“With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.”
-William Morris: The Well at World’s End
So come on old friends, to the streets
Let’s be 1905 but not 1917
Lets be heroes, let’s be martyrs, let’s be radical thinkers
Who’ve never have to test drive the least of their dreams
-Frank Turner: Love, Ire and Song
I was going to quote the lyrics to Love, Ire and Song in its entirety, but didn’t to save space.
I thought to quote William Morris because of the irony of how that quote applies to the thing that’s caused today’s rant.
For the past…well, for a few weeks, I haven’t cared enough to keep track of how long, thousands of university students across the province of Quebec have been “on strike” over the provincial government’s plan to raise tuition by $1675 over the next 3 years, bringing annual tuition to $3800. I just did a quick google search and saw that the annual tuition for York University in Toronto is $6,003 for a full time undergrad program. Yet as far as I know there are no demonstrations in Toronto over tuition. I dunno, maybe they’re busy studying….
There hasn’t been a lot of violence in these protests, but there has been some, forcing some schools to seek injunctions and hire security to prevent protestors from damaging property.
The students complain that the government won’t back down on the tuition hike and some are angry that the government won’t even discuss their latest demand. That a university education be free.
Apparently university students in Quebec don’t watch the news and are completely oblivious of the state of financial affairs plaguing governments around the world. Or maybe they’re not and feel that the population in general would welcome huge tax hikes, or perhaps the decimation of health care in order to fund their degrees. Some of them laughably argue that if you eliminated corruption in government that those funds could be used to fund their education.
I’m certain there is corruption at all levels of government, everywhere, but really… I would argue that graft and corruption in government has been around just as long as the world’s oldest profession (which, when you think of it would be “hunter/gatherer” not prostitute). Back in the days of the cave man, Grogg would give Ugg an extra helping of mammoth meat if he’d back him up at the clan meetings, and so on and so forth.
Its human nature, if you think about it. Its not going away.
In skimming their literature I see many suggestions, such as universities seeking more private donations and a larger financial stake from the government. I don’t see any recommendations on what services the government cut.
Sadly, in today’s day and age you need a degree to get a decent job starting out. Honestly, I think that a degree that leaves many unprepared for the working world. I’ve had the misfortune of having to work on projects run by recent university grads and I have to say I usually didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The most persistent theme in these projects is their seemingly complete obliviousness to things they didn’t know, and, that their project was not the only one I was working on. I will blog on that later, I’m digressing.
The city of Montreal is being held hostage by striking students. They march with the deliberate intent of grid locking downtown and being as disruptive as possible.
How many average people, you know, receptionists, shop workers, cleaners have they prevented from working and therefore disrupted their ability to earn an income and put food on the table? People without large bank accounts fed by people seeking to corrupt government and society in general to fall back on?
Perhaps the protestors are thinking that the populace will rise up with them against the tyranny of government! I’m thinking that the populace in general will start hoping the police start breaking out the tear gas and rubber bullets.
Now, some of them are actually using the term “Quebecois Spring”….let me re-phrase that..
Some of those arrogant, shit-heel, pus-heads compared themselves to the thousands of people in the Middle East who rose up against oppression and changed their worlds for the better.
These self-righteous jack-asses are protesting having to pay more for education than they pay now, an amount that is still considerably less than most other university students in the country!
The Arab Spring was a courageous groundswell of rebellion. Those people faced arrest, torture, execution for outrageous acts such as “having an opinion”, or “speaking out”, or “knowing that guy who has an opinion”, or “minding their own business”, or “being gay”, or “being female”.
Quebec has one of the richest, vibrant, permissive cultural histories in North America. When I think of Quebec I think of poutine, strippers and revisionist history, I also think I’d like to go and post a sign with the English and French text exactly the same size so that I could be charged for violating their language laws.
But even if I did that sign thing, I’m almost certain I wouldn’t piled into the back of a police car never to be seen again.
Yet they, the privileged, idealistic, arrogant bright bulbs behind this protest don’t seem to get something very important.
The Arab Spring was a revolt against oppression, unreasonable quashing of ideas, ideas, and freedoms. But in Quebec it is they, the rebels, who are preventing those among them who want to continue their education, preventing general citizenry with the misfortune to live and or work in downtown Montreal from doing so in peace, preventing 100’s, maybe 1000’s of everyday Quebecois from going about their daily lives in peace.
In light of that, if there is a “Quebecois Spring”, who will take the role of oppressors? The police? The government?
When you consider that the Arab Spring was a popular uprising by the general population, it stands to reason that it won’t be the student protestors who rise up….they will be cast in the role of oppressors as it is THEY and not the police or the government preventing people from going on with their lives. But of course, in the narrow field of vision of the idealistic there is no room for the broader reality.
But really…if you’re going to go comparing yourself to the Arab uprisings….do yourself a favour and go read about what’s happening in Syria you arrogant f**ks