Crowd control

One tries to ignore the news, which, in my case, has been helped along by my little sister. She has given me a fine linen shoulder bag, like an old newsboy’s pouch, plain white except for an undecorated, sans-serif label, that reads, “Newsless Paper.”

Rather, I’m not sure she gave it to me, but I have certainly appropriated it.

The news has long been (always, in fact) associated with the most vulgar form of commerce, and those who seek news should be decently ashamed. Indeed, that part of my adult life (most of it) that was devoted to work for newspapers and worse, is a source of crippling guilt to me. In my post-operative literary meanders, I am reminded of the many other directions in which I could have advanced — innocently, as it were.

Towards Schelling, for instance: by whom I mean Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775–1854).

I do not even know how to say “my German sucks,” in German (“mein Deutsch ist scheiße”?) and cannot find reliable, or even readable, translations; but so far as I see, this gentleman could be celebrated as an anti-Hegel. He is a slab of concrete beside Hegel’s buzzing abstractions.

Oddly, I grasped this as a schoolboy, in a time  of  enthusiasm for Goethe, Schiller, Schlegel, Hölderlin — of what is called the German Enlightenment, that also corresponds to German Romanticism. It was truly one of the great ages, of scintillating developments in philosophy, speculative science, poetry and art. It gave modernity not such a bad name (as it acquired in France).

Like most Anglo-Saxons, however, most of it was lost on me, because it was “foreign” (European); and I was young and treacherously self-taught. Too, I was wasting my precious time, consulting the news in cheap newspapers and magazines, as if they were important.

But sometimes, a man cannot be faulted. Such was the circumstance yesterday, when my Sunday walk was interrupted by a hip-looking, invisibly uniformed stranger. He asked to see my identification and “vaccination passport”. I was attempting to enter Toronto’s Distillery District, a tourist-friendly neighbourhood where I hoped to buy a sausage roll.

A cumulative knot of a hundred or less young, hippish, people soon formed behind me. They walked around me, when I was delayed. This was because I refused to show a “vaccination passport,” or equivalent papers. (Whether I had such things to show was a moot point.)

While I attempted to instruct the young man on Canadian law, and the elementary principles of human liberty, I noticed that he had no difficulty in processing the others. All took his request in stride, with papers ready. Every one displayed his documentation.

That is how things are, today in Canada and throughout the West. One may argue, and risk arrest, or fight and risk personal injury, but a free man will not be understood.

For once-familiar constitution and laws are now ignored. Arbitrary rules are made by medical bureaucrats, others dressed in a little authority, and enforced by the police, on the instruction of our contemptible political masters.