Commentary | Charge it to the people

A saga of corruption and economic penetration

Darkness rolls into the deserted streets of Toronto. The provincial capital resembles a war zone. A $4.4-million, 3-metre-high fence, stretching 10 kilometers, encircles the downtown district. No one will make it through this carefully constructed barricade of capital. No, not even minor insects will make it through. Their presence might make those on the inside uncomfortable. If they are to make it past the outer level of security, $26,000 worth of traps have been established to squash out their lives. No chances can be taken. Jesus, they could be carrying the plague!
At the heart of the kingdom lies the castle. Ripping into the sky, this building, normally known as the Royal York Hotel, has been transformed into something else, something quite… different. An exclusive resort for the high rollers of the world. Fully lavished. No expenses spared. Advantage of the few paid for by the funds of the many. How could this happen? Some attempt to protest. Their efforts are futile. Nearly eight million dollars have been raised to sponsor a band of hired toughs. Stop the beasts from entering paradise. Demean them. Terrorize them. Belittle them. And if they remain in your way, crush them.

While orgies of violence erupt outside the kingdom, in the castle the scene is being set for the main event. The hotel is transformed into the greatest rave known to mankind. VIP booths crafted out of over $300,000 worth of furniture adorn the dance hall. A fleet of luxury vehicles, valued at $2.2 million, waits at the beck and call of those on the inside. Late night McDonald’s runs must be made in style.

From anywhere within and around the Royal York, the thudding bass can be heard, pulling in the ravers. As they push through the entrance, blasts of exotic $200,000 lights beam out, temporarily blinding anyone in sight. On the lower level of the room, the similarly lower-ranked ravers frolic. The floor literally glows. The glow sticks once incorporated into the wild dancing have been discarded to create this mind wrenching spectacle. In the morning, $14,000 worth of liquid lights will be swept up and discarded.

On the highest level, suspended above the abyss of lights, only the highest ranking are permitted. Two men make their way up to the level, and are immediately recognized by security. The two pass through the 18 others. They stand out. The others have got rid of their suit jackets and heels. Sweat drips down their faces. The music controls them. The world elite, on one dancefloor. Locked into a temple-pounding, head-spinning trance. The beasts would froth at the mouth with rage if these twisted images were ever to be made public…

Finally, the two men reach their destination, a small outdoor patio on the edge of the roof. As they enjoy a smoke, small talk ensues. Finally, the question is asked. “This is incredible…but…how did you pay for this?” The man in question smiles while tapping off the ashes of his cigarette and states, “I didn’t…” As the two men watch the ashes fall toward the deserted streets below, the first laughs and explains, “They did.”

(Note: While the story at hand is utter fiction, all costs and their purposes are fact. Both however, are bullshit.)

Davide Mastracci is a U0 Arts student. You can reach him at davide.mastracci@mail.mcgill.ca.


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