Archive for December, 2010
Monsanto in Afghanistan
Imagine if the war on Afghanistan was really to wipe out the poppy crop so that Monsanto could move in and become the world’s supplier of heroin.
And we found out through WikiLeaks.
So there’s an election call and it’s looking really bad for the Conservatives and then Stephen Harper says he’ll cancel the GST.
Do you think Canadians would elect a majority Conservative government?
Don Cherry’s War
On Christmas Day, Don Cherry, Official Spokesperson for the Conservative Party of Canada, brought to us by us, the taxpayers of Canada, launched a M777 field artillery shell from a Canadian military base in Afghanistan, supposedly into insurgent territory.
The Conservative Party of Canada’s Defence Minister, Peter MacKay, reportedly quipped, “Don, this is a different type of he shoots, he scores”.
Yeah. No kidding. Sometimes insurgent territory turns out to be disguised as wedding territory.
But also, I want to know, as a Canadian citizen and non-Conservative, just what that Conservative Party of Canada photo op cost us. Financial details, please. Anybody, anybody, Bueller?
Enough already – what did it cost?
What. Did. It. Cost. Canadian. Taxpayers.
Here’s something to brighten your Christmas Day. Yesterday was what is known as “bring your kids if you have any to work so we can all get sent home early eve”. But before I could even get to work so that I could be sent home early (it’s stupid, but only the real adults, and people with lots of holidays, ever take Christmas Eve off at work because if you do you’re taking a full day when the rest of us are getting a half day free) I hurt my back.
Ouch. Double ouch because I don’t know why or how it happened except the word “degenerative” came to mind – and not just because I was going in to work just to get sent home at noon and score a free half holiday. One minute I was bent over, zipping up a Canadian-made sheepskin boot that has resisted slush and salt damage and kept my foot warm enough during an Ottawa winter, the next I was standing upright with a searing pain spreading across my lower back. Within seconds it had mellowed to a throbbing ache, so if you know what I’m talking about and the news isn’t good, please don’t comment.
I don’t deal well with bad health news. I just don’t. A paper cut can throw me off my game. And my game is usually just sitting at a desk doing something or other on the computer. Or sitting on the bus, reading. Or cooking dinner. It almost never involves a high degree of physicality. Sex, perhaps, has become more or less my only real workout. And even that’s just because there’s an invigorating lack of inhibition with sex sans fertility. A certain, “let’s fuck for fun”, that is missing in one’s leaner, meaner, childbearing years.
Anyway, back injury or no, there was no way I was going to miss getting a free half day holiday, so in I went. But my back was nonetheless sore for it. Plus, there were kids running around everywhere and I was feeling the combined effects of already exhausted parents herding Christmassed up children (it’s amazing how many people who don’t even celebrate Christmas must suffer through all the negative aspects of it, anyway, all you Christian fanatics who think there’s some sort of War on Christmas every fucking year as the rest of us tolerate a month of your religious bigotry and wog bashing because, as we all know, the squeaky whining stupid idiot wheel gets the grease) and a mild hangover/pain that was getting steadily worse, instead of magically disappearing, as I was hoping would happen through some sort of Christmas miracle.
My co-workers were aware of my pain, and had offered suggestions of one variety or another, mostly involving rest, and just as several kids congo lined past my cubicle I was heard to shout over my baffle, “I think I’ll go home and mix lots of booze and drugs and see what happens”.
Now, in my heart and soul I’m a punk. But if you saw me on the street you’d think, well, you wouldn’t think anything. I’m a woman no longer desirable for my fertility (unless you want one of those designer babies with male pattern balding or support hose and glasses on a chain). You probably wouldn’t even see me. I’d have to be wearing my underpants on my head (not so far, although I did recently lose my glasses for a few hours – which turned out to be where I’d last put them – on my head) or goosestepping and nazi saluting (saving that for the next prorogation protest) my way down the street for you to register my presence on a city street.
OR, I’d have to be shouting over my baffle at work, “I think I’ll go home and mix lots of booze and drugs and see what happens”. Trust me. Then you’d see me. And hear me. Especially if you were one of several Christmassed out parents herding Christmassed up children past my cubicle.
It was embarrassing. Briefly. Then I decided, “Ah fuck it, kids. Welcome to Christmas past.” Because the other day my middle adult said that she loved Christmas when she was a kid. And I remembered that I, too, had loved Christmas as a kid – even though it was really fraught and not a very happy time of year for the adults and a couple of siblings in my family. It wasn’t until after my kids were pre-teens and I was separated that I realized I really just wanted to ignore Christmas because it’s not my idea of fun. It’s just an existential time marker, an annual reminder that life marches inescapably on towards its end, that all we have is life.
And life is good.
