While a lone gunman in Australia was taking over the Canadian news cycle, a hostage taking that resulted in three deaths, including the lone gunman, a lone gunman in Philadelphia killed his ex-wife, her grandmother, mother, sister, brother-in-law, and niece.
He was a redhead, the American killer, so naturally a little dark humour ensued on the internet #Illridewithginger to mock #Illridewithyou, which is a bit of feel good Twitterness to show solidarity with Muslims in Australia, because, you know, the lone gunman there was Muslim and had a black flag (like ISIS!) and was known for proselytizing to all and sundry that Allah is the one true god (okay, but Catholicism is the one true faith!) and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.
Also, he had sexual assault charges on his apparently lengthy rap sheet. Oh, and he may have murdered his wife.
So yes, he was fairly well known by authorities as someone to keep an eye on lest he wander any further down that jihadi road.
One of the people killed in the police raid on the Lindt cafe where he was holed up was a lawyer. I don’t know if it’s been reported yet whether she was killed by the lone gunman or the hail of police bullets, but apparently the manager of the cafe was killed when he tried to disarm the gunman.
And now there’s been a mass killing of students in Pakistan by the Taliban. But there was a worse mass killing (because they were tortured first, but I suppose the students in Pakistan are just as dead, their parents just as bereaved) of students in Mexico a while back, wasn’t there, responsibility for which can be laid at the door of a government so corrupt it’s indistinguishable from the drug cartels that run the country.
And, of course, there’s still Sandy Hook and all the other mass shootings at American schools that have happened over the years and are no doubt happening even while I blog this, that are followed by a national rending of garments and gnashing of teeth because special interest groups with acronyms (like NRA or CIA) trump governments now, and citizens are at odds as to whether or not that’s a good or bad thing.
Of course, we just observed the 25th anniversary of a mass school shooting here, didn’t we. That lone gunman cited political motives that were mainstream Conservative (opposed to affirmative action, women in the army, believed feminism was destroying society) for his actions, but later it turned out that his father was Algerian.
And then there was the recent long gunman who shot and killed an unarmed soldier, going down in a hail of bullets in the hallowed halls of Parliament, who turned out to be mentally ill (although it seems rather high functioning to beg to be locked up before you do something crazy, doesn’t it) but with jihadi on top.
It’s all unfair, and everyone is just as wrongfully dead, and the murderous domestic partner, for women, anyway, is more likely than the murderous foreign jihadi, but you’d never guess it from watching our own publicly funded news network.
But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about a comment I made to another commenter wherein I realized that no good comes from arguing on the internet with people who believe they inhabit a different reality than the one I believe I inhabit because it just generates more noise and there’s already so much noise nobody can hear anybody.
I used to take it on faith that the “Them” side of the internet’s great “Them Vs Us” debate wasn’t just wanking off, but then I realized, of course, of course they’re just wanking off. Because I’m just wanking off, too, aren’t I!
Alas, I’m all wanked off.
Must be menopause.
Meanwhile, I wrote a whole bit about shoplifters for my book. It’s actually kind of interesting, speaking of “Them Vs Us”.
Not at all like an internet full of people yelling over top of each other. I hope. Oh man, how long have I been gone?
Damn these low oil prices!
Oh wait. I don’t have to care about low oil prices. I already work retail.
But seriously, how is it that our punditocracy can still go on about Conservatives being good stewards of the economy when they’ve been in power in Alberta since forever and nationally for a decade and have yet to clue in that Alberta doesn’t have an economy so much as a boom/bust cycle that just goes ’round and ’round and ’round.
Also, I wonder what our country would be like if the news that came from our publicly funded broadcaster didn’t cater quite so blatantly to wealthy Canadians. I mean, I guess they pay more taxes than I do?
But I take up much less space.
Anyway, a local man was being plugged in the privately-owned (although publicly traded?) Ottawa Citizen recently, special because he’s a cop and he can feed himself, too, or some such amazing feat of human ingenuity, but the article was really a heads up that he plans to run as a Conservative candidate.
Suddenly, boom, like that, it was all just too much in my face, like a punch.
And I realized, it’s on.
And on and on and on.
Call me cynical, but it all seems a bit much, the government of the United States vowing ‘never again’ while the CIA squeals ‘but it wasn’t like THAT!” with regard to their torture of political prisoners being held in dungeons across the world.
I mean, if I’ve known this for years, how could the United States government not know? And since Bush Sr and Dick Cheney both worked for the CIA before they became Presidents, the government can hardly pretend the CIA is some kind of ‘rogue state’ as it’s doing now.
Everybody knows that once you work for the CIA you always work for the CIA.
Sick. Victims of 9/11 deserve a #notinournames – at least – to put a stop to that depraved parasite, Dick Cheney, from living off their memories and the avails of torture any longer than he already has.
But we’re not above any of this, are we, because we know that Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament, aided by Michaelle Jean, now rewarded with a gig at the United Nations, to provide cover for the sad fact that we piggyback on torture.
Not sure what that makes us.
Ugh, pretty fucking gross to think that 99% of Canadian newspaper editorial boards endorsed the Conservatives for re-election in 2011, eh? But they did.
What was the lie? Oh, of course, the economy! the economy! only Conservatives can save the economy!
And that’s another fact, another sad Canadian fact.
(Not you. Read to the end.)
A Facebook friend linked to the Daily Mirror and a photo (+ article) of Angelina Jolie staring down one of the Sony executives whose emails (referring to her as boring) were supposedly hacked by North Koreans in retaliation for a movie it made about killing one of its gods.
Alas, it’s true, Angelina Jolie is boring and so my eyes wandered over to the sidebar to an article about one Katie Hopkins calling out the ubiquitous Russell Brand as nothing but a penis in a tight pair of jeans.
Also, as welcome as thrush and equally fucking irritating.
Further down the sidebar there’s another article with this Katie Hopkins calling someone else a “chubber” and someone else again a “Barbie”.
She said it all meaner and funnier, though.
But then, scrolling down still further, I noticed an article headlined: Katie Hopkins DEFENDS CIA’s brutal anti-terror torture tactics: ”Get over it people” wherein she also says of waterboarding that “drowning’s a binary thing”.
So now I’m totally off Katie Hopkins, whoever she is.
Luckily, another Facebook friend posted a link to a CBC article about the results and recommendations of an inquest into the suicide (while prison officials who could have saved her life instead followed order from on high to stand by and watch while she died) of Ashley Smith, a teenager in federal custody whose original crime was throwing apples at an employee of Canada Post delivering mail to her mother’s house.
Those communal mailboxes can’t come soon enough, eh?
Alas, in its response to the report, Corrections Canada, which I think should be renamed, refuses even to acknowledge the term ‘solitary confinement’ (because it’s torture, isn’t it, Ashley Smith was tortured until she committed suicide, as witnessed by countless publicly funded employees at Corrections Canada) preferring the term ‘segregation’.
Terrible to be revealed as worse than Americans in believing our own public relations, isn’t it. But there it is. They’re actually acknowledging to the world that they’re guilty (by pretending that the CIA really is a ‘rogue state’ and not an official arm of the government, but good enough), the first step in atoning for sin, while we continue to flog that dead horse of Canada the Good.
But here was what I found most unsettling about this incident in which a teenaged girl was tortured to death while her publicly funded guardians watched and did nothing on orders from higher up publicly funded guardians:
Howard Sapers, Canada’s prison watchdog, said (of the recommendations) “I’m not convinced that these changes would guarantee a better outcome.”
In other words, we’ve been paying a prison watchdog all this time, too.
Anyway, off to write for a few hours before I go to work, where if the bullying gets too annoying one can always walk out the door and down the street to get a different part-time minimum wage job, and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.
Meanwhile, if you can’t at least pretend to agree that torture is a sin, and that those who torture (order it, engage in it, stand for it) are guilty, I’m going to ask you politely to refrain from commenting on my blog.
Because fuck you.
Apparently, at his next gig, Stephen “Clearly Crazy” Harper will be covering “Do They Know It’s Christmastime At All” set to the lyric “Do They Know Oil Prices Are Falling At All”.
You heard it here first on Sooey Says.
Altogether now, “Gord fuck ye merry oilmen, let low prices you dismay” and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.
