At the YMCA today, a couple of things happened. 1) My wife and I were floored to find out that our gym memberships were going to cost us a total of $1335.00 for the year. We wondered how and Y a non profit, charitable organization like the Young Men's Christian Association could be charging that much money just to let us into the building and share the fitness facilities with thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of other Canadians. The explanation I was given by the person selling me the memberships was that, just because the Y is a charitable organization, does not mean that the organizations which provide services and equipment to the Y are. This means that the Y is forced to charge high fees because they are being squeezed by inflexible economic policies, lack of empathy from businesses serving the Y and shortsighted government policies which do not take into account that the people want physical health to be made a priority. Physical health should be subsidized. The government ought to have it's head cut off simply for failing to do that.
The second thing i noticed occurred when two 20o lb men walked past each other in the stair case. One asian, one black, both men moving in opposite directions, one up, one down. The men broached each other in the passage ever so slightly and this led to an exchange of words, deathly stares and invitations to play out the rest of the psychodrama which we are all familiar with. I thought to myself, how sad that these two men, some of the most priviledged men in the world should have traveled through millenia of human evolution, cultural strife and upheaval, just to arrive here and now with violence, pride and confusion in their hearts. Rather than think myself superior to these men, i reflected back to one of the several times i have found myself in that exact situation with another male. A few steps further away, i reminded myself that we are savages, animals wrapped in humans clothing, shaped by civilization to just sit and wait for the first opportunity to revert to our truest nature. I am an optimist, i have said before and I say it now, but man, you have to admit, we are shitty people sometimes.