Dear friends, after a bit more sleep and some coffee, there is life in these old bones. It’s 9 a.m. on a gloomy wet day – a good time to retrench.
I didn’t mention yesterday what I saw as I came home from the airport. When returning from Europe, I always marvel at how ugly Toronto is, a tasteless jumble of buildings and advertising. But the taxi went up Sherbourne Street, where many of the homeless shelters are; the poverty and desperation I saw there made me ashamed of my city and my country. Later I took out my bike for the first time since December and could not help but note the state of our streets and sidewalks – potholed, gouged, filthy. Meanwhile, construction is rampant, cranes on every corner, scores of giant buildings going up with no accountability to us, the citizens of this city.
And then there’s Alberta, another neanderthal neo-con elected. I came back not just to that but to more news from Ontario – one billion cut from the public health budget, the library budget cut in half, the endangered species act to be gutted, not to mention the ongoing relentless war on the federal carbon tax. It is to weep and took me back to the kind of blind, vicious duplicity and cunning shown in Vice, to what Bill Maher has been saying for years – that those on their side don’t play by the rules, they have no rules except winning, whereas we play nice. When they go low, we go high, said Michelle Obama. Except it doesn’t work any more, going high. What works is the lower the better. Who can understand it, but it’s true.
Now there’s huge understandable resentment about the rebuilding of Notre Dame – that billionaires step up instantly to make a grand gesture about an ancient pile of stone, but give nothing for human beings or the planet we all live on.
So this Toronto woman mewling about her house being a mess – please ignore. The world is a giant fucking mess right now, and it’s hard to see how it’ll improve anytime soon. Truly, see Vice if you want to understand how they win and we lose and what it means for us, our children, our grandchildren. The future.
My house may be a mess, my debts so big they scare me right now – I did wonder yesterday, briefly, if the renovation was a mistake. But above me is a roof. My children are healthy and have homes. We have nothing to complain about. Except the state of our government, the heartless people who purport to lead us.
Enough for today. Time to get dressed and get to work.