Life is a cabaret


In the musical Cabaret, you notice that Berlin, Germany is a wide open place in 1929. It’s a society where people seem blind to race, religion, sexual preferences, whatever.

It’s also the year of the great stock market collapse.

But in Cabaret, things start to change in 1930. The Nazi Party, while still not in power, starts targeting people – Jews in particular. If you know your history, you’ll know that the misfits in the musical Cabaret are the type of people the Nazi Party eliminated once in power.

The economic chaos in Germany, caused in most part by its losing the First World War, allowed the Nazi Party to get a foothold in Germany and eventually to gain power. The result was the Holocaust and the Second World War.

After watching Cabaret at Stratford recently, I realized that North America today has much in common with 1929 Germany.

A few weeks ago, we had the biggest stock market collapse since 1929. Many in the U.S. have lost their homes and jobs because of the collapse and a failing economy. Because of the economic problems in the U.S.A. , economists believe this country too will suffer a severe economic downturn. And we live in a society where again, anything goes when it comes to sex, race and religion.

We’re living under similar conditions as did the Germans in the 1930s, which makes some segments of society open to the siren song of strong men such as Adolf Hitler.

I’d like to believe that we’re a little smarter than the Germans of the 1930s, but human nature tells me otherwise.

Life must be a Cabaret for the Canada Goose population. Hundreds of them flew over our place Saturday morning. Flying in those numbers used to be a blackbird or starling deal.

We had much to be thankful for besides the weather on the weekend.

Thursday evening, Dana and I became grandparents. Until a few months ago, we figured none of our brood was going to bother having children.

And I hear there is another one on the way.

The new addition arrived at the Walkerton hospital.

Do you know any outstanding young people, 6 to 17 years of age,in our community who: are involved in worthwhile community service; have contributed to the community while living with a disability; have performed an act of heroism in the past year: have shown a commitment to making life better or do things not normally expected of someone their age?

If you do, consider nominating him or her for a 2008 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award.

The program is sponsored by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association and its 325 member newspapers. Each young person nominated receives a certificate of recognition and one group and 12 individuals will be chosen as final recipients and invited to an awards ceremony in Toronto in the spring.

Deadline is Nov. 30. You can find more information and nomination forms at

or you can pick up the forms at The Independent.