The last formal event scheduled by the participants taking part in the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in Ottawa last Sunday was a church service at the Capital City Bikers' Church. Shockingly, the church had been vandalized in the wee hours of the morning. Spray paint adorned the walls of the church, the most egregious message being, “No haven for fascism” on the front wall. Tacks were scattered everywhere; presumably, the vandals hoped to flatten the motorcycle and car tires of those visiting this place of worship. This was real crime; not a thought crime.
To add insult to injury, for several blocks around the church police had erected signs noting that the area was closed to street parking due to a “special event” (a.k.a., shutting down the rights and freedoms of citizens.)
Asphalt that was once legal to park upon was transformed into a no-stopping zone; police were on duty champing at the bit to ticket and tow those who dared to park their vehicles outside the church. All of which forced people to park several hundred metres away and walk to the place of worship. As far as we could tell, the only reason police (or their political masters) did this was to embrace pettiness.
As my camerawoman, Isabelle, and I walked toward the church, we happened upon three Ottawa police motorcycle cops chewing the fat as they kept their eagle eyes open for parking scofflaws.
We mentioned to one officer he might want to focus his detective work into finding out who vandalized the church. He said he had no idea what we were talking about, even though he had surely driven past the church and had spotted the vandalism.
It was hard to miss, after all.
He then said that the Ottawa region is a huge area to patrol; I pointed out that the scene of the crime was a mere 300 metres away. He wasn’t interested. We suppose there’s no revenue to be had in investigating a hate crime against a Christian church versus doling out tickets to parking scofflaws.
Our parting remark was that he was free to maintain the Sgt. Schultz routine, a la: “I know nothing! I saw nothing!”
He asked: “Who’s Sgt. Schultz?”
While that query floored me, we told him Schultzy was a character from Hogan’s Heroes. Alas, he was unaware of this iconic TV show from the swinging 60s, too.
He then asked me to move along because we were apparently interrupting a meeting (while we were on the sidewalk; they were on the road.)
In the final analysis, the question arises: is he really that stupid or was he simply pretending to be stupid?
We were about to remark that “ignorance is bliss” as we departed but decided not to. Because had we done so, we're betting his response would be: “I don’t know what that means but I’m happy…”