How to Boil a Frog


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Sunday, October 5, 2008

"What I Would Do As Prime Minister" by Lou the Frog

Editor's note: How to Boil a Frog is still outraged at the exclusion of Lou the Frog from the recent Canadian leadership debates, which the HTBAF team considers dreadfully frog-ist. And we didn't appreciate that remark about "le grenouille fou" from the leader of Bloc Quebecois, either.

Undaunted, Lou laid out his complete agenda yesterday at a well-attended meeting of the Chamber of Amphibian Commerce, speaking from a lilypad in a pond out by the old oak. Here is the text of Lou's address:

I'm often challenged by those that see me only as a comedic -- or even fictional -- figure, to say what exactly I would do, in the event that hundreds of Canadian MP's suddenly resigned over sex scandals, and were replaced by a plague of frogs, not that we're planning anything like that ha ha. And I respond, laying out my agenda is easy, and here it is: I would tell the truth, with a Will Rogers-type populism and sense of humor. (It is not widely known that Will Rogers was, in fact, a very ugly bullfrog. Pictures make him look taller than his 4 and a half inches.)

If I were Prime Minster, I’d say that our energy supply is about to decline permanently because we’ve been holding a huge bonfire for 40 years burning it up, and now Canadians are going to re-learn the values that made this a great country – sacrifice, service to their communities, upholding fundamental values of thrift and common sense.

I'd say a war is upon us and there is only the home front – so on the home front we are going to plant victory gardens, and learn to fix what breaks and buy things used. We are no longer going to be consumers, and instead become citizens, taking back control of our lives and making them about the quality of our lives instead of buying more stuff.

We are going to get rid of debt-based currency, where every dollar that goes into the system means we owe some banker interest, and put money back into the service of making our lives better and easier. We will figure out what it means to live in a steady-state economy, where what’s important is the common welfare and happiness of the citizens, and not perpetual growth to concentrate more wealth in the hands of the few, while the rest of us get poorer.

We are going to leave our TV’s and computers and re-connect with our friends. We are going to put joy and meaning at the center of our lives again.

We’re going to deal with the fact that we’ve grown uncomfortable with our extended families, and use each other to help resolve the fact that there will be no money or pool of new immigrants to care with a massive aging population over the next 2 decades – we’re going to have to care for them ourselves, within our communities.

We’re going to recognize that we have hit the Earth’s limits, and find ways to quickly reduce ourselves to a European standard of living, which isn’t so bad – who doesn’t want to live the rest of their lives like they’re on vacation in Paris, eating long meals, sipping wine, and walking everywhere?

We’re going to give up the safety of isolation inside our cars and oversized homes and overworked lives, and re-connect with people, re-learning how to have healthy boundaries that tolerate differences without letting others take advantage of us. And we’ll do the same as a nation in dealing with other nations – we’ll take inventory of our remaining resources, of water, farmland, minerals, fossil fuels, and husband them for the good of Canadians, keeping track of what we use, and using non-renewable resources only to create a new, sustainable infrastructure for generating clean energy, healthy food and clean water.

We will rebuild our cities so that no energy is wasted, nobody needs a car, and nobody is left to beg and die in the streets, because the lonely pain of any Canadian diminishes us all.

We will grieve together over the dreams we’re giving up – unrealistic dreams they were, but dreams nonetheless and tightly held. But we’ll also celebrate what we’re about to gain and re-gain – friendship, community, love, meaning, joy.

And there will be a frog in every home (not in every pot), to remind us that life - all life - is precious. Thank you very much.