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Saturday, November 03, 2007

I call foul!

Reader-submitted complaint: You misquoted me! I demand a retraction! WHERE ARE MY MEDS?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Coffee will be on me.

This came from a friend of mine who is also a former journalist. I apologise for the misquote. It's an honest-to-goodness misquote, not an editing error or the result of putting similar complaints together. It is entirely my fault. I was trying to answer a few similar questions at the same time, and put more effort into finding an appropriate Hoff photo than I did into accurately reproducing the original complaint.

The reader has offered me a choice between identifying with "post-modern ironic sort of downtown Toronto wannabe" or "hopeless girl from a small outport town who doesn't get it". Again, I'm not sure which of these things is worse. However, if forced to choose between them, I have to say that the "wannabe" puts the first option completely into unacceptable territory.

I know a few Toronto types like Ms. Eckler over there on the left side of the page, and while they are extremely annoying, they cannot help themselves. They drink nonfat soy lattes and spend significant amounts of time thinking about their social statuses. They are to be treated with a mixture of disdain and pity. Disdain because they are pathetic creatures, and pity because they really believe they could never be anything else.

The wannabes are even worse. You can always pick the wannabes out of a crowd, because they do not actually like nonfat soy lattes or brown lipstick. There are not many of them in Name of Town Withheld, because they quickly discover that they do not have to pretend to be total assholes to be successful here.

So no, I'm NOT a post-modern ironic sort of downtown Toronto wannabe. If I show signs of becoming one, please whack me over the head.

This leaves me with "hopeless girl from a small outport town who doesn't get it". Hmmm. I am reluctant to say that I identify with this label. Isn't there usually a third option on these things? This feels like the sort of question Stephen Colbert asks his hapless guests.

I will admit that I have lived in small towns most of my life. Even Halifax is not particularly large, and when I lived in Quebec, we were in a suburb of Montreal, not the city itself. For more than half of my life, I've lived in towns with fewer than 3500 residents. I was terrified in New York City. Heck, Calgary feels overwhelming. However, I've only spent a few years in outports. And do I have to admit to being an out-of-it loser who can't get a joke?

Complaining Reader, you win. I am a hopeless girl from a small outport town who doesn't get it.

2 comments:

Dad said...

Is there some (objective, logical) reason why we should worry about who "gets it" and who "doesn't get it"? Haven't we all lived long enough to see the "hip" grow into the ridiculous? We now know - - for a fact - - the the hip of today will soon become ridiculous. I don't need to wait; I'm laughing already.

Real life is lived in small towns and outports, and in cities, too. There's no real difference.

Karen said...

VICTORY IS MINE !!! Hmmm...oddly hollow feeling, that. Coffee will no doubt fill that empty space quite nicely.

Hip/ridiculous. Two sides of the same coin really. Especially for those who have to try at the former - definitely end up as the latter.

Now, about my meds....