Friday, August 15, 2003

Man vs. Clown!

So. This is "Man vs. Clown!", a weblog.

In the beginning (as the only literature worthy of compare starts), I was dubious of these so-called "blogs." "Aren't they just on-line diaries?" I thought. Why would you post your innermost thoughts for all to see? Don't diaries come with locks on them? And aren't they for 12-year-old girls? Man, blogs are stupid."

Later, I found out that "blog" stood for "weblog" and that the whole point was to chronicle your meanderings on the Web. "Oh," I thought. "That's less idiotic." Still later, I found out that they were free. Free? The sound of free is sweet music to my ears. Even if I never share it with another human being, I'll still take one. Blogs, then, are a lot like those condoms they gave out in the first week of university.

So why "Man vs. Clown!" anyway? Well, as I write this, the city of Toronto is recovering from the largest blackout in North American history. As it turns out, there was very little trouble. There was very little looting and even the buses weren't nearly as crowded as they might have been. The worst that police chief Julian Fantino seemed to have had to deal with was when a reporter confused him for some kind of army officer during a press conference, and he had to get a little cross and explain that he didn't speak for the army because he wasn't actually in the army. He was just wearing a fancy hat and epaulets. Toronto seems to have weathered this crisis pretty well, and I'm kind of disappointed.

Why couldn't it have been more like the Circus Riot of 1855? Firemen brawling in the streets with clowns! Tents pulled down! Circus wagons set afire and pushed into the lake! Mayor Mel Lastman called out of his bed to race to the scene in his nightshirt and tearfully plead for peace!

It probably fair to say that people aren't any better now than they are then. Hell, Lastman himself (and his goons) once shouldered me and a friend off a crosswalk and into traffic while we were laden down with groceries. But -- man! -- it sure seems like when people went berzerk back then, they sure did it in the coolest, most amusing ways possible. Don't tell me we've lost our sense of whimsy; we can bust stuff in style too.

So, now that the power's back on, I'm going to turn all the lights in the house, watch the TV and listen to the stereo at the same time, start a blog so I can spend even more hours on the computer (and maybe even pass along some links that'll angry up your blood), and heat the house by leaving the oven on all the time. It'll be like a Rosa Luxemburg-type thing, except instead of going whole-hog on the capitalism thing until it breaks and we're plunged into revolution, we'll be doing it with technology. Then, when we overload the power grid and throw the city into darkness once again, it'll be time to do it right and duke it out in the streets! Pull down the tents! Set the wagons on fire and push 'em into the lake! Katy bar the door -- it's going to be a pier 6 brawl!

And when Mayor Mel races to the scene, I'm going to be there to rip off his nightcap and laugh at his hair. Once again, it'll be man vs. clown in the streets of Hogtown!


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