… and other Tales from the Arabian Nights.
THE SHEIK WAS FEELING… let’s face it. Snarky. He’d just
returned from the Annual General Meeting of the Worshipful Order of Sheiks, where he’d given a TED Talk (“When Your Neighbours are Infidels: A Plea for Slightly Less Tolerance,” which had received only modest applause, hardly the ecstatic reception he’d anticipated) and where he’d been outvoted in his quixotic fight to stop women riding dromedaries on weekends (“Desperate Despot? Sheik Baked Over AGM Drom Com!”).
As a result, Sheiky was stressed as a mofo. No one was upholding traditional, tribal values, and when he told people that they had to align themselves with prehistoric legal codes written by the functionally illiterate, they just laughed.
Clearly it was only a matter of time before wives and daughters and mothers would have the right to leave home without permission in triplicate from the nearest male relative, or failing that, the oldest goat in the herd…
All of the high-achieving ancient prophets and saviors are male, have you noticed? God, Jesus, Joseph Smith, Mohammed, E. Ron Hubbard, Mitch McConnell. They took over heaven like a bunch of CEO’s arranging a pricing cartel and stacked the decks against women.
Paradise is a bunch of juicy young virgins catering to your every whim, no less! Women should hold their tongues in church! Cast your eyes down and act with modesty and deference to your male superiors! Eve, so the libel goes, brought sin into the world, shoved that apple right down Adam’s throat, I have no doubt!
And wouldn’t it just be an apple. Apples! The least sensual fruit, crispy with virtue, hard-edged and painful in the mouth. You have to labour to get the joy from an apple, chew and chew, grind up the leathery red skin, all for the reward of a few paltry drops of sour water. It’s the Protestant work ethic, Calvinist predestination, theodicy, in edible form.
Mortal sin should be a peach, with downy, pink-golden skin, its flesh soft as woman’s flesh, melting effortlessly with the most delicate bite, yielding to you, dripping juice down your chin and all over your hands, until you’re sticky with guilt and you reach for another and another…
A peach: Now that would be worth a thousand Edens, myriad angry gods. Fuck virtue! Grab some peaches, pack up your kit and give god the finger as you pass through the garden gate!
Men had it all sewn up from the beginning. It’s like women overslept and didn’t get to the front of the line-up for the fire sale, and now they’ll never get the combo microwave convection oven for a dollar. The door crashers are GONE, girlfriends.
So much for nurturing, so much for Gaia and cocooning and Netflix and pizza! Where was your drive, your “can-do” attitude? Exactly!
… Anyway, as the Sheik did his AGM post-mortem, Shéhérazade just happened to walk by. She was fully veiled but her hair was in those big curlers the size of coke cans, and she was picking at a box of Turkish Delight.
The Sheik could sense her body shifting under her robes, and this made him think of a bright red tulip that dances fully unveiled in the meadow, caressed by the spring breeze.
Then it reminded him of the contents of a can of evaporated milk that you’ve set in boiling water, at the very moment it turns into caramel, gooey-sweet and luscious.
He perked up.
“Hey, you!” said the Sheik, and Shéhérazade froze in her tracks.
Getting singled out by the Sheik was a zero-sum, rigged game. It could mean another ruby and diamond cuff after a glorious night out at The Drake—or being dragged into Allan Gardens by a mob and impaled on a thousand spikes during Boxing Week.
Generally, however, his unpredictability was considered part of his quirky charm.
He continued, “You, with the, whatchamacallit, graceful stride of an antelope pursued by, I dunno, a cougar? Does that sound right? What’s your name again?”
Shéhérazade nibbled at the corner of another sweet as she considered how best to respond. No point getting him all in a twist with is it sh or sch or is it four or five syllables and is that s-h-a? or s-h-e with an acute accent—? She smelled rosewater, felt the powdery sugar soft on her tongue.
“Susan,” she replied. Her little white cat’s teeth sank into the translucent jelly, which resisted slightly, then offered itself.
“Just—call me Susan.”
“OK, look, little Suzie Q,” said the Sheik (because he was a man, and as such he couldn’t leave one single thing alone; he had to make even your name into a problem to be solved with diagrams and jokes or tarted up with curlicues and arabesques.)
“I’m cosmically bored. Tell me some unbelievable tales, but mark me well: They must truly be beyond comprehension or I shall see that something fiendish and terrible befalls you. I’ll—let’s see, now, cut off your arms and legs and put you in a jeweled box and all will be forbidden to see your beauty except me.
