STUNNED Members of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) and the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) are threatening legal action—or at the very least, a nasty, pouty-lipped sulk— after determining that Justin Trudeau is just a regular, normal human dude and not the High Priest of Satanic Darkness and liberal child diddler that they naturally had assumed he was.
The startling revelation about Trudeau having nothing to do with the Book of Revelation occurred when a member of the Yellow Vests, tasked with catching photos of JT accidentally displaying his gigantic, muscular red body, huge erect member and eyes glowing like burning coals when he thought no one was looking, was forced to give up his assignment due to the sudden drop in temperature in the Capital Region, an effect no doubt attributable to there now being a direct portal to Hell’s Antechamber somewhere inside the PM’s residence.
“I’ve been staring in the windows of that damned Rideau Cottage for two weeks now, ever since that Coronavirus pandemic hoax hit the news,” complained the truculent trucker. “But all I see is Nancy-Boy Drama Teacher making breakfast for the kids and talking on the phone to world leaders while wearing pants, shirt and tie.
“How am I supposed to verify he’s The Minion of the Dark One when he won’t even give me a glimpse of his forked penis or 666 tattoo? It’s so frustrating! Not even a chilling, maniacal laugh while offering his kids sweets and touching their butts inappropriately!
“It burns me up the way he’s fooling decent Canadians with his pretence of being a normal, loving dad and husband! But they don’t call him The Great Deceiver for nothing, I guess.
“Hey, do you think I should set my iPhone camera to ‘snow’ or ‘flash on’? You’d think they’d have come up with a Demon Hunter pre-set by now!”
Trudeau has thwarted every attempt by the CPC and PPC to reveal his alleged infernal agenda to Canadian voters, despite right-wing leaders’ daily forays on Twitter to call attention to the big, yellow fangs, pervy pelvic thrusts and kinky ankle chains which they feel should be so obvious to the general public.
Maxime Bernier, Leader of the PPC, which currently has no MP’s—and who asked us to emphasize in no uncertain terms that he is definitely not even a little bit gay—told slowpainful that he absolutely refused to accept that Justin was just a normal, happily married straight dude doing an OK job, and not a Demonic Avatar of The Dark Lord with an obscene, lolling tongue who giggles and talks backwards in Latin.
“The public, zay are, comment le dire, being ‘oodwinked by the Stalinist Greta Thunberg and other Hitler Youth Science Fanatics into thinking that the pansy Prime Minister is a just a normal, boring, family-loving dad and progressive political leader. But écoutez bien: Pandemic? Or Pandemonium—aha, you never saw the connection until now?
“Mais oui, mon ami, that word pandemonium means all the devils! It does not only refer to ze ear-splitting sound of everyone laughing when I explain how the climate-change scientists are illegal immigrants controlled by aliens!
“And by the way, I am not gay! Pas du tout! My petite amie, she has the, ‘ow do you zay, very nice rack, très grand, n’est-ce pas?
Executing a quick swishy pirouette and sticking out his butt, he continued in an adorable Shirley Temple voice, “Do you think these pants are too tight? Mon dieu! I wouldn’t want ze public to see my cul or the outline of my petit copain and get ideas!”
Showing all the campy charm that’s made him the star of every men’s washroom in Hull, Bernier batted his eyelashes as he glanced over his shoulder, then, having briefly sucked the tip of his index finger, touched it to his ass and made a sizzling noise.
“Jazz ‘OT, bébé! Voila, c’est ça! Bisous, chéri!”
However, a quick telephone survey of Ottawa-region voters did nothing to confirm not-a-closet-case-by-any-means-Bernier’s remarks. Despite the conservative right’s continual swipes at Trudeau, the public reaffirmed what it has stubbornly persisted for several years in believing: that Trudeau, who self-isolated voluntarily when it was discovered his wife, Sophie-Grégoire, had tested positive for the coronavirus, was in fact handling numerous crises deftly and leading Canada with perfect aplomb.
They were also quite happy to verify that, as far as they knew, he was just an imperfect, entitled child of privilege, maddeningly opaque, but, in the end, a well-meaning and basically overall competent progressive human who modeled correct behavior and stayed calm, rather than a close relative of Beelzebub who drinks boy semen and rides through the apocalyptic sky around midnight on his accursèd steed.
Erstwhile leader of the CPC and two-time election loser Andrew Scheer has been particularly hard-hit by this setback. We met with him at his private home chapel, where he and several of his calico-clad wives had been praying for the nation and whipping each other with leather straps studded with fish hooks to, as they explained, “drive out the socialist cancer of compassion, the cancerous compassion of socialism, and, honestly, have you spent a Saturday night in Calgary recently?”
His face erupting in nervous Gerber baby dimples and apologetic, hamstery cheek pouches, Scheer took the opportunity to express his frustration.
“I mean, the guy has been in his house without leaving for two weeks! Open your eyes, dude! Everyone knows he’s the franchise owner of Hillary’s pizza parlor child sex-slavery ring and, personally, lemme tell you— that man is dangerous! Now, if I was in charge of that sucker, I’d at least break it up into two lines of business.
“Tell me, please, how you’re gonna penetrate the market, pardon the expression, when pizza fanciers and child sex afficionados rarely overlap as a demographic?
Suddenly Scheer’s eyes sparkled and a lightbulb glowed over his head—his secretary had just entered the chapel and flipped the switch. We let him continue with his brainstorm:
“Unless you had, say, pizza with pureed carrot and rusks, or kids dressed up in sad, hand-me-down rompers and little round-toed shoes. That could work! Fix up the pizza basement to look like your rec room, give ’em complimentary Cheetos and free Playstations… Hmmm. For hostesses, I’m thinkin’ cutesy girl-babies with their flat chests, round bellies and plump, froggy little legs on roller skates serving lukewarm gripe water—Yes! Hilda, are you getting this down….?”
