“A 34 year old ‘civic shaman’ with an intimate connection to the city of Toronto struggles to make sense of a senseless life. Self-educated through years of feverish dedication to delving into the arcane, adding a slew of dialects and tongues to his repertoire, he is able to read people as easily as he can most texts. Although charming in his own way, his lack of a sense of community also strips of him of a true personal identity, leaving him a ghost of a human being who gets by on a string of luck that could only be compared to a level of “Deus Ex Machina”. Rick is an outsider looking in, at once wishing he could be a part of the throng while cursing the general public for living a life that he could never truly understand.”
Sex, Lies, And Rosen Gates – Day One
This is nothing more than the first day of Anima Libera and the introduction of Rick and the general storyline. The goal was to establish that, as a hero, Rick is completely lacking in the definitive characteristics that make a person “heroic”. He is abrasive, lacking in moral fiber, utterly contemptable and – above all – embraces it. There isn’t a lot to hint at his darker tendencies within the first thirteen pages or so, but I feel that it does a fairly apt job of portraying him as a classic protagonist.
The most important part of the first day is his interaction with the city of Toronto as a living being. I already know that if this ever hits the level I expect to that I will be receiving a lot of flak from the general public by claiming that the landscape lacks a personal identity, but I feel it’s necessary to address. Almost every other major metropolitan area has something that makes it unique, makes it recognizable on an international level; Milan has fashion, Montreal has poutine, Detroit has…well…Detroit, Los Angeles has glamour, New York has Broadway. Even Buffalo has their wings, for God’s sake.
But if you held a gun to my head and asked me what makes Toronto different from any of these places, I would have absolutely no response. We can’t even claim that it’s our multiculturalism seeing as how that answer is basically a write-off when you look at the vast majority of other cities lining the east coast that could hold the same claim as their own.
Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America, houses the ROM and a myriad of great artists and future stars, yet there is absolutely nothing it can flaunt in the faces of other cities on a cultural level.
This is not meant as an insult, mind you. I happen to find it astounding. Personally, I believe the allure of Toronto on the global market lies within the lack of identity, that it could be anything at any given time.
So why not capitalize on that belief by showing Toronto as slightly schizophrenic? Why not just admit to the rest of the world that Toronto has absolutely no idea what it wants to be when it grows up?
If you take that description to heart and start to see the consciousness of the landscape in the midst of a struggle for an ego, then it isn’t that much of a stretch for that same being to latch onto someone with a similiar problem.
And there you go.
The dynamic between Rick as a civic shaman and Toronto as his focal point.
I hope that you enjoy my stupid bullshit.