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    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.

    Talking Jack Knox: Those Who Do Not Study History



    Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it -- poorly

    Jack Knox, Times Colonist Published: Sunday, July 13, 2008

    The 2008 National Historica Fair is in Victoria this week, 165 students from across the country taking part in history's equivalent to a science fair.

    It inspired me to dredge up my own recollection of Canadian history class. Here's what I remember:

    The first contact between aboriginal Canadians and the seafaring foreigners known as *******s came in 1000 BC when the Minnesota Vikings played an away game at L'anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland.

    Fearing this NFL invasion would lead to the demise of the Canadian Football League, aboriginals sent the Vikings packing. It wasn't until 1497 that Europeans would return to Canadian shores in the person of English television actor Sebastian Cabot, also known by his Italian name, Mr. French.

    French exploration continued with the arrival of Jacques Cartier, who established a chain of fur-trading posts and fine jewelry stores along the St. Lawrence River. It was Cartier who first heard the Huron-Iroquois word Canada, meaning "big pink bit on the map."

    Western exploration and the fur trade were both soon taken over by the British in the form of the Hudson's Bay Co., though the latter soon found itself in a long, bitter struggle with such rivals as the North West Co. and Canadian Tire, which provided the wheels for the Red River carts that became emblematic of Manitoba settlers.

    Meanwhile, the West Coast was reached in 1778 by Capt. James Cook of HMS Enterprise, who had set out across the Pacific "to boldly go where no man has gone before." Cook defeated both the Klingons and the Spanish, whose influence is still reflected today in such places as Cortes, Quadra and Galiano islands and the Strait of Wanda Fuca, the latter named for the daughter of Queen Isabella.

    Deterred by high ferry fares, Cook stayed on Vancouver Island, so it wasn't until 1837 that the mainland coast was reached by firebrand explorer William Lyon Mackenzie who, travelling overland from Ontario, reached the Pacific near Bella Coola (Spanish for "beautiful refrigerator"). En route he discovered Canada's highest peak, Mount Logan, named after Sir Horace Mount, inventor of the horse.

    Confederation came on the Fourth of July, 1867, following the Charlottetown Conference in Quebec City, which was then known by its native name, Regina, or "Pile of Bones." The first prime minister, Sir John A. Appleseed, opened up the west to farming by building a railroad that was completed when Pierre Berton drove the Last Spike in the Klondike, an event that lives on in Gordon Lightfoot's The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Alas, the Klondike was soon stripped of gold, just like Ben Johnson at the Seoul Olympics, leading to a national malaise known as the Great Depression.

    The funk didn't lift until the assassination of Louis Riel sparked the First World War, where Canada came of age at Vimy Ridge but, lacking proper ID, was sent home without liquor. This was known as Prohibition.

    The First World War was so successful that they held a sequel, just like Wayne's World II, though the latter was a bigger bomb. Speaking of bombing, it wasn't until the Japanese attacked the domestic car market that the U.S. agreed to join Canada in the war on Germany, signing an agreement known as the Otto Pact. But this call to arms was ignored by Quebecers who, objecting to the air force's use of the Planes of Abraham, merely turned over in their beds and went back to sleep (the Quiet Revolution).

    This highlighted the schism between French and English Canada, a rift that was only healed in 1984 when the two solitudes joined together in chucking Pierre Trudeau on the political dungheap (leading to his famous declaration "Just wash me").

    Trudeau was eventually replaced by Brian Mulroney, best-known for bringing in the NAFTA agreement that sent Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a softwood-lumber tariff. {Malnote: The year that Edmonton moved south for the winter and forgot to come home LOL}

    Those wishing to learn more about our country are advised to dust off a copy of the CBC's 30-hour documentary Canada: A People's History. The rest of you can go back to watching American Idol.

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008

    Jack never fails to amuse, even those who can not (choose not) be amused.

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    Oh...Now I understand.

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    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.


    More from the Illustrious Jack Knox:

    Knox column: A few snippets of B.C.'s history you might have forgotten

    Jack Knox, Times Colonist Published: Sunday, August 03, 2008

    It's the B.C. Day long weekend, time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of, um, what?

    "The Liberation of Duncan," I told the American tourist who asked. "Drove out the Russians. Our king, Bobby Clarke, broke their king's ankle with a hockey stick. (We built a big replica, mounted it outside the rink.) Probably saved Alaska from communism. You should thank us."

