When I was growing up, Québec was a massive province in the atlas. I knew what it looked like and I knew it was the original Canadian home of the Français language but that was about it. Then 1995 - the year of the infamous Second Referendum - came around and I was introduced by Air Farce to the likes of Jacques Parizeau, the PQ, the BQ, and to Lucien Bouchard. Being 15 at the time, my first introduction was through Air Farce skits - the Lucien Bouchard Board Game, the Luba Goy parody of a well-known McDonald's advert, and the Story of Lucien Bouchard's search for Princess Sovereignty. It wasn't until later that I realized how close we, as a nation, had come to losing QC in 1995. Since then, as far as I know, the demand for sovereignty in La Belle Province has died down considerably.
In high school, I learned about the FLQ and about the Quiet Revolution, but about the players of this Great Game I knew little to nothing. My most recent trip to the WPL (yes, it's open for business once again! 😄) netted me a biography by Lawrence Martin called 'The Antagonist'. A life of Lucien Bouchard, in other words. Around the time of the Second Referendum, it was discovered that Bouchard had gotten a visit from the even more infamous flesh-eating disease. This took away his leg - to Air Farce's dark merriment - and gave him another layer of mystery in my head. Before I happened upon this book, I considered Bouchard to be something of a boogeyman in Canada's collective consciousness. On the other hand, I am gladdened to know that he (as of this post) is still very much alive.
I was thrilled by the synopsis and deeply hoped that Martin was not going to let me down. So far, he has not. Currently in the book, Mulroney (jerk! twat! bastard Tory!) has made Bouchard Canada's ambassador to France. Good move or bad? I'll keep reading and hopefully, I remember to let you know. If you're feeling impatient and can check it out for yourself, I definitely recommend it. Meanwhile, not to count one's active cases before they grow in number, but we in Manitoba were down to 4 as of yesterday and there have been no new cases here for over a week. Yeah, I've probably just jinxed myself. Please keep the border closed, Trudeau et. al!
And now for something completely ordinary.