Monday, August 09, 2004

Yes, this is a punk picture...

On the plus side, there's a good column in the Edmonton Sun today:

It's tough being a kid today
By Paul Whitney -- For the Edmonton Sun

A couple of American kids, tourists, visiting Hogtown last week, were cut up in a stupid fracas with a Canadian kid.

Like most people hearing this story, I was shocked but secretly glad that our side came out on top. It involved a knife. Front-page stuff.

Yesterday I was stopped at a light, watching a kid on a skateboard learning new and stylish ways to hurt himself. He was wearing the obligatory boarder gear: Oakley wraparound shades, baggy surfer shorts, headphones, baseball cap on backwards and a knife. It wasn't a very big stiletto knife, probably even a semi-legal three- or four-inch blade. It wasn't concealed either. He wasn't wearing his T-shirt and the blade was clipped to his waist band on an upside- down quick-draw holster.

In a refreshing change from what jaded folks like myself have come to expect from Sun writers, Whitney complete fails to come to the conclusion that curfews, incarceration, enforced Bible study, or the execution of all single mothers are the answer to young people packing weapons, and just gently notes that it is tough being a youth these days, and that maybe the young man has a reason to carry a knife. He also fails to demonstrate any of the shrieking terror that usually emanates from right-wing columnists dealing with the young. So, well done Mr. Whitney.

It is worth pointing, as an addendum to the column, that the troubles potentially facing you young people these days in Edmonton include being hurled down elevator shafts by jail guards in what the authorities later tell your grieving family is a "reasonable" use of force, and having a prominent local business shithead, with police backing, campaign to have your (relatively) safe, alcohol-free, after-hours hangouts shut down because he thinks you're cutting into his bottom line. Reasons to carry a knife indeed.

To close, lest one think that the Sun chain of newspapers is completely cured of silliness, the Calgary version ran a Ted Byfield column this past weekend, entitled (I shit you not, here) "We're Different From Them." Now isn't that the subject of every single column that Ted Byfield or indeed any of that clan has ever written?

On the plus side, the new DVD player works great, and me mum is very happy with it!

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