sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
 There's so much I want to write about and link to lately, but of course it's June and I'm a schoolteacher, so I've just been reblogging things on Facebook. And that's no way to live. Here are some highlights of the week.

The story gripping the city is of the Toronto Life story about a pair of self-involved, clueless rich kids who bought a Parkdale rooming house, sight unseen, and were shocked that people still lived there and also that you can't hire a contractor based on the fact that he's cycling by. This is all in the context of violent purging of the poor in the Parkdale neighbourhood, most notably an asshole landlord attempting to murder a tenant for striking against deplorable conditions. Quite a lot of pixels have been spilled over this issue, but the best response was my friend Todd's GoFundMe page (you can still donate), and the Metro interview with him that followed. Great stuff, and perfect timing—the Parkdale Rent Strike has the potential to be the most successful political action since BLM-TO forced Pride to ban uniformed, armed cops from getting paid to march in a parade that celebrated the very folks they like to beat up.

The Tories have a new Head Asshole, Andrew Scheer. No one has heard of this guy, and he conveniently had a lot of his more disgusting positions wiped from the intertubes. However, the Streisand Effect is still in play, so you can totally go and read what he's about. Spoiler: It ain't good. Fortunately, he has all the charisma of a mysteriously damp toilet paper roll, so I don't think he has much of a chance against Prince Justin or whoever the NDP nominates.

Do I have a clear preference for an NDP leader? I am shocked to say that no, I do not. I actually like multiple candidates. This is weird. I would be happy if Charlie Angus, Jagmeet Singh (with some reservations), or Niki Ashton won. I tend not to put a lot of hope in electoral politics but I do like having someone I can vote for and campaign for happily rather than someone who's the lesser of three evils.

Speaking of Niki, she's preggers. Yay Niki! She announced it on Twitter, because we live in the darkest possible timeline, and minor douchecanoe Brian Lilley got upset because she did not specify that she was pregnant with a human fetus. What else might she be pregnant with? Speculation abounded. Was it an alien? A tank-human hybrid? A dinosaur? No one knew until she clarified, kinda.

The coolest thing to happen around these parts is that the Ontario Liberals—who I don't even tend to like—announced that the minimum wage would rise to $15 by 2019, along with several other good labour reforms. This is great news, though in Toronto, where the cost of living is stupidly high compared to the rest of the province, it doesn't go far enough for my liking. Almost everyone is in favour, except for this whiny fuckhead, who is such an incompetent businessman that he can't afford to pay people to work for him. He was shocked and appalled to find himself the target of a boycott, and put up an even whinier sign that was immediately mocked for obvious reasons.

I try not to ever think about Barbara Kay, but a hero at Canadaland read that pro-genocide book that she recommended so that you don't have to.

Speaking of genocide against the First Nations, guess how much Trudeau's government spent fighting against indigenous rights in court? #sunnyways #colonialismbutfromtheheartoutwards

In international news, though I hate to go there:

Ivanka Trump makes her shoes in a Chinese sweatshop (no surprise there) and three activists have been disappeared for looking into it.

Laurie Penny continues to be my internet girlfriend. Here's a scathing editorial about freezed peach.

Finally, it is extremely important that we know about whether Melania is getting, and I quote, "federally-funded side peen." Yeah, you're welcome.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (death is coming)
They RELEASED THE KRAKEN CRACK VIDEO!

You can watch it here.

Now, you'll be disappointed, like most of the city, because it:

a) Doesn't show us anything we didn't already know or guess
b) Comes far too late to destroy the Ex-Honourable Wife-Beater's political career
c) Will not tarnish the reputation of Brother Doug or any of their various political enablers; even Sandro Lisi got off on a peace bond
d) Isn't even all that funny

But Americans, take note: This can happen to you. Yes, being the mayor of a large city is different than being President of 'Murica, but not as different as you think. The Laughable Bumblefuck represents a sharp break from conventional politics, where politicians at least had to have the pretense of being—if not competent themselves—the puppet of competent advisors. And a scandal like smoking crack was generally enough to sink most. Not anymore.

Meanwhile, the real story is John Tory, walking Dad Joke, continuing Fordism by a different name: Bullshitting on a subway that's never gonna happen and was never meant to happen, breaking his half-assed pledge to reduce poverty in an increasingly divided city, refusing to engage honestly with Black Lives Matter, but since his very presence is a cure for insomnia, no one's paying that close attention. At least with Ford, people paid attention to some of the dumb shit he did.

But this—I would argue, were I of a more conspiratorial mindset—is by design, not accident. That's what you do, if you're playing the long political game that the far right is currently playing. You get someone ridiculous and over-the-top and populist to bust open the door, someone who courts Nazis or uses the n-word or smokes crack, someone so clownish that it's impossible to envision them ever being elected until they do, and then you let them self-immolate. And by then, they've shifted the Overton Window so far towards overt fascism that all you need is another, more soft-spoken and well-dressed far-right ideologue to slither in there, look like a reasonable moderate, and repackage Asshole