Archive for June, 2012
And Then There Were None
I’m referring of course to my recent blogging absence that I’m sure you’ve been wondering about, Sooey Says reader(s). Well, one of my recurring problems with blogging is having too many topics to blog about and not even enough time to get all my topic titles down before I forget what they were.
Then I remember that pot is good for early onset Alzheimer’s prevention. And what goes nicely with pot and prevents overindulgence in pie? Why a cold glass of rum punch.
Nothing, not even a blog entry, can be accomplished while under the influence, kids. It’s all lies, the stoned, boozy blogger, all lies.
Also, my day job is 10 hours from door-to-door. (No, I’m not a traveling salesman. I’m a G-clerk on term, soon to be term-inated.). And while I had whittled my topics down and planned to blog about the time I rolled joints for the Hell’s Angels, I want to do the story justice without over-dramatizing it and that time is not now.
I do NOT want you to think I am trying to compete with the Trailer Park Boys for attention.
It turned into a sex orgy, too, by the way. Very grotty to the max. Luckily, my friend Leonard was there (he was on joint roll duty as well) and we escaped with our virginities more or less intact.
As you know by now, I’m from Northern Ontario and we have a broader definition of virginity than you probably do (if you’re not from Northern Ontario – or Quebec). For instance, if you were drunk when you lost your virginity again, it didn’t happen because anybody can lose their virginity when they’re drunk – on account of impaired judgment. And when I say impaired judgment, I mean like how a dog is about smells, where good = bad, but bad = good, too. Also, virginity is something to be lost in Northern Ontario (although not in a snowbank, where I lost mine for the… 3rd?… 4th?… time). There is nothing to gain in Northern Ontario by being a virgin. So be warned, sex tourists, when someone in Northern Ontario tells you that s/he is a virgin, that just means they haven’t had sex with you. Today. But buy a round and they will rabbit, oh yes, they will. And then they’ll be a virgin again when they wake up/come to in the afternoon of the next day. And so on and so forth and more of the same, etc etc.
Do not judge, lest you be judged and are dropped off at your parents’ house in the middle of a front lawn garden party by a guy who doesn’t like you as much as you like him, his car stopping short at the curb, leaving you no choice but to roll off his windshield where you had splayed yourself in a desperate loving embrace, and onto the sidewalk, drunk, mascara running down your face, no underwear in plain view, unrequited in love.
It happened to my beautiful friend Alicia, it can happen to you.
So yes, tomorrow – Leonard and Sooey roll joints for the Hell’s Angels while their hostess, aka “Hot Box”, does a striptease on her parents’ coffee table, and their friends pair off with hairy tattooed bikers for sex, drugs, and rock & roll.
Why, yes. I was born with a horseshoe up my ass – thanks for asking. I also did a lot of things I’m not proud of (lying again – bragging rights are sacrosanct) to get out of some pretty hairy tattooed situations.
It was the late 70′s, entire 80s, man. The times they were a’changin’, just not fast enough for fatherless girls from Northern Ontario.
Anyway, back to now. Last night my beau and I went downtown (Ottawa) with every intention of joining up with the “Casseroles” brigade of protesters . The problem was, as per almost every day last week, I worked more or less all day for the man (i.e. you, the taxpayer, see above, job ends in the fall if you’re hiring not very hard-working sister taxpayers who just don’t give a damn anymore – this hard-working taxpayer bullshit is a crock – politicians always manage to put us back where we started when we first began whether we work hard or we don’t work hard at all) and when I got home I had a couple of glasses of wine while I caught up on internet news.
Internet news is sporadic at work due to randomly blocked sites. There are a million and one conspiracy theories as to why this is so, but as I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories, they will remain unexplored here. Ask the Chinese why we can’t access certain political sites from work. I’m sure they know more about the whys and wherefores of our government than we do.
But back to politics and a related point to this somewhat dogs breakfast of an entry (i.e. stream of consciousness). The government is desperate to continue on its environmentally and economically ruinous tarsands development because it doesn’t know what else to do. At no point has any federal government made any attempt to diversify our economy away from digging it up, blasting it out, chopping it down, and now, destroying an inconveniently located boreal forest and natural carbon sponge in order to steam oil out of sand using all the fresh water necessary to git ‘er done and make the same old same old more money to invest overseas or bury offshore.
It’s insanity, but we seem unable to stop ourselves from electing politicians, over and over and over – the very definition of insanity: Making the same mistake and expecting a different result.
But enough about politicians, our democratically elected (plus cheating) representatives.
