Oh, Ottawa U, you.
Hello? Allan Rock? Are you in there?
Still not home, eh…
Okay, at the risk of getting the boot from Feminists R Us, for me it’s not the conversation between the student councilors that offends so much, although it’s pretty offensive, isn’t it – it’s the post-getting-caught threat of legal action against the subject of their slanderous rape fantasy.
Cripes, whatever happened to hiding your tail between your legs, lying low for a while, then changing your hairstyle and running for student union president an election or two from now.
Also, how deluded are young men these days, young men clearly destined for careers in politics, that they think a conversation on Facebook involving more than one person is by any stretch of their vivid imaginations – private.
Ah, I just answered my own question there, didn’t I. Destined for politics they are, aren’t they. After all, we all know how politicians and penises go together.
Like Weiners and weiners.
But call me an enabler or apologist or whatever (really, I don’t care, as long as you don’t call me because I don’t actually know how to answer my new phone it’s so fucking complimicated) I think the content of the conversation, because it was meant to be private, and because intent matters, should be categorized as grossly inappropriate.
Period. Full stop.
And I feel quite confident in asserting, not that I know anything at all about the young men in question, but I did read through the shaft filled conversation, that nothing was ever going to happen.
A sad case of verbal one-upmanship is what this was.
And I say all the above not because I don’t believe rape culture is real and that we shouldn’t be tackling it head on and all the time, but because I say lots of grossly inappropriate things in private – cripes, I say lots of grossly inappropriate things in public – and I can’t in all good conscience join the pile on here because privacy, intent, these things matter – to me.
On the other hand, I’m seriously curious as to who the weasel was who advised them to threaten legal action once their private conversation went public.
That’s the #Fail for me.
I have to admit to feeling uncomfortable watching the (admittedly brilliant) Jimmy Kimmel more or less roast Rob Ford the other night.
I only just watched it thanks to the miracle of the internet. Really, in spite of canceling cable I seem to paying Rogers more than ever these days.
It really is a mug’s game, this economy of ours, isn’t it.
Anyway, my problem with Jimmy Kimmel’s big joke on Rob Ford was that Rob Ford didn’t appear to be in on it. In fact, quite the contrary, he seemed to have no idea that he was the butt of it.
At least not until the end when Jimmy Kimmel turned concerned buddy to tell him that he needed to get help for his drinking and drugging problem.
Again, I’m not saying it wasn’t brilliant – and I guess it takes a comedian to reveal the ludicrousness of Rob Ford being mayor of one of North America’s most important cities – but it’s only a roast if the roastee knows it’s a roast.
Otherwise, isn’t it just an ambush?
By the way, is there any word on the woman who went missing around the time the story of the crack video broke? Call me obsessive but having been informed by the media that she went missing, I’m having a hard time not wondering if she’s been found, safe and sound, and that’s why there’s been no word back from the media on her whereabouts.
Won’t somebody somewhere please find out what happened to Jaclyn Dawe so I can stop wondering about her and whether or not Rob Ford was involved in her disappearance?
Thanking you in advance, all you Jimmy Olsens and Lois Lanes out there.
And why was Rob Ford referring to Jimmy Kimmel’s audience as taxpayers and inviting them to call him because he’ll get right on it? I mean, how deluded is Rob Ford? We know he’s in serious denial of a pretty major drug/alcohol abuse problem. He’s said many times that he doesn’t have a problem and/or that he can control it. I mean, not to go all AA about it but you don’t end up a punchline on every American comedy show because you’re in control of your addictions.
Does Rob Ford think he’s mayor of Los Angeles, too, now?
On the other hand, if fundraising for the family Ford is the idea, maybe it works out for Doug if Rob isn’t in control.
That’s what it looks like from where I’m sitting, anyway.
This is all just so wrong, isn’t it?
Apparently, National Post “staff”, by way of congratulating Sophie Gregoire and Justin Trudeau on the birth of their son, pointed out that his name, Hadrian, means homosexual anti-Semitic despot in Conservaglish.
But it’s not just National Post “staff” who have their knickers in knots over Sophie and Justin giving their innocent newborn son a name that means homosexual anti-Semitic despot in Conservaglish, I read a blog comment this morning that goes on and on and on about history and how Justin ignores it at his peril, and he can say goodbye now to the Orthodox Jewish vote.
Well, he can probably say goodbye to the Orthodox Jewish vote when Stephen Harper hits the campaign trail sporting side curls and a shtreimel.
I wanted to suggest that maybe it was Sophie’s Choice (the name, I mean) but humour doesn’t often translate well in blog comment sections.
Also, there’s nothing funny about the Holocaust, Sooey!
Sigh. Truer words. You’d think I wouldn’t have to spell them out for myself.
