If You Love Me, You Will Confess You’re a Racist…

… and if you don’t confess you’re a racist, then clearly, you’re a HUGE racist.

I suppose, for many people reading that title, thinking themselves sophisticated, progressive thinkers and knowing immediately that I’m being sarcastic, already know that I’ve set things up for the tone of the rest of this post. Bravo. You’re welcome to read on to confirm those suspicions. Or not. It’s always your choice. People will always want to find out what “side” you’re on. But I’m just not on any side, and if that means I’m on the “wrong side of history”, so be it.

So, I was googling for a snappy explanation of this still-popular, manipulative verbal construct, “if you love me, you would…” and one of the first matches was this post:

If You Love Me, You Would…

After reading it, I’ll say that, while I cannot confirm whether the author has any sort of academic pedigree to make her a credible authority, my opinion is that she’s 100% right. If you haven’t already, please go read it now. Come back after you’ve read it completely with your full open mind.

Go on. I’ll just wait here.

Now, I don’t know this particular author’s politics, but given that she’s on social media, blogging, trying to build a brand, I understand she has to deal with the nature of this beast. You need to make friends and influence people. Which means a certain amount of pandering to the views of so-called influencers in order to garner wide-scale support. I grant that she may or may not condone my using her work to further my own, especially if my views are contrary to her own broader perspective. Oh well…

Anyway, I’m sure many readers who arrived here outraged at my (clearly?) sarcastic title after reading that post will come back still seething with rage, because they already *know* what I’m driving at with the title of my post. No, I don’t denigrate progressives for being stupid. On the contrary, going to school and memorizing stuff, that’s work. It takes brain power. At least as much mental effort as what any blue-collar job-monkey puts in to learn their job. (And that’s not being sarcastic. I may not like job-monkeys, but I recognize their work is valuable and it does take brains to do it.)

So, while I don’t care for the romantic notion of blue collar workers, I’ve always voted NDP, because members of the useless class like myself need to feel like we’ll be safe when the blue-collar job-monkeys lose their jobs to the robots and start robbing us petit bourgeois.) Except for that time my eyes couldn’t align the circles on the ballot with the names and I ended up ticking off the Christian Heritage box. I realized it right after checking it off, but when I looked at the two octogenarian poll workers serving my booth and I realized how long it would take to sort this mess out, I said, “fuck it.” The voting population in my riding is 50% white working class and 50% first generation immigrant working class and 99% of all of them have no fucking idea what a Christian Heritage Party even is. They ain’t gettin’ elected here.

Anywho, here in Canada, the only party of significance more to the “left” than the NDP is the Green Party. I love Elizabeth May, bless her heart, and while I generally agree with their views, they haven’t run a candidate in my riding in the past 12 years. Oh wait, they did? Who was that, you say? Sorry, don’t know ’em. So, I think you’re just making them up. Plus, the last white people to get elected around here were the Cadmans and then Priddy. And besides, nobody of voting age in this neighborhood cares about progressive politics.

So, back to the NDP. Of all the federal leaders, Singh was the only one I can say I had any respect for *and* considered electable. (Though I guess, maybe that’s not saying a lot, really, considering… at the time we had M. Blackface and Robot Weasel Scheer) When COVID came down on us, Singh was the only federal party leader to propose making banks suffer along with the rest of us. Those banks, who, of course, continued to innovate in finding ways to shield themselves from the worst of the financial hit, while being committed to sticking it to their hostage-customers.

And over the years, he’s been given many opportunities to pander to “aggrieved” racialists who felt that things like this needed to be made into a story. But as far as I’d seen, he always managed to deftly side-step that cesspool. I admired and respected him for that.

