Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed out

Lifejackets and concrete shoes



Help! I’m drowning in a sea of sustainability. I don’t know how much longer I can sustainably tread water.

My head is still spinning from last week’s sustainable barrage of news, gossip, entertainment and opportunities, both grasped and missed.

There was, first and foremost, the unexpected spectacle of seeing a jury of most decidedly not his peers find former Canadian Connie Black guilty of several counts of mail fraud and at least one count of being a walking, talking sphincter. While I’ve never met the man and have no grinding animus against him, it was satisfying at least in the sense it lends some credence to the old chestnut about karmic revenge — what goes around comes around or vice-versa, however that twisty phrase is supposed to go. It’s kind of like walking the talk or talking the walk or one of those other confusing but poetic sayings. You know what I mean.

I feel generally good about the thought of Connie packing his Louis Vuitton’s for an extended stay at a country club prison for several reasons. He’s a pompous windbag who regularly mourned the passing of flogging as a legitimate management tool; he’s a man who made us realize we need a new word in the English language to adequately express the über hubris of which he was the embodiment; he thought being an absentee British Lord trumped being a hoser Canadian; and he thought all things American were vastly superior to all things Canadian. Especially, one hopes, American justice.

But I’m especially happy Connie’s going to have to think twice before bending over in the shower to pick up his slippery bar of soap. That’s because he laid waste to one of my personal prejudices. I would generally rather sidle up to a smart person in a bar than a not-so-smart person. An educated — self or institutional — person rather than an incurious, uneducated dummy who gave up on learnin’ when the class got to long division.

It’s not that uneducated people of my acquaintance aren’t generally nice or lack affection for small animals or anything like that. It’s just that they’re generally not very interesting. You can have extended and sometimes fascinating conversations with smart people, often about subjects other than themselves. You can have belching contests with not-so-smart people. Not that I don’t enjoy belching contests. I just run out of gas sooner than I run out of things that are interesting to talk about.

I’m not sure I’d want to bump into Connie in Dusty’s though, not that he’d talk to me if that almost unimaginable coincidence were to ever occur. What would you say to a guy with more brainpower than one person ought to have, more advantages of birth, more business success, more potential than 99.8 per cent of the people in the country, who throws it all away because of pure unbridled greed and hubris? What a waste. It draws perilously close to the kind of personal crisis I suffered when Margaret Thatcher laid waste to my deeply-ingrained prejudice that women would make better political leaders than men.

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