I also wanted to suggest that maybe it’s only Hadrian because Adolf starts with a vowel and Pol is too easily confused with Paul and… hm… what was Stalin’s first name anyway? Igor?
Shit! I just godwinned my own entry!
Also, there’s nothing funny about the Holocaust, Sooey!
You are so right, Sooey. Luckily for me/you, we only comment on one blog and we’re thinking of stopping doing even that because I, not you, want to learn how to knit (and purl, of course). And no, not because Sophie and Justin had another baby.
Seriously, enough already with the babies, Sophie and Justin, because I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but they can’t breathe the air in China (that Justin admires so much because in China a baby boy can grow up to become a dictator) and the Arctic ice is melting and the oceans are warming and California may as well be the Nevada desert, it’s so dry.
But enough about Hadrian (save yourselves the headache and drop the “H”, you crazy middle-aged kids, you, and tell little Adrian when he’s old enough to understand, that, as political luck would have it, Hadrian translated into homosexual – NOT that there’s anything wrong with that – anti-Semitic – there IS something wrong with that – despot – heh, nothing wrong with that as long as your name is Stephen Harper – in Conservaglish).
I am seriously tired of being insulted by a confirmed bachelor who lives with his mother and whose salary I pay just because I’m giving it away for free to a man who is not the father of my children.
NOT that I made the father of my children pay for it. Until, you know, I got a lawyer. And even then, I didn’t get even half of what I was owed.
But that’s not what this blog entry is about because this blog entry is about Jason Kenney who is right now with all the other tongue-movers and willy-shakers at the Manning Centre conference in downtown Ottawa, our nation’s glorious capital but also, increasingly, a city of un and under employment as a direct result of Alberta Conservatives like Jason Kenney.
The party last night, by the way, was at the publicly funded National Art Gallery, but you knew that, didn’t you, dear reader.
He insulted me, he insulted my children, he insulted my mother, he insulted every family in Canada, including the ones he would define as stable (not that the media has demanded a definition – yet – and I find that fairly egregious, too) when he made his version of lemonade out of lemons by spinning a flip/flop/flip into a moral judgement of the lifestyles of the very taxpayers who pay his salary and whose tax dollars he has publicly stated he will be reallocating based on who fucks who, when, and why.
Enough. He should not only be made to apologize, he should be made to resign. Basing public policy on who fucks who, when, and why, well, we may as well be China, mightn’t we.
Or have Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at least.
Also, and this is where his logic, such as it is, really falls flat: if kids from “stable” families “do better” – why the hell do their parents need a handout, er, handup of public money while the rest of us pay for it in cuts to our public services?
So, Happy Birthday and (w)all, Hadrian, especially from Uncle Jason, because it looks like Mommy Sophie and Daddy Justin are all set to score yet another goodie courtesy your Conservative Party government of Canada and the unstable family of whores living down the street – way down the street.
Jason Kenney just made it clear via the Manning Centre conference currently plaguing Ottawa, that income splitting will be a go – for stable families.
Nothing like politicians more or less doling out our money to us with strings of moral priggishness attached, eh?
I think he should have to explain to taxpayers what he means by “stable”, don’t you?
I’d also like his explanation written into the policy for income splitting so that future generations of voters will know what passed for government in Canada in 2014.
So I had my annual special day recently and as soon as it was over a malaise settled in and now here I sit, at odds with the world. But I remember my friend pointing out when her kids were little how at odds with the world they’d be just before they made the next milestone in their development. So I’m wondering if that’s what’s going on here.
Is it possible some of us actually resist becoming better people? Because I’ve had some opportunities lately to do the right thing, which I’ve taken, and I’ve also admitted to some fairly egregious personal failings, albeit not out loud, yet I feel like forwarding all my calls to “Go fuck yourself” and taking to my bed.
We recently read Hologram for a King by David Eggers in my bookclub. I don’t know what it says about me, but I like books with depressed characters who have trouble making decisions.
Okay, I know what it says about me.
The character is an American businessman who used to be in bicycle manufacturing and sales, now trying to make a big technology sale in Saudi Arabia, where reality happens in private, behind curtains, and public life is a mirage.
Saudi Arabians are depicted as kept children, dependent on ancient patriarchs, including their octogenarian king, who is also their reformist hope. Women, of course, don’t do much, can’t do much, and young men don’t have enough to do because the people who do all he grunt work are imported.
It’s hard to have much respect for them, actually, these pampered people who live without freedom, allowing old old men to rule over them forever and a day. Although the king, who is everywhere and nowhere at once, is apparently under constant threat of assassination.
It reads almost like science fiction except that we know it’s the way life is in Saudi Arabia.
What struck me, too, was how the depiction of society in Saudi Arabia mirrors what some Conservatives here, Alberta Conservatives, mostly, I guess, want for Canadians.
