Why I’m Sick of Friends of the Mountain

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”—Mark 2:27 (King James Version)

IMG_1879Visiting Frederick Law Olmsted’s house in Brookline (MA) today makes clear something Montreal’s Friends of the Mountain seems to have forgotten: man was not made for the park; the park was made for man. Olmsted, who designed Mount Royal Park, along with Central Park in New York City, wanted it to be a public park, a people’s park; but Friends of the Mountain seems to think it’s their park. They regularly harass citizens for trivial infractions of their petty rules; make life miserable for people enjoying a public park their taxes pay for; behave like a police force when they’re really nothing more than a self-appointed morality squad; and impose a draconian version of the invasive species doctrine on the flora and fauna who call the Mountain home. Look, if someone’s picking trilliums or shooting songbirds, by all means, give them shit; but if a mother is walking two meters off the path to show her daughter a beautiful red mushroom, for God’s sake, leave her alone!

—John Faithful Hamer, Blue Notes (2016)

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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