    We're a little fuzzy on B.C. history. In school, they teach about the discovery of Newfoundland in September, reach the Plains of Abraham by Christmas, continue until the Riel Rebellion in June, then break for summer holidays. Everything west of the Rockies remains a mystery. Kind of embarrassing when the visitors ask for details of our past.

    With that in mind, here are some notable dates in B.C. history to memorize:

    - 1778 -- Aboriginals and Europeans make contact as Capt. James Cook sails into Nootka Sound, is greeted by Chief Maquinna. "They look harmless enough," says Maquinna. "What could go wrong?"

    - 1793 -- Crossing overland from Canada, explorer Alexander Mackenzie reaches the coast near Bella Coola. Faced with a three-sailing wait and $74 fuel surcharge, he turns around and goes back.

    - 1805 -- Hudson's Bay Company establishes first B.C. trading post at Hudson's Hope. Name of town is later changed to Zellers' Hope.

    - 1843 -- HBC builds Fort Victoria, Vancouver Island's first gated community. James Douglas is appointed president of strata council.

    - 1858 -- Mainland colony of B.C. is established. So is this newspaper, founded by a man who A) changed his name to Amor De Cosmos ("Lover of the Universe"), B) was so afraid of electricity that he refused to ride streetcars, C) picked fistfights in the street and D) died in madness. After that, our editors got quirky.

    - April 2, 1868 -- Victoria becomes capital of united colonies of B.C. and Vancouver Island. Conveniently located to the rest of the province, isn't it?

    - July 20, 1871 -- B.C. enters Confederation.

    - July 21, 1871 -- B.C. begins bitching about Ottawa.

    - Nov. 7, 1885 -- Lord Strathcona drives Last Spike at Craigellachie, completing Canadian Pacific Railway.

    - Nov. 8, 1885 -- Brian Mulroney cancels passenger rail service.

    - 1894 -- French soldier at battle of Sevastopol has pipe broken by bullet, invents cigarette rolling paper, becomes patron saint of Gulf Islands.

    - 1931 -- The Dirty Thirties. B.C.'s Depression jobless rate reaches 31 per cent, leading to creation of unemployment insurance system in 1941.

    - 1942 -- First "Whistler UI Ski Team" T-shirt printed.

    - July 30, 1962 -- Opening of Rogers Pass completes Trans-Canada Highway, linking B.C. with Alberta.

    - July 31, 1962 -- "@$&#% Alberta drivers!"

    - July 1, 1967 -- Pamela Anderson, the All-Canadian* Girl, is born on Canada Day in Centennial year in Ladysmith (*some parts may have been added elsewhere).

    - Oct. 9, 1970 -- Barry Wilkins scores first-ever Vancouver Canucks goal in 3-1 loss to Los Angeles.

    - Oct. 10, 1970 -- Canucks miss playoffs for first of 45 consecutive seasons.

    - 1972 -- CBC airs first of 387 episodes of The Beachcombers, the greatest dramedy in Canadian broadcasting history. Kind of like being the hippest Osmond, but still cool. Quick, Jesse, call Relic!

    - 1988 -- Phrase "raw log exports" appears in newspapers for first time. Government promises action.

    - 1992 -- Phrase "mental illness and addiction" appears in newspapers for first time. Government promises action.

    - 1995 -- Phrase "B.C. Bud" appears in newspapers for first time. Government promises action.

    - 1996 -- Phrase "leaky condo" appears in newspapers for first time. Government promises action.

    - May 2003 -- B.C. Ferries does away with Sunshine Breakfast. Chornobyl must find new way to dispose of drums of DayGlo yellow "Hollandaise sauce."

    - 2008 -- Sesquicentennial of Liberation of Duncan.

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    I don't know whether to laugh, or be afraid of the number of people who actually believe all of this

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    Not long ago,I was waiting in line to have my truck inspected before renewing the tag when a Toyota pulled up in the lane next to me with a decent looking young lady driving.
    Since I enjoy looking at decent looking young ladies,I kept an occasional eye on her(didn't want her to think I'm an old prevert-yet) as we made our respective ways down to the city inspection bay.
    Her lane picked up speed and as she pulled ahead of me I noticed written in soap on her rear window"Our Tyme to Shyne ----High School Class of 2008"
    I just want to know where to get my tax dollars refunded that paid for her education?

