Friday October 31 , 2014

Category: Sooey Says

Tastes Like… Yucky

I’m a little chuffed, quite frankly, that I was able to see past the pretty face to the cynical attempt at manipulation that has worked to put his accusers on trial and Feminists off balance.

Even his hair looks manipulative to me now.

I know, I know, we don’t have proof, all the facts, he said/she said, it’s not rape rape it’s Hollywood, consensual adult sex.

No. Wait. Not consensual adult sex, consensual adult hitting. One way.

Bill Clinton got away with it, too, didn’t he, although minus the pretty face.

Handsome hands.

We still have a hard time copping to that one, don’t we, Grrls.

Imagine. Bill Clinton’s political record was at one time thought to be worth the compromise of denying – for him – multiple rape accusations.

Bill Clinton couldn’t be a rapist. Women dreamed about him, swooned over him, threw themselves at him.

State troopers in Arizona claimed there were thousands of women while he was state governor. Thousands.

I know, I know. Consenting adults. The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. Sex work is just another trade, the new normal, empowerment.

You can make a vitamin but you can’t make a hormone.

Bill Clinton’s on our side!

There’s nothing wrong with having sex with thousands of women anyway! It just means he likes having sex with women! A lot of women! A lot of sex!

Hey, shut the front door! Republicans don’t like sex with women at all!

Seriously, did I just imagine a story about Maggie T getting off a plane and sporting a black eye? Because I’m sure it happened. I remember my Feminist mother saying something about wanting to give her a black eye herself.

Her behaviour, doncha know. Sex with men. Not even lots. Just some.

Cripes, she had to give herself mental illness to live that shit down, didn’t she.

Prince Pierre was a Jesuit in a beret and a cape. What the hell is normal about a fifty year old man scouring the land in search of a woman to marry and settling on one thirty years – thirty years! – younger to be your brood mare?

That’s how my Conservative uncle, a confirmed bachelor, referred to Margaret Trudeau. And he was right.

She had to give up her kids to get free of him, you’d better believe it.

We’re not a nation of peacekeepers or warriors.

We’re a nation of codependent enabling freaks.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

It’s not rocket science, ladies. It’s just standing up to a charmer.

Just say no to violent men, please.

I mean it when I say that I’d forgive Stephen Harper everything if he stood up in the House of Commons and admitted that he hid in a closet (yes, I know, was escorted to a closet by RCMP officers, as per Steve’s clarifying comment on “A Closet Too Far”) out of fear for his own life, terrified and defenseless, prey, because a young man with a gun was hunting humans just a couple of doors and a caucus full of Conservatives away.

He should admit that, there but for the grace of publicly funded security, goes he, while so many of the Canadian women who pay for it are left to fend for themselves.

But he won’t, because he’s their charmer.

Well, all I can say is – get used to a yucky aftertaste, Steve.

 

JudgeMental Presiding

Just read a comment on a friend’s Facebook page telling everyone to leave the truth for his and her lawyers to determine.

Er, no. Lawyers defend their clients. It’s up to judges to determine the truth.

I didn’t know anything about Jian Ghomeshi’s personal life until just recently  and I’ve only seen a couple of his interviews (I felt sorry for him during the Joni Mitchell one – she’s one crabby old lady) but I think we’re done here.

I don’t care what he says he heard before he (allegedly) punched a woman in the face.

See: “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”

 

 

No, Good Is Good

Customers are even chattier than usual these days. They want to talk about recent events in Ottawa. But store management doesn’t want us discussing politics, mostly for commerce’s sake, but also because it can get tricky.

I don’t want to, anyway. It’s tiresome. Work is where I go to get away from it all. Besides, this is just so much wallowing, a pretense to something more than it is, the senseless deaths of a couple of decent people who had everything to live for at the hands of a couple of indecent people who didn’t.

One woman came into the store the other day to monopolize our time with her theories, waving away mental illness as an excuse when a colleague suggested the guy with the gun was crazy.

