Only in Canada, eh?

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Sometimes, even in the midst of horrible Harpocracy, I still find reasons to be proud I’m Canadian. Like this little news item, retweeted by Antonia Zerbisias:

If the G20 leaders are hankering to read something by Noam Chomsky or a biography of Che Guevara by Fidel Castro during their summit, Chapters has it all laid out for them.

The book chain has created a reading list and series of G20 tables in its stores across Canada to “promote dialogue,” said Bahram Olfati, Chapters’ vice president for adult trade.

“You see people such as Bono talking about giving aid to Africa. We have included the book Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo, which says this aid isn’t really helping,” said Olfati. “It is one of my favourite books on the tables.”

With subheads such as “Outlaw Literature,” the tables are the product of a series of roundtable discussions among Chapters executives and staff to cover G20 issues from the left, right and centre, said Olfati.

But each store has the leeway to add to the table. And the one Chapters store inside the yellow security perimeter in downtown Toronto for the summit of 20 world leaders this month has decided to include titles by Chomsky, a long-time outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, and a few on Guevara, including Che: A Memoir by Fidel Castro.

“They should have made the full list,” allowed Olfati, who prefers to call the 35 core titles “provocative” rather than “subversive.”

It’s not often that I see Corporate Canada giving the corporatist parties a poke in the eye, so whenever that happens–even if once in a blue moon–I run my flag up the pole. A little early for Canada Day, but what the hell. It’s a reminder that we are NOT a “centre-right” country after all, nor a melting-pot clone of the US, but a diverse, multicultural one with a sizable–and still thriving–left.

Take that to your fake lake and smoke it, Harpo!

PS: Che: A Memoir is actually not a bio of Che, or even a memoir, but a collection of Fidel’s speeches (and one book introduction, written for the Bolivian Diary) about his friend. Just so’s you know. I own it and recently finally got around to reading it myself. Like everything else Fidel writes, it sets things straight and excoriates the lying liars who twisted them.

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2 Responses to Only in Canada, eh?

  1. Paul Escobar says:

    Love it!
    St. George politically cleansed the dorms. Now me & shawty have 7 exiles camping in our 2 bedroom Mississauga apartment.
    You want to put your lefty sexual politics to the test…Try living like this.
    4 feminists go all 1950’s and demand exclusive rights to the beds. The rest of us 5 enlightened non-homophobic guys sleep on the floors, desperately adjusting ourselves so our junks don’t make contact…
    It’s like they want us to riot…
    On the plus side, all our Shout-Out tickets are still good.
    Looking forward to Naomi Klein (SWOON! SWOON!) & Pablo Solon.

    I intend to be a total Evo fanboy around the Bolivian ambassador!

  2. I’m a total Evo fangirl no matter what.
    Things like this make me glad I got out of the Big Smoke when the gettin’ was good. I still have sinus trouble from the two years’ worth of TO pollution I inhaled when I was at Ryerson. I’m just glad they haven’t (YET!) expanded their stupid quarantine into the 905 area.
    But dang, I am envious about Naomi Klein… (turning green)

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