*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Friday, 21 December 2012

"protect all that [is] truly valuable from the practical people of the world"

Putting his head down on the dog's neck, he vowed to himself fervently that he would always have some money on hand, no matter what became of him, so that he would be able to protect all that was truly valuable from the practical people of the world.
'The Little Businessman', Morley Callaghan.

After diving into the water, to untie the old dog his uncle had paid a hired-hand to drown.  A simple moral that has stayed with me since I read it in elementary.  Besides, Callaghan beat the shit out of that poseur Hemmingway, which is wonderful wish fulfillment for every literate Canadian.

What does this have to do with anything?  The 'dog' is Toronto's common weal.  The 'uncle' our 1%.  The hired-hand our voters.  The 'boy'?  Nowhere for him to appear in this story.  It's not just a Toronto story.  Let's use Toronto as an example.

Bedbugs in the libraries (e-books for me from now on).

Crumbling infrastructure decades past due, and public transit needed decades past, never built.

Degradation of democracy: that Rob Ford was possible.

Society costs money, but so does graft!  Which do you want?  That's the real left/right-wing issue.  The shit about identity politics, the lazy poor and the idle rich is all bullshit.  Everyone's greedy as fuck.  I'd rather see that greed spread thinly among all the classes so the children get to eat, the water runs clean, and we don't need gated communities.  Do you want to be Copenhagen or Mogadishu?

Nationally, and provincially in Ontario, we voted in our hate-party ('Conservative' is clearer than 'LDP' or 'Republican').  And our hate-party rejigged Toronto so that the tolerant centre would be disenfranchised.  So  mental health was slashed, and many ended up on the streets, so warm up in the libraries, and bring bedbugs and untreated psychological issues into them.  But it doesn't matter to the hate-party and voters, who don't live downtown, or care.  And reports on a sixty year old freeway falling apart are buried, and subway line building is cancelled, so that Toronto now has the worst commute times in N.America, soon to get much worse (this will matter more to suburban voters than 'soft issues' like a psychiatric patient's quality of life).

Worse yet, they'll get voted in again, because: most everyone outside of the city is an idiot (and many inside), don't understand what they have done, what they are doing to themselves, and wouldn't take responsibility if they did; and wouldn't understand what a class-interest is, much less that they are voting against their own.  Canada/Ontario/suburban Toronto: you not only suck, you don't even know that you suck beyond redeeming.


  1. I worked with a guy earlier in the year that had conspiracy theories about the government sabotaging public transport and alteratives because they are being paid off by the car industry. I thought he was a bit nuts but everything I've seen since suggests he's right.

    We are finally - after 17 years - getting the two major bike paths in this city joined up! The reason for the delay - it had to go through a park and might be bad for the environment. Yeah, that's right.

    The government here spends a lot but on really stupid stuff that never works properly.

  2. Yeah, we have environmental assesments too. They ought to pay me: it's for more cars, its bad, idiots; it's for more transit/cycling/walking, which means fewer cars, so it's good, morons; give me my million dollars now.

    And the car industry sabotaging alternatives? A matter of public record. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy

  3. Ugh bedbugs! There is nothing that I hate more than bedbugs, they are one of the few bugs that scare me. I actually review hotels before I stay in them to see when their last infestation was reported. And tonight I have a movie date with family friends. Nasty! I stopped going to the pubic library when it became the safe haven for transients. When they opened the doors to the new library, I noticed most of the new furnishings were not so bedbug friendly. But the transient problem is still... well a problem.

    So are you considering your return to Canada to end up in BC or some place not Ontario or does it not really matter?

    1. I have no choice but to go back to my unionized teaching job in Toronto. Well, the other choice is fund a family in the private sector without security or a degree that pays in a society that has forsaken the middle class...