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Here in London, Ontario, we have a budding new business that has been exerting a ton of effort in gaining a foothold in the very competitive “vegan fast food” marketplace. I wish nothing but success for this business because competition is the driver of innovation. Plus, vegans need something to eat when they don’t want to walk to their garden for a carrot at 2am.

While Globally Local literally has a near-monopoly on the demand for a vegan Big Mac, the entire marketing campaign that they have launched is nothing more than profiting off of every stereotype that us corpse eaters label them with. Furthermore, it’s actually worse because they’re taking this feeling of persecution, making with the #socialmedias and monetizing it.

Here are the two examples that have made the news lately. Now, this is a combination of news, opinion, and some conjecture. Oh, and a bit of sarcasm.

The date: June 23, 2017. The time: Some time between first salad and second salad.

After gaining some good, solid grassroots support for their business venture, Globally Local floods their social media with a tragic event that has beset their sacred garden. Some boorish ignoramus vandalized their brand new takeout window with “I ❤ meat”. Here is a picture of it, helpfully liberated from their Facebook page:

It’s not the most clever, and it’s not vulgar. It’s actually pretty civil towards both the lifelong leaf-eating vegans as well as those whose dietary requirements are dictated by their favourite celebrity du jour.

When this hit the local news though, something didn’t feel right. First of all, having lived in east London for most of my 14 years here, I am able to speak with some authority on graffiti and vandalism. Second, this stinks to high hell so bad that anyone in their ivory tower is going to catch a whiff. To pick up what I am putting down, all I need to do is ask: When was the last time you saw graffiti that neat?

Seemingly ignoring the suspicious nature of the graffiti, herds of rabbits, goats, and other herbivores flock to the feeding trough of GL’s Facebook page to bray about the oppression that they are feeling on behalf of a commercial enterprise who now has a problem with a vandal that has a knack for typography.

Whatever… I understand as much as anybody how hard it is to break out of the surgically implanted penmanship exercises we endured as kids. We’ll even ignore the fact that the “a” is the style of penmanship that exactly nobody has ever done in their life while spraying some sick tags on a building.

Stardate: July 21, 2017. The time: Quarter to lentil.

Look at how Globally Local has turned lemons into lemonade!

How adorable! They turned “I ❤ meat” into “No meat” and they used the heart as the O! Look at all of the lemonade that they made from those mean lemons! Look how they took a perceived attack on their vegan culture and turned it around into a way to market their product more effectively!

Look how amazingly the spacing of the original vandalism allowed them to do this! And look how the colour of spray paint of the original graffiti is such a close match to the colours they use in their branding! Wait a minute…

Date: First harvest plus a fortnight. The time: Turnip to three

Speaking of something that stinks, this is the latest chapter in the 100% vegan friendly saga. Within the past few days, the Swiss Chalet that Globally Local has been forced to endure sharing spaces with put up a “barricade” that blocked their drive through (sidenote: it’s a goddamn drive through, not a “drive-thru”. Thru isn’t a word. Spend the extra effort and use a couple extra keystrokes and spell it the way it’s supposed to be spelled). Here is a picture of the carnage, once again helpfully supplied by our friends at Globally Local:

I have played a lot of video games in my lifetime. If they have taught me anything, it’s that if when game designers don’t want you to go somewhere, you are completely blocked from doing so. This includes things that would normally be moved by trivial amounts of effort, such as empty milk crates and 2x4s but are inexplicably impassable.

There are a handful of stories and anecdotes on the story behind this, ranging from Globally Local using Swiss Chalet’s garbage bins, to GL’s own bins overflowing due to high and unexpected demand, to the drive-through blocking Swiss Chalet’s delivery lanes, to Swiss Chalet using this as a key pawn in their plans for world domination of the fast food industry in the geriatric age group. We can’t omit the “omnivorous society is oppressing us and our business venture” angle that is helpfully being marketed in order to drive more customers through their doors.

Here’s a verbatim quote from their Facebook page. Try to keep your lunch in place:

Swiss Chalet barricades our drive thru!! *please share*.
We will not be bullied by big corporations trying to disrupt our business. Thank you to the thousands of people that have come to visit us from all over Ontario on our opening week. We will continue to stay strong and overcome those that try to stop us from changing the food industry. Together will (sic) can change the world.

