Posts Tagged ‘Busses’

First, let me get something out-of-the-way. I put the word “Gestapo” up in the title, and that kind of thing tends to make people cranky. Any comparison between what a couple of immature, power-mad security guards can get up to, and the evils perpetrated by that noxious stain on human history would be demented at best, insensitive and ignorant at worst. But I’m not being hyperbolic, I promise.

The idea of Gestapo, the Platonic ideal (if something that horrific can be said to have such a thing) has become synonymous in our culture with a kind of institutionalized corruption. The word defines (in our current context and removed by decades from the men who birthed the term) any person who, with a measure of authority granted to them by a higher body, uses that power to impose their will on those who have none. Kids think of their parents and teachers in these terms; adults their employers. One day, the memory of where the word comes from will be purely academic, but the use of it will mean, fundamentally, the exact same thing; Gestapo are those who prey on the weak and whom the weak are afforded no protection from.

I’m not, in general, stupid. I understand that bus stations aren’t the most savory places to spend one’s time, free or otherwise. Especially not at midnight, in the murder capital of Canada. I can see how working there might incline one to a bit of terseness perhaps; a certain degree of tension.

What I can’t understand, ever, is the idea that working in a bus station could ever translate in a person’s mind into a justification for abusing the people they’re meant to protect. (more…)