So, it’s not that I’m celebrating Christmas in my own way, it’s that I’m not celebrating Christmas at all. In the coming year, the New Year, as we say, I’m going to purge my life of all things religious and spiritual and embrace adulthood full on, baby.
Sex, drugs and alternative rock.
Bus People Vs The Political Class
The other day while taking the bus to work I got talking with a soldier. It was a blizzardy morning and buddy was riding the bus in full jungle camouflage so I opened with, “Haha – I could spot you a mile away. Even on this bus with several ne’erdowell slackers in guerilla warfare pants you stick out like a sore thumb – or a guy wearing jungle camouflage in Ottawa. In December.”
The seat next to him was empty and he didn’t have time to put his knapsack on it so I sat down and we continued our discussion. One topic led to another and by the time he was yanking the cord and mowing down everybody in his path to get to the exit we were discussing Rene Levesque’s hit and run in which he killed a homeless man who, for whatever reason, ran into Levesque’s car, which Levesque happened to be driving drunkenly through the streets of la belle province.
The reason we got to talking about Rene Levesque was because I got to looking around the crowded bus as it fishtailed at every stop on the stop and go down one of Ottawa’s main thoroughfares and wondering why it was that politicians are so out of touch with how most Canadians are living these days. As I often do when I converse with the common man about our shared plight as bus people (I’m seriously thinking of buying a friend of a friend’s car), I mentioned that I once worked for the NDP at Queen’s Park, and I remember that it was after the hit and run that many politicians, including Bob Rae, who was leader of the third party at the time, were given their own personal drivers, or chauffeurs, as rich people call them, to get them to and from various galas and receptions featuring all you can eat buffets and free booze.
(Which is no doubt the why of the hit and runs, not to mention the battle of the bulge that rages unceasingly on up Parliament Hill way.)
That was when I realized that, wonder of wonders, politicians, shortly after being elected to public office, have a hard time understanding why the hell they should care about people who ride the bus and brown bag it to work every day when they could care about people like them instead. People who have chauffeurs and who never actually pay for anything using money pulled out of their own wallets. I mean, I haven’t even bought a car yet and I’m looking forward to driving through puddles and splashing all those poor suckers standing out in the sleet waiting for a full bus to drive by without stopping.
(Last week, I was actually on a bus as it drove by A WOMAN IN A WHEELCHAIR! Oh my gawd. Seriously if you’re the type of person who gets a larf out of seeing a disabled person left stranded at a bus stop in the freezing Ottawa sleet, then OC Transpo spotting is for you!)
Because, not only do politicians have drivers thanks to Rene Levesque’s lack of drunk driving skills, but they also have lots of perks, perks that mean never actually having to pay for anything. So really, whose fault is it that we, the people who elect other people to public office and a lifestyle to which any one of us could happily become accustomed, are expecting them to take a look back at the bathetic bastards like us who are still taking the bus to work and brown bagging our lunches because we can’t afford to keep our cars on the road and eat lunch in the cafeteria AND pay our cable bills.
And, really, could you live without that channel that tells you what’s on the other channels?
No, my friends, admit it. You’d be going out for chauffeured limo rides at midnight and sending your executive assistant into Mac’s to pick up a couple of taquitos before heading onto one of Ottawa’s main thoroughfares to throw garbage out the window at bus people. And the next day you’d send the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, who we inherited from Lehman Brothers, onto CBC (our network, the one we, the people, own) to tell us that we’re in debt, that we spend too much money that we don’t actually have, that it’s time to stop pretending we’re rich and tighten our belts so that our stomachs touch our spines, rein it in, no more fun for you BUS PEOPLE.
But that’s okay because as rich people told us when politicians started getting all these perks and drivers and gold-plated pensions, if you don’t offer up all these goodies, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of politicians who’ve never had it so good having the opportunity to serve the public as its democratically elected representatives. You wouldn’t get the lawyers and.. lady lawyers running for public office because they’d be all like, “Wtf?! I have to drive MYSELF to the ball?!” You’d just get the fry cooks and chambermaids and guys who own knife sharpening businesses that they wheel up your street, ringing their knife sharpening bells and cruelly disappointing children for miles around when the poor little buggers learn that 1) knives need to be sharpened, and 2) knife sharpening carts don’t sell ice cream.
In other words, you’d have a Parliament full of bus people coming up with policies and programs to meet the needs and concerns of other bus people. And that would defeat the whole point of democracy, which is to elect lawyers to public office so that they can be chauffeured around to galas and receptions, eating and drinking and living life to the fullest – on the dime of bus people – so that they can come up with policies and programs to meet the needs and concerns of rich people.
