Monday, June 05, 2006
My Close Encounter with Ground Zero
It's hard to believe the corner of Front and John streets in Toronto could have been Canada's Ground Zero. One of the places the the alleged wouldbe terrorists were apparently planning to bomb. Along with the House of Commons. I don't know if it's true. But it did send a shiver down my spine.
You see I figure if a really big bomb went off at this intersection it would demolish the building the CSIS offices are in. Destroy most of the largely glass CBC Broadcast Centre across the street. Bring down at least half of the Toronto Convention Centre. Shatter the glass tower of the Bank of America. Seriously damage the CN Tower, and collapse the nearby walkway to the Rogers Centre stadium that's usually jammed with tourists. As is the whole area.
And as if that wasn't bad enough it would also take out my favourite hot dog stand. Behind the dark van on the right.
Can you believe it? When I'm in Toronto I usually stroll past this corner five or six times a day. Taking the slow way to work or just grabbing a bite. As I did today. Except that today I had a dreadful thought. What if I was eating a hotdog when the bomb went off? Just as some tourist was snapping a picture. And they found the camera in the rubble. And they enlarged the picture and made it part of the permanent Memorial to Canada's Victims of Terror. And there I'd be, immortalized for all time on some dreadful crypto fascist monument. With a stunned look on my face. And a hot dog in my mouth. (shudder)
Now I realize the chances of that happening are pretty slim. But it's like my close encounter with almost terrorism. It can't help but make you think of your mortality. One moment you're here. Kaboom. One moment you're not. So I can understand why some people might be shaken up. But nothing can justify the torrent of hysteria and hate coming from the ninny right-wingers. You can read about it here and here and here. Or take it straight from the horse's ass.
It's shameful stuff. Not only are these hideous right-wingnuts disgracing our country by trying to whip up hatred against the entire Muslim community.But they are betraying Canada as well, by seeking to destroy its values of tolerance and diversity; the very pillars of our strength. And by acting like a cowardly bunch of surrender monkeys. If they're acting like this now what would they be like if a real bomb went off? Rabid mice?
Don't they understand that when faced with the threat of terrorism we have to stay united, calm and unafraid? And just carry on like the people of London did after their transport system was bombed. With Fuck you Osama t-shirts and stuff like that. And by at least pretending they were not afraid. To do anything else is to give the terrorists what they want.
But of course these ridiculous right-whingers don't understand that. Like the terrorists they hate our tolerant and diverse society. Like the terrorists these wackos would rather create an an ocean of fear. And swim in it like sharks. Like Chimp Bush did after 911. And just look what he's reduced to now. From swaggering bully king to pathetic bully coward. Waging war on some of his own people. As is Stephen Harper. Although funnily enough I can't find anything about the same-sex vote on the ReformCon website Wonder why?
But we should not make the same mistake again. We should act like Canadians instead. We should wait to see what the evidence is before we jump to conclusions. We should give our police and intelligence services the encouragement and support they need to do a professional job. We should reach out to our Muslim friends and neighbours, and reassure them we're all in this together.
And of course we should just carry on. Just like I am. The only threat that worries me is this winged one I think we can all agree on that.
So I'll just keep strolling past the corner of Front and John, just like I always do.
In fact, I think I'll spend even more time there when I can. Chatting up the tourists and making them feel like they're visiting a safe and friendly place. Where we are too busy having fun and celebrating our glorious mix of cultures to worry about crazy cowardly terrorists. And their right-wing siamese twins.
Fuck you Osama! I'm still taking the slow way to work!!
Although I probably won't be eating quite as many hot dogs. I'll tell the poor hot dog guy (whose dreams of a Florida vacation will be shattered) it's doctor's orders.
But you'll know better...