Pretentiousness: The Eighth Deadly Sin

Munsch, looking a little "peppy".


Robert Munsch is one of my all-time favourite children’s authors. His books are numerous, but a few of my top reads are Mortimer, I Love You Forever, The Paper Bag Princess and David’s Father. Munsch has done hundreds of tours, reading for thousands of students, teachers, and anyone else who cared to listen to his high-energy performance.

Caution: Robert Munsch Crossing. (I feel for the guy, but I'm not above a good coke joke.)

Turns out, all that high energy was the result of cocaine and alcohol addictions, combined with OCD and bipolar disorder. The entire world, myself included, are backing up Mr. Munsch in his brave decision to share his pain, addiction and mental issues with the public. It’s quite amazing that so many people are applauding him for what so many others are chastised and shunned for.

I wish that those feelings of acceptance, understanding and tolerance would show up down my street.

To fill you in, Nova Scotia is a beautiful, scenic province, with kilometres of ocean coastlines, lakes, trees (if we’d stop clear cutting them), and some of the nicest people in the world. We are home to just under one million people spread across 55 000 square km (21 000 mi or so for you Imperialists…). We are also grossly underfunded and underserviced in a variety of areas, including addictions services, mental health services and the like. We’re even more lacking in these areas in regards to our youth (under 18) population, particularly for 16 and 17 year old kids. I can’t (and won’t) spout off statistics, but I can tell you from working in the industry, that there are way too many kids in this province not getting the help they need.

So, when I read about a “nice” community, a mere five minutes from my home that is going ape-shit NIMBY about a residential and day treatment program “popping” up in their neighbourhood, I have to shake my head. You can read the article here, but to sum it up, the Department of Health (through the IWK-our local children’s hospital) wants to relocate a 14 bed addictions centre for teens to a ritzy neighbourhood from the university residence it’s currently located in…any questions about why they might want to relocate? The program would be voluntary, although there would be some court-mandated day treatment patients, but they would be attending the program under strict supervision. The residents of the neighbourhood are basically up in arms, crying that addicts, criminals and thieves will be terrorizing their homes and families.

I’m not sure about where you’re from, but I’ve noticed something. This thing is that people of all ages, from all socio-economic backgrounds, from all cultures and all walks of life can potentially suffer from alcohol and drug addiction. I find it appalling that the residents are being so completely ignorant of the fact that THEIR OWN CHILDREN could easily end up with drug problems. Last time I checked, cocaine was pretty pricey. I’m thinking if I have a trust fund, that makes my cocaine purchases much easier.

I don't want your daughter to be The Paper Bag Prostitute.

I can’t be one-sided. I do realize that on the surface, having a treatment program in your neighbourhood could seem scary. Teenagers are fucking stupid. I mean, I love (really!) working with them, but it’s scientific fact that their brains are definitely not fully developed, resulting in brash decision making, idiotic choices, and poor planning. They make stupid decisions every god damned day. It’s true that both teenagers and adults who have addictions are more likely to become involved in crime. It’s also very true that addiction doesn’t care if you are from some dumpy apartment in Lower Sackville or a fancy five bedroom family home in the nicest parts of Halifax.**

These same pig-headed loudmouths crying not-in-my-backyard are probably the same type of people who sat at their solid cherry wood dining room table, drinking Starbucks lattes while reading about Robert Munsch’s own addictions and issues. They’re the same people that throw their support behind one kind of addict, but turn their backs on another. If Karma exists, I have a bad feeling these people will be the same ones wishing that our province had better addictions and counselling services when their darling little angels, sitting in their Pottery Barn beds, reading The Paper Bag Princess grow up and need the same kind of help that this “horrible” centre will offer.

Hide your top hats and monocles, bitches! Or I might steal 'em and sell 'em for CRACK.

**I’m not naive, and I do realize that poverty is another huge factor in your ability to cope and deal with addiction, but again, in the environment I work in, I see it all. Many kids come from nothing and have nothing to lose. However, a scary amount of youth come from “good” homes, yet they still become involved in gangs, drugs, prostitution, theft, and more.

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~ by Andrea on May 19, 2010.

4 Responses to “Pretentiousness: The Eighth Deadly Sin”

  1. It really does get pretty ridiculous, especially here in the States, how people want the government to fix the drug and crime problem…just as long as it in no way inconveniences them. Nice Carlin reference with NIMBY by the way.

    “BUILD MORE PRISONS…..but not here.”

  2. I know, it makes me crazy. It’s impossible to get people to realize that if you fix the source of the problem (or attempt to) then the problem will get better, at least to an extent. I hate the “build more jails” approach-it’s idiotic. Why wouldn’t we look at the root of the problem? My vote is for a “license to breed”!!!

  3. I hear you. Down here they are setting up “boot camps” for young offenders but alternate schools for kids who have trouble fitting in and no home life can’t get funding. Social engineering by soundbite = our doom.

    • @Thomas Stazyk

      It also doesn’t help that judges in PA have been caught taking kickbacks by the people who run these juvenile detention centers in order to send kids there that really don’t deserve it just so they can continue to get funded.

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