You’ve got it all figured out, Globally Local. Swiss Chalet, purveyor of adequate chicken dinners to middle aged and senior citizens is truly an existential threat to your success. We applaud you for sticking it to “The Man” by posting all over your social medias about how mean everyone is being to you, especially the manager of another restaurant chain who is just trying to manage their own operations. Are you looking for a pat on the head and to be sent back out into the gardens to play?

Sarcasm aside, Globally Local has a good business model, and I think that they will have a successful business. But their current marketing strategy is shifty and shady as hell. It’s sketchy, and it cheapens what they’re trying to accomplish. Their messages of feelgoodery are good enough on their own to not have to resort to bullshit like exploiting the feelings of victimization that their clientele feel, and using it to take their money.

The vandalism incident looks like a cheap, orchestrated PR stunt that was only done to rile up the passionate vegans serving as their brownshirts, helpfully absolving the business from any responsibility for the messaging and reaction that is part of the fallout. Sorry everyone, it’s just our customers being passionate. Not our fault. All the while, they’re fanning the flames and perpetuating all of the stereotypes that piss vegans off in the first place.

The Swiss Chalet drama has a lot more moving parts involved than the “vandalism”, some of which may even be not known to the public despite GL airing their dirty laundry online like a high schooler who just lost their first girlfriend. Swiss Chalet’s manager is obviously an Illuminati foot soldier whose sole goal in life is to squelch any vegetable nutrition from being added to our diet. Or, their manager is just a person making 13.50/hour trying to meet quota and make ends meet and giving zero fucks about what else is going on in the plaza unless it interferes with garbage disposal or the blocking of their deliveries.

For Globally Local: You’ve got yourselves a good model, with a rabid and passionate customer base. You don’t need to stoop to this bullshit marketing to pander to their feelings of oppression in order to be successful. This fake vandalism and the puerile “Can you believe what the evil people did?” stuff only puts you in a negative light for the people whose attention (and wallets) you’re trying to capture.

You don’t need to resort to these kinds of schoolyard tactics. Market on the strength of your business, and not on the victim complex of your clientele. They deserve better, and you don’t need it. They’ll keep giving you money, business, and exposure. Take the high road, and success will find its way to you. Your current strategy has an expiration date, and it’s coming up quickly. Be the bigger people, be mature, be honourable, and quit being shitty.

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Potato Lives Matter

Posted: April 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

“You should have at least 5 servings of vegetables per day.

…But not potatoes.  Fuck potatoes.”

–Every dietary guide. Ever.

Potatoes are vegetables in every botanical sense of the word.  And yet, you ask most people and they’ll claim that they are a “starch,” all the while carrots, turnips, beets, and parsnips all get a free pass as vegetables without this carb shaming preamble.  Actually, I’m kidding… nobody eats parsnips anymore.

This sort of tuber discrimination should have no place in a world where we attempt to provide equality to all plant-based nutrition.  Starches are complex carbohydrates and are a required part of the human diet, and potatoes are as much vegetables as peppers, carrots, broccoli, and Trump supporters.  For them to be singled out as “not a vegetable” is the blatant profiling of a plant who didn’t choose to be high in carbohydrates yet fits all of the other criteria.  Meanwhile, his gardenmate carrot gets to hang out with all of the other vegetables despite coming from the same dirt of the earth.  Turnip?  Invited to the party.  Beets?  They’re always out getting pickled with their friends.  Peas?  Always together with carrots (and are also technically a fruit!)  Potatoes?  Nope.  No friends in the garden or in the dietary world.  Here, get deep fried and slathered with the crushed and sugared remains of your friend, tomato.  Oh, and here’s a shit ton of media to make you feel bad about how unhealthy you apparently are.

Speaking of inequality, why is the onion getting a free pass here?  Onions contain very little nutritional value, and yet there is no debate on its status as a vegetable.  It comes out of the ground, just like a potato.  It’s commonly consumed in a deep fried manner.  It’s actually more palatable raw than potatoes.  The only fathomable conclusion here is that it’s another egregious example of carb shaming, not to mention the assuredly expensive advertising spot the onion received when Shrek was released.  And we won’t even talk about the green onion, which gets an even more lenient deal.  “It ain’t easy being green” .. my ass.

