Musings —11.19.2014 08:17 AM—
I haven’t seen the film, but Ashley Csanady (I love her name, it’s like a Pynchon character’s name) and she has a hilarious review of it, here.
Personally, I think the Trudeau-Brazeau match was really, really important. Inspired by Csanady, here are my numbered reasons why:
- Boxing is what all sports are, stripped down to base elements. It is perfect because it doesn’t hide what it is.
- Boxing is used by writers all the time as a metaphor for other things, because it lends itself to that. Here, Trudeau turned it into a metaphor for politics, and I don’t know if anyone has ever done that before.
- Politics, when stripped down to its base elements, is really a struggle of symbols. Conservatives have always understood this, as I wrote in one of my books. Trudeau, I think, is one of the first progressives to understand it.
- Everything about that fight was replete with symbolism: red versus blue, conservative versus progressive, new versus old, insider versus outsider, elected versus unelected, change versus more of the same, and so on.
- At great risk to himself, Trudeau used that charity boxing match to re-order the political zeitgeist. Everything changed after that.
Me? I couldn’t even watch the fight, when it happened. I was at Sun News that day, where various on-air people were eagerly anticipating Trudeau’s demise. It was an utterly bizarre environment to be in, at that moment.
So, because I knew him and liked him, I wouldn’t watch it. If he failed, it would be like Stanfield’s fumbled football, or Dukakis’ tank, or whatever. It would be all over – and the last, great hope of the Liberal Party of Canada would be forever remembered for that loss.
But he won. He took the risk, and he won, and he changed the alchemy of Canadian politics forever.
I rather suspect he is getting ready to it again.