Com­plex­i­ties of bro-code

Geist - - Geist - LEANNE BE­TASAMOSAKE SIMP­SON

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.

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