I was on the periphery of the conversation and so took it as a cue to find something pressing to do in the stockroom.

What I’ve learned from arguing with my Conservative friend is that there’s no point in arguing with my Conservative friend.

Speaking of Conservatives, I’ve long wanted to ask Mark Steyn, “Okay, if a tribe of human beings is the problem, as you seem to be saying it is, what do you propose is the solution?”

My Russian colleague got into it with a Ukrainian customer a while back. I suspect even our tyrannical management didn’t have the stones to tell her upfront that we’re not supposed to discuss politics with customers (because she’s Russian).

Anyway, it was left up to an old timer sales associate to break it up, management being out for lunch at the time.

She speaks a bazillion languages and said to my daughter who popped by the store (haha – I typed “pooped by the store” the first time – but I’d like to poop in the store some days!) when I wasn’t working – our schedules are unconscionably random – “Tell your mother she deserves to be very proud”.

Naturally, I’m on her side regardless of her politics.

And I have no idea what they are, but I imagine they’d be fairly fatalistic (because she’s Russian) and so the opposite of mine.

I have a friend who thinks Stephen Harper looks Ukrainian, by the way, which is interesting since Pierre Elliot Trudeau bears more than a passing resemblance to Putin, doesn’t he.

Stephen Harper’s desire to be somebody, to make his mark, shouldn’t be so under-estimated, I don’t think. We need to speak up.

The Prime Minister of Canada is crazier’n a bag of hammers.

It’s not good and we’re behaving like a very naive people if we think it doesn’t matter, his belief in war. My mother says my father never talked about his actual experience in it. I mentioned this to my son last night, by way of reminding him that he had a grandfather even I never knew who fought in the Second World War.

There’s familial pride in that he did. Why? My mother always said that young men had to go and in many cases wanted to go. It was an adventure. Life was much harder on the men who couldn’t go for one reason or another. It hinted at inadequacy, a lack of commitment, a failure to do one’s duty.

Did Stephen Harper’s father fight in the war?

What is all this glorification of The Soldier on Remembrance Day (which is every day nowadays, it seems) really about?

I wonder at the Conservative reaction if the tragic events of last week (and the week that includes the other off duty soldier) had felled a couple of female soldiers, if it would be that women don’t belong in uniform.

That Feminists are to blame.

And I have to ask, have there ever been female soldiers ceremonially guarding the war memorial?

I know, I know, now’s not the time to be asking questions.

Not a question, but certainly there has never been a female sergeant-at-arms.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop.

At the entrance to our house I have a photograph of my father standing beside my mother, who is sitting on a fence. It’s down at our farm, which was only a working farm because our neighbour grazed cattle on it, otherwise, it had been a generation since it was farmed, and he would have set up the shot. He’s wearing a white tee-shirt with a coat of arms on it. But what you notice right away is how narrow his shoulders are. He was 6′, my mother 5’3″ with a perfect petite figure, and yet her shoulders are broader.

It’s hard to imagine him charging in to do battle, that’s all. Maybe he didn’t. I don’t know anything about his war years except that he was overseas for them.

But I wouldn’t engage my Russian colleague in politics like I engage my Conservative friend (it’s not really engaging, we just talk over each other, getting louder and louder, until I can’t stand it anymore) because she’s from the Old World and I’m from the New.

I know, I know, politically incorrect much, Sooey?

Christopher Columbus didn’t so much discover it as bump into it.

Here’s what I mean, I think. I didn’t enjoy my honeymoon in Paris so much as endure it. At the airport, when we were scheduled to fly home, I had a meltdown that would land me in Gitmo today. We were a little short of the two hours pre-boarding requirement and when the snooty waiter at the gate told us we couldn’t board, I fell to the floor and had such a hissy fit that he changed his mind, just like that. Snap. Here are your boarding passes. Now please get out of my country.

No, I wouldn’t be in Gitmo, I’d be shot dead, wouldn’t I. Stapler or no stapler.