I am not opposed to categorizing vegetables based on their merits, but right now, potato is the only vilified plant in the nutritional spectrum.  Nobody in the garden whispers about how cucumber is actually a fruit despite his act and frequent appearances in salad and on veggie platters.  In October, nary a soul thinks about how they are carving a scary face into the skin of a fruit while their friend Gord watches.  Tomato has long been outed, but was grandfathered in to the club and suffers virtually no blowback from the revelation.

This entire issue was birthed by the anti-carb agenda of Big Farma in an effort to drive increased demand in other vegetables that provide a better profit margin, and work in coalition with other anti-carb initiatives like Atkins. There are other factors at work as well, but like most things, follow the money trail and you’ll get to the root of the cause.

After some research, I believe that I have uncovered the secret which everyone has colluded to keeping under wraps. The real truth in the matter here is that the FDA, Health Canada, and every nation’s equivalent is engaging in a worldwide smear campaign against potatoes because they saw what happened when they ignored bacon and it turned into a Katamari of epic proportions before it could be appropriately monetized.  This is, of course, ignoring the fact that pork chops are a superior form of pig than bacon, but I digress.

Exhibiting foresight that greatly exceeds that of the average government entity, it was decided that the potato will be properly demonized to ensure proper kickbacks from Big Farma.  Ultimately though, this is all a ruse to ensure that poutine never attains status as a part of a healthy diet.  As a proud Canadian, this is a sin which cannot allow to pass silently.  This is an affront to Canadians everywhere, and I encourage you to stand up for a vegetable that deserves better.

Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.  They will be watching (because they have lots of eyes.  Dad joke).  Potatoes deserve to be treated equally in the venerable vegetable kingdom.  Impostors such as avocado, zucchini, and squash are all fruits, yet maintain more nobility within the hierarchy than the humble potato.  Where is the justice here?

So, to the tens of people who read this entry.  Give potatoes the respect they deserve.  Just because they are nutritionally different doesn’t make them any less of a plant.

If I need to drive this point home any harder… make carrot poutine and get back to me on the merits of potatoes.

 

I know that there are some people out there who need to attribute a cool sounding name to an otherwise mundane activity. Just like vegan is nothing more than “I’m actually a giraffe” and hipster is “I wear overpriced thrift shop gear” and yoga is just a fancy word for “Indian stretching.”

But even the above cases are just the tip of the iceberg, and have been selected because they came to mind first, except for the most egregious example of them all. I remember the first time that I heard the term “spin class.” It was when I was watching the first season of Archer, and the exact sentence was “On Tuesdays, he runs a really rigorous spin class.” The context around the conversation was where Archer and Cyril were discussing the training involved to become a top spy, and that the same trainer teaches Krav Maga. Naturally, my first impression of “spin class” was that it was for the tough and badass.

“What the fuck is spin class?”, I wondered. As a child, did you ever spin in a circle for as long as you could, seeing how long you could go before your balance completely phoned it in and you banged your head off of the coffee table and spent 3 days in a coma? That is exactly the type of person who would think that spin class would be fun.

(Disclaimer: I only spun outside, because dizzily stumbling into traffic is hardcore.)

Yeah.. that is what I thought spin class was. It turns out that that would have been more entertaining than what it actually is.

Spin class is nothing more than indoor cycling, and not even the cool indoor cycling where you go to an ancient coliseum known as a Velodrome and you meet with fellow warriors clad in vibrant armour that was then known as Spandex (current iteration: yoga pants, or “base layer”), and you engage in a war of attrition to see who can race in circles the most times before their minds and bodies collapse out of sheer despair. No, this is indoor cycling where you accomplish nothing except sweating beside a pungent human being who decided that a spin class is a great precursor to the hot yoga class she’s attending right after, and can’t stop telling you about it during the downhill portions of the class. Or whatever the fuck they call the downtime during the class.

I truly appreciate the value of marketing in today’s world, but when the term is so disjointed from what it’s supposed to describe, it crosses over into the misleading. I understand that the term “yoga” is based on the historic usage of the term, predating even Youtube ads and sketchy browser sidebar advertising hot MILFs that want to meet me. Terms based on historical merits get a pass. But there has to be a limit to this, otherwise “vegan” won’t mean “I probably don’t shave” and “free candy” is going to stop being a synonym for “Get in the van.”

