Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #412 (October 28th, 2007)


Short one this time out. Sandeep's on his way and I've got a
prayer time in about twenty minutes.

In his column "Get a Life, Middle East" (7 August 07) Victor Davis
Hanson (yes, thanks again, Darrell Epp) writes "Supposedly Western sins,
such as drugs, bribery and rampant consumerism, turn out to be as common
in the Muslim world as they are here. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality
even seems to be tolerated as long as it is not overtly discussed in
public. Indeed, the only real difference may be our Western tendency to
talk freely in a secular context about controversial topics rather than
hide or repress their presence."

Well, certainly, but it depends on how you look at it as to whether
that's a good thing or not. The Muslim view tends to be to see their
culture as a personality in and of itself, a person who is either
collectively "continent" (for want of a better term) or "repressed" (if
you want to skew the argument in favour of the Western view). As with
the individual, where the cultural personality begins "spilling over"
into vice and treating vice as "lifestyle" or "preference" the problem
isn't necessarily immediate, but it isn't necessarily "not a
problem" either just because the negative ramifications don't show
up immediately or obviously. Speaking as someone who came back in the
other direction, what you tend to notice is that it isn't move to an
adjacent square on the chessboard that causes the trouble, it's the
square that's adjacent to the adjacent square on the chessboard. If
you repress drug use, as an example, you will have less drug use
(especially if you can be beheaded for trafficking). Well, that's
unenlightened, you say, let the druggies do drugs, where's the harm?
Well the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver is a good example of where's
the harm, where an entire section of the city has been taken over by
junkies who now shoot up in the street and where you have to step over
used condoms and syringes when you walk down the street. Why? Because
the area was already leaning in that direction but instead of cracking
down on it, the city chose to accommodate it and introduce a safe
injection site, to be non-judgemental. So the problem is getting worse
instead of better. Now the question (as far as the leftist authorities
are concerned) is how much of the downtown do they allow to go like this
or do they just take it as a given that a big part of window-shopping
involves watching someone injecting heroin into their neck or next to
their eyeball if that's what they happen to be doing when you come
around the corner. Hey, it's the new normal. Get used to it.

I don't think that represents sound thinking. But if you deal with
the problem incrementally on the basis of "How much of this can I stand
before I start screaming my head off" you'll find out that the
regression moves pretty swiftly once it gets up a head of steam. Feeling
a little stressed or depressed or just too bored for words? Hey,
there's a ten block area everyone knows about where you can go and
score some heroin and then head for the safe injection site where
they'll give you everything you need for a safe clean injection and
to give that nice monkey a leg up onto your back. They're supposed
to screen for "rookies" but there's been a few cases where a rookie
or two has fooled them and is now in the junk scene up to his or her

Sandeep just got here so I'll pick up from there next Sunday. See
you then.


If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:

Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2