I’m Coping Very Well by Ignoring Reality

and I cannot stop touching my face



It’s the best of all possible corona virus worlds, here in my isolation tank where any random visitor is at least occasionally a “client” of a homeless shelter, the crowded, understaffed “as good as they deserve” warehouses where they use coughs to communicate instead of actual words; or someone like myself, who believes that white guys just don’t get sick. But do white gay guys get sick?

Hurray! A Virus that’s not gay!

Hello, heterosexuals. How are you coping?

Those of you who aren’t ornery scofflaws— who defy instructions to practise preventive measures and tell Facebook groups that“more people die of the flu” (which you can’t possibly know, because this pandemic has just begun)—are all in a panic, confused by the conflicting directions—

about using or not using masks, about whether you can leave the house, go to the store (yes you can, if you are not under orders to self-isolate, but stay two metres away from people);

or what’s quarantine versus isolation (quarantine is what you do for two weeks when you have no symptoms or known exposure to the virus; isolation is what you do when you’re ill and actively symptomatic, and you are probably under order to do so).

As the days grind into weeks, you’re probably feeling a little haunted, like the spooked protagonist in a slasher flic. And you have no omnipotent narrator, you have to piece together what’s happening bit by bit, your paranoia and anxiety focusing under pressure like a lens focusing a ray of sun. Someone may be watching you, calling out, “NO! For the love of god, don’t put that fork in your mouth—!!” but they’re in the audience; you’re in the movie.

You’re suddenly realizing that this is serious shit, that the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV2, is lying in wait, everywhere.

Toxic droplets spritz out of the mouths of your co-workers, virus RNA is lurking on the loving hand you caress after dinner, dancing the hokey-cokey on your cutlery and embedded in your throw cushions and on the bathroom sink and…

The virus can live, in the right conditions, for days. Days. A touch, a breath, a few droplets of saliva in the air, and you’ll be infected. You may not know you’re infected, and there is substantial transmission from the asymptomatic, possibly twenty-five percent of the infected. You could pass the virus on to your household. Your child could kill you.

A woman in Vancouver sat on a church pew, contracted the virus, and died.

In fact, seventy per cent of us will contract the virus. But we won’t call it the “Straight Disease,” or even the “Wuhan Virus,” because those terms would be accusations, just like the accusation when HIV was called, and still is popularly considered, the “gay virus” and AIDS the “gay disease.”

Now that a pandemic affects you, tell me how you feel. Scary, isn’t it? How are you coping? Are you afraid for your loved ones? For yourself?

Feeling a little depressed? Crying? Going stir-crazy? Are you feeling guilty about eating, hugging, shaking hands, going to church, seeing a movie, visiting your mom in the old folks’ home?

Are you having sex? Are you promiscuous?

“Are you clean?”


Touching your face is just to be expected.

Today I touched my face thirty-five thousand two hundred and seventy-eight times. I counted them. I did. Following the five-second rule, I ate a piece of shortbread cookie that I’d dropped on the floor and I drank cold coffee out of someone else’s cup. I guzzled milk out of the carton with my lips clamped around the spout, where it says open this end, sneezed into the spout, then put the carton back in the fridge.

Proceeding to the bathroom, I surreptitiously picked my right nostril, touched the bathroom door knob with my bare hands, then spent some time examining a blemish.

I rubbed my eyes.

Then I brushed my teeth, and I’m not a hundred per cent certain I didn’t use the toothbrush that’s dedicated to cleaning around the hinges of the toilet seat.

How am I not dead? I’m like an idiot savant walking across the Don Valley Parkway in a state of blissful ignorance, looking straight ahead as the vehicles miss me by a hair’s breadth.

Having brushed my teeth, I went to the kitchen, licked my index finger and picked up off the counter, then ate, some crumbs of shortbread; then I made a big batch of mayonnaise from scratch, using raw egg yolks, while smoking.

I am a disgusting faggot who deserves to die.


Being a white guy protects you against COVID-19

Because being a white guy protects you against everything: homelessness, being dumped by your girlfriend on a rainy Sunday afternoon, any negative emotion except anger, and coronavirus.

White guys think optimistic thoughts, like, I’ll probably get the job instead of the black dude; and everyone likes me more than the Muslim guy who is going to bomb something; and I have a nice house.

I’ll probably get a couple more nice houses! Then I’ll always have a clean one handy.

Either the white guys are optimistic because they always win, or they always win because they’re optimistic. They should do a study.

Trump had the coronavirus test. Millions of Americans can’t be tested, but Donald jumps the line. What’s the point of being Prez, you just know he’s thinking, if you can’t jump the line? That’s what clout is—a fancy, guy-talk word for privilege.

In Canada, the protocol is no testing of the asymptomatic; Trudeau therefore has not been tested and has not pulled strings to be tested. Canadians take a dim view of people being more equal than others.


Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister, and effectively running the country for the time being, leading with a persona and voice that are “forceful but not frantic, intelligent but not incendiary” is the star of the moment.

But I’m not surprised. She’s taken down Saudi Princes over the oppression of women, and the US President over his “security concerns” prompting tariffs, without losing her cool composure. Tackling one more nasty piece of unnecessary genetic material should be second nature by now.

Says the LA Times:

She won credit globally for speaking out in favor of the liberal international order — perhaps the only prominent North American official to do so — and she was not shy about the importance of using military force.

“Of course it must be a last resort,” she told the broadcaster CBC last year. “But I really believe in this moment today — when … there are many threats to the liberal international order — it is precisely the democracies, it is precisely the countries that stand for values and human rights that also need to be ready to say we are prepared to use hard power when necessary.”

LA Times, Apr 2, 2020

She’s our very own Nancy Pelosi, and there’s nothing I want to do more than to head out in my church clothes and lunch with those ladies.

Freeland is a politician of international reputation, a distinguished and influential author, a mother. Iron fist in a velvet glove. She is Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, the second in command. We accomplish in the blink of an eye, effortlessly, what the US fails to accomplish in the past five years of non-stop campaigning, division and dirty tricks: a female political leader showcasing her brilliance at the highest levels of responsibility.

Canada fucking rocks.


But getting back to nasty infections: Trump was swift to brand this virus the “Wuhan” virus. (This means that we will never hear him say the word “virus” without “Wuhan” ever again, compare “crooked Hillary.”) Great care was taken by the scientific community to brand the disease the virus causes COVID-19, a neutral identity, unrelated to race or nationality.

But Trump can’t conceive of any interaction that’s not “them versus us,” the real people versus the fake, good people versus bad. White people wouldn’t have caused this, is what he’s telling us. Chinese people are verbally abused and assaulted as a result.

Trump tries to pressure the manufacturer 3M not to sell N95 medical grade respirator masks to Canada. Now, the guy has to look out for Americans, I understand that. But he also has to make everything into a battle that he wins.

He couldn’t just pick up the phone, could he? Be a mensch?

“Hey Justin, how’s Sophie doing? And the kids? Let’s sort out this respirator mask business, can your people work with my people and get this moving? We’re all in this together.”

Nope. Authenticity, the simple human touch minus the bombast, is not in his repertoire. His tsunami of ego, thundering across his twiny self-esteem, even twinier than his twiny hwands, is still smarting from Justin’s words, Justin’s push-back, Justin’s refusal to rise to the bait.

Donald drops the bombs; Justin puts out the fires, grows a beard for extra gravitas and pulls on a new pair of polka-dot socks.

Justin is everything Donald isn’t: intellectual, calm, contained, suave. A little too suave at times, but we’re not complaining, much. Justin apologizes.

Canadian trolls and Conservatives and the odious Maxime Bernier—who is absolutely not gay—are trying to politicize Trudeau’s every utterance and act. They don’t realize that partisanship is not appreciated right now, that they come across as bullies, or, even worse, spiteful towards Canadian heroes—that is, if any one is paying any attention at all to their childish sulks.

Chrystia Freeland polishes the optics until they gleam, referring to Doug Ford as “my therapist”! Her response to the pandemic, part of her plan, is to make nice to the most detested provincial leader next to Alberta’s Jason Kenney. This is all about parachuting into enemy territory, then asking, “How can I help?” This all about the sublime holding hands with the ridiculous.

A Twitter-ette is aghast that Trudeau is taking up Jeff Bezos’ offer of logistical help. Yes, Amazon is a parasite on the retail market, yes, Bezos won’t be satisfied until he has a monopoly on every nook and cranny of every market that sells any good or service to anyone; yes, Bezos pays no tax because—his business model eschews profits and focuses on revenue; yes, his workers are just stand-ins until the AI robots are ready to be deployed.

Yes, but lives are at stake and if the big, bad wolf offers warehousing and deliveries—you take his paw and skippity off to grandma’s nursing home, grateful for the help because otherwise people will die. To my immense satisfaction, someone else took her to task, saying,

“You sound like a Bernie supporter.”

I knew exactly what he meant: petty, dull, self-absorbed, illogical; childishly unwilling to compromise the little principle for the greater good.

“No, thank you, evil Jeff Bezos! Because you are mean to your employees and are a rapacious capitalist we scorn your tainted help! We’ll tell the old folks’ families that their deaths were not in vain!”


Don’t eat cold food!

Jeepers! Cold food is one of the worst things you can indulge in when you’re trying to stay virus-free. Think of what cold food means: ice cream. Eat cold ice cream and the corona virus is lured in. Even non-living entities made up of coils of RNA (raspberry-nougat-almond) and DNA (Dutch chocolate-nectarine-anise, which is European) adore ice cream. The usual strains normally prefer vanilla, chocolate or strawberry; of course, there’s the odd retro-virus that likes pistachio and tutti-frutti and rum-raisin. The kind of viruses your Dad would have liked!

Tell your wife or girlfriend to serve you food that’s hot! And if you don’t have a little lady to take care of the food preparation, just keep microwaving the ice cream, ten minutes on “high.” You got it, bro! Hit me some, c’mon!


Don’t overload your body with nutrients

NUTRIENTS ARE WAY TOO DEMANDING. One week it’s acai berries, then it’s Omega-3 fatty acids, then anthocyanins. If it’s not strawberry socialism it’s blueberry Bolshevism! My friend says there’s a vibration that will protect you from the coronavirus, and just think of the money and time that could be saved if only my friend could remember who told him! Or I’ll just eat a mango.

It’s time to put nutrients in their place. Replace nutritious food with, for example, Pop Tarts. I’ve eaten virtually nothing but Pop Tarts for the past two weeks, and already I’m going to the bathroom less. Yes, not at all is less. I hope to completely give up that total waste of time, sitting-on-the-john-in-the-bathroom boondoggle, and, the way things are going, in approximately three more days, I’ll just explode anyway.

Stand back—WWWWHHHHHOOOOOOAHHH!

Done! Gimme another Pop Tart, and slather some Nutella on that sucker! Just stick it here, in the crater where my stomach used to be!

Confession: I had never eaten, if that’s the word, a Pop Tart before. But I remember that pop tarts were part of the invasion of space food in the fifties and sixties. Those decades were hopeful and focused on the future, and the future was going to be super neat, if not downright spiffy. Now that we’d killed a dog by shooting it up into space in a rocket pulled by visible strings, there seemed to be no limit to our useless imaginations.

These tools called computers were going to be in every home that had a garage the size of a railway car and its own source of electricity, and they were going to relieve us of the doldrums of work. We would then spend our time in our bathing suits by our swimming pools.

Such a persuasive dream that no one ventured to ask exactly where our money would come from so that we could give up work and live like three hundred million Gina Lollabrigidas vacationing in Monaco.

One day we woke up and food was gone. Goodbye to braised beef and roast chicken and fresh vegetables and home made fruit pies, because, Sputnik. Food, nutrients, the boondoggle! You can’t build a rocket in the spare time that exists between shopping, cooking and cleaning up after home-cooked meals. That would be madness!

There aren’t enough women to do all that housework and cook all that food and service all those menfolk—while wearing full-length calico and popping Valium to deflect suicidal ideation—in, like, the Universe!

And you can’t have raspberry pies or hamburgers or fish sticks floating in front of your atomic degromulator! That would be chaotic!

Computers were longer coming than we thought, but while waiting we did have astronaut food. Astronaut food came in powdered form and in small packets. Real food was the size of a house compared to Tang, an orange beverage only in color, and Carnation Instant Breakfast, an inferior chemical-laced quasi-milkshake that contained absolutely every nutrient you needed that was in the glass of milk you added to the powder.

Pop Tarts are a revelation. What happened to my life? They taste like an old Peak Freen cookie that’s been run over by an eighteen-wheeler, then rubbed over your grandfather’s asshole when he mistook the waistband of the trackpants he’s been wearing for six weeks for his pocket. With marshmallows.

Putting them in the toaster lifts them from unappealing to dangerous when, like me, you think that, because they have icing on them, you’re supposed to leave on the silver paper covering that keeps them “fresh.”

Whatever “fresh” means with respect to something assembled in a factory by a bunch of mechanical arms.


Bad food is a comforting companion if your dog is circling Alpha Centauri

Yesterday I started my evening meal with shortbread, followed by a coulis of cream cheese frosting. No need for cake! I washed this down, always my favorite turn of phrase for mindful eating, second only to “chunky soup” and “sliders,” with semi-frozen Fresca, “the 1970’s drink.”

Fresca is, yes, a grapefruit-flavored soft drink from the seventies. This reflects our values of the time: hard work, dedication and sacrifice that only grapefruit could embody, especially considering the cancer risk of Aspartame, or is it Alzheimer’s.

I’ve spoken countless times, OK, once, about the discovery of the pink grapefruit, a major highlight of my drab, small-town childhood where the most exciting thing to do was find an old blanket, invite the little girl next door to join you underneath it and compare your genitals. And that’s when you were sixteen! Hey, why don’t you have one?

My mother would buy jars of grapefruit segments that looked like the pictures anti-abortion protestors put on their placards. We would eat these pulpy embryos, sip the harsh, mouth-abrading juice and squint as we cried. We could have triumphed, if only we had known what the battle consisted of.

Make a Fresca slushy or Fresca sorbet: Put the biggest fucking bottle of Fresca you can find in the freezer until it’s frozen solid. Run the neck of the bottle under the tap, twist off the top and point it at someone who can take a little tease, because that sucker’s gonna squirt like twenty Jenna Jameses having their g-spots finger-pounded by half the guys on Fraternity X.

Fresca! The nineteen-seventies drink!


Now anyone can be a hero

If you touch a Doug Ford—wash your hands.

Dug-up Ford, the suppurating, pustule covered reincarnation of his gloriously dead brother, Rob, is now a mash-up of Winston Churchill and Pierre Trudeau (accept no substitutes) because he’s been competent for two weeks. He’s become a hero faster than we can lower our standards.

I hope you’re afraid.

I do. I want you to feel what I felt, every second of your life, until this is over.

Who will be next? Will it be me?

I hope you think of your isolation now and then think of those of us who lay in hospital beds, infected, though no one yet knew it, by a virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus; beds filled with barely-living skeletons abandoned by family, pariahs with no one to touch them.

Must be their lifestyle.

Serve ’em right.

An entire generation—gone.

I hope you remember every time anyone said we deserved it and I hope you shed a thousand tears for every one I shed for every friend who died and I hope you have an hour of fear for every second you delayed your response because it was just a bunch of queers who deserved to die.

But I don’t hope you or your loved ones die. That’s what makes us different.

Dougie a hero? Please. Dougie’s in a panic, and Dougie is not very smart, but he’s smart enough to know that how much he’s loathed in this city, for cuts to essential services. These cuts have made millions of people poorer, less well educated, less healthy and ultimately more vulnerable. Here, once again, is the list (click to view in a new window) :

So please don’t tell me what a hero Doug Ford is. His two-week stretch of pink, sweaty panic doing duty for competence is like your child’s macaroni picture that you stick to the fridge—wonderful, but only for a six-year-old.

And let me rephrase my former statement. I don’t want you to die.

Doug Ford? Not so much.

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Well, thank gawd THAT’s over…

… and now, back to reality.

The natural ruling party of Canada, the Liberals, didn’t exactly ace the election, but, considering Justin’s lapses of taste at costume parties and his penchant for making little Attorney General girls cry, they didn’t do too badly.

Doug Ford still looks like this, though:

Attack of the Zombie Fordz! The image shows seven Doug Fords and the late Rob Ford as zombies, looking down at the viewer with evil grins.

I don’t want to confuse my international fans. Dug-Up* is the Ontario Premier (think governor), and his leadership wasn’t being contested last night; this was a Canada-wide Federal election, not a provincial one.

{*I call him “Dug-Up Ford” because I consider him, in both appearance and ideology, to be the undead stinking zombie-fied putrescent walking remains of his late brother, Rob, erstwhile international embarrassment and Mayor of Toronto. Yes, I am shallow and childish and if millennials can call Elizabeth Warren a “corporate lackey” I can portray an actual corporate lackey as a festering corpse. And no I don’t care that Rob had an addiction problem and cancer. I’m glad he’s dead. Glad, glad I tell you!}

But he is of the Conservative Party in its most egregiously awful form, and in response to his repressive neoliberal economic policies, his corruption and his general repugnance, and as a statement that we could not allow Conservative leader Andrew Scheer to turn back the clock on our Progressive values, Toronto sent a clear message about Conservatives in general and voted Liberal en masse, sending Dougie a well-deserved smack in the gob, punch in the kisser, slap in the mug, et cetera.

This is, seriously, the political map of Toronto’s ridings as of last night:

Yep. That’s red for Liberal. Every friggin’ seat. I’m sorry I doubted you, fellow Canadians. We head into the future with the New Dems set to hold Trudeau to his promises and continue our push leftward, against the worldwide trend.

You see, Canadians are slow to anger, but we know what makes us unique and essential and we aren’t about to let some skanky Alberta Con destroy that for some pipeline and a few trashed abortion clinics.

Alberta now wants to separate. Sulk much? That’s the way to lose, Western Canada, by picking up your Super Mario handsets and leaving in a huff. Well, no cigar. You won’t get your laughable referendum or your land-locked independent, oil-guzzling, backward dictatorship.

You’ll just have to pull on your long pants, sit at the grown-ups’ table and learn to talk polite. Also, stop mushing your peas together with the mashed potatoes and eating them with a spoon. It ain’t fittin’.

You see, it’s a well-recognized fact that Alberta has been so totally Conservative for so long, they’ve lost the feel for democracy. This was made most obvious during the secretive and anti-democratic regime of that ur-Albertan, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who prorogued Parliament not once but twice, destroyed science-based climate change studies and refused to honor subpoenas from the Commons that requested information on his government’s support for torture.

Harper, who despised the idea of a Canadian identity and ridiculed Canadians’ insistence that our values did not align with those of the US, openly declared, “I get more work done when Parliament isn’t in session.”

In other words, the work of democracy stood in the way of his agenda; he wanted more than anything to turn democracy inside out and to make a government of men, not laws. The parallels to Trump are real and frightening. This is the attitude that the rest of the country, and Trudeau, now must contend with, and there currently aren’t enough corners, dunce caps or time-outs to meet the demand.

I’ll weigh in more after I’ve had a chillaxing foam bath, attended by my election acolytes, many of whom look an awful look like the hunky Pete Buttigieg and some of whom look an awful lot like the luscious Seth Myers— I’ve choked the chicken over Trudeau so many times, it’s become just another old plateful of coq au vin—while sipping a lightly fizzed, boutique brewed, all-Canadian-apple hard cider with just a hint of pamplemousse.

Afterwards, I’ll choose my evening’s entertainment with care to complement my buoyant mood. No, I’m not tending toward the circus spectacle of Mulvaney telling Americans to “get over” the quid pro quo that apparently happens “all the time,” or of Trump trashing the “phony emoluments clause” of the US Constitution, as horribly entertaining as those are. I’m taking a day off from easy targets and obvious pleasures.

I need some depth.

So instead, I’ll prepare a bag of microwave popcorn, add extra salt and butter, settle into my armchair (outfitted with a fully plumped-up hemorrhoid cushion), then, when the priest gets pushed offstage, I’ll pump my fist and scream, “YESSSSSS!”

It’s a good, liberal life.

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Keep your kids, like. Ignorcent?! (TM) with Dug-Up Ford and Susan Dreamy, D.D.

Hi, I’m like,

susandreamy

Susan Dreamy?  D.D?  That’s Doctress of Dreaminess, OK?  And I’m here today to help you live a dreamy,

Life?  Also to talk to you about the things that are really, really,

Like, important?  OK?  So let’s get, like, started?

So Dug-Up Ford and like, the Conservatives in Ontario, have, like. Your kids best interests.

At heart?

They know that being like, a Doctor or Doctress of Dreaminess takes hard, like.

Work?

And they want your kids to live a dreamy, you know, life?  Just like. You know.

I do?

They want to keep your kids, you know.  Ignorant and Innocent, OK?

That’s why they came up with this new, awesome, like.

Conservative Thing?

It’s called

Ignorcence!™

And they tee-emmed it, which is so you know that it’s like.

Theirs?  OK?

Ignorcence™ is like, ignorance, but super dreamier cause you’re like. Innocent, too!?

Conservatives know that your kids are being distracted by like, shhhhhhhh!!!!! naughty things? 

Like wobblyboobies or crotchpackets and sticking goggodoodies up your, you know.

Gash?

That’s wrong!  You don’t find out about, like naughty things like your poodangle or your whattamahoozie in school!  That’s like, dirty snowflake stuff!  Not dreamy, OK?

It’s better for your kidz to focus on arithmetic and, like.

Yeah!?

So Mr. Dug-Up and the Conservatards are doing, the right, you know. Thing? And rolling back naughty! whisper! sex! ed!  So we can forget all the stuff that’s not dreamy!

And then your kids can learn about whipwangs and bleedywunckets, like, after school!  Your kids will be, like.

Ignorcent!™

and so fucktarded dreamy about sssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh!!!! SEX!

It’ll take like, five of them? Working together just to figure out how to stuff Johnny’s peeperdoodle??!! into Jenny’s, like.

woofooney???!!

Like at recess?  You know? But they can always do that for, I guess, like.

Homework?!?!?!

That’s, like, your Ford vote working for Ignorcence™! Like, day and night!

Let’s make Ontario Ignorcent™ again!   Thanks Mr Dug-Up!!  Thanks for your

Ignorcence!!!???™

Also, when your kids go on, like, Facebook, there are sometimes, like, GUYS?  Who sound really really dreamy cool, but then they want to meet you after class is out, but it’s like OK?

Because your mom and dad sent them!  That’s like.

Super dreamy??!!!

Brandy met someone about a month ago, and we, like, just got the postcard from, like.

Brazil?!??!?!  

Brandy’s having an awesomely awesome dreamytime and meeting a lot of cute, like.

Boys!!!??

Brandy is super super IGNORCENT™!  Thanks Mr. Dug-Up, you’re, like.

SUPER DREAMY!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??

And so is being your new thing, like IGNORCENT!
Except that’s SUPER SUPER AWESOME, too!


DREAMY, LIKE.  JENNIFER!!?? INTERVIEW!?!?!?!?

Hey there!  Jennifer!  You look super super awesomely dreamy??!  How is your, like,

Ignorcence!???????????????™

“It’s OK, I guess. Yeah. Feels good. I dunno. Protected. Whatever.”

That’s, like.  AWESOME, and, like. The twins?

“Well, you know, fucktard Fords. I drank some dishwashing soap and hot water and jumped up and down for three hours.  Finally that lady down the hall managed to scrape them out with a coat hanger.

“Johnnie and I named them Ford-Blobs One and Two. Then we buried them in the back yard, but the cat dugged ’em up.  Gross.

“We’ll just fuckin’, I dunno. Wait for the full moon. Worst case scenario, like, pray harder and bury ’em deeper next time?  

“So, like, sorry but I gotta finish my relief map for geography class. Nice talkin’ to ya.

“Oh yeah, if ya see Johnnie, tell him to come home and hurry up cause I’m still fuckin’ bleeding.”

That’s SUPER SUPER DREAMY JENNIFERRRRR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a DREAMY LIFE, GUYS!  IGNORCENT™!!!????!?  OK?????!!!!!???!?!?

I have a perfectly good excuse +PLUS+ I SOOOOO Don’t Dig Dug-Up Ford

I admit that “perfectly good excuse” thing sounds a little defensive, and it didn’t work with Miss Smedley, either, but it’s been AGES since I’ve posted something.

This blog, the tainted well from which I drew the idea and some of the content for my book —the cranky, anti-social triplets named PeeDeeEf, Epub and Paperback who’ve just clawed their way out of my man-womb — has been sorely neglected as I bore down, deep-breathed and screamed for an epidural in the form of heaving great cartloads of e-money jabbed into my aching bank account. And I was rather looking forward to a little break just to have a good guy-cry and let the mental stretch marks heal…

Acolyte on duty — ! I require a full-body-to-body application of your finest replenishing cream with colloidal factors and vitamin e, and don’t forget the light touch and upward, circular motion this time!

{You know, and can I just say, seriously. Millennials! Pretty as sin, but self-absorbed — !}

Unluckily for both me and him, the nightmare DUG-UP-FORD is He, who thicks man’s blood with cold — who you might mistake for the exhumed, reanimated corpse of a gratefully forgotten former “Mayor” of Toronto, but who is actually the Dug-Up Ford who’s now become the leader of the Conservative Party in Ontario* — having pulled on for his full-body fat suit, in the manner of Hannibal Lecter, the suppurating flesh-envelope of that thankfully dead ex-Mayor brother of his, Rob — (should have whacked that bleached, beached whale a few more times with the edge of my shovel, make note for next time) — has replenished my tanks of gall and bile with premium fuel, and I will not spare you the full force of my smug, elitist, downtown Toronto gay sensibilities as I labor for Dug-Up to follow his sibling into the political grave he so richly deserves. Stay tuned for THAT one.

If all else fails, I’ll call up Maggie Atwood, who just barely escaped being fired as a cultural icon by Robbie Baby Bobby Booby, getting tattooed all up her arms and then forced to run the proposed Front Street Ferris Wheel in a pair of dungarees, and we’ll throw her collected works at him — in hardcover, mind you — until enough sharp corners have caught him in the temple that he keels over, or at least learns some respect.

In any case, I recommend Scarberia General Hospital reinforce the floor in the furthest corner of one of their public wards, prepare two of their largest beds, then push them side by side ready to receive der Führer des Ontariolumpenproletariats. The prognosis is poor.

There’s no need to find out what his “platform” will be. I present for your delectation the complete, hard-core conservative playbook which, when you boil it down, comprises the only two ideas they ever have: Lower taxes, tough on crime. It’s their little-black-dress-with-string-of-pearls of policy: Goes absolutely everywhere, darling, and they always feel pretty when they throw it on.

Good ol’ regular, disgruntled, middle-aged-to-elderly heterosexual white guys, str8-tards, in a word, from Don Trump to Dug-Up Lump, wherever they may lurk, in suits or sweatpants, bespoke Ferragamo or Payless trainers, all share the same reductionist philosophy and the same resentment of their betters.

Yeah, you heard me, betters, because five kajillion Dug-Up Fords do not supply genetic material of sufficient quality or quantity to replace one little fingernail of one Margaret Atwood.

Ms Atwood has a legacy, a body of work, an international reputation. They study her work in universities, for chrissake; write Ph.D. theses about her novels and poetry. (The only thing you’ll find written about the Fords, apart from fawning articles in The Sun, are City of Toronto conflict-of-interest investigations.)

Margaret Atwood, through a lifetime dedicated to literature, to a life of the mind, to wrestling with big ideas and creating big tales that enlighten and engage and entertain a receptive worldwide audience, did much of the heavy lifting over the course of five decades to put Canada on the cultural, indeed any, map.

But with one good, disingenuous awww, shucks Margaret Who, a Dug-Up Ford tells us that, sure, those effete Toronto elites get that high-falutin’ stuff, but not good, decent, down-to-the-salty-earth regular hockey-playin’ guys!

And yet you Trumps and Lumps, despite your postures of humility and down-home folksiness, have to angle your heads to get them through a doorway, so highly do you not-so-secretly esteem yourselves. And so you are impatient: with rules, with the rule of law in particular, and with restrictions and with consultations. It’s your show, isn’t it, baby?

Why do you guys even run for public office, when you so patently despise the word “public” in any form? The reason for the rule of law, the rule of anything, is that we’re all in this together. And it’s your job as a leader to have a vision for your country or province or city, to understand all our concerns and then to realize that vision through decisions that are in the public interest, not in the interests of you or your bank account, or the interests of the person who paid for your election, or of the lobbyists who lobby you as mayor but also as owner of a business. That’s called conflict of interest.

That contempt for the public good is what your disgusting, disgraceful, pushin’-up-daisies crack-addled brother displayed when he elaborately and disdainfully took himself out of the city for Pride, thus making it acceptable to disrespect and marginalize the LGBT community. It’s not all about you, your people, your company or your ego.

You know what I hate most about Don, and Dug-Up and all their ilk? People like them make it cool to be stupid. And I hate that so many people in the Greater Toronto Area are suddenly going to be so friggin’ cool.

~

Otherwise, I have been laboring like a raft-full of Roethke’s on Ritalin laying out my book in EPUB format and whatever the Kindle version is called. Oi ve voy! says I, which is Dutch for “more tedious than tulips!”

The formatting task is exquisitely complex and, while I must deploy Word 2016 styles with the precision and consistency of a 21st-century Gutenberg or the conversion program will spit out my book like a two-year-old with a mouthful of puréed spinach, e-reader-readers can blithely toss out my painstaking layout and design and substitute purple text on black, in columns, in effect redesigning my book.

Then one cold white night I got cold feet about Amazon and Barnes & Noble and my one go at fame, so I took out all the “f-words” and replaced them with “frigs” and “fuddle-duddles” (expecting a call from Justin’s lawyer as I assume Pierre held the copyright in perpetuity on that one) and just made the ideas more dirty; plus I keep re-writing everything and making it “better”, which I will have to force myself to stop doing or I will be found six months from now at my computer mummified in a brittle exoskeleton of dust, Peak Freen biscuit crumbs and cheap native cigarette smoke.

As a by-product of creating my book I’ve also discovered my own distinctive style of creating digital imagery and illustration from boring old AP photos and selfies, which has produced some humdingers.

Please note that “humdinger” can fall on either side of the positive/negative divide. (Titanic survivor: “That was one humdinger of a trip, eh?”) Few of these images will be in the paperback version, and for sure not in color, so, hellooooo — collector’s item.

Fun fact of the day:

On this day, March 13th, in 1781, English astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus.

And I say, join the crowd, Bill. Join the crowd.

δ


* [update, June 20th, 2018:

[Doug Ford is now Premier (think “Governor”) of Ontario. 

[No, wait: not just Premier. “The People’s Premier”.

And if there’s two things we know in Orwellandia, it’s that god made little green apples for collective farming, and that anything that’s labeled “for the people” is guaranteed to be so NOT for The People and so very much FOR the one percent who’ve managed to manipulate, fool and bully The People into squandering their votes, possibly in the last election for a while. Next up: fun and games.  Don’t adjust your set.]

The NightMayor before Christmas: Zombie-Rob Ford returns from the dead to tell his bro’: “This time I want REVENGE!!!!”+PLUS+ Random Reco’s

zombie3b
We didn’t use enough garlic. Or stakes.  Or garlic steaks.  Or something important.  Obviously! Because now – there’s TWO OMFG, EIGHT of them!

Aw Jeez, Louise, not another one!

Sometimes… trying to choose my words, here … sometimes…

… how to put thissometimes it’s like, you’ve just this minute finished whacking your living-dead disgrace of an ex-mayor in the noggin with a coal scuttle, chopping off his flabby, pustule-sprouting, gangrenous limbs and throwing the whole squalid, stinking mess of decaying arms, legs, torso and head into an anonymous pit filled with quicklime, where, upon impact, said body parts explode like overripe melons – and then, goldarnit, what happens but you have to, like, turn right around and do it all over again.  What the fuck??!!

You ever get that?  Yes, no?

That’s how I felt yesterday, when I learned that living-dead Zombie-Rob’s brother, Doug Ford, was busier than a pedophile hockey coach on Junior League Recruitment Day rousing the Ford Nation rabble in a last-ditch attempt to finish the job his brother started, namely:-

The zombie-engineered total evisceration, deracination, exfoliation and extirpation of the city of Toronto.

(“Evisceration??” says Zombie-Rob, salivating:  “Sounds like luuuuunch!”)

But this isn’t just picking up where Zombie-Robbie Baby, the Un-Doug, left off.  Oh no, my terrorized little Virginias, this is exponentially more.  This time—inspired by his ghoulish bro’s beyond-the-grave lust for revenge (and that unexpected zombie-Rob-hankerin’ in the afterlife for his favorite tea-time snack, a bucket of KFC, hold the salad, dude)—this time—

Doug’s MAD.  REAL mad, the way only a 905-er can git.  He’s mad down to his white wall mag tires, Stanfield boxers, wife-beater and Molson Canadian; he’s mad at those elites, mad at the big words; mad mad mad about bein’ oppressed by a bunch of Politically Correct Women’s Libbers, Yo!

He’s fuckin’ MAD at Margaret Atwood! “Whoever THAT is!”

He’s mad at all those opera-goin’, book-readin’, bureaucracy-lovin’, cocksuckin’, femi-Nazi spendthrifts and non-existent gravy-drinkers at City Hall; and for good measure he’s mad at the teachers and the cyclists and the homos, and why?

Because that’s what white, male, middle-aged heterosexual losers  – a.k.a. str8-tards – do.

By now, dear reader,  you will gather that there is but a single emotional tone here, and the tone is MAD (yes, as in “…as hell and I’m not gonna take it any more!”).  There ain’t enough Fentanyl in the entire soon-to-be-privatized healthcare system to take the edge off this months-long barroom brawl-to-the-bottom.

You may also have discovered, in the course of your spirit-dampening sploosh through the brackish standing water of the innernet, the following truths:

When liberals get mad at something, nine times out of ten it’s because some minority – like say, LGBTQ2, or women, or the homeless, or people of color, or Gaia – is once again being offered that endlessly-extolled all-you-can-eat buffet of fresh, steaming-hot shit sandwiches.

And hold the phone, did I say “minority”? ‘Cause when you add up all those “minorities” you’ll find you end up with just about every single non-str8-tard person on the planet.

But when Conserva-tards, or TeaParty-tards, or any rightwing-tard at all gets mad, it’s not righteous anger on someone else’s behalf. Righteous anger on someone else’s behalf is – are you sitting down? – socialist !  No, when they’re mad, it’s because no one is paying enough fucking attention to THEM.

So this time, Doug—with Zombie-Rob breathing that scorched, fetid  just-plain-folks zombie-breath into his ear—this time bro’ means business.

This time Doug’s gonna make damn sure it happens…

[To be, unfortunately, continued…]


… Poor old fat dumb regular-guy Robbie.
He never realized we just needed a good laugh for a few months
While he ran Toronto like a teen with an I.Q. of 50,
A pipe full of hard,
And a not very interesting hobby…

from my Canada Day Ode
A Beaver in Polite Company


Random Reco’s

In which I shamelessly pad my blog – gawd, that sounds rude – with, like, Totally??!!  Random??!! recommendations of sites I’ve stumbled across while trying desperately to avoid doing anything remotely resembling “work” (I gagged a bit when I typed that).

Dear Luddite friends,

Now that you’ve learned not to refer to your monitor as “the TV-looking thingy that shows all the pictures” and to not answer, “Where did you find this story about Hillary Clinton creating a secret army of terrorist femiNazis bent on firebombing the Capitol?” with “On the computer”, it is time to yank those potty-training pants right up under your armpits and march bravely into the cyber sphere alone.

How-to Geek will help anyone who doesn’t look at a packet of
Quaker Instant Oatmeal and think, “Too complicated”.

How-To Geek
(opens in a new window)