Won’t someone think of the children?

Source: If you search Wikipedia for “spin class” it automatically redirects you to “indoor cycling.” I rest my case.

It’s true!  Stephen Harper is 56 years old!  And yet, when you look at him, his skin convincingly projects him to be a virile, energetic man who cannot possibly be beyond his mid-30s.  How does someone who has spent over a half century on this planet manage to have no expression, no wrinkles, and no personality?  If the grey matte of unmoving hair didn’t betray his age, you’d never have guessed that his best years have passed and that Metamucil and Days of Our Lives are part of his daily routine.

What is his secret though?  Well, thanks to yours truly, a panel of scientists and the cast of TMZ, the secret has been unveiled!  Steve, (can I call you Steve?  Thanks.) your secret is now out.

First, we started by looking to find someone else who has experienced a similar degree of agelessness.  Behold, the closest match that we could find to Stephen Harper’s overall complexion, and demeanor:

This is René Auberjonois, a Hollywood actor notable for his role as Odo in Deep Space Nine.  In this series, Rene played as a Changeling, a form of alien shapeshifter who was capable of assuming the form of any species who he had previously encountered.  Naturally, he seemed like the first person who should be interviewed about how he managed to keep an expression-free complexion throughout his acting career in DS9.  Thankfully, Rene was more than accommodating in granting us an interview.

During this interview, we asked how he had managed to maintain such a smooth, wrinkle-free complexion despite the obvious stress of being a TV actor in one of the biggest franchises in modern history.  His response was that in many cases, it is a combination of the best makeup crews in the world, a strict diet, and a variety of supplements.  When probed for more details, he admitted that the supplements that he was required to take were composed of a proprietary concoction of ingredients that he was not permitted to disclose.  The interview thus ended, because nobody actually cared about Odo or the actor who played him.

We all know that makeup can do incredible things to hide unsightly wrinkles.  But there is more to the story.

There are only a few things in the world that can literally stop aging.  One being the Fountain of Youth, which we all know isn’t real, and if it is, it’s probably in one of those countries where people think that blowing themselves up is going to get them their 72 virgins.  Tangent: Anyone who has had one virgin should know that that religion is fabricated.  Why the fuck would I want 72 women who have no idea what the hell they are doing in bed?  That, and the only virgins nowadays are middle school kids, and I am being lenient in my judgement here.  I’m not Jared from Subway; you can keep your children until they are old enough to lose the training wheels.

So, the Fountain of Youth is out of the equation, and we’ve established that makeup isn’t solely to be credited for Steve’s inability to age in the media.  Sadly, our conventional research only brought us to dead ends.  We had to dig deeper.

Thanks to a little extracurricular research, I was able to attain the Meals on Wheels ordering history for 24 Sussex Drive.  Most of the items ordered were pretty innocuous for someone eating on taxpayer dime:  fois gras-fed steak, organic caviar, an inordinate amount of zucchini along with an equally unusual amount of vegetable oil… you know, the kind of stuff you’d expect from Steve.  But, a couple of things stood out.  First was a supplement that was only referred to as #FF0000-LiveCaught and #FF0000-Saline.  To quote Quagmire.. “Dear Diary… Jackpot.”

What both of my regular readers may not know is that I have a reasonably well rounded knowledge in computer related matters.  Therefore, when I saw a hashtag preceding something other than whatever inanity is trending on Twitter this hour, it piqued my interest.  I set out to determine what FF0000 could mean.  Fortunately, due to my extensive experience with MS Paint and having looked at a couple of raw HTML files, I quickly discovered that it was a hex colour code for pure red.  Why was Steve ordering pure red “LiveCaught” and “Saline” products from Meals on Wheels?  I had a hunch, but I had to dig deeper.

What was discovered was positively beyond belief.  The Ottawa area has been dealing with an epidemic of infant abductions over the last decade.  We’re talking “stolen from the infirmary ward” type of stuff here.  That’s too young, even for Jared.  Since 2004, There had been 149 infant abductions from Ottawa regional hospitals, 17 of them in 2004 alone.  To put this into perspective, there had only been 3 in total in the previous 7 years.  How does it happen where baby abductions spike to almost a monthly occurrence when it was a biennual situation before?  By putting on my best sciencing hat and consulting with ancestry.com, I found that all but 5 of the abductions happened to parents who were both of the red haired variety (“gingers” in layman’s speak).  Why was someone stealing all of the redheaded children?  It was time to do a little more homework.

