Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Anniversaries and other observances
Even the words form a kind of imperfect rhyme: ‘November / Remember’.
On a happy note, today is the day to observe the 75th birthday of our national public broadcaster, the CBC. Even people who don’t listen to it mostly acknowledge the value of having such a system in place – and commercial-free at that! I can’t describe the many things I’ve learned or been entertained by or fascinated by – just by the sounds that come out of that little black box in my kitchen.
Today is also the day we still celebrate our friend Miki’s birthday. We even ate some wild mushrooms with our supper in his honour.
But that flame in today’s image is also there to observe the anniversary of Norman Morrison’s self-immolation. Technically, he wasn’t the first to take such drastic action, but he did it outside the office of then-Secretary of US Defense, Robert McNamara.
Morrison’s death marked another turning point (or maybe it was a ratcheting-up point) in the rise of the movement that helped bring an end to the Vietnam War.
Thinking of that brave 31-year-old (far braver than I will ever be) renews my faith in the idea of hoping for change. And while I’m not extolling any more self-immolations, I am firmly believing in the power of the people, especially as represented by those who comprise the Occupy-Wherever forces. May they continue speaking out, and continue to do so with the voice of consensus.