Larger than life

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After this morning’s run (-24 with the windchill, again!), I felt inspired to post photos comparing the weather today, March 6th, 2014, to the March 6ths of previous years. Easier said than done. I’ve just been scanning through the past few Marches, as recorded on my blog, and it would appear that in those years when it was simply grey and dreary and melty, I didn’t take a lot of seasonal outdoor photos.

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March 4, 2012

Here’s one. Looks like there was still some snow two years ago at the same time, though not nearly in our current volume. Photos from later that month show the lilacs starting to bud, and lettuce and chives coming up in the back garden beds, but that hasn’t been the March-norm, according to my blog. It was odd enough to remark on.

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not all photos are flattering

This is me, this morning. I have a moustache! And a beard, kind of. This photo was taken around 6:45AM. The light was beautiful. The cold was not. My toes were frozen.

I have a sick child home again today. Not the same sick child, either. We’ve cycled through sick children this past week, with the three eldest taking their turn. March break begins tomorrow. I shake my head. This winter.

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AppleApple finished Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story before I did. It was a very readable book, we agreed, although odd to be reading in book-form such recent news events; and of course the story remains unfinished.

I’ve been thinking about tyrants and celebrities. Larger than life. That seems to be how we want our leaders. That’s why the most impossible-seeming characters wind up in power, despite being bumbling fools or ruthless autocrats or outright sociopaths. The gods and goddesses had outsized appetites and were obviously flawed, too, but we never said we wanted perfection, we the people. We are awed by enormity, by behaviour on a scale we can’t imagine of ourselves, whether it be idiocy or tyranny.

Vladimir Putin is larger than life. He may appear bizarre to the Western eye, posing shirtless while conquering a variety of wildlife, but he knows what he’s doing: he’s creating a potent myth of himself. What an oddly self-inflated little man, we might think, while he smiles like the Mona Lisa and crushes his opposition. And on a scale of far less global importance, Rob Ford is also larger than life. His appetites are renowned, his body enormous, his inability to speak the truth unstoppable, his buffoonery legendary. When we laugh at him, we forget that he still has power. In some ways, it’s an odd trick common to many a corrupt leader: their pretensions are so absurd, we can’t believe anyone’s taking them seriously.

We should. We take them as seriously as they take themselves, or else we’re the fools.

It's a beautiful morning in Canada
Newsflash!

2 Comments

  1. For reference, I have this picture, taken on March 10 2008, of Craig digging in the trenches that were our sidewalks the day after a snowstorm. The little ‘cat ears’ you see on the left-hand side of the picture are the top of the hat on J’s little two-year-old head. That was a crazy one! http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2165/2324566508_f9c8f13da1.jpg

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  2. Wow! I remember that year well, because I was pregnant with CJ, and he was late, and it didn’t seem that a) I would ever give birth or b) spring would come. The two seemed connected in my mind.

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