Monday, 27 October 2014

Why Women Do Not Talk About Sexual Assault, A First-Hand Perspective.

By now, I'm sure you've seen the news about the allegations levelled at Jian Ghomeshi. I'm also sure you've seen his preemptive response posted on Facebook.

I am not shocked by the allegations. I am not shocked at the PR statement Ghomeshi released with the help of Navigator. I am shocked that we still have to explain why victims of sexual assault do not come forward, and that their silence does NOT indicate falsity.

In this whole scenario what I've been most captivated by, are the comments from the public. Here are a few, from my very own Facebook friends:

...and a gem from a user named "SewnVagina" on Reddit discussion:

I can tell you some of the reasons victims don't come forward, and I can tell you with absolutely certainty because:

I was sexually assaulted.

There. I said it. I've written it, for the first time, and I'm here, in the safety of my blog, writing on a computer, and just typing those words makes my heart race. I'm already afraid of the inevitable comments and aggression I'll receive, of the insinuation of me deserving it, of the unbridled anger that so many women face when they are honest about what happened.

I was 18. I was in Paris. It was Bastille Day, and I wanted to see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. I walked from my hostel near Notre Dame all the way to the Eiffel Tower, I got there early to get a good seat on the grass. It was a beautiful day.

On the course of my walk, a truckload of Parisian police officers catcalled me. I was wearing a tshirt and jeans. I did not respond. That was not the assault, but it was a big part of why I said nothing, for the last 11 years.

As night fell, I was sitting on the grass, the sunset was beautiful, I was thrilled...and then two men sat down behind me. Two men in a sea of thousands. Two men who, to this day, probably think they did nothing wrong.

One of them asked me a question in French, I explained, in broken French, that I did not speak French. This began a conversation:

"Oh, where are you from?"
"Ah, Canadian and American girls are beautiful!"
"How do you like Paris?"
"It's wonderful!"
"Would you give my friend a kiss?"
"Haha, just kidding!"

I should have moved. I should have left, but goddamn it, I walked here and found this spot, I have the right to sit in a park, I shouldn't have to move...and besides, they weren't really doing anything, and the conversation swung so rapidly between normal conversation and uncomfortable-requests-feigned-as-jokes I didn't really feel I stayed.

Planes flew by overhead. It was a beautiful day.

One of the men moved closer, suddenly he was hugging me, I pushed him away. He laughed, "Just kidding! Just a hug!" I stayed.

They asked me about the sites I had seen, I told them. Suddenly one of the men was sitting behind me, with his legs on either side of me, he hugged me again. I pushed him away, I said no. He laughed and said sorry. I looked around, no one seemed to notice I stayed.

The crowd was so thick...where could I move?

Suddenly his hands slid under my shirt, moved upwards, I pushed them away. He laughed, "Just joking!" I looked around, thousands of eyes and no one saw. He was bigger than me, I didn't speak French... "how do you say help in French?" I wondered to myself, "Maybe shouting 'help' is a little overboard?" I stayed.

I tried moving forward, out of reach, he grabbed me. Hard. Pulled me back, a couple turned and looked at me, we made eye contact, and I shouted "help help!"...with my eyes. They looked I stayed.

The fireworks were beautiful. The forgot about me briefly. I moved forward. I was afraid to run.

I did not want to insult them, make them angry. Right now they were laughing and joking, still asking about my stay in Paris. "Probably better to be mildly uncomfortable than cause a scene..." I told myself. He kept kissing me on the cheek, but when I tried to move away he pulled me closer...I stayed.

The fireworks ended, they hadn't tried to grab me again. The crowd began moving, it was thick, and I was alone in a foreign city. One of the men grabbed my hand and led me to a Metro station, the one who hadn't grabbed me before. I decided I liked him. I tell myself "This is Stockholm Syndrome."...I stayed.

The subway car was beyond full, people were crying, pressed against the glass. The man-who-hadn't grabbed-me made a pocket in the subway car, blocked people from squishing I stayed.

We reached my stop, I got off the train. The two men waved goodbye, they smiled, "What a pleasant evening!" the thought to themselves...or so I imagine.

I started walking to my hostel. I could smell his cologne, in my clothes, in my hair. I walked faster. A man started walking beside me. Asked me if I wanted to get a drink with him.

"FUCK YOU" my brain said. "Um, no thanks, my friends are, uh, waiting..." I muttered.

I reached my hostel, slamming the door before the random man could step inside, making sure the outer door had locked properly. I went to my room, got changed, and went to bed.

