Today, I went looking for Canadian news - Digg being so very devoid of it - and started with a search for "Steven Haper," our wooden, stiff PM.
I have not been impressed with this PM. He avoids the media as he would the plague, to use a cliche; he's a cold as a Toronto parking meter in the dead of winter and he seems to have great difficulty smiling or being human - reference his hand shake with his then 10 year old son as the latter trotted off to school.
My search lead me to a goldmine. There are, of course, pages and pages of links to Mr. Harper; however, on page one of my search, I found this: What is Steven Haper Reading. I was instantly curious (to know whether he reads anything than policy, and cursorily at that), so clicked the link to what is a blog by none other than the brilliant, thoughtful, Canadian writer, Yann Martel.
If you don't know this name, shame on you. Seriously! Yann Martel's novel The Life of Pi is brilliant work. Except that I wish you to read this post to the end, I should send you immediately to a chair with a copy of that book and order you to sit there until you have read it. Take that as an assigment for later today. (photo right is copyright, Daniele Schaub)
What is Steven Harper Reading is the eighth wonder of the world. Yann Martel, who is exceptionally well read, well educated and well travelled, has been sending Mr. Harper, every two weeks, an inscribed copy of a book, specifically chosen by Martel.
Can you imagine? Mr. Harper, that cold, cold fish of a PM is the direct beneficiary of gifts from Yann Martel's luminous mind.
Harper - his office, rather - has responded only once to these gifts and has since made absolutely no comment as to whether he appreciates the letters Mr. Martel writes or that fact that Mr. Martel blesses him bi-weekly with wonderful literature.
I wonder whether Mr. Harper realises how fortunate his is not only to be the beficiary of such lovely letters - some hand written - by Yann Martel, but to also have his reading list personally chosen by such a brilliant Canadian.
Yes, I'm jealous, but, as Harper seems disinclined, will be taking full advantage of Yann Martel's reading list.
If this bugs you too, you can send letters directly to the PM's office at:
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0A2