Saturday, June 04, 2022

"They came. They idled. They left." Trying to understand the truckers

It's well worth your while to read Ian Brown's centre page spread in today's Globe and Mail, entitled, "They came. They idled. They left." I'm not usually a big fan of Ian Brown; I find him overly sentimental and wordy. But the guy does win a lot of journalism prizes, and he knows how to fill a page (or three).

The piece is about the Truckers' Convoy, at a distance of three months or so. He traces a handful of the attendees, and attempts to understand some of the disparate reasons they had for attending, and how it changed them (or not). He tries to understand, without judging, how apparently intelligent people become so caught up in conspiracy theories, wild beliefs, and self-delusion. It's hard to read without judging, but at least it's written that way (more or less).

The jury is, and will probably remain, out on the Convoy. Many of the attendees see it as having changed the world; the pithy title to the article is probably closer to the way most outsiders see it (a kind of chaotic and expensive summer camp for bored, thoughtless and self-indulgent truck drivers). It was certainly an interesting - if unfortunate and rather embarrassing - interlude. This article might just help you understand it a little.

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