|Quebec's human reaction to humiliation|
But never is a long time and like the pain of childbirth long forgotten(so I'm told) it is easy to remember the good and toss the bad.
After an overnight stop in Brooklyn to see our grandchildren, my wife and I set out on the long drive, as prepared as we could be with our newly installed E-Z-Pass to breeze our way through the various toll plazas as well as the trusty GPS to guide us effortlessly to our destination, hopefully avoiding any wrong turn, the bain of any long road trip.
The hours were long despite the excellent company and as the playlist on my IPhone became exhausted, it fell to the radio to keep us from boredom, Unfortunately the only voices we found on the radio dial were the
über-conservative trio of Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage and Laura Ingram variously ranting over Hillary, Obamacare and in Savage's case, the entire younger generation, which according to him, deserves a collective smack across the mouth.
Even a suggested rise in the national minimum wage brought down a firestorm of criticism, as if the right of Walmart to underpay its workforce, a sacred God-given American virtue.
It was embarrassing and decidedly hard to take, forcing me to the realization that Conservatives in Canada are equivalent to soft socialists in the United States!
After so much venom, it behooved us to seek out something less toxic on the radio dial and lo and behold an interview with a journalist from no less an august magazine,the National Enquirer seemed to fit the bill.
Call it a pleasant serving of audio pulp fiction or mindless pap, gossip seemed to fit the bill and for an hour or so, we were immersed in the trials and tribulations of the Justin, Miley and the ever entertaining Khardashians.
The talk then turned to Julia Roberts and her supposedly nasty side and reputation for being difficult to work with.
But the real interesting segment was the story of Julia's estrangement from her sister, Nancy Motes, an obese under-performer, someone who Julia battled with over the years over the less successful sister's inability to get her life together.
The two sisters were diametrically opposed, one beautiful, rich and successful, the other anything but.
The Enquirer reporter reminded listeners that this is the case with many successful Hollywood types, their family often ne'er–do–wells with Madonna's family, a prime example.
It seems that Julia tried to get her sister to improve herself and the more she tried to help (even financially) the angrier and more resentful the sister got.
Julia even got the sad-sack a production assistant job, but rather than empower Nancy, it seemed to make her angrier and angrier, blaming Julia for all her problems, her lack of productivity, discipline and over consumption.
“When I was in high school and she was an adult, she would just let me know that I was definitely overweight,” Motes said, according to the New York Daily News. “It just makes me feel incredibly hurt and very sad.”It reminded me of that Pantene shampoo commercial, circa 1980, which boasted the ever memorable tag line... "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!"
At any rate, when Julia confronted the sister over her indolence and lack of self restraint things turned decidedly ugly and the two became estranged, never talking again.
It was quite a poignant story and driving down the road it occurred to me that the story is a useful analogy to the relationship between Quebec and Canada and explains perfectly why in the face of so much evidence that Quebec is on the wrong life track, it continues to embrace the Dark Side represented by the PQ.
In other words Quebec has come to the realization that it cannot compete with Canada and rather than strive to improve, has thrown in the towel and like Julia's sister, committed to blame Canada for its failures.
This all can be traced back to the Maclean's article about Quebec being the most corrupt province in Canada, a contention that brought howls of outrage and disbelief across Quebec and universal condemnation
Call it a watershed moment or tipping point, but from that day forward, events would unfold to confirm that status beyond a shadow of a doubt, and for Quebecers it was a painful and humiliating dish of humble pie served up by Canada, like Julia castigating her sister, thank you very much.
In a take on the five stages of grief, Quebec's reaction was actually textbook;
DENIAL(It isn't true that Quebec is the most corrupt)
ANGER (How dare they!)
BARGAINING(Canada is also corrupt)
DEPRESSION( These never-ending Charbonneau Commission revelations are agonizing and depressing)
ACCEPTANCE( Yes it's true, but we hate you Canada for pointing this all out)
There is something thoroughly enraging about being humiliated by a sibling and worse still, having a parent tell you to act more like your more 'successful' brother or sister.
For most under-achievers it's easier to withdraw into a fantasy world where all that is wrong with life is the fault of others, especially successful family members who sanctimoniously point out your failures to you, ad nauseum.
Like Nancy who accuses Julie of bashing her unfairly, so does Quebec to all its detractors, regardless of the veracity or truth of the argument and like a petulant child, Quebec is sticking its fingers in its ears, shouting I can't hear you!, I can't hear you!
And so here we are, and the above explains all.
It explains why Quebec hates Canada.
It explains why Quebec is embracing the PQ and the Charter of Values, an in-your-face reaction to the humiliation Quebec feels over its under-achievement.
It explains why the more Canada belittles Quebec over its failures, the more estranged Quebec becomes from Canada.
Quebec knows what it is and refuses to be reminded of it by Canada.
Anything it can do to push back is on the table and if voting for the PQ is something that will royally annoy Canada ....all the better...
By the way, for those of you who don't know how it turned out for Julia and her sister, it isn't a fairy tale ending.
In the end, Nancy killed herself and in the suicide note blamed it all on Julia.
Let's hope things don't turn out that way for Quebec.