I'll get straight to it. Today I saw a kid sketching on Queen Street with his portfolio open, a hat on the ground, and a sign saying Help Me Get To Art School, and I just about lost it; for the first time in my life I wanted to yell Get A Fucking Job. Why? Well you might ask. I live on Queen Street. We have buskers, who add to the atmosphere, and have to have a permit from the council to allow them to perform. We also have homeless people, who sit with hats in front (signs are not allowed - we've seen, to our horror, a police officer tear one up before), and are occasionally moved along (to our chagrin) by council workers or police. Then we have this little arsehole. What infuriates me about his presence is not that I think he will take away from the little that the homeless along the street will receive in a day (I saw a woman give him money and I can guarantee she wouldn't have given that to our friend Simon - she seemed to love the "romance" of the "struggling artist" as much as he did). It's the brazen exploitation of his privilege. This kid, lousy with opportunity, will sit on the same footpath where people sleep - a few metres up from where these people are asking for money to survive, and ask us to help send him to art school. The audacity makes me livid. What do you think? Vincent thought I was going a bit over the top but agreed with most of my points, and I worry that may just have been to shut me up.
I've also been thinking/ranting about what differentiates a good person doing bad things and a bad person doing good things. Where do you draw the line? I like to think that I don't see people as good or bad; we're all human and thus flawed. But if I'm honest, I do essentialise people. And I've been trying to figure out out exactly where the point lies for someone to tip over into being bad, and how people are allowed to be called good when they are racist or homophobic or they have knowingly hurt someone else for things that weren't very important to them.
In a similar vein, I've also been wondering lately how many misogynistic jokes Family Guy can make under the guise of satire before it simply becomes misogyny. I really enjoy family guy. But I'm fucking sick to death of hearing joke after joke about women, the last being the one about the women in Sex & The City. Someone who claims not to be racist who makes racist jokes ironically or satirically may not be a racist, but what they say might be interpreted as condoning racism by racists, stupids, or members of the ethnic group that is the punchline. I am sick of being the punchline. I love that being openly racist on tv is unacceptable (I long for the day that institutionalised racism in/on tv is also unacceptable). I don't understand why it's still okay to be openly misogynistic. It's not funny, and maybe it's just that I'm grumpy, but I think once you've made the joke once or twice, supposedly making fun of people who actually speak that way, you're done; carry on, and you're just being a cunt. Am I wrong? Seth McFarlane, you're on notice.
Let's calm down and listen to this excellent song, which has been on high rotation this weekend. As Vincent pointed out, I'm no Buddhist; I'd like to be, but I just get so mad...