Appeared in the North Shore News – August 17, 2012
BELLINGHAM citizens are furious because Canadian shoppers are monopolizing . . . milk.
Snatching milk from the mouths of American babies.
The Canadian milk-buying invasion is so alarming that pressure is on Bellingham stores like Costco to have dedicated checkouts or time periods for American shoppers only.
Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution have something to say about discrimination? You couldn’t get away with that under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Wrongs.
Bloggers have seized the obvious antecedent: The War of 1812, in which a few thousand British veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, their aboriginal allies led by the great Tecumseh and about 15 Canadian farmers wielding pitchforks heroically beat back the Americans, who were mostly frightened by the native fighters’ whoops in the night.
In my own home province, the Americans got as far as Stoney Creek, Ont., and, disappointed that the locally famous Stoney Creek Milk Bar wasn’t opened yet, retreated sullenly across the border.
As a young reporter on “freelance” – the assignment book term used when the city editor didn’t know what to do with excess staff and a shortage of news – I went to the battle site on the 150th anniversary and waited till midnight for ghostly apparitions or strange moaning noises. Were there any? Regardless, I wrote a feature about it. It was shameless. Talk about your silly summer story.
But back to cross-border milk wars: As one blogger wrote, “The real story is, why aren’t Canadian prices lower?” Well, if we all had an extra life to live, we might be able to understand our politicized dairy products system, aimed at protecting mainly Quebec and Ontario farmers. The government and the dairy lobby call this “supply management.” Consumers are free to call it protectionism causing artificially high prices.
It’s enough to make Canadians want to get away from it all and fly to Vegas.
From cheaper Bellingham, of course.
. . .
You’ve heard of the American Dream. Now the CKNW (pronounced “Canadian”) Dream. It deserves an item in Mac Parry’s Sun column.
An eight-year-old boy wants to be in radio so badly that on Halloween he goes trick-or-treating dressed as a CKNW reporter: Fedora, press pass in the brim, notepad in his breast pocket, suspenders with CKNW logo pasted on, and wielding a tape recorder.
Today that lad, James Lewis, is an impressively polished CKNW reporter and newsreader, with the perfect NW voice and style – at age 20. And this week he added another gig, writing news for Global Television.
Local angle: Proud parents of James, a Sentinel and BCIT grad, are West Vancouver Coun. Michael and Jean Lewis. From childhood dream to a skilled pro in a dozen years. Gotta love it, as Don Cherry would say.
. . .
Still with the media: Ian Morrison, spokesman for the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, dedicated to the purity of the CBC, is pained that the Harper government has pressured CBC Radio Two into carrying advertising. After that, the deluge: Morrison predicts commercials eventually will sully Radio One’s iconic As It Happens and World Report.
I agree. Neither the CBC nor the advertising-hungry private stations can welcome this. CBC listeners least of all.
But very old people will recall that CBC Radio has carried commercials before. A mere 45-odd years ago, my shy self had a regular morning CBC spot megaphoning my views, preceded by a commercial for an East Broadway truck dealer.
When Mother Corp stopped such commercials, neither the CBC, the world, nor my trade as opinionmonger came to a crashing end.
. . .
Summertime (finally) in Vancouver, and the theatre offerings are rich. There’s still time to see the outstanding Buddy Holly Story at the Stanley.
If you leave absorbed but sombre by Bob Frazer and Colleen Wheeler in Macbeth at Bard on the Beach, go back – as our family did last weekend – for the tickling gender manoeuvres of Lois Anderson and John Murphy in The Taming of the Shrew.
Ah, nostalgia: The first female I dated in Vancouver, The Mod, had her feminist knickers in such a knot over the latter that she publicly denounced the Stratford Shakespearian Festival for performing it. Sad. Died young, The Mod, perhaps of excessive principle. (I made a point of asking the three females I accompanied more recently if they were offended. They shrugged. Times and tempers change.)
But for this customer, the biggest pure treat – last show tomorrow! – was The Music Man, at the under-the-radar (less advertised) but definitely not under-patronized (full house when I attended) Theatre Under The Stars. Meredith Willson’s sentimental-but-subversively-sly look at the aforementioned American Dream is brilliantly directed and performed at TUTS.
. . .
More theatre, of sorts, and a growing tradition: Royal Tea at Dundarave Park, 2-4 p.m. tomorrow.
© Trevor Lautens, 2012