I liked Boston quite a bit. I particularly liked seeing the big old Georgian-style mansions. They’re old now, so they just seem like beautiful decorations that fit harmoniously into the landscape, and they don’t strike me as out-of-place showy, though in their day, they would have been the cause of the downfall of many, I am sure.
The only one that rubbed me the wrong way was the monastery of the Poor Clares. You see, they have this very handsome place on Jamaica Plains, if I am describing the location the way a Bostonian would. The sign is very prominent. The sign says “Poor Clares etc etc” on the large well-kept front lawn.
I can’t help but wonder how many people have gone past that place with that sign and said to themselves, “Hmm. You don’t look very poor to me.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I understand that many or most of the Catholic buildings throughout North America are there because when they chose the location, there was pretty much nothing else there. They built their buildings and used them for many good purposes and then they just took care of them and the years passed by. So on and so forth.
[I don’t wring my hands the way everyone else does about all the residential schools, because I don’t believe that it was nearly as bad as is made out to be nowadays. I don’t support the separation of families, as you know, even if the schooling is supposedly prestigious, which is how residential schooling was viewed to some extent back then, as it is now, but as for the stories about unheard-of cruelty and 24/7 abuse by every second sister and priest, oh puh-leeze! So unrealistic!) I spoke with one federal aboriginal law lawyer who was responsible for divvying up the proceeds of one settlement. She gave the biggest cheques to those with the most dramatic and hair-raising stories. If that’s not an incentive to lie, then I don’t know what is. I don’t believe things were as bad as described. I just don’t. So shoot me. Human nature isn’t good enough to avoid telling “a little fib” when, in the view of the teller, nobody would know better. God, by contrast, is too good to allow all those things happen the way they’ve been described. It’s just too extreme for me to believe. So shoot me.]
But back to the building of the Poor Clares, you’ll be hard-pressed to find me complaining about historic Catholic buildings and properties, and as a matter of fact, I support their tax exempt status, because they were often there before the governments came along with greedy thoughts and taxes for everything. People so soon and easily forget what the Catholics did when nobody else would do it. Hospitals, orphanages, schools – the Catholics were there, doing what they could. I get it.
However, that building . . . that building . . . so prominently displaying the word “POOR” on such a building . . . it’s a little hard to take.
Could you sisters get by with a smaller sign, perhaps? Even that would make it a little easier.
I don’t know the story behind the building, and I don’t know the story behind the needs of those sisters, so I just inquire, polite-like, albeit publicly.
Oh my, what to talk about next? This could easily be a very long post, because there’s so much I want to talk about. But you’re used to that by now.
Boston and its buildings.
Well, I didn’t do the historic something or other walk that tourists sometimes take. I think there are symbols along the sidewalk that tourists are supposed to follow. Freedom walk? Freedom trail? Something like that. (These days I’m too lazy to research the proper names of things. Either you know, in which case you correct me in your head, or else you care, in which case you look it up yourself, or else you don’t know and don’t care and we both just carry on.)
Anyway, the symbol for this Freedom Walk or Whatever is rather weird. I think it looks like a squished squid. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be, but it’s odd and it doesn’t make me eager to walk the walk.
Mind you, I wasn’t planning on walking along the path to commemorate anything American anyway. I’m Canadian and I’m trying to avoid learning any more American history. I have already accidentally learned more than I wanted, and it’s been rough.
I learned that the Americans began their country with many ugly Presidents. I am not sure what happened there, but they just are singularly creepy-looking. Is that what happens when you become a Freemason? Maybe you start out looking normal and then gradually your face just starts morphing, and your eyes get beadier and your cheeks start going all hollow.
I’m not just saying this. I wonder if the fixation on power and influence and money common to many politicians and members of social-climber-clubs has an effect on a person’s appearance. I think it would.
Anyway, I didn’t walk on the freedom trail. I don’t really love all the stories and legends about all the Presidents that are fed to American schoolchildren. I don’t see that the American method of becoming “free” from England was or is particularly worth bragging about. Sounds like it was begun with a lot of propaganda fed to the average American to get them inflamed. It sounds like a select group of politicians had an agenda and asked the average Americans to make it happen for them. Take the Boston “massacre” for example. What was it? Five people, I think. Five people died, and this was used as the clincher, the obvious and outrageous event that meant Everything All of a Sudden.
I don’t know.
I’m not saying the lives of these five people weren’t important, but I’m saying that maybe the event was used as a method of whipping people into a frenzy? Maybe?
Don’t know, but it seems rather typical of government to take a situation and then seize it to further its own ends. Opportunists – these politicians, you know? Someone bumps your breast and it’s suddenly The Event of the Decade. That kind of thing.