In fact, today, Brad Wall is giving a speech at a Manning Centre conference in Ottawa about what an energy (and food) superpower we can be, if only, you know, we weren’t so Canadian.
The brochure I saw also features a head shot of Preston Manning asking, “What can YOU do for the movement?” It’s eery, in a creepy way, but I don’t like Preston Manning. I don’t buy the “aw shucks” routine. I prefer Stephen Harper to Preston Manning.
That’s how I feel about Preston Manning.
Just say no to Preston Manning, all you kids out there.
Who are these people, these true believers, who want Canadians to be the new Saudi Arabians, providers of oil to the world via a natural resource that, by all accounts, should be left as it is, undeveloped? Why is it so important to them that Canada, of all human rights havens in the world, be made over into an energy superpower?
Factory farm runoff and lawn maintenance runoff is killing Lake Erie, so I’m nervous about Brad Wall wanting to make us a food superpower, too, but there I go, being Canadian, I guess. Also, it’s the first I’ve heard of it so maybe he’s just tossed food in with oil for topic diversification purposes.
Hm… oil… food… oil for food… spidey hole sense tingling…
What is this mania on the Right for power? Power, power, power. They must have power. And for what purpose? Well, to reduce the power of their enemies, who are legion, it seems, and who include people like you. And me. Us.
It’s tiresome, but it’s also alarming. In the book, young Saudi Arabian men race their Ferraris in the desert, often getting injured or killed, because they don’t have enough to do. Meanwhile, cheap imported labour, i.e. temporary foreign workers, do all the real work of keeping their society running.
Women are shopped for and scapegoated when real lives are revealed behind the veneer of religiosity.
But the young men are too spoiled to rebel against imprisonment. Instead they grumble and complain, like children, about their ancient fathers (who produce them through younger and younger wives) and pin all their hopes of reform on the king, who is himself an ancient father.
Spoiler alert: The book ends, of course, with the Chinese swooping in to do a deal with the king, while our American hero deludes himself into thinking if he stays on something else will come along.
There’s no going back, so no going home. We’re China’s global village until China gets undercut.
There’s so much political concern these days, it seems, for a disappearing middle-class, or a hollowed out middle-class, although not so much by Conservatives, I guess. I am exactly that Canadian of concern, by the way, because I’m not middle-class anymore. I’ve slipped out of it and at an age and in a time when I’m unlikely to be able to work my way back into it. I’m solidly not middle-class now.
It’s all smoke and mirrors, our economy, so I don’t expect much from it. Instead, I’m hunkering down, hanging on, and safeguarding my time over money to ensure continued good health. I recently turned down a minimum wage government job because I decided it would be too demoralizing, which is unhealthy, and I like my little retail gig.
My Beau showed me a Modern Times cartoon last night. It’s “One Rich Guy”, the one rich guy at the top, the rest of us accepting our lot, grateful for whatever jobs we can get working for the one rich guy, the talk show hosts berating us over the airwaves about how the one rich guy made it on his own and deserves to have all the money, while some of us aspire from the trenches to working our way up to be the one rich guy.
It’s funny because it’s true.
Anyway, I’m tired of all this political mumbo jumbo about how we have to save the middle-class lifestyle. Anyone who has stood at a bus stop during an Ottawa winter watching single occupancy vehicles drive by in the gazillions is tired of it. Anyone who was laid off from a government job and who is now scrambling to get minimum wage part-time work in retail is tired of it.
I don’t want politicians devoting all the power of government to saving the middle-class lifestyles of two-car-garage-home-owning-double-income-suburbanites and/or urban hipsters and/or rural farm owners because I don’t think those lifestyles are realistic, I think they’re a fantasy.
And for our political class to pretend they’re worth saving makes us more, not less, like the kept population of Saudi Arabia.
We need to rise up, take responsibility, and we’re not going to do that from where we’re sitting now.
I read a column by John Ivison this morning. It’s in the National Post. I read it online.
I don’t have the reaction I used to have to written punditry. I respect it, in fact, the ability to articulate an opinion, often one that isn’t necessarily held by the writer, to pad out a daily newspaper.
I had trouble giving the editors of the Ottawa Citizen what they wanted from me, which was a humour column that mocked the Left, not the Right. To be fair to me, I did mock the Left in a couple of columns and the Center in a couple of columns, but yeah, I mostly mocked the Right.
If I had to do it over again now I’d give them what they wanted and not give it a second thought.
Just show me the money.
Anyway, I tweeted John Ivison’s column this morning because it was about Justin Trudeau’s speech to the Liberal faithful at the convention no one watched because the Olympics were on CBC at the same time.
That’s either scheduling genius or scheduling insanity, isn’t it, but given all I’ve heard, I’m going with happy accident.
For all his public speaking training, clearly JT is at his best winging it live and unplugged, and the convention was a bust for anyone who isn’t already a convert.
