I just can’t help myself. No amount of willpower justifies tight lips on this news tidbit. On Friday Sgt. Ron King of the Port Canaveralpolice department in Florida, was fired after he offered a likeness of Trayvon Martin for target practice. The only saving graces being that the other officers refused to fire at them, and this disgraceful police officer lost his job.
Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old black youth, visiting his father at a gated community in Sanford, Florida. As he walked home from the corner store, bag of candy in hand, talking on his cell phone to his girlfriend; Community Watch volunteer George Zimmerman spotted him. Trayvon told his girlfriend he was scared; he was being followed and didn’t know what to do. Several 911 calls are public record, the first is Zimmerman calling police to report a suspicious thug, the second from a woman reporting gunshots with Trayvon crying for help in the background. The police clearly tell Zimmerman not to take action; undaunted it appears he appointed himself judge, jury, and ultimately executioner. Zimmerman claimed he acted in self defence – it took weeks of public outcry and media condemnation before Zimmerman was charged with a crime. The case goes to trial in June.
I realize the actions of Sgt.. King represent an isolated incident. I’m pondering Zimmerman’s mindset, being quite certain many more Americans inhabit the same head space. Listening these past months to gun advocates rationalize how guns don’t kill people, people kill people, violent media and working parents contribute to the problem, or mental health issues need to be addressed – I wonder where the George Zimmermans of this world fit in.
I humbly offer this suggestion – children learn by example, and perhaps America needs to tighten up the practice of arming volunteers. Creating paranoia never comes with a happy ending. Try to remember how it was to be a child. Media violence isn’t the culprit – hysterical parents strike fear into hearts of the young. Keep your guns if you have to America, but keep them out of the shaking hands of zealous volunteer watch dogs.
As trivial as this may sound; the one thing Canadians universally snickered about was weak American beer. I’m not referring to craft beer – I’m talking blue collar, mass produced everyday beer. Years before the micro/craft brew market exploded, Canada drank beer that made American suds laughable. All the slick marketing, merchandise, Super Bowl commercials in the world couldn’t hide the fact – it was weak, tasteless, and inferior to Canadian brews.
I admit, my first experience buying beer in America made me feel like a kid in a candy store. The novelty of liquor displayed in grocery stores at a fraction of Canadian prices was blinding. Young and stretching every penny it seemed a dream come true. At home liquor was only sold in government stores; never open on Sunday, closing at 6 PM except for Friday nights when 9 PM gave us a few extra hours to plan the weekend.
As inexpensive as that beer was we just couldn’t drink it.
The other day I was given a case of Canadian 67. I vaguely remembered a television ad for it; four guys drinking and laughing it up – pleased because it only had 67 calories. Taking a closer look when I got home, I realized why. It was a mere 3% alcohol. I cracked one and nearly gagged. This couldn’t possibly be Canadian beer. Worse than any dishwater American beer, it tasted like the inside of an old drain pipe.
I’m begging you Canada. Have some self respect and stop calling this beer – it’s embarrassing. We’ve come a long way; liquor is available until 11 PM – even on Sundays. Beer parlors are now brew pubs offering up to 30 choices on tap. Beer is an integral part of Canadian culture; call this travesty beer and we’ll be the ones snickered at.