In Your 🗣️

People’s heads have been messed with in a crazy way.

“We are going to have barbecues, sit outside and watch the stream,” I tell my sister, trying to make her planned visit sound enticing.

“You aren’t afraid?” she asks in a small voice. “What if somebody sees and reports you? Won’t you get fined?”

Several months in a police state that Quebec has become, and instead of warm, fuzzy feelings, the words “family barbecue next to a stream” cause fear and anxiety.

11 thoughts on “In Your 🗣️

  1. Your sister is right to be concerned if living in a Commonwealth nation that utilises a legal system that does not include a bill of rights.

    I know someone who lives in such a place who reported petty corruption to someone within the administration, who refused to conceal in and partake of it, who was thrown into prison with no recourse, followed by family services being set upon him with the goal of separating him from his child so that the child could be molested.

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      1. “A year ago I wouldn’t have believed this story. But now I unfortunately do.”

        It couldn’t be any other way. The legal systems of most Commonwealth countries came into being a couple of centuries ago, and were structured so that the colonial “lord” in charge had the discretion to sweep the whole legal system aside whenever convenient.

        Since those nations were Christian nations, the church had an interest in making sure that pedophiles in the priesthood were “processed” quietly through this mechanism rather than being put to public trial, which naturally meant that over time, many pedophiles found their way into the judiciary, and/or were recruited into the bureaucracy (pedophiles form nests, in case you don’t know).

        So over the past century as the electoral & political structure of those nations changed towards liberal democracy, their legal and administrative systems largely didn’t change, which meant that the discretion that was formerly used by an elite class to regulate itself on rare occasions is now being utilised to regulate the whole country all the time, which in turn transforms those nations into dictatorships of the administration & judiciary.

        I am not as well versed in these things as some here, but I think that the situation closely mirrors what Trotsky called a “Degenerated Workers State” or “Degraded Workers State”, which generally mean a state that exists primarily to serve the ones who run the state.

        If everything that I’ve said above is right, then from a certain point of view, your sister may be living in the USSR all over again and is whispering in Soviet.

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  2. You obviously told her there is no such things as fines or reporting people for private parties in your part of Illinois for covid restrictions, right? And that your friends took pictures of your recent house party, like one does?
    So are you having her over for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July?

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    1. When somebody knocks on the door and I’m not expecting anybody, my first instinct is still to hide. Thirty years after the totalitarian regime I grew up in collapsed, this is still my reaction. N does the same thing. We know on a logical level that nobody is coming to do anything bad to us but our brains are wired for fear.

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      1. God, the lockdowns in Quebec must really be messing with your sister. Not only because they’re messing with everybody, but also because of her own history.

        That really sucks. I hope she’s able to get some help and support. PTSD sucks, and a lot of people are going without much-needed psychological resources.

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  3. I just had an interesting thought: It seems that my reaction to reports of snitching in Montreal (pretty dismissive, along the lines of “who could have thought, there are some assholes and some feuds between neighbors in a metropolitan area of 4 million people”…) is very similar to your reaction to people overreacting about the virus.

    We had our share of picnics involving members of other households in the park along the Lachine canal last spring. Between Atwater and Downtown, not in some secluded area. Admittedly, these did not involve barbecue. But we were by far not the only ones. There were many, many groups. And the police did not give a crap. The most I have ever seen Montreal police actually do in this scenario is to tell particularly large and dense groups to keep their distance (I guess in my “lets compare apples to oranges” logic this reaction of the police is equivalent to a mild case of COVID without any complications?) So we are fully intending to start having picnics again once it gets warmer… Because we perceive the risk of any interference from the police as extremely low.

    I am wondering if it is a part of general human nature or a common symptom of trauma, but most people seem to need to be afraid of SOMETHING… If not of the virus, then of somebody’s overreactions to the events surrounding the virus?

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    1. Nobody prohibited outdoors picnics, though. My parents can take their grandchildren out to the park. But that becomes a little irrelevant in winter. What they aren’t allowed to do is come over and visit them. If they are caught, the fine is $8,000. That’s a large amount of money, so they are afraid. Wouldn’t you be? If it were $80, nobody would care but these are gigantic sums.

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      1. I was sticking with your original example, which was picnic, outside, near the stream.
        Do your relatives know their neighbors? How good is their relationship with their neighbors? If one knows one’s neighbors well enough, it is possible to estimate the probability of them snitching …

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        1. Unfortunately, the guy right next to them is a terrible snitch. Even before COVID he was a nuisance. Kids are too loud, the car is parked too close. Now he’s gone completely nuts, drumming out complaints like a crazed woodpecker.

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