Skip to main content

so don't blame me if you miss the zombie apocalypse

this weekend was important in montreal for two reasons:

1. it is the annual festival where we cede our downtown core to the subspecies of eurotrash who come to town for the f1 grand prix. seriously, i'd made temporary plans to see a movie with someone and just couldn't bring myself to enter the fray. a friend of dom's described the event as being "nascar with wine", which is spot on. i've been told that our city benefits greatly from the influx of tourist dollars that streams from the pockets of slim-cut jeans and handbags with designer labels emblazoned on every available surface and for that, i suppose i'm grateful. they can have downtown for a long weekend to romp and play as they wish and i will stay in my little corner of the city. come monday, everything goes back to normal until the following year.

2. it marks the first street sale of the 2014 season. i'm aware that most large cities have street sales, but montreal seems to hold them in particularly high esteem. they have been a part of every summer i've been here, going back to 1997 when i stumbled across one by accident four blocks from my apartment. [i've always been sort of oblivious.] for those weekends, one of montreal's main streets is closed to traffic and its vendors spill forth to offer the leftover wares that had been occupying space in their back rooms for bargain prices. they're also wear a lot of men go to buy their annual complement of socks, since there's always at least one guy selling packs of ten, plain pairs for ten bucks.

this weekend, avenue mont royal got things kicked off in style, with packed terraces, many grills [grilling is a tremendously important part of street sale] and, of course, deals on everything you would normally find inside the stores. and socks.

dom and i went to check things out, as we always do, despite the fact that neither one of us is very fond of crowds, because there is just something about the street sales that commands it. also, one of my favourite shops, aime com moi, had some excellent deals on their locally designed and made clothing. and all the video [dvd? blu ray?] shops have bins of stuff that no one but dominic and the people who made them have heard of [and i'm not entirely sure about the people who made them]. oh, and there are lots of places to have cocktails. that's how we manage to deal with the crowds.

i was happy to finally try a cocktail that i'd been eyeing for a while, named after one of my very favourite television sociopaths.

and it, like it's namesake, it is dangerous to mess with

and then, as we made our way along the street, we noticed that there were suddenly zombies everywhere. they were just milling around, not really checking out the merchandise and going against the general flow of the crowd and occasionally screaming or biting at people. it was a little disconcerting, because all films have led me to believe that the zombie apocalypse will occur in such a way that living humans are parceled into neat little groups, unable to connect with each other. there's not a lot of information on what to do when they appear in the middle of a crowd.

then again, if zombies really just want to kill and eat people, montreal street sales would be a great place to start. it's the one place where the zombies would be moving as fast as everything else.

the thing about destroying the brains is apparently a lie.

of course, people were mostly just taking photos of the zombies, which doesn't strike me as a good idea at all when you're dealing with something that may or may not want to eat your brains. and some of the people started taking photos of dom, because he has multiple sclerosis and currently walks with a cane, which was apparently enough to convince some people that he was a zombie. so now i know how to stay safe when they make it over to my end of town, which, given their rate of speed, shouldn't be for another couple of hours yet.

and then following the zombies was a small group of people wearing neon wigs and singing pop songs and i was all like "really? that's the team who are going to save us from the zombies?" and dom said he didn't think they were related, which means that we probably should have warned them that they were walking into zombie-held territory, but i didn't.

here they come to save the day?

after that, we passed a transvestite dancing to the music of some buskers. or maybe it wasn't a transvestite. because it was a man wearing a loose white shirt and aqua coloured shorts and a sun hat, which really doesn't establish gender one way or the other. he was wearing makeup, but is that all it takes to be a transvestite? it seems like that's just a man with makeup, sort of like martin gore from depeche mode in the eighties. i think that true transvestitism must require some stronger commitment in the area of clothing. on the other hand, a lot of the women in the area were dressed more or less the same. so does that mean that transvestites have to make an extra effort that the rest of women don't? i mean, maybe that's how this guy would dress if he were a woman and who am i to judge? [to be clear, i don't believe this was someone who was in the processes of transitioning gender. i'm not even sure he was a transvestite. he could have just been a depeche mode fan who hasn't been keeping up with fashion trends.]

and we continued on our merry way and dom did buy movies and i did buy a skirt and a scarf at aime com moi and neither of us had an agoraphobic incident. it was a lovely afternoon.

free of zombie drool

p.s. :: the zombies were headed west. or at least, they were headed montreal west. directions in montreal don't really work the way they do in other cities. it's the only place where the sun appears to set in the north. don't say i didn't warn you, even if my directions were a little confusing.

p.p.s :: i suppose they could have made a turn at some point.

you should definitely call in sick to work tomorrow and warn them about the imminent zombie apocalypse. tell them you're taking the day off to reinforce your bunker. they'll be cool with that, i'm sure.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …