I took a drive down the highway to Courtenay yesterday. The excuse was because like most movies I want to see, Pacific Rim was not playing in Campbell River on its opening weekend. It’s one of the stupid little ways I participate in a capitalist system that equates entertainment choices with freedom and all that shitty stuff, but if I want to see more movies of the kind I like, they need to make enough money to have similar projects made in the future. I like giant robots fighting kaiju, and even though it wasn’t the most profound movie in the world I want a world where big monster movies can be made.
My co-librarian says I’ve been brainwashed into playing too many games with numbers, but I kind of counter with the fact that way more of my money goes into kickstarters for independent artists I admire than to Hollywood movies. I wish I was less of a consumer, but this is where I’m at these days, so I might as well make it count.
But the thing about going to Courtenay is that I realized how much nicer a small town can be than here. I mean there’s an agglomeration of shops in one place that isn’t a Target, Walmart, Canadian Tire, London Drugs stripmall thing. Their library is a nice newish building with windows. They have a shop that sells good boardgames.
The main thing was that it didn’t feel like the town equivalent of a fish using all its might to get its gills to work while it flops around on shore. If I’m going to stay out here on the island for any length of time (and I do realize that having a full-time job in this economy so I can support artists and their kickstarters isn’t something to toss away lightly) maybe I’d rather be in a place less depressing than here.
Which isn’t to say I hate it here exactly. I’ve been trying not to be down on Campbell River too much because a lot of it is just about it being a small town. But it’s good to know that, based on a non-exhaustive few-hour excursion, there are small towns where I could possibly both work and feel a bit more like I fit.board games capitalism courtenay kaiju kickstarter pacific rim robots sf small town strip mall vancouver island