Off the Fecal Cliff

As America rushes toward another precipice of its own making, I find myself newly repulsed by the fear mongering, alarmist, graphic-splattered details. We never used to be so in-on-it, so inundated with all the dreary, up-to-the-minute components, spoon-fed as a potent mouthful of anxiety-laced cat-lap. A lot of it used to happen behind closed doors. We suffered the consequences or reaped the benefits without ever seeing the process, and as astonishingly obdurate and schoolyard as it is on its own, all is exacerbated, shot through, with pundit bullshit, lies unapologetically brandished.

I turn to Stewart/Colbert with a mixture of anticipation and dread, relieved by the unblinking astringency of the reporting, while cringing at the unveiling of naked, blind avarice flourishing in so many in power, and in those who spin them. The humour with which it is all delivered is necessary to make it palatable, but I hear the audience unable to laugh sometimes, struck dumb by the excess of stupidity. I watch Stewart twinkle through a particularly heinous story, get his laugh, and right before he breaks, just after his “We’ll be right back” I see his smile fade and his face fall, fully cognizant of the seriousness of it all.

Here in my own country I diligently sign petitions along with hundreds of thousands of other Canadians, trying to stop the Harper juggernaut from offering us up on a pink platter to China, locking us in for a generation, exposing the vulnerable under-bellies of our lakes, our rivers, our forests. I watch David Suzuki step down from his own foundation in a heroic effort to keep it safe from Conservative attack. I read his missives in my inbox, rallying cries from a man still determined to fight, to win.

We need him and others like him now more than ever, and much more importantly? They need us. Not just our signatures, but our time and our donations. Money is required to fight back. Ad space, tv slots are not freely given. Cold, hard cash is necessary. These are dangerous times. We too stand on a precipice, and have more power than we realize. Those feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are part of the poison. Don’t drink! All over this world people are fighting back, fighting up and out, for personal freedom, for the animals, for the wide green and the deep blue. Stay informed. Stand up. Speak out. It is our hard-won right, and a privilege not to be taken lightly. Go get ‘em.


Samantha Bennett is a writer currently residing in Montreal. She can be reached at where she heartily encourages comments and discussion.

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