Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Scream at the Heavens

Ya know, in life, things occasionally pop up, and they piss you off. They get under your skin. They irk you. You feel compelled to rise up, to take action, but ultimatly, you decide not to, because you come to the slow realization that no one knows what the hell you're talking about.

I've been coming to grips with a scenario like that over the past 24 hours.

Tuesday is the day where Athabasca's newspaper comes out, and like all small towns, the day of the local paper's publication is a rather big deal. Kind of stressful for me, because that's when I see how I'm doing against "the competition." But as everyone in the office constantly re-assures me, I'm just one reporter, where as the paper has 3, so I shouldn't be so hard on myself if one little sound bite falls beneath my notice. But I digress.

Yesterday's issue has something that really annoyed me. It was a political cartoon. I wish I had a scanner so I could show it to you. It portayed Maher Arar on a pile of money, with a huge-ass grin on his face. Someone off-panel asks, "Lottery?" Arar responds, "No! Compensation!"

Now, why did this annoy me? Because Maher Arar is a man who truly suffered because our government dropped the ball. Arar is a man who deserves his compensation. But this cartoon throughouly trivialized what Arar went through. This cartoon puts Arar on the same level as that moron who spilled hot coffee on her lap and sued McDonald's.

I looked at that and thought, "Wow. Talk about a low blow." I was really upset at this cartoon. I considered firing off an angry letter to the local paper, complaining about their lack of facts.

But then...something strange happened. I started sharing my anger with others around the office. And they were all like, "Wha? Who's Maher Arar? What happened to him?" I spent so much time explaining who Maher Arar is, and then explaining why the cartoon is so offensive, that I realized my anger was wasted.

The battle is lost before it'd even started. My arguments would be falling on deaf ears.

I'm still pissed off. But I"m getting over it. I just wish I could do more....

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