America and Its Manspread Destiny
I never thought I’d become so heartily sick of hearing the word “freedom”
A lady of, I’d estimate, forty years or so, with a pudgy face that could belong to your childcare worker, the cashier at Loblaw’s, maybe, if you push your luck, an elementary school class, separates from her group of friends and struts towards police officers we’ve just seen carrying away pieces of a barricade.
We’re in Ottawa on February 9th, 2022, the umpteenth day of the so-called Freedom Convoy, which supposedly is in town to make their dissatisfaction about pandemic restrictions loudly and unavoidably known.
Her opening salvo is shocking. “I’ll be the first! Take me down, assholes!”
The cops look around to see who this crazy person is who’s shouting at them (I wonder if she realizes she would have been shot by now in any number of non-democratic countries, from Myanmar to Manila, maybe even Minnesota?).
Launched into full-bore Karen mode, she continues: “How DARE you do something like this when we’re fighting for YOU!”
It’s embarrassing; a grown-up version of the whiny brat, the outrage of a two-year-old who doesn’t want to go to bed. These people are fighting for… who?
Not the people of Ottawa, who want them gone after one full week of obnoxious horn honking intended to disturb the peace, of vandalism and swastika graffiti and pissing on public monuments; or the businesses of Ottawa, who are losing money because downtown areas are inaccessible.
Not people affected by the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge from Windsor, Ontario to Detroit, Michigan, the busiest border crossing in North America: workers in the auto industry, which is facing layoffs (Toyota has already shut down production, and automakers are seeking an injunction to clear the bridge), or farmers who can’t get their goods to market, or consumers facing empty shelves, or essential medical workers, or hospitals needing equipment.