You never forget your first, I guess. I certainly remember mine. Those blue eyes, that chin, that eminently punchable face...
Oh no, not that first, I mean the first politician you ever really, truly hated.
This would have been the mid-80s, so lord knows there were plenty of candidates. I could have hated Regan, but he always seemed too senile to get a good hate on. I could have hated Thatcher, the mad woman of England. But she was kind of too distant. Plus, bonus, so many creative types loathed her they actually produced some decent music and comic books. Law of Unintentional Consequences, I guess.
There were politician earlier, like Trudeau, I could have hated. But I was still kind of too young. And there was local. I could have hated Brian Peckford. I'm not sure why I didn't at the time, really. I mean, I grew to hate him. Everyone in Newfoundland pretty much had their hate on when they realized how stupid he made everyone in the province look over the Sprung Greenhouse.
But no, it was Mulroney who provided my political awakening. I guess that he always seemed like he was such an arrogant prick. Or that his government seemed to reel from one scandal and corruption charge to another. Singing Irish songs with Regan didn't do much for me either.
I'm certainly not alone in this regard. When he left in '93 there was collective outrage that he quit before we could can his ass. If he had run in '93 and Hitler was running for the Liberals and Satan for the NDP, Mulroney still would have lost - he was that hated.
So look, the latest report saying he's basically a scumbag who took money that he shouldn't have and did his level, lying best to hide it...let's just say I'm not typing this from on the floor, where I lie in shock. Columnists are writing that this is a crippling stain on his legacy. Folks, the majority of Canadians are united by few things, but our hatred of Mulroney surely must be one of them.
It doesn't matter that he was probably right about free trade, that the GST worked out and that he took a stand against apartheid. It's overwhelmed by a visceral loathing of the man. I bet if you ask most Canadians why they hate him, they probably couldn't articulate all the reasons they do, they just do. It's bred in the bone at this point. Genetic, even.
So yes, he's a bad man. Yesterday's news, I'm afraid.
1. My name is nobody - Ron Hynes
2. Williamson's garage (live) - Spirit of the West
3. Boogie Street (live) - Vicki Hynes
4. Sulk - Radiohead
5. The body says no - The New Pornographers*