Monday March 30 , 2015

Who Died and Made Harper God?

Because we’re where we are now, and clearly/obviously our government has no idea what it’s doing, I read a couple of columns this morning explaining the ins and outs of who’s who in the current conflagration in Iraq etc.

Then I read a Gawker send up of a column in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman wherein he suggests we the West should be arming ISIS against Iran.

While I was wondering if that sentiment would get him jailed in Canada under Bill C-51, I happened upon another send up of columns by Thomas Friedman. Apparently this guy can say one thing in the morning and something else altogether different at night and the New York Times is a-okay with it.

Anyway, Stephen Harper is being taken to task by the entire legal community in Canada for linking gun ownership in rural areas to personal safety (unless you’re subject to a murder suicide, which is more likely than a terrorist attack, but whatever, Stephen Harper don’t need no stinkin’ facts).

But why isn’t he being taken to task by Christian leadership in this country, including his own pastor, for countermanding “Thou Shalt Not Kill” as if someone died and made him God?

 

Q for Conservatives

If free trade, low corporate taxes, and the oil and gas industry are so good for our economy, then why are the only jobs that seem available to experienced and educated citizens such as my good self in the part-time minimum wage retail and service sectors of it?

 

Niqabophobia – (Extra Rant Added)

But seriously, I think the business suit should be banned and men whose salaries are publicly funded not allowed to wear them to work.

It’s because of men in suits that government buildings are kept so cold in summer that everyone else is freezing. It’s a real problem for women, you know. I can’t think of a single government job I had where I didn’t freeze my gorgeous ass off in the summer.

And they’re intimidating. Politicians wear suits to trick the taxpayers they actually work for into thinking they don’t, that they’re businessmen.

Well they’re not. They’re the opposite of businessmen.

Enough already. Politicians should be approachable looking, accessible, part of public life out here in the street, not dressed in outrageously expensive suits and hiding behind multi-million dollar walls of security.

Ban the chauffeured limousine, too. Enough already. Take public transit, ya bums.

Hey, while we’re at it, governing politicians should only make minimum wage, because that would encourage better public policies in a hurry, wouldn’t it.

People with money don’t need help from politicians, they have money, so why am I paying Stephen Harper to help his friends in the oil and gas industry. They can bleat all they like about how good they are for our economy – it’s still self-serving bullshit, completely at odds with the facts on the ground, which are that good jobs have been lost and the only industry that’s growing is retail.

Retail is only ever part-time and pays the lowest wage legally allowed and that’s the way it is now.

If free trade, lower corporate taxes, and tarsands development are so good for our economy, then why am I working at the mall in my mid-50s?

 

Save Larry Miller’s Brain – Ban the Suit!

“I’m so sick and tired of people wanting to come here because they know it’s a good country and then they want to change things before they even really officially become a Canadian, so I have no sympathy for her.”

That’s Larry Miller, Conservative MP for somewhere or other, following up on his earlier advice to the Muslim woman seeking to wear the niqab at her citizenship swearing in:

“Stay the hell where you came from.”

I can hardly wait until she’s officially a Canadian so she can join the 60% of the 60% who REALLY want to shake up Larry’s unchanging world.

How frightened of ‘change’ do you have to be to think that allowing women to wear a particular garment that means something to them personally during their citizenship swearing in ceremony represents a threat to the very fabric of our nation.

And how good are we that we elect people like Larry Miller, who does and is, to public office, anyway?

Ban the suit, I say. Larry Miller’s is clearly too tight and cutting off oxygen to his brain.

 

Make It So

Okay, I was totally kicking and screaming my way out of writing a book because I’m like that, but this morning I just randomly restarted from a whole ‘nother level and now it looks like I’m gonna hafta sharpen my drawing pen for this sucker.

If I told you I’m beyond excited you’d probably be all like, “No way, Sooey. Fuck off with your re-starts.” But don’t be like that, ‘kay? It’s gonna be alright. I can do this thing, I just hafta up my cartooning skills to being able to cartoon.

Omigawd, I was feeling totally “ugh” about everything yesterday, too. And now I’m still all “ugh” about everything – “My book! My book! Won’t everybody please think of my book!”

Seriously, I just had to blog this because I’m super jazzed right now. Super jazzed. I think it has to do with Sinead O’Connor sending out a message on Facebook this morning that she can’t sing “Nothing Compares 2U” in concert anymore because she’s just not feelin’ it.

I think we all know where Sinead stands on honesty. Like, with a toe in its butthole.

And I was like, “Hey yeah” (as you know, I think in quotation marks) “I’m not feelin’ it, either. And what’s the point of art if it isn’t honest – at least?”

Yeah, so, I’ve basically upped the ante for myself to art.

Holy fuck! Why do I do this?

Insert laughing emoticon here, please, computer.

 

Not THAT Madonna

I’ve skimmed a number of reviews lately about Madonna’s latest album, all, the latest one was in Saturday’s Globe & Mail by Alexandra Molotkow, who doesn’t look old enough in her head shot to have had an appreciation for Madonna back in the day.

I guess I’m talking about way back in the day, though, to Desperately Seeking Susan, when I first became aware of Madonna. The director of Desperately Seeking Susan, which is such a fun movie, went on to make Smithereens, which I sort of remember as being hard to watch. Not because it isn’t good, it is, but because the lead character is so hard to take.

Sort of like how Madonna would be if she hadn’t hit on success, and fairly early on into the game, too.

I wonder if for someone like Madonna there’s ever failure, though?

Even back in the day when I was a fan (mostly of her fashions, although I’ve always liked “Into the Groove” and “Deeper and Deeper”) it was her life story that I found so fascinating for some reason. Losing her mother to cancer when she was only five, her father remarrying one of the housekeepers, and all the details provided by family and friends, like the friend who told of being out on her bike with Madonna and Madonna mouthing off at some biker bikers, one of whom punched her in the face.

She grew up in Bay City, too, where my mother and Aunt Marie took us all on vacation back when I was six or seven. Apple Jacks had been invented as a cereal, because I remember being really excited about ordering a little box of Apple Jacks for breakfast.

Later, in the car on the way home, my younger sister threw up.

So annoying. I remember once when my ex and I were going to the Sault to visit my mother and we stopped in at his parents’ place to take their car, which was more roadworthy, and my mother-in-law insisted on feeding the kids a big breakfast, which one threw up as soon as we hit the highway. On the way back, my mother did the same and the other one threw up.

Funny, we had a third, anyway.

I had Madonna dreams a lot back in the day because I read so much about her, and followed all the sightings. It seemed to me that there was a time when Madonna was the most famous person in the world for a certain demographic, anyway. Girls all over Asia were nuts for her, too, don’t forget.

And I had a co-worker whose adopted daughter (from Korea) was a fan fan, obsessed with Madonna, Madonna Madonna Madonna. But around the time Madonna came to Toronto, and I don’t know if there were other times, I don’t think so, I was very pregnant, and as much as I wanted to go to her show, I didn’t want to be in the crowd.

I was kind of getting over her, anyway. Although when my kids were young I used to put on one of her videos. They loved it. It’s the one where at the end she (a little actress playing her as a kid) dances on her mother’s grave.

Anyway, my co-worker’s ex was a music industry guy and he ended up being in charge of something or other to do with Madonna’s stay in Toronto and he arranged for his daughter to meet Madonna at her hotel room.

And R. was a really kind, nice, gentle girl, naive and young for her age, who really had such a thing for Madonna, it made me nervous, I didn’t like how it might go at all. I didn’t trust Madonna because in all my reading about her, words like kind or nice or gentle never came up, and I was annoyed at my co-worker and her ex for taking such a risk with R.

I knew from my own fascination with Madonna, and Sandra Bernhard’s fascination with Madonna (she asked her to be her friend, on stage, during her stand-up) that a fascination with Madonna in an awkward pre-teen kid was not something that anybody should be taking lightly.

Of course as her parents they got it, but I didn’t think they did at the time, because I wasn’t a parent yet. I thought they were out of it. But they’d been in it with R. for long enough to know what was at stake.

And Madonna didn’t come through, she wasn’t very kind or nice or gentle, because she isn’t any of those things. She was mostly just dismissive. And my co-worker’s ex felt terrible and  my co-worker was angry and poor R. was crushed and cried quietly in the car all the way back home.

I really wanted to meet Madonna after that, let me tell you.

Meanwhile, I picked up a real find, unbelievably in a bargain bin, a book of photos of the making of Desperately Seeking Susan, and I gave them to my co-worker to give to R. and she did and said, honestly, that R. was so happy to get the book because she loved the movie so much.

She loved watching the movie and she loved looking at the book.

I don’t know what happened after that, we lost touch, but just writing this I remembered that she, like me, left her suburban hearth and home, and her kids camped out in her little apartment (she had an adopted son, too, J., who was very protective of R.) every weekend just like mine did, except in Toronto.

And during the week they lived with their dad in the matrimonial home.

Writing this I remember how intrigued I was by her living that way. I even went to her apartment one weekend to see for myself (and have dinner) this weekend campout. I seem to recall staying over, myself. She was also the co-worker, although there were others, who told me “off like a bandaid” when I wanted to break up with my ex long before we were married and had kids, too.

“You’re torturing yourself, him, us. Just go home and tell him you don’t love him anymore. Tell him to get out. Whatever. Hurt his feelings. Make him hate you. He’ll move on. Men do. He’ll have a new girlfriend in two weeks.”

But I didn’t do it.

There’s a line in the Globe piece, “Her fearlessness and her deluded self-belief were thrilling back when she seemed human”, that caught my eye, because, to me, Madonna only seems human now. And her self-belief wasn’t deluded, it’s what propelled her to super stardom. She did world tours, filling stadiums, sold out shows everywhere, on the cover of Vanity Fair every other month, fans and paparazzi staking out the streets for sightings, ratings skyrocketing if she was going to be on Carson or Letterman, people at work were giddy for weeks after her show in Toronto, calling it the best live performance they’d ever seen, except that she was like a little doll on stage so they watched the big screen.

And, you know, when you think “singer”, you don’t think Madonna, do you, and yet, that’s what she does, it’s what she’s always done, as soon as she realized playing the drums wouldn’t get her noticed, and the lead singer flaked out one too many times in her boyfriend’s band. She bullied them into letting her sing.

Her boyfriend said right away it changed. Everything. As soon as she was front and center onstage, suddenly, they had attention, an audience. Or rather, she did. They were over. He even tried to reverse course, he knew they were so over, but she was already gone.

Madonna is not a “living idol”, she was a pop culture phenomenon.

Now she’s human.

Well, what did Bette Davis say, “Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies”.

 

That 70s Show

We have a nice tv that friends of my Beau got him for his birthday one year. They couldn’t stand that we didn’t have a flat screen of an indecent size like everybody else does. I like it, although I’d like it better if it had red leather edging. Or a nice mahogany.

No, oak, so it could be manufactured in Canada.

Anyway, we don’t have cable, so I actually watch tv now. The other night I watched Hot Docs on CBC about how wired we are, how attached to our devices. It was interesting timing because just recently I had occasion to notice how technology seems to be effecting our appreciation (not the right word, I’m sure) of death, too.

Oh, the Hot Doc was about the problem (not necessarily the right word, either) of technology making information about anything and everything too readily available to people who can’t just turn away from it and live their lives.

Of course, a lot of people would say they are living their lives, just differently than how other people have decided we should.

I’m trying to face down “shoulds” these days. Most of the “shoulds” are my own, too, and actually get in the way of writing the book I’ve wanted to write for years.

I said to my Beau when we were walking the dog, yesterday, “Maybe I should give up writing a book so I can enjoy my life. Hey, maybe I should look for a better job, instead. Wow, that was the most freeing thing I’ve said since forever.”

Then I said, “I’m just going to tell you this one thing and don’t judge me and don’t put it on the internet, but I’m tired of feeling like I’m responsible for how other people live their lives. As a mother, I mean. I’m tired of being a mother.”

And there it was. The most irresponsible utterance ever by a mother.

You’re welcome.

But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about the government lying about what it’s up to pretty much all the time now and nobody seeming able to do anything about it.

Oh well, they committed electoral fraud, but they still won, and they’ve got a majority, so there’s nothing we can do about how they lie all the time now about anything and everything if they even bother to lie at all.

The best we can hope for is spontaneous combustion. It could happen. Watching Jason Kenney’s performance as our Minister of War is kind of fun. If Harper’s plan was to neutralize his chance at succession, I’d say he’s halfway there. He’ll soon be stepped over by the affable fellow who succeeded the thuggish, Julian Fantino, at Veterans Affairs.

I wonder if veterans will fall for him in droves, voting for the Conservative Party yet again, as they have for decades.

Be a hero, young man, and go kill people. Because that’s how we do things here now.

Speaking of which, the woman taking on the judge over her ruling against wearing a hijab in court, has said she can’t accept the over $50K crowdfunded on her behalf, and would prefer that it go towards helping other victims of discrimination have their voices heard.

I tweeted what a better country we’d be if our government adopted her values.

It was a popular tweet, but then a Facebook friend, a Montrealer, commented that she turned it down because accepting it would nix her welfare.

And, you know, it’s quite likely that this woman is on social assistance (as people in her situation often are, it being difficult enough for fifth generation Canadians like myself to find employment in this bullshit economy) and that accepting a lump sum of cash would be more trouble than it’s worth (right veterans?) but it’s just as likely that, because she’s an observant Muslim, accepting the money goes against her values.

See, if it were me, I’d take the money. And I’m willing to bet that if it were him, my Facebook friend from Montreal, he’d take it, too. Whether we were on social assistance or just living off our savings, like I am, while working retail at the mall, which is really just stealing a job away from a temporary foreign worker, isn’t it.

I get the impression my Facebook friend is reasonably well-heeled, and the money would make for a free trip around the world, for him and his family.

Anyway, it’s easier, I think, when a government behaves the way this one does, for citizens to jump to lowest common denominator conclusions about each other, too, because that’s what Conservatives are all about, stamping their lies about who we are all over our country.

It takes me back to a time when we should have known better, too, and didn’t.

But if we’re honest, that’s really what Conservatives have always been all about.

 

 

 

Canadian Dos & Don’ts

So yeah, it’s interesting, and I kind of can’t believe it now, but I actually held the position that, well, just banning the burka would be the best thing for observant Muslim women who want the right to wear it wherever and whenever.

You know, and I held that position as a Feminist, which I am, although I do have the odd fascist tendency, I admit. I’m sort of an old-fashioned Feminist, I guess, not one of the new-fangled Feminists who are anything goes.

I would be, but I’m not sex positive enough yet. Or probably ever.

Don’t tell my Beau.

Really, I only support decriminalizing prostitution because I don’t care if my neighbour wants to hang out her shingle, so to speak. Fill your boots, I say.

Although, I guess in her case it would be more like Tender Tootsies.

Because the real problem isn’t prostitution, it’s men perpetrating violence against women, regardless of what we’re doing to make money.

Besides, a guaranteed annual income provided by her government and a room of her own, would both go a long way towards eliminating the only real problem with prostitution (other than men perpetrating violence against prostitutes) which is one of choice and not having one.

And options, lots of options, because I don’t think prostitution is like any other job.

But, I thought the burka should be banned, too, and now I don’t.

No, don’t argue with me. I’ll argue with me, thank you very much.

So the burka. Well, really, I have Stephen Harper to thank for my turnaround on the burka because now I support the choice of women to wear one whenever and wherever. Context is everything and this isn’t even about freedom of religion for me, because I don’t give a rat’s ass about the religious, it’s about telling the men of government that it’s not their right to limit our choices in how we go about living our lives, it’s their responsibility to expand them.

That’s it, really. Wearing a burka doesn’t hurt anybody, including the woman who chooses to wear it. And prostitution doesn’t hurt anybody, including the woman who chooses to work it.

The concern of government should be only those women who are being made to wear a burka or made to be a prostitute.

Who said governance was easy, you highly paid and well compensated unconscionably lazy when it comes to doing your actual job as opposed to being no good shills for Tarsands Inc men of government.

And speaking of which, it’s beyond annoying seeing all those women in the Conservative Party’s fake economic action plan ads sporting head hats, as if the women working in the tarsands are mostly oil rig workers and engineers and not prostitutes.

Not to mention the fact that if those fake ads were about anything other than the tarsands, Conservative Party supporters would be complaining about affirmative action giving women an unfair advantage over men.

Wow, so many women working in tarsands development. Look at all the equality a petro state means for women.

Right, just ask the lady drivers of Saudi Arabia.

Anyway, I’ve been reading various and sundry pundits, and also comments from a certain someone I’m enjoying not publishing now because he can’t not seem to make a comment that isn’t both insinuating and insulting, so fuck him, don’t care, my blog’s for me not you. And they really don’t get how amahhhzing it is (that’s from Happy Endings, which is a brilliant mash up of Seinfeld and Friends, sadly canceled but now on Netflix, where I’ve only ever seen it anyway since we canceled cable a couple of years ago) that this isn’t a debate anymore about whether or not Muslim women should be allowed to veil themselves, here, in Canada, in 2015.

It’s not even a debate, not for me, it’s back to the days when my mother came home with that orange button that asked, “Why Not?”

Except that instead of stepping it up, the answer from today’s men of government is just a combination or permutation of, “Because we say so!”

Well, sorry, eh – but that’s not how we do things here, Mr. Prime Minister.

 

British Schoolgirls Own Adventures – *Update

You’d think a Prime Minister of Canada’s argument “that’s not how we do things here” would be enough of a revelation for Canadians as to who’s on the wrong side of current affairs in the great Government of Canada vs The Niqab debate of 2015.

But thanks to it, my own position has evolved to conclude that observant Muslim women should have the right to wear the niqab wherever and whenever they so choose and I was a complete dunderhead to ever think otherwise.

We’ve got some growing up to do as a country. Who knew observant Muslim women would be leading the fight for greater freedom and democracy for all Canadians in 2015?

You go, grrls.

Anyway, like you, I’m sure, I thought it was pretty strange that those three British schoolgirls could travel so freely to Syria, nobody doing anything it seemed to act in a way that you’d think would be a no-brainer – don’t let three British schoolgirls travel freely to Syria.

Turns out, Canadian intelligence may have given them a lift, so to speak.

But it all stinks to high heaven, anyway, doesn’t it. Conservatives should be so ashamed, and instead they’re digging us all in deeper.

Toto? I’ve a feeling we’re not in Canada anymore…

*CBC confirms the person who helped the girls get into Syria wasn’t Canadian. So, you know, there’s that, at least. Hallelujah?

 

 

Correction

No one official could, would, or even should say it, so I’ll just put it here where it can at least get a passing nod or finger, because I can’t not.

It’s like that now.

But that young man, special ops, I don’t want it said that he died for me.

Only because the truth is that he died for war profiteers and the Conservative Party of Canada, which are one and the same as far as I can tell.

CBC features a former spook all the time now, explaining the ins and outs of CSIS and the important role that unchecked spying on Canadians can play in the War on Terror started by George W. Bush back in the day, if only Bill C-51 is made into law to allow it.

I mean, you’d think to listen to him that they aren’t doing it now, but whatever. Dog and pony show, smoke and mirrors, bread and circuses, politics is theatre.

I don’t know if they offer up a disclaimer on CBC or not, that his job now is lobbyist for Hill & Knowlton.

He was on the Hill recently, a Conservative Party invitee, there to show his former spook in-the-know support for Bill C-51.

There’s really no such thing as a former CIA spook, by the way. They stay on the payroll, too, I believe. I don’t know if that’s the case with CSIS or not.

I hate to bring up money at a time like this, when Canadian soldiers have been tasked by our government (somewhat inexplicably to me) with advising Kurdish forces on how to fight (in the Middle East, though, not here, which is why I find it inexplicable) but for me it just adds insult to injury that I’m helping to finance the personal fortunes and glamorous lifestyles of war profiteers and the Conservative Party of Canada.

Do we pay for appearances on CBC?

Anyway, all I can say is, they’d better start casting their nets wider, because retail and service are on the rise in Canada, but there’s no money to be made in either, and I sure as can’t afford to pay for much more of this.

I’m not even covering groceries for three, anymore.

So yes, this is government for no good reason, if you ask me.

But rest assured, Conservatives, nobody ever does.

So, steady on, I guess.