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Fire in the City

June 27, 2010
tags: ,

This blog hasn’t been updated a great deal recently, partly because life has been pretty crazy, partly because I wasn’t happy with what I was writing, and have been procrastinating about making changes, and partly because I just haven’t got around to doing it.

I noticed that WordPress recently bought something called Plinky to help with writer’s block. That could be helpful, except that I’m currently living through a blogger’s nirvana – a fucking riot breaking outside of my apartment – and have yet to write about it.

I didn’t venture outside at all yesterday to check it out. Partly because I’m a wimp – it was RAINING all day, and I hate the rain, and I especially hate getting my head cracked open in the rain. Partly because there are others who chronicle this stuff much better than I can – I still don’t know what this blog is supposed to be, but it’s not a breaking news site.

And partly because there was nowhere to go – the Eaton Centre closed down, then the local shops, and then the local subway station was shut down. As the saying goes: when the going gets tough, the TTC stops going.

The weird thing was, the relatively peaceful protest on Friday afternoon was a lot more annoying than the mayhem of Saturday. Hundreds of protesters parked themselves outside my balcony, and a woman with a voice like a broken vuvuzela started screaming,

1! 2! 3! 4!

We won’t take this shit no more!

Over and over again for about 30 minutes, and I thought, that’s it? You’ve had a full year to plan for this, and that’s all you can come up with? The next day, I didn’t hear anything except the odd helicopter or distant siren, and was surprised to read that the shops around the corner were being smashed apart.

(and then, once they had finished with their non-message, the anarchists took over and started smashing things and setting police cars on fire. The protesters complained bitterly that their peaceful message had been overshadowed by the violence, and they may have a case – but this weekend really exposed who the pros and who the amateurs are)

I could join in the condemnation of the vandals for their violence and mayhem, but that seems a little like criticizing Decepticons for being dastardly. They are what they are. Apparently, they are always present at these summits – which means that either they have the means to travel around the world, or there pockets of them on every continent.

Strikingly little seems to be known about them – I’ve read rumours that the G20 hired them to give the protesters a bad name – which reminds me of the former CEO of Coke, who when asked if the “New Coke” fiasco was a plot to boost the sales of old Coke, responded that “we’re not that stupid and we’re not that smart”. There are also rumours that they are funded by some renegade billionaire, George Soros or Warren Buffett or Auric Goldfinger or somebody.

Anyways – I ventured outside on Sunday, but only to go to work and spend the whole day in the office. There was some potential for violence this evening, but a torrential rain storm of Biblical proportions seems to have dampened things. The leaders are heading home, and that’s probably the end of things – though you never know, if the rain ever stops, the anarchists might leave a farewell gift.

The debate now is over the summit’s $1 billion cost, almost all of which was spent on security; Conservatives are pointing to the riots as evidence that the costs were necessary, while critics claim that we could have allowed to the anarchists to trash our city for much less (Sarkozy is claiming that the trashing of Nice will cost only $100 million next year).

And for those of us who watched this all happen in and around our homes – this week has been a bit of an eye-opener, hopefully a healthy one. As I’ve written before, we are incredibly insulated here in Toronto – but on Wednesday we had an earthquake and a tornado on the same day, the odds of which are astronomical, and now we’ve invaded by anarchists. Folks in Los Angeles are teasing us because of our earthquake freakout, while Pittsburgh had to deal with the anarchists last year and survive intact. It hasn’t been a pleasant weekend, but a little dose of the unordinary will hopefully lead to a stronger city.

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