It has taken almost a week to order my thoughts on the atrocity committed in Québec City on January 29, 2017. Similar to the Polytechnique Montréal Massacre, I began with denial (this can’t be real) and slowly sank into the realization that of course it is real, and more than that, predictable.
©2001 Marion Pennell
Québecers came out by the thousands to mourn the men: Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Azzeddine Soufiane, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, and Aboubaker Thabti. The majority of people are sympathetic to the victims and their families and find the actions of the killer deplorable, shameful, and literally hate-filled.
Place des Arts – Hundreds of people walked this corridor on their way from the metro to the demonstration.
Next to the crowds, an aboriginal woman and her 2 puppies were basically living in this little alcove. (She has a black & white striped jacket on.)
People just walked on by her on their way to and from the march.
I spoke with her, gave her some money, and asked her to Prends Soins (take care of herself).
The crowd was diverse. The mood was cheerful. Lots of dogs, babies, and grannies. Bicycle cops lounging at the perimeter.
Montreal’s Raging Grannies arrive
Today’s march in Montreal was more a gathering around Place des Arts. I saw as many men as women. I saw lots of pussy hats. Mainly I saw a huge number of clever signs.
A Woman’s Place Is In The Resistance
Some were older, no longer active, or retired, or ill, so while it was sad for many, it was not “tragic”.
Debbie Reynolds, b. 1932
My first apartment downtown in the 80’s was near a repertory cinema, and I could decide at the last minute to attend a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Full audience participation was de rigueur, and sometimes I would look around before leaving and find rice or toast or a newspaper to bring for props. The story is ridiculous and utterly absurd, and has become beloved like an often told, but X-rated, fairy tale. It doesn’t take much exposure to chant along with the audience responses, and repeated theatre viewings only enhance the experience.
Even successful people can be suffering privately. Those Born to be Artists tend to explore the world through an empathic lens. Bruce Springsteen’s characters and montages are only possible, because as a writer he was able to slip on the coat, or walk in the shoes of other (usually struggling) people.
Bruce’s autobiography reveals his mental health struggles.
All around the world, people are loaded with hatred. Young men in particular are taking their hatred and finding something to align it with (and there are plenty of “causes”) in order to feel justified in expelling their rage. When recent events have targeted any community you can think of, there is no common target. The only commonality is hate and rage. Continue reading
As if a contest, now the worst mass shooting in US history is the Pulse nightclub killings the early hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Orlando.
As I read many times, if Sandy Hook didn’t change the American culture, nothing will. And even with this death toll, there are sick people on predictable websites making jokes about the fact that gay people were targeted this time. The people who died had family and friends who cherished them and who are now wounded deeply.