Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Ipod Has A Genre Called Sarnia

In it, I have stuffed all the works I have by friends and acquaintances from the Chemical City. From veterans like Jim Chevalier to up and comers like the Chocolate Robots, it is a genre I visit often. It's not that the music does not hold up against the rest. It does so in fine fashion. I just set up the genre to make the music easier to find.

One always finds people who are quick to criticize Sarnia. There's a facebook group dubbing Sarnia the 'ghetto of Ontario'. Aside from the fact that, if Ontario had a ghetto, it would probably found on the opposite side of the province (but that's a topic for another day), I just cringe at this sort of talk because it is so short-sighted.

When I think of Sarnia, I think of the fact this supposedly horrible city shuts down its downtown core for a weekend every summer to celebrate the works of its artists and artisans. I think of the photographs and artwork that decorate my walls. I think of a place that still feels like a small town for good and bad reasons. I think of the energy exchange and wonder what other small city could boast a shop like that.

People are too quick to look downriver in Sarnia, towards the apocalyptic tangle of pipes and boilers that is the chemical valley. Their compass points to the darkness. If they turned around and faced upriver, however, they would see Lake Huron, one of the great inland seas, and a shoreline that is incredibly beautiful.

Sure, it's not that simple. I know that things in Sarnia are far from perfect. What amazes me is that so many people are trying to make it better, so many people are taking the time to create art and music and poetry.

Well, that's enough cheerleading for today. I've never been good with pom-poms and the like. Besides, it's time to head to work.

1 comment:

John Mutford said...

Never been to Sarnia, nor have I heard anything (good or bad) about it. You do sell me on the place. And you know what? Like people, cities need a little grit.

I have been to Lake Huron though, and you're right, it is beautiful.