I couldn't sleep. The smell of cologne was choking me, smothering me. I got in the shower. I refused to cry. I punched the walls.

I was the tough girl. The smart girl. The well-travelled girl. This wasn't supposed to happen. I knew how to fight, I wasn't afraid of speaking my mind, how did I let this happen?

My mind was churning.

  • Should I tell the police? The ones who catcalled me? Ha. Not likely.
  • My over-protective parents? Not if I wanted their respect.
  • My friends? To what end?

What would I tell them?

I didn't run away.
I didn't protest enough.
I didn't yell for help.
I didn't fight back.

...And what would I even say? That I was assaulted?...I could already hear the response "What assault? You weren't raped!"

So I stayed silent.

It had been roughly 10 years...I thought about talking about what happened. Admitting to myself that it was an assault. Surely, a decade later society is more advanced, more supportive... and then I saw the backlash to the reporting on the sexual assaults in Little Italy in 2012.

...and I heard the same old cries from the public (including one from Mayoral candidate Doug Ford's despicable daughter):

"What sexual assault? He only followed women at night and grabbed their asses! He didn't rape them! It is irresponsible to call it assault!"
So I ignored it. Pushed it away. Pretended it never happened...and then in June, 2013, XOJane published an article about a Canadian radio personality that MANY suspected was Jian Ghomeshi...and I identified with it. Terribly. Embarrassingly so:
"Desperately. Running down the stairs had given me a taste of the freedom that could so easily be mine if I just ran outside and never looked back. But I didn’t want to be rude, and I thought it best to leave on good terms.
(This is the part where I really want to go back in time and shake myself.)"
What the fuck? Why don't we shout and scream and walk away?  Why is it easier to suffer a thousand small indignities than run the risk of being rude...? No wonder the constant criticism of sexual assault victims is "Why didn't you say anything? Do anything? Why didn't you go to the police?"

The thing is...when you are threatened there is an instinctual response to survive. Now, if someone runs at you with a weapon, screaming and yelling chances are you will experience an immediate fight or flight response, because the threat is clear, unquestionable...that guy is attacking me.

But, when you are in public, surrounded by people, and your attacker is smiling and joking...the threat is...indistinct. You doubt yourself. Are you over-reacting? Is he actually a threat? If you make a scene, if you are rude, will he get angry?

By the time it is all over, you are often left with:
  • No witnesses
  • No evidence
So why would you go to the police? What would you show them?

So let's get back to Jian Ghomeshi and the 5 women who have accused him of sexual assault... I want to preface this with the acknowledgement that there is very little information and that drawing conclusions about guilt or innocence is foolish at best, and dangerous at worst.

...That being said, that's five, not one ¨jilted lover¨, but 3 claiming violent assault, 1 claiming workplace harassment, and 1 from last year's XOJane article.

The big question every doubting, obnoxious internet commenter is asking is ¨Why didn't they go to the police?¨

Knowing that (according to Stats Can) only 6% of cases are reported because:
  • belief that the police could do nothing about it (50% of women gave this reason); 
  • concern about the attitude of both police and the courts toward sexual assault (44%); 
  • fear of another assault by the offender (33%); 
  • fear and shame (64%). 
...Imagine you were dating the person who assaulted you. Imagine you sent them an explicit text message, or a series of messages. Imagine you did not tell your friends, family, employer, or the police because you were afraid of not being believed, or of repercussions to your career, your safety. 

Now, imagine you lived in a world where you had to look at every friend, lover, or co-worker as a potential abuser, where any show of sexuality would be a reason you deserved it. Where the absence of photo-documentation of every sexual encounter is deemed as an oversight (god help you if you do have erotic images, you whore). 

...Imagine a world where:

  • FIVE woman come forward and claim they have been abused 
  • The national broadcaster investigates and decides the case is valid enough to fire one of their long-time hosts
  • ...and all it takes to cast all of that into angry, abusive doubt is a Press Release disguised as a Facebook posting

...What a world.

If the Canadian public will not listen to five adult women, who have not asked for money, fame or fortune (four of whom still refuse to release their names for fear of the backlash experienced by the 5th...) when a single man of minor celebrity status refutes their claims... why do you fucking think we don't talk about sexual assault?

Well, it could have just been shadow puppets, do
you have a series of witness and signed affidavits?

I'm not asking you to believe everything you hear, far from it. I'm asking you to think critically when you encounter information that you find hard to process, or confusing. That means not dismissing 5 human beings because you read a finely-crafted Facebook post. That means considering that perhaps the Facebook post might have been written by Canada's leading high-stakes public strategy and communications firm, and is NOT a heartfelt plea. 