Gee, nothing quite like the boss showing up and behaving badly at the Christmas Party, eh?
Shouldn’t we be a lot more annoyed? disturbed?? nervous??? than we seem to be that a Prime Minister would use the word “crazy” in the context of regulating the development of our resources – i.e. doing his job?!
I realized last night while I watched The National on our public broadcaster that its news editors seem to think I should care about the price of oil dropping.
Possibly to as low as whatever a whatever.
On December 7th I got up and checked the doorstep for the newspaper and there it was, the Toronto Star, with a big black headline “Montreal Massacre”.
Or was it “Massacre in Montreal”? Was there even a big black headline or am I mixing it up with the Ottawa Citizens headline on 9/12: “Terrorist Attack”.
Or was it “Terror”?
I was a coming up to three months pregnant with my firstborn, who I didn’t know know, but knew, was going to be a girl.
And I was just in such shock. I couldn’t read the article because my eyes had filled with tears. It was such sad news, the saddest news I’d ever woken up to involving people I didn’t know.
It was probably not unlike how people felt reading about 9/11 on 9/12, as opposed to watching it happen in real time, purely by accident, on CNN.
There was no anger, just grief, and knowing that I was going to be a mother, and so the worst thing that can happen to anyone, that had happened to all those mothers in Montreal, could happen to me now, too.
But I wasn’t a mother quite yet and so my solidarity was still with the murdered young women and I imagined how afraid and also how pissed off they must have been knowing that their lives were going to end this way.
It must have felt so unlikely until it was inevitable.
How does an unarmed person defend herself against a man with a gun?
Anyone? Anyone? Stephen Harper?
(By the way, I wonder if Stephen Harper personally took part in the deliberate sabotage by Albertans et al of the gun registry under the inspiration of the American NRA?)
I’ve never been angry, so to speak, about December 6th, it didn’t make me angry, but I’ve been involved in conversations with men so angry that they storm out of the room mid-conversation.
My former brother-in-law used the word “stupid” a lot, at me. But he was an engineer who attended university in the days when women couldn’t live in the engineering residence because, well, the excuse was no washrooms.
I don’t know how the engineering faculty at the University of Toronto managed to solve that one and if female engineering students live in Devonshire now or not. Perhaps they never did solve it and female engineering students are still told to figure it out on their own, no girls allowed, sorry – not.
Of course, it would have been a dangerous place for a woman to live, Devonshire. Rapists lived there.
“No means harder!”
I’ve blogged before about how shocked some New Democrats might be about the reaction a lot of us had when we learned who was going to speak to the tragedy in the Legislature that day.
No, we said. No way. Nuh unh. Nope. N.O.
There was backlash already, I couldn’t believe it, inside, outside, everywhere.
There were even men holding up Marc Lepine as a hero. It was great that he had murdered lots of Feminists, they said.
Some men (and women) pointed the finger at his former name, Algerian, I believe, to say that he wasn’t a real Canadian man, he was a foreigner, and it was no surprise that he had murdered lots of Feminists.
Do men in other countries do that, too, I wonder, or is it just a peculiarity of Canadian men.
They resented the implication, no, not the, any, any implication, that the actions of Marc Lepine, a man, had to do with the fact that Marc Lepine was a man.
(The ones who point to his name unwittingly concede that much, though, don’t they. He’s a man of other men, at least.)
But fair enough, be angry, I seem to recall saying, most likely thanks to the baby growing hormones. Maybe young women will start shooting young men and you’ll be proven right, that being a man has nothing to do with this sort of violence.
There were so many other women, Feminists, out fighting that battle. I excused myself to grow one.
Eventually, of course, I did get angry. Not because of December 6, 1989 when a psychotic young man murdered 14 young women, but because our mainstream media continues to pay men and women, but mostly men, to express the opinion over and over and over that Feminists are to blame not just for the failures of boys and men, but for the successes of girls and women.
And that opinion mirrors exactly the suicide note left behind by Marc Lepine explaining why he murdered 14 young women on December 6, 1989.
So for Peter MacKay, our Justice Minister:
Forgive the mistakes, I had 15 minutes to write this. See also Annex.
