The October Revolution in a Postmodern Age

Back in last October, I tweeted about my encounter of bumping into a friend from my neighborhood: casually, I complained to him about my day more of less as an ice-breaker to boost the vibe.

“I failed my logic test, yo, ‘shitty’ day for me,” I said.

To my surprise my friend instantly fawned and became emoitonal at me.

“You call that a ‘shitty’ day? Hah, I’m guessing you don’t know the life that I’ve been through… I say, I’m guessing, that you havent been kidnapped, sent to and got rejected by the hospital, or lost friends and family members ’cause of the shit they were involved in…”

What? I lost for words.

Though my friend apologized for his fury, his statement brought to me a rare moment of both internal and external reflections, the kind which hadn’t dawned on me for long. My thread of thoughts landed first on the privilge of my own opportunity for higher education and then on even just that of the most basic and commonplace conditions, which the majority of us have automatically placed under their thresholds of acknowledgment. I am a first-year Arts and Humanities student from McGill University, raised by Chinese parents of small businesses who were able to support my education abroad. My daily concerns include: Shit, I cannot go to pubs tonight because of my philosophy essay; shit, I completely forgot to return that TOPSHOP skirt I got last Sunday; shit, why didn’t that Russian-speaking dude like me back on Tinder? The list goes on. Compared to my friend’s, my standard of “shittiness” strikes the entire world as obnoxiously trivial, superficial, and self-centered.

From 1970 to 2005, the proportion of middle-income neighbourhoods, or census tracts, on the island and surrounding suburbs shrank from about 64 per cent to 49 per cent. Meanwhile, there has been a significant uptick in the proportion of low-income neighbourhoods, which nearly doubled, from 18 per cent to 32 per cent. Very low-income tracts increased slightly from 2.5 per cent to nearly 4 per cent. — Rachel Mendleson, Montreal’s Poor Fall Further Behind As Industrial Jobs Disappear

Born in a postmodern era,

Now, to further ruminate on that October conversation, I want to additionally share my view of an individual’s relation with and thus his or her responsibility for the surroundings.