On July 14th, 2004, I was sexually assaulted. I didn't tell anyone, I don't have pictures, but it happened.

The first step is speaking up. I can do that. The second step is listening,

...that's up to you.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Rob Ford Says He Has Cancer, or, Why You (still) Shouldn't Vote for Ford(s)

Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, says he has a tumour...

Doug Ford, his older brother, made the announcement yesterday. I know the natural instinct when someone tells you such unexpected, terrifying news is sympathy. But, fellow Torontonians, do not be fooled...

Will you run for Rob? "No comment..."<-- *Mr. Burns finger tap*

While the other mayoral candidates have expressed their sympathies, the question that many Torontonians find themselves asking is not, "Is it cancer?" or, "Will Rob drop out of the mayoral race?"...but:

..."Is it REAL?"...

This is where 4 years of Rob Ford as mayor has left the citizens of Toronto...Scratching our heads and looking for the political angle on a cancer scare...

Ontarians are not new to the concept of people faking cancer for personal gain, having witnessed a fairly brazen fake-cancer-con in 2008/2009, perpetrated by Ashley Kirilow. In which she shaved her head, plucked her eyebrows and eyelashes, starved herself, and scammed donors out of over $5000...nice gal.

Before and during her shameless, disgusting fake-cancer con.
The announcement of Rob Ford's tumour came via his brother Doug Ford, and was later confirmed by the CEO of Humber River Hospital. They both claim stated that Rob Ford had been in in pain for 3 months, before the pain became "unbearable" early yesterday morning while eating breakfast at a diner with Doug.

"Doug, I think I have to go to the doctor..."
Apparently a CT scan revealed a tumour in the lower left abdomen, but a biopsy is required to confirm if it is a chicken drumstick malignant.

Now, I don't want to make light of a (potentially) serious situation, or laugh at anyone's misfortune, however, I am not the only skeptic here. Within minutes of tumour-gate's announcement, the internet was flooded with questions about the veracity of Rob Ford's health, and theories involving political gain...

...Given how many bald-face lies Rob Ford has told, and his complete lack of shame, combined with his recent slip in polls, none of these theories is inconceivable.

Rob Ford and his family have long considered themselves a political dynasty, based on the shaky foundation of a patriarch who was a 1-term backbencher in the Ontario Harris government. Even in the face of becoming an international joke, the Fords have, surprisingly, not wavered in seeing Rob as an unbeatable, universally-supported wunderkind mayor... but a poll released just yesterday shows how delusional they really are:

The poll showed Rob Ford falling far behind John Tory, a man whose political career highlight(s) include losing the Toronto mayoral election to David Miller in 2003, and then being elected MPP for Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey in 2005...which he subsequently lost in 2007.

The tl;dr being, Rob is very likely going to face a humiliating loss to a man who has had almost zero political success, and was widely considered a lame-horse of a candidate in both the municipal and provincial levels...

*insert awkward collar-pull noise*
For a family who seem to have no shame, ethics, or dignity, would faking a cancer scare be less shameful than admitting they were wrong...?

Let's look at what possible gain(s) could be made by such actions...

1. Doug Ford is currently not running, but the last date for candidates to enter the mayoral race is this Friday, a mere 2 days after the tumour announcement...
    • Rob Ford dropping out due to "health concerns" would allow Doug to enter in his place and ride a wave of sympathy votes.
      • Rob would remain "undefeated" and able to run for mayor in 4 years.
2. Michael Stirpe Ford*, a nephew of Rob and Doug is currently running for Rob/Doug's old council seat. He has almost no competition in the ward, aside from Andray Domise.
    • Rob Ford dropping out due to "health concerns" now would allow Michael to leave his seat in a year or two and have Rob run for his old seat, riding a wave of sympathy votes.
      • Rob would remain "undefeated" and able to run for mayor in 4 years.

Do you see a pattern developing?

*an interesting footnote is that Michael Ford was Michael Stirpe until February of 2014, when he legally changed his name a few months before entering the election. His father, Ennio Stirpe, and previous partner of Kathy Ford, murdered his step-sister's father, and was more recently convicted in 2011 of blinding a girlfriend.

I am not saying that any of these theories are true. I am not saying that Rob Ford, Doug Ford, or any other family member of the self-proclaimed "political dynasty" would sink so low as to fake cancer to save face in a municipal election...

