Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Holiday?

It's amusing to see our province's premier getting flack for cooking up a new holiday. As for me and my house, we're actually enjoying Family Day -- at home, no less. My only kvetch is the name. What a lame-o name for a holiday!

Manitoba, on the other hand, is celebrating a real holiday today: Louis Riel Day. Riel's story strikes me as roiling, grandly ambitious, accidental, mistake-ridden and self-conflicted, surprisingly noble, deeply racial-ethnic and confused, momentarily transcendent and finally profoundly tragic ... he is the quintessential Canadian mytho-historic figure. Screw "Family Day" -- this should be Louis Riel Day for the entire nation.

Here is the Wikipedia entry for Riel. There are many biographies and histories of Riel and the shenanigans that cluttered (and ended) his life, but nothing gets the job done faster, more compellingly with a greater entertainment value than Chester Brown's brilliant graphic novel (Andrew D. Arnold raves about it on behalf of TIME magazine here). That's what I'll be re-perusing at the close of today.

No comments: