Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Steve" Could Be Anybody

You may have seen this: as Idle No More protesters illegally blockaded the Queen Elizabeth II highway south of Edmonton, the RCMP folded their cards. In the face of a mere 23 protesters, they instead began to divert traffic around the blockade -- through Nisku and probably through Beaumont. I've taken that detour myself before, and it's not a pleasant experience.

And while the RCMP simply allowed self-righteous criminality to paralyze one of Canada's busiest highways, one man stood up to them, largely alone. His name was Steve:

Now there are a lot of things that could be said about "Steve." (Just "Steve.") You could say that he's not necessarily an eloquent man. You could say that he's angry. You could say that, when pushed to his limit, he just wasn't going to take it any more.

You could say he's like a lot of us.

Why anybody could be "Steve." He could be any old "Steve." It reminded me of this scene from The Dark Knight Rises:

"The idea was to be a symbol," Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) tells Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). "Batman could be anybody."

That, naturally, is the genius of "Steve." And even as a lot of people must certainly be hoping that he comes forward again to identify himself, it's my personal hope that he doesn't. And my belief that he won't. Because "Steve" isn't the fake hunger striker Theresa Spence or vapid human bobble head Brigette DePape. He isn't doing this to get attention for himself. He didn't do what he did to become famous. He did it to make a point.

And if "Steve" could be anybody, then anybody could be "Steve." Everybody could be "Steve."

I don't want to indulge my inner John Ackers here and suggest that absolutely everybody should emulate "Steve." Merely that those of us concerned about the rise of such self-righteous and entitled lawlessness as the Idle No More blockades should look within ourselves and decide if we have it in us to take a stand like "Steve" did, do it as peacefully as "Steve," and muster the humility to do it as anonymously as "Steve."

Because Canada needs fewer Brigette DePapes and far fewer Theresa Spences. But Canada needs far more "Steves." And "Steve" could be anybody. Anybody at all.

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