Now, ever since my last kid went off to university, (I’ve got 3 kids in university, out of town, too, so imagine the thousands of dollars in tuition and residence fees the man will owe me when it’s my kids paying the highest taxes to help keep up the infrastructure of our old folks retirement resorts) I’ve kind of slacked off on the food front and often don’t have much in the way of dinner in the fridge/cupboard/counter/drawer. Also, I was tired and cranky because on the bus ride home (I take two buses from two provinces because I work over in la belle province – so much cheaper and with lots of local produce in their grocery stores – but I live in good old Ontariariari-o – expensive and chock-a-block with foreign imports) we were treated to a rapper. As one critic put it: “No one wants to hear your rapping!” Because, yes, while I support the arts (theoretically, at least) there’s a time and a place.
It’s called Mexico. Indeed, if you want to be a public performer, go to Mexico. I believe we even have a free trade deal with the good people of Mexico, who like nothing better than to reward a gringo’s amateur performance on the bus with a few pesos as they make their way in to work on the bus, trabajo para el hombre, as they say down in Mexico, according to Bing Translator.
So we headed out, me kind of cranky and mildly lit, my beau wondering what/why/where.
(By the way, I started this entry on Saturday, got distracted, and now it’s Sunday, so the timing is off now. The monthly “Casserole” we missed was on Friday night.)
Indeed. “What”. I don’t know. “Why”. Ditto. “Where”. Parliament Hill?
Errrnt! Wrong. A downtown park, slightly off to the left, near the beer store where the employees have to turn away every second customer because he’s already had too much lysol.
We never got there. Instead we went to one of my favourite bars in the world, Sir John A’s on Elgin Street, where the owner greets us as regulars emeritus (we used to live just a couple of blocks away), you can get a pint of Barking Squirrel, and the pub platter is the best around with deepfried zucchini quarters, crispy wings (get the thai sauce), breaded chicken breast fingers, and bruschetta. The servers (lovely young ladies) act like real servers without being pretentious about it, and everybody looks to be having a good time whether they’re staff or patrons.
Seriously, it’s like an anti-reality show at Sir John A’s.
(The only time I didn’t enjoy Sir John A’s was during a brief period when an older gentleman who had a tippy walk and the need to hork into a napkin very loudly every ten minutes or so would stop in and sit beside us and order a pint and the fish and chips or shepherd’s pie or whatever, it doesn’t matter, the point is he would sit down at the table next to us and proceed to cough up a wad of phlegm and hork it into a napkin about every ten, no, five minutes. This sparked many a debate with my Jesus-like beau, with me insisting that the owner should have the right to say to ol’ tippy walk horker that, although he was welcome to eat in his establishment (not!), he would have to do it out of sight and hearing of the other patrons. And to be fair to me, we once had to abandon a meal of deepfried oysters in San Francisco when my beau took exception to the owner’s uncle (aka uncre asshore) when he came in and sat behind us and proceeded to hork up wads of tubercular phlegm.)
And although I had every intent of going to the protest (lying, I am) after I’d had a pint of Barking Squirrel and one third of a pub platter (the girl portion, though, so only one bruschetta for me, three for my beau, who’s of Irish, possibly Viking ancestry) I just wanted to go home, smoke pot, watch The National, mock it on Twitter, and go to bed, a day well done.
Honestly, evening pot and Twitter go together like morning coffee and blogging.
Or like crack and homelessness…
The thing is, the student protesters of Quebec will have to carry on without my physical support. In fact, I’m not even sure they have my non-physical support. Also, I really hate being inconvenienced by mobs of protestors, no matter the cause, when I’m trying to get some where and they’re blocking the way. I know, it’s selfish, but I’m just trying to be honest (it’s true, I’m not lying this time). As much as I support the students in their right to protest, I sympathize more with people who may or may not support the students in their right to protest but who also have to get through the city more or less unmolested to make a living so they can afford to put their kids through university and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.
Because that’s just it, isn’t it, the thought-provoking spin-off of protest. And while I align myself with the argument that we should be a developed country, better than this, and instead of raising tuition fees in Quebec, lowering them everywhere else in Canada, I’m not sure it matters whether or not students leave university with huge debt loads.
The key is to make it possible for them to pay the money back. Or, maybe they should do what Brazil did twenty years ago and just renege on the debt, start over, and become the sort of developing country where Canadian hotshots like Kevin O’Leary just love to invest.
