Canada Day is in two days. Yes, Canada has a birthday, too, and it is three days before America’s birthday. It is close enough that we can mooch off of America’s spotlight a little, but not so close – or after – July 4th that it would seem like an afterthought. Like we heard the ruckus downstairs and decided that we wanted a little shindig of our own, like, you know, we can party too? Or perhaps these are the ramblings of a homesick Canadian. No, not perhaps. They are the ramblings of a homesick Canadian.
Speaking of that liberal, progressive, peace-loving country, what the fuck is this shit going on with the G20 conference? What a mess. I get it, the G20 is somehow (I’ve yet to determine how) supposed to give the country, and city of Toronto, some sort of feeling of prestige, like having the leaders of the 20 most powerful nations in the world rubbing elbows and conniving behind closed doors and shitting in our toilets and using our prostitutes will, by osmosis, make the city a better, more desirable place. Maybe it’s supposed to increase tourism. Maybe Barack Obama will be telling his pick-up basketball buddies to visit Toronto, telling them that you get your own police force to protect you from the frighteningly dull Canadians. Maybe it’s supposed to put us in the headlines. Well okay, we’re in the headlines, but I don’t think this is what our wise leaders had in mind. The security budget for the G8 and G20 summits was close to 1.5 billion dollars. Now this may not seem like a lot of money to Americans, citizens of a country that spent well over a trillion dollars on its military last year, but that is more than the budget of the entire Vancouver Olympic games. Seriously, guys? Like, really? Moreover, the entire downtown core was shut down. Residents were asked (read: told) to leave their homes, for the security of foreign diplomats descending on our fair city. This seems like, and is, a ludicrous amount of money to spend on security for an event that could easily have been held via Skype Video Conferencing.
So yes, you should protest. Loudly. Disrupt traffic. Annoyingly. Make sure the attendees of the conference know that the residents of the city they have descended upon resent their presence, and the stupid amount of money spent on them. But this, I do not understand:
What… the hell? First of all, this is one of my most frequented Tim Horton’s locations. The bakery is (was?) downstairs, so they always have (had?) the freshest donuts and the best coffee. Attack my character, and I will resent you. Attack my coffee shop, and I will loathe you, you Black Bloc bastard. What genius decided that trashing your own city is a good way to show intruders that they are not welcome? That’s like throwing plates and smashing your 40 inch plasma TV when your mother-in-law comes visits. She will think you are stupid and demand that her daughter divorce you, and rightfully so. What did this poor coffee shop do to you? Smash a bank or a government building, or some other institution run by “the man”, but Timmie’s is a place regular people, like you even, go for a cheap cup of coffee and maybe a delicious Canadian Maple Donut. And if you are going to attack a coffee shop, which you shouldn’t, at least go for a Starbucks or Timothy’s – one of those posh establishments where rich men and women in suits and pencil skirts order impossible to replicate custom beverages. But Tim Horton’s is the coffee of the people. I bet you had a coffee there yesterday.
And what do you do when the fuzz surrounds you? Do you scream protest slogans at them? Do you fight back and take your well-deserved lumps? No, you remove your black clothing and go on your merry way.
You cowardly cocksucker with your horribly tacky red shorts! Who are you, and why are you destroying my city? Go back to Winnipeg, you resentful swine. Though, I guess there’s nothing much to destroy there since the Winnipeg Jets left your frigid abyss of a city. Okay fine, there’s a chance that you might get them back. [Disclaimer: I have nothing against Winnipeg. I’m sure it is a wonderf– um, tolerable place, in the summer anyway]
The worst part is then you provoked the cops. You frustrated them, you slimy snake. They don’t know what to do, so they find the nearest Chrome-bag wearing fixed-gear cyclist and make him kiss the ground (“Bite the Curb!”). To people who are surprised by this, I ask: why? What do you expect when cop cars are being treated like Social Distortion mosh pits?
Alright, this last picture is pretty funny You see, Oxfam protesters are dressed as caricatures of world leaders “pregnant with promise”. Get it? Because they promised a lot of stuff and they have big bellies and– oh, nevermind.
Okay, have we gotten it out of our systems? Can we go back to being a peace-loving people? Let’s be friends again. We’ll sit down and talk about it. Let me buy you a coff– god damn you.
Credit for pictures goes to Boston.com’s The Big Picture, one of my favourite photojournalism blogs, and the Huffington post.