We lived aboard a sailboat at a fancy Toronto yacht club for a number of years. We had a couple of okay neighbours there, but mostly the people were intolerant, entitled, ignorant, rich old geezers. They thought everything we did was crazy, from not eating the overpriced self proclaimed 'gourmet' food and tortured meat products in the swanky restaurant (it was all from Sysco) to threatening to report them to the government if they didn't stop destroying barn swallow nests on the clubhouse. Which, by the way, they had designed to look like a barn.
But the best was a couple of years ago. Canada had offered asylum to thousands of displaced people from the war in Syria, and all kinds of individuals, groups and organisations were doing what they could to help the newcomers settle in, offering jobs, homes, food, money etc etc. At our AGM that year, after a succession of members (and they were members) stood up to complain out of nowhere that The Liberals were trying to Destroy Christmas, my wife Kristina took the mike to suggest that the club might like to sponsor a family of Syrian refugees. They could have easily done it. They'd just allocated thirty thousand dollars to replace the perfectly functional chairs in the restaurant ffs. Money no object for that. But instead, a weird silence descended. It was thick, dense, and heavy, like peanut butter after the oil's separated out. I've never heard a silence quite like it; the sound of privilege strangling conscience, maybe. Nobody looked up, nobody coughed, nobody was even audibly breathing. And eventually, the Chair of the board, having completely ignored the point, moved to adjourn the meeting. Which seemed to wake everybody up and suddenly there were people seconding, raiding their hands, shouting Aye, and heading for the door. Clearly, everyone in the room thought she was crazy for even suggesting such a thing,