Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Don Cherry Turned Me Into a Communist

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Do you think I got their attention?

When our kids were younger, we went to Toronto for a few days over the Christmas holidays, and had tickets to a Maple Leaf game, when they were still playing at the Gardens.

We decided to drop in earlier in the day to see if the team was practicing (yes they do practice) and as it happened there was a charity skate-a-thon taking place, with several NHL stars, including Bobby Orr.

They were just setting up tables for autographs and as Don Cherry walked by to take his place, my daughter blurted out, "Don Cherry, Don Cherry. Your brother [ Dick Cherry] is my principal".

Cherry stopped in his tracks. "Yeah? Are you guys from Kingston?"

When we told him that we were, he immediately gave us the red carpet treatment, even introducing us to the rest of the stars at the table, including Bobby Orr, like we were his friends. We've never forgotten that.

But Cherry's recent nonsense over "left-wing Pinkos", has blurred that fond memory, though Cherry is only a symptom of what is wrong in this country, not the cause.

Divisive politics have created enemies, when there were none before. Everything has become a left-right issue, instead of a Canadian issue. And Don Cherry fed into that divide at a time when he could have used his celebrity, to help those who turned his often ignorant musings, into a successful career.

The opposition to the new Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, is that he will be throwing thousands of public servants out of work, at a time when unemployment is high. And he is doing this not to save money, because privatization schemes always end up costing more, but so he can make another small sector of the population even richer than they already are.

In the meantime, those public servants, will now be given the opportunity to do the same job for less money, to the benefit of the corporate elite.

And this "hero of the little guy" Cherry, is supporting that. And he is engaging in divisiveness to do it. Our own Glen Beck.

But I think that Cherry may have done us a favour, because he has provided a rallying cry. We can become an Army of "Pinkos".

And I don't mean an army of Communists, as my heading implies, because the term Pinko was never really about Communism, but the ignorance surrounding it. The misplaced fear and hatred that accepted an unprecedented buildup of military weapons, and suspension of civil liberties, while ignoring the needs of a nation's citizens.

No, my Army of Pinkos will take on the neoconservative movement.

We will fight against tax cuts for the wealthy and for social programs.

We will fight against more prisons and for social justice.

We will fight against corporate welfare and for corporate responsibility.

Against billions spent on climate change denial and for real action to fight climate change.

Against the closing of the Prison Farms and for rehabilitation that has worked in the past.

Against the purchase of more military hardware and for an end to this conflict.

Against the suspension of Nortel's disability pensions and for an end to corporations getting all the breaks.

Against the need for so many foodbanks and for real action to end poverty.

And I'm just getting started.

So thank you Don Cherry. I am again inspired by you. Your face will appear on my flag and your words will resonate with my soldiers.

An Army of Pinkos, whose arsenal will be our feet, our keyboards and our votes.

Ballyhoo my pink heroes. We have a job to do.


  1. A flag with Don Cherry's face on it ought to accomplish something, Emily, but I'm not sure what. LOL

  2. I'm not sure how I'm going to put it there, but it won't be pretty. LOL