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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winters Of Our Discontents

Dame Toronto And Her Chiildren

It was -6 Fahrenheit in Toronto yesterday morning at 9:00 AM.

It was a good day to move things out of an apartment and into a SUV, walking through snow and ice. It was a perfect day for it.

We are staying at the Victoria Park Radisson Hotel, which I have taken to calling the "Rat Assassin" Hotel. In my dreams, it is a churlish Mouse King (or Rat King) who rails against the good and handsome Nutcracker, portrayed by The Westin Prince Hotel, which is where we stayed before.

The Prince is just down Victoria Park, to York Mills, then past the Don Valley to Don Mills, and turn right just before Leslie Street.
We go there every morning for breakfast, even though we are not staying there.
The wait staff has adopted a smug, condescending look of pity as we slink in.

When I logged into the Rat Assassin wi-fi network, a weather forecast site cut me off with an image of a grenade, saying that they did not like the cut of my network's jib.
Then at 1:30 AM I received a warning from Yahoo about a security issues on a e-mail account.

I logged off.

Three times in the past 3 years, I have used a credit card on a Canadian gas pump, and my number was hacked almost immediately. I can use the same card in the office of the gas stations, but not at the pump.
On talking to my friends, I discover that this is quite common. Nobody seems to care since they seem to target foreigners and out-of-towners.

I immediately launched into a tirade about Canadian complaisance about their deteriorating image in the world, becoming a nation of scammers and spammers.
They laughed.
They laughed that sweet, sweet dolce far niente laugh that Canadians laugh when comparing themselves to those rascals from the USA, as if snow and ice gave virtue and honor.

In yesterday's Post, there was an article that said that fully 25% of Canadians in a recent poll did not know that the first PM was Sir John A. McDonald.
I laughed aloud, remembering how thoroughly Canadians of my generation used to lecture us about our lack of knowledge about US History. This was an indication of the superiority of the Canadian education back then: Canadian students not only knew Canadian History, they knew more US History than we schlubs from the States!

Not so, not so anymore.
Toronto the Good has become a jaded, Hogarthian hag.


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