But I’d just had enough. The weight of European history and politics and war was crushing me and I took refuge in the cold hard here and now of the airport floor until we were quickly moved along and closer to home and the memory of lining up with my mother to see the centennial train in 1967.

Of course, it would turn out that I was a couple of weeks pregnant. Also, instead of getting out of a relationship that I knew wasn’t doing either of us any good I was on my honeymoon.

You can take the girl out of Northern Ontario, but you can’t take the Northern Ontario out of the girl. Even my new in-laws, who would bite off their own lips before they’d reveal a family secret, were a stark contrast to the let it all hang out openness of the great white North just a few hundred miles, I mean, kilometres away.

When I was in Paris, a snooty salesman asked me, “Where are you from?”

“Canada!” I said, proudly, because in those days I felt it because I thought it carried a certain cache. World War II heroes and Holland liberators turned peacekeepers, multicultural unilingual bi-culturalists, a Liberal haven thanks to secret agent Lester B and New Democratic Party moralizers, a just society turned police state at the snap of a Prime Minister’s fingers, a leap of faith forward to a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“No, where are are you from?”

“Canada?”

At which point he shook his head, annoyed, “Nobody’s from Canada – where are you from, where do you come from.”

“Scotland?”

“Ah yes, okay. Yes. That’s what I thought, Scottish, not English.”

And no, he didn’t spit when he said English, but he might as well have done.

It struck me later that it’s no wonder we see ourselves as not having a great influence in the world, an influence our immigrant neighbours to the south have because they can drop, not one, but two, nuclear bombs on another country, killing thousands and thousands of civilians, and never question the morality of it.

Worse, declare it an Act of Good.

Or God, I guess, which is the same thing south of the border, isn’t it. God is Good.

Alas, Allah is Great.

But while Europeans may recognize me as one of theirs, I’m not, I’m from here.  The weight of their history and politics and wars is as foreign to me as the lighter than air amorality of our neighbours to the south.

Ian Mulgrew has a column in the Vancouver Sun about recent tragic events in Ottawa. He says they reveal gaping holes in our social safety net, not our security apparatus. The shooter tried for years to get help for his drug addiction, mental instability, failure to thrive.

He’s right and it’s true but it doesn’t matter because anger is the easiest emotion and makes some people feel important, which they do at the expense of others.

Just imagine if resources were put into violence prevention instead of slamming barn doors shut after teams of horses have already taken off down the road. I wonder if it would be as easy, seriously, as putting young men to work on updating and improving our country’s physical infrastructure, built by the generations of Canadians who fought in real wars and neglected ever since by the generation that doesn’t want to pay what it costs to live here.

“I have engaged the suspect. He is now deceased.”

Suicide by sergeant-at-arms.

All we can do is thank him that it wasn’t a lot worse and hope the best for his own mental health now, I suppose.

Still, and it’s not nothing and maybe it’s everything, we’ll always have the image of Stephen Harper hiding in a closet (bringing to mind poor Reeva Steenkamp, lots of women, hiding in the bathroom, knowing she didn’t have publicly funded security to come to her rescue from the man trying to kill her with his gun) while his unwitting Conservative caucus fashioned spears out of flag poles, no doubt minutes away from cannibalism, to sustain us in argument.

Some truth, at least, and thank you, Conservatives, for letting us in on it.

You know not what you do, I’m sure.

 

 

A Closet Too Far

I’d be terrified, of course, but there’s something about knowing that Stephen Harper hid in the closet while a mentally ill young man with a gun ran towards the Library of Parliament that makes it difficult not to make with a bit of har-dee-har.

It would be terrifying for any unarmed person, though, wouldn’t it. As soon as I heard about him hiding in the closet I thought of Reeva Steenkamp, trying to save herself from a mentally ill young man with a gun, crouched in the bathroom behind her only defense, a locked door.

I wonder if Stephen Harper thought of her as he crouched in the closet. I hope he did. Maybe someone could ask him. I’d think better of him if he thought of someone else while he feared for his life.

Perhaps he could even pretend to us that he did and I’d think better of him.

