War on Trash: Day 32 (Salute to Mr. Lakey, Star)

Posted on July 23rd, 2009 6 great comments. Room for one more!

Every Saturday(ish) as I sit in my favourite breakfast joints gobbling up artery-hardening goodness and flipping through the comics section, I remember how much I’d been wanting to write about the Toronto Star.  I do like to link to this paper so I guess it’s no secret, I think it’s the bee’s knees.

The outstanding feature of this city stalwart is how it seems to maintain that great journalistic root of hit-the-pavement reporting. It has the fewest misleading or indeterminate headlines of any of the major dailies, probably even fewer than this blog. And they’re not afraid to go where the action is.

Today, for example, I discovered an article by a brave front-line journalist named Jack Lakey. In it, he recounts a horrific scene of utter devastation; a forgotten mound of burnt wood, broken cinder blocks, smoked glass, and protruding hunks of dangerous metal; remnants of an iconic bicycle store. And garbage:

kinda cozy

It doesn’t get any more raw than that. A salute, Mr. Lakey.

For obvious reasons, I didn’t want to stick around too long. The overcast sky was bringing an early evening and soon the crack-heads would be rising from their graves, hungering for human brains. Brains on crack. *shiver*

By the time I regained my composure, I was already halfway up Spadina in CHINATOWN! I hazily remembered the last time I’d been here; it was only day two of the tactical strike and already the troops were taking a beating. The memories of that day were like dark, hellish, black-and-white photographs. I didn’t even want to imagine how the area had ended up.

And as it ended up, I couldn’t even have imagined:


Clean streets and empty garbage bags, even in Chinatown; who’d ‘ve thunk it?

I’m actually starting to feel a little sorry for the 416/79 command. A sizeable number of their strikers have hoisted the white flag and requested to defect to our side. I believe they have seen the error of their ways and should be afforded clemency and dignity. We must eliminate this savage brutality; that wanton barbarism; those angry little picketers with their bashy smashy little placards. Take it easy, lady!

We can all still emerge from this with a little humanity. A little understanding. A little peace.

slumber now, king of twilight and fancy stones

Dream of magic and unicorns, sweet prince. Or winning the lottery.

(Click on that link, I promise the story’s interesting – it’s the Star!)

6 Comments on “ War on Trash: Day 32 (Salute to Mr. Lakey, Star) ”

  • Sandy
    July 24th, 2009 11:15 am

    Do I win an award or something? By being the first I mean? lol

    Wow, what a mess. Popped back in to see how things were going. YOu know the oddest part to me, is that I've always considered Canada cleaner than the US. Though I admit, it's been years since I've been there.

    You're comment even China town? I think I need a translation. When we were there years ago, I remember China town being super crowded, cluttered with stuff and people. Everything on top of each other, and the only place where I saw trash. Last year while touring San Francisco I had the same experience. Rode and walked around multiple neighborhoods, many ethnic ones..the only place I saw trash (and apparently no one paid to pick it up–you know those people in uniform's with long pointed sticks), was Chinatown.


    Good luck with the strike and here's hoping things get resolved SOON

    Read more from Sandy at:
  • Patrick
    July 24th, 2009 11:43 am

    Sandy, you win my utmost respect and deepest gratitude! I'm trying to get PayPal to accept them as forms of payment so hold on to 'em.

    About my Chinatown comment, your reply was what I meant. As you mentioned, Chinatowns throughout North America tend to be, let's say, well-trafficked. I found this last visit surprising in that it was quite clean (unlike the last time). I had assumed that the area would be among the last to recover from the War, but "even Chinatown" seems to be doing well.

    Now that I've explained it, I realize that I completely failed to mention this in the post! At least one of us is paying attention :)

    P.S. To anyone reading this now, Sandy is quite sane; I've updated the post.

  • Jan from BetterSpine
    July 24th, 2009 11:44 am

    Thanks for keeping us informed. David is Canadian, and he just cannot believe the strike is still going on. I have a hard time crediting that people can let their city down like this.

    Read more from Jan from BetterSpine at: http://betterspines.com
  • Patrick
    July 24th, 2009 12:07 pm

    Me too, Jan.

    I happen to believe that Torontonians are, for the most part, reasonable people. The civil employees' strike isn't the only one happening here but it's the only one that's getting people upset because the justifications for it are, well, dumb. *shrug*

    It's not that there's anything wrong with asking, but there has to be some willingness to meet the other side halfway. Demanding "no concessions", I mean … what's there to even talk about? Besides this, the union could've garnered much greater public sympathy if they'd stuck to some of the truly strike-able issues (e.g. some 79 members have no sick pay at all), instead of demanding everything they had in their last agreement plus extras. It's just not reasonable.

  • Inge
    July 24th, 2009 11:47 pm

    "Besides this, the union could’ve garnered much greater public sympathy if they’d stuck to some of the truly strike-able issues (e.g. some 79 members have no sick pay at all), instead of demanding everything they had in their last agreement plus extras."

    You would think the strikers which are paying union members would remind their negotiators of this fact and other things that are surely more important to them as employees.

    I certainly hope this is resolved soon. The fact that the union has had "defectors" may be a sign that concessions are around the corner.

    Read more from Inge at: http://dementiafor2.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    July 27th, 2009 9:41 am

    Some of the things that the union has said publicly suggests that they're not too interested in what their members have to say. However, Inge, you're right, Inge, a settlement *is* just around the corner!

What's on your mind?