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UFC in the TDSB…

December 5, 2011

Well, the creeping militarization of Canadian Culture hit a new low (or a new high, depending on your point-of-view) this week, with Doug Ford’s idea that the UFC is a good leadership role model for our kids. That he thinks a sport not seen since the Gladiators – where grown men (or women) get in a roped or caged-off ring, and pummel on each other until someone “submits” – could be useful in training our boys and girls to uprights men and women. And silly you thought that Sparta was a place in Ancient Greece.

It really speaks to our intelligence that we voted him into office. And his brother too. We have no one to blame for this mess but ourselves. When the political left in this “world-class” city can’t run anyone for municipal office who can beat a Ford – you have admit that there is no one to blame but ourselves.

Do you know that the Canadian Military now openly runs “recruiting days” in our high schools. And like any good business, they bring in their well-dressed recruiters, and their professional displays, and snappy after-school seminars; with promises of free tuition and opportunities to see the world.

When I was in high school my parents would have flipped if the military tried that shit at our school. At any school. At the height of Vietnam War the Canadian Military was barely allowed to be on our cultural radar. America did military. We most assuredly did not.

At most, our guidance counselors would discreetly recommend that our less apt peers might want to think about joining the army, lest they end up in jail.

 The thought of militarizing our schools, our sport’s and cultural events, and our politics, in the creeping way that it has entered our mainstream culture would have been unacceptable in the seventies. Why now the need to re-name the 401 the “highway of heroes”, when no one thought to do it before? To have our fighting men and women drop the puck at centre ice of our hockey games? To invite them into our schools in order to recruit our children?

 How did we let this happen?

 Did we sell ourselves out for the cottage? And the SUV? And all those cheap clothes from China?

 Damn right we did!

After the “in-your-face” sixties, and the psychoanalysis seventies – we went all went down the postmodern-irony bullshit rabbit hole and tuned ourselves out from the realities of the world.

 We “invented” composting and recycling in the nineties and believed we had saved the world. Good for us!

 Hunter Thompson may have seen the high water mark in 1964, but we all sat and saw the executioner on TV that day Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. We should have rioted on the streets.

We didn’t and the ideals of the political left have been evaporating steadily ever since.

The revolution that was the 1900’s is over. We ripped Europe apart over ideas, destroyed half the world in our angers, and thought we had found a cultural nirvana in our rhetoric of equality and emancipation. All the while we were growing fatter.

Now it is the reactionaries’ turn. The populist fascists. The Fords and the Palins of the world. Taking us back to the middle ages – back to simpler times. When real men fought with their bare hands. No rules. Where the crowd watches and cheers and drinks its beer and eats its chicken wings. 

Everyone wishing they were Attila the Hun. Just for the day.

Yes, teach our children the noble goals of the gladiator ideals. Hard work. Morals. Dignity. Right. And wrong.

And how to punch another man straight in the face…and how to keep doing it, until he submits….

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