Hell, maybe this tarsands development will prove to be such a boondoggle (my prediction is that it will, that the markets aren’t there no matter how many photo ops Stephen Harper takes or how many lectures on economics Stephen Harper gives) that the entire country will just give up and renege on the debt, start over, and be a hot investment for hotshots like Kevin O’Leary by the time I’m able to retire to an old folks resort.
So I’m choosing my battles, in other words, charting my own course, so to speak, going my own way, as it were.
My strategy, and I hope you’ll join me, is to plant a couple of shade trees on my little property, which I plan to hang on to while working as little as possible and spending even less. (Unless I find some kind of work that isn’t tedious and process-oriented and for those of you who like to diss public servants as overpaid and underworked, I invite you to apply for a job in the public service. Go on. What’s stopping you? See how long you last, o critic-of-others-at-large.)
Because here’s the scoop, the problem isn’t high tuition fees, the problem is that we don’t recognize higher education as an investment that benefits all of society. Mexico may have free university, but it’s still Mexico, if you catch my meaning. And even though a previous cabal of politicians thought it would be a good idea to enter into a free trade deal with Mexico (without legalizing drugs first) well, I don’t know how one gets out of these sorts of deals, but since Brazil managed to renege on its debt and twenty years later emerge with hotshots like Kevin O’Leary touting it as an awesome investment opportunity on our taxpayer funded national news network, I’m sure its worth doing.
Meanwhile, here’s a protest march I will join, the one to remove the current group of governing politicians from public office because they cheated to get there. That’s it and that’s all right now that matters (to me). They cheated, they have to go. Nothing they do is legitimate or should be seen as legitimate because they weren’t legitimately elected.
By way of protest in the meantime, once I join the ranks of the unemployed, I’m only going to shop locally, whatever I can carry on foot, downsize to pay off a mortgage and keeping myself in food, drink (and pot, of course – very cheap, when you do the math, just don’t try to do it stoned or you’ll have another joint and as you should know by now, more pot is a stupid waste of pot). I’ll do a contract or two, but I’m going to devote as much time as I have left on this planet to writing and being heard, even if it’s just by little ol’ you, Sooey Says reader(s).
Because you matter. To me, if not your government, you matter.
So enjoy me out there shopping while you can, Ottawa, because come fall, I’m boycotting the marketplace. We’re in this together, it’s not you against me, me against you, and I’m sorry if your business suffers as a result of my boycott (and I’ll be proselytizing, too, so expect my boycott to spread because I talk to people, oh boy do I talk to people) but I’m not playing anymore. The real fact of the matter is we’re our own worst enemies. We don’t hold our democratically elected politicians even when they cheat to account. We spend, spend, spend on stuff, stuff, stuff, all of it imported from China, where people don’t even have the luxury of democracy and are ruled by a murderous cabal of despots (who instituted a mandatory abortion policy, speaking of Stephen Harper’s new best friends, Stephen Woodsworth et al), and whine about the cost of education, the best investment a society can make.
I have seen the enemy and the enemy is in the mirror.
Stop buying crap and send your kids to university out of town. Trust me. I’m not a politician.
And Mint Juleps, We need More Mint Juleps
On the other hand, maybe university tuition should be expensive. And maybe only students who excel scholastically should be allowed entry into those hallowed halls of academia.
I just attended the graduation of my eldest from university. She made the Dean’s List, received the President’s Award and maintained a scholarship for four years. And now she’s moving on to do a Master’s in one of those subjects all the anti-higher-education naysayers would pooh pooh as being a wanton waste of time and money.
English, and the study thereof. Sure, she could have become a rocket scientist, like Marc Garneau, but she’d still end up on the public payroll. This way, she can become a professor, and if tuition fees hold, earn her keep, at least partially, through the expensive tuition paid by her students and their parents for the privilege of obtaining wanton educations in English OR rocket science.
She’s an academic. And I made her, grew her myself inside my body, whiling away nine months more or less answering Bob Rae’s mail and occasionally his telephone and making regular forays downstairs to the legislative cafeteria for various and sundry – with french fries & gravy.
Answering the telephone was easy because the instructions from his REAL secretary, who was a man and therefore had a more hi-falutin’ title (you kids out there, remember, unless you’re the guy at the top, you’re really just The Help, so don’t let hi-falutin’ titles fool ya), were to tell the caller that Bob (I always said Mr. Rae because I didn’t want to raise expectations) was in a meeting. And really, it was necessary because all kinds of people would call with wild and crazy expectations of assistance. Here’s just one example:
“Mr. Rae’s office, may I help you?”
“Yeah, lemme talk to Bob.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Rae is in a meeting. Would you like to leave a message?”
“No I don’t wanna leave a message, I wanna talk to Bob.”
“I’m sorry, sir, Mr. Rae is in a meeting.”
“Well gettim out of it because I wanna talk to him. <change of tactics pause> I’m a personal friend of Bob’s.”
“Hm… I’m sorry, sir, Mr. Rae doesn’t have any personal friends. Also, he’s in a meeting.”
And so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc. I really should have been fired but since I answered Mr. Rae’s mail, too, there was no way for Mr. Rae to find out about his many rude and annoying callers. But what the hell, seriously, anybody who calls a politician for help is either just another political operator or an idiot. Anyway, un-knot your knickers because soon after that (it was a real call, not just a made-up example) I went on maternity leave and Bob Rae became Premier of Ontario.
Coincidence? Well, I was a homemaker living in Ottawa when he lost to Mike Harris so if being on maternity leave got him elected, then being a homemaker got him un-elected. So there.
By the way, I defy you, Sooey Says reader(s), to come forward with even one example of a caller who got through to Bob Rae once he was Premier. And no, there isn’t one, so don’t even bother.
Everyone knew I was pregnant from day one because my breasts grew two sizes overnight (I seriously considered sending photos to Playboy, I was that awesome-looking, an 8th & 9th wonder of the world). The downside being that it was the longest pregnancy on record (even though just two weeks over due date) and only the most perverse of Members would let on that they noticed my HUGE BOOBS, while the rest took to meeting my eyes when they spoke to me, not that they ever did once they realized I was pregnant and out of the running.
Cripes, even Mike Harris stopped hitting on me.
As an aside, it came as quite a shock to find out when he became Premier that Mike Harris had not only been married all that time I worked for Bob Rae, but that he had two kids. I kid you not. He gave no indication, none, that the old ball & chain was up in North Bay raising the kids. Nada. Of course, he gave no indication that he was at work and not in a pick-up bar, either. And to be fair to Mike Harris, his routine was sort of a Dean Martin knockoff and hard to take seriously. I mean, you’d have to have been a total nimrod to not realize that “here for a good time on the public dime” was his middle name.
Although a friend of mine was friends with one of his future molls (defined as a galpal whose previous husband had an unfortunate accident when he turned the key in his car’s ignition and it blew up) and told me that, not only was she smart (or did she say crazy…) like a fox, but that she drove men wild with her slatternly sexiness and could have had any politician she wanted (low hanging fruit that they tend to be) and she chose Mike Harris. For a while, anyway. A couple of years, give or take.
I dunno, maybe he has a really big dick. He certainly acted like one while he was Premier. Really, he was a much better person back when he was hitting on every female passerby in the Ontario legislature.
So there you have it, gals, save your good grooming for spinsterhood and a canine companion. Aside over.
I can make no real claim to my daughter’s academic success (and I should probably warn her about her good grooming) in spite of a restful gestation period – OPSEU Local 593 being pretty much the best bodyguard a pregnant worker could ask for. I’m much more like her good friend and housemate (she went away to university, as all kids should) who couldn’t wait to be done. Like me, she really didn’t get it (although we both got it enough to get the “goddamned piece of paper”, as my mother would say, and did, repeatedly, a university degree having meant the difference between $30,000/year vs $60,000/year and an okay pension vs a boffo one (although still not enough to live on post 2008) in her day and age – 88).
I was relieved beyond relief to graduate and start making money. Money is my thing. I love making money. It was a real frustration to me as a homemaker that I wasn’t the one in charge of the money (I wasn’t, and my ex wasn’t good at sharing his, either). And it became a real problem because as much as I wanted to be at home imprinting 24/7 on my kids, I also wanted to be making money.
Choices, eh? It’s always either/or with something, isn’t it? And so I come back to my 180 on tuition fees. Because here’s the thing, we are not a people to place enough value on things public that we can trust ourselves with free tuition. We just aren’t. If anything, university should probably be even more expensive for students (and their parents) than it already is.
Anyway, after my daughter’s graduation in another city, and drop off in yet another city to attend a French immersion refresher (she can’t lie, so it’s very difficult for her to get summer employment, the first question asked by any retail employer being, “Are you going back to school in the fall?”) we found ourselves on a layover in North Bay, hometown of one Mike Harris.
