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Memories of Sackville, pt.2...

(Well, aren't we a bit behind in solidifying our memories in memoir? At this rate, Maitreya will be dancing down Parc Avenue by the time yesterday's drink with J. gets written-up in prose...)

"John" was his name, and he hailed from the University of Toronto, where he wrangled big-falootin' ideas down at the Institute of Something-Something as head-honcho and great-kazoo. He took exception. He took one look at Matthew's ideas and said to his-self he says, "I don't like the way you smell."

Matthew, you see, had questioned the veracity and even the ability of orthodox liberals to deal with religions (an already problematic concept) in the terms in which they understood themselves -- especially when it came to Islam, as evinced by the blinkered treatment of Tariq Ramadan. In particular, he questioned the veracity of an approach to religion which framed it as a system of private "beliefs" about "identity", which essentially transformed all religions into varying expressions of subjective self-expression rather than approaches or apprehensions the truth of reality. He suggested that there were actual, existing problems with how liberals approached anyone who wasn't a well-behaved, secular modern.

Big John out of the Institute of Something-Something didn't like the smell of what he saw, and he came armed. Carrying a solid six-shootin' revolver packed with the latest in anecdotal evidence, he was ready to take this sumbitch' down. "There ain't no problem 'tween liberals and apostates!" he whooped, "My young'ins play with theirs all the time, and they get around right good." (Bang!)

"This ain't the McCarthy era; we ain't takin' anyone in front of no commisions!" (Kaboom!)

"Ain't nobody tryin' to ban that good-fer-nothin' bullflop!" (Kazaam!)

"This ain't Stalinist Russia, after all!" (Ka-zap!)

And so went Big John's ready defence of All That's Right In the World against All That is Wrong (which, on this day, was apparently Matthew). Things went steadily downhill when Darryl and I got sucked in.

Fascinatingly enough, Big John's stalwart stand on behalf of the Proclamation that Everything is Fine was not hurt by my observation that Red State vs. Blue State divide was currently pulling the USA apart, or that the Reasonable Accommodation debates were demonstrating some cleavages in Québec which couldn't be assumed to not exist anywhere else in the Federation.

As soon as my lips uttered words regarding those debates, another attendee leaped-in, hurling himself boldly upon that ghastly grenade, "I read the Bouchard-Taylor Report!" he shrieked, "It's been verified that everything is perfectly okay!"

At that point, someone whom might have been myself might have stated that he'd grown-up in Québec, had actually attended the debates, and that he didn't care what The Report said, anyone who thought that everything was A-Okay was mistaken. (He might have actually used the word "delusional", he doesn't recall.)

Entertainingly enough, after time ran out and we had dispersed to sundry places in search of free food and liquids, Matthew took the time to look-up Big John on the Internet and came-up with one of his published pieces. The topic? How "we" (liberals) shouldn't immediately go to war with all Christians, but make allies of those whom were okay, in the sense of not undermining liberal values. Not "friends" of course (which would imply the recognition of the possibility of a common good), but "allies".

Nuthin' wrong in Paradise, Big John, nuthin' wrong at all...

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