“But getting back to the big Turd-o, don’t you see? They’re making him wear an ankle bracelet! He’s under house arrest! Only a gullible moron would think he was just being a responsible Canadian and loving dad, and wasn’t, like, obeying his Lizard People overlords. I mean, c’mon dudes and dudettes!
“I’ve got it! What do you think of ‘Your Home-Style Child Sex Pizza Basement’ for the branding? Or ‘Tooters’? Yes, no? Let’s get Canada back to work!”
We were beginning to understand that these were not idle complaints on the part of the CPC. After all, Trudeau’s COVID-19 strategy of clear communication, emotional support and not even a hint of drama had successfully rallied the majority of Canadians to the common cause of riding out the pandemic. Was this, as the conservative right seemed to suggest, just camouflage, a distraction set up to draw attention away from evil in their midst?
If this were the case, the strategy was working brilliantly. Recalling our phone survey, we had to admit that Canadian voters seemed extremely resistant to the conservative notion that Trudeau was on close speaking terms with Asmodeus, and had fathered illegitimate devil-babies via sexual congress with Lilith during a threesome with the Antichrist.
The disconnect was perplexing.
Jason Kenny, Premier of Alberta, in particular had some harsh words for the “Namby-Pamby Cissy Boy Incompetent Hypocrite Devil-Spawn,” as he called the leader of the country considered by every country in the world except Canada to be a moral cynosure and last gasp of compassionate democracy.
His remarks caught our attention: Kenney, after all, is a world-renowned expert on incompetent leadership. We thought it prudent to hear him out:
“Alright, Canadians, it’s time to make your choice. Is it going to be the tree-hugging, PC-climate-activist, feminazi-homosexual Trudeau, who—although he’s weak and effeminate and completely ineffective as a leader—is clearly attempting a single-handed, bloody coup d’état in the heroic style of Arnold Schwarzeneger, after which he will establish Satan’s reign for the next two millenia?
“Or will it be down-to-earth, human Albertans like myself—truly independent thinkers and real men who have enough oil and gas wealth to tell Ottawa, ‘Stuff it! We’re through! And we’re damn well going to secede! Right after you bail us out with those tax dollars you steal from the Canadian people! Long live the Democratic Republic of Alberta! Down with the detestable Ottawa deficit mongers of the Twelfth Circle of Hades!
“Don’t get me wrong, though, that’s down with the deficit mongers but after the bail-out. So like, later, after you send the money. Just wanted to make that crystal-clear. OK? Anyway, have a think about, you know, the choice and give us a shout. In the meantime, I think I’d prefer an e-transfer. So you understand, that’s send the money first, right?”
Our last comments for the day were from a shopper we encountered outside a local Metro supermarket.
Keeping an appropriate two metres from us, she paused momentarily with her cart when we asked her if she thought Trudeau was a terrifying shape-shifter or Prince of Shadows.
“Who gives a shit about that, eh? I mean, I was pissed off about the blackface thing, but he did apologize, right? Bottom line, he’s doing OK” —she’d turned and was headed with her purchases to her car—”and he’s crazy hot.”
In other news this evening, Maxime Bernier continues not to be gay. At all. Not even a soupçon, heins?
In the twenty-first century, truth is a personalized experience.
This is how it works: The title gives a tantalizing glimpse of the theme; the subtitle teases, or elaborates, or sells the title out by explaining it for you. Simple, right? Here’s a current example.
Title: “Triggered” Subtitle: “How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.“
A winner, isn’t it? And it’s his first book, too, the first he’s written and possibly even the first he’s read. So never think it’s too late for you, Murgatroyd McGraw.
Donald Frankenforehead Trump II, like many people, had a book inside him, but with most people that’s where it remains. Donald’s book was so deep inside him no ray of sunlight had ever penetrated its embryonic cloth covers, and now—Blessèd Judy, Mother of Liza—he’s filled his lungs to capacity, spread his knees, and, grunting and groaning with monumental effort, squatting like an Olympic weight-lifter ready for the clean-and-jerk, squeezed it out. Look, here comes the sequel—ker-PLOP!
Triggered signals that we’re a bunch of bored dads stuck watching “The Nutcracker” instead of the Game and missing target practice at the old folks’ home. And we’re about to endure the dance of the leftie snowflakes, that corps de ballet of over-sensitive types who get traumatized when we use good, old-fashioned traditional language, like nigger and faggot and kike and cripple, and deploy traditional attitudes like “I don’t care what you think you are, I’m not calling you SHE,” or “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Elton John!” or “Whites suffer racism, too.”
Them SJW’s are probably crying like lefty babies as they run off to their safe spaces, eh? Gee, are they triggered?
The subtitle with its explanation is supposed to encourage you but its very honesty poses a problem. From just the title, I might have thought Triggered was written by a super-sensitive individual who, because of his ability to feel the vibes, spent his days in a virtual torture chamber of empathy.
Except that it’s written by one of the Trump Frankenforehead children who was cooked up in a vat of virgin’s blood by a Dementor, so I was pretty sure that I had absolutely no interest in the book.
But from having seen the subtitle I know I have absolutely no interest in the book (although in fact without even reading it, even before it came ker-plopping out of Don, I had already read it a hundred times). So, thanks for the head’s up. If you are an angry white supremacist, or an assembly-line Frankenforehead son of Trump, looking to have crossover success and sell more books, take note.