Let’s keep our heads. Why rush every king and queen to the guillotine because you want your country to be free of the monarchy? (French Revolution.) There are other ways. Besides, as Chesterton points out, sometimes when the Let’s Rebel apparatus gets set up, the people who are running the Let’s Rebel apparatus forget they used to have normal jobs, and then they start looking for ways to Continue to Look Useful. Before you know it, they’re throwing people into the guillotine because they were the second cousin to the former king’s valet or because they’re Roman Catholic priests. In other words, they want to keep playing Let’s Rebel long after the original plan is fulfilled or even abandoned.
So I don’t applaud the American Revolution. I don’t think it’s really amazing and really great. We Canadians are, at the end of the day, just as free from British control as the Americans, without all that bloodshed. True, we have a queen, but what’s so entirely wrong with that? I think that’s better than what the Americans have. They have a squished squid walk and some ugly-looking Presidents who didn’t do all the things everyone says they did. All those legends are in place because the truth isn’t nearly as interesting or laudable. If you’re American, I am sure you protest, but then I say, go look! Go look, carefully, into the biographies of their lives. They were good at making money and they were good at being Connected. Some were good at writing long speeches, but gosh golly I’m sure glad I don’t have to hear one anytime soon.
Yeah, I would have been a loyalist, as many of your American ancestors were. (Don’t wish these people harm – you wouldn’t be around if they weren’t.)
I’m sad that the average citizen is so often asked to sacrifice his own life to go and obtain some prize that the powers-that-be want.
(I distinguish between a war to obtain something that belongs to someone else and a war to defend home turf. This latter is legitimate, as Chesterton said.)
But anyway, back to Boston, my other issue were the sirens. Man, that place is filled with policemen who love to run their police car sirens. It was so entirely bizarre, and the thing is, I just didn’t buy it. It’s a place not any different in size than Edmonton, and yet, to hear the sirens, you’d think that a Horrendous Crime is being committed every thirty seconds.
I just don’t buy it. How often does the police force really need to get somewhere Lickety Split? Am I missing something? Aren’t there about three categories: 1) crime already committed, trail already cold, in which case the rather bored officer arrives to write up a report, 2) crime in progress, in which case stealth may be best to catch the criminal, not an ear-splitting commotion, 3) traffic accident needing urgent attention in order to properly document who was at fault?
Yet in Boston, it felt like the sirens were blaring everywhere all the time. I was sitting in the back of a taxi and the roadway was entirely choked with traffic. Nobody was really moving. Suddenly, the policeman behind us TURNED ON HIS SIREN. It made zero sense. Where were the cars supposed to go? The taxi I was in tried to find a few inches to the left. The other cars tried to find a few inches as well. It was the oddest spectacle. I couldn’t figure it out. The policeman with the sirens pushed his way through, trying not to scrape the paint off his Emergency Vehicle. Am I to believe that the dispatcher selected the police car trapped in wall-to-wall traffic as the Prime Candidate to go to the scene of the latest Horrendous Crime? Really? Was the dispatcher that stupid? And the police officer couldn’t point out the obvious to the dispatcher? (“Can’t get there from here anytime soon.”)
I just don’t believe it. I just don’t buy it.
I think that policeman just got bored, and just got tired and rather impatient. Flicked the button. Siren went on. Now maybe he’ll get through faster. Nothing to lose. No one’s the wiser. Something like that. He’d be somewhat amused.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I falsely accuse. Maybe.
On the other hand, if I’m right, Mr. Constable Mr. Siren-Happy Sergeant or Officer, then you should stop it, and you should go to confession. Tell the priest, “. . . and I started my police-officer siren when there wasn’t any need.”
You think I jest but I don’t
Every sin is actually a Rather Big Deal.
Every sin is a Horrendous Crime, actually.
Doing wrong is never okay. It’s just not.
Be on guard against that AMUSING (“LITTLE”) THRILL if it involves sin – if it involves the slightest wrong-doing.
Be very much on guard.
Consider Prince’s song.
The Corvette lyrics are insightful.
He wrote, “It was Saturday night, I guess that makes it alright.”
He knew that the human heart is so quick to view what is morally heinous as a joke or as a little adventure.
Oh people, don’t fool yourselves so!
Whether it’s Saturday or whether you’re drunk or whether it’s Vegas, it matters!
If you choose, for whatever reason, you nevertheless have chosen.
You’ve written your story.
Make sure your story is worthy of being told, because one day it will be. The story of how you decided to play Mad Scientist and try your hand at playing God on the side, the story of how you decided that What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas . . . PAH! Cheating is cheating, and it’s ugly, as ugly as President Freemason Creep.
