Clive Doucet: Thanks for agreeing to meet again.
Tom Travis: You said I’d caused some trouble with my statements about Canada Day.
C.D.: We did get a lot of chatter/clatter. Some people thought you should apologize.
Tom Travis: For what? I’m for people on Parliament Hill watching fire works, drumming drums, playing guitars. It’s a whole lot better than the I-gotcha. No, I gotcha-you. No-no I gotcha-you politics that passes for debate behind the Peace Tower. The point I was making was simple: Patriotism without democracy and the rule of law is tribalism. And tribalism leads to war. I know because I’ve lived it. And I would not be keeping faith with all who died there if I didn’t say it now because we’re seeing history repeat itself. It’s what’s happening in Egypt right now.
C.D.: Are you saying Canada Day is tribal?
Tom Travis: “I’m saying patriotism without democracy is like gasoline without a car, it doesn’t burn usefully, it just burns. So you’ve got to be careful that national days and flag waving don’t turn into flag sucking as Hunter S. Thompson used to call it.
C.D.: I take it you’re a fan of Hunter S. You mentioned him before.
Tom Travis: He was sane, sensible and mouthy. A bad combination. But yes, I was a fan.
C.D.: What do you think about the recent events in Lac Megantic?
Tom Travis: What’s one guy doing driving a train loaded with hundreds of tons of tars sands gumbo? Where’s the brakeman? Where’s the second engineer? Where’s the caboose? Like he drives into town, pulls a switch and then leaves the train in the driveway like he’s driving a volkswagon? My cat gets gets more supervision.
C.D.: There’s no mention of cat in ‘Shooting the Bruce’.
Tom Travis: So what? No doubt one day they’ll write a book about this poor bastard who was driving the train that blew up a town. Doesn’t mean it will reflect reality but someone will make money off it. They always do. People made money off the Bosnian war. They were called journalists.
C.D.: Sounds like you don’t like journalists.
Tom Travis: I don’t. That’s why I started my own twitter file. I figure if other people were starting to write about me, I’d better say a few words myself.
C.D.: Do you care if anyone follows you on twitter?’
Tom Travis: No.
C.D.: Not that he cares, but you can follow Tom Travis on Twitter @CptnTom