That subtitle is formulaic and the formula goes: Throw out the most obnoxious, outrageously biased statement you can contrive, and present it as your premise (though it is not intended to be a verifiable statement of fact and its offensiveness is its gleeful goal); because as far as you’re concerned it’s true, and truth in the 21st century is a personalized, bespoke kind of thing.
Old-fashioned truth was dull and inefficient and did not necessarily reflect your beliefs. It was like those eastern bloc Polski Fiats everyone drove in Warsaw in 1979, or Henry Ford’s Model T, which he offered in any color you wanted as long as it was black.
Truth was one-size-fits-all. You had to cram yourself into, more often than not, an ill-fitting truth that didn’t suit you. And it was someone else’s truth, from years, maybe even centuries, ago! Crummy old hand-me-downs!
But now we have petite and plus-size, little white lies and great big whoppers. Now we have truth in all the flavors you would ever want: peppermint bullshit, cherry bullshit, tangerine bullshit and Bullshit Classic. And any color, as long as it’s beige.
Altogether, now: You’ll never go wrong with beige, my dear!
The Left, so this subtitle says, “thrives” on hate. Important point. Not just likes. Thriveson. Hate is our fuel, our multi-vitamin and our powdered whey protein drink. Hate is our Kryptonite, the fatal substance we must nonetheless ingest to power our hateful lefty energy.
Conservatives cancel your mom’s cancer medicines and fire your kids’ teachers. They fill the parks with homeless and kick the mentally ill onto the streets and legislate women’s bodies, and all of it for love—but progressives? We dare to raise the minimum wage!
Hate? Personally, you gotta know I’m counting to ten until someone, quite justifiably I might add, screams “Hitler!”
Conservatives don’t hold back. They stand up for what they value, and what they value is not caring for people but balancing budgets. Your mom will be dead, your unschooled kids fucktard stupid, but the deficit will be zero, the enterprise, free. Criminals will rot in hell. You won’t have to endure the tragic dress sense or the stench of the unhoused, and your fucktard stupid kids? Naturals as the new generation of conservatives!
Wants to Silence Us. “Us,” as in “Us and Them.” Donald Junior “knows” your country is being overwhelmed by illegal immigrants, your culture and values derided by elites and homosexuals, your wages stolen, taxed to pay for abortions and government programs for criminals and Muslims, your schools overrun by Marxists. Isn’t it awesome that the President’s son understands and is talking directly to you? Almost like he’s your buddy!
This book can be seen and purchased on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It has its own dedicated web site. The publicist has made sure Don Junior appears on talk shows with millions of viewers. The New York Times wrote a snippy piece about it, but hey, that’s publicity. In fact, nearly every quality newspaper on the planet has given it a snippy review which is really publicity. This book is a bestseller.
So… this silencing thing? Trickier, apparently, than we thought.
Conservatives troll and shut down every progressive conversation with well-placed shouts of “PC!” “Snowflake!” “Social Justice Warrior!” “White Racist!” and mock anyone who wants to treat more people with more respect—but they’re silenced?
Only in my dreams.
I once Got an invitation to write a guest article for an Evangelical Christian blog. The owner was a minister, a more than adequate writer and a progressive guy, surprisingly outspoken in his support for social justice. I knew this because he would say things in his posts like, “Jesus wouldn’t have gotten mad at all those refugees from Central America in the caravan. He would have been loving to them, because they’re poor and displaced and feeling sad right now. That’s the Christian message, yo!”
This is in contrast to his followers, who would respond, “These brown scumbags are just actors and serial killers and drug cartels funded by George Soros, and they’re gonna take away our guns and bring in their extended brown families and live offa welfare and steal our jobs! America is under attack! Resist the World Government! White people are dying out! Build The Wall Now!!”
The blog owner challenged me to provide the authentic voice and viewpoint of a gay man vis-à-vis Evangelical Christianity, which his main audience would probably not otherwise experience, seeing as they all live in white-only gated communities with matching front doors and identical window treatments, and have sharpshooters with assault rifles stationed around the perimeter of the moat who have been instructed to shoot to kill at the very moment they sense waspish humor or catch a whiff of Maria Callas singing “Vissi d’arte.”
I knew that most readers of his blog would shut down if they knew I was a Canadian gay male atheist. I decided I would ease them into my narrative using humor and various other shallow distractions to win them over. I’d mellow them into complacency, and manipulate them with my aw, shucks Canadian diffidence. Then I’d slap them hard in the face with my true identity as the Socialist Queen of Darkness and drop them down the well.
They would understand in a Damascus flash that gay guys and atheists and Canadians were actual humans with thoughts and feelings just like them, not abstractions cooked up by evil leftists for the sole purpose of vexing their limited brains with the evidence that some people, frankly, just don’t give a shit about Jesus, at least, not their version.
“How wrong I’ve been!This Canadian homosexual atheist liberal has finally convinced me that we’re all made in God’s image and deserving of respect. I’m gonna call up all the homeless shelters in Des Moines and see if my gay son is still alive, then invite him, a trannie, and maybe even a Democrat, to dinner! Y’all!”
It made sense at the time.
I wrote a great piece drawing on concepts of Zen Buddhism, poking gentle fun at my Canadian identity, and making a huge effort to come across as a bridge builder who was skeptical but non-threatening, even kind of adorable. I decided the title would be “Pivot Chords,” a metaphor from music that is about making a shift from one key—so, viewpoint—to another with finesse.
I wrote and edited and edited some more and wrote some more and submitted. Finally I got the email saying I could check the published post. My title was now the subtitle and a new title, in bold letters at the very top of the page, read:
This Gay, Liberal, Atheist, Canadian’s Sermon on Grace and Compassion is the Best I’ve Heard in Awhile
In nearly two years the article has collected just six likes, about thirty-five shares and two comments, from a user base of nearly four thousand readers.
We live in a time when people have to be deceived before they’ll drive down the street that houses all those liberals they hate. They have to be jumped, hooded and thrown in the van before they’ll even let you suggest that a bunch of desperate mothers, fathers and children, a bedraggled, tired, poor, huddled mass of wretched refuse from whatever teeming shore isn’t just a bunch of actors paid by the Antichrist who’ve come to overthrow the most powerful nation on earth.
Note I didn’t say “greatest.”
How are you, by the way, at thisspiffing start to a new decade? I’m here, a scary clown popping out of his scary clown-box, to tell you that making Ukraine’s aid money contingent on its digging up dirt on the President’s political enemy is wrong, but not impeachable.
Grabbing her by the pussy is not impeachable, it’s—I dunno, first base? Are you getting this down? Soliciting charitable donations then using them to buy sex with hookers or self-portraits or election campaigns? Nope. Not impeachable. You wanna know what’s impeachable? Hint: Think Bill Clinton.
That’s right. Blowjobs are impeachable.
There’s more. Whatever the President of the United States does is OK, as long as he truly believes that his re-election is in the best interests of the nation. The POTUS can do anything he wants, at least, according to Vladimir Putin.
Sorry, did I say Putin? I meant Alan Dershowitz! But he didn’t get there first. Trump himself told us so. I can do anything I want. And, excuse me, bleeding hearts, he would hardly lie about something so important!
Twenty-twenty finds me in the position of a little boy wearing Buster Brown shoes and itchy wool shorts, topped with a crisp white shirt and a pre-tied bow tie, all clashing plaids and male camel toe and sausage thighs, ready to get pushed into the mud puddle by the freckle-faced bully, the rapscallion of a little boy with that everyone likes. What a little devil he is! He’ll go places!
It’s the face plant in the mud puddle, you see, the soiled perfection, that fosters one’s appreciation for all the nice new things, gifts (for you would never buy them for yourself) that may well not survive the day intact.
Not to worry. Start from the point of innocence; erase from your mind the script that has you in the final act looking like a refugee from PornHub’s “fetish” category, mud-wrestling barely-legal teens department, and put your trust in that pristine pinafore. Meanwhile, I struggle to answer my own question. I am :
recalcitrant \rih-KAL-suh-trunt\ adjective. 1 : obstinately defiant of authority or restraint. 2 a : difficult to manage or operate. b : not responsive to treatment. c : resistant.
I have been recalcitrant on Twitter towards the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), whose guiding light is one of those au courant racists, a Québecois who masks his authoritarian lust for pure laine behind the pieties of secularism and patrimonie, Maxime Bernier.
Why did Maxime Bernier cross the road? To get to the — Oh, my God! OH MY GOD THAT EIGHTEEN WHEELER JUST RAN THE RED LIGHT!!
If populism is the soft cock of Canadian politics, Maxime has his dry, white lips clamped around it so tightly he may pass out from lack of oxygen. Allez-y! That’s the spirit, buddy! You’ll never get it up, but it’s undeniably entertaining when you try.
The PPC tweets that the housing crisis is the result of immigration (that’s non-white immigration) run riot.
(Compare the Toronto version, “the Chinese are buying all the condos,” which is approaching the status of a standard friendly greeting on the local streets:
“Hey, Fred! The Chinese are buying all the condos!” “Fine, thanks, and how’s the wife and kids?”)
Because no rabbit hole presents itself but that I instantly picture myself burrowing down it, I tweet back that the housing crisis is caused not by immigration but by, oddly enough, a lack of housing, which could be solved by requiring developers to build affordable units in their cheap, flimsy luxury buildings, for example.
They tweet back that I lack imagination, that a trillion immigrants could appear at the borders and progressives like me would still want to throw money at the problem.
I tweet back that it’s equally [un]likely the white people could breed a trillion offspring and the housing crisis would still exist without a trillion living units, which, [sigh], could easily be built at no expense to the public and entail no tax increases except on units which owners don’t actually occupy (a tax which Vancouver has already implemented with success, and which Toronto City Council is considering).
What did Maxime Bernier say to the white immigrant? “I’m color-blind!” What did Maxime Bernier say to the non-white immigrant? “Housing crisse de Tabernac!”
What is it like, I wonder, being inside Maxime Bernier’s head? It ain’t the Midway at the Canadian National Exhibition, that’s for sure. No one’s lining up for the ride, “I hope I pass the height test! The “Bernier” does a full loop the loop and my friend Sandy told me she threw up her pink popcorn twice! It’s gonna be awesome!”
Bernier burns through Canadian values like a maniac training a flame thrower at a grove of maples. A typical arrogant loser and blustering, entitled white male, he projects sour resentment and outrage at the thought of benefits or income distribution or social justice. He’s a card-carrying denizen of the joyless, shadowy, victimized world of put-upon conservatism.
What does Bernier worry about? Not the plight of refugees, our international commitments or corporate taxes. He worries about—yes!— our deficit, even though our financial health, thanks for asking, is absolutely great. (US debt to GDP ratio: 4.6%. Canadian debt to GDP ratio: 0.39%).
He is, or pretends to be, in thrall to the idea that deficits are wrong, even if roads are pock-marked and bridges are falling down, and health care and public transport are so underfunded they barely work. Pull up your socks and tighten your belt!
The idea that, just like with your personal finances, you would look at your income, calculate the costs of a big-ticket item, work out the payments and decide to run a temporary deficit to invest in something that will create value and save money, this idea is supposed to be anathema to us. Deficits bad.
