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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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.]

BREAKING NEWS: Operation to remove huge, malignant Fordoma from Toronto only partially successful.

The malignant Fordoma that was removed from Toronto being wheeled away.
The malignant Fordoma that was removed from Toronto being wheeled away. Yuk! (© 2015, David DelaRoddis. Licensed under Creative Commons “Steal this photo and say goodbye to answering the front door after 5PM” Version IX. You may be wondering: DelaRoddis is author of “Photography is Hard Unless of Course You’re Me.” Which you should definitely buy.)*

Toronto, May 12th:   Toronto’s prolonged suffering appeared to be at best temporarily at an end today, after an operation to remove a gigantic lump which it has been harboring for the past four years was pronounced guardedly successful.

In this grisly photo – which may cause distress to some – we see the huge, malignant Fordoma that was removed from Toronto being wheeled out of the operating theatre.

“It was touch and go for a bit in there,” said the chief surgeon, Dr Michael “Muddy” York, who appeared exhausted by the ordeal.  “This was definitely one of those aggressive 905-type invasions. They’re tenacious, those buggers!  And dumb…?  Why, I’d rather drink a steeped tea from Timmies than try to discuss Margaret Atwood when one of these low-brow scum-suckers is around!  Talk about embarrassing!”  Dr. York, overcome with emotion, added: “Toronto’s safe for the moment – but not 100% out of the woods yet.”

Toronto is heavily sedated and resting quietly in the recovery ward.  Please, no visitors.


* Actual attribution:  Photo © by 680 CityNews.  
Not really by David DelaRoddis.  Which you kind of knew.