Before the last federal election, NDP folks texted me about an upcoming “town hall” event with Mr. Singh, right here in my hometown. I was excited and I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce my 17-year old son to politics. I’d always talked a good game about civic responsibility, why we pay taxes, what it meant to be engaged in the community you live in, but really, it’d been years since I’d volunteered for anything other than my strata council (and that, under duress). Nevertheless, every parent wants to instill the values in their children that they dutifully failed to uphold themselves, and so…

… on the day of the event, we took the bus down to the reception hall where it was happening. Along the way, we looked out the window near the King George Canadian Tire and saw a man passed out behind the bus stop. A young man who’d just boarded told us that this man was his buddy and, yes, he was high, but he was not ODing, and, somewhat sheepishly admitted that, yeah, they did drugs that fucked them up pretty bad sometimes. I didn’t begrudge him that and appreciated his candor. 20 years earlier, living in Montreal, a guy had told me he had to drink enough to make the sidewalk comfortable enough to sleep on. I’ve paraphrased to make it sound a bit more poetic. The guy had not been trying to craft a social media sound bite. It just was his reality. However you want to rationalize people sleeping on concrete (“they’re lazy”, “they’re drug addicts”, “they have mental health issues”, “they were sexually abused at home and need our love and support”), sleeping on concrete is not comfortable for any human being, regardless how they ended up there.

And so, we arrived at the event. The media-savvy handlers saw to it that my son and I were seated front and centre on the stage bleachers behind where Mr. Singh would be speaking. My ethnicity is difficult to determine, while my son clearly falls in that desirable “visible minority” category, which makes us great representatives of the demographic the NDP is after. Awesome sauce.

At the designated hour, Jagmeet came out and answered audience questions with mostly canned responses (to be expected), what you would expect from a left-leaning party. I do find him likable, unlike the leaders of the other major parties. Most interesting were the old-timer, first-gen Sikhs asking questions in Punjabi. I don’t speak Punjabi, but it was clear from the English terms in Singh’s response that they were concerned about homeless drug addicts like the ones my son and I had encountered earlier that day. Mr. Singh promised treatment facilities (as expected), so, sure, yeah, again, awesome sauce.

Once the candidate talking part was over, it was time for meet-and-greet. Now, I’m not a “people person”. (And no, fuck you, the period doesn’t go inside the quotes when it’s a recognized quoted phrase. Fuckwit.) But perhaps that’s why I need to spend more time “reading the room”. I met a lot of very political, young, brown guys and a couple idealistic, white libtards (sorry not sorry, but that’s what they were). I met the candidate for our riding, who really had nothing going for him at all. Was he somebody’s cousin who had no other practical skills? A few people approached us tepidly looking for maybe volunteers? (That’s uptalk I’m trying to simulate there.) And that was that.

Anyway, I still came away from the event with a positive feeling about Jagmeet the guy. The platform was what I expected and thankfully, not too much pandering to grievance studies nonsense.

But now, with the pandemic and the sudden (yes, sudden, sarcastically, because it’s not new) media attention to black guys getting killed by cops in the United States, we, in Canada, feel the need to toot our horn and acknowledge the salience and now recognize our own not-so-wonderful track record.

So, uh… DISCLOSURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I work for a post-secondary education institution dedicated to training public safety professionals. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, sheriffs, and corrections facilities personnel. My views here would likely get me fired if they were traced back to me. Not that I’m particularly concerned. Coz who’s gonna find this anyway, amirite??

All humans are not born “equal” in terms of our socio-economic circumstances. Our individual circumstances are determined by a complex set of factors, both genetic and environmental. We are all a victim of history and genes. You could say some of us have been favored. Others, maybe not so much.

Recent highly-publicized events, particularly in the US, are shining a light on the problematic nature of modern law enforcement. I talked a bit about this 4 years ago. You have a profession with a military lineage that continues to be advertised as a high-drama experience. (Turn on the TV, and that what you see. And those Gen Z kids who say they don’t watch TV, I’ve seen them on the bus. They still stream that fucking broadcast TV shit on their phones.) Is it surprising that the people who continue to be attracted to this profession are people who crave drama? And the metrics used to evaluate the worthiness of candidates for this profession are *still* geared toward these high-drama (and *low impulse control*) types.