Steve took control of the Conservative party after quickly climbing the ranks by virtue of his boyish charm and being able to speak from both sides of his mouth simultaneously.  He was awarded control of the Conservative party in March 2004, approximately three months before the infant abductions started in the Ottawa area.

Now, we have FF0000-gate (because adding a -gate to the end is cool), and we have a baby ginger that is going missing on a monthly basis over the last 12 years.  All we needed was the proverbial jury.

Fortunately, thanks to some excessively weak passwords (“That’s the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage”) I was able to attain some parlance between Stevie-H and Meals on Wheels regarding an order dispute.  Within these emails, there is contention that Stevie-H did not receive a proper order of #FF0000 as requested, (“there is a bitter aftertaste” is a direct quote).  It was followed up with “Nobody wants ginger kids to grow up anyways.. I am practically doing Canada a favour. The clean taste and perfect marbling are just bonuses.”
MoW apologized profusely and pleaded to not lose their tax exemption status.  MoW assured that Stevie would only be delivered fresh and absolutely pure FF0000 from that day forward.  Email correspondence ended with this exchange.

My expert analysis based on all of the data presented to me is as follows:

Steve’s diet requires a monthly baby.  Specifically, a redheaded baby.  By eating babies, he maintains his youthful complexion.  However, it hasn’t been without fault, because when Meals on Wheels has accidentally delivered a non-pure sample, there were complaints.  This can be attributed to the deduction that eating a soul leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.  Therefore, Steve has insisted that while his diet must include at least one infant per month, it must be soulless.  Therefore, gingers were the obvious recommendation by Meals on Wheels.  By only eating babies that have no souls, he is able to absolve himself of any guilt or responsibility, and also avoids the lingering aftertaste while deriving all of the dietary benefits that an infant provides.

Hence, the #FF0000 was nothing more than a code for an infant red haired baby.  As specified in the order, “live caught” explains the hospital abductions.  But what of the “Saline”?  I imagine that it’s linked to the “Live Caught” requirement.  Tears are a salt solution… and an infant that isn’t alive can’t cry.  After all, a proper authoritarian needs proper nourishment to continue to strip away the rights of his citizenry, and needs an appropriate beverage to whet his mouth after a satisfying meal and to prep him for an evening browsing Ashley Madison. Steve, get off of that website. You have a wonderful, beautiful wife, who despite her intelligence, still wants to be with you. Don’t take it for granted.

So there you have it: The secret to Steve’s agelessness is nothing more than monthly requirement to consume the youth (but not the soul), of an infant. Redheaded children are specifically targeted by Steve because of their perceived lack of soul, allowing him to not feel guilt or shame. Furthermore, he requires them live so that their tears may be harvested and also consumed. Of course.. there is one other possibility that I haven’t examined..

The other possibility is that he’s a vampire. The above research would still be relevant, with only Steve’s perceived concerns with soul consumption being in err. It would be analogous to me saying “I need to eat beef on a regular basis, and I would prefer to eat only Kobe beef.” Steve has simply decided, undoubtedly through trial and error, that this type of other-white-meat is his favourite.

He does already have the proper skintone to fit the bill. Check out this luminescence and again, that matte of unmoving hair.

In conclusion, I think that our research has determined how Stephen Harper has achieved his near-agelessness. Whether he is a vampire or simply consumes for health reasons is currently unknown. What is known is that his amorphous face is maintained by a healthy amount of makeup applied by the best makeup artists that our tax dollars can buy, and that a diet that requires a monthly supplement of live caught #FF0000.

There isn’t a single adult in today’s society that will deny with 100% certainty that people don’t have an entitlement complex.  Note that I am not just suggesting that the younger generations have this problem, for it’s more systemic than that.

Nobody likes to fail.  Nobody likes to lose.  Us, as parents and productive members of society know how much it hurts to not make the cut, to feel as though we aren’t good enough.  But… our reaction to this feeling is what has fostered a stigma to losing which is causing us to be fearful of rejection, which is being projected onto future generations.