“I’ll wheel the jeweled box containing your torso out into the sunshine and I will let its cruel rays sparkle through the aquamarines and tourmalines and amethysts, glint off the gold leaf as you slowly die in agony—agony so unimaginable you will be unable even to weep!”
“Ok, Ok, I get the idea,” said Susan, adding under her breath, “Jeez, Louise, lighten up!” She continued: “I will tell you the Tale of the Little Black Dress!”
The Sheik settled back onto his throw cushions, lifted his goblet to his lips.
And so she began…
John Tory, Toronto’s kinda-sorta conservalib Mayor, has teamed up with Ford Nation for a truly spectacular outing of that Conservative little black dress with pearls, the Only Policies You’ll Ever Need: Lower taxes, tough on crime!
But I have to say. Though this outfit usually lends grace and style to the most lowly-born princess—and I know you can take the truth—John, you do not look lovely in it.
And you keep cutting off your toes so you can cram your feet into those Liberal Cinderella shoes. Kind of gross, what with all the blood, and in the end a waste of time, because they’re actually far too big for you.
Today’s tough-on-crime doo-dad goes: Toronto Community Housing Corporation will now be able to refuse applications from tenants who have been evicted for “criminal activity” such as drug dealing, assault or property damage.
I”ll pause for a sec until your fist-pumping and cries of “YES!!” die down.
I was pretty sure that property damage could also fall under a civil heading, but I stand corrected. Selling heroin, knocking over a potted plant; getting snippy with the receptionist or smacking your ex in the face with a two-by-four—it’s all equally reprehensible.
I get it. Once you’ve stepped over that line, you’re toast. Even public housing, mandated to supply, you know, housing to the public, will refuse you.
If you had any doubts about what a useless waste of skin you are, consider them resolved!
This measure is, says the article on Global News, “… part of a new strategy the province announced earlier this year to help create more housing and combat homelessness.”
And I ask you. Seriously. What better way to combat homelessness than making people homeless? Talk about obvious, staring you in the face solutions!
Sorry, did I say, “making people homeless?” Correction: Not PEOPLE. “Criminals,” or let’s just drop the namby-pamby Social Justice Warrior jargon and the Political Correctitude that has stifled us for too, too long, shall we? and call it like the fearless, truth-telling conservatives we are.
Not PEOPLE. Not CRIMINALS, even.
PIECES OF SHIT.
Man, I feel better already!
Reading carefully, I note that the article states, “evicted for” not “convicted of.” I’m wondering, you see, if these are evictions that could be based on perceptions, complaints, landlord harassment or malice.
Officially, evictions can be fought at a tribunal of the Landlord Tenant Board, but I’ve known many people who have been wrongly evicted yet either didn’t know their rights or were frightened to pursue the issue. Landlords terrorize their tenants in some cases knowing full well that tenants are intimidated and don’t trust the system to protect them.
Where will Pieces of Shit live, once they’ve been evicted? That’s not an issue, because the Conservatives are Tough on Crime and anyway what sort of nice, law-abiding actual people would care about Pieces of Shit?
Oh wait, that drug-dealing thing. Did you sell marijuana before October 17th, 2018? Because then you’d be a Piece of Shit. Off to the shelter with ya, low-life!
After that date, you would be a Groovy Cutting-Edge Entrepreneur, because suddenly, with another arbitrary wave of the wand that made you a Piece of Shit, you are now, bippity boppity boo, perfectly legal people, and please, sir, this way to your table for two while we valet-park your Mercedes!
Now the Ontario Government sells marijuana, but you went to jail for how many years?
So get yerself the finest cardboard box you can muster from the LCBO, stake out yer patch of Don Valley and don’t forget the Christmas lights and the tallboy can of Carlsberg Special.
Don’t worry: it’s legal.
Well, Nancy Pelosi is no longer the Speaker of the House!Donald Trump, to the Press, on hearing that Pelosi
had begun the formal process for impeachment,
September 25, 2019
Now to our mandatory, but necessarily brief, morning rounds in the world’s largest psychiatric ward, the United States of Fucktardery.
Did You Know: Trump has been influencing the stock market for a couple of years now. Oh yes, siree, he has, so there goes your idea that at least we knew the worst; far from it, my pretties, for “the worst” is a constantly raised hurdle in the gladiator tournament that is the Trump Administration. There the daily goal is: Can you outsprint your personal best worst? You can but try, little warrior, and we who are about to die, salute you!
We’re re-enacting the last gasps of Rome; every day another razor cut on the face of decorum, another fingernail yanked from civility’s hand. And Truth? Ambushed, stabbed in the back.
In the mornings we take a deep breath and check our devices. We don’t know what to expect, we are more on our toes than a clutch of assassins sneaking up on Caesar in the Senate. What will the Twitter Fates decree?
Will he hint at a nuclear strike? Fire Debra Messing? Unilaterally do something dastardly in Iran? Deploy troops? Bring troops home? Call the FBI liars? Take medicine away from terminally ill children? Reconfigure the path of a hurricane? Bribe a hooker? Instruct a trial witness to change his testimony? Ban Muslims? Or vaping? Or make fun of a rape victim?
Such a cornucopia of possibilities in a world where anything tacky, mindless or potentially apocalyptic is possible!
In the service of the enigma that is Trump, every Tweet is vivisected with reverence; intern hands are plunged into its still quivering guts like the wizened hands of augurs squishing through the entrails of an Imperial Roman chicken, to uncover its hidden depths.
How have we not figured out that there are no hidden depths? Trump is one of those trillion monkeys whose random typing will produce Shakespeare’s sonnets, only he’s not the one.
Trump’s Looney-Toon self-serving fantasies, distributed to millions of innocent Twitter users, have, however, caught the attention of stock analysts, who note that a word here or a word there from The Great Mouth Breather can send stocks plummeting or soaring.
Is this just because he so pretty he don’t think too good about the repercussions? Or is it, as one analyst believes, that he’s deliberately manipulating the market to punish his foes and/or to enrich himself?
Hmmmm. I’d say—yes!
Andrew Scheer’s “Find Some Dope on Trudeau” team hit paydirt last week, unearthing not one, not two, but three pictures of Trudeau in blackface.
And although all of these images hugely pre-date Justin’s entry into politics (and although you could equally argue that as the son of a revered, two-times Prime Minister of Canada, Justin was never not in politics), how could I not feel happy for Scheer and his Dementors, because surely the continual effort of simply fabricating lies and feeding them to social media was beginning to feel a bit desperate.
These images have since gone virally international, being referenced on The Late Show and TIME Magazine, among many others.
In fact, TIME Magazine broke the story, completely catching the Canadian Press by surprise. Let me explain further: A rookie reporter, Anna Purna Kambhampaty, with no experience with headlining, breaking stories, who attended a conservative-aligned American Christian school, received a “tip” from a “Michael Adamson” who no one can track down, and was published in TIME, whose editorial staff did not verify the sources or fact-check the story.
In other words, it is possible that conservative-aligned players deliberately encouraged a major American publication to interfere in a Canadian election. Read the full, and at 28 minutes to read, I mean full, analysis of possible dirty tricks » HERE.
As for the actual blackface pictures, I have no excuse to put forward. He apparently believed, without considering the implications of his belief, that this was an acceptable and amusing thing to do.
They say that the sons squander the fortune that the father creates. Justin squanders the legacy of his father, who was a fierce, plain-spoken, authoritarian progressive with the common touch, a man who said, as he invoked martial law against terrorists who had kidnapped two diplomats, “Just watch me.”
Just watch me, and you’ll know what’s happening. Just watch me handle this emergency, and damn your pious talk of civil rights. It was a shocking, courageous, necessary outrage, and Pierre’s legacy lives on, Canada lives on, because of his courage.
Pierre’s legacy is noble, big, all-encompassing, erudite, proud, logical and consistent; pragmatic and visionary. Pierre was a politician of the old school.
Justin says, “Just ignore me.” Justin’s legacy is “Don’t do as I do, do as I say.” Justin’s legacy is a gender-balanced cabinet, transgender rights codified; these are good things, indeed.
But these are easy achievements, niche brownie points for most people. The big achievements that might have been— standing up to big oil and yet not alienating the province that lives on oil; following through on electoral reform; making his case for SNC-Lavalin without the appearance of being underhand, opaque and arrogant; real, instead of Twitter, diplomacy with the King of Saudi about women’s rights that might have bought an activist her freedom—none of these materialized.
Did we fever-dream it all in our post-Harper recovery?
Instead we found out too late that he is an apple fallen far from the tree in achievement but not in entitlement. We’ve seen and been appalled by his weak, defensive management style in not addressing issues proactively or understanding the confusion and impatience of an electorate who sought the ghost of his father and ended up with a two-bit Hamlet. When Trump frenemied him, we were not proud of our PM who stood up to the Big Guy; we felt protective, a worrisome clue.
It’s as though, in taking on the mantle of his father which we offered him, he showed gung-ho willing but in the end had no investment in the role; he hadn’t saved Canada, he hadn’t pulled it all together. That was someone else’s project, and he didn’t know where to find the documentation, the brand assets or the right fonts. His heart isn’t in it; it’s not life or death. He’s the politician as consultant, in and out, and he never knows the name of the receptionist.
He takes after his mother, the infinitely annoying Margaret Sinclair, the prototype spoiled princess (Diana took up the template when the ink had barely dried) who married above her station for the glory and then shied like a new mare at the gate when she realized that she was not just the plaything of a hot daddy: this business involved duty and public life.
Fuddle-duddle that shit! said she, or words to that effect, as off to Studio 54 she trotted to be banged by rock stars, snort cocaine and live the life she was born to, that of a privileged, worthless debutante, which is what she’d wanted in the first place, just with better photo opps.
Once again, nobody is paying attention except the right wing. Once again, progressives dig our own graves by bringing water pistols to a battle being fought with rocket launchers.
Let’s finish with these pictures and get on with our lives. There are three instances of Trudeau in blackface:
First photo is from 2001, when he was a 29-year-old teacher at a school in Vancouver and was attending an Arabian Nights- themed gala
Second is from when he was performing in a talent show as a student at high school
Third is video footage from the early 1990s, when Mr Trudeau would have been in his late teens or early 20s
In other words, these are pictures of a high school student, a teenager and a teacher at a private school, where the fellow guests at this particular “Aladdin” themed event that took place nearly twenty years ago were surprised that anyone would take this seriously or as an indication of Trudeau’s values.
Indeed many Canadians of as many shades of brown and black as you would like have dismissed these images as, not harmless, but certainly not indicating a secret Justin we never knew, or a closet racist bent on baking his prejudice into legislation. They express mainly two views: It was many years ago, these were the acts of a boy in a particular time and place, they were intended, however misguidedly, as harmless fluff; or that they find the images offensive but accept Trudeau’s heartfelt apology.
In other words, NO ONE CARES about Trudeau the teenager in blackface for a school play. Get serious, people.
This is Canada, Murgatroyd McGraw! We don’t like a big fuss and besides, we’re not all that stocked up with photogenic, charismatic and clever. If we took this more seriously than it warranted, we’d be looking at Andrew Scheer, who openly consorts with white supremacists, tells us he won’t revisit abortion, but that he’ll certainly allow his backbenchers to bring forward private bills to be voted on “according to conscience,” in other words, he is going to revisit abortion; Scheer, who worked for a politician who believed homosexuality should be re-criminalized.
We’re looking at the appalling Maxime Bernier, who all but wears a little moustache and a swastika on his arm, whose platform is non-existent except for complete denial of the science of climate change, and whose “People’s Party” exists solely to stoke division and hate;
We’re looking at Jagmeet Singh: An honorable man, a man of integrity, and who I’m ashamed to say may be unelectable because of his turban. In fact, the entire NDP party in New Brunswick just defected to the Green Party, because their constituents are so unable to get past Mr Singh’s religion (he’s Sikh), they feel their party is doomed.
Here’s the choice: Vote for the guy who, not twenty years ago, but within the past four has welcomed refugees, made a commitment to reparations for native Canadians, stood up for human rights in Canada and abroad, stood up to Trump, and wowed us with his fashion flair; or vote for the guy who, not twenty years ago, but within living memory, has compared gay people to dogs, hangs out with bona fide white supremacists, and gets all slippery about his intent regarding women’s reproductive rights.
If we’re going to fall, and I sense we are going to, let’s fall forward. Shall we?
Justin, you’re just as cute as a little red wagon. Now take off your cojone-shaped earrings and put those little suckers back where they belong.
Meanwhile, down in Loosiana…
an American woman bit the testicles of a 600-lb camel in order to escape when it sat on her (her arms were pinned down, too). She and her husband were visiting a petting zoo at a truck stop—we could conceivably stop right here for our ham sandwiches and Thermos of Tim Horton’s, but I’ve got lots to cover— and had thrown treats into the camel’s enclosure. Their dog ran into the enclosure, they ran after the dog, and that’s when the terrible camel sitting moment occurred.
Their dog is deaf, by the way.
Three cheers, then, for good old American pluck and ingenuity in the war against the stupidity of the same person exercising the pluck and ingenuity.
Truck stop manager Pamela Bossier says she was shocked and angered by the incident.
“What happened Wednesday was kind of really crazy,” she told local news station WBRZ. “She actually bit him in his private area. That’s about as nice as I could put it.”
I wish I was kidding.