Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jack Layton's Letter

 I generally have more or less no time for the NDP take on economic issues and for that reason alone I could not support the party.   I have not been a fan of Jack Layton at any point in his leadership of the NDP but this has less to do with his politics than with a certain smarminess that always came across to me when he used so many of his catch phrases.    The 22 Minutes Jack Layton beer drinking game based on his catch phrases was a great poke at him.

My opinion of him changed when I read his letter to Canadians but not for the content, but for the purely hardcore political thinking that went into it.   I like that he chose to not go gently into that night.   I like that he worked to make sure the letter was not an angry death bed screed or a purely apolitical Hallmark treaclefest.

I like the fact that he knew he was dying and he decided to use his death as a chance to make a strong political statement in this letter.   This letter was a stroke of political genius on his part and will cement his role as a saint of the left in Canada for generations to come.  Politics matter and if you know you are going to die, why not use it as a chance to make some points for your side?

Jack Layton does justice to the ideas within Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night"

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Post a Comment