Big Wind, the Police, and the Government (Ontario, Canada)
Jun 18, 2010
—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
Meet Colette McLean. Middle-aged, college-educated, a teacher to Ontario farmers on scientific crop production. Married. Mother of a teenage boy. She’s standing in front of her home, which has been transformed—poof!—into a windplant.
Industrial turbines now chop the sky mere yards from where she stands.
The grand opening is imminent. The wind developer calls it a “ribbon cutting ceremony.”
Colette opposed the erection of these turbines. In fact, she has been prominent in the anti-turbine campaign in Ontario.
With me so far? Okay, now read this excerpt from her email today, about the visitors who came to her door. Presumably these same visitors came to other people’s front doors.
Bad news here. Ontario Provincial Police have been by my house asking if I am planning to mount a protest at AIM’s ribbon cutting ceremony. I was told they are following up on people who are strongly opposed to wind development in order to maintain public safety.
Kind of ironic that they feel the need to scrutinize a hard-working taxpayer for possible violence, when the company is allowed to assault me with these giants at my back door.
Remember George Orwell? His book, “1984”? “Big Brother”?
Please bear with me. Now I ask you to read this piece by the deceased Polish writer, Zbigniew Herbert, “The Goddess Securitas.”
Researchers in mythology have devoted far too little attention to the goddess Securitas. Some have maintained she is only a pale personification, but they are profoundly mistaken. What other ancient deity has survived to our own times and enjoys such robust health? This fact alone should be an incentive for deeper studies and for scholarly reflection.
We know that each god ruled over a specific sphere of reality, had his own zealously guarded hunting district and favorite human game. The domain of Securitas is murky, determined by an unclear threat. Her entire inventiveness consists in devising ever-new dangers. She skillfully gives these out in doses, for she knows the art of gradation. Sometimes she is satisfied with a rioting suburb, then she embraces a frenzied city, wanders from one continent to another like the plague, captures land, water, air. Her borders are elastic. Who sets them? Most likely fear.
She does not need temples, sacrificial smoke, processions, or sacred orgies. She is satisfied with a profession of faith in our own miserable physiology. A flutter of the heart, sudden paralysis of the legs, cold sweat, shrieking in a dream—it is not us but our bodies that sing a daily antiphony to her glory.
Securitas belongs to the species of monsters. Compared to her, what are all these childish monster-giants, dragons, half-men and half-animals, hybrids haphazardly sewn together? Securitas is very much like us. She is a monster with a human face.
Like every deity, Securitas draws vital forces from our hopes and fears. She possesses a vast amount of psychological knowledge. She does not lavishly give away eternal youth because this is a charlatan’s stock-in-trade. She does not promise other worlds, nor does she deceive us with notions of justice, because when all is said and done each of us—in the depths of the heart—counts only on a final act of mercy. Securitas puts us face to face with the cruel alternative: either security or freedom.
—Zbigniew Herbert, “Securitas,” pp. 1-6 in The King of the Ants: Mythological Essays, trans. from Polish by John & Bogdana Carpenter (Hopewell, NJ: Ecco Press, 1999), pp. 5-6.
I was born in Toronto. I was raised in Quebec. I moved to the USA at age 17 to attend college, and remained here. (I had dual citizenship, Canadian & American.) I lost my Canadian citizenship in 1969 through a ruse by the American government—long story.
Today, I am honored not to be a Canadian citizen. You heard me right: honored not to be a Canadian citizen. A country that permits this fascist performance is not worthy of my citizenship. This is straight out of Orwell. Or Stalinist Russia. This is neither banal nor funny. I am shattered.
Big Wind = Police = The Government? Absent Bill of Rights? Absent freedom of assembly? Absent free speech?
“Excuse me, Mrs. McLean, we are from the Ontario Provincial Police. It is our duty to ask you whether you’re planning on attending and protesting the grand opening of the AIM windplant?”
What if she had answered, “Yes!”
Remember, Canadians elected this government. Remember, Canadians tolerate this.