No matter. It’s all decided on the campaign trail.
But I really tweeted John Ivison’s column because in it he seizes on the prospect of Liberal governance increasing the public debt. Except that we currently have a Conservative government that doesn’t govern so much as it takes money out of public services to pay off a deficit it created by various ways and means, some of which appear to be quite fraudulent.
So I ask John Ivison to define public debt. I mean, services paid for by us are going undelivered, public assets are being sold off, not maintained, indeed even destroyed, and I’m not sure any of that is factored into whatever adds up to public debt.
A lot of Canadians have to wait two more years to collect Old Age Security, some of whom will be working minimum wage part-time retail jobs in the interim, after working lifetimes (ala Freedom 55 commercials) of paying taxes. The fact that pretty well every economist in the country says that denying us that money for another two years is an unnecessary and arbitrary move by the Harper Government, tells me everything I need to know as to why it was made.
So I’m not clear on why it doesn’t tell John Ivison everything he needs to know as to why it was made, too, and I wonder what he thinks public debt is.
Really, I’m curious.
But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about the bizarre invention of Nathalie, the star of JT’s speech to the Liberal converted.
Now, as I keep repeating, I’m currently working part-time, for minimum wage. I’m in retail. And my income for 2014 will be under five figures. Even if I took on a second minimum wage part-time retail job it would probably be under five figures.
No one working retail is making $40,000/year. So why would Liberal backroom strategists and speechwriters invent a fictional character who does?
Because they don’t know any better, that’s why. I mean, I can understand JT not knowing anybody, personally, who is actually in my situation – which is not uncommon in Harper Canada – but doesn’t anybody do any actual research anymore?
Am I the only Canadian in her mid-50s who has slipped out of the middle-class into a kind of scrambling for cash to pay bills class because her income is 1/10th of what it was before she got laid-off by the Harper Government?
Well, no, actually. No I am not. I meet people like me everywhere now, out walking the dog, in AA, at the thrift shop. And a lot of us have adult children boomeranged home with student debts to pay off and inadequate to no employment to wipe the slate clean.
They can’t take money out of public services to erase their reckless spending, which wasn’t even, it was all for education, a common good for all of society, that which separates us from the animals, so to speak.
And, quite frankly, Liberal backroom strategists and speechwriters, fuck families who can’t make it on combined incomes of $80,000/year – like Nathalie’s. (I don’t know the particulars of her partner’s income and I don’t care since the particulars of Nathalie’s are so unbelievable already, so let’s pretend he makes his $40,000/year as a school crossing guard.)
I dunno but it seems to me our political parties could stand to employ a researcher or two. Maybe our newspapers could pony up for a couple, too.
I’ll do it for $40,000/year – $50,000/year if you want spin with that.
To be honest, politicians, I have no idea what class I am anymore. All I know is I’m working part-time for minimum wage and it’s hard work and doesn’t yield much income.
But I guess my working days are more or less over and I’ll just have to figure out how to get my hands on a bit of money until I’m 67 now and can collect the old age pension.
Kind of grates to know that raising the age at which I can collect was arbitrary and unnecessary. But what are you going to do? That’s Conservative government for you – not for you.
I experienced an unfortunate incident at a meeting yesterday. A woman snapped at me, not totally out-of-the-blue, but it was still really harsh.
I’m confrontation averse in real life, almost phobic about it, so it’s traumatizing when someone snaps at me the way she did.
Anyway, being the Pollyanna Sunshine that I am I spent all day yesterday waiting for Deepak Chopra’s son’s documentary about him on TVO. It’s brilliant, in a way, summing up the paradox of the limelight-seeking guru/parent like no other documentary ever.
I was hoping for answers as to why I couldn’t shake off Ol’ Snappy.
This morning it came to me why.
I was trying to improve on the written quality of a product we would be taking back to a larger group that would be “for the ages” and also a reflection of, well, me.
Just kidding with that last part. (Total lie – that last part is everything.)
But I was really up against it because, as so often happens in working groups, the individual behind the initiative didn’t want input so much as she wanted to just do everything herself, and as so often happens in working groups in Ottawa, that person happened to be francophone.
Now, once again, her spoken English is a lot better than my spoken French. And I wouldn’t dream of writing a document for the ages in French, especially for a French audience.
Yet, she not only had no trouble attempting the reverse, she resented any attempts to help her out with it even when it was clear she didn’t know how to articulate a pertinent point in English, let alone get it right/write for the ages.
The thing is, I’m still at fault, and that’s what really grates, I guess, because it doesn’t matter, does it. If the other people in the working group, a couple of whom are also anglophones, didn’t see the need to improve on the quality of the document we were producing, why did I?
Because I’m a perfectionist in an imperfect world and I need to work on that whole “live and let live” thing.