And it’s not up for debate. You might as well debate whether it’s OK to put dog food mixed with arsenic in the off-leash area in Allen Gardens. Of course it’s not! What kind of sick individual would run a deficit?
Five minutes’ research would tell you that deficits have no meaning except as expressed as a percentage of your Gross Domestic Product, your “income.” You’d discover that Keynesian economics advocates government spending when the economy needs stimulus. It’s considered a very uncontroversial good thing and it’s been standard issue for decades.
Conservatives can build whole fantasy scenarios on a false premise, because people are intellectually lazy.
Well, put the Chevy up on concrete blocks and bang my missus in a trailer, is that a fact?
What does Maxime Bernier’s breakfast cereal say? Crap, Wacko Populist!
Maxime Bernier throws nasty shade at Greta Thunberg, doomsaying sixteen-year-old climate activist. They make a synergistic pair. She’s the title, he’s the subtitle. He hates her youth, her daring, her plans to save the future and her being right. She’s grumpy, mouthy and, yes, recalcitrant. She gets under his skin.
He’s prissy, quasi-intellectual French, his affect tighter than a Parisian’s pursed lips; she’s the spooky love-child of Anne of Green Gables and Ingmar Bergman. You can tell Bernier’s just itching to send her to bed without supper, then drive across town and spank his mistress.
Maxime and Greta! They were made to be a comedy duo, the Laurel and Hardy of the apocalypse, the featured floor show on Planet Titanic.
From slapstick to sleaze: Bernier, promoted to Foreign Affairs Minister in 2007 by Conservative PM Stephen Harper, has to tender his resignation after he leaves a classified dossier lying around his girlfriend’s place. For five months.
The dossier contains top-secret information about Canada’s plans in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The petite amie, Julie Couillard, cavorts with Hell’s Angels and organized crime and people with job descriptions like drug enforcer, and was almost certainly lobbying Bernier on behalf of a realtor, Kevlar, Inc., to procure a lucrative government contract.
On a prurient note, the former model is also extremely well provided for in the boobs department and is not shy about showing us, which cannot have anything to do with her revelation that Bernier is worried people think he’s gay.
We find out all of this when she publishes her tell-all memoir, entitled, and stop me if you’ve heard this one, “My Story.” This is a new level of dedication to bringing the federal government into disrepute.
Maxime must lack any sense of irony. He runs for office in the 2019 federal election promising to close down the supply management system, so hated by Trump, that ensures Canadian dairy farmers can get a fair price for their products.
His riding ofBeauce, Québec, consists mainly of—dairy farmers. And he loses his seat, the only seat the PPC held. This is a new definition of fucktard stupid.
Why does Maxime Bernier hate Gay Pride and Dairy Farmers? One’s too much homo, the other too little!
Bernier derides Greta Thunberg as “mentally unstable” and denies the overwhelming evidence about our climate emergency. He takes Greta very seriously. Everyone else understands that we support Greta Thunberg because she’s sweet and has no clout and anyway she’s just a teenaged girl.
Everyone, even corporations, even governments, supports Greta Thunberg, because she’s photogenic and does no harm, especially to the gas-guzzling agenda of big oil. You can pat Greta on the head, say “Isn’t she adorable! It’s great to see commitment from young people!” and feel fine because she’s not a threat to anything or anyone. She has no power.
It’s like giving a Girl Scout her knot-tying badge or her “most likeable gal-pal” certificate. She’s a protest march by Disney, where the cute kids pack up their signs and go home when daddy thinks that’s enough shenanigans for one day. Time for beddy-bye, Little Missy Hooligan!
Greta Thunberg is who you pay attention to so that there’s no room left for coverage of or sympathy towards First Nations people setting up roadblocks to halt the progress of a pipeline desecrating their sacred land, the land that was never conceded and still belongs to them.
Sacred land? How quaint! Riots about pipelines? Please, I’m eating dinner! Let’s see the cute little girl again! She’s the future, she’s dessert!
How many Quebecois dairy farmers does it take to change a light bulb? Just one. He grips the light bulb with both hands while Maxime Bernier spins him around on his dick!
We want to consume Greta, because she’s a tasty, frothy cream puff of news. The First Nations people are indigestible: ornery, angry, outraged, not nice. They’re not our friends and they’ve experienced first-hand how we treat children.
We call out the Mounties for them. (The Mounties sent an internal memo: “Use as much violence as you want.” I’m not making this up.) The protestors cover their faces, they throw rocks; they don’t hold out their hands in forgiveness, and we don’t pat them on the head. Guns, tear gas. They’re dangerous because they insist on their power and their absolute right to be where they are.
Why is Maxime Bernier jealous of Greta Thunberg? She travels the world on a yacht, but all his ships sink!
The PPC accuses me of not wanting a conversation. And they’re right. I don’t. I want them to line up and bend over so I can shove a People’s Party of Canada lawn sign up their wazoos, pointy end first—to approximately the same place where Donald Frankenforehead’s book resided— then burn the lot of them at the stake.
This seems like such a simple, intuitive demand.
And since the remaining members of the PPC would fit into an old-style Volkswagen, I could take care of it in an afternoon and still finish in time to flash some skin on Chaturbate for a couple of hours.
I call my room
This Gay, Liberal, Atheist, Canadian’s Ass is the Best You’ve Seen On A Senior Citizen in Awhile.
Nothing is wasted when you’re a writer. Nothing.
Now, pour the little lady a glass of Chardonnay and get yourself impeached.
IT BEING MY BIRTHDAY COMING UP and all, I treated myself, as one does, to a little bit of narcissistic self-analysis, in the form of the Myers-Briggs personality test.
The Myers-Briggs personality test is perfect for when you’ve gotten tired of astrology or palm-reading, want a little more cachet, but don’t want to burden yourself with anything too accurate or scientific. Lighten up, Mr J. Robert Oppenheimer!
Myers-Briggs is the real deal, having been concocted by the mother-daughter team of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers in the spare time they could find between un-moulding the jellied ambrosia salads for the church social and retying each other’s corsets, and based on tinkering with the poetic but utterly unscientific, even dotty, theories of Carl Jung.
Myers-Briggs is routinely referred to as pseudoscience, has poor predictability, poor repeatability (you can easily get a different result if you try again), it doesn’t account for neuroses or any personality disorders, and basically it’s just a load of old codswallop that’s maybe fun to administer to your friends when you have your Monopoly nights.
In the end I self-diagnosed as an extraverted introvert, meaning I’m constantly on a knife edge of confident self-doubt. I don’t quite know why I fall into this two-headed, comic-tragic, hi-lo self-esteem upward-downward spiral. I realize that everyone is unique, everyone has value and everyone’s story is different, which is why I should never compare myself to anyone and goddamnit how come he has over one hundred thousand followers of his blog while I have just over two hundred after five years?!
But that’s typical of an extraverted introvert with a knickerbocker twist. I’m the kind of guy who writes a kick-ass book, then fails to publicize it, which means I’ve sold three copies in the year since I bore down in a bathtub full of warm gin and tonic and Lamaze’d it into being.
Meanwhile I keep re-reading it, which means I keep nit-picking, and of course there’s no longer any hope of responding to my own humor in a spontaneous way. The whole project feels limp, deflated, like the balloons the day after your birthday party.
My birthday party, for which I intend to knock back a gin cooler or three from the liquor store and practise the Beethoven Opus 126 Bagatelles, will be this Saturday, September 21st. I’m going to be sixty-four years old. You may, in your imagination, kiss my gnarly hand and tell me how much I don’t look it, then slowly withdraw, because, and I know you can take the truth, you’re not on the list. Actually, no one is—just this once I’d like to experience an important milestone that isn’t all mucked up with guests.
The only invitee is my five-year-old self, who’s always here anyway, gazing out through these astonished eyes the way a fish trapped in its goldfish bowl gazes at the shimmering, wavy world beyond.
I feel the inside of my crusty iguana-skin, I stomp my webbed feet and I wonder what happened to the pale, milky-cool velvet integument of my childhood. I still reach out with the arms of a five-year-old, still love like one, still break down like one.
I once loved someone so much that when they left me, I literally thought I would die. I cried for a day and a night, for a week, for six months, for a year; I cried until I flipped inside out and stood like a long-forgotten martyr flayed for a lost cause, my heart and guts and liver and every internal organ that could feel pain dangling, glistening red and purple, from my bloodied trunk. I was stunned, slaughtered and butchered in the abattoir of love, and yet I didn’t die.
I didn’t die.
But I never slept in my bedroom again.
I’m persistent despite the odds; I’m lichen on a tree stump, moss on stone; insistently unlovely. I have grim determination, which means I’m handy to have around when you need someone to open that pickle jar.
What’s up with me at sixty-four? I’m shocked as the ghosts of my lost friends start to crowd around me at night, whispering that it’s OK and they’ll see me soon. I listen to Beethoven’s last five string quartets, his final confession and urgent advice to the future; mankind’s only necessary music.
My parents are dead, I’m estranged from my siblings, I’m currently sharing my one-bedroom apartment with three charming renegades, the tax people have garnished my monthly government pension and, all in all, life is way more interesting than I had any right to expect.
We’re approaching the day when the Canadian Federal Election limps across the unavoidably advancing finish line—oh, sweet Jeezus, no, I don’t know the date though it may have something to do with Canadian Thanksgiving or it may not.
How the election campaign begins is: we simply flip the switch to “on” and sit back. No primaries, no ticker-tape, no accusations of rape, or mass shootings or failed space launches. Just FLIP, ping! and we’re good. You’d have to have the compound eyes of a deer tick to notice any change.
“Hey, what was that tiny pinging noise?” “That’s the Canadian Federal Election starting!” “Are you trying to be funny?” “I wish.”
This non-startiness is because we’ve spurned the American M.O., which is: de-educate your citizens, yell at the black people, make up stupid shit and Tweet about it, enlist foreign powers to destabilize the country by exacerbating social tensions, make up some more stupid shit, declare your press enemies of the people, declare your closest allies enemies of the Prez, discipline the weather agency for contradicting you, show contempt for the judiciary, yell at the Mexicans, stack the Supreme Court, then give everyone permission to donate as many billions of dollars as they want to buy the election for the candidate of their choice, which all makes for lousy democracy but superlative theatre.
Democracy… Theatre… Democracy… Theatre…
You can see how easy it might be to get conflicted about this.
Of course, this means that Canada, with its geeky rules about political donations (they’re limited to $1,500 per person, and labour unions and corporations can’t contribute) must be socialist, at which epithet I chortle heartily even as I struggle to hoist my liver-spotted, chain-laden arms to the keyboard.
Ayn Rand, who conservatives worldwide keep mistaking for Milton Friedman, would have said we’ve “sold our rights for free healthcare!”
Ms. Rand was scarred by her experience with the Bolsheviks, so we can forgive her confusing authoritarian state capitalism, i.e. “communism,” with citizens voting for a benefit to which they willingly contribute their tax dollars, which they all love, and which results in happier, healthier participants in the consumer economy.
Take that, crazy-novel lady, and here’s a shout-out to your awkwardly named characters: Dagny Taggart, Ragnar Danneskjöld, Wesley Mouch, Howard Roark and Gail Wynand (a man). Rand may have had a certain vision and a dollop of sheer audacity, but her ear was pure tin.
I’ve been in total avoidance mode about, well, any of the alternatives to Justin Trudeau, frankly. But it’s time to man up and think about— UGH— Maxime Bernier, our very own Québec-grown authoritarian-nationalist white supremacist-misogynist candidate, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada. (We don’t, by the way, elect the Prime Minister; we vote for the party of our choice, whose leader then becomes PM.)
We are in the tradition of liberalism up here, which, like the development of common law, is a slow, dare I say, conservative process. We don’t throw everything out and start fresh. We don’t talk revolt or tyranny. We don’t nail everything down. We like nuance, interpretation, shades of grey. It takes us a century to ask for our own flag, even longer to repatriate the constitution.
We’re a pack of earnest Boy Scouts and Girl Guides who’ve finally achieved every merit badge, chanting our so-boring-it’s-woke mantra “peace, order and good government” with the self-conscious superiority of kids cleaning their plates of Brussels sprouts.
We are not republicans, up here in the cold-as-a witch’s-penumbra north. We are loyalists, which means we rebel by not rebelling; we are not a country in our own right, with a distinctive identity. We are whatever the revolutionaries were before they revolted. We are “not the United States.”
Because we did not rebel but remained a colony of the British Empire, we are more in tune with those who want another country’s protection. We understand what it means to take the high road and be the adult in the room, to know that we have every right to be isolationist and look to our own first, but to decide not to exercise that right.
The last guy who cared very much about any of this was Pierre, Justin’s dad. When Canada was about to unravel he gripped that idea with both hands and he held us together by the force of his will and by his arrogant belief that we should get what we needed, not what we wanted. He would not let us disintegrate because he could not let the idea of Canada die.
That kind of certainty is rare. Mainly we are full of self-doubt, unlike our British forebears with their five-hundred years of lawns hand-rolled by Capability Brown and tarnished, inherited silver services for twenty. The least little remark from a snarky American who hasn’t read the playbill about how we’re coolest on the block can send us, by which I mean me, into a tizzy of defensiveness.
Why, just this week on Twitter a creature called “Diana Death” (@TheeDianaDeath), a self-styled “rock musician and politically incorrect humorist”, invited herself to an exchange and told me that Americans “don’t give a scintilla of shit about your cheesey Charter;” and how could I respond except to point out:
“Diana, take it from a gay guy: You have the wrong kind of tits for that outfit.”
But getting back, reluctantly, to Maxime Bernier and the election: Maxime is the sweet, or angry, or reasonable, or vicious, face of the People’s Party of Canada.
Now I ask you—does that not sound promising? There couldn’t be anything ironic about having “people” (or “democratic” or “republic”) in the name of a political party, right? And anyway, everyone has to have a “People’s Party” these days, darling! Don’t be left behind! Don’t be caught flaunting some tatty, worn out, twentieth-century human rights thing; brown shirts are the new navy blue of conservatism worldwide!
It’s People’s Parties, and For the People, common people and right-thinking people and particularly white people. Good honest, hard-working people! Not rapists or gang members or illegals or invasions or infestations!
People—!People who need people—! ♫ are the most right-wing people—in the world—! ♪
Maxime’s for people, except when people are teenagers, female and refuse to shut up about climate change. He thinks it’s good politicking to bring out big ammunition to crush Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old girl from Sweden who’s so fired up about this disaster, she’s traveled the world on a yacht (zero carbon profile!) to raise awareness. Bernier thereby demonstrates what teams of researchers in Sweden, studying climate-change denial (yes, it’s an actual subject for academic study now) have found: That there’s a direct correlation between climate denial and being a white-supremacist misogynist male, that there are guys who believe the planet was given by a white, WASP god to white, WASP men to abuse and dominate the same way they abused and dominated their womenfolk.
These are the guys who are threatened that their place in the sun has been taken over by a new generation terrified and angry about this chaos that’s been dumped in their laps.
This is Bernier’s EIGHT-PART Tweet diatribe against a 16-year-old climate activist.
It’s a shameful outburst, uncontrolled and gratuitously nasty. He revels, like all abusers, in his power over those he perceives as weaker than him. It arouses revulsion in me, the same revulsion that I felt in Grade Six when our Principal whipped, with a barber’s huge black razor strop, the hands of a fellow classmate, a girl, who endured this torture and returned to her desk shaking uncontrollably, convulsed with sobs, her spastic fingers telegraphing an indecipherable message of confusion, betrayal and grief.
Many Canadians, noticing that he’s polling at only three percent, don’t take Bernier seriously, but I do. I remember how little we took Trump seriously. Do you?
And if that doesn’t make your ovaries descend, think of this: It doesn’t matter if Bernier’s party, the party of white supremacy and “pure laine,” falls into the ditch. He will have done his work, which is to make racism a topic, to normalize the discussion and make us ponder whether there might not be “good people on both sides,” that is to say, good racists.
And now it sounds like a legitimate comment when we say it’s the Chinese buying up all the condos; though no one is ever able to explain to me what the problem is with Chinese people buying condos, even all of the condos, as opposed to white people buying condos. The problem, apparently, is self-evident to everyone but me.
I’m being precious, of course, because we all know very well that the problem with “Chinese people buying all the condos” is that the Chinese people are all Chinese.
