Thursday, February 12, 2009
plus ca change . . .
I recently read Three Nights in Havana, a book ostensibly about Trudeau’s state visit to Cuba in 1976, but more generally about the Cold War, the Cuban revolution, the personalities of both Trudeau and Castro, and Canada-Cuba relations. In reading that book I learned that the FLQ was socialist (which makes sense, considering the time, but I’d never made that connection before) and that anti-Castro Cubans bombed Canadian government buildings. Missing out on the height of the cold war (I was a blissfully ignorant child regarding the significance of the wall coming down, even if I am old enough to vaguely remember it happening), it had never really struck me how much uncertainty people lived with for the whole period after WWII until the late 80s. And it made me realize that in every era there has been some kind of uncertainty and upheaval. I think it’s easy for our generation to feel like the “post 9/11 era” is completely uncharted territory. And, in some ways, it is – but I guess what I realized is that every generation has faced its own challenges and its own uncharted territory. In a way, it is the uncertainty of the situation that links us with history, and I find that oddly comforting. Maybe the world that we know it is coming to an end, but maybe the world that we know is always coming to an end and every day a new one, in some ways better and in some ways worse, is being born to take its place.