What I AM saying, is that the worst thing about this whole situation is that after 4 years of outrageous behaviour, lies, scandal, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and potential  involvement in a series of criminal incidents (including murder, missing persons, and beatings) one is doubting that Rob Ford could sink so low.

...and if that isn't the best reason I have ever heard to not vote for someone, I don't know what is.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Dear Co-Worker Who Voted For Tim Hudak, You Are One of Two Things...

On May 2nd, 2014, NDP leader Andrea Horvath did not support the Liberal party's budget, and forced a provincial election. On whether that was a good or bad choice, I will refrain from commenting... the end result was:

Ontario just had an election.

Yay, woo, democracy! (?)

Approximately $90million was spent so that we could march ourselves into schools and other public buildings across the province, make a mark on a piece of paper, toss it in a box, and pretend that we were part of something big, important, and generally good.

But, in the micro, what does this mean to you and I, the citizens? Well:
  • You got to participate in democracy, and your heart swells with patriotic joy.
  • We now we return to 4 years of oligarchy, your heart deflates with a sad little fart noise.
But most importantly, irritatingly, we got to spend the last month being inundated with the unwanted, copious, and generally misspelt political opinions of our friends, family, and co-workers.

My, along with pretty much every Ontarian's Facebook feed swelled with vague threats for those who did not vote, as well as pro NDP, pro Liberal, pro Green, and yes, even pro PC messages. The idea that maybe the "decline your vote" movement was part of a Conservative ploy made the rounds, and many Simpsons references were made.

whateva, whateva ah doo wut ah want
While some look upon this endless flood of unwanted peer-pressure as a nuisance, I find it to be a great way to weed out the sociopaths in my life...

Shhhhh, Jackie, I will explain all...
~ AHEM ~

I firmly believe there are only two types of people who vote for conservatism...

The Ignorant



To explain this, we need to understand what Conservatism in Canada means, politically, and why it is so short-sighted and damaging to society...

Conservatism in Canadian politics generally means:
  • Reducing corporate taxes
  • Reducing funding to "soft" programs (e.g childcare, welfare, healthcare)
  • Reducing funding to education
  • Reducing Income taxes (by reducing services)
and in Ontario, those who remember the "Common Sense Revolution"  should remember what Conservatism in Ontario meant from 1995-2002:
You see, the basic problem with this ideology is:


Meaning, that you can trim away services with poor (immediate) financial returns:
  • Education
  • Welfare
  • Transit
  • Healthcare
...and pretend you are saving money.

"But look!" you cry. "We were spending $3billion a year on these services! By reducing and cancelling them we are only spending $1Billion! We've saved $2Billion a year!"

Well, yes, you have. This year, and maybe next year, and the next 5 years after that. 

...But then you notice that the lack of social safety net has caused more families to fall into poverty, the children in poverty to go without and get drawn into crime. In fact, crime rates are on the rise, and all that money saved by removing preventative care options in the healthcare sysem has now caused a rise in preventable health issues which now cost not only OHIP, they are also eating into private business profits with sick days, and long term health leave.

You have lost money and damaged society, perhaps an entire generation will now achieve less, because for a few years you saved a little bit of money.

I know, this is dry. Let's tell a story with a baby, everyone likes babies...

Jack and Jill graduated university, got jobs, met each other, fell in love, and got married.

Right now, they both work full-time, and have a household income of around $80,000/year. They decide to have a baby. Maternity leave ends, and they are happy the have Jill back at work earning 100% of her pay, instead of the 55% she was getting under EI's Mat leave.

They look for daycare options for Baby, and find the average in Ontario is $1,152/month... but their take home pay is only $2,637/each...and their rent is $1213/month, and their TTC passes are $244/month, their both repay OSAP for $782/month and groceries are costing them around $300/month...and, (ACK!), math:

Income: 2637 + 2637 = $5274

Income less expenses: $5274 - (1152 + 1213 + 244 + 782 + 300) = $1583/month "extra"

Out of that remaining $1583, they must find money for: clothing, healthcare, RESPs for the baby, and savings...ignoring entertainment, eating out, and enjoying life in general.
dag, bones.
But, oh no! Jack slipped on the ice and broke his leg, arm, and cracked a vertebrae! He will need surgery and will be bedridden for at least 6 months in recovery!