We do things our own way up here: In ‘Murica ya got yer slavery, up here we have the Canadian tradition, dating back to the eighteenth century, of head taxing Asians, throwing them in internment camps and working them to death, literally, laying track for our glorious Canadian Pacific Railway so our superiority can gleam from sea to shining sea.
But there I go, standing on the wall and screaming at wooden horses again. The body politic are like boulder-headed teenagers: You long to save them from the fatal mistakes of your youth, but they’re too busy buzzing their hair into Mohawks and hiking up their tartan schoolgirl skirts to listen to your desperately uncool warnings.
Every generation thinks they’ve nailed it, and we dinosaurs have to sit back and endure their predictable screams of outrage as we watch them climb those stairs to the attic room and open the very door, the only door, they were forbidden to open. It’s almost not worth the pleasure of saying “I told you so.”
We now head west, for the next plate of canapés in my tasting menu of annoyance will be served in the cloakroom: that ever-so-flat, barely-remembered Cinderella of Canada’s provinces, Saskatchewan. But first I have to stop for a little joke, OK? Bear with me.
An American couple have just collected their luggage at the airport and are figuring out where to go next, when they spot another couple, both dressed in heavy winter overcoats, tuques, gloves, snow boots, scarves, the full get-up.
The American wife says to her husband, “Oh, Harry, look at those inneresting people! Do you think they’re Canadians? I’m gonna go find out!”
She walks over to the couple who are all decked out in their winter clothes, and she says, “Excuse me, but would ya’ll mind tellin’ me where you’re from?”
The startled winterized guy looks at his winterized companion, then back at the American woman. The two of them say to her, in perfect unison, “Saskatoon, Saskatchewan!”
The American woman, taken aback, returns to her husband’s side.
“So,” he says to her. “Did y’all find out anything? Where are they from?”
“I dunno,” says the wife. “They didn’t speak any English!”
So it seems that in Saskatchewan a Registered Nurse made a complaint on Facebook about the allegedly poor treatment her grandfather received while in palliative care. Here’s a little of what she wrote:
“It is evident that not everyone is ‘up to speed’ on how to approach end of life care … or how to help maintain an aging senior’s dignity (among other things!)… To those who made Grandpa’s last year’s [sic] less than desirable, please do better next time!”
Now, this seems fairly innocuous, right? Not to the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association, several of whose members launched a complaint.The nurse, Carolyn Strom, was brought before the SRNA’s Tribunal accused of violating their code of conduct for social media and bringing the nursing profession into disrepute by her remarks.
Strom was fined $1,000 and asked to pay the $25,000 cost of bringing her to the Tribunal. A Court of Appeal reaffirmed this decision (courts are reluctant to contradict the decisions of self-monitoring professional bodies). Strom, who has been dealing with this fallout since 2015, is due this week for a final appeal.
I feel that I need to justify my fascination with this rather obscure case. I can only tell you that freedom of speech, and other rights, become very interesting when they come into conflict with others’ rights. How are we to decide whose rights get precedence?
Let’s think about this. Ms Strom took her complaint and aired it in public. On Facebook. What is it about this crass social media platform that is so seductive? It’s ugly in design, puerile in attitude, its algorithms can’t tell the difference between art, news and spam, it’s run by an entitled brat who sells our data to private companies and feigns surprise when it’s revealed that mysterious PR firms are rewriting reality in order to subvert democratic elections, and yet where do we run to?
We literally don’t seem to care how sinful it all is; I say “sinful” as only an atheist can say it, as a crime against the natural and good. Facebook makes idiots of us all, every time we use it.
Carolyn Strom made an idiot of herself when she broadcast her complaint on Facebook. She was seduced by the irresistible urge to give shade, to take her grief about her grandfather and neutralize it, turn it into a brisk efficient trip to customer service.
Because here’s the deal: by all accounts, Ms Strom did not once, ever, voice her complaints to the nurses at the facility during her apparently infrequent visits. We’re in the realm of guilty until proven innocent, trial by public opinion.
The nurses, unnamed by Strom but for all practical purposes easily identifiable by anyone who cared to make the effort, have been accused—but which of them and of what? They have no way to defend themselves against what is just insinuation. Every one of them is now under the shadow of this vague complaint, competent and “incompetent” alike.
Bad enough for a member of the public to complain this way, in a transparent, at least to us, attempt to obtain sympathy for her relative’s death. For a member of the nursing profession to do so, knowing full well that her actions were in defiance of professional standards and procedures she was bound to uphold, is unfair, unjust, and just plain tacky.
Welcome to social media, where everyone’s the star of their own monodrama, where we’re stuck in a twilight world of my side and your side, but rarely the point in the middle where the truth lives, messy and shaded with grey and letting no one off the hook.
Communication is a hard slog. Voicing your complaint to a real person, in the flesh, in real time, you can hear your self-justifications and convenient white lies fall flat in the dead space between you and them. Seeing someone’s skeptical face, experiencing their lack of investment in your innocence, is bracing as well as humbling. Unless you’ve truly been horribly abused with no provocation, you’ll feel like a kid who’s lying about who broke the window with the baseball. You’ll feel that most public of emotions, shame.
Far easier to sing your aria in an echo-chamber to a hand-picked audience of sympathizers, who’ll co-opt your story and take up your “cause.” Then you can all tut-tut together. Why solve the problem when it gives back so generously?
I have noticed over the years that some people crave negative experiences, even gladly paying for a fancy version that will impress the neighbours. Strom’s bill, at $26,000, with the luxury extras of a self-critical essay and a mandatory course in ethics, makes this the Rolls Royce of disappointment.
So, Merry Birthday to me, god bless us every one, vote anything but Conservative and don’t take any wooden nickels.