Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Georgia Strait's Big Dicks

For those avid readers flung further afield, I must briefly disambiguate that the Georgia Strait is not the Strait of Georgia, itself a busy waterway, subsumed now within the Salish Sea, and environmentally degraded by the otherwise progressive Winter Olympic City -- you know: the one that doesn't get any winter. Nay the Georgia Strait is a venerable and illustrious Vancouver weekly, once, though no longer, fashionably radical, but still always politically correctly tinged.

Recently, queuing up for all the meaningless but endlessly fascinating end of decade listmania, the Strait, distinguished itself from other compilers with the -oooh- sexist epithet for its targets: "the biggest dicks of the decade." Crude even for the inheritors of the once radical 60s rag, the article was penned by one Mike Cowie, apparently a frequent proselytizer for this journal. Exactly why Mikey's list should be of interest to the world, given his still formative stage of journalistic achievement, one pauses to wonder. But I am a sucker for lists and so perused his litany of decadal villains. Really, not much new or surprising. George Bush and Dick Cheney win, with Bin Ladin in second and other notable malefactors including - hooray from me - "the Dictators of China."

Predictably, given the paper's politics and the world's knee-jerk pick on the Middle East's sole democracy, "the Israeli Government" makes the "biggest dicks of the decade" grade. In the tried and true recitation of that country's wrongdoing, Mikey cites the invasion of Lebanon and Gaza and blithely goes on to rant about creating the world's largest prison camp (i.e. Gaza), failing to acknowledge that Egypt seems no less interested than Israel in hemming in the fiefdom of Hamas.

Naturally, yours truly could not refrain from pointing, in posted comments,how the occludedly learned compiler had missed Hamas itself. That murderous and largely cowardly organization managed to split the already dis-empowered Palestinian "nation" by maintaining a position of annihilating Israel and encouraging its primitive but vicious operatives to provoke their powerful neighbour. When writing his anti-Israel screed, Mikey spoke of how he found it, "fun to listen to Israel's kneejerk defenders explain why all of this oppression and land stealing is not just ok, but is actually the Palestinians own fault." But then - sound of clarion trumpets please! - he shares with us, as only a young Vancouver-based journalist can - THE TRUTH, i.e. "that this (Israel) is one of the last bastions of outright brutal colonialism in the world." Well, of course -- and if he wanted to he could even cite the fact that Israel has by far the highest number of human rights investigations ongoing by that pinnacle of impartial rectitude, the UN Human Rights Council! By way of review, that's the body that has processed more than three times as many resolutions against Israel than it has for North Korea, Sudan, and Burma combined since 2003.

But, for those with such profound consciences, one need not stray quite so far afield to find "bastions of colonialism:" try just driving on down from the Strait's Kitsilano coop, to the pitifully constricted Musqueam homeland in South Vancouver or any of the other 200 or so BC First Nations who, in spite of what Stephen Harper has to say about Canada's imperial history, remain the indentured on-reserve "Indians" of a not-so-post-colonial nation. So much more comfy to point fingers across the sea than to come to terms with the extent to which Cowie like most Lotuslanders, sings praise for living in a "paradise" invaded and then stolen from the original inhabitants.