London Falling

I’m sure that you all know by now that London’s been on quite a ride the past 2 days: from euphoric highs yesterday with the Olympic announcement to todays catastrophic attacks, it’s hard to imagine the impact that such extreme emotions might have on a city and community. Now, I’m sure you all know by now, or have some grasp of the deep affection that I feel for London. I’ll make no bones about it. My last trip (at the end of April) only cemented my opinion of London as my favourite city. So, to see such a horrific attack (and being at home working on the thesis enables me to waste away precious hours watching the news), is certainly a bit rough.

Now, after experiencing something similar (that is the emotional extremes), though on a much smaller and most definitely in the grand scheme of things lower scale last Wednesday night through Friday night – I think I’m in the fallout right now – it certainly affects how I feel about this. Oh, I should add a little disclaimer. No, I’m not one of those people who thinks: “oh, I was there recently and it could have been me…oh dear dear me”. I’m more of a: “if it happens, so be it”. So what am I thinking? And, perhaps more importantly, why am I wasting all your time with this article? Well, this article will undoubtedly have more value to the Canadian readers than to others.

Over the past 4 years there have now been 5 rather substantial terrorist attacks against what might be called, however loosely, “western targets”. There were the twin attacks on New York and Washington, which I count as 1; there was the attack at Bali, which was essentially an attack against Australia; there was the bombing of the rail-system in Madrid; there was the school disaster in Russia months ago; and now this, the greatest terrorits attack in the UK in history (up yours IRA!) So, which country was not directly affected by any of those attacks? Oh yeah! That’s us! But that’s because we didn’t foolishly attack Iraq right? At least, that’s probably what you’re thinking I’m going to say (the Russian attack is only slightly related to the others in that the attackers were from the Russian federation and seemed to have no bearing on the Iraqi war, which Russia wasn’t involved in). Don’t get me wrong: I’m still diametrically opposed to that war. I believe that the real reasons, as history has proven (I’m talking Britain in the early 20th century), were evil. Moreover, I’m not sure that Iraq is any better now with Saddam gone; nor am I convinced that the US, and as we can see Britain, are better off because of the attacks. But, that’s not the point of the article. No, it’s time to spell it out. The point is, “the bubble”.

So what is “the bubble?”. Turn on the TV, if you have access, tonight and watch the Canadian news services and television stations. Hell, listen to the radio. Have you heard all that much about this attack? Is it getting around the clock coverage? Certainly the major news services are devoting most of the air time to it, and probably rightfully so. Oh yeah, I’m not advocating a media frenzy – I was going to post an article about my EVER-GROWING HATRED FOR THE CELEBRITY CULTURE WE LIVE IN, but held off (read I don’t give a shit about MJ or Carla Homolka), despite my dissatisfaction with the writing quality of most newspapers (New York Times aside, and to some degree the Globe and Mail) and the media in general, but held off. No folks. I’m talking about the “Canadian bubble”. You know what it is. Mentally we’re mooching off the States. If we’re attacked, they’ll help us. We don’t need to be militarily prepared for such things. Besides. Look around. Things are continuing as usual. Well of course, by not doing so we would be caving to the terrorists’ wishes. But, is that really the point? In general, Canadians live in a pathetic little bubble thinking that everyone loves them and everything will always be okay because we’re just so darned nice! Well, I’m advocating change – which I’ve felt we needed for a while – for the better. No more of this slacker- not here-we’re nice-everything is okay- do nothing of importance in the world-ignore our weaknesses-and continue to limp along-underachieving attitude. The day will come when we don’t have the Americans to bail us out. We’ll lose completely our place in the world. Our economy will crumble and we’ll be quickly overrun (no, this is NOT AN IMMIGRATION RANT) and the Canada we know, love, and cherish will be gone. The question is, will we realise this before it’s too late? Do we need a major terrorist attack on Canadian soil to change our ways? I think that perhaps we do.

One final note: my heart goes out to those affected by the attack in London (no prayers, I’m still undecided on the whole god/gods thing).

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