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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The ultimate meaning of life is to embrace that which compels you to act in spite of fear.

Monday, September 05, 2005


As we await this week's news from the bargaining table, some strange shit is happening. The volume of rhetoric and sniping seems to be on the rise. This after the two sides have already started talking this past week. I'm not an expert on labour negotiations, but I have to wonder if all this continued yelling isn't doing more harm than good. Granted, the progress was "minor" and likely dealt with the no-brainer stuff, and it seems there's still a fair bit of trust to be gained on both sides.

I am inquisitive by nature, as are most writers. Why is the chatter growing? Are people coming home and realizing what is happening? Are columnists positioning their pieces for maximum readership and effect? Are CMG journalists swarming CBC management, gleefully kicking and punching? Or are the journalists still worried and angry and suspicious (understandably)? Or is it all part of the elaborate game of collective bargaining?

As a storyteller, I find things make sense to me when they're placed within a metaphorical and narrative context.

So here goes.

Two parents have already started shovelling the driveway, but they're yelling a lot and shovelling very little. You see, one has been trying to have an affair and the other is hurt and pissed off. Not only has the offending partner tried to spread it around town, but he/she has also had the gall to lock the heartbroken partner and the kids out of the house, accusing them of not being progressive enough: Come on, swing with that 1970s key-swapping party, honey. It must be noted that the heartbroken partner, though generally a good spouse, can be a little shrill and self-righteous from time to time. So, the snow is moving slowly. And the children are heckling from the street, sometimes throwing punches at each other, as they are wont to do. But no one steps in. The neighbours are too busy, though some are speaking up. All the while the foster children of this dysfunctional family are sitting across the street, smoking (stunting their growth), spitting on the sidewalk, and wondering when in the hell the Children's Aid will arrive and what family will have them next. Their siblings, the real offspring, turn and tell them they're in the family. The foster kids cast steely-eyed stares into the unknown distance, and say, "Thanks, I'm with you, but I'm just going to finish my smoke here..."

Talks, not yelling. That's what we want.


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