But it also hit me – that was exactly my experience in the federal government – which I tried to fix. Except that, after a while, I was trying to fix it (by improving on the quality of its written documents) without getting caught, so upset did my non-anglophone colleagues get at any implication that they weren’t just fine at producing written documents in English.
And, of course, they were, because nobody reads government documents anyway. So it doesn’t matter and nobody cares, as I should have realized when my very smart real life friend and temporary co-worker said, when I complained to him about the quality of writing in the government, “Well, it just has to be okay. Don’t spend too much time on it.”
And he looked perplexed that I would spend any time at all trying to make sense of a document that was supposed to be a departmental guide for making regulations.
I mean, I would have argued with him about it but I was so surprised that someone whose intelligence I respect would hold that view that I just pretended to agree instead.
And since I’ll have an annual income this year in the four digits while he’ll have an annual income pretty close to six, I’d be smart to agree, wouldn’t I.
Still, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, isn’t it, so rather than be less than I am, professionally, I think I’ll just steer clear of professions that involve written English.
And stick to the fringes of groups.
I guess we won in women’s hockey, but who’s the competition other than the Americans – who were winning 2-0 for all but the last three minutes of the game?
But it gets you right here, doesn’t it, when CBC shows Canadians cheering in bars all across the country for our girls made good.
I dunno, there’s something desperate about us and hockey and winning that doesn’t exactly embiggen us, if you ask me. Kind of ironic, too, all the “ha ha” at Putin because Russia’s hockey team lost to Finland when Canadian NHLers only just beat Latvia.
Full disclosure: I kind of wanted Latvia to win, I’m so sick and tired of hockey, hockey, hockey.
Tim Hortons, too. The food all tastes the same, the donuts are no hell, and the coffee – enh.
And beer. Beer commercials are almost nausea-inducing for their flag-waving, aren’t they? Even when I drank I can’t imagine being so thirsty that I’d drink a Molsen’s.
I know, what kind of alcoholic am I, anyway?
A not very patriotic one, as it turns out.
Also Canadians. I’m sick and tired of us.
One of my friends on Facebook is an entrepreneur in the creative arts, a freelancer, cartoonist, handsome 33-year-old Texan. He does okay, too, very disciplined with his output, but also very attune to politics. I don’t know him outside of Facebook, he’s one of those friends of another friend I don’t know outside of Facebook, either, but that’s okay.
The only trouble I’ve had with internetters? Trolls living under bridges right here in Ottawa.
Anyway, he posted a story about an elderly climate scientist from England who was giving a follow-up “we’re still doomed, just maybe not as immediately as previously stated” interview to a “we’re doomed immediately” interview.
He’s British. And we all know how the British can speak a little too plainly at times. Whatever.The Arctic is melting, the oceans are warming, the effect of which will be exponential in terms of how awful things get faster than we could ever have imagined. Sure, California has always been sort of biblical in its floods, droughts, plagues, fires – soon it will get REAL biblical.
It’s the real why of Stephen Harper’s trip to Israel, but try telling any of our pundits that. He went to secure his spot for The Rapture, when he’ll be saved and Benjamin Netanyahu, well, who knows, maybe he’ll convert in time, maybe he won’t.
Meanwhile, a federal court judge has found the Environment Minister and the Fisheries and Oceans Minister of effectively guilty of breaking the law by not protecting (four specific) species at risk.
The thing is, Conservatives don’t care if the government is fined for breaking its own laws because it’s not their money at stake, it’s ours. Why would a group of politicians who want to weaken the regulatory powers of government care about costing it money. The less money the government has to enforce environmental laws, the easier it is for polluters to pollute with impunity.
And I pointed that out to my Facebook friend because too often Americans see Canadians as more benign then we are. We’re not benign. We’re responsible for developing the tarsands. And I suspect Obama will approve the pipeline because, sure, building a pipeline doesn’t technically increase greenhouse gas emissions, and Lac Megantic.
I pointed that out to him, too.
An accident waiting to happen (there are no accidents waiting to happen, just negligence) killed 1% of the population of a town in Canada in 2013 and the governing politicians responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry behind the slaughter of innocents are still there, not regulating and therefore not governing.
Meanwhile, they’re re-writing electoral legislation after having been caught committing electoral fraud. I mean, it doesn’t get much more blatant than having Pierre Poutine, er, Poilievre, lecturing everybody else on fairness, does it. I’d suggest an atomic wedgie but I’m sure the little bastard would have me audited so don’t, okay.
Do not give Pierre Poilievre an atomic wedgie, anybody.
Oh go ahead. What do I care if I’m audited? I don’t make any money to hide.
Also, I recalled to my handsome Texas stranger friend a woman from Texas, a farmer, who fought to prevent the pipeline from crossing her property. She lost, Americans having similar private property rights to Canadians, in that when our push comes to industry or government shove (military appropriation of an elderly man’s farm, anyone?) industry and government have the greater right to our private property than we do.