And seriously, if some guy who made a living providing a service to homemakers by wheeling up to their homes to sharpen their dull knives (cripes, and to think that’s not even a euphemism) told you it was time to get out of debt - instead of a former executive from Lehman Brothers – would you listen?
No, of course you wouldn’t. You’re Canadian, dammit. You want your financial advice to come from a guy who has no idea what it’s like to take a bus to the grocery store and buy the fixin’s for a week’s worth of brown bagging so he can afford to pay his cable bill, but who knows when to tell you, bus person, to pick up the slack after our politicians and their friends in high places have mismanaged the economy into a global recession. Don’t you? Well, don’t you?
Of course you do. OR, you could take your financial advice from Sooey who says: Cover your ears and yell, “get off my tv, get off my tv, get off my tv”, whenever Mark Carney or anyone who looks even vaguely like Mark Carney comes on our national network to give you financial advice – and borrow like there’s no tomorrow. Then do whatever the hell you want with your borrowed money. Politicians and their rich friends do that and everything seems to work out just fine for them. And, afterall, it’s Mark Carney and friends who set the prime lending rate for the Bank of Canada. Let him and his do the math.
Which you are quite unlikely to see them doing while riding the bus, let me tell you.
No, WE Shall Rule Forever and Ever
There’s another one of those annoying flash mob YouTubes making the rounds of the internet these days. This one features a bunch of operatic knobs standing up in a food court to belt out Handel’s Messiah.
Now, if you’ve never really listened to Handel’s Messiah, now is not the time. Because there’s something distinctly insane sounding about it when you hear it via a YouTube flash mob video made in a mall food court. “King of kings, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Lord of lords, Hallelujah, Hallelujah” with “And He shall rule forever and ever” sung in a round.
Excuse me? I’m eating? In the temple of Made in China? AS A SECULAR HUMANIST!
And it’s what – OCTOBER?! (Or, more likely, summer – judging from the gay apparel of the onlookers.)
Christ. And people I normally respect are posting it on their blogs and on Facebook and other people I normally respect, sort of, sometimes, okay, on those rare occasions when the joke is transmitted without a ten post joke follow-up explanation that ends up being 20 posts when I can’t resist an eye-rolling emoticon at joke follow-up explanation post ten, are stopping by to gush over it. What is it with this vile holiday that brings out the absolute stupid in people?
Because Christmas is stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s tacky and invasive and, as Handel’s Messiah sung in a mall food court and posted on YouTube will testify – quite insane. Quite.
Blessedly, I’ve ditched almost all of the apprehension I used to feel over ignoring it as much as possible. This Christmas will feature four days off, a little pot (to get away from myself), a movie or two (to get a little further away from myself) and sex (to get as far away from myself as possible). (My kids still have Christmas with their grandparents in a divorce compromise that I came up with several years ago when I realized I hated Christmas, but liked getting away from myself.)
And now that Handel’s Messiah sung in a mall food court has ruined Christmas music forever and ever for me, the only part of Christmas I could still stand as of last year, I’m done with Pluto (or Goofy, I can never tell those two apart) singing the Twelve Days of Christmas on my “It’s a Disney Christmas” album. (I know, I said album – sue me.)
And while I was going to rent a car and drive to Sudbury, of all gawdforsaken rock settlements on Hwy.17, to visit my first family, I changed my mind. Just like that. I said in my head, “Fuck it, I don’t love my first family enough anymore to rent a car, let alone drive to Sudbury. Plus, I hate Christmas and all I’m doing is feeding the beast. Enough already. I’ll be nice to strangers in the movie rental temple and call it even.”
Because really, we live in a wonderful time of wonder when strangers become family, not because you’re drunk in a bar and they’re drunk in a bar, too, but because they believe, just like you do, that the internet is the great equalizer and fuck the retards who don’t understand that information is power and the more of it the better that trickles down from the wealthy few to the middle class many (who are smarter than the wealthy few and if you don’t believe me check the stats on alpha wolves vs beta wolves – alpha wolves end up in jail on sex without a condom charges while beta wolves carry on carrying on – smirking with contempt for the powers that be – which the powers that be know and totally hate, thereby hastening those coronaries and brain aneurisms). It’s just like back when the masses learned how to read and the smart amongst them said, “Hm, I think I’ll pretend to believe this Bible crap until it’s safe to come out as a secular humanist” – SO I CAN BE INTERRUPTED MID-SECULAR-HUMANIST-POUTINE-BREAK-AT-THE-MALL BY A BUNCH OF OPERATIC KNOBS SINGING HANDEL’S MESSIAH!
Power to the people. Hallelujah. We shall rule forever and ever. Okay. One last nod to the season with “The 12 Gays of Christmas”, which I suggest be made mandatory in every gym class in every school in every city across Canada forthwith: