Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

Polyamorous Poet: Shit-talking is a human right!

Posted on | May 7, 2010 | No Comments

On the night of the last show, when I agreed to play with the poly-amorous anarchist, two alcoholics plotted his demise on different sides of town.  The plans weren’t clever or diabolical, but as simplistic as the rage of men who drank 26ers and believed in the justice of their cause.

A few weeks earlier I played a show with the Local Vocal Improv Group at Rogue’s Roost.  This group was usually made up of the poly-amorous beat-boxer, who will be known as Che, a girl I was tone deaf enough to believe could sing, and myself.  Our show depended on the novelty of mixing classic songs such as Summertime with verses I improvised on the spot over beat-boxing that was occasionally on time.  On this evening there was a second female singer.  Both were dating my anarchist friend.  Che ignored the tension with a sweet numb smile and the batting of his pretty eyes.

The evening was awkward, and not because I was playing third wheel to a politically motivated harem, not even because of the group of anarchists who had chosen to go into Rogue’s Roost that evening to pass out free falafels before tagging the bathroom.

It might have been the fact that my friend Jus  was drinking rum and cokes and glaring at the stage.

I knew that before long he would publicly air his dispute with Che.  It started weeks earlier when Che approached Jus before his set and asked him to avoid any misogyny in his performance.  Jus makes some of the best getting drunk and banging hot chicks rap music to come out of Halifax.  Radical cheerleaders gasped in the background.  Che thanked Jus for performing and gave him none of the proceeds from the show.

But then he never gave anyone money from his shows.

Che would have been an alright guy if he wasn’t trying to change the world in an attempt to sleep with every female he could find.  He had bought the activist start up kit and made it his own.  He had dreads, a silk-screening business, and a love of slogans.  He was good at getting what he wanted, but that was because he had worked retail at the Gap before he awakened to the revolutionary movement.  He spelled women with a y but was never faithful to a girlfriend for more than a week.  His freethinking included a very strong belief that labeling was wrong and that by not using certain words we could change the world.  He was against brand names and had his own anarchist clothing line.  His favorite phrase was, “Hey man, can you watch the merch table?”

He grew up in the burbs of Nova Scotia and his father had a pool.  I became friends with him under the mistaken impression that he was an excellent beat-boxer.  As a musician I have a terrible sense of rhythm, melody, and harmony.  This would lead to my mistaken belief that Che’s girlfriend could sing.  Since I had already seen him perform with local political group IMF, I assumed he might know what he was talking about.  Worst of all, he liked me, and I like being liked.

Working at the Call Center gave me a numb feeling.  Freestyling about it to angry radicals made me feel like I was actually doing something.

After awhile I began to listen to his lyrics.  The more I listened, the less I wanted to.  This wasn’t helping me escape the phones;  working after hours for the competitor.

The confrontation between Che and Jus was inevitable.  Both were close to me and both had extremely strong opinions.  Che thought Jus was a misognynist and an alcoholic.  Jus drank a lot but loved women as only men with the deepest addiction can.  Jus believed that Che was a terrible rapper, making a mockery of hip-hop, which Jus took extremely seriously.  Jus enjoyed telling people to go fuck themselves.  He went home from our show and did just that on Halifamous message boards.

Later, Che called Jus an alcoholic on this same message board.

“I’m going to strangle him to death with his dreads,” proclaimed an enraged Jus.  “I’m going to put a drop of soap on him and he is going to melt like the wicked witch of the west. I’m going to break his fucking silkscreen over his natty fucking head, and when he wakes up, he’s going to be working in an office.”

“What if he charges you?”

“Then he’s a fucking hypocrite.  He doesn’t trust the police.  They’d  probably beat the shit out of him for wasting their time.  Let’s have a drink and say fuck it for now.”

After much drinking and convincing he decided to let bygones be bygones.
Now weeks had passed and day-by-day Halifax filled with more people who wanted to punch Che in the mouth.  This happened for two reasons.  1) Che had a habit of using his friends to further his own aims. The IMF(consisting of Hermitofthewoods, EMC and DJ Shinook) headlined shows where the proceeds went to Che’s Begging for Change tour.  Supporters Miss Meliss and beat-boxer Tactics were asked to help plan a benefit at Che’s father’s house with a pool.  The benefit was in the name of isms, both feminine and vegetarian.  Hermitofthewoods wanted to bring pigs on a spit and toothless hookers in bikinis. Instead, convinced by EMC to take the higher road, they pulled out of the show.

This is when we arrive at the night where two people are out to kill Che.  To finance his tour, Che was releasing a CD with tracks from all of his favorite Emcees, only he forgot to ask permission.  The cd included songs taken straight from EMC’s album.  EMC’s DJ took it personally.  He also took a lot of drinks.  As they composed songs and DJ routines designed to verbally and electronically destroy Che at his last show, a fundraiser for the arrested patriots of the Atlantica Riots.

Boozed up on half a 26, I prepared for my final performance before he left my life and went on tour.  I got a phone call from Hermit, asking if he knew where Jus was.  Apparently they were going to confront Che at his show.  I told Jus the plan, we had a few more drinks, and Jus decided not to go to the show.  He believed he would act irresponsibly and do something his lawyer might regret.

I arrived in time to see the IMF leaving.  Hermit was dragging his intoxicated DJ behind him.  The DJ was still talking about what he was going to do to Che for his musical theft.

Apparently 8 people had shown up to the fundraiser.  Humiliated on Che’s behalf, the IMF decided not to play their anti-Che set.

The following Monday I faked sick, got a doctor’s note, and then got a job with people I had told off two years prior at the Spartan.This was the Summer I began my friendship with Hermitofthewoods.  Tune in next time as I introduce a new loser to our Colony.

Welcome to the Colony of Losers, a world of quarter life crises, anxiety, depression and the friends and the failures on the way to your future. This is the story of Michael Kimber’s panicked fall into adulthood.



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    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

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    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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