Saturday, September 16, 2006

Calmer days

...or so one would think, if the Dawson incident hadn't triggered more violence. I'm not sure there is any causality between them but it begs the question.

Food for thought: does one act trigger another act of similar nature, even if otherwise unrelated?

One would hope this not be the case, as with violence or assault. But on the other hand, maybe an act of kindness yeilds to another? Causality can cut both ways I guess. The good with the bad. I don't have a good answer. But on the odd chance that it is contagious in a way, my own thoughts are with the families and friends of both youngsters. Two families lost children in this horrible mess. Neither are to blame and all bear the brunt of circumstances of a troubled young man.

As with a previous young man, this one is dead also. Probable suicide. (I say probable because I'm just not sure what to believe on this point - another blog entry.)

This makes closure for the survivors infinitely more difficult. Jail-time, or other retribution, or even a simple explanation are piss-poor susbtitutes for such deep loss, but they do tend to make us feel better. Not knowing why this young man took exception to his own life and that of others is tortuous. Not havng the luxury of accusing, or hating, or pitying is difficult at best, because all that is left is forgivness and grief. Neither of which comes easy when someone you love is involved.

Working grief and rage out of your system almost always requires a target, and when that target has removed itself from your reality, through suicide in this case, you just don't know where to direct it all.

The flip side is just as bad in a sense. The questions, the self-recriminations, the "if-onlys" surface and that's heavy grief as well.

If only we could undertstand something so... senseless?

But it did make sense.

Quite unfortunately the one person who could have shed some light on it all decided that he didn't want to answer any questions. He said all he had to say, then he chose not to share ever again.

And it is that very decision that haunts us.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cry for uselessness

Nope, they just couldn't wait. The first cries for tougher gun control are already out into the media because of the Dawson incident... Stupid fucks!

I'm so angry I could chew nails.

What about sorting out some money for a crisis hotlines? What about putting focus on youth programs to curb violence? What about making efforts into teaching philosophy and morals and (dareI say it?) pacifist religion? What about taking responsability for the sick and unhealthy young men and women, of their minds and souls? Jesus H Christ... there's a whole mess of these kids that cry for help and go ignored!

And when they go down, it's ugly ain't it?

Nah, no business case there. Gun control, yeah that's it... that'll just solve everything won't it?

Stupid fucks.

Condolences anew

I’ve just finished reading most of the horrible news about the insane young gunman at Dawson College in Montreal.

My condolences go out to both the families & friends of the young woman, Anastasia DeSousa who died in the attack and this troubled young man Kimveer Gill.

…may the next world be a better one for you both.

(Emotions are running high right now so I’ll refrain from speaking, out of respect, but you know what’s coming. I wonder if I’ll beat the news media to it or not by giving this a few days.)

Fear Revisited

I decide to forgo war once again and continue with my utter amazement of people’s inability to connect the dots, either unwilling or incapable. I’ll jump in with my 2 cents (Canadian) on terrorism as well since it’s the mot-du-jour following the anniversary of the twin-towers attack.

There was an article in this weekend’s newspaper about a poll on the Canadian peoples’ concern with home-grown terrorism and racial profiling. I read it cross-wise and I don’t want to revisit. First point: the least concerned are the Quebecois.

Pause for thought.

And pause again.

What the fuck?

We had our very own Quebecois terrorists back in the 70s that lead to a kidnapping and a murder. But we’re the least concerned? Check.

We had a sexually frustrated son of a 2nd generation immigrant shoot some women engineering students in ‘84. But we’re the least concerned? Check.

Then a professor, no less, takes offense upon his offending coworkers but a few years later.

As of yesterday, we now have a full-on disgruntled white-bread national wreaking havoc in yet another school. But we’re the least concerned? Check.

All terrifying!

But we’re least concerned? I mean seriously folks, that’s just messed up.

That people are unwilling to look in their own back yard and see what’s there is both amazing and distressing. The poll was slanted towards Islamofascists obviously, but I hope I’ve made my point about actual back yard terror.

(By the way, read David Warren’s excellent column “The enemy within -- and it's not who you think”, where I saw the term Islamofascist for the first time.)

We just don’t want to see it for what it is.

Our very own children perpetrate the worst acts of terror. “It’s just kids being kids” we’d say and dismiss it as a social problem. But then we point the finger at nations or particular presidents or prime ministers taking action to enflame terrorism onto our shores.

