The dead and the quiescent

Bad enough that we have to put up with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner before every Major League Baseball game at the Rogers Centre. And why is it that every singer always seems to have so much fun riffing around with the U.S anthem while poor old O Canada always sounds so dreary. More importantly, why do so few members of the crowd sing O Canada. In my part of section 124, I’m pretty much alone in my warbling.

All that is bad enough, as I say, but what the heck was going on last night at the season opener when the announcer asked for a moment’s silence in honour of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December. To be sure, it was a terrible tragedy. Adam Lanza shot his mother, then went to the school and killed twenty children and six staff before committing suicide. But the last time I looked, the school in question was in Newtown, Connecticut, an eight-hour drive away, across an international border, in another country.

If we took a minute for every person killed by a gun in the U.S. last year, that would be somewhere over 11,000 minutes, or 180 hours, about the duration of 60 baseball games. Is the Americanization of Canada reaching such proportions that we must now memorialize their dead, too? If the powers-that-be were looking for deaths to remember, they could have instead honoured members of the armed forces killed in Afghanistan where 158 Canadians and 2,012 Americans have died for the same cause in the last decade.

But do you know what was the worst part of the minute’s silence at the park last night? The crowd actually fell quiet. Totally quiet. Not even that fool who regularly shouts “Arrrgos” made a peep. What a bunch of sheep we are.

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