Now, I’m from Sault Ste. Marie, so I have an insider knowledge of Northern Ontario and the pork barrel politics thereof. My guess is that grabillions, possibly squinillions, of dollars have been poured into North Bay, especially its waterfront development projects, over the past couple of decades. And yet, as we walked along the shore of Lake Nipissing, the beach, as it were, we noticed a sign that said, “Warning: Rainfall causes bacteria levels to rise.”
I kid you not. The brain trust of the municipality of North Bay believes, or claims to believe, that rainfall is responsible for causing the level of bacteria along the shore of Lake Nipissing to rise, making the water unsafe for swimming.
Now, one can’t really blame Mike Harris alone for the fact that his hometown believes, or claims to believe, that it’s rain, and not overflowing storm sewers, that causes the bacteria levels in Lake Nipissing to rise, but since he does have an honorary doctorate from Nipissing University, it really should be incumbent upon him, I think, to take a break from his charitable duties at the Fraser Institute and correct the sign.
I mean, really, he has a doctorate, ferchrissakes. He should know better. Except, that doctorate came to Mike Harris free of charge. He didn’t pay for it, public taxes paid for it.
And that brings me back around to me and my academic daughter and choices, always choices, which to me are not the burden lamented by the likes of so many Conservatives, but wondrous and valuable and hard-earned.
Good things, choices are, good things.
Now, at one point, she was considering a university in Northern Ontario, to which I said, “no”. My reason to her was that I spent my life trying to get out of Northern Ontario and there was no way in hell one of my kids was going to waste time in one of its dead end pork barreling communities feeding the beast. And by that I mean Sault Ste. Marie, a very political city that has had both Conservative and Liberal cabinet ministers at one time or another, and is a city that made the choice to build a dump on its aquifer.
I kid you not. Politicians (the mayor was a bonafide thug about whom a book was written called, “The Best Man For The Job”, by Harvey Simms), with all the money that has poured into Sault Ste. Marie over the decades, saw fit to build a dump on top of the city aquifer.
As an aside, my brother was the lawyer for a couple of citizens who decided to take said mayor to court when he appointed himself to the position of Chief Administrative Officer – while still mayor – but buy the book for an in depth account of municipal politics in Northern Ontario.
(And lucky us because he’s now a judge, my brother not the mayor, so yes, Virginia, there may be justice, after all.)
But that’s not really what this entry is about because I finally had to admit, while chatting my way about North Bay, that Conservative government of the Tony “gazebos” Clement variety isn’t an aberration. It isn’t even the new normal. It’s been around as long as there was public money made available to politicians to spend on private, as opposed to public, property. Because it’s not just North Bay that hasn’t put public money into public infrastructure, it’s everywhere. Even the much ballyhooed Economic Action Plan, our economic stimulus fund, did so at the expense of, not to the benefit of, the health and well-being of the bill paying public. The projects had to be new, they were time-limited, and no environmental assessments were done to give us a head’s up as to the damage they would cause. And they all caused some because they were all development projects that reduced in one way or another our natural environment.
Which brings me to Peterborough (and no, not the recently discovered fraudulent electoral practices of its current MP and spokesfraudster for the fraudulent electoral practices of his and our government, the Conservative Party of Canada). As my beau and I strolled along the river, mildly stoned on a lovely bit of herb, we came upon a little shade garden. I can’t tell you the relief we felt, sitting on a cool marble bench in the shade of a tree dedicated by the Ontario Shade Tree Council (who knew?) after experiencing the intense heat of the mid-afternoon sun beating down on the paved path. There were hostas and other perennials in the little shade garden and I remarked to my beau, “Every single resident of Ontario should experience what we just did so they will appreciate the importance of natural shade provided by a tree.”
So, here’s the thing. We’re stuck with Conservative and pork barreling governments of other stripes whether they cheat to win or not because too many of our co-citizens are Conservatives and pork barrelers. They number in the millions and they get dumber by the second and free university educations are not going to help because Mike Harris has a free Doctor of Thinkology and his hometown has a sign on the beach, put there by duly-elected officials, claiming that rainfall causes bacteria levels to rise in Lake Nipissing.
No, kids who want to pursue a higher education will either have to do it on scholarships, hit up their parents/grandparents (and the ones in their 60s and 70s should be hit up first before they fritter it all away being snowbirds and golfers and highway cafe owners like the lady we ran into in North Bay who seemed to own every other business in town, too), or learn to lie so they can get summer jobs at the mall and fund their educations themselves, like my other daughter, with a little help from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
And seriously, while those asshats in Ottawa are wasting our future on wars and oil production, our Premier “up the middle”, Dalton McGuinty, was handing out tuition rebates to my kids. So yes, that’s me on social media advocating for the separation of Ontario from Canada. Canatario, is my name suggestion.
