cell phones, if we could follow every wire from the tv studios, every wire from the subway, from every neon on rue Sainte-Catherine, from the Bell Center, we would eventually reach hydroelectric dams in the Boreal Forest up north. In that same forest lay Canada’s ghettos. Places where this country’s first inhabitants, the people who saved Cartier from scurvy and lived as nomads on vast lands are now crammed up to eight people in one worn down plywood shack that’s often not fit to live in for anyone. Over the years they were « given » lands bigger than what they have now but later someone found gold in one spot, and then someone found zinc in another, and then a priest wanted to expand his territory, and then a lumber company wanted to use the rivers to transport wood. The indians won’te sell? Let’s get them drunk! And then Duplessis, Johnson, Lévesque, and Bourassa decided to build giant hydroelectric dams; Churchill Falls, Manicouagan and James Bay, our national pride. In some areas, people live meters away from a dam but don’t even have access to electricity. Meanwhile, atop Montreal’s Place Ville-Marie, a huge spotlight that probably sucks up a few small power plants rotates uselessly around the Montreal Skyline celebrating the Beaver Nation’s glorious ability at making dams. On est numaro on! On est numaro un! We’re nummer one!
    Some idiots hate them because they live on welfare, because some save 13 miserable cents on every dollar in sales taxes. They say they are criminals, cigarette smugglers (and who do you think buys from them?). They also point out that the government gives them millions of dollars through land negotiations. Imagine, for a few seconds, how much of that money is actually going to their lawyers (if you went through a divorce, you get the idea!). They fear for the survival of the french language in North America, but First Nation’s languages are much more endangered.
    If there is criminality and drugs, it’s because a childhood spent in residential schools ran by pedophile priests dosen’t exactly make you a family man. The same lys-nuts are usually PO’ed that Trudeau called the army on the FLQ in 1970 but a stone throw away from Montreal the same thing happenned in 1990 on an indian reserve. It was called the Oka crisis, aka « Get your indian cemetery out of my way, I want a golf course! »
    There is still a cross atop Cartier’s Mont Réal. It is lit up and it is turned off whenever a pope or a king (of England) dies. When Elizabeth will die we will see it off, not without a certain bitterness, as a reminder that we are still part of the British empire. We will speak of independence, of being master of our own land. Some will call Quebec a colony, but who do you think is really colonized, for even longer than we were? They will demand independence, okay, but independence also means taking responsability.

  2. annamargaret1866

    annamargaret1866 said, about 1 year ago

    Cynthia, I am not complaining, as I can understand your points. But I am curious. Did something in particular happen recently, or is your essay the result of musings that have been running around in your brain for awhile?

  3. Cynthia

    Cynthia GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    @annamargaret1866

    The cartoon itself, I thought about doing it since last spring. I had watched a movie about hte discovery of the Americas, but it had to be on a beach, so it could only make sense in the summer.

    The article, though, I cooked it up last week after I watched a documentary about the Anishnabe (Algonkians) in northern Quebec. It is called “The Invisible Nation” by filmmaker Richard Desjardins…it is available on www.nfb.ca. It is also available on YouTube in french.
    Although the article itself seems pretty bleak, I think the Great White North is going through a pretty exciting phase now, and I love to draw about it.
    You see, nations are often born out of chaos; the americans hat the war of independence and the civil war, the french had the french revolution, the british had world war 2…those three events were tragedies, of course, but on the bright side, all three nations have come out of those events stronger, with a clear idea of who they are, who they are not and what they want. Canada never had that kind of founding event. Our independence was bascically handed out to us after a few rich guys had a meeting in Charlottetown. We bascically accepted the old institutions of the Empire,its values, its traditions, even their political parties. Even though we have our independence on paper, we felt like America or England junior for a long time.
    In the last few years, since Bush invaded Iraq and it became cool to distance ourselves from the US and especially since the last two years or so with the Idle No More movement, Jack Layton’s legacy, the Quebec tuition protests and thet general opposition to Harper’s policies, we are going through that same long-overdue soul-searching that a country needs to go through to really become a nation; what do we stand for? What is important to us? What is that thing that we all have in common despite our differences? What is that epic little thing that “America junior” can offer the World that nobody else can?

  4. pierreandnicole

    pierreandnicole said, about 1 year ago

    I bypassed comments 1 and 3 entirely.

  5. Cynthia

    Cynthia GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    @pierreandnicole

    Oh well, we can’t agree about everything all the time…

  6. SCOTTtheBADGER

    SCOTTtheBADGER GoComics PRO Member said, about 1 year ago

    Poor Mittains, he will never succed ibn conquest, cats are just not very good at organization, they are too independent minded. He’s just gonna keep getting tossed back into the sea.

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