Tragedy and Comedy in real life.

Channel 7

This photo, from the Flickr stream of Edith Frost caught my eye when Warren Ellis posted it. The idea that this person is not just surrendering to the (perceived) persecution, but is trying to reach out to the populace and encourage some kind of activism makes it terribly sad–that kind of basic faith in humanity under these circumstances is so much more tragic than the stereotypical street ranter…

It also reminds me of this photo, one of my favourites of the ones I’ve taken, more for the story than the quality of the shot:

Waterloo Crazy Guy

This guy used to stand out in front of the horrible mall in uptown Waterloo every day. The boys and I often passed him there when we were heading out to get some lunch, and he was very much a part of the scene–the times he wasn’t there things seemed wrong somehow.

One day I decided I wanted a picture, and we did a driveby of the guy, with my shooting this picture out the passenger side window as we came around the corner.

I’m fairly certain the dude didn’t even notice us, but if he had it probably would have made his day–he would have been certain he had caught the undercover police in the middle of surveilling him.

You can read the signs pretty well in the larger version of the image, but in case you have any trouble, here’s what they say:

the police have been following + watching me since 1980, with at least 10 people/shift: 24hrs/day

they conspire + take pride in harassing me, on a regular basis. not even God persecutes

you pay them each $60,000/yr. for 1.staying awake 2.making a mockery of the law 3.persecuting me

why do you pay for a police service that abuses you and the law? when the police break the law, doesn’t it make them criminals?

That last sign just kills me. He sees a problem, and he wants to make everyone understand how the system has gone wrong, and what needs to be done to fix it… and the more I think about it, the smaller the space is between this guy and me. Indeed, sometimes when I get started about “civil rights versus national security” or “conservative fiscal policy and the corporatist agenda” I suspect I am only a very small fraction away from making speeches on street corners.

At the complete other end of the spectrum are those guys who are living on the streets, but still manage to have a sense of humour. Someone smiling in the direst circumstance is the best definition of indomitable I’ve ever seen. (Plus, I would totally give money to these dudes.)

Beer Pot and Hookers
(via rotteneggs)

(via BoingBoing) Normally the extraneous apostrophe would mean no money, but bad punctuation is definitely trumped by ninjas.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.