Stand By Each Other

For me, I can better understand what’s happening in BC and across Canada right now by imagining it like the elementary school playground of my childhood. In the back end of the school property, far away from the monkey bars and swings, is a field where games like soccer, baseball, and British Bulldog are played. I imagine a scenario where the principal and teachers promise us that this part of the property will be ours to use for playing soccer every lunch hour. They even sign papers making this promise official. Then, halfway through the year, in the middle of one particular lunch hour and during a very close and tense game, a long pipe is laid right down the line of the middle of our playing field. It has a width of a telephone pole and is going to be used for… whatever. We don’t understand. We’re kids. But they say it is a very important purpose. Then the principal says, “The good news is you can still play our games. You’ll just have to play around the pipe.” We ask about the papers that were signed and they say that they took those into serious consideration, but still, the pipe is going to remain. No matter what they say to try and reassure us, we all know that this means we’re losing our games. Lunch time soccer is coming to an end.

Of course, the stakes are much higher in this event. The intention here isn’t to minimize or trivialize what is happening with Coastal GasLink and the Wet’suwet’en Nation, but it may help with perspective. And this is yet another example of us having to live with what our forefathers have passed down to us. The nation of Canada has broken countless promises and agreements with Indigenous tribes from coast to coast. Maybe the pipeline is a good idea. Maybe it would create jobs. But that isn’t the point. You can’t tell people that their land is theirs only to turn around and do with it what you want. You also can’t expect cooperation from people you consistently don’t listen to, let alone consult on matters that affect them.

The reason I even bring any of this up is to point out what I believe is the best thing to come out of it all: watching the solidarity of all Canadians and Indigenous peoples from all across the country in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Corporations and government need to be reminded who is in charge and who really pays the bills. Yes, our economy will be negatively affected by the blockades, but that’s not the fault of protesters. Nor is it the fault of the RCMP who are simply doing their job. That is the fault of the aforementioned corporations and government making decisions on their own and expecting everyone to simply accept them.

It is so important for us to stand together and support each other as citizens in this country and on this planet; to band together to protect each other and those who cannot protect themselves. Consider what Joaquin Phoenix said in this Best Actor acceptance speech at the Oscars this year: “I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.

Congratulations Stand By Me. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actor: River Phoenix as Chris Chambers in Stand By Me.

Best Actress: Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Best Quote:Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?” — Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.

The following is my top 10 movies adapted from books. I only counted ones where I had both read the book and watched the movie. I didn’t count movies that came out with a book after the fact (I read Rocky III before seeing the movie), and I left out movies based on A Christmas Carol since there are so many of them (my favourite being A Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992).

  1. The Shipping News (2001)
  2. Runaway Jury (2003)
  3. James and the Giant Peach (1996)
  4. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
  5. Frankenstein (1931)
  6. Ready Player One (2018)
  7. Life of Pi (2012)
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  10. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)

Honourable Mentions: The Rainmaker (1997), Watchmen (2009), The Cat in the Hat (2003), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Polar Express (2004), Anne of Green Gables (TV movie, 1985), Where the Wild Things Are (2009), The Lord of the Flies (1963)


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