Lots of talk about how Quebec Premier Jean Charest is about to fall on his tax-cutting sword in this weekend's papers. I'll leave comment about that to other folks, except to say that I think if Charest finds himself defeated in the Quebec National Assembly over his budget, it's probably best for Mario Dumont's ADQ to be asked to form a government rather than force another election so soon after the last one. Plus it would be amusing to watch Dumont struggle with his caucus of amateurs deal with governing a real province.
But my mind is instead on the movies this weekend.
It's been 30 years this weekend since I was a five-year-old boy enjoying the very first Star Wars movie. I still have clear memories of my first screening, including the gibberish scrolling upwards on the screen at the beginning of the movie. I was five so of course was not yet able to read. My dad next to me whispered in my ear, "It's a dark time in the universe, someone has stolen the plans to the Death Star, Princess Leia is racing back to her home planet..."
I still remember the light saber scene between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi and how shocked I was to see Kenobi let Vader strike him down. And how relieved I was seconds later when Luke could hear Kenobi's voice from beyond telling him to run.
I was hooked. I've been a Star Wars fanatic ever since, as I'm sure you can tell. This film changed movie-making probably forever. I aspire to such greatness in my own budding career.
Also on the subject of films, it seems Ontario PC Leader John Tory will be attending a special screening today at Toronto's Inside Out Gay & Lesbian Film & Video Festival. I read this story in today's Toronto Star, but can't find the online equivalent for some reason. This is Tory's attempt to court the likes of people like me, the 'Friends of Dorothy.' (Although 'Friends of Dorothy' has usually only been used to describe gay men, as far as I can tell, I'm sure Tory wants both gay and lesbian votes.)
It's true this is a nice change from previous Conservative leaders like Mike Harris and current PM Stephen Harper, who wouldn't be caught dead publicly acknowledging the existence of gays and lesbians. On that front, I'm pleased that Tory is so open-minded. I do think his openness is genuine.
The problem is that Tory leads a party that is still, at best, indifferent and, at worst, hostile, to urban/queer issues, and the arts in general. Such a visit to Inside Out has huge symbolic value, but I'm not sure what this means in real terms. It's an election year so it's easy to be cynical about such gestures.
After all, the bulk of the Ontario PC caucus remains a rural rump which includes the likes of Bob Runciman and other leftovers from the Mike Harris era. Added to the Tory slate recently was none other than rural extremist Randy Hillier, running for John Tory's party in Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, who has long attacked what he calls, "multiculturalism, urbanization, and absolute cultural tolerance."
What's this "absolute cultural tolerance" Hillier is talking about? I wonder what Hillier thinks of Tory's attendance at Inside Out today. I'm sure he won't have too many nice things to say in private, that's for sure.