Saturday, June 2, 2012

Something in the Air Today




I guess I shouldn't be surprised that today just felt tense from the time I got up.

We had to miss the Sophie Milman concert last night - the one I won tickets for - because of the flooding of our apartment during the day. We almost had it under control enough to think about heading down to Massey Hall when the skies opened up again and the howling wind returned to buffet our balcony door, which started the flooding all over again. We knew we couldn't leave for the night not knowing how far into our home the water would get (and with Addie left alone to deal with it) so we decided to stay home. Luckily for us the rain had stopped by the time we went to bed, but I don't think either of us slept particularly well.

I woke up this morning unable to shake the feeling that I was late for something. I had absolutely nothing on my plate today so it was completely unfounded, but this actually made it even worse. I hoped that a morning on the computer reading emails, checking social media and playing a game or two with Sarah (who was already up and on the computer when I got out of bed) would help unwind me. Sarah has Monday and Tuesday off so this was going to be our chance at a long weekend together just enjoying each other's company. I can only say I'm glad that Sarah is not now down to one day left before going back to work.

I went online first to discover rudeness at every corner, it seemed to me. From Facebook comments to Twitter notifications to emails from people who really should be a little more intelligent, this morning was one irritation or outright fight after another. Full moon? No, that's not until Monday, and besides that would not really count in my case because full moons always make me happy and full of life. Today I felt a bit like one of those Bozo-the-Clown inflatable punching bags that kept popping back up when you knocked it over, always with that stupid grin on its face. And then I did the worst thing I could have done: I started to fight back. I got into an argument on one Facebook page where they were posting absolute nonsense as "facts" and using this to bully people into seeing things "their way". I have always hated this approach, but there used to be a time when I would just complain about it to my friends and we'd all have a good laugh at how stupid "other people" are. But that time has long past; I think it's safe to say the G20 disgrace followed by the twin elections of Rob Ford and the Harper (fake) Majority has pushed me to the point where I can no longer stand back and watch people fall for dazzing bafflegab, expecting or even hoping that they will do the right thing in the end.

So I posted - politely, I thought - my point that the "facts" these people were using were not so much facts as "conjecture" and I didn't think that was a good way to make their case. They responded by 1) deleting my post; 2) attacking my post after deleting it; and 3) blocking me from their group so I could not respond. So I did what any good 13-year-old would do: I created a fake Facebook account and told them I didn't appreciate their behaviour. Yes, seriously. Stop laughing. In any event, for some reason they left that post up and it became the beginning of a back-and-forth that went better than the original overreaction, but only barely. It became clear that they weren't going to give an inch, so I ultimately stopped notifications from that thread and left it forever. That was the first good decision I may have made all day.

Then I was drawn back into another thread on a popular blog I follow, Toronto Mike. It concerns the story of the Catholic School Board in Ontario - and specifically Thomas Cardinal Collins - balking at accepting the edict from the Provincial Government that they must allow students in their schools, if they so wish, to form a "Gay-Straight Alliance" and call it by that name. I posted what I wanted to say about this issue right away (I'll bet you can guess which side I am on) and thought that would be the end of it. I rarely return to those kinds of discussions if I can avoid them; they invariably turn into a troll fest and I have a short fuse when confronted with the sort of idiocy that runs rampant there. But a very good friend of mine also posted in there, several times and each one more eloquent than the previous, and made a point of gleefully telling me each time he had done so. I really had no choice: I went back over and over again, including two more times today. I seriously have absolutely no willpower when it comes to these things.

I managed to tear myself away from these uplifting activities long enough to play a game with Sarah and then to catch up on back episodes of The Killing on AMC, a show which more or less is filling the gap while all of our other favourites are between seasons. Then, as we were having supper, we saw a bolt of lightning - but only one - come seemingly out of nowhere. We went to the windows to see an impossibly huge black cloud come over our building (from the west this time, thank goodness) and quite quickly completely blot out the sky. It looked like the mothership from Independence Day. Oddly, it brought almost no rain, but it was pretty amazing to watch it come over the eastern part of the city.

So that was the day up to that point. Pretty crabby, pretty slow, not particularly relaxing, just a day. I still felt pretty grumbly about a lot of things.


And then this happened.


And at that moment I realized, no matter how grumbly a day I had been having up until that point, at least I wasn't at the Eaton Centre this evening.

And much more to the point: I don't have a 13-year-old son fighting for his life in the hospital at this very moment, simply because he was hungry for some Chinese Food.

I have nothing more to add to this story, other than to say I hope every person who was shot and not (to this point) killed in that shocking outburst in the Food Court is able to make a full recovery, at least physically.

And I edge ever closer to that road out of town.

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I've kept my comments open and moderation-free for many years, but I've been forced to now review them before they post due to the actions of one member of my family. I apologize for having to take this stance, but that's the way the world is headed, sad to say. Thank you for your understanding.

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