Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sore Thumb Chronicles: Prelude

Today is the day before the opening of the Conservative Party policy convention in Winnipeg. I am here for the duration.

What do Conservatives eat?* What are their rituals? Their beliefs? Their daily habits? I can promise a faithful if fragmentary account, but participant-observation may be a problem: my ethnographic entrance may never, in fact, take place. These are a fierce people, who do not readily accept outsiders, and I have somehow made myself unpopular with many of them long before setting foot in their territory.

Hence the Sore Thumb Chronicles, for I will likely find it challenging if not impossible to fit in, even though I brought
along a blue shirt and my battered Stetson. I have mused about this difficulty earlier, and may avoid the attempt altogether unless self-preservation (or the need to gather information) requires it.

Obtaining informants may not be so much of an issue. Many of them have blogs. That's like having unpaid research assistants, as I've mentioned before. The unwitting eyes and ears of the Far Left. Thank you in advance.

I have friends in Winnipeg to rescue me if the culture shock proves to be too much, but I'm actually looking forward to this. Good field-note practice. Dancing with wolves.

Tomorrow: registration, reception, opening ceremonies and a keynote address by the Headman.

*My stepson returned from five months in the Yukon last night, and we talked into the wee hours. I quizzed him on this question of diet. Without hesitation, he said "babies." That's my boy!

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