Column: Gotta catch em all

As if there aren’t enough issues to get excited about these days, Pokèmon. Go has been making the news.

As if there aren’t enough issues to get excited about these days, Pokèmon Go has been making the news.

My personal experience with Pokèmon goes back 20 years. GS#3 discovered it when it first appeared (he would have been seven or eight.) Unbeknownst to me he’d put characters on my computer’s screen saver, and I never knew what was going to jump out at me.

Pokèmon has gone through several generations and this latest version involves wandering around, head down over your smart phone, seeking images of creatures lurking in unexpected places. People are quacking over reports that players have been so engrossed they’ve put themselves in danger. Haven’t seen as much concern about the 36 drug overdoses in Surrey last weekend.

Most Pokèmon players have their wits about them and it’s clean fun, gets the participants out walking, socializing, and learning about their neighbourhoods. Some psychologists believe the game has mental health benefits and can compliment therapy. How can that be a bad thing? I believe 151 Pokèmon are waiting to be found so that should keep players busy.

***

B.C.’s award winning BC Tenors were an item of national interest last week when one of them, Remigio Pereira, sang his own version of O Canada at the Major League Baseball All-Star game in San Diego. He sang ”all lives matter” instead of the new official version. He’s been banished from the group for disrespecting “our treasured anthem.”

It takes courage to do what Remigio did, and my liking his words does not lessen my credentials as a loyal Canadian in anyway whatsoever. This wasn’t a terrorist act, he was making a point he felt needs to be made and while his timing and choice of venue may have been off, expressing his view in song is better than using guns as our neighbours to the south are wont to do. Ironically, when U.S. boxer Muhammad Ali died recently one of the things he was remembered for was having the courage of his convictions to sacrifice his career by refusing to go to war for his country. It would be a shame if this incident put an end to Remigio’s career. It shouldn’t.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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