Suddenly an excess of $1583/month has become -1054/month. Jack and Jill are now in debt, with their debt load growing exponentially every month. The educated and hardworking couple, through no fault of their own, are now impoverished. Their baby will grow up in poverty, may not attend post-secondary school, and will be at a statistically higher risk for addiction problems, teen pregnancy, and crime.

such sadness...
What happened, Cat? Where did they go wrong?!!! (<--- Conservatives tend to believe that if you aren't succeeding financially, you must have done something "wrong")

THEY DIDN'T. Life happened, and thankfully, our society is one that supports and assists people so that instead of plunging into debt and poverty, Jack and Jill can get EI, make it through the rough patch, and get back into the workforce without ruining their lives, and their child's life.

This is where I tell you that the baby grew up to be Winston Churchill, but in all likelihood, the baby grows up to become a Insurance Broker, and gets a pet iguana named Chuck.

bffs, 4 life
Supporting your society's members should come out of a natural desire to see your species flourish, and because you are upset by the sight of your fellow humans' suffering...but if that isn't enough, it also makes FINANCIAL SENSE.

By society's safety net catching Jack, Jill, and Baby, they have spent the rest of their lives out of poverty... Buying consumer goods, paying taxes, and investing...thus putting money into the system, and creating a richer society for EVERYONE.

Which brings me back to Tim Hudak, and the Ontario Conservatives...

Their whole ideology is flawed. By abandoning citizens who may only need a small boost once or twice in their entire lives, you ensure that they, their children, and their families CANNOT be contributing members of society.

By forcing people on to welfare, while simultaneously slashing welfare benefits, and creating insanity like "workfare" (where welfare recipients had to work for their less-than-min-wage benefits, making them indentured servants) you are ensuring that once on social benefits, it is almost impossible to get off again...

I get that there is some waste in tax dollar spending. I get that paying income tax feels shitty. I get that looking at a few hundred knocked off of every pay cheque feels like you are being robbed...

But you aren't.

Taxes pay for:
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Roads
  • Scientific Research
  • Our Art, Music, TV and Film
  • Welfare and disability benefits
  • Employment Insurance
  • Civil Servants, including Nurses, Firefighters, and Police
Taxes are what we pay to have civilized society. Taxes, simply put, are GREAT.

Conservative policies, like lowering corporate tax rates,  hurts our society, sometimes irreparably.

The current corporate tax rates in Canada are so low, that of the top 60 companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange, only four paid income taxes of 25% or higher between 2007 and 2011.

That means anyone earning over $48,363 paid a higher tax rate than 54 of the top 60 companies on the TSX...

Fuck. That. Shit.

How much could be done for healthcare, education, and society as a whole with those missing billions of dollars...Which brings me back to my original point...

Conservative policies are only beneficial for corporations, and the super rich. They do not help society, they do not create jobs, and they do not buoy up the middle class.

The people who vote for them can only be one of two things...\
  • Ignorant of how conservative policies work
  • Sociopaths, who don't care about the well being of society, and gamble on themselves never needing to make use of the social safety net

It is.

So please, dear Co-Worker, voice your rage at Hudak's crushing defeat in the election. Shout it loud, and clear, and to anyone who will listen. Let us know, without a scrap of doubt, that you are either an ignorant fool, or a sociopath.

The louder they scream, the easier it is to hear them, and identify them. Try educating them, show them some graphs. If it works, hey cool! A newly educated voter! If it doesn' got yourself a sociopath, and you can cut that trash out of your life.

In other news, this election ushered in Kathleen Wynne, as the first elected female Premier in Ontario, and the first openly gay head of government in any of the Commonwealth Nations... and that is pretty fucking awesome.

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Short Selection of Things I Hate

Oh hai, internets...

There are many, many things that disappoint me, and even more that I actively dislike...but here, for your reading pleasure is a list of things I full-on hate. All guaranteed to immediately raise my blood pressure to massive-coronary-levels:

1) "X didn't let Y dampen their spirit"

As if there really was some kind of "immaterial soul" which is, apparently, at risk of growing damp when in the presence of such people, places, and things as:
  • Hitler
  • The third world
  • Natural disasters
It annoys me even more that we are expected to applaud those who, for some unknown reason, do not display the normal emotional responses associated with such things as:
  • Hitler
  • The third world
  • Natural disasters
...Which I imagine would likely be:
  • Disdain
  • General malaise
  • Unbridled terror at the awesome power of physics, in the macro scale

People who do not share a normal, logical response to stimuli are not to be trusted. A viral post about some little girl who didn't let cancer "dampen her spirits" isn't uplifting, it's just advertising that she is either too young, or too stupid to be scared...and if she survives to adulthood she's just going to look back and think:

"Hmm, that was a rather dim response, given the mind-numbing terror that any normal person would have experienced, why oh why did my parents expose my incredible stupidity to the entire literate world?!"

