Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Why does everything with you and me have to be so political?

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Are we really having another election? Before the American one?

And what is at risk, besides the arts, the environment, Canadians?

I'm not an overly political person. I tend to follow it as a curiosity, and I stay up all night watching the results roll in on just about everything (much how I only watch sporting events where something is at stake, like a playoff game, or a world championship), but I've never been one to get very "involved." I vote, which is perhaps more involvement than some. But I don't really take my participation into participaction territory.

The closest I ever came to this before was in the last federal election. I was at a Toronto ice cream parlour, and the servers were understaffed and overwhelmed. They could barely keep up with the customers. And their solution, apparently, was to keep the faucet running on the sink behind them, so between customers they could stick the scoopers under the running water so the ice cream wouldn't stick. When it came to be my turn, I asked if the young girl behind the counter if she could turn it off. She said no, and tried to explain to me that she didn't have the time to turn the faucet on and off to rinse the scooper. No time to twist the faucet 180 degrees and then turn it back. So I didn't buy any ice cream.

Then, two people stopped me outside and asked if I was running in the election for the Green Party. Because I asked someone to turn off the tap. And they suggested I should. Because I asked someone to turn off the tap.

I'm not exactly sure what my involvement will be with this election. But it's starting to scare me. And the way our country is headed must be scaring a lot of other people, too, if the candidates all look so bad that someone who asks someone else to turn off a tap looks like a potential future leader.

Make sure on Oct 14 you turn the tap on or off. We all have the power to make a difference. Let's send a message that the arts and the environment are important to us.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Chris Eaton

Chris Eaton is the author of two novels: the inactivist (Insomniac Press, 2003) and The Grammar Architect (Insomniac Press, 2005). He also writes and performs music in the band Rock Plaza Central.

Go to Chris Eaton’s Author Page