In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
Toronto is a City of Sissies says shit Columnist
another load of crap from Blechford
Toronto, City of Sissies: Christie Blatchford | Full Comment | National Post
It was in Toronto recently, while temporarily resuming my semi-charmed kind of life there and briefly ditching the other semi-charmed half in Kingston, that I realized how much in need the modern male of the species is of some toughening up.
The bull terrier and I were on a long forced march on the toney part of Yonge Street, in Rosedale.
There were a couple of boys, maybe 10 years old, maybe 12, walking ahead of me. Coming towards them was another small knot of boys about the same age.
The two groups met, and immediately began hugging each another, one at a time. The trustees and ding-dongs at the Toronto District School Board would have been ecstatic; I was mortified and appalled.
This was about the time that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was all over the airwaves, with his anti-bullying crackdown, and poor old Doug Ford, a Toronto councillor whose brother Rob just happens to be the city mayor, was caught out (by the Toronto Star, of course, the newspaper in such a permanent state of nervous Nellie-dom about the Fords, forever crying in front-page headlines “The world is ending! Again!”, that it renders the boy who cried wolf a reticent little beggar by comparison) shilling for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, which of course was made legal in the province only this year by, wait for it, the government of Premier McGuinty.
Mr. Ford’s sin, through an assistant, had been to ask the TSDB to consider circulating a little brochure about WFC community involvement. “A terrible idea,” one trustee immediately said, noting that “schools are all about peacemaking now.”
That’s quite true: In Toronto, actual education routinely takes a back seat to anti-bullying messages, gay-positive education, recognition assemblies and social justice.
In any case, it already has been a bad month for Doug Ford.
Just days later, while attending a meeting about possible cuts to school nutritional programs, he offered to kick in $1,000 to help a particular program. So shocked were his fellows and Toronto taxpayers at the sight of a local politician offering to reach into his own pocket to pay for anything, they rose up as one to protest that this too must be dead-wrong.
(It reminded me of the time, years ago, when his brother was just a councillor and also got in trouble for not spending enough on his expenses. The nerve of those Ford bastards, not sucking the municipal tit for every last drop! That’s just wrong! But I digress.)
‘I have no particular fondness for gratuitous roughness in games, no time for bullies at all, and as a downtowner, I live surrounded by gay men, who, like most women, I adore as a group’
I think that part of the reason it’s a bad time to be Doug or Rob Ford or anyone like them is that they are too big, too pink, too football-y, and therefore too potentially violent and too-old school manly for a lot of city folk.
Toronto likes its men delicate, slender and arch, not sportif unless le sport in question is maybe badminton, and if those little boys I saw on Yonge Street are any indication, Toronto is even now about to achieve perfection in this coming generation.
Do not mistake this as a plea for head-banging in sport, a defence of bullies, or a veiled anti-gay message. I have no particular fondness for gratuitous roughness in games, no time for bullies at all, and as a downtowner, I live surrounded by gay men, who, like most women, I adore as a group.
But holy smokes, I am wearying of the male as delicate creature. I am wearying of men who are so frequently in touch with their feminine side they, not to mention me, have lost sight of the masculine one. I’m just plain sick of hugs, giving and getting, from just about anyone, but particularly man-to-man hugs.
And the novelty of being the toughest guy in the room – and by this I mean me – is getting really old.
In aid of all that, let me offer a few reminders of the way it was once upon a time and really always should be.
I remain convinced that the best way to stop a bully is not to go mewling to the teacher, who will only call the victim’s mummy, or to your own mummy, who will only call the teacher. The best way is to take the bully out for a short pounding after school – and may I make it plain, please, that I don’t mean the victims should do this, but rather others. The onus for stopping bullies lies not with the people being bullied, but with those who see it happen.
This has been true for centuries, and it is still true, and it works equally well in the locker room, the office, a bar, and on the factory floor or street.
It is possible to be a gentle and kind man without speaking in a soft, sibilant voice that makes all sentences sound to my ear as though they were composed entirely of Ss.
Glasses should be worn only by people who can’t see, not as props.
Gay, as I’ve mentioned, is entirely fine. Fey is a pain in the arse.
I know men have feelings too. I just don’t need to know much more than that. On any list of The 25 Things Every Man And Boy Should Know How To Do, hugging is not one of them. Killing bugs is. Whacking bullies is. Kissing is. Farting on cue is. Making the sound of a train in a tunnel is. Shooting a puck is. Hugging is not.
Feel free to give this to your male children. You’re entirely welcome.
Last edited by LX; 12-11-2011 at 12:28 PM.