Saturday, October 09, 2010

Toronto the unjust

To all my friends from Toronto: really, I'm just indulging in a little synecdoche. I love your fair city, honestly I do. But an evil spirit has descended.

The latest outrage is sending Alex Hundert back to jail for allegedly violating his bail conditions--by speaking on a panel at a university event. (How does one become a Justice of the Peace these days? Passing Grade Six? Joining the Conservative Party? Working on the Rob Ford campaign?)

Free speech in Toronto is dead. No doubt we'll be hearing from this guy any minute now. On second thought, don't hold your breath.

A bit of grim reading for the holiday, which nevertheless seems to strike the right note, especially in the light of the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling:

The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,
And I was tarred and feathered,
For publishing this on the day the
Anarchists were hanged in Chicago:
"l saw a beautiful woman with bandaged eyes
Standing on the steps of a marble temple.
Great multitudes passed in front of her,
Lifting their faces to her imploringly.
In her left hand she held a sword.
She was brandishing the sword,
Sometimes striking a child, again a laborer,
Again a slinking woman, again a lunatic.
In her right hand she held a scale;
Into the scale pieces of gold were tossed
By those who dodged the strokes of the sword.
A man in a black gown read from a manuscript:
"She is no respecter of persons."
Then a youth wearing a red cap
Leaped to her side and snatched away the bandage.
And lo, the lashes had been eaten away
From the oozy eye-lids;
The eye-balls were seared with a milky mucus;
The madness of a dying soul
Was written on her face--
But the multitude saw why she wore the bandage."

--Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology
[H/t CathiefromCanada]

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