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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Disaster free

BY Sonny Orr Jan 4, 2019

Back in the day, the only real events to happen at this time were the community gatherings around the main building tall enough to toss pounds of candy into a swarm of warmly clothed people 20 feet below

As the New Year approaches, we now see that 2018 was a fairly calamity-free year. No real doomsday indicators popped up. Perhaps a green comet buzzing by, but that’s about it. Except of course these events:

North and South Korea would kiss and make up, ending a war that has lasted seven decades. And lo and behold, the war against ISIS is declared over, so some good news at least. Canada is the second country in the world to legalize cannabis, albeit in a rather limited way. A strange large elongated object passed by the sun making people wonder if it came from outer space and duh, it is in outer space! A young Cree lad is one of the top Rubik’s Cube solvers on the planet, again. Donald Trump outdoes every US president in history for the number of tweets, since George Washington. Drama has now evolved and seeped into everyone’s life, as if the world doesn’t have enough drama from decades of soap operas, but who remembers what they were anyways? Real life is the new drama series broadcast 24-7-365 on everyone’s device.

Skoden makes a scary appearance on a water tower, creating fear for those who aren’t in the know. Who wrote that? How did he do it? Is there a real Spiderman who sprays graffiti? Speaking of heroes, Stan Lee went off to Asgard, to be with the comic-book gods. Canadians bought and paid for a paper pipeline out west. A pair of tornados touched down in Gatineau, making the event a meteorological wonder. How far north will this weather head, considering that climate change is slowly heating up our northern cold and isolating it into a nonpolar vortex. At least that’s what my old bones tell me – when they ache, it’s crappy weather.

Happy New Year’s everybody!

Back in the day, the only real events to happen at this time were the community gatherings around the main building tall enough to toss pounds of candy into a swarm of warmly clothed people 20 feet below. Feasts of the catch of the day and turkey were offered, and everyone had a plate to eat. Then the dancing started after midnight on the first day of the new year and kept the feet warm until way into the morning. Then it was time to go home and pass out from all the revelry.

Today, Auld Lang Syne is played out in every tempo imaginable weeks before the actual New Year. Back in the day, it brought out the New Year’s kiss a few seconds after midnight, but I preferred the old style of shooting off your gun instead. This noisy entry into the new year may have originated from the inventors of gunpowder, the Chinese, who also invented fireworks. Today, fireworks are the norm and I’m kind of glad that this is so, mainly because shotshell is so expensive and if the band council and the cuzzins can afford a real live fireworks show, well then, make it so.

Closer to home, Waskaganish celebrated its three and a half century mark of contact with illegal aliens. Whoops, sorry. That was Trump again, he gets in every news feed these days. The James Bay Highway got a facelift worthy of mention, but somehow the potholes got national attention when a song was written about it and mentioned on Parliament Hill. I guess joking about your favorite infrastructure service did the trick. Meanwhile, in Montreal… well, I don’t even want to talk about the potholes there. But hey, do they even have a song written about their construction disasters?

I’m hoping that the next year will be just as uneventful and that all the stars and planets align to create enough gravitational pull on the moon to bring it just a bit closer so that you can take selfies with a big shiny moon in the background, Happy New Year’s everybody!

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.