We Stand on Guard for Thee
I just saw a commercial sponsored by the Canadian government for Remembrance Day. “Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee” was the byline of the ad - nice words with little intent behind them. They are mere platitudes, the same humdrum drivel that gets released by the government on any given day. Our govenment is quick to tweet about any and everyone’s holiday without the necessity of belief. They pretend to believe in causes so that we will vote for them. Seeing the commercial made me queasy.
Trudeau was once questioned directly about the “ideals he so proudly boasts about” at an Edmonton town hall - by a veteren who reiterated that he had been willing to put his own life on the line for his country. You can see in the video that the crowd isn’t buying what Justin is selling. It makes you wonder what to believe in, if those who pretend to lead, don’t believe anything beyond what will perpetuate their own tenure.
To “stand on guard for thee“ conjures up lofty visions in my own head. It is something that most people internally vow to do while commemorating Remembrance Day. Seeing a vision of what they think is good about their country that is also worth fighting for. But times have changed. Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t really care, or care in ways which tear down the past as the new enemy.
Corporations are always looking for barometers of woke policy - what the peeps are really thinking out there. They are after all, a customer base. You have to divine what will make them buy when you pretend to care about causes. This Remembrance Day, Whole foods got public sentiment 100% wrong. Perhaps they were remembering the wholesale rout of Don Cherry last year, who was chastened in social media for defending the poppy. Goodbye old white men. We don’t need you anymore. Hence, Whole Foods forbade the wearing of poppies this year by their staff, complaining that it abrogated their uniform policy. NDP Ministers of Parliament were quick to dish on the fallen as warmongers of a colonial past that needs to be forgotten. In the spirit of the times, Remembrance Day was thrown under the bus as the latest victim of cancel culture.
But not so fast. A heart warming groundswell of resistance emerged. People were dishing on Whole Foods faster than you can say the word woke. A contrite Whole Foods was forced to retreat, waving a white flag of surrender while promising a hefty donation for Veterens Affairs in payment for their sins.
There seems to be some confusion over what it is we should all believe. The messaging that comes over loud and clear in media, steamrolls toward a brave new Canada that topples statues and hates institutions. The times they are a-changing. What you used to care about doesn’t matter anymore. The mob has arrived carrying pitchforks and torches and we are told brusquely to step aside.
I am a bit agog that amidst the current way of thinking, veterens (old white men) got any hearing at all. It’s kind of comforting that remembering the fallen from our wars is held dear by enough Canadians to count. Maybe there is some value after all in examining our consciences and our collective to see where it is we all stand. Marketers may have got things altogether wrong. Government may have read us wrong. Maybe we doubt their sincerity regarding the ever-changing cause du jour.
Trudeau wastes a lot of time on image. The beard is it working? Does it make me look like a statesman? The halting voice, the contrite expression, he is an actor who comes across as an angel of light when the cameras are rolling. In the end, lack of belief in anything is the true enemy. Worse, pretending to have allegiance to things you don’t care about at all. You have just declared where you sit on the list of what is worthy. At the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I will be standing at attention, wearing my poppy and listening for the Last Post and the Reverie. I will be remembering MY Canada, the one that our current administration is trying to bury along with the dead. Oh Canada, I still stand on guard for thee. As for those who currently pretend to guard your borders, I could toss them in a day and not lose any sleep over it.