I wish I had my (virtual) hands on an original copy of Christie Blatchford's post concerning the death of Jack Layton, as it has been edited from the original -- though it was noted that there were no spelling or grammatical errors in said original, which leads me to believe that the changes were editorial in nature.
That said, here is a link to a copy of the edited version written by Blatchford not a mere 24 hours after his death: Christie Blatchford: Layton's death turns into a thoroughly public spectacle
She writes of his letter to Canadians, "Rather, [the letter is] remarkable because it shows what a canny, relentless, thoroughly ambitious fellow Mr. Layton was. Even on Saturday, two days before he died, he managed to keep a gimlet eye on all the campaigns to come."
Expressions of anger have arisen from all quarters regarding commentary that has been labelled online as "unnecessary," "insensitive" and "cruel." Even non-NDP supporters have commented on the harshness of Blatchford's words so close after his death, with his wife in mourning. You don't have to love a politician to believe in human decency or to feel it's wrong to kick a mourning widow when she's down.
I apologize in advance to everyone more hardcore than me who will note that the ruling class hardly sheds a tear or gives a damn at the death of a lumpen prol. I guess I'm just not in that rage-rage place right now.
Regardless of his politics, he was a loving husband and a loving father. I know I can only wish to be in such a loving relationship when I'm in my 50s-60s. Call me an emo, right now, I can take it.
Above all else, dignity.
I also humbly present to you an honest open letter to Christie Blatchford written by Alice Moran and posted on Facebook the day after Layton's death. You will find the text of her letter in italics below.
Good morning! I hope this letter finds you in good sorts -- in fact I'm sure it will. You're the kind of happy-go-lucky girl who never lets the world get her down. Kudos on that!
May I just trouble you with a small note on your article this morning? It's nothing huge -- your grammar and spelling were up to snuff, you had a clear point of view, etc. It's just that this article is very revealing about your personal life. Specifically that you are a vapid and soulless cesspool of a human garbage. Is that how you'd hoped to come across?
Now I know: It must be terrible for you to see the country mourn over someone your newspaper's editorial staff doesn't seek to fellate on a daily basis. This must be especially tough considering how hard the right in this country has it these days. Only a majority? Why, the only just decision on election night would have been a winning of every seat, followed by the spontaneous combustion of all those in favour of social programs and the poor. Huzzah for capitalism! I know, Ms. Blatchford*, I know how very, very trying it's been for you.
However, when a human being dies, generally speaking, other human beings mourn; I'm sure your parents at one point in your childhood tried to explain this concept to you. Perhaps as you marched around your grandmother's funeral spouting talking points and decrying your Nana as a socialist.
I guess the idea of basic human respect was lost on you, so let me attempt to explain this concept in terms that you can understand yourself.
Someday, you too will die and when you do, I'm sure you don’t want some arrogant and opportunist hack to besmirch your name in a national newspaper, say by republishing old articles of yours. (How embarrassing! People will remember what a vapid and soulless cesspool of a human garbage you are!)
In the future Ms. Blatchford*, if you do not want to appear as a vapid and soulless cesspool of a human garbage, perhaps set aside your politics and appreciate that a man has passed away. And where your eyes may have glazed over and your mind wandered to your usual daydreamy thoughts**, many other Canadians looked up at him and were inspired. Other Canadians, who didn't agree with his politics or beliefs, have the good sense to set aside their politics, step back and see that Canada has lost a great Canadian, a woman has lost her husband and democracy has lost something truly remarkable -- an honest politician.
Maybe something to think about next time you perch down and put your talons to your keyboard.
Canadian, Scuba enthusiast
* You vapid and soulless cesspool of a human garbage
**One would assume your daydreams are about punching small children, as like the dead, they are unlikely to fight back.
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