Saturday, April 14, 2007

In damp places, nasty things thrive

Vancouver is a damp place. And a very nasty thing is thriving there - the Green Party in the riding of Vancouver Kingsway has chosen Kevin Potvin to run as its candidate in the next federal election. In November, 2002, Potvin published A revolting confession, describing his glee during and after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He nonchalently dismissed the thousands killed that day with the observation that more Americans are murdered in one month than were killed by terrorism, and Africans are dying in great numbers all the time, so why should one more big batch of corpses be worth getting steamed over?
Nor was I alone, I know for a fact, whenever I passed a TV or newspaper with a report on the ensuing US war to capture Osama bin Laden, and I secretly said to myself, "Go, Osama, Go!" I am happy he has eluded capture by the Americans. I am in love with those Afghans who, whenever asked, said, "He went that-a-way," and their fifty hands pointed in fifty different directions.

There is a war on. US President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld call it "a war on terrorism." But is war not terrifying? And is terrorism not war, waged by those who can't afford tanks and airplanes? If someone wanted to wage war on the US, with all its satellites and drone bombers and smart missiles, what other form could it possibly take besides terrorism? To call it "a war on terrorism" is like calling it a war on war–surely an absurdity.

This is not a war against terrorism. It is a war against unbridled corporatism and militarism. And I'm not sure which side my heart is on.

It's bad enough this jackass wrote this piece while the WTC was still smoking. What's worse is that he waited a full year, and THEN published it. This wasn't flung into public in a fit of wild excitement, that he might have later regretted. No, he cold-bloodedly sat on in for a full year, re-read it, said to himself, "Damn, that's good!" and then published it. Showing the sort of courage I've come to expect from leftist jerks like this, and thinking that surely he'd be safe now that everyone had been dead more than a year.

Today, this little cock-a-doodle-doo has landed him in trouble. The leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, doesn't particularly want this guy running for her party.
Of her own feelings about the terrorist attack, May told The Vancouver Sun: "I was just shattered by 9/11. I could barely function for two weeks.

"The idea that somebody felt celebratory about it makes my stomach turn, so I will talk to him, I'll find out what his views are."

...May said she found Potvin's comments "despicable" when she saw them in media coverage this week, but added that she also read the original Potvin column and "found [it] even worse."
It's a dark day when Canadians have to depend upon the leadership of the Green Party to stand between us and this sort of depravity, but I'm grateful for any help at all. Frankly, I found Ms May's statement refreshingly honest and human. I hope she sticks to her guns and keeps this bum out.

Just to highlight the contrast, here's Potvin's "apology" from Friday:
"I apologize for the way my essay of four years ago has been characterized. I stand strongly against all forms of violence and I always have.

I was revolted by the imagery of that morning and openly sharing my contemplation of the source and nature of that revulsion. Some sentences out of their context may appear insensitive."
So he's apologizing for the stupidity of everyone else - mighty white of him. And then he issued ANOTHER statement, through the Green Party, that put it differently:
"Nearly five years ago, I wrote a piece on the tragedy of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre.

"Today, I would like to completely and unequivocally apologize for any offence or hurt that my writing may have potentially caused," the statement declares.

"We all suffered a terrible trauma on September 11th. I stand strongly opposed to all forms of violence and I always have. I was revolted by the imagery of that morning, and in openly sharing my contemplation of the source and nature of my revulsion, some sentences, out of context, may appear insensitive."
This tries to sweeten the venom with a little mawkish sympathy - the 'tragedy', the 'terrible trauma' WE ALL SUFFERED. And "revolted by the imagery" conveys nothing at all to me - did he dislike the news coverage that day? Too sympathetic to the Americans, perhaps? Not enough "context" for his taste, to explain to the viewers why they should be cheering and pumping their fists in the air just like him? And since he can't resist reminding everyone that he's never been wrong, "Earlier this week Potvin told Public Eye Online he endorses "in its totality" the column he published in the Nov. 28, 2002 edition of his community newspaper, The Republic of East Vancouver." Then he added in ANOTHER remark elsewhere, ""I regret having written it, I regret having felt that way. What I was trying to do is confess an emotion that I now find so despicable in myself that I can barely recognize myself in what I wrote five years ago."

OK, got that? He wrote it, and he wishes he hadn't written it, but he still endorses it, and he hates himself for it, and anyway, everyone else got it all wrong.

Disgusting. Just disgusting. And what's even more disgusting, is that this asshole was ACCLAIMED by the riding association in Vancouver Kingsway. Their unanimous choice to represent them.


Anonymous Ellie M. said...

Actually, I hope this scumbag runs. He's a gift to his political rivals.

10:03 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I know that tactically, it's a good idea to have a target this big and exposed. But it still irks me that people in this country no longer know how to treat cranks and misfits - they're supposed to be isolated, scoffed at and shunned, and their families pitied. They're NOT supposed to be invited to all-candidates meetings, and sought after for media quotes.

1:12 pm  
Anonymous Susan said...

Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatick. (KJV Mt.17:15) seems to apply to more than our ACC leading lights. Just what the Green Party needs more of. May needs to boot him out. Love your blog.

1:27 pm  
Blogger Mark Windsor said...

Can't this guy end up in front of your Human Rights Stasi for hate speech against Americans?

Ellie M. - Be careful what you wish for. A lot of people look forward to Hillary running because she has so many problems hanging around her neck. That's a dangerous proposition.

8:49 am  
Anonymous ellie m said...

Run? I want Hillary to WIN the presidency! I just love the idea of Bill Clinton as First Lady!!

7:53 pm  
Blogger Kasia said...

Ellie - you're in Canada, right?

Have pity on your poor brethren here in the States... :-p

5:05 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

No, but seriously! D'you think he'll redecorate the White House? And maybe wear mauve pantsuits?!

9:10 am  

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