Example #442 of why Mad Magazine, which was once a hugely profitable periodical, went out of business in 2018: how does one parody a world that has become totally bat-shite crazy?
Case in point: The Anarchist, a café in downtown Toronto. Even though it operates in a capitalist society, this café, operated by Gabriel Sims-Fewer, is doggedly “anti-capitalist.”
Indeed, here’s what Gabriel states on his home page: “The Anarchist is an anti-capitalist cafe, shop, and community space, founded in March 2022. We exist to support, and promote, radical, intersectional, leftist political and economic theory and action.”
Um, can we just get a cup of coffee without the sermon? Apparently not.
Gabriel continues: “I acknowledge that The Anarchists sits on the rightful homeland of many indigenous peoples and nations, stolen, and under the occupation of a white supremacist state.” (Gabriel himself is Caucasian, by the way, so why doesn’t he just surrender his café on stolen land to an indigenous person? Oh, don’t be silly…).
“We commit our support to the struggle for Land Back, the abolition of the Canadian state and society, and justice for all those submitted to genocide by the plague of so-called ‘Western Civilisation.’"
Is it just us or is Starbucks looking better and better these days?
The thing about running an uber-woke/anti-capitalist café is this: like the Ford Pinto, it might look good on paper. But in reality, it’s a bomb.
One of the fatal flaws of The Anarchist would seem to be its business model. Which is to say, patrons are allowed to pay whatever they can afford for food and beverages. What could possibly go wrong with that? How about this: if someone pays a nickel or dime for a cup of Joe but the food costs alone (coffee, cream, sugar, cup, stir stick, etc.) amount to about 30 cents, well, it doesn’t take a Harvard Business School graduate to see where this scheme is headed. (We reached out to Gabriel for an interview but he declined).
And so it came as absolutely no surprise that a few weeks ago it was reported that The Anarchist was going out of business. Promoting social justice is one thing, but at the end of the day there are bills to pay. And that’s not possible when a business does not turn a profit.
But wait – the most recent news is this: The Anarchist has been tossed a lifeline. Gabriel recently posted this update on social media:
“NOT Closing Down!
“Thanks to a huge influx of support, and a very generous donation of publicity and attention from the Christian Conservatives of Texas and Florida, The Anarchist will continue to operate after May 30th.
“I'm not sure how long I will keep operating in the current location (a future in a new Toronto location is looking more and more possible), though hopefully for the rest of the Summer.
“I have a lot of offers of support to pursue before I'll know what the future of the shop is, and hope people will keep up the support in whatever way they can.
"Keep an eye on instagram for updates!
“Still very much fuck the rich, the police, and Kkkanada.
“Gabriel, a.k.a The Anarchist.”
Alas, when Gabriel defaults to Marxist lingo such as “F*** the rich”, isn’t he demonizing those Good Samaritans who have come to his café’s rescue? You know, those people with enough disposable income to give this anti-capitalist café a measure of capital so that it can remain open? And what’s the deal with “Kkkanada”? Is Gabriel suggesting our great Dominion is a bastion for white-hooded Klansmen burning crosses?
Again, yet more proof that our current world is truly beyond parody…