Which to me means that private property rights are kind of a crock, but whatever. She’s my hero for trying. A solid Texas libertarian, she is, too. Socialist little ol’ me’s kinda gal, as it turns out.
Then he posted about the nightmare of fracking in Texas and I posted about the nightmare of fracking on the prairie. (That was when I posted about Stephen Harper traveling to Israel to secure his position for The Rapture.)
What I’m really doing, I think, is unraveling myself from the patriotic fabric of Canada. I used to want the world to think well of us but now I want the world to know who we are.
And I can’t thank Rob Ford enough in that regard, because, whatever you think of him, and surely at this point it’s not much (have we heard yet about Jaclyn Dawe and whether she was found?) he’s got the world paying attention.
You know, Stephen Harper complained a while back about how some people just seem to want Canada to be one big national park (guilty as charged, Steve) which, if you decode that statement and the way it was made and in the context of his Party using the Canada Revenue Agency to harass environmentalists and obstruct them from protecting life on earth, you realize that Stephen Harper sees Canada as one big national mine.
And it irritates him as CEO of the company that cheated its way into power, which is the same to him as being fairly elected, that some Canadians, indeed some people who aren’t Canadian, think he’s got his mandate, such as it is, all wrong.
Anyway, in response to a story in the Huffington Post about the federal court judge calling out the Environment Minister and the Fisheries and Oceans Minister for not doing their jobs, I linked to it and tweeted the following:
Except Conservatives don’t care, they don’t pay the fines, we do. They just want the tarsands developed.
Then a fellow tweeter who has 54544 followers retweeted it and I almost had a heart attack but I also felt kind of, well, embiggened.
I was counseling one of my kids the other day about debt. She’s an academic success story now working retail and it’s payback time for student loans. I’m not upset about it because I’ve long since adjusted to the real cost of living, which for a lot of Canadian parents includes post-secondary educations for their children.
I’m not sure university shouldn’t be expensive, to be honest.
I’m also not sure it shouldn’t be free, though, so don’t go quoting me on what I think about mandatory post-secondary education.
Just kidding. I don’t think it should be mandatory, necessarily. Although I do think we may as well bring back grade thirteen here in Ontario. Be THAT province again.
Like a lot of her contemporaries, she’s happy living with one or the other of her parents. We’re the sibling society, not the “my roof my rules” society.
For me, back in the day, it was either university, and my mother was happy enough to support me through it, or a job. But moving out and away was not an option, although I can’t remember now if that was because I couldn’t live my life under her roof or if it was because she wasn’t about to let me try.
Our memories really aren’t trustworthy, are they. Even as I’m writing this I’m vaguely aware of an offer to live at home and go to Algoma not-quite-a-university-but-not-really-a-college-either.
My brother came up with that one. Funny how we’re so dismissive of local offerings at certain ages, eh? Instead I went to UofT and was so homesick I almost didn’t make it to Thanksgiving.
My brother is mostly responsible for my staying put, when he showed up at UofT from Queens for a conference and made fun of my local-to-the-Sault options, one of which I believed included working the counter at Mike’s Lunch, a job I never could have done even if it had been available.
I dunno about you, but a lot of my decisions in life have been made in avoidance of sibling mockery. And when I think back to all the music and tv I pretended not to like because it wouldn’t have passed the cool test of my older brother and sister, and later boyfriends, it makes me mad enough to go around now walking on sunshine.
Ah, now there’s a real positive for personal listening devices, not that I have on yet. I bet they cut down on a lot of resentment towards Rush.
Oh how I hate Rush, let me count the ways.
The other day at work one of my bosses expressed absolute shock that I think I lack confidence, so it’s not just our memories that aren’t trustworthy. Sometimes, we don’t present at all like we think we do, I guess. Everybody around her was staring at me, too, eyes wide, jaws dropped. Even customers, people I’d only just met, looked incredulous at the notion.
“Sooey, you have got to be kidding us. You? Lack confidence?”
And then she laughed.
So I told her, “Wow, I’m leaving everything to you in my Will because that’s the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me.”
I meant it, too, although I doubt my Will will have anything in it. My mother’s doesn’t, which is a real rip-off if you ask me, ol’ greedy guts mcgee. Her fortune’s gone to the company that runs all those seniors’ residences only politicians will be able to afford in future.
I’ve never used the expression “under my roof” with my kids.
Also, I live where I live now because I wanted to be able to accommodate any boomeranging young adults in need, like my youngest, who lives with us between launchings, as it were.
Reminder to divorcing parents: Don’t let a judge tell you what standard of living your kids deserve because his decision is based on a formula designed to bankrupt you for wasting the court’s time trying to prove that one of you is a better parent than the other.