Such lies you tell yourself will be told, to all, soon enough.
Don’t discount the importance or the impact of your ‘little joke,’ your ‘sport,’ your ‘fun.’
To you, it may be just an amusing way to get through traffic at 4:30 p.m. on a busy jam-packed street, but for the nurse whose rental home is facing that busy street, and who has just fallen asleep after a 12-hour shift, it’s not actually okay.
To you, it may be a sound you’re so used to that you barely hear it at all, but to a 4-year-old girl who isn’t accustomed to waking up in the night, those flashing lights and wailing sirens can be rather, well, alarming. She panics – is somebody’s house on fire? Is something really bad going to happen, mommy?
And besides, why make the visitors to your city think that it’s such a miserable place that sirens are running 24/7?
There’s no need. Settle down. It’s like a gun. We citizens let you have them on the condition that you don’t use them unnecessarily. Sirens aren’t to be used just for kicks. Take them seriously. They’re noisy and they’re a pain. They disturb the peace for miles.
And speaking of miles, that’s one thing that I do envy the Americans for. You Americans have, ironically, been the ones who have kept the Imperial system of measurement – miles, feet, inches, and pounds, whereas the Canadians have theoretically ‘progressed’ to the metric system.
The metric system is dumb.
That mess of zeros and ones – confusing, not beautiful. Everything is the same. The memory works so much better when there’s some variety to latch onto. 12 inches in a foot – that’s interesting. 3 feet in a yard. Almost poetic. 2 cups in a pint. I like it.
And I’m not alone.
Ask any Canadian man what his height is and you’ll find he’ll lie to you in inches, not centimeters. Ask any woman what her weight is, and she’ll lie to you in pounds, not kilos. When the carpenters measure, they measure in inches and feet. The cook is busy using the tablespoon and the teaspoon.
Good things don’t disappear without a fight.
I’d say we Canadians should give up and just admit it. Metric, my dear, you and I, well, we just didn’t work out.
I’m a loyalist, I guess you could say.
So about JFK,
I don’t actually care.
I never followed those stories
The conspiracy or the ordinary or one gunshot or two
I never knew
And I never cared
Where was I when I heard that he had been shot?
Not even at all
Except as an idea
In the mind of God
But since some people care,
I decided to ask
Here’s what I got
In case you want to add
To the growing collection.
I didn’t get names
So you’ll have to fit this in
To what you already know
No big matter, right?
Either you know, and filling in names is as easy as pie
Or you care, and you’ll know where to look.
Or, like me, you’ll neither know or care, and so you’ll
Here we go.
There once was a man,
A wealthy man
Who wanted JFK dead.
Not sure why
Perhaps a political reason
Angry with JFK
Not wanting to replace him
But wanting him dead.
He hired a team
Of hit men
The hit men began making their plan.
Then the rich man who hired the team
Called off the hit.
The hit men team
Were already well into the planning
They found it amusing
Such a challenge
Such a thrill
Let’s do it
You could almost say.)
The hit men team had 6 members in total.
They continued to plan.
This was the date.
This was the opportunity.
This was the time.
(Let us synchronize our watches now, before we forget.)
This was the location.
Wait – the location?
Here is where it all fell apart.
Which shall we choose?
(Those with evil intent have difficulty seeing eye to eye.)
Group A was Afraid
of Getting Caught.
Group A – four men —
advocated for the more-hidden place
True, it was awkward
Less easy to use
Less likely to succeed
But those were small prices to pay
If one could Get Away
Without Getting Caught.
Group A spread themselves about
One man was down on the ground – a heart cold and a head calculating, the worst of the lot
Two men were supposed to shoot but the better one never shot (changed his mind at the very last moment)
Last man’s purpose cannot be discerned but it seems to relate to watching or even reloading – strange, in light of the shortness of the time, but this is what we’ve got
Group B – two men – was Daring
More reckless you could say
But actually, more innocent of heart than Group A
A clear view
A clear shot
Success was more likely
And success was,
Oswald was his name
What everyone doesn’t know is that he was part of
He got him.
A second gunshot indeed.
From the aforementioned designated shooter from Group A.)
Group A dispersed
An easy escape
Oswald was seized
Before he even made it to the getaway point
Where his partner waited
Group A and Group B
Group A, with the majority,
Never knew whether
Group B expanded to take on more members,
Two men, loyal, in their way, to each other
In this thing they considered
Some kind of sharp-shooting game
As for Oswald, he met his end
In murder as well
A relative of a man in Group A
With a relish for blood
Finished the story
That was never meant to be told
And will be