The forms were not good art like paintings of faces or fields.
He wouldn’t approach the wall with the student.
He wanted that black and white digestible form you could buy as a poster and nobody would ask questions: cobblestone, field, white woman looking (anywhere but the lens). He had stayed in the bus. Julia Smith had to pee and wouldn’t use the bus toilet and so she could go off if she was so selective.
As time passed, he considered that letting her go, without a man, might have been a mistake.
I’m saying she shouldn’t have drunk so much fucking Gatorade!
Brian – come to the front of the bus now.
There was something he had absorbed as a kid, maybe at Brian’s age, that, if you weren’t too dark, you could have a simple life: house, print of field / face in living room. He didn’t have time to think about who was supposed to pay for the materials of that simplicity, and how the basis of that Dream – expand, go West – expired when the Founding Armies had slaughted up to the Pacific.
Life wasn’t easy, and who had the time to complicate it by asking questions?
Julia was still out there.
His favorite broadcast was the REACT, DON’T THINK REPORT with Angela Stevens.
Instead of saying, thug found in alley following altercation with law enforcement, Stevens would yell, WE GOT ANOTHER ONE!
You didn’t have to think– it was comfortable.
WE JUST BOMBED SOMEWHERE REALLY QUITE INDISCRIMINATELY!
Julia returned, red-faced, to the bus, to a murmur.
Boys, said the teacher, and the boys, for a second, did.
I think she pissed her panties! yelled Brian, turning his back to the teacher, to a wave of laughter.
It wasn’t normal for a boy to protest so absolutely to a man: it was not the way things were supposed to be.
And Jenny, stopping her walk, snatching Brian’s phone from his pocket, showed the bus the background: a selfie of Sarah Cumin.
BRIAN LIKES SARAH!
Later, the boy’s defeat confused the teacher: he had cried in front of his class, and peed his pants.
He had a hard time forgetting the image of the dejected boy, as he leaned against the window, on the drive back to the city.
word by Liam Lachance
colour by Carlos Garci, Once, KWETS and Sener
From the author: “The desire for comfort is why we don’t care for each other: reacting is easy, and thinking requires work. Reacting without considering the implications for other humans causes violence.
Media that uses our desire for comfort as an opportunity to sell a product that has us soaking up arguments designed to piss us off and feel that someone out there is doing the necessary killing for us, so that we can feel justified in sitting at home and not questioning why people have been killed.
Our current tastes have root in these systems of education, where we need something ‘normal’ from which to judge ‘the rest’ and feel that we are leading normal and good lives. Reacting against others from this flawed base of logic is what is hoped to follow, without a critique of that foundation.
Abstract art, and women taking control of their bodies, contrasts with the protagonists’ ideas on what is normal, based in his upbringing in the patriarchal culture of Canada.
Reacting without thinking has consequences for us when we fail to solve problems in our own lives by reacting without thinking, and being frustrated at the result.
We need to find a balance between news that gives the audience more credit than a dog, and information that covers the necessary biases and angles without being too convoluted.”