Minnow in a Puddle
WARNING: Contains Profanity and Gratuitous Bitchiness
Folks, I’m seriously thinking of packing in this whole WunderNutbar enterprise. Too much Nutbar, not enough Wunder. I feel like I’m a fake and that this is all a crock o’ crap (in the immortal words of Wayne Gretzky).
I mean – seriously. In Grey Bruce, things are what they are. The GBHS / CMHA / Grey-Bruce Community Health Corp. monstrosity – whose Byzantine set-up makes no sense even to those who work within it – is what we have to work with, and is not going to be modified in any respect come hell or high water. The authorities are wedded to the system as it stands: hell, they spent a lot of precious time and money devising it!
Alternately, there is no activist nucleus in town, and for someone like myself who is purely an ideas man, I can not accomplish the change I wish to see without the partnership of someone more on the ball, and who knows how to work the system in such a way as to make the system change itself.
I’d love to take on the system. Not at the highest level initially, but working my way up. I can’t. My shrink despises me. I have no GP. I have no therapeutic resources. Every protocol in place has been jammed in firmly by the various governing and administering bodies – the Health Corporation, the LHIN, the Ministries. Without a critical mass of vocal opponents to the status quo – here, in Owen Sound, with whom I could not just protest, bitch and moan, but work and take direct action – I can’t do shit.
But I’m not an organizer, I’m a mouth. The type of loudmouth schnook that those in power just kind of ignore. Nobody gives a shit about the foil-hatted lunatic with his bag of cans, declaiming in the park. I, for one, however happen to love former Mayoral Candidate Ray Botten’s tactics. The man has been known to chain himself to benches and camp out at City Hall in the cause of homelessness. In Toronto or the Golden Horseshoe, this gets shit done. Yes, you can mob city hall. You can run around naked. You can publicly embarrass people in power. You can find people who are willing and able to protest shit and start letter writing campaigns and be present, vibrant, visible and upsetting. There is an underground press. There are people – younger? university and college students? – with resources and skills who will undertake campaigns and see them to fruition. (Now, of course, Botten has another agenda altogether: he is always promoting the rather controversial church of which he is a member. Still…. Cojones. Plus, his fellow congregants give him a built-in support system and micro-lobby group – which, if better administered, could be effective. Yet what does he accomplish? Word on the street and in the office, not much. If he can’t get anywhere, then who can?)
This town doesn’t give a flipping fuck about poverty and homelessness. Doesn’t give a fart in a windstorm about health, and least of all about mental health. Yet this County has an unemployment level that’s through the roof, a mental health and addictions profile that makes it the shame of the Province; and as a city Owen Sound is – and I’ll say it again – principally the service hub for people needing retail, Social and Community Services. People mostly don’t live here. People come here to get sick; to get drunk and stoned; to get their kids into CAS and drug programs; to dry out; to buy shit in stores; to get jabbed by dentists and cracked by chiros. We need subsidized housing, we get a dumbass rec centre. We have no actual homeless shelter – even the afternoon drop-in space can’t keep itself going. The Good Food Box doesn’t do free drop-offs. WE HAVE NO FUCKING DOCTORS.
IF THIS IS THE PLACE WE WANT TO LIVE, THEN WHY DO WE DO SUCH A SHITTY JOB OF MAKING IT LIVABLE? AND WHO HAS THE GUTS TO STAND UP, PROPOSE SOMETHING BETTER, AND ACT?
Since I started this enterprise, I’ve accomplished jack shit. All my life I’ve always known what to do, never how to do it. This is no different. I’m about to say fuck this noise.