3 May 2016
For the record, I get a little uncomfortable with the somewhat religious tone we too often hear from both sides of the fossil fuel squabble. Falling sky theorists is what I think of the motherfuckers.
That said, I am above all else a fucking utilitarian: the political theory that what we must at all times aim for is the greatest fucking good for the greatest fucking number. I do not think it utilitarian to hurry along the overheating of our planet thereby causing much suffering, death and extinction by continuing to burn fossil fuels at the rate we have been since we switched from burning the oil of sea creatures to what we found in the ground.
On the other hand I figure it is not the burning of fossil fuels that is the root of our primary environmental predicament. The root of that problem is overpopulation. A problem that climate change may force us at last to address in one way or another.
I have, for the record, also taken note of the working class response to the possible curtailment of fossil fuel production in Alberta and elsewhere. It is similar to the working class response to the curtailment of old growth logging here in British Columbia a generation ago - aggressive denial.
The prescription for the hurt the working class will feel as we lessen our dependence on fossil fuels is similar to what was offered to displaced workers a generation ago as well. Forest workers got an excellent programme called Forest Renewal BC. An excellent programme, that is, until the cunt who still works for the government of Canada as our ambassador to Britain shit canned it just as soon as he was elected in 2001.
29 April 2016
If there is one thing that makes me fucking puke more than anything else on this Earth it is good cop stories on the evening news. Last night it was a RCMP helping a struggling old dear get her groceries up the hill to her house.
Aren't the cops fucking great?
Give me a break.
I do not know about you but I welcome the sight of the RCMP about as much as I welcome the sight of the Federales when I am in Mexico. Once you are in the vicinity of the police it can only go well for you if you make no contact. Zero.
27 April 2016
26 April 2016
Passed by a bicycle accident today. Woman rider. Was not a bad one. Looked like she landed on her zygoma. What assistance she needed from the public had already arrived. All this I observed as I waited for red light to turn green.
When the light turned green the person driving the car at the head of the line was too busy rubbernecking the scene to proceed through the intersection. Naturally some asshole in an suv honked his horn good, loud and long to get the rubbernecker moving. This pissed off the woman who had been knocked off her bicycle.
"Fuck off!" she screamed loud enough to be heard over The Ace of Spades.
I laughed the laugh of the demented big city man I am as I hit the gas and left the scene behind. Did not see or hear shit like that in motherfucking Manitoba. Come to think of it I did not even see one person on a bicycle there. Not one. Imagine that, followers of mayor Moonbeam.
24 April 2016
Whenever I am someplace I have never been before I am sure to be found looking for shit in thrift stores. It is music I am looking for above all but a book will do if there is a good one on the shelf.
I left Manitoba happy because the day after the campaign, when I had 24 hours to kill waiting for my bush plane to take me to Winterpig and home, I had time to look through the town's two thrift stores for product. Neither, to my profound satisfaction, were affiliated to religious loons.
Only found one thing in the first store but it was a goodie. A pristine Anne Murray 8-track sparkling like a diamond in a case full of lesser country superstars. I looked at her picture on the cover! She is so drop dead gorgeous she is on the front cover of all her product. I read the titles of the songs. A lot of shit about L-U-V.
Spirits appropriately buoyed I made my way through the roof raising wind to my next stop. No records or books for me there either. But the joint had a half dozen cool CDs for me including a double CD set culled from the first 25 years of Stony Plain Records that I have wanted since I discovered how much I love one of their stable of artists - Ian Tyson. Mostly old-timey music. Simple as a Calgary Conservative; direct as an experienced sealer's hakapik. Got everybody on it from the aforementioned Tyson to Dutch Mason - just about every motherfucker a Canadian treasure. A first rate compilation it is. Well worth seeking out, if you know what I mean. I believe Dope City Free Press reader Paul Willcocks first suggested I add it to my collection. Some joints on the Internet may have more readers than me but none of them have better readers than you motherfuckers.
23 April 2016
I came home to rush hour traffic. You know the drill. If it is not the sheer volume of the most demented drivers this side of Bom-fucking-bay, it is a crash; if it is not a crash, it is road repairs; if it is not road repairs, it is a breakdown; if it is not a breakdown it is a fat cunt more interested in their Facebook buddies than their own life, never mind the lives of their fellow drivers.
Every one of us thinking of one thing: a double on the rocks when we get home.
The sun was sinking by the time I made it home. Sonja brought me my double; I looked at the photograph of the Hammer above the fireplace, a small candle above her on the picture frame; I thought about Manitoba and the thaw. I thought about how good it was to be home.
"So, how the fuck was it?" Sonja asked. We had barely spoke since I was gone. My phone, I found, was incapable of making or taking calls or texting that far from home. The e-mail working only in certain locations. If not for wi-fi it was as though I had taken a trip in a Silver Time Machine.
"We do not know what we are missing living crowded as fuck by other other people like we are Chinese or something," I began. "Life makes more sense in a small town. What they have we don't is inter-connectedness - the willingness to give a shit about one another."
"You going to be ok?" Sonja asked. She sensed my confusion about what is good.
"I will get used to the city again. It is amazing how quick you become accustomed to life in another place. When we have visited small towns in the past looking for a cool place to retire we have fretted over how we would adapt. There is nothing to fret about. It is all good. We gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing we ever do."