Personally, I would like to see law enforcement professionals subject to the same laws as the general public. Stepping on a person’s neck is (or should be) a crime, period. I would like to see police on patrol — community law enforcement — *disarmed*. No reason to have a sidearm for most of the situations police are dealing with on a daily basis. I would like to see police training re-orientated toward mediation and away from lethal force. Really, how many typical calls in North America in this day and age actually need lethal force? We absolutely still need law enforcement personnel who know how to shoot people dead. But that’s NOT what 99.99% of the calls out there need. I seriously do believe media accounts of police agencies’ responses saying that officers accused of using excessive force are only doing what they were trained to do. Heh. Yeah. That training? It’s a problem! Also, some of these fucking low-impulse control fuckwads you’ve hired.

So, with all that pre-amble, let’s get to “systemic racism”. I said earlier that there are differences in our individual — and group — situations when we get up each morning, within the context of our “free-market economy”, and some of those differences are beyond our individual control. Setting aside one’s emotions and political affiliations, it’s possible to see how history and so-called “free market” economic forces can reinforce those differences, inequalities. In other words, when you have, it’s easy to get more. When you don’t have, you can still get more, but it’s gonna be a grind. Some people are on the shitty end of that stick. And this is not something that dates from yesterday. It’s generations. And unfortunately, recent events and the media frenzy around them are making a lot of people feel like a better future is not coming fast enough.

So, on the heels of a number of very ugly incidents involving non-“white” people interacting with law enforcement, the NDP leader felt it was time to tag the RCMP with the “systemic racism” scarlet letter. Effectively branding the entire establishment and everyone it employs, as racist.

We’re fortunate (or unfortunate) enough in this day and age to have video footage of almost every fucking thing that happens in a public space, especially if it looks potentially news- (or social media-) worthy. So, let’s watch this video:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/rcmp-chief-allan-adam-1.5608472

Now, CTV, which has been my main source for local news for the past 20-odd years, *never* shows the first 1:10 minutes of this video, which includes this individual’s clearly belligerent attitude and his Karate Kid stance around the 0:23 mark.

I’d say Cop #1’s attitude is fairly chill in the face of this. We still don’t see what sparked this whole thing. Maybe the Karate Kid thing is justified. Maybe he knows this cop from somewhere else and he’s a douche? No idea. Anyway. Around 1:04, the video is edited. Presumably CBC thought it was boring, not showing any civilians getting beaten up by cops… Then around 1:13, cop #2 — I call him ‘roid-head cop, shows up and goes fucking nuts.

If you watch this thing through, you might say it’s a fuckin’ drunk Injun gettin’ what he deserves. Or, you might say it’s a brutal racist pig, demonstrating the systemic racism of the RCMP. Or, if you have half a brain in your head and you’re capable of setting aside whatever biases you have, you might say hmm, well, maybe it’s more complicated than my knee-jerk biases would allow me to admit.

Another recent event, which the general public knows much less about, is the now-infamous “wellness check” in New Brunswick where police allegedly banged on a woman’s door at 2 in the morning and then shot her 5 times when she supposedly came at them with a knife. This was apparently in response to someone from the public asking the police to check in on her. As it stands, the only living witnesses here are police. So far, they are not saying she was suspected of any crime. To my earlier point, this was a community matter, not a drug bust or a violent armed criminal situation. There was no reason for armed police to be walking up to the door of someone who was not a suspected violent criminal at 2 in the morning. I’ve had random fucking people fucked up on drugs bang on my door at 2 in the morning and try to come in my house. If I’d had a knife handy, I might have tried to stab them too.

Anyway, back to “systemic racism”. I’ve said for a long time we need to reform law enforcement. At the same time, I’ve seen first-hand how the Police Academy trains new recruits in de-escalation techniques. No, not all cops are fucking ‘roid-heads like we see in these videos. So demanding that Parliament brand the entire law enforcement establishment and the people who serve in it and who genuinely want to serve their community, branding them ALL as racists, is the wrong way to go about it.

