Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Prig on Prig Violence

Any amount of dung-flinging that’s to be done in the direction of Toronto Mayor David Miller is fine by me. The runnier the better, say I, and you’re welcome to borrow my wagon.

Except, that is, if you’re Warren Kinsella [August 5th].

Prig on prig violence, I call it, and its contemplation carries an almost narcotic risk. Entertaining, yes. But wholly intractable. The spectacle, that is, of one idiot calling another idiot an idiot. It’s doubly frustrating because it would appear that Mr. Kinsella is, against all odds, somehow the worse specimen of the two. Given that Old Man Miller seemed the very archetype of idiocy with his plan to charge guns themselves with crimes rather than criminals, this seemed damned near impossible, and Mr. Kinsella should be spanked roundly for his distracting so much from the issue.

I mean, the guy actually quotes himself in his own blog! And not from stuff he’s written or anything either, but from apparently informal conversation. With quotation marks and everything. And you get the impression it was really difficult for him not to preface the recalled insight with “I believe it was me that said, and I quote...”

And the treacle-y sweet‘n’thick sentiment here! The sort of thing you assumed even the rudest intelligence couldn’t help but gag on. He begins “If you live in Toronto, as we do, you found the morning papers were filled with a lot of the same headlines - headlines about children being shot. Little children. Five-year-olds being shot, hit by bullets in gang gunfights, sometimes in broad daylight.” And in the following paragraph, simply: “It is insane.” It’s like he’s had a stroke—with all these punchy little non-sentences. Who actually buys this sort of contrivance? Other than thirteen year-olds, I mean. (Or David Miller, obviously.) Who doesn’t see in their mind’s eye—even if he didn’t actually do so—the cynical, self-satisfied smirk on the man’s face as he wrote the words? Or hear the murmured conceit that this will get the punters; hook, line and sinker?

The posting goes on and on in this way—absolutely relentlessly—and ends with one of the most hysterically impassioned uses of the word “fuck” I’ve ever cringed at. (You get the impression he makes a point of using his swear words sparingly so that they’ll have that much more impact when he does—and, of course, to remind everyone that he’s still Rock and Roll through and through.) What Mr. Kinsella doesn’t seem to be getting is the great and practical—and utterly self-evident—truth that sentiment is a failure of feeling. A failure, Warren.

In spite of himself he puts the newthink into David Miller’s newspeak.