...Because your parents, and all the dim-witted internet users who shared your tragic yet uplifting tale would rather ignore the harsh realities of life and instead participate in a fantasy that can only be upheld on the shoulders of the young and

2) People who wear Canada Goose Jackets in Toronto like that's a thing you can just DO.

Do you see how you are wearing running shoes without socks? Do you see how your "pants" are sheer lycra? Notice how you don't need to zip up your jacket to avoid hypothermia?



~ ahem ~ 

Let me explain, here is a picture today's current weather forecast:

Note, temperature is ABOVE freezing...

Here is a picture of the appropriate environment for a Canada Goose jacket:

Key word, ARCTIC.

Now, here is a picture of someone in a climate that needs specialty winter gear to avoid dying from exposure:

"Please...please help me..."

Did you notice? There was no CN Tower in the background. Also, he is wearing North Face, because it is effective, and not priced as some prize designer coat for douchebros and morons, which Canada Goose attracts... it's science.

You think you look like this:

But you actually look like this:

If grandma lives long enough to learn the gang sign you taught
her, god help you, you disgusting, horrible grandchild.

If you aren't at risk of dying from exposure, don't spend $500+ on an arctic expedition-approved jacket, you complete brainwashed-by-advertising-and-fiscally-irresponsible moron.

3) Being irritated by irritating people whilst on public transit (Specifically the TTC)

There is a particular evil inflicted by travelling via Toronto's public transit...the dreaded TTC. It isn't their appalling service, their stunted and embarrassingly small coverage, it isn't even the grossly overpaid & underworked staff...

lol, gettin' paid.
...No, it's that they make me hate my fellow humans...intensely, and homicidally.

The environment the TTC has crafted is one in which the user is continually:

  • Having their personal space invaded
  • Being assaulted by a myriad of unpleasant odours (e.g. urine, BO, farts)
  • Being assaulted by a myriad of pleasant odours which you can derive no other sensory pleasure from (e.g. CINNABON)
  • Forced to either comically avoid eye contact/interaction with all other humans, or forced to engage in comically unwanted eye contact/interaction with fellow humans

This environment demands anti-social-skills for survival. You must instantly view all other passengers as inhuman, lest you find yourself drowning in a sea of human misery...with just a hint of overly-sugared pastries (if at Eglinton or Union station). 

Let me paint you a picture:

You enter the subway platform. 
It is crowded, obviously. 
It smells strange, obviously. 
You are already late.
The train is packed... you must wait for the next, the next next one.
You squeeze your way to an empty spot on the platform, slighly behind the yellow line. You relax.
A small asian woman steps in front of you, "but this is my spot!!!" your lizard brain cries.
As the train comes in, it blows dust into your eye, which is trapped by your contact lens.
You scream, internally.
The small asian woman squeezes into the packed car, you search futily for any space for you.
The door chime tolls, a death knell to arriving at work on time.
You wish death and destruction on the small asian woman.

...and then...just then, a man in a suit elbows you in the spine, pushes past you, and shoves the small asian woman against the other riders, claiming the remaining, impossible, 6 inches for himself. hate him too.

ode to the daily commute.

You see, it is not the TTC's embarassingly small size, exobanent price, or poor service that makes me is that you must bury your humanity to survive it...

You cannot think about the lack of infrastructure development. You must forget the years of political in-fighting and flip flopping. You must force Rob Ford's high pitched squeal of "SUBWAYS SUBWAYS SUBWAYS" from your mind. 

You must float, untethered by the weight of societal awareness. Nothing can exist beyond: 


Is that small asian woman a mother? Did you, perhaps, step in front of her orginally? Has she already let 4 trains go by, to your measly 2?

You cannot think this way. You cannot view the other riders as human...if you do, you will never get on the train. You will never get to work. You will be fired. You and your children will go hungry... THOSE RIDERS ARE TRYING TO KILL YOUR CHILDREN!!!!

Ah yes, now you have the blood lust needed to commute during rush may even get a seat if you are truly heartless...

And whose fault is this? Who is to blame for making me hate my fellow hairless apes? It is surely not my inability to handle frustrating situations beyond my It is the TTC. With its army of faceless, narcoleptic, maroon-coated gestapo, who without a care in the world, make the worst parts of my day just a little bit worse.

hurr durr, I have a pension!

loooool, it's rush hour and you have to get to work!
I'mma make it rain tokens...zzzz...

Yes. You, TTC. It's definitely you.