Every other kid, meanwhile, should be put on the public payroll post secondary school education for a year in order to plant trees.
I know, I know, sounds crazy but I’m telling you, I felt that hot sun beating down on me as we strolled along the river in Peterborough (and I could literally see my blond beau turning red – in spite of the zinc oxide) and then I felt the lovely relief of strolling into the cool of the Ontario Shade Tree Council’s dedicated garden. It was as close to heaven as I need to get and I believe I have finally found my calling, which is to force the youth of this country out into the streets to plant trees on every patch of green we own.
Because here’s the thing, again, the Conservative Party of Canada will develop the tarsands, more or less on our dime, either because of or in spite of democracy. It doesn’t believe in choice so it has no choice. And in the process of developing the tarsands, it will destroy the boreal forest, the carbon sponge that literally cools the planet for everyone, exponentially increasing the effects of climate change.
And in spite of what it may pretend to the public, our Conservative Party of Canada government knows that climate change is real, that it is man-made, and that it is nothing short of a crime against humanity to develop the tarsands. Just like the municipal government of North Bay knows that rain doesn’t cause bacteria levels to rise in Lake Nipissing, making it unsafe for swimmers (the thousands of recreational boats that testify to the wealth of North Bay’s citizenry probably don’t make it any safer for swimmers, either), Stephen Harper knows that developing the tarsands is one big “Fuck You” sign to the entire planet.
He knows. He has a real degree. And in economics, too. He knows.
The thing is, he likes making money too much to choose not to do it.
Okay, I have some sympathy. I’m a bit of a money pig myself.
So, that leaves the rest of us to come up with a plan to at least try to mitigate the damage this colossus will cause. Leaving it to thieves and liars to put up signs (or advertise on CBC as is the choice of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, CAPP) telling us that the sun causes everything to burn will not do. We need to take a lesson from the good people of North Bay and not trust in our duly elected politicians and future Doctors of Thinkology and charitable foundation activists to invest in proper public infrastructure.
We need to put back where the Conservative Party of Canada government taketh away and pay our children to plant trees for a shady (in a good way) future.
Forget degrees, we need trees. Lots and lots and lots of trees.
Who Says “It’s the Economy”? – Stupid
I don’t follow political punditry much anymore so I don’t know if we’re still debating whether Thomas Mulcair should be expelled from Canada for suggesting we have Dutch Disease but let me know when the debate starts as to whether true blue (red, orange and green) Canadians should storm Parliament Hill and throw out the current government for being a Dutch Disease spreading cabal of cheating lying thieving McCarthyite operatives of the almost entirely foreign-funded oil industry.
I’d like to participate in that debate.
But here’s something you don’t hear every day, a colleague, who hails from Africa, is looking forward to returning there with his wife (who also works in government) and children (they have two and plan more). Sooner rather than later, too. And I quote, “the sun shines every day (no one ever talks about the weather because it’s always the same), you can swim in the ocean, the food is fresh and local, and you don’t need much money to live a long and happy life.”
Another colleague, who more or less hails from Ireland, opined the other day that if it’s all about the economy, then why, as a direct result of the CPC (Cheating Party of Canada – see government above) decision to lay off thousands of Canadians during a recession, is her single parent colleague cleaning out her cubicle, selling her house, and moving back home to the Old World to live with her parents.
Lucky bitch. My parent, having done everything right economically her entire working life is up in Sault Ste. Marie not making the rent on her senior’s apartment. Also, I’m fifth generation Canadian of Scottish/Dutch descent, so I should be immune to Dutch Disease, shouldn’t I?
Ever since I can remember I’ve been told by my government to tighten my belt, austerity measures are necessary, we need to reduce the debt/deficit/taxes/size of government/public spending, that this will encourage more innovation from business, leading to a more robust and competitive economy and a brighter future for our children’s children’s children.
In short, whatever else we do we must not saddle our children’s children’s children with this damned economy.
Or have the past 50+ years just been a dream and I’ll wake up to a developed country in the New World that isn’t trudging through another recession, poisoning its own citizens (and everyone else on the planet) with its “natural” resource development pollution, the government of the day pointing an accusing finger at the previous Liberal/Conservative government for being responsible for whatever economic mess we’re in because some asshat apparently decided “it’s the economy, Stupid” and nobody thought to argue back “no, it isn’t, Stupider”.
