Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Savage!

Followed closely by “dank” which can probably be an accurate description of the types of people who think that these words merit their gross overuse.

Every time I have the misfortune of tripping over some misuse of the word “savage” I imagine three things:

– Some gymrat who is still wearing his Affliction shirt that was cool for about 30 minutes back in 2008.

– A Chive user who is alternately idolizing the sentient pile of rocks described above, or is using it “ironically” but failing as bad as Alanis Morissette did back in the 90s.

– Buzzfeed

See, you take a word that had carved itself a nice little niche, where it is thus described as such:


adjective
1. (of an animal or force of nature) fierce, violent, and uncontrolled.
“tales of a savage beast”
synonyms: ferocious, fierce; More
noun
2. (chiefly in historical or literary contexts) a member of a people regarded as primitive and uncivilized.
synonyms: barbarian, wild man, wild woman, primitive
“she’d expected mud huts and savages”
verb
3. (especially of a dog or wild animal) attack ferociously and maul.
“ewes savaged by marauding dogs”
synonyms: maul, attack, tear to pieces, lacerate, claw, bite
“he was savaged by a dog”

…and immediately made it worthless by applying it to things that it has no merit describing.

Now, the reborn usage of “savage” is clearly geared towards the third definition above, whereas the people who use this word tend to lean towards being accurately described by the second example.

Do you remember about 5 years ago when every single fucking event in your life, on Facebook, and elsewhere was “epic”? Here’s a tip: No… It wasn’t epic. It was a modicum above mediocre, but due to the fact that pop culture as it exists now is little more than a parrot with Tourette’s Syndrome, you’ve been conditioned by such exaggerated responses to basic positive feedback that if it isn’t a life changing event, it’s not worth putting into 140 characters or less. The end result of this is that you end up coming across like your mildly retarded Labrador Retriever:

“OMG, a wedding! This is my favourite thing ever!”

“OMG, a car ride! This is my favourite thing ever!”

“OMG, a meal! This is the best thing ever!”

Your breakfast wasn’t epic. Your breakfast was good enough for a picture, and after you posted it to your #socialmedias, you inhaled it like everyone else does, with little regard for the high esteem you had held it in just minutes prior.

Similarly, every time there is a moment where a person is being critical of another, it is being described as savage (alternatively, a “savaging” or engaging in “savagery”). I understand that in this Buzzfeed era of bite-sized, high-calorie media, some hyperbole is required in order to get that valuable ad-based revenue, but by forcing more meaning out of an event than what is accurate, it merely trivializes the word in question.

The Washington Post recently published an article claiming that Trump savaged Hillary but also savaged himself. Besides the fact that using a unique adjective like that twice in one headline would be frowned upon for a 5th grade class’s newsletter, much less a national publication, it’s simply idiotic to use a word like that when describing the circus happening in the US. There are so many more appropriate words to describe the shitshow happening, and if “savage” needs to be used in any context, it should be used to describe the people who have been suckered into thinking that Trump is actually a viable presidential candidate and not actually just a juiced carrot poured into a vaguely human shaped mold and left in the fridge overnight.

So, the gist of this is that you don’t need to use unnecessarily intense words to get more attention, nor do you have to mimic #celebrity in whatever terminology is in their cache for the next 30 days.

This current trend of pandering to an audience with the attention span of a goldfish on MDMA is not doing us any favours. It’s great for soundbites and getting the unwashed masses to wave sticks and throw stones at each other, but many of us need more substance. I don’t care if “Trump savaged Hillary” or vice versa on any given day. I would be impressed if Trump managed to not choke on his own cock during one of his self-fellatio sessions he does in front of thousands of people.

Language is beautiful, sexy, and it’s literally your CV when you’re talking to people. I know that this isn’t the first time that I have harped on the importance of this, but it’s such an irritant when the media latches onto a word that they then bleed dry before moving on to whatever gets trendy next.

A well educated populace is the government’s greatest fear. Regardless of your political affinity, being more educated is only going to help you, provided you are able to see and read it clearly and are able to recognize that an article titled “Trump prefers to blend the babies alive in order to stay youthful” isn’t going to be any more accurate than “Clinton sent emails about blending babies alive in order to stay youthful”.

For the tens of people who might read this… read critically, keep an open and questioning mind, and don’t be a dick.

And please stop using the word “savage” unless you’re describing a literal, physical act against another being. Or a Trump supporter, in which case it’s a noun.

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.

It’s coming..

Posted: November 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Just as I imagined when I revived the blog, I haven’t been posting.  I have put a considerable amount of thought as to why I have lacked the passion, motivation, and general driving force that has prevented me from writing.  It’s not like there hasn’t been a mountain of topics which have raised my hackles in the 7+ months since I last posted.  It just feels like a thin blanket of apathy and malaise has settled over me which causes little microbursts of frustration and anger, but dissipates too quickly for me to formulate a cohesive enough thought or opinion that merits posting here.

But I feel that things are changing.  That low roil in the back of my mind is starting to get more turbulent and more disruptive.  It’s kind of hard to put into words without it sounding trite, but it leaves me with a decision to make.  I could push this back down into my psyche and continue to quietly go through life being a productive member of society.  That would be the least disruptive and probably the easiest way to go.  Stay the course, don’t deviate, and just keep being what is wanted, needed, and expected of me.

The alternative here is to peek under the sheets and see what it is that is starting to bubble to the surface.  Then, to choose whether to foster it to see what it becomes.  I don’t think that I have fully realized what it is that I am feeling, but the whole thing is reminiscent of what drove me to create the first iteration of this blog, some 4+ years ago.  A way to vocalize malcontent in a controlled medium, where each word can be calculated and the chance of tripping over excessive emotion is minimized.  I too frequently choose my words improperly when I allow emotion to dictate the tone and intensity without it passing through my brain first.  The written word is infinitely more forgiving in that sense, which is probably why it’s preferable to me.

The last time I wrote regularly, it was liberating.  It made me feel more alive to get thoughts into words and have them made public while maintaining a modicum of anonymity.  It was a fine way to force myself to delve into topics before spouting off opinions about them, or at least encouraged me to examine my own thoughts and opinions on topics a little before inking my name to them.  Granted, it didn’t happen every time and it bit me a few times when I was challenged on my opinion and I didn’t sufficiently back it up with facts or conviction.  Terribly embarrassing.. I will aim to avoid that happening again.

This will have to be mulled over for a while, and maybe do a test run of posting something about the next thing that provides me with adequate anger, disappointment, or humour, and ride it out to see where it goes.

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.