Friday, March 23, 2012

Jack Layton vs. Stephen Harper

I've just spent about the last 45 minutes watching the tribute to Jack Layton at the NDP leadership convention. The heartfelt praise about Jack's humanity, his real love of and interest in people, suggests a life well-lived, despite its tragic shortness.

That got me thinking of what a tribute to Stephen Harper would look like, and I can't imagine anything but a very staged and forced production, the reason summed up very nicely in Act 5 Scene 3 of Shakespeares's Macbeth, as the tyrant nears the end of his life and frankly assesses its emptiness, recognizing that he has no friends, only sycophantic followers:

I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not. (5.3.22)