Friday, 11 May 2012

Fallout from Protests and Smoke Bombs: Quietness?

This was book club week, and a strange thing happened. In all four groups, we had much less attendance than normal. The weather has been cold and damp, which might be a factor. but it certainly wasn't because one boring book was on the agenda.

No, in fact the choice was eclectic. In Pierrefons we discussed David Lodge's Deaf Sentence, in Outremont, Louise Hamelin's novel about the 1970 October Crisis La Consetellation du lynx, at the Atwater Library it was Johanna Skimsrud''s The Sentamentalists and in Kirkland the French translation of Umberto Eco's The Prague Cemetery.

 The discussion among those who attended in each case was animated and very interesting, but significantly fewer than usual people showed up. The only thing the books have in common is that they are serious fiction. All but The Sentimentalists have some pretty funny bits, but overall they require the reader to do a bit of thinking.

 Is it possible, I wonder, that the uncertainty about how we're going to find our way out of the tuition hike protests part of the reason people decided not to come out? Does media coverage of the nightly marches have an impact? Perhaps.

In Kirkland, a green and lovely automobile suburb, those who attended last night seemed surprised to hear that the Metro was up and running by 10:30 yestreday morning and that I rode it with no problem o last night. I did almost get caught in a protest the night before, but bus drivers have become very savvy about avoiding tie-ups, and I got home as quickly as I ever do.

 One thing worth noting, perhaps, is that on my Metro ride yesterday afternoon, I saw far fewer people sporting the red cloth square that has be become the badge of the protests. There may be a change of opinion going on, and I'm not sure, if it's caused by exagerated fear, that it's a good thing.

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