Because here’s the thing, if you can make $20/hour serving coffee at Tim Horton’s in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, well, fair enough – you’re living in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. But if everybody losing his/her job here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, heads west to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, to do migrant work, either we’re not going to be able to afford Tim Horton’s coffee or we’re going to have to make, oh, say, $15/hour (I’m not a real economist like Stephen Harper, so I’ll leave it up to him and his BFF, Jason Kenney, to figure out what the going rate for Canadian migrant workers should be). And since we from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada will have learned an economic lesson when we took a shitkicking trying to sell our houses before moving to Fort Mc, we’ll just put ourselves up in Tent City, Alberta, Canada (don’t worry, it won’t be on that death highway, it’ll be in the mall parking lot) and wait for the inevitable bust after the boom, thanks, Premier Redford.
So don’t mind us and don’t worry about us voting Liberal or, Carp forbid, NDP, because we won’t be in Tent City long enough and I’m sure we’ll have given up trying to follow the CPC’s misdirections to our polling booths anyway.
Finally (for this entry, not finally finally), I missed it at the time, but I realize now that when Stephen Harper whined that “some people seem to think Canada should just be one big national park”, he was about to unilaterally ink a whole slew of oil industry deals with despotic regimes like China. (And I guess the definition of bravery in this new world order of ours is expelling Syrian diplomats after their regime murders hundreds of children – while the ink is still wet on the oil deals you’ve just penned with said regime’s main ally – China.)
So yes, I do think Canada should just be one big national park, Mr. Prime Minister by Electoral Fraud. Because I’ve lived in this country long enough to know – it’s not about the economy, it’s not about the economy at all.
Starfucking at the Soiree
Last night after work I went to a soiree downtown with my Beau. It’s my favourite thing about him, that he gets invited to soirees downtown.
Oops, make that my second favourite thing (nudgenudgewinkwinkrespectforhiselders).
It was my favourite thing about working for Bob Rae back in the day, too (soirees downtown) although they weren’t soirees downtown (Toronto) so much as working the live board for tv from campaign headquarters on election night (mid ’80s draw then loss to David Peterson) or responding to personal letters from his celebrity friends (Michael Ignatieff) or crashing Liberal receptions (my god, Liberals, whatever you do, don’t spare any expense on the caterer).
Seriously, the Liberals under David Peterson spared no expense on caterers, so thank you once again for the free eats and drinks, guys and dolls, you were the best – the best I tells ya! I must have put on ten pounds of leftover hors d’oeuvres and fine Ontario wines. Luckily, Sooey Says male reader(s), it all went straight to my breasts.
Haha, just kidding, but I lost all the back fat during the last recession so it’s even stephen now.
But back to the NDP where buck-a-beer Fridays hosted by our own union dues were as good as it got. I was a correspondence assistant in the leader’s office, which doesn’t sound like much, but my supervisor was always on vacation (we had an unbelievable contract, the best contract I suspect ever negotiated in the history of the New World, possibly even the Old one) and I was really the whole correspondence unit pretty much the entire time I worked in it.
(We briefly had another member of the team who left us to work as an au pair to a former colleague in Italy, sending us a lone postcard with the single line, “Italy is very old – 15th century” that many of us puzzle over to this day.)
I also got invited to a lot of soirees downtown through a friend who was/is the daughter of Maurice Strong, for whom I would eventually be the Elaine to his Mr. Pitt in the four most cranky and humiliating years of my life. I can do a really good imitation of him, too, if you’re reading this and looking for a guest to do party tricks at your upcoming soiree. Although, I have to admit, my Maurice Strong sounds increasingly like my Bob Rae.
Oh, I can do Kofi Annan, too. And Stephane Dion if I’m drunk. Not that I’m saying Stephane Dion is drunk. And Jean Chretien – I can do him, too. Him I do by retelling a story featuring a lovely former colleague, also from the NDP, who was out for a smoke in back of the legislative building one fine morning when she was joined by one Jean Chretien on a visit to then Premier Dvaid Peterson.
“Excuse me, are you Jean Chretien?”
“Yah eh dat be me and dis be why I come out ‘ere to meet da preddy girl like you.”
Then he horked over the side of the stairs into the flower bed and went back inside. She said he was much more handsome and charming in person that he appeared on television. Of course, she hailed from a foster home in Hamilton and it could be that she just didn’t know any better.
Anyway, in attendance at the soiree was Paul Dewar, MP for Ottawa Centre and non-French speaking candidate FROM OTTAWA in the late great federal NDP leadership contest won by Thomas “crazy? or just really weird?” Mulcair.