We’ve long passed the point where children’s sports in schools aren’t having scores kept.  We’ve long passed the point where we’re not failing kids in school, even when they don’t demonstrate the curriculum-dictated skills which indicate that they possess the ability to be accepted to the next level of study.  To compound the issue, we’re starting to really go full retard and some jurisdictions are even looking at abolishing grades altogether. And just to make your head hurt a little more, there is growing traction in regions to encourage changing the curriculum so that the spelling of words is almost entirely phonetic to make it easier on the kids. This isn’t an idea borne out of logic and thinking that “but Wednesday isn’t said that way at all.” This is all about “it’s hard for the kids.”

I think that there may be a legitimate debate to be had about making spelling more phonetically based, but I won’t hear of it for a few reasons. First: I appreciate language and between the internet and texting, language is already dying at a rate that I am uncomfortable with. Second: it’s outside the context of this post.

The overarching theme here is that parents don’t want their kids to feel as though they failed at anything, whether it’s something important like a science fair or as trivial as the annual no-touch activity day at school. Parents don’t want to see their little angels come home from school sad or crying that they weren’t treated like the precious diamonds they are made to feel like at home.

This is a problem. Not that the children are sad. That part is normal. The problem is that parents can’t handle seeing their children sad or hurt. And many of them don’t want to explain, or themselves don’t even know, that there is nothing wrong with losing.

Let’s spell that out again. There is nothing wrong with losing.

There is a fear of losing. It’s incredibly pervasive in our culture. Winners are heralded, put on podiums, and treated as deities (sidenote: the word deities is remarkably close to the non-word dieties, which I originally wrote and I found quite humourous given our media’s focus on being thin). The sensory overload that we endure every day reinforces the values of winning and being the best, but the problem is that nothing is telling us how to get there. The lack of context leads to the simplistic conclusion of “I’ll just wake up one day, and be the fucking best.”

Every single person at the top of the game in their respective profession got there by failing. With failure comes learning, and nobody learned anything from only experiencing success. By depriving people of failing, we’re depriving them of an opportunity to improve. Yes, our 7 year old children may not be able to understand right now, but when they are 10 and 11, they will remember all the times that they failed, they’ll think “you know.. that sucked and made me sad” and that will push them harder. Yes, there will be times where that same kid decides “that made me sad before, maybe I won’t try again” and that is ok too, because not everyone is cut out for everything, and that is OK.
What incentive does a child have to improve when they get the reward regardless of how they perform?

We need to change how losing is perceived in our culture. We need to shift from “I’m the loser” to “I’m good, but this time there was just someone who was better. I am going to be that person next time.” This applies to sports, education, jobs, relationships, and everything else where one or more people or teams are competing. This is a valuable lesson to teach ourselves and our children. And yes… we need to remind ourselves that there is nothing wrong with losing, because it doesn’t degrade our own performance, it simply means that there is another level that we haven’t found yet. We need to pass that message onto our kids. If you didn’t win the medal or the first prize, it’s not that you did badly or that you’re a failure, it’s that everyone did their best, and someone else’s best was better this time.

Not keeping score in sports is pointless. It’s a strokeshow for the parents, because I guarantee you that each and every kid on the field knows the score, or at least knows who is winning and who is losing. Not keeping score simply makes it easier for parents to deal with any potential aftermath by having the “nobody was keeping score, you’re my winner” talk as they go out for ice cream after being killed 12-1 in a hockey game where the only goal for their team was when the other goalie had to go pee and left his net.

By teaching children the value in adversity, it builds them up to be better prepared for adult life. There are no participation ribbons in the working world. There are no “sorry you didn’t get the promotion, here’s a raise anyways” talks with your boss.

Life doesn’t include a consolation prize, and with the way that we’re raising our future generations, they’re coming into adulthood with an inability to cope with not getting what they feel that they should. This is going to lead to a world of extremely (more) dangerous, sociopathic people. Our politicians and corporate figureheads are bad now.. imagine what it’s going to be like in 10-30 years.

