In his latest weekly column (this link will change), Stockwell defends the reputation of The Merritt Mountain Music Festival, which is apparently the biggest C&W festival in Canada. It also sounds like a time for the locals to get smashed, ride around on the family hoss, and shoot heads off chickens. This year, according to The Province:
Police had 34 people in custody on Saturday night, including three women. Most arrests, but not all, were related to the festival.
Complaints ranged from causing a disturbance, disorderly conduct, assault and brawling but "nothing major."
"It's regular stuff we deal with with intoxicated people," said Linteau.
Two men were arrested for rolling a trailer over and setting it on fire.
Holy shit, sounds like a night at Jane/Finch! But one difference is when bad things go down in the City, you hear about them endlessly on the television. When they happen up in the mountains, your MP just tells a few fibs and nobody says nothin':
And how many crimes against rural humanity took place? A grand total of three. That’s right, trois, tres. And they were not exactly capital offences.
Off by a factor of ten, Stockwell! But I imagine any outsiders, like back-packers and college kids that could report any different, were killed and eaten to the sound of banjo music before they could get past the town line.
But it is true that crime at the festival was down from '06, when 150 people were arrested. In Toronto, they would call that a "gang bust", and Stockwell would be screaming that we should deport 'em all to Jamaica.
Our man in Kelowna ends by waxing philosophic on the significance of C&W:
It's long overdue for the cultured minds of centralized federalism to understand that the lore and tradition of our rural 'routes' are often transmitted through the channels of country music. Wish us luck in getting that message through.
Firstly, Stockwell, you don't have a urban centralizer to hate cowboy music. I know many rock-ribbed conservatives who puke at the sound of a steel-guitar. And as for getting the rural message out, well, we have enough wife-beating in Toronto, and don't need to reify it as some kind of cultural tradition.