Saturday, March 06, 2004

Toronto the Trashed

Nowadays Canada is run by the generation that grew up taking their wealthy standard of living for granted. These were the children whom were taught that it was more important to defend their right to smoke dope, than to understand that social structure and order were essential to survival of the group.

In Toronto in the wild Seventies you could still see everywhere the controlling grip of Scottish Presbyterian asceticism. It was so firm and seemingly immortal that for the sake of humanity you had to rebel against it. Even as sex-hunting singles and drug addicts swarmed down Yonge Street, it was contained and kept under the watchful eye and the firm thumb of the Law.

Toronto the Good was so clean, that you could drop an ice-cream cone on the pavement and safely pick it up to finish eating it. Toronto the Clean was so good that outside of the downtown strip and immigrant districts, your spirit would be ground down by the oppressive weight of conservative atttidues.

Those attitudes are all gone, and it's still boring for geographical reasons, but it's definitely not clean anymore. Litter and trash has multiplied as the quality of Toronto's citizens has plummeted. Downtown streets are dirtier than in most parts of London. The local TV stations are flaccidly pointing their cameras at the problem as though they still have some influence on a citizenry who no longer share common values. Indeed even if through democratic interest they might get their politicians excited about the subject, they would find it hard to exact improvement from government services that are bloated with bureaucracy, self-interest, and obstructive, undeservingly-protected employees.

No comments: