Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 338: Oh Canada

Day 338: Oh Canada, originally uploaded by susanvg.

Once more I was going through a train station - this time Central Station in Montreal. On the north and south walls, up high, there is a frieze with words from our national anthem (the south end in English, the north in French). It depicts the many activities and jobs Canadians participated in at that time (the late 1930s to early 1940s) - everything from families reading to loggers to cowboys.... People at leisure and people at work.

I was struck in this photograph by the difference in values between that time and ours. People are actively doing not passively sitting watching others do as happens now with television. The mural, juxtaposed with the Macdonald's sign - to me the epitome of the shallow values of today - where it is not quality that counts, but speed and gimmick, where everything is predictable with no room for creativity - a cut and paste society.

Time to stop and admire and hope that we will once again value the ordinary people and stop our cult of celebrity and consumerism.

I tried to find out who created this mural and believe it is Charles Fraser Comfort.


  1. People are still reading, playing music, skiing, dancing. They're watching TV less and conversing, collaborating, re-inventing, re-mixing, re-creating. I used to watch more TV than my boys. Now the eldest has a passion for photography and the youngest just finished his 8th symphony.

  2. So glad you took the time to stop and admire. I think we are past the time when doing is important - experiencing (sometimes just via the Internet or TV) seems more the rage today!

  3. @tsheko - I agree that there are people who are doing - but I cringe when the news of the day has to do with celebrities and fashion and not with actual news. So many conversations are about the latest episodes of TV shows or the latest celebrity scandal (Tiger Woods these days) and not about books and creation and issues of the day. Yes - there are kids who are involved and creating remixing etc. and many more who are not.

  4. Interesting frieze - I'm drawn to the 'framed' teller - looks like he is being dragged down by those money bags! ;)