Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Stompin' Tom had connections to my part of Ontario. I have mentioned this before; my friend Dave Lachapelle, who lived with me for several years before he died was Stompin' Tom's father-in-law. His daughter was Stompin' Tom's first wife. I always hoped I might have got to meet the man myself but it never worked out. His son came several times to visit Dave, his grandfather. His mother stilled lives nearby in the Verner area south of my town.
Stompin' Tom wrote about this area, of Northern Ontario.. Below is a song about Big Joe Mufferaw a legendary French Canadian bûcheron (lumberjack) based on a real larger than life person, Joseph Monferrand. He worked the Ottawa River cutting wood in the Winter near Mattawa and taking part in the log drive down the Ottawa River every Spring. Mattawa is to the east of where I live, still a small logging town.
One of the most famous of Stompin' Tom songs was Sudbury Saturday Night, a celebration of the hard rock miners at their relaxation after a week of mining Nickel in the Sudbury area, to the east of where I live.
Timmins , a gold mining town north of where I live was where Stompin' Tom got his "Stompin'" handle because of his habit of keeping time by stomping his foot on the floor while he sings. He got his professional start in Timmins when the bartender of the Maple Leaf Hotel ( sadly now torn down) staked him for a beer in exchange for his singing a few songs. He was five cents short of the 40 cents for a beer. He was offered a long term gig and the rest is history. He later wrote a very special song about the fighting of a fire in the MacIntyre Mine. in that city (I was going to imbed it but EMI is blocking if for copyright reasons. With my server in Virginia in the US I am often mistaken for an American so one could try to access the song, Fire in the Mine if you have a Canadian server.)
Apparently, Stompin' Tom knew he was close to death. He wrote a touching message to his friends and fans.
Friday, March 01, 2013
The Canadian Caper
The Academy award winning movie ARGO continues to be written about in Canada and by others who know the real story as a inaccurate account. Canadians have know that the escape of the American hostages from Iran was a Canadian enterprise which we have always called the Canadian Caper. Former President Carter, President of the United States at the time, has confirmed this public.
ARGO is loosely based on the facts. It is in fact an American propaganda film, which shines a good light on the CIA and a rather negative light on the Iranians.and no light on Canada. All of this is very appropriate at of time of great hostility toward Iran, if you want to keep beating the drums of war.
There is nothing wrong with taking dramatic license with an historical event but the film should have been presented at a fiction based on an historical event. Instead, the film creators went out of their way to promote it as a true account, time and time again, ad nauseam.
I decided to review some of the events of the escape when I heard the CIA agent involved interviews with him saying the CIA was very happy to see the Canadians take credit at the time as if credit was not due.
It is not as if the creators of the movie did not have lots of information available to create an accurate account which was just as thrilling as the fictional account. A docudrama has been made in Canada, with Gordon Pinsent taking the part of Ambassador Taylor. (This can be viewed on You tube) Many of the participants are still alive today and could have been interviewed.. Below is an interesting video which has the actual people involved explaining what transpired.. It is fascinating to watch. How sad that only about 30,000 people have cared to hear these first person accounts.
I hope you took the time to watch this video
Canadians are accustomed to being under appreciated by Americans. We certainly are used to Americans puffing themselves up with all their sense of exceptionalism, the national political myth. BUT when an historic event is claimed to be true it should do it best to be true to the historical record. Sadly many will accept this film as the historic record for years to come. Just as the untrue reasons for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are repeated today, The propaganda for that tragedy began right away after the event. It does not take much research to discover the historic truths. History deserve better and more careful treatment.
Here is Jimmy Carter speaking about the film ARGO in a speech at Queen University, which he has repeated several times.