Permit me to exaggerate a little bit.. we’re going to have millions of illiterate Justin Bieber/Kim Jong Un hybrids running around at the rate we’re going. Let’s let that sink in for a moment…

It’s late, and knowing me, I will edit this a dozen or so times in the next few days. But.. it’s late and nothing more productive is going to come of this session. I’ll publish this and review it later. Proofreading is for chumps anyways.

If I were PM of Canada…

Posted: April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

I will get this out of the way early.  Harper can go fuck his hat.  Fuck his sweater vest, his unmoving hair, his pedo-grade smile, and the fact that he looks like Odo from Deep Space 9.  Seriously, do an image comparison online.  He reminds me of a school principal or an uncle where parents don’t leave their kids alone with them for more than a minute.  I wouldn’t shake his hand unless it was delivered to me in a box.  Even then, I would have to Purel it and it would be creepy and probably just as clammy as it would be if it was still attached to that soulless chasm of a human being. What a fantastic leader we have.  Shouldn’t a strong handshake be mandatory for the leader of tens of millions of people?

But.. this isn’t about the toad leading Canada.  Not this time.  This is about what I would do if I had full control over this country I used to be proud to reside in.  I know that I have published this before on my last blog.  This isn’t going to be as deep, and it’s really just to break the ice and make a first post as well as figure out themes and other pointless shit.  And yes, I am publishing and not just blogging.  Why?  Because the button says “Publish,” that’s why.

1.  Absolutely no politically centric advertising outside of a 3 month period leading up to an election.  I am sick and fucking tired of seeing year-round attack ads and smear campaigns.  All parties are guilty of this to varying degrees, but I have never seen it to the extent that we’re seeing it now.  It’s childish, it screams of paranoia, and it is bound to indoctrinate the weaker minds in this country.

My solution:  A political party is permitted to campaign and enter the media within 100 days of an election.  Access to the media is only extended to the boundaries of the elections taking place.  IE:  An provincial election in Ontario will not cause campaign ads to be shown in other jurisdictions.  This year round shit has got to stop.

Speaking of campaign ads.. no more smear ads.  How about a little fucking content?  How about a “here’s what we’re doing” instead of pointing the finger at others?  Also, every politically funded advertisement must be approved by a politically neutral company who has strict guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed to be published in media.  These guidelines would include, but wouldn’t be limited to:

a.  Factual – The ads must be factual in nature, and worded appropriately to prevent a misleading message from being derived.  And no.. an off-the-cuff comment from a decade ago isn’t “factual.”  Bring your references.

b.  Positive – Tell me what your party is doing and quit tattling on what the other parties are doing.  Don’t tell me what everyone else is doing wrong if you can’t tell me what you’re NOT doing wrong.

c.  A whole bunch of other shit that I haven’t thought of yet, including stuff that I am sure the parties will all try to do to bypass the rules.

Don’t get me wrong.  I would love to fund a “Vic Toewes had an affair on his wife with his babysitter” campaign, or a “Harper eats babies, preferring to carve the meat off while they are still alive and screaming” media blitz, but the truth is that half-truths, outright lies, and deception and wordsmithing done to sling mud at the opposition doesn’t further anyone’s cause.  You’re not elevating yourself, you’re pushing others below you.  Isn’t that what we used to say that bullies did when we were kids?  They didn’t try to excel.. they only propped themselves up by keeping everyone else down.

2.  Regulate, then plan the obsolescence of the payday loan/cash money industry.  I’ve went on about this before.  It’s parasitic, it preys on the weakest and most vulnerable in society, and their success hinges on the perpetuity of a terrible cycle that causes people to get stuck paying 500+% interest on shifty payday loans.

My half-baked idea is as follows:

My solution: Merge all of them together, and have the government take control of the industry. Lower rates to something below “legalized loan sharking” to give people a fighting chance to break the cycle of using the service, and if someone defaults, they are sent to a government labour initiative where part of their wages are garnished and they work there until their debt is fulfilled. I am referring to menial tasks, like litter cleanup, graffiti removal, and other supervised tasks which do not require a unique skill set aside from effort. Exceptions can be made for exceptional individuals (aka the idiot savant) if they have a skill set that is needed somewhere.

The person’s employer will be legally obligated to treat this time off the same way as a maternity leave or other leave of absence, so they will not risk losing their real job while they are off repaying their debt to the government. Employers will be permitted to employ temporary staff to fill the vacant position. Once the debt has been satisfied, they are permitted to go back to their regular job, and hopefully are never seen again.

In an ideal world, the parasitic payday loan industry would be a self correcting problem over the course of a couple generations. Realistically, it would at least provide a steady stream of unskilled labour to do jobs no one else wants to do. Those who want out of the cycle will crawl out, the rest will continue to be society’s urchins.

As for whether this would be a federal, provincial, or municipal-run effort, I haven’t decided. I am thinking municipal, primarily due to the micromanaged logistics and oversight that will be needed.

Or.. as a friend suggested, help to fund an initiative where a more ethically correct alternative is made available to those in need.

3.  Remove the Internet from the CRTC’s realm of influence.  They’re in over their head, and they don’t know what they are doing.  Take it away from them before they break it.  The Internet is too complex for a bunch of telecom bluehairs to really understand, much less regulate something that shouldn’t be regulated.

4.   Twitter (or Facebook) is never to be used to make any first-to-the-media official announcements.  Seriously.. if news sources are saying “The government’s Twitter account…” as a citation for absolutely anything, there should be a flogging.  Publicly.  With chains that have pineapples and avocados on the ends.  If I, the head of the party that leads the Canadian government (not the <lastname> government.  The fucking Canadian government) has news, I will ensure that it’s released to proper channels and not confined to one hundred and forty fucking characters to be spun endlessly by the partisan jackoffs at the politically purchased news networks.

This goes for politicians as well.  Post all you want to your social media channels.  Keep official government business outside of social media confines where brevity is mandatory.  Government is complicated.  Imagine the government tweet where marijuana legalizaton is announced.  “MJ legal now, boyz! if u got da bluntz, smok’em! fuk da police”

5.  True equality, legalized marijuana, and other shit that civilized nations should already have.  Full, 100% equality in society with respect to all manner of partnerships provided that there are two consenting adults of sound mind.  Doesn’t matter if you’re straight, gay, andro, trans, or whatever alt non-gender-specific term you use to feel unique and medically accurate.  You love another adult human?  You’re covered. “Other shit” also includes being pro-choice and pro-assisted suicide in approved (but a broad range of) cases.

Same with pot.  Treat it like alcohol.  High in public?  Ticketed.  Driving while stoned?  That’s a paddlin’.   Spark a J in public?  Don’t do it.  Use it like millions of adults already do in our society yet manage to not cause it to collapse in on itself?  There you go.  The street market will continue for those who prefer it, but the path of least resistance now becomes taxable.

6.  Politician’s expenses become public domain.  You’re being paid by the taxes of the people, of the people you’re representing.  I will give you full privacy of how you spend your actual wages and what you do in your home, but if you expense anything, your constituents have a right to know what you’re comping back to them.  This ought to reduce spending a bit when your representatives know that every travel and food dollar can be checked by your riding.  I am sure that you can handle first class airfare instead of your party’s own jet.

7.  Charity begins at home.  Let’s just work to fix what’s wrong internally before we join the US in playing World Police and just agreeing with everything they’re doing worldwide.  I will consider permitting us to influence other nations once we are living in a country where everyone is safe, secure, where poverty, discrimination, and unrest is as eradicated as absolutely possible, all while not running the country into the ground with debt.

8.  Whistleblower protection.  If my national government is fucking the dog in any way, I want to know, I want my citizenry to know, and I want them to see that I don’t tolerate it.  Heads will figuratively roll, and corruption/abuse will not be permitted.  Transparency is paramount.

9.  Public denunciation of widespread surveillance of our own population.   My citizens shouldn’t have to be concerned about whether the government is monitoring them.  Not only would the surveillance systems in place be either rejigged or outright dismantled, I would allocate money towards making it more inconvenient for other governments (allied or otherwise) to track my constituents. Exceptions will be made if you’re a felon or an honest-to-god threat, in which case, it’s your fault that you’re a fuck-up, and you’re lucky we just don’t drop-ship you to Nunavut.

 

There you go. My political platform in a very small nutshell.  There’s more, but it’s late, and this is about all I wanted to cover, as best as I can tell right now.  This ought to suffice as the inaugural post of V2 of my blog.

Stay tuned.  I am going to try to make this a hell of a trip.