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Monthly Archives: January 2017

I don’t like what’s about to happen to the United States. I’m scared. But when I look at it, at the great arc of history, I have to admit that there is something deeply on target about Donald Trump coming to the presidency. It is only what could be expected. And a phrase keeps popping to mind: the Gatsbyean Doom. Trump is the Gatsbyean Doom. There could be no other. There are no ifs in history. All of American history has been aimed at this. The Gatsbyean Doom. Like a bobbing styrofoam cup at the brink of Niagara Falls. There could be no other.

I will say this: in 1990, with the ending of the Cold War, America lost a raison d’etre. We have not yet managed to find another one. We have wandered in malaise. In Trump we find a thicker, richer, new & improved malaise.

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The New Dems were in power in Manitoba. The election changed everything and nothing. So sick was Harold of Winnipeg, of this company. Everyman a liar. The petty bourgeois of little Canada.

Well the girls are out to bingo and the boys are gettin stinko
We think no more of Inco on a Sudbury Saturday Night

“Goin’ south, then?” said Sam, his hippie friend. Sam sucked up acid by the handful, smuggled across the border—he knew all the draft dodgers.

“Maybe.”

The grain company, the railroad—one more mile for progress, one more dollar for the company man. He’d get his paycheck and have another beer.

We’ll drink the loot we borrowed and recuperate tomorrow
‘Cause everything is wonderful tonight-we had a good fight

Slip across the border to Chicago or Minneapolis. Lines of jobs out to the suburbs and back. Kiss a little ass and make your fortune. Go on down to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, get the sunshine, let your cares burn up with your sunburn.

“You know why Canadians don’t make trouble, don’t you?” Sam was high as a Manitoba wind.

“Because of the fucking British. Got to bow to the Queen.”

Sam’s mouth curled into an acid-laced smile. “No. It’s the cold.
Can’t tell the boss off. Half the year you’d freeze. Got to be polite, got to keep warm.”

From the top of the building, Harold look out past the Winnipeg
limits. To the prairie, the infinite flatness.

Any sane man would go South. To America. To warmth.

Harold descended the building. Started the car. Already it complained. Stompin’ Tom on the radio.

The songs that we’ll be singing They might be wrong but they’ll be ringin’
But all the lights of town are shining bright-and we’re all tight

Drove towards Grosse Isle. Drove further.  Out to where it was cold, it was hard, but he’d know who he was. Not south. Never south.

North. To the Shield.