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“Being Canadian” and “Mrs. America”

Another long silent day punctuated by contact: Robin my upstairs tenant, a hello and a chat; a phone call with a writing student wanting direction with her memoir; a chat with another wanting to buy the writing book; tonight, a Zoom class. Plus email and text messages, replies to this blog, all the Likes on FB and Twitter – for people sitting alone at home, we sure are dealing with a lot of voices.

The rain is just beginning. I went down the street first thing to get more plants from Jay’s and got them in just in time. What a gorgeous smell. Today’s garden joy: the delicate puffball magnificence of allium.

Sadness across town: Naan, Anna’s beloved cat, has cancer and is scheduled to meet her maker on Saturday. She’s a marvellous creature who has had a great life, coming in and out the window, being fed and petted by neighbours as well as her own family, and putting up with a remarkable amount of roughhousing from two small boys until they went too far and got a quick swipe of the claws. Anna wrote, “We’re feeding her all her favourite things: eggs and ham last night, smoked salmon this morning, fried chicken for dinner; tomorrow she’ll get her own can of tuna and some butter for dessert. I haven’t told the kids yet.”

I don’t envy her that. I remember going through it with several cats here, especially Snoozie, our beloved Persian; Anna liked to dress up the poor creature and push her around in her doll carriage. Ten years later a vet came and administered the injection while I held her in my arms. Oh these pets whom we love so. My mother said, after the death of her beloved beagle Tippy, that she would never get another dog, the loss hurt too much.

Last night I watched the amusing documentary Being Canadian – Canuck comedian Robert Cohen who lives in L.A. crossing Canada to understand this country better. He interviewed many well-known Canadian comics, and one question dealt with was: Why does Canada produce so many world-class comedians? You could ask that question, and many have, about Jews, and I put it down to the same issue: when you’re dealing with bullies, you learn to be funny. Canadians are powerless outsiders, living beside the biggest bully in the world. Make ’em laugh is one way to survive.

Then I watched the next episode of Mrs. America, which is extremely well done, about the early years of the feminist movement and the rise of right-wing anti-feminists, starring the fabulous Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly and Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem. It’s very fair, not demonizing the appalling Schlafly even as it shows her narrow-minded nastiness as she uses lies and propaganda – and members of the Klan – to further her cause, and her hypocrisy as she fights for women to stay in the home while she herself is out campaigning, leaving her own home and children in the hands of her Black maids. It’s painful to watch the birth of the Tea Party, and I may have to stop; in the end, Schlafly and her minions defeated the ERA. But not the feminist movement. A fascinating docu-drama.

Lots of rain now, a gentle, welcome sound, the heavenly scent of growth and green. Onward.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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