William A Gardner

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May
2020

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Frightened New World

Have Fear and Social Conotrol Become the New Normal

Some years ago I was rolling north on the Toronto Young Street subway after a long day's work updating software at Ontario Hydro. It was late in the evening, so late that the subway car I boarded at the center of downtown was virtually empty. I was bound for the last stop so it would be a long ride. Tired, I sat on the hard seat in a fuzzy trance familiar to most transit riders: a state where your surroundings become no more than an unfocused soft blur. Even the frequent screeching of steel wheels on rails fades into nothing. In that state little was impinging on my consciousness. That is until the sound of shouting broke through the barrier of my mental cocoon. It was an angry voice. Turning, I saw a poorly dressed young man opposite and a few rows away aiming a strident angry tirade in my direction. It took me several seconds to realize, after looking around and seeing no other person on the car, he was shouting at me. I stared at him, initially more [...]    

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