Honestly, whatever happened to no-fault divorce?
It’s the new normal for kids to linger on living with one of the other of their parents, I think. Maybe they’re making up for lost time with either/or. Or maybe they just like having the choice of who to live with and who to visit and if and when.
My kids are more in touch with their grandparents, too, than kids of my generation were, I think. They visit them on their own, stay for weekends, weeks. It’s handy during flu epidemics because their grandmother seems to have smoked herself immune to flu viruses.
Players unfiltered, although she’s quit now, after decades of her husband pointing out to her how their friends quit.
“Went in coughin’, came out in a coffin.”
That’s an old CODCO joke, actually, from a House of Misery sketch.
I lived for CODCO back in the day. And a show called Inside the Line.
I was more in touch with my mother (widows demand it) than most of my contemporaries were with their parents, but once my Gram moved on to live with an aunt, much younger than my mother, I rarely saw her and only ever went to visit when my mother was visiting her, too, which was rarely.
Maybe it’s the other way around and we’re more in touch with our kids than they are with us.
Certainly we don’t want them to have to spend any money. Free room and board is standard for adult kids (I’ll drop the young, they’re adults, aren’t they). I even have vegetarian friends cooking meat for their adult kid carnivores.
I bake pineapple upside down cakes, lemon squares, brownies, cookies. And I give away batches of homemade granola whenever I can because I’m still trying to grow them right.
Wow, I just read that back and realized how kookoobananas this is. My granola includes chocolate covered popped quinoa and would probably wholesale at $10/bowl.
Don’t worry. I’m buying little bowls this week and hiding the old bowls until my son moves out. I saw him helping himself to a bowl of granola the other night and almost went into coronary arrest. It was like he was having a $30 snack before bedtime.
My bedtime – his is whenever, of course.
I’m conflicted about how we’re living, though, because I recognize myself as one of those notorious parents who doesn’t want her kids, anybody’s kids, to have to suffer through a lot of boring and stressful times, like I did, to get where I am today, which is further ahead personally, but farther behind professionally.
But I’ve always really liked making money and I have a hard time quitting. It’s awkward for everyone. Canadian employers are so passive aggressive about jobs that aren’t worth your time and effort, too.
There’s something about time and effort invested that hooks me. Of course, it took me years to quit my marriage, too, so it’s not just jobs that I find hard to quit. On the other hand, marriage is money, too, isn’t it. In fact, it would have been my idea to live together to save on rent in downtown Toronto, wouldn’t it have been.
When I look back on my time spent making money, I see a big clock, the minute hand barely moving.
Also, I’m wearing a tartan skirt, turtleneck, tights, and imitation doc martens.
I want life to be smooth sailing – for my kids, your kids, everybody’s kids – because – why not? Rich parents’ kids don’t have to waste their time and effort making money. When you’re born into it, you never have to worry about not having it because you cannot possible screw up being born into money in Canada. You can’t. You can go bankrupt, go to jail, go bankrupt AND go to jail, and you’ll still die rich and your children will die rich, too.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a governing politician complain about the productivity levels of rich people. But imagine how their productivity levels would go up if their money was taxed back and they had to work for their livings.
In my opinion, we don’t cite Andre Desmarais often enough for his pronouncement a couple of decades ago that Canadians, i.e. people who have to work to make money, need to work more, harder, longer to improve Canada’s productivity levels.
I don’t know what he does for a living and I don’t care but rest assured I pressed the mute button during all the coverage of his father’s funeral the other month, or year, or whenever it was that he shuffled off this mortal coil.
My goodness how Canadian media worships the rich, eh? If Paul Desmarais was so fucking good for us, why the hell am I making $10/hr in 2014 when I was making $12/hr in 1982? And while he was moving and shaking behind everyone from Trudeau to Harper, my mother went from being a homeowner to not being able to cover her rent.
What is it about money that crowds out critical thinking skills in this country?
Speaking of which, what was up with that big Catholic funeral for Vito Rizzuto, too, as if he wasn’t a murdering mobster? I mean, I’m curious – how did that square with the rest of the congregation? And what the hell did the priest say by way of praise? Did he just check his professional ethics at the door and waive his bill?
Or did he charge extra?
When I look back on my life, which I do a lot because I used to be a real daydreamer and now I’ve pretty much fulfilled them, minus being a rich and famous movie star, a daydream Vanna White squashed when she said you have to have a big head to make it even on the little screen, my time spent making money is a lot like my time spent in grade school.
Like I said in paragraph a zillion, there’s a big clock, I’m watching the minute hand, and I barely see it move. Sentenced to school, sentenced to work, sentenced to spending my time making money.
