Complexities of bro-code
Kamp Kan Lit Pickle patronage Non-imposing typeface Cultural appropriation Hitler’s taste testers Multicultural Timbit Queer love story and more…
From This Accident of Being Lost. Published by House of Anansi in 2017. Simpson is a writer, scholar, musician and member of Alderville First Nation. She is the author of three previous books, including Islands of Decolonial Love.
There is a hierarchy of people gun owners hate: Indians, vegetarians, “people from the city,” and all political parties other than the Conservatives. My plan was to pretend I was a nurse of i-talian ancestry, but in the first five minutes of the firearms safety course, when we went around the classroom to share why we were here, I said in my most uncompromising voice it was so I
could exercise my treaty rights. Then I applied my best don’t-fuck-withme face as the other students’ necks snapped around to see the Indiansquaw-lady in gun class.
The older instructor is a combination of Lawrence Welk and Red Fisher. He is a blue-blooded Harper Conservative and he knows guns like I know I-don’t-know-what [?] because frankly I don’t know any single thing that well. He knows ballistics because he is an expert witness in the court system. He knows all the stupid mistakes you can possibly make with a firearm because he has been teaching this course for five hundred years. He knows how to hunt in a line like a white man because he is a living, breathing stereotype of the white man. He knows every gun on the market and how to repair or not
repair them because he works at the gun store in Peterborough. He is Police Pistol Combat certified and Range Officer certified, and he is also a slug-gun specialist. His bio on the firearms training course website indicates his nickname is “Big Chief.”
I can see that I could learn something from him. He is all for “girls in gun class” because the “ladies” and kids are the future of the sport. The election is in full swing, but he is not going to talk politics, except he is by nature a Conservative election ad and this class, in the finished, poorly lit basement of his house, which he refers to as “the ranch,” is like every set the Conservatives use for their ads. It’s impossible for him to not talk politics, so he keeps saying, “But this class isn’t about politics…” after he says, “There’s only one party that is interested in protecting your firearms rights.” Just so we’re clear. The only time he breaks from the Conservative platform is on climate change—it’s real, he sees it, and we have to fix it. “It’s reality. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It’s no one’s fault.” He raises his voice when he says “no,” drops it when he says “one’s,” and then raises it again when he says “fault.” Then he stares at us. The tension in his face whispers to me what he’s afraid of: being misunderstood and having his right to hunt taken away by city people. And what he is not afraid of: hurting me.
Big Chief leads with a story about him and his best friend, Rooster, hunting in a farmer’s field years ago. Rooster doesn’t check that he is shooting the correct target before he fires and kills one of the farmer’s hens. They do the right thing and knock on the farmer’s door and ’fess up. They do the right thing and go and buy another chicken from another farmer to replace the one they killed. But they buy a laying hen instead of a meat chicken, and that’s way more expensive, so they get burned. Big Chief wanted to give Rooster a “tuneup” for not knowing the difference between a laying hen and a meat
From Haddon Hall by Naomi Harris, a project in which she photographed the last remaining elderly residents at a rapidly gentrifying hotel in South Beach, Florida. Haddon Hall won the 2001 International Prize for Young Photojournalism from Agfa/das Bildforum,
an honourable mention for the Yann Geffroy Award and was a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. Harris divides her time between Los Angeles and Toronto.