I’m not saying we are wrong to point fingers, what I am saying is that school-ground taxation is really just as serious a problem and instils the concept of terrorism at a young age. Indeed learning that the ability to induce fear in others is a powerful weapon. This is not lost on anyone with any sense.

Which leads to my second point, and I paraphrase the same poll article: something about foreign nationals and/or international religions affecting our local sense of fair play which we apparently learned at home, at church (… and in our schoolyards!)

Good grief.

I’m guessing schoolyards all over the world aren’t quite so different. I’m guessing fear is fear the world over and once you’ve learned to use it and seen that is works and works very well, it’s just too late. You can’t put the worms back in the jar.

My third point is that the poll itself is a bit stilted. Fear terrorism? Fear fear? See?

Fearing something legitimately fearsome like terrorism is of our natural sensibility. Nevertheless, if you give in to fear it’s already too late. “They” have won. That’s how the weapon works, its purpose is not to kill or maim, it’s to control you to do their bidding.

We learn to be subjugated to it, or to use it, in our very own schoolyards, and that’s why it’s so damned effective!

Lunch money, retribution, religious control, mutually assured destruction… the weapon is the same.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Trash Can

I was going to talk about war in my next blog, but decided it was a bit too harsh for my first blog entry in 2 months. So instead I decided to go with something else somewhat less important and closer to home: trash.

No debate as to how garbage is important. Suffice to say that toxic waste disposal, for instance, does have serious consequence on the environment and on the populace.  Maybe not creating as many deaths as war, but certainly cause for concern.

What I want to talk about is people.

In Gatineau, we are allowed to bring up to five (5) garbage bags at a time to the curb for disposal.

“OH MY GOD,” rants some well-meaning moron in the letters section of the Ottawa Citizen.  He immediately makes a case as to how only 2 bags are allowed in his neighbourhood of Ottawa, and cannot conceive of putting out 5 bags! And then goes on about trash-nazi controls with silly stickers for each bag.

Obviously this man accumulates his spring-cleaning somewhere in his vast basement and puts it out one bag a week along his other one bag.  Hopefully he didn’t have guests with small children over for a weekend and had to stow rancid bags of crap, in his vast storage area, in order to wait for the allowed disposal next week.

Obviously he had misread the article or was misinformed.  The good folk in Gatineau, and I say this very loosely, seem to put only one bag to the curb on any given week!  Since the article came out, I’ve made a point of watching my neighbour’s habits.

I’d say 9 houses, of each 10, will have a single bag, or regular size garbage can, on any given week. The family of four across my circle will fairly consistently have 2 bags at the curb but not always.  My own neighbour and I sometimes skip a week. Occasionally three or more bags show up alongside a roll of carpet, duly cut up in 3-foot bundles.  Hardly the constant weekly 5-bag output our idiotic denizen was bitching about.

When I read things like this, I think that this planet is truly in trouble. Then I take comfort in that everyone on my block recycles. The recycling is every two weeks and the amount of recycling is commensurate with the anointed 2 bags of trash.

Now a case could be made that both recycling and garbage should take up no more than 2 bags. That would be quite the accomplishment. This might yield to civil unrest and old mattresses thrown off trucks into nearby patch of trees, or busted sofas accidentally dropped on a cement divider of a major artery. Don’t laugh; I’ve seen it done.

In a previous entry, I talked about my old fridge being dumped into a regular garbage truck and crushed like any other trash, to my utter disbelief. And my wife clued in yesterday that the city of Gatineau is actually not recycling anything at all. The recycle-collector simply threw all the steel, plastic and paper fibres into one vat and crushed it all, just like my fridge.  

This has been going on for over 10 years now, and not a single thing in Gatineau has been recycled yet, at least not to my knowledge. Heck, I’ve even heard they fine people for mis-sorting.

Actually, cedars were recycled for free, but the city has trashed a symbiotic contract they had with the cedar recyclers, so we have to pay for this disposal ourselves… guess where it all winds up now? The good people, I use that term loosely, can be pushed and poked and prodded to be good citizens, but just so much apparently.  

So my wife asks me why we bothered to wash our plastics and glass bottles before sorting them into our green box, as per the city’s instructions. I told her the local gubmint just wants to instil good recycling habits on their citizens and give the illusion they actually give a rat’s ass…

Then I pause for a second, and I look at her deadpan: “kind’a makes you regret wasting all that water to rinse-out and clean the shit, don’t it?”

Gubmint: a derogatory red-neck homonym & synonym used instead of the word government.