In our June issue we already heralded Canada’s Birthday knowing
that the actual event would precede our July Issue. But here we
are wishing Canada again all the best for the next 142 years.
What we did not know is that so many festivities in Toronto
would fall flat because of a full blown strike by city workers.
If you do not live on TO you might have heard that we have a
very smelly problem. The garbage is piling up in designated
areas of neighbourhoods and attracting uninvited guests. I even
think our neighbourhood raccoons smelled the garbage dump which
is at least 2-3 kilometres away. I have not seen them in over a
week. Sitting on my porch when the wind hails from the south
brings a sour smell up to our region on the first major
escarpment. The way this problem is handled, or rather not
handled, has its own smell of political wrangling and does not
endear the workers to a public, which feels that bargaining
power is used like blackmail. Sympathy is hard to come by when
festivities in our all too short summer are being cancelled. One
wonders though how the selection process under the circumstances
is, because while some events are cancelled, others are not. A
closer look would probably produce some interesting facts.
Thank heavens there were enough other interesting occurrences in
the world to divert our attention from what is lying so close to
our front door. The demise Farah Faucet and Michael Jackson, 2
icons of North American culture, who defined the lifetime of a
generation with their entertainment art, keeps us riveted still
to the TV screen.
Personally I had never much paid attention to the phenomenon
that was/is Michael Jackson. As most folks know, I prefer
classical music and only keep a peripheral eye on POP culture
and its expressions. It was only now that I made an effort to
watch lengthy videos of Michael in action. I was astounded at
the wealth of creativity and skill he brought to his art. And
while I was not an active fan during his life time, and only
knew little about him as made known by a sensationalizing media,
I am glad to see that the emphasis is now mainly on the creative
part of his life.
I have always been aware that some of the media in the world
makes a living building someone up to stardom and then delights
in tearing them down. It is most aptly called chaos
merchandizing. After having seen the Michael Jackson Memorial in
LA I am convinced that this tour de force of creativity received
not only the rightful admiration of so many on the entire
planet, but also undue attention and unfair treatment because of
his celebrity and simply because of his unorthodox lifestyle and
personality. In all the years I have known of him I had never
heard of his many humanitarian activities, but I was always made
aware of his supposed shortcomings.
If we consider how creative and successful Michael Jackson was
despite so much adversity, we have to stand in awe and
admiration of his courage and determination. Any honour bestowed
on him, even now and belated, will be well deserved and only a
small token of recognition for his humanitarian efforts.
If anyone ever build bridges between nations and people and
generations, it certainly was Michael Jackson.
Our own Alexander Oolo, who left us to find happiness in Germany
some years back, expresses this phenomenon of Michael Jackson in
a very personal tribute for Echo Germanica. We welcome him back
as our man in Frankfurt, bringing a German perspective to us on
this and other subjects in the future.
You will find this issue and probably the next one too, a bit on
the slim side, the reason being my desire to enjoy more of our
short Canadian summer, the beautiful nature all-around us in our
countryside, like our fantastic beaches. We want to visit our
favourite haunts, lay back and day dream, and I want to perhaps
write a few more chapters on a book that started out with "Once
upon a time there was a little girl…".
I think summers are for day dreaming under a blue sky with the
wind gently caressing warm skin. Summers are for reading while
lying in the sandy dunes of Lake Erie. Summers are for watching
gulls flying high in the sky or following a sail on the horizon.
Summers are also great for getting together for outdoor picnics
and folks fests, such as the Carabram celebrations, in which The
Hansa House in Brampton is participating. I have the honor and
pleasure to MC the daily proceedings and introduce Oktoberfest
culture to the Canadian multitudes in July. That should be fun
I hope to see you there!
Until next time!