Thursday, May 03, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

Resentment and scapegoating is too easy an indulgence, and rather delusional. Yet may there be a valid point in thinking about who has been the worst Canadian? In the words of The Beaver magazine, which is hosting the contest to name the ten worst Canadians of all time:
"The greatest Canadians have already been much discussed. But who have been the worst Canadians in history?

Who have been the most wretched, the most appalling, the most villainous men or women? Who has had the most malign influence? Who should have been sent to bed without dessert? Let us know and why.
If this is a valid exercise it is because we value public life, a nation in which we all share in a covenant to create the reality and freedoms by which we live. No doubt certain vile murderers will get a lot of votes, but at what degree is evil just plain evil, of no profound interest? "Worstness" cannot be just or primarily a question of evil. It is more a question of the delusion and misadventure in leadership that comes with ego and resentment and, yes, a misapplied or poorly understood desire to do good.

Besides, if we don't have lots of qualifications pointing to the simultaneous good/bad paradoxes of "worstness" (the great and mighty fall the most), how are we or The Beaver going to avoid the defamation suits if we dare to name the living?

I think we should concentrate on figuring out which politicos, artists, intellectuals, teachers, media and business people have had the most malign influence on our public and economic life... Pierre Trudeau (patron saint of centralizing bureaucrats, the CBC, Fidelistas, and postmodern victimary elites)... as for the great and fallen among the living whom we dare not name, how about a certain B. P. (First Great academic King of the Canadian History victimologists), J. R. (you gotta have a feminist who would constitutionally enshrine affirmative action quotas for "elected" office on the list, even if "worstness" may really be more of a guy thing), (and a "visible minority") D. "it's great that people are starting to believe the environmental apocalypse is coming" S.: the choice is yours.

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