Yes, yes, of course I’m relieved that he wasn’t harmed.

I couldn’t take the martyrdom.

Imagine being Reeva Steenkamp when she realized that the mentally ill young man with a gun would just shoot through the locked door to end her life, that no one was coming to rescue her because she didn’t matter enough to anyone who could.

I guess the young man guarding the war memorial was shot in the back and so didn’t even see it coming.

So sad, the photo of his dogs, as if they know he’s not coming home. They don’t, of course, and his young son will forget him, too.

I don’t remember my father being alive. JFK Jr. didn’t either, you know. He’d have had the same memories of JFK that most of the rest of the world did – celluloid.

Two bad that one of the guards for the war memorial wasn’t facing the other way, although I guess they’re ceremonial and the violence of the other day was unthinkable.

I think it’s a mistake to react to random violence with increased security. If anything, we should decrease it, ramp it down, stop referring to everybody and everything as targets.

We’re security mad and it isn’t making us any safer. It’s just isolating us from each other and causing frustration.

We can’t have tax cuts and more security both.

Reeva Steenkamp could never end the life of the mentally ill young man with a gun who killed her, but he could always end hers. She feared for her life long before he shot and killed her. That’s the power of the gun owner. The gun owner can decide at any time to kill anyone, can’t he, and yet they all get so up in arms (sorry for the pun) when the rest of us want some sort of national control over their gun ownership.

I want the police to know who has guns. Stephen Harper doesn’t. Please, let’s not lose sight of the salient facts of gun ownership here and who wants what for whom.

Stephen Harper lives in a $20? $40? million security bubble and still he had to hide in a closet from a mentally ill young man with a gun.

Stephen Harper/Reeva Steenkamp. Only the one who lives and breathes tax cuts for corporations could rely on publicly funded rescuers to save his life from a mentally ill young man with a gun.

Maybe this incident will make conservatives behave like better people, a good old fashioned government, although most likely they’ll use it as another excuse, not that one is needed, to ramp up our unconscionable ramping up of the violence afflicting the middle east.

Lest we forget, it’s all about war.

The gun registry will be just as destroyed after the violence of the other day, no matter what lies Stephen Harper tells the gun nuts up in Northern Ontario. Yes, I know, it came with a lot of bumf, the gun registry. Too bad. It’s a complicated world, and young men don’t seem to have kept up with it.

Good government, meanwhile, seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird.

I don’t feel safer. Do you feel safer?

I don’t believe in all this radicalization nonsense because if it wasn’t that it would be something else. Young men need to be kept busy. I recall our family doctor saying that she was diagnosing an epidemic of psychotic episodes, that what the medical community knows, even if the rest of us don’t, yet, is that the male brain takes much longer to mature than previously considered.

And they’re delicate. Easily fucked up with the wrong fuel and made ripe for wrong messages.

Anybody know any young men who liked to get fucked up on booze and drugs and blame others for their problems?

Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

I knew two young men back in the day who headed off into the bush to blow their heads off with their father’s hunting rifles. Suicide. Winter is long up there. It can get really tedious when you’re a teenager/young adult, too, knowing that you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with nowhere else to go because you’re going nowhere.

I should say I knew of them because I wasn’t popular enough to know them well. I shied away from the opposite sex for a long time. Also, I was away at university by then, I think. Even if I wasn’t, yet, I would have been busy anticipating a whole new life soon enough.

I lived on hope, I absolutely did. My daydreams saw me through to the life I have now, which is so good it’s finally enough.

It suits me well, this life I’m living.

There was never enough for young men, particularly, to do up North, and they ended up drinking a lot, doing drugs. Before he became a judge my brother did a lot of legal aid. It’s almost social work, lawyering up North, stupid violence causing stupid violence causing stupid violence.

It angers me that Stephen Harper was just up North, ramping up the paranoia of gun owners, pretending that public servants in Ottawa are out to get them and their guns.

It’s shameful. He should be ashamed. He should be shamed.

