Trump king in world of complainers
The man of the hour, or rather the era, is the Florida guy who this week shot out the tires of two phone company trucks briefly parked outside his house. He is the personification of complainers, the warriors of harangue, the ragers against the machine.
Jorge Jove, a bald, angry, heavyset - no, I’m calling everyone curvy now - 64-year-old retired firefighter left his home wearing a slogan T-shirt, knee-length shorts with a belt, white socks and grey sneakers and fired 18 shots. Good to know what the fashionable Angry Pajama wears when he becomes an IED, an improvised explosive device.
“He seemed to be a quiet man and something made him snap today,” said the police, mystified, because the trucks were now stuck outside Jove’s house where they drove him mad in the first place.
What sent him over the edge? Complainers always have a thorn between them and the saddle, a chip on the shoulder, an emotional wound nursed for decades, a bubbling status anxiety, a feeling of growing old into failure, in other words, nothing that can be fixed.
Complaining is a great Canadian tradition, albeit a usually gunless one. I only mention the Florida guy because of the great video taken by the phone repair guy. It was a gem, a little roadside version of grizzled Capt. Quint vs. the shark in the movie Jaws.
In Canada, crankypants don’t use guns but they do write letters to the editor, post anonymous libel on the CBC comments, send me emails about how much they hate me and could I please write a column on the wind farm conspiracy. (No.)
Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood is where complainers hone their skills, maybe even take classes. After the beach flooded recently, a popular kiosk renting paddleboards had to be set up instead in a public park on the inland side of the boardwalk.
Locals were furious. There was already an “eyesore” - temporary fences for Toronto Hydro construction - and now this paddleboard hulk was attracting wanton pleasure-seekers from elsewhere.
People with homes worth at least $3 million had a temporarily blocked view of Lake Ontario unless they moved to an upper floor. One irate homeowner told the local paper that his property value had dropped 20 per cent or about $500,000 - though it does not appear he’s selling - and he demanded 20 per cent be taken off his property taxes.
One Beach Metro News letterwriter was irate. “Here’s what I think about the new Kew Gardens: The benches are uncomfortable, you can’t lean back, they face the wrong direction and what are those long concrete bunkers?” (They’re flower beds.) Another letter-writer asked of a beautiful arched entry to the park, “Whose decision was it to put it there? Most of us were not asked.”
Some people are olives. They need to be soaked in oil to take out the bitterness.
Beaches people complain about the construction of small exquisite travertine backyard waterfall pools, buskers, parking enforcement, loud music festivals going past 8 p.m. on Sunday, bicycle path congestion, midrise condos on main roads attracting new residents, unruly mobs and the new Shoppers having a makeup department, which is not the Beaches way.
Complainers are like Amazon reviews in human form. For example, the National Post recently listed reviewer complaints about Canada’s public attractions.
Ottawa’s Rideau Canal is an “open sewer” and there’s nowhere decent to eat, not like in Vancouver, said a Vancouver visitor. “Hours in a line to get up, and the same to get down. Why did I think viewing Toronto would be worth any wait?” a Wisconsin guy wrote of the CN Tower.
“While this place is a mall crawlers fantasy I hate malls,” wrote a visitor to the West Edmonton Mall. “If I liked malls, I could spend weeks in here.” Same with me. If I liked licorice, I would eat it, but I don’t.
There was a patent yearning here, a whiff of the golden man that this main-streeting shopper could never be.
Complainers have given up on life’s offerings. The rest of us want work, love, great sex, a toddler’s first clumsy kiss, fields of gold, a view of the Alps, looking up in Chiesa San Bartolomeo in Venice and vowing always to look up in wonder, stepping in dog sh-- in Venice while looking up and then the ultimate indulgence which is to get fed up with Venice.
Complaining is clogged desire. Complainers stopped dreaming long ago. They are vexatious litigants. They imagine slights where none was intended. Their world is as flat as spilled milk and just as interesting.
Their inspiration is Donald Trump. He is the ultimate complainer. He is paranoid, disaffected, needy, thinks parades are for him rather than Bastille Day - don’t tell him - and he is angry.
His firing of James Comey was the equivalent of shooting a truck. He should not have shot that truck. He should not have anointed mean little Jefferson Sessions as attorney general. Will he pardon himself? He will pardon himself. Should he have?
Trump should learn to bend, for he is about to break.