Friday, March 6, 2009

The Dogs of War

For a week that started with bitter pills for DW and the Sunshine Band, it's ending with a generous helping of gâteau.

One doesn't need a ouija board to figure out what this will provoke:

As is so often the case with the Globe, the problem lies not with the facts but with the tone. Solving the case of Curious George's missing brain is best left to the humourists, bloggers, and Newfoundlanders themselves, who know full well how to respond to such selfish, foolish, and reckless antics.

In their typical, condescending way, the Globe's editorial board seems to be trying, evidently, to turn The Curious Circus into the Saga of the Persecuted Patriot. Their habitual over-reliance on terse declarative sentences (actually, a sentence fragment in this case) gives readers the impression of a verdict by the Court of King's Bench: "Not good enough."

No, it's not. But the good Editors should think twice before telling Newfoundlanders what's in their own best interests: "Nor would Newfoundland be well served by a regional rump party that, unlike the Bloc Québécois, could not conceivably have enough seats to wield major influence in Parliament." No, the Bloc NL wouldn't be very effective, but pointing this out hardly helps matters and, in fact, will be used by Wingnut Nation as yet another cause for separatism.

The best outcome would be for Curious George to have his day in the media spotlight, revel in all the attention, and then be forced to confront the bitter cold of an Ottawa winter. The best outcome would be for Newfoundlanders themselves to tell Mr. Curious where to go and leave it at that.

When you get a spectacle as ugly and shameless as this one, the last thing you need is a gallon of gasoline poured on the bonfire of the vanities. Or, to use another analogy, the last thing we need is another national media pork chop tossed to this dog of a story.

"Mr. Baker should be repudiated, not indulged," the Globe concludes. Yes, in an ideal world, the Curious Circus would meet a quick end in Parliament itself.

But, you see, old chap, Parliament in particular, and federalism in general, is going through a rough patch. As readers of this blog know, I'm no fan of Iggy; however, in this instance, he needs to be cut some slack. Trying to enact some sort of federalist repudiation sounds too much like a regional purge, and it couldn't come at a worse time for Iggy or a better time for DW.

If I remember Grade 10 English, "Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war," is followed by, "That this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial."

Local Editors Do Better Update:

As I said, local commentators know how to deal with Curious George better than Glib editors.

Belated Credit Update:

And if I criticize Wangersky when he gets it wrong, it's only fair to give credit when he gets it right:

Local bloggers do it better Update:

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who thinks that the Curious Circus merits a PG-13 Rating:

Mainland Commentators do it worse (again) Update:

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