Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

Mascots

Posted on | July 2, 2011 | No Comments

Bonhomme Carnaval steps down from the plane and delivers a fiery speech to many hundred thousands of persons. The crowd is delirious! Bonhomme mingles with the crowd, to his fan’s utmost pleasure: the crowd is uncontrollable. If you dare attack Bonhomme, however, be it by smashing him with cast iron skillets or displaying a parody on the front page of MacLean’s you will be harshly criticized.

Youpi steps down from the plane and, as mute as ever, does not deliver a fiery speech but happily waves at the gathered crowd. Children run around everywhere, crazy with excitement. Adults laugh themselves to tears. Youpi turns his back on baseball and embraces hockey: the metropolis praises him loudly. No protest movement can be envisioned against this Montreal icon.

William and Kate step down from the plan and deliver a speech to a crowd of many hundred thousand people: in Ottawa, smashing success! They mingle with the crowd: in Ottawa, their fans are in tears and hardly believe their luck. William and Kate land a little tow on Quebec soil: hurry, hurry! Let’s organize a protest movement against British oppression!

Opponnents to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, and their visit have obviously not figured out the role of contemporary monarchy. Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses and other small-time nobility, lacking actual power, are today nothing but luxury mascots. They are symbols, just like maple syrup, universal healthcare, Mounties, poutine and beavers.

British oppression? In a dusty history book perhaps, and it would be a biased one if it did not mention the important British legacy in Quebec and Canada. Personally though I was never bullied by one of our friends overseas, nor was anyone in my family or immediate surroundings.

So please, can everyone just calm down and let the mascots do their job, that is, working the crowd to the delight of children and grown-ups alike?

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  • Photographie par Patrick Meunier

    Tous droits réservés, Patrick Meunier, 2010

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