“Each man has a God-shaped hole that only God can fill.”
When someone dies in our irreligious society, we instinctively know we must do something, but have forgotten what, or were never told.
Hence those hideous makeshift memorials, so primitive and childlike, meant to express… what?
No one is really quite sure. And yet…
The old rituals washed away as “uncool” or “oppressive,” we make up superstitious rules of our own that don’t withstand scrutiny:
“Don’t speak ill of the dead — for at least a day or two.”
As if another’s death was a meal we ate before swimming.
So thank God for Christie “Honeybadger” Blatchford:
And what to make of that astonishing letter, widely hailed as Mr. Layton’s magnificent from-the-grave cri de coeur?
The letter was first presented as Mr. Layton’s last message to Canadians, as something written by him on his deathbed; only later was it more fully described as having been “crafted” with party president Brian Topp, Mr. Layton’s chief of staff Anne McGrath and his wife and fellow NDP MP Olivia Chow.
Mr. Layton wrote it, as Mr. Topp told Mr. Solomon, “in his beautiful, energy-retrofitted house” in downtown Toronto. These people never stop.
With all due respect, I fail to see how concealing the fact he was at death’s door from the electorate was an example of political courage.
Great column-writing isn’t just about intelligence and insight. There’s a lot of courage involved, too, just as with politics. It is the courage to say what is plain and true, even if it cuts against the wall of sentiment that suffuses those around you.