And when people stand up and say, no, we don’t agree with that, calling them racist. That’s… what do they call that? Emotional blackmail? That relationship blog I pointed to back at the start didn’t label it as such, but that’s what it amounts to, and it’s what many so-called progressives have relied on to push their agendas on a naive population. I’m ashamed that Jagmeet felt he needed to lower himself to that level. Yes, advocate for reform. Push hard for practical measures. That’s what I want to see. Not fucking airy-fairy bullshit. And not casting everyone who disagrees with you as a racist. That’s just weak.

I don’t feel at all bad that Jagmeet was kicked out of Parliament. Frankly, I think he deserved it. Although, Bloc Blanchet expecting an apology? Awww, pauvre bébé! Mange de la marde! And Trudeau can just STFU. Blackface.

I’ll still probably support NDP next time around, but they need to lay off this emotional blackmail garbage. That’s not what we need to govern our country. Do better.

Unicorns Will Not Save You. But Spacesteading Might.

The grandest irony of social liberalism/egalitarianism is its dependence on individuals and institutions whose cultures are by and large hierarchical, highly tribal, and at their core, authoritarian, to defend its values.


People claim to value rational thought, but few of us enjoy the company of those who genuinely live that value… because they’re so fucking maddening to be around. No, I’m not referring to the pretenders — software developers, economists, looking at you. I’m talking about the real deal. A lot of people diagnosed on the spectrum tend to fall in this category. As a parent of one, I have some vague idea what I’m talking about. (Oh yes, I do have to add: if you’ve met one person on the spectrum, yadayada…)


Economists have lots of numbers and lots of big words in their arsenal. Couple that with truckloads of confidence (despite the fact that little of what they claim is backed by anything other than hypotheses) and you have a seductive cocktail for neoliberal politicians in search of scholar priests to fill their credibility gap.


There are no frontiers left here. There is no next move with a purely positive outcome. You will always be kicking an orphan child with cleft lip in Bangladesh or beheading a beloved lab rat or pouring oil sand tailings into the orifices of Gaia. We like to work with our hands, but our creations, these things we fashioned in our own image, are now superior to us in every way, and so are their creations. And they’re laughing at us. What’s that? Missing a “soul”, you say? What is that, anyway? And what has it done for you lately? What has it done for anyone ever?

So, the time has come for us to go. The senile, old Geppettos. To go seek out newness. Because we have nothing left to offer here.

This newness, I believe it’s somewhere beyond our stars. I hope it’s something I’ll get to experience in my lifetime. It will be AWESOME, literally, I’m sure.

Heroes

Police are heroes. Soldiers are heroes. If a soldier — who has done his duty serving his country — kills police, does his hero status get revoked?

I’m not here to make friends. There are already enough people who care more about getting likes or up-votes or high-fives than anything else. This is MY team!!! I’m FOR MY TEAM!!! Fuck them. I’m insensitive. Maybe even misanthropic. But hopefully, a person who knows how to read is also capable of reflection. Capable of thought beyond labelling those with a different view “crazy” or “enemy”.

“I know your family’s grieving — FUCK ‘EM!!!!”

A few weeks ago, a man died base jumping from the top of a popular local mountain. Nobody called him a hero. And why would they? Maybe you can admire his courage, risking his life doing something inherently dangerous. But he wasn’t acting to save someone’s life or serving a greater cause. He was an adrenaline junkie.

And the unfortunate truth, more often than people would like to admit, is that many of those serving in the police (and military, as was the case of the base-jumper) are also adrenaline junkies. Indeed, the job requires a certain amount of courage to be effective. (Whether that characteristic is overemphasized can and should be debated, but maybe another time.)

I’d like to see people stop calling every cop a hero. No. They don’t automatically deserve that. While many of them are (or better said, many have acted heroically), it’s by virtue of their actions toward the population they serve, not simply because they’re wearing badges and carrying guns. Running into a dangerous situation doesn’t make you a hero. Even dying in the line of duty doesn’t make you a hero. I’m tired of this word “hero” being attributed collectively to a group of people to preempt criticism of and/or apologize for the terrible acts, both past and future, of some among their ranks. And I want to emphasize “some”, and it’s for the same reason that we should not be painting any group with these broad brushes of “heroes” or “villains”. Collectively attributing heroism or villainy to any group is both unfair and inaccurate, and especially unhelpful in trying to understand the complex issues of violence perpetrated by law enforcement officers, gun violence, and race relations in the United States.