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    "Our Tyme to Shyne ----High School Class of 2008"
    I just want to know where to get my tax dollars refunded that paid for her education?
    The school probably encouraged the use of the slogan. After all, you can't tell kids that they're wrong, now can you? Just write your job applications like that young lady, you don't want to lose time by having to attend job interviews do you...

    Oops, thread-jack!
    "Professional" means your attitude to the job...

    Nullus Anxietas ..... (T Pratchett)

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    Thumbs up

    Knox column: How the crowd misbehaved -- B.C. Day vs. Canada Day

    Jack Knox, Times Colonist Published: Wednesday, August 06, 2008

    The mood was perfect: Warm summer evening, cloudless sky, music in the background. Me in my Hugh Hefner velour bathrobe, she a vision in dark blue. I uncorked the champagne.

    "I'm going to have to ask you to pour that out," she said.

    "Now, Connie," I said. "It's a summer holiday weekend in Victoria. You know what that means. Public boozing. Making love under the stars, or at least in the bus shelters."

    "It's not Connie, it's Constable," she said. "It's my rank."

    "Connie, baby" I continued. "I feel an electricity between us."

    "That's the Taser, sir."

    Which would explain why I was dancing the Funky Chicken, right there on Belleville Street. The rest of the huge B.C. Day crowd, they were much more laid back. Made Stephen Harper look like he was jacked up on crack by comparison. {AHAHAHAAAAAAAA}

    Couldn't help but compare the massive-but-mellow mob at Monday's Inner Harbour festivities with the (now, how can I put this nicely?) drunken morons who have done their best to ruin the last few Canada Days in Victoria.

    Despite dealing with a crowd that peaked at maybe 45,000, police reported arresting just 16 people at the free B.C. Day concert -- 12 for being drunk in public, one for drugs, one for breaching bail conditions and two for getting into scuffles with the cops on the legislature lawn. On Canada Day, by contrast, they packed the cells with 55 of the worst offenders and could have locked up hundreds more on what has degenerated into a booze-soaked Beavis and Butthead festival.

    Monday's crowd was sober as a Tehran tea dance. Police barely seized a drop. "I think I poured out four beer, two things of vodka and a Jim Beam," said Sgt. Grant Hamilton. (Jeez, he could have left me the Jim Beam.) Victoria Transit reported a peaceful night; no Vomit Comet buses like on July 1. Even the legislature lawn survived unscathed, with just a few flowers needing replacement despite the tromping of a hundred thousand feet (though they won't know about the state of the irrigation system until they test it this morning). "I'm amazed," said Tracey Mepham of WSI, the groundskeeping company.

    Police were out in force, but were pleasantly surprised to find themselves underworked on a weekend that showed Victoria at its best -- a Symphony Splash crowd enjoying a Sunday so lovely that it felt like it would never rain again, and an even bigger, ever-changing, cheerful, all-ages throng on Monday, taking in one of those rare Victoria nights warm enough to go without a jacket even down by the water at 10 p.m. Hamilton had to laugh when he saw a group of kids start to act up at the Splash. "About 100 people went 'Shh!" at the same time."

    Nobody was shushing anybody on Monday, but it still wasn't the kind of gathering conducive to upchucking your lemon gin down the front of your Ozzy Osbourne T-shirt.

    One guy took a header off the fountain on the legislature lawn, but that's as close at it got to Altamont. This crowd looked less like a riot waiting to happen than the aftermath of a fire drill at Costco -- a sea of everyday Victorians in T-shirts and Lord Baden Powell Memorial Khaki Shorts, milling about aimlessly.

    It was reminiscent of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, where the sporting events were sometimes eclipsed by the nightly Harbour Festival, featuring free concerts by the likes of Colin James, who was also part of the Monday lineup that included Burton "Victoria is my second hometown" Cummings, Sarah McLachlan and Feist. The 1994 crowds were just as big, and just as well-behaved, as this weekend's.

    It was reminder that this, not the Canada Day bacchanalia, is what normal looks like. It was a reminder of how much fun downtown can be if you don't surrender it to the alcohol-addled zombies who make the sidewalks look like a cast party for Night Of The Living Dead.

    Somewhere along the line, Canada Day became synonymous with a licence to get drunk and obnoxious in public. It's only a minority that indulges, but a big enough one to drive away those whose idea of a good time doesn't involve a ride in an ambulance.

    Enough. B.C. Day proved what Victoria can be. Next year, let's take back Canada Day, too.

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008

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