I like to use the phrase “fractally wrong”. Loosely, it means “wrong no matter
how deep you look” or “wrong no matter how many ways you look”. It’s best served
up with an example.
British Columbia Christy Clark was recently featured in a Vancouver Sun article.
Let me pull some quotes from that story to describe “fractally wrong”:
Driving across Vancouver’s west side, wearing a dirt-stained Whitecaps hat, yoga
pants and a black Lululemon sweater, Christy Clark is just another mother
driving her son to school.
She’s been on the road since 5:10 a.m., having taken 11-year-old Hamish to an
early morning goalie clinic across town.
In her son’s bag is the pizza and Krispy Kreme doughnut Clark packed for his
lunch. Left on the dining room table at home is the raffle-ticket sign-up form
that still needs to be completed.
At times, the two seem more like sidekicks – siblings even – than they do mother
and son. And especially so the morning when the two were on their way to
Hamish’s goalie clinic.
“Let’s see you go through this red light,” Hamish challenged as they pulled up
that morning, at 5:15 a.m., to an abandoned Vancouver intersection.
“I might. Don’t test me,” Clark replies.
“Yeah. Go ahead.”
“There’s no one.”
“Would you go through? You shouldn’t because that would be breaking the law,”
And with that the car has already sailed underneath the stale red stoplight and
through the empty intersection.
“You always do that,” says Hamish.
Of course, the obvious first level of wrong is that she blew through a red
light. With her son in the car. At her son’s urging. That’s pretty wrong.
But then you dig deeper. She did that with a Vancouver Sun reporter in the back.
That’s stupid, and another level of wrong.
But then you dig deeper. She apparently always does this. That’s another level
But then you dig deeper. “In her son’s bag is the pizza and Krispy Kreme dougnut
Clark packed for his lunch.” Honestly? Her son is athletic (as is evidenced by
being in goalie camp) but gets horrible nutrition for lunch? That’s pretty
But then you dig deeper. Her son’s eleven. He’s old enough to pack his own
But then you dig deeper. Krispy Kreme is an American company. Why not Tim
Hortons? That’s pretty wrong.
But then you dig deeper. Yoga pants? Vancouver ended up third-worst dressed city:
There is one reason, and one reason only, why we’ve decided to include
Vancouver on this list of the sartorially damned: yoga pants.
At least the sweater she’s wearing is from Vancouver company Lululemon. That’s
about the only thing that’s right in this fractally wrong vignette.