Abandon your rectitudes and tune in…
In 2003 I wrote: Who (or what) am I? I suppose most Canadians already know: I am the nation’s most notorious child pornographer. During my more than fifteen minutes I was also the most reviled man in Canada. If that’s not enough I offer the following.
Well, I am a retired jack of all trades almost. I am a second generation English English Canadian who grew up in working class Victoria B.C. in the 1940s. As a young boy I was a nerd, a loner and religiously Anglican. I had no friends until my early teens and didn’t start to overcome my hypermoralism until I was liberated by booze which has remained my drug of choice.
In school I learnt how to pass tests with little studying but not much else. I was mainly interested in architecture and science and liked sports. From my short novel, Rupert Unexpurgated you will have some idea of my childhood and adolescence, although my hero was somewhat more assertive than I was. Barring one guilt ridden incident at 16 I was a virgin until I was 24 and never had sex with another male until I was 37.
In my late teens I converted to socialism and became an intellectual bully. From fifteen on I worked in industrial jobs during summers at the shipyards and mills which, with a bursary from the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, enabled me to go to university. My time was too taken up with required courses to learn very much. I gave up architecture and got interested in economics and political science and took postgraduate work in town planning. I married from a combination of love and a desire to prove I was normal.
After working a dozen years as a planner in various parts of Canada I became a group home parent, got divorced, worked a dozen years as a self employed home renovation contractor, became a foster father, taught economics and social studies for four years at a visa college, and began writing and traveling at the age of fifty. I made several trips totaling over three years to the Philippines (about which I have written two small books), Sri Lanka and Thailand. Since April 1995 I have been employed, but not paid, as a defendant in my continuing legal troubles. I expect to be acquitted of my latest charges in early 2004. After that I hope to continue writing and to travel, as money and my health permits.
In the late 1960s I became interested in drugs and cautiously experimented with all I could find. I became a fan of LSD and marijuana and occasionally campaigned for total legalization of all recreational drugs. I became disillusioned with the political left and now describe myself as a left libertarian but have no political home. I believe in social deregulation and the privatization of consciousness. Although I support none of them I am opposed to anti-sexism, anti-violence, anti-homophobia, anti-racism and zero tolerance of any sort. Gun control should begin with the police.
Since 1999 I have lived in Vancouver’s East End drug ghetto where rents are cheap and my neighbours are tolerant with a healthy attitude towards authority. I find the neighbourhood safe and congenial but full of misery and anger with little hope for betterment as long as we retain our righteous oppressive drug laws.
— Robin Sharpe
Five years later, 2008: I wasn't acquitted and spent sixteen months in jail. I've written about this elsewhere on this site. I find myself living quietly in Montreal, a magnificent city I have come to love.
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