Would you note that if I commit suicide today 89-12-06 it is not for economic reasons (for I have waited until I exhausted all my financial means, even refusing jobs) but for political reasons. Because I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker. For seven years life has brought me no joy and being totally blase, I have decided to put an end to those viragos.
I tried in my youth to enter the Forces as an officer cadet which would have allowed me possibly to get into the arsenal and precede Lortie in a raid. They refused me because asocial. I therefore had to wait until this day to execute my plans. In between, I continued my studies in a haphazard way for they never really interested me, knowing in advance my fate. Which did not prevent me from obtaining very good marks despite my theory of not handing in work and the lack of studying before exams.
Even if the Mad Killer epithet will be attributed to me by the media, I consider myself a rational erudite that only the arrival of the Grim Reaper has forced to take extreme acts. For why persevere to exist if it is only to please the government. Being rather backward-looking by nature (except for science), the feminists have always enraged me. They want to keep the advantages of women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventative leave, etc.) while seizing for themselves those of men.
Thus it is an obvious truth that if the Olympic Games removed the Men-Women distinction, there would be Women only in the graceful events. So the feminists are not fighting to remove that barrier. They are so opportunistic they neglect to profit from the knowledge accumulated by men through the ages. They always try to misrepresent them every time they can. Thus, the other day, I heard they were honoring the Canadian men and women who fought at the frontline during the world wars. How can you explain women were not authorized to go to the frontline??? Will we hear of Caesar’s female legions and female galley slaves who of course took up 50% of the ranks of history, though they never existed. A real Casus Belli.
Sorry for this too brief letter.
I just posted this on Facebook so I thought I’d jolly up my blog a bit and post it here, too.
On the bus home today I sat in the only empty seat which turned out to be beside a woman on the phone, telling her former boyfriend – over and over and over – why they wouldn’t be getting back together – again.
“No, we’re not going back there. I’m done with you and your lack of ambition. All you want to do is hang out. I’m going places.”
(Remember – we’re on the bus. And not one of the transitway buses, either. A local route bus.)
*I forgot this part in my Facebook post which I remembered later in a comment. It’s important because I came home and repeated it to my Beau and now I’m worried I may have permanently shrunk his balls.
“You’re too late. Where were you when I needed you four years ago, three years ago, two years ago, one year ago, one month ago, one week ago, one day ago, one hour ago, one minute ago.”
It was like sitting beside a Montel Williams episode.
*For four years, three years, two years…
Finally, after telling him he should have asked for her hand in marriage the moment he met her (immediately after which she barked, “It’s a figure of speech, you f&cking dumb&ass! Omigawd! You’re such a loser! I can’t believe I wasted four f&cking years of my life with you!”) she ended the call.
I thought that was it and the rest of us could go about our ride in the usual discomfort, but no. Some IDIOT sitting TWO ROWS away from her starts giving her the thumbs up.
“You go, grrl. You were too good for him. I heard all that and he took you for granted. Good for you.”
A man. A man, oh, say, about 40 (evidently a case of arrested development – at the 16 year old girl stage?) starts in about his ex and how SHE took HIM for granted for like, eight years, and now he’s glad she dumped him because he’s got a better girlfriend.
“You can do better, too!” he tells her. “I’m 40 and she’s 39. It’s never too late.”
So she gets all fired up again.
“Yeah! I’m just 34. This is great I feel great. I’ve got a clear horizon. He was totally holding me back. I told him a thousand times to quit smoking hash and he wouldn’t.”
At this point I’m only pretending to read “The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared” and sneak a peak at Buddy Idiot and sure enough I could practically see the wheels turning slower, slower, slower.
“Oh yeah? Huh… So like, huh. Hash, eh? Wow. It’s been years since I smoked hash.”
And then I glance at her and see the wheels in her head speeding up, faster, faster, faster.
“Omigawd, I thought at least you wanted to score with me, but you just wanna score. Omigawd, omigawd, omigawd. Druggie pervert!”
And then, praise be to the gords, she pulls the cord because it’s her stop and Buddy Idiot turns around and faces forward and that was the end of the show.
Seriously, who needs cable when you’ve got public transit?
Except I canceled cable because of crap like this!
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