So now I have a job that barely pays anything – I used to think $10/hour was probably enough to live on, but now that I make $10/hour I know that it isn’t – and I like it okay but it’s physically demanding and not likely to last because the private equity firm that owns the business has no connection to it. Quality suffers, customers drift away, eventually it will close. And certainly jobs are more available than ever before, in that dime a dozen way, and I have a house that I wouldn’t be able to get now (thank you, screaming nutcase on the third floor of my old apartment building, for giving me the push I needed) that will accommodate boomerangers (and others) in need.
But if our economic system is predicated on my kids and your kids keeping their noses to the same grindstone that I did and that my mother’s generation did, well, as the mobsters say, fuhgeddaboudit.
Because it ain’t happening and it ain’t gonna happen. Fool us once, powers that be, shame on you, fool us twice, shame on us.
But fool our kids?!
Fuck you. Fuhgeddaboudit. Nobody fools our kids.
One of the most culturally interesting experiences I’ve had came on a weekend camping trip with a group of Wild Women a couple of summers ago. It was late in the evening and we were sitting on the deck outside the sauna (they do real camping trips, too, this one is like summer camp for grownups) playing a word game. Suddenly I realized how inside the conversation was and I blurted out, “Hey, wait a minute… am I the only straight person here?”
And in spite of many assurances that, “no, no, no”, I wasn’t, yes, yes, yes, I was.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that and not that I cared, except in that I realized how much I get off on being the exception to the rule.
And not that I’ll likely ever convince them that I am indeed the exception to the rule in Wild Women. Even my “Why the hell would I have sex with men if I wanted to have sex with women?” didn’t seem to convince anybody. And yet, why the hell would I have sex with men if I wanted to have sex with women?!
Seriously, lesbians should know better, shouldn’t they? Now, I’ve pretended to be a lesbian to get out of dancing with men, which I realize post-Ellen (Degeneres) is absurd, but I became very self-conscious about dancing in public after the first time I did it and my friend jokingly suggested I sit at another table.
She had a reputation of the cool cucumber variety.
One night, when she caught me saying, “I don’t want to dance but you’re welcome to join us”, she blew a gasket, “So that’s why every time I come back from the washroom there are a bunch of nerds sitting here!”
I felt bad for the nerds, but not so bad that I wasn’t relieved to see the backs of their nerd heads when she told them to, “Beat it!”
So I took to claiming I was a lesbian, instead.
I dunno. It was the 80s.
Also, if I was a lesbian it would have gotten me out of a lot of time wasted having sex with men when I could have been sleeping.
Sleep loss is cumulative, too.
Hey now, there’s a good excuse to get out of an extended family reunion some day: “Sorry, no can do. I’m catching up on the sleep I lost when I was having sex with a different man every night of the week back in the 80s.”
What can I say? It was how I punctuated an engagement back in the day, failing to grasp that having sex with him was not the best way to get a fella to move along.
Too often the man assumed that having sex would lead to a relationship, which eventually, of course, it did, and three kids and twenty years later I finally got him to move along.
(Just kidding. You’re never free and clear of anyone in this life so just roll over and go limp and try to stay out of court.)
A while ago, though, I remember being disappointed by an article about Ellen Page dating different men. I’m Facebook friends with a reporter/writer of the entertainment variety and I think I must have clicked on a sidebar article in the Daily Mirror.
Full disclosure: I have spent days trapped in a Daily Mirror sidebar.
By the way, Stella from Coronation Street is quite the cougar.
Anyway, I was disappointed because I thought Ellen Page was gay and it was a weird letdown to read an article that tried to give every impression that she wasn’t. Not that I’d given much thought to it, beyond a casual assumption that she was gay, based on nothing, really, but, yeah, disappointed was how I felt.
But then today on Facebook (where I seem to get all my news, these days) I saw the video of her coming out speech to a human rights organization, something to do with LGBT rights, that was really almost a mea culpa of sorts, as she makes reference to her “lie of omission”, which is, like, wow, way to person up, Ellen Page.
I don’t know why, but I get a vicarious thrill when a person comes out in the same way that I get a vicarious thrill when someone quits their job. Or moves. Or stands up for themselves. It’s something to do with freedom, I guess, because I’m a very rule bound person, a rule follower, don’t break the rules. My ex used to tease me about it, “don’t screw up or it’ll end up on your permanent record”.
Please tell me that if he’d known how paralyzed with indecision I am for fear of screwing up he wouldn’t have teased me about marking up my permanent record.
But don’t tell him about the hundreds of men in the 80s.
Just kidding. I left off still in the double digits and dating back to ’77.
Anyway, I think Ellen Page is a very cool human being, brave, smart, beautiful, and her coming out will do more for human rights than any number of demonstrations, protests, boycotts ever could, and free a lot of other people from living their own lies of omission.
I dunno, maybe it’s just rocking the boat that gives me vicarious thrills, but, whatever it is, I gotta admit – I’m feeling it.
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