I wonder if the mentally ill young man with a gun had an idea where he was headed or if he expected to get shot well before he had to navigate his way through the Parliament buildings.

Why was Kevin Vickers(?) back at work the day after killing someone? I mean, even a police officer would be getting counseling and time off, wouldn’t s/he?

Security on the Hill is a real sausage fest, that’s for sure. Don’t get me wrong, we can’t have mentally ill young men with guns running through the halls of Parliament.

But speaking of security, hard to reconcile any amount of security on Parliament Hill with the privilege extended to the men of cabinet by allowing them drivers to sit in idling vehicles out front all day, easy hijacking for a mentally ill young man with a gun.

We pay for that, you know, our hardearnedtaxdollars pay for John Baird and Jason Kenney to be able to hop into warmed up or cooled down cars and driven wherever it is that their important selves are required.

I think they should be taking public transit, myself, setting a good example, learning how the rest of us live, but I would say that, wouldn’t I.

Look to more of that as a result of this – over-the-top security colliding (meshing?) with over-the-top privilege. They’ll want their drivers to be armed, the glass in their cars bulletproofed and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Look to the macho to get turned up to eleven.

Meanwhile, if you ask me, which, yes, once again you’ll be happy to hear no one ever does, young men (and so the rest of us) need the older men of government to take a moment to remember when and get to work on finding their younger selves something productive to do.

Because, if you ask me (see above) there but for the grace of being born with both feet in the door, so to speak, go they.

 

If We Had a Government, I’d Stand With It

Alas, we’ve had Conservative Party operatives hacking away at it for the past eight years.

But it’s okay, sister and brother Canadians who care about us here in Ottawa. Don’t worry. We’re as safe as you are, I guess.

Even got a call from head office yesterday, checking in.

It was nice. Chatted a bit with the lady, from elsewhere in the world, told her that my first born was in lockdown downtown. She tsk tsked about it all and told me to stay safe.

Stay safe? It’s staying safe that got us into this mess, lady. We need to get out into the streets and protest.

My first born saw uniformed shooters on rooftops before the call came to stay away from windows.

Very sad about the young man killed guarding the war memorial, which apparently requires guarding because another young man urinated on it one Canada Day a few years ago.

Of course, he didn’t urinate on it because it was the war memorial, he urinated on it because he was drunk.

Conservatives are running ads right now on CBC warning us all about the danger of smoking marijuana. And so, Justin Trudeau.

Of course, the death toll caused by smoking marijuana is nothing compared to the death toll caused by the Mexican drug cartels that benefit from Conservative politicians deliberately standing in the way of its legalization.

Looks like the killer of the young man guarding the war memorial used a long gun.

If I was to be political about this “lone wolf” “radicalized” “jihadi” “convert” I’d juxtapose Alberta Conservatives celebrating their sabotage of Canada’s gun registry with images of bystanders trying to revive yesterday’s “soft target”.

How are we supposed to stand with our government when we don’t have a government to stand with?

Anti-government politicians guilty of committing electoral fraud can’t not govern in the public interest for eight years and then pretend to be up to the task because now disaffected young men are perpetrating domestic violence with foreign strings attached.

Isn’t this the Conservative dream come true, another excuse to restrict our civil liberties while ramping up our involvement in the American “war on terror” without having to seek any kind of mandate or even consultation with Parliament?

It’s just a week ago that Stephen Harper was up in Sault Ste. Marie lying to real life gun nuts there about having to stop “the bureaucracy” from trying to re-introduce the gun registry, which he claimed it’s “always” trying to do.

That’s a lie.

He even pretended to them that he wasn’t trying to add to any paranoia they might have that public servants were trying to take their guns away.

That’s another lie.

You’d think he’d be challenged by our media more often than he is.

Anyway, no, I’m not playing along. He and his can call me names, have me audited, play politics with my life like they’ve been playing politics with the lives of other Canadians who won’t play along, but I’m standing up.

Because we don’t need no stinkin’ government – right, Stephen Harper?