And politicians, enough about “despicable acts” when police are killed, as if the act of killing was more despicable because the victims were police. Because IT’S NOT.

At some point, I might put down a few words on why I think universal, mandatory military service would a good idea. Now, I also wonder if a universal, mandatory stint in law enforcement would also be a good idea. But among other things, I think it would help to break down the barrier between law enforcement and the public they serve, to chisel away at this unfortunate belief that police are — and must be — somehow better (more “heroic”) than the common people. It’s time for everyone to see things from new perspectives, not hide behind the safety of long-held, narrow viewpoints.

Oh, cheer up, Ducky! It can’t be that bad!

220px-Mallard2
On the train in to the city this morning, I received a call from a friend. He was calling to share a piece of bad news. A mutual friend of ours had died. The train went underground as I began to ask for the what and the how details. The last thing I heard on the other end before I lost the signal was that our friend had committed suicide.

News of the death of a friend is never an easy thing to hear. Death by suicide is even more difficult; what is it that brings a person to a state where they feel the only solution to the problem is to remove themselves from the equation?

I call this man a friend, but I can’t say that I knew him well or for a long time. Most of the time, when I meet someone new, I have no real, immediate sense of whether we’ll form a connection over the long term. Rarely would I say I “hit it off” with someone, but he was one of those people. He was warm, easy-going, and unpretentious, but also well-spoken, thoughtful, and with an amazing breadth of life experience. He was married to the same person for 30 years, seemed to be reasonably secure financially, and to most people around him, appeared to be enjoying the life he’d been given. But fairly recently, he had suffered a nervous breakdown and a possible depression, from which he seemed to have recovered.

But what do we really know of the minds of others? We don’t even know our own minds.

I think most of us see someone who seems generally similar to ourselves (upbringing, socio-economic standing, life opportunities, etc.), we figure they must be like us, generally speaking (walks like a duck, talks like a duck, …). We find it difficult to fathom that something could be so wrong in their inner life that they would nurture serious thoughts of ending their own existence. So if they don’t say anything about it, we might have no reason to suspect anything is wrong. But what happens when someone does express that they’re having those thoughts? I suspect for many of us, it’s so contrary to our natural sense of self-preservation, we don’t really know how to react. “Oh c’mon, cheer up! It can’t be that bad.” “It will pass. You’ll get over it.” or “How could you feel that way? You have so much to live for!”

We might mean well, saying these things, but I wonder: is it really the best we can do? Consider this: would it be acceptable to respond that way to someone without legs talking about the challenges they face trying to navigate a world designed for people with legs? Probably not. Me, I’d be saying to myself, “damn, he has no legs. I guess I should put up with his complaining, at least for a little while.”

I don’t particularly care much for professional sports, but I have a huge amount of admiration for Clara Hughes. During her career as a professional athlete, she competed in both Summer and Winter Olympics and is the only Olympian to have won multiple medals in each. This is not a stunning achievement. It is a unique achievement. No other man or woman in history has done this.
220px-Clara_Hughes_2007
But she has also dealt with mental illness. Some might say she’s “conquered” it. Some might even romanticize it, claiming it’s what enabled her to accomplish so much. The reality of mental illness is not so simple, nor in any way romantic.

Regardless how some may want to downplay or romanticize the role mental illness has played in her life, I’m genuinely glad she is out there talking about it and helping people understand.

And I’m saddened to have lost a friend. My life feels a bit paler today.