And I’m just kidding about Thomas Mulcair. I simply defy any other politician to cram an explanation of Dutch Disease into a 10-second media sound bite. And so what if he’s crazy, anyway. Who isn’t crazy? I’m crazy, you’re crazy, we’re all crazy and yet none of us will ever be as crazy as Stephen “crazy as a bag of hammers” Harper, and he got caught cheating and still won, so fuck you with your who’s crazier’n who. Fuck me, too, for that matter.
Fuck. Us. All.
Speaking of crazy, though, Sun Media had an article called “How to explain cannibalism to your kids” yesterday which I tweeted this morning with the advice “Start with Conservatism and work your way up? down?” It’s been retweeted to literally thousands of people in the past hour alone.
It’s almost as if the media has no idea of its social counterpart.
Being a starfucker in the worst way (monopolizing the most famous people at soirees until a bigger starfucker comes along to monopolize them harder) I took it upon myself to share with Mr. Dewar (or PD, as I call him now) the information that I’d just shared with a pointy young staffer to Bob Rae. (And if I’d known PD was going to be at the soiree – guest list at the door next time, hosts – I wouldn’t have wasted my information on a French male version of me 25-30? years ago.)
Fuck off, Liberals, nobody still likes you! (And the little fucker had better pass along my “hi” to Bob Rae from Sooey or next time I run into him at a downtown soiree he’s going to be wearing his underroos over his ears – the staffer, not Bob Rae.)
Now, PD, having grown up in Ottawa should probably have been aware of this, but since he managed to grow up in Ottawa and not learn French, well, I figured maybe I should tip him about the fact that the number of public sector workers (taxpayers, consumers, citizens) being laid off by the CPC (Cheating Party of Canada) as reported in the media, does NOT include people on contract (terms and casuals).
(And the government has been run on terms and casuals for years, ever since the last round of layoffs of indeterminate (governmentese for “hard to fire without cause”) employees by the aforementioned Jean Chretien.)
However, all of those terms and casuals, most of whom would have had their contracts renewed, as has been the case for years, won’t. What this means is that literally thousands of workers in Ottawa alone will soon be unemployed with no hope of finding future temporary employment in what was habitually the biggest employer of temporary workers – the government of Canada. These people can be anything from scientists to auditors to inspectors to statisticians to IT guys to administrative assistants to mailroom clerks to plant waterers, too.
Policy wonks, too, not that policy wonks have much to do these days, anyway, what with governance being a thing of the past, like fairly won elections and Parliament.
Fact: I was on an elevator recently and everybody in the elevator was a term who had thought they’d be renewed at the end of their term but who recently found out they won’t be.
So it’s a big deal and it hasn’t been raised in the House or covered by the media because the focus has been on the huge number of layoffs of indeterminate public sector workers. But seriously, Sooey Says reader(s) it’s bigger news that terms will not be renewed because these are people who won’t be getting buy-outs, retiring, in some cases won’t even qualify for employment insurance to help them become migrant workers.
And since Mexico has free higher education and ours is getting pricier and pricier while the parents of future students have been downsized to migrant work, I suggest Mexicans be imported to be our knowledge workers while our knowledge workers be exported to Mexico to partake in its drug wars.
Ideas, I’ve got a million of ‘em.
Anyway, moving down the line I talked to a couple of other people in the know and came to realize that it’s all much scarier than the CPC and Stephen Harper deliberately sabotaging the government of Canada from the inside, because it’s not actually deliberate, they just don’t know what they’re doing.
So, long story short, here’s my idea: Forget scrapping the Senate – we need to scrap the House AND the Senate. Seriously, there’s nothing left for Canadians to save in our government. We need to forget transfer payments and make direct investments in provincial healthcare and education by not paying any federal taxes at all. After all, what’s the point of being Canadian if even the government of Canada doesn’t see the point of being Canadian. Let’s just be Ontaribec, the West, and the Maritimes.
Fuck off, Manitoba, nobody likes you so much we forget you’re even taking up a big rectangle in the middle of Canada.
I know it’s a lot to take in, Sooey Says reader(s). But I really think I’m on a roll here. Maybe I’ll start hanging out at Dalton McGuinty’s constituency office, catch him at one of his weekend meet and greets, and pitch him my idea. What the hell, if he doesn’t like that one, I’ve got others.
That’s one thing I can say about these times we’re living in – they really are a’changin’.