22 April 2016
I was in small town Manitoba long enough to make me sad when it was time to go home. My relatives, who moved from the province to Dope City in the first half of the 20th century, never let on they missed the prairie home they grew up in but now I know they must have.
I live in the city. Except for my first few years on our doomed planet my life has been nothing but stop lights, sirens, bad air and worse hockey teams.
There were three stop lights and the occasional siren where I was. Even saw one man taken away near death in an ambulance while I was there. The people who called the ambulance for him were not his family members yet they were in tears as the paramedics sped away with him.
The air was good and the local hockey team was held in high esteem even though they had come up a goal short in the play-offs. Everybody in town seemed to be wearing an article of clothing they had bought to help support the team. When I arrived in Winnipeg it was like landing on another planet. I was the only one wearing the team's colours.
Race relations, same as everywhere in Canada, could use a little work. Even where people live side by side they do not always walk shoulder to shoulder. Maybe we ought to remind each other a little more often that if we were united we could never be divided.
Hope I get back there soon.
21 April 2016
Election Day in Manitoba did not exactly go the NDP's way. Going to post with an unpopular jockey in the saddle will see you leave the gate seeing heels the whole race pretty much every time.
We won where I was until I said my good-byes the next morning however. Mr. Beer N. Hockey takes no fucking prisoners; an attribute I shared with all the Pirates that made up our swashbuckling team. From the candidate who is in surgery this morning getting something repaired he kept quiet about until the party was in full swing last night; to the Newfie campaign manager with enough fight in him to win the NDP the next federal election; to the first time canvassers who knew their town and the fucking bushes around it so well we would not have won without them.
There was a Victory party of course. If you are wondering if small town Canada can still give 'er I assure you they can still do so with the best of them.
In the morning I had coffee where I had been going all week. Seated at the table beside mine was the unsuccessful Liberal candidate sitting across a table from his campaign manager. He was a little cranky.
"We would have beat those NDP assholes if we'd only had a leader who wasn't even worse than their's," he moaned. "And if we had more money I could have flied into every village like the Conservatives and the NDP did." On and fucking on he went. The campaign manager nodding like a dashboard ornament the whole time. Moaned the whole way through my breakfast like a top drawer porn star.
If wishes were horses the Liberals would have no need for fertilizer on their farms this spring. They are probably already out looking for one of Pierre Trudeau's mistress' children to take over their Manitoba wing.
19 April 2016
Since I have been in town I have seen exactly one cop. He was in a ghost pick-up. We eyeballed one another for future reference.
No one seems to know how many cops there are in town. Some say ten. Others say twenty. Probably depends how many are recovering from their latest case of frostbite in Costa Rica. (That is an inside joke if you have not been paying attention to Manitoba politics.)
Mostly the police pick up drunks. Sometimes there are murders.
Tonight I had a steak in a hotel where someone was murdered just last week. Some people in town will not eat in the hotel any more. They do not understand the laws of probability like I do. There should not be another murder there before May long.
April 19th is Election Day. Lot of people are having second thoughts about giving the keys to the government Cadillac back to the Conservatives but they are still going to do it. People know they are voting in assholes all the fucking time and my guess is they will never stop doing it. My people will be there for them when they come to their fucking senses.
17 April 2016
Campaigns generally pack it in for the day a little early on Saturday night. The philosophy which asserts all work and no play is a bad idea applies even within the month given for most provincial campaigns. The last house I visited with my canvassing partner yesterday was barbequeing steak on the patio by the door we knocked on.
"That smells so good," she said as we both imagined what was ready to come off the grill. She had barely finished her sentence when the voter we wished to interact with came out of his house with a tall can of beer in his hand.
"You with the NDP, right?" he asked. When we assured him we were he added, "Good fucking thing for you. I still have the last pair of the Conservative likes of you who knocked on my door four years ago locked in the basement. Lately I have taken to reading them the fucking Leap Manifesto every day. Be motherfucking socialists like you any day now. Any how you have my vote. Now get the fuck off my patio! It's dinner time!"
Best thing to do when going door to door is quit after a good contact which we did. My partner dropped me where I am staying and made her way to her own barbeque. I had a couple quick beer and some cold pizza as I cleaned up before heading out to see a community play I had seen posters publicizing when I first came into town.
There must have been 300 people drinking beer and wine in the hall when I got there. More people than you see at a similar event in Steepleton, a city fucking near ten times the size of this place. I was the only CFA there but I was not any different from the rest of the crowd except for my Motorhead t-shirt.
My candidate was in the other end of the riding. The Conservative candidate was, much to my chagrin, in the room making nice with everybody. Naturally I introduced myself.
"Pleased to meet you Beer," he told me as he grasped my hand with a cold wet one of his own.
"I am staying with somebody in town who sure would like to meet you," I said before giving him the name and address of the fellow I had last spoke with on his patio.
The play was well performed. Laughter filled the hall and escaped into the quiet of the night outside.
We drank more beer and wine at intermission. Again I watched the Conservative candidate pleading his party's case with everybody who did not avoid him like he was dog shit on a sidewalk.
When the play was over and the applause complete the cast mingled with their supporters for a while. I was happy to be among those grateful enough to stay behind a short while before I slipped out into the cold, windy, half-moon bright Canadian Prairie night.