“1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their lives.” – Canadian Institute of Health Research

“2 in 3 people suffer in silence fearing judgment and rejection.” – Canadian Medical Association

“Only 49% of Canadians said they would socialize with a friend who has a serious mental illness.” – Canadian Medical Association

Newtown: Guns Don’t Kill People

Statue of Minute Man John Parker in Lexington, Massachusetts

Statue of Minute Man John Parker in Lexington, Massachusetts

People do.

I started this post about a monthtwo months ago, when emotions were fresh and bitter. But I didn’t want to commit to what I wanted to write. My own words made me angry, and I don’t like being angry. Two months on, emotions are still fresh and just as bitter.

Guns don’t kill people. People do.

The people who colonized the United States of America saw themselves as people under siege. Many had been persecuted for their religious beliefs in their country of origin. They were living in a harsh land surrounded by hostile savages. And while they were subjects of a (somewhat) democratic country, they had no parliamentary representation. All these perceptions helped to create a siege mentality, which, even after a successful revolution against the “oppressors”, has persisted.

Today, it permeates popular entertainment and right-wing political discourse: our country was not given to us, it was hard-won, and we must defend it. Our enemies lie in wait all around, looking for signs of weakness, looking for a chance to take from us what’s rightfully ours. They’re jealous of our freedom and will destroy us if they get the opportunity.

When you’re under siege, it’s important to not appear weak, lest your enemies decide to test your defenses. Like many animals, who, when cornered, will puff themselves up to appear larger, more formidable an opponent to the predator, if you’re an embattled regime, having more, bigger and better guns will make you appear more intimidating to your foes. This strategy seemed to make sense during the period after the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki until the early days of the Cold War. Eventually, it became clear that it was a strategy of diminishing returns.

Still, from a position of weakness, guns might appear to be an equalizer, and they can be. But if more guns is your solution to the problem of mass murder by guns, then you don’t have a solution.

True, guns didn’t cause the violence. But they were the enabler. And the amplifier. Let’s not kid ourselves; the angel-making capacity of the .223 Bushmaster semiautomatic assault rifle is far greater than the knife, the baseball bat, the bare hand, or whatever other weapon the average “bad guy” has at his disposal.

But I’m glad we have guns. Because when the mob is reaching for its torches and pitchforks, coming for my children because they want to blame autism or mental illness or whatever it is that makes us different from them, for the deaths of their little angels, I’ll protect my angels. You people will always have more sympathy for the pretty ones, the popular ones, than the sad, lonely losers. So be it. I’ll be waiting for you. With a couple pitbulls too. Maim your ugly, neurotypical NIMBY faces when you show up at my castle.

America is a wounded animal, frantically biting its own wounds.

Unemployed? STFU!

Mohan (I think?), New Delhi (photo by me, the Bloodfreak)

In April 2010, I went to India. Apparently that’s one of the less ideal times of the year to go, it being the start of summer, and summers in India tend to be warm. I remember walking out of Indira Gandhi airport and being hit by a blast of heat like I’d just opened the door of a 400F oven. (It was actually only 46C according to local weather reports, but I was born in the US, so conversions, you know, I’m not so good at.) Anyway, while I was there, I saw many incredible things. This was the first.

Shortly after arriving in New Delhi and settling in at my hotel, I decided to go check out Connaught Place (officially renamed Rajiv Chowk Place, but still generally referred to by locals as “CeePee”). CP is a popular shopping district. Picture a strip mall that you’ve grabbed the ends of and pulled toward each other to almost form a circle and you sort of get an idea.

I was supposed to meet up with some local friends after they got off work and I had time to kill, so I wandered around a bit. Wandering without purpose as I was usually isn’t a good idea in New Delhi — or any other urban area anywhere in India for that matter — because you’ll be quickly identified as a tourist and targeted by a throng of people selling everything imaginable, even the unimaginable.

