I have never visited Yukon, but there was a story from there this week that speaks volumes about what it means to be Canadian. In Whitehorse, Mayor Dan Curtis got a lesson from a Sikh gentleman who came to this country a decade ago, about how to wear a turban and dance the Bhangra.
In this digital age, all such experiences must be shared, and this one became a seven minute video that went viral in almost every country in the world. Was that not what a prairie boy named Marshall McLuhan was talking about before any of us could understand him? Mayor Curtis was way outside his comfort zone, but he lives in a beautiful amazing place, and he is blessed with the gift of an open mind.
I think that’s the kind of message that Meryl Streep was going for at the Golden Globes. She was saying, ‘all of us are foreigners, or at least we were not that far back’. Hollywood, where she became world famous, knows those lessons better than any place.
Back in the Golden Age, where might they have been without a junk dealer from Saint John New Brunswick, whose family came from Russia. His name was Louis B. Mayer, and he was one of the folks who started a little business called MGM. How about those English chaps like Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope and Arnie Leach? Archie became Cary Grant, and was he ever glad he caught the boat. How about those Germans like Ernst Lubitch and Billy Wilder? Luckily they got out of their homeland before running afoul of the nasty Corporal with the moustache.
Both America and Canada would be nowhere near what they are today, had it not been for the millions who came here by choice. The numbers who are now desperate to make such a move amount to a huge wave, and it’s a little frightening.
The mean-spirited bully who is about to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue exploited that fear, promising to ‘make America great again’ .. whatever that means.
Now is a not a time to sit back and be quiet.
Thank you to all the Meryl Streeps, and bless all the folks in places like Whitehorse.
I’m Roger Currie