Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Downtown Freak Show

While returning home from my little MoBlogging excursion this morning, the Downtown Spirit bus I was riding in passed by a protest at the corner of Portage and Garry.

A few people were holding up anti-Scientology placards and signs, so I figured "This bears looking into..." and made a mental note to return as soon as I could.

Got home, dropped off Nadia and my digital camera, and, anticipating some degree of ugliness, strapped on my workboots, and grabbed my older digital camera.

I hopped on the next bus and headed back to the scene of the protest. There were probably about twenty people in all, each one dressed in a silly costume, obscuring their identities from those big, bad, free-speech repressing, litigation-happy Scientologists whose office is a couple of doors away from the scene of the protest.

I circled the block a few times on foot, and decided to listen in as I walked past... and ultimately decided against "interviewing" any of them, much less photograph any of 'em...

Now, I'm not a Scientology fan by any stretch of the imagination. Any sane person should question the basic tenets and precepts of a "religion" founded by a writer of bad cheques and worse science fiction. However, I also found it difficult to take the protestors, dressed as court jesters (among other things), seriously as well... so their message, however well intentioned, will forever go unheard by me...

After lamenting the ten-or-so minutes I spent observing this costume party cum protest, I headed west a few blocks to Portage Place, where I wandered smack dab into a costume party of another sort.

Turns out, on May 9th and 10th, Portage Place was hosting the 2008 Panache International Model Search.

I was wondering why there were so many young girls (well, more than usual, anyway) wandering around all tarted up. Looks the modelling houses are in town looking for new meat to prostitute/exploit... and from the size of the crowd, there were a number of young girls willing to give up their dignity for fifteen minutes of fame... just as bad as those bloody Canadian Idol auditions they hold at Portage Place every so often.

You know you're getting old when you just don't get young people these days...