I have low tolerance for people in general and I had an especially hard time with the overly-polite “hello, sir!” spiel of the Delhi huckster. I managed to escape the riot of color and action and people of the underground market at CP and when I resurfaced, found this relatively quiet, greenspace in the centre of the circle. I decided to sit for a moment to catch my breath. Of course, that was a mistake. Not 10 seconds later, I was approached by this man — I believe his name was Mohan — who asked me where I was from. Resigned to my fate, I told him I was from Canada. He then asked me if I spoke French or English. Now, it was getting interesting. I told him both, in response to which he produced a ledger, which looked to be full with the scrawlings of previous victims — er, customers. He thumbed through it until he found several entries apparently by Canadians, in both official languages. I was impressed despite myself. Then he told me what he did.

For 20 rupees (less than 50 cents CAD/US), he will give you an ear-cleaning like you’ve never had before. I said, please, no thank you, but I offered him the same money if he let me take his picture. Even after that, he still wanted to clean my ears, but I begged off. I have my limits. But check out the video below to see someone else who went for it.

He’s an example of one of the things that amazed me the most about India: the resourcefulness of the people. As I travelled around a bit, I saw what people in North America would call abject poverty, but the people here were still making a living. They don’t stop to feel sorry for themselves because they just don’t have that luxury. They squeeze everything they can from the little resources they have. I was amazed and ashamed at my own wastefulness and grateful that I have the luxury of living in a place where I can be wasteful, embarrassing as that is to admit.

Yeah, I know travel bloggers say this shit all the time, but hey it’s my story. I did see much worse poverty in other places, but that’s another story for another time.

A Throat Ripe for the Taking

Summer of 2012 passes into memory on a cool breeze, and a light fog draws in over the lowlands of the GVRD. A delicious night follows a gray, but not unpleasant day. The city does not smell of manure. Inside or outside is comfortable, though there’s some indecision over short sleeve or light sweater. I forecast the Richmond Lolitas will be wearing shorts for weeksmonths to come. And bonus, they haven’t yet put their smiles away for the season. A few even have one to spare for an old guy like me. Ah, the summers on the Wet Coast! “Thho gut!”

But all this was the sideshow. Tonight, the main attraction was the trip home. Back to my lovely suburb.

It was the Adam’s apple. Its owner, in the back seat of the bus, a belligerent drunk, not doing anything (yet), but defying everyone to do or say something — anything, so he could have an excuse to prove how much of an asshole he could be. Late night weekend public transit users know who I’m talking about. He reminded me of me twenty years ago, in some ways, but magnitudes more an asswipe. (I’m not a belligerent drunk.) But as far as drunken white trash goes, I’ve seen plenty worse. He was special because, though probably nearly half my age and in fairly good shape for a punk-ass construction bitch, I figured I could take him in his current state.

Alcohol has a wonderfully numbing effect. On feelings. On judgement. I remember the last time I was seriously beaten while seriously inebriated. How I’d felt absolutely nothing. Until the next day. My face lacerated. My nose broken for the umpteenth time (heh, that was muh dad’s word). My entire body ached. My testicles felt like they’d been in a vise. I walked with a limp for days.

I thought how wonderful that entire experience could be for him too, and how I could make it happen for him. I think it could have been special for both of us. How much sweeter this night could have been, to have that sharing moment. To put my elbow into the nose in the center of that curiously Daniel Sedinesque face. The spray it would have made! I wonder if the old Filipina woman sitting nearby has ever seen this level of violence up close. Probably not since coming to Canada (unless she’s a hockey fan). And from that point on, because of his position, I could have easily continued undeterred with blow after blow to the face. It would have been terribly messy for the people around him, traumatic for some, I suppose. Blood. Bits of broken teeth. I think many, if not most of bystanders, would have secretly applauded me. Including the old Pinay. But I would have had to restrain myself though, because the temptation to strike that lump in the windpipe would be great, maybe too great. And there would be no coming back from that choice.

Overall, for him, I think the experience would have been — interesting. He might have said to himself (as I have in those situations), “ah, I’m being assaulted. Did I do something foolish? It’s so weird. I don’t remember now.”

Friends IRL, this is why I don’t go to clubs. Please don’t ask me. If I turn off my humanity… My desire to do harm is intense. My capacity for brutality is endless. I’m scared of myself.