People sure are cranky here these days. Maybe it’s because the temperature is well below zero and the wind is whipping it around making it feel even colder. Or perhaps it’s just the January blahs – no money after the holidays and no spring in sight – then again it could be the fact the Montreal Canadiens are sputtering and can’t seem to get things together, and even worse the Toronto Maple Leafs are on a five game winning streak. Maybe it’s a combination of all those and more.
Yesterday in Montreal’s The Gazette the editorial cartoon by long-time cartoonist Aislin (Terry Mosher) depicted Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressing the Israeli Knesset with an Israeli flag painted on his face à la many sports fans; the caption was “A bit much, don’t you think?”. Harper is indeed a big fan of Israel; but this cartoon has created a maelstrom of reaction such as this from one reader:
I was horrified upon opening up the Gazette this morning and seeing your insulting and clearly anit-jewish-Israel (sic) caricature of Stephen Harper. I cannot believe my eyes nor your audacity to have this in public view. You will be reminding people of caricatures of jews (sic) depicted in Nazi propaganda that were debased and ridiculed. How dare you. Disgusting and disappointing. My subscription with the Gazette ends today.
Prompting Mosher to respond: “We are all welcome to our own opinions and are entitled to express them. That is why I rarely respond to any criticism of my cartoons. In your letter below, though, I feel I must answer to your reaction to today’s Stephen Harper cartoon. Your outrage is quite frankly – a bit much”. His full reply can be read here.
Meanwhile the commission looking into corruption in the province has resumed after a break with news, garnered from wiretaps, that the unions were considering asking the current Premier Pauline Marois to block the hearings.
Also, public hearings are underway on a proposed bill that, if passed, would restrict the wearing of religious symbols by certain government employees, including teachers and doctors. Much criticism has been levied at the proposal yet it still seems to be accepted by many.
Throw into the mix the retirement of much-loved Montreal Alouettes’ quarterback Anthony Calvillo and it’s no wonder folks are cranky. Yet amidst all this a bright ray of sunshine has broken through! Local tennis star Eugenie Bouchard is set to play in the semi-finals at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Her energy and youth are providing a much-needed bright spot on an otherwise dismal winter landscape. Go Genie Go!