Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Poems - Conservative baby steps edition

When the Cons banned a foreign politician,
I remained silent;
I was not a foreign politician.

Then they denied funding to the CAF,
I remained silent;
I was not an Arab.

Then they banned the non Official Language speakers,
I did not speak out;
I am fluent in English.

When they backed the gun lobby,
I did not speak out;
I do not own a gun.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

Inspired by (obviously)

"First they came..."

Martin Niemoller

Even if this week has been a manifestation of a flight forward strategy by Harper, it is still frightening that the Conservatives would take these actions.  The path to totalitarianism is always travelled by baby steps.  I am not disappointed in Harper.  He is just displaying the tendencies we know he possesses.  The Interim Leader of the Liberal Party, however, lays claim to a reputation as a human rights advocate.  Ignatieff's relative silence is unacceptable.  He claims to be inspired by Trudeau.  Perhaps he should also look to Tommy Douglas during the October Crisis.  If you believe in something stand up for it.  Definitively.

Perhaps ending with a poem showing how people carry on with their lives while tragedies occur about them is appropriate.

Musee des beax arts (The fall of Icarus)

About suffering they were never wrong, 
The Old Masters; how well, they understood 
Its human position; how it takes place 
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; 
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting 
For the miraculous birth, there always must be 
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating 
On a pond at the edge of the wood: 
They never forgot 
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course 
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot 
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse 
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree. 
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away 
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may 
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry, 
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone 
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green 
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen 
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, 
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on. 

W. H. Auden


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skdadl said...

Well done!

Thank you very much for this. You've brought tears to my eyes. It is such a relief to hear plain and clear speech about our rights and our responsibilities to defend the rights of all.

Constant Vigilance said...

Thanks. I am gratified that my attempts at coherent writing have moved people. Now if only I could bring on tears of joy. Perhaps if I right the Great Canadian Blog Post that brings down Harper.

sassy said...

Now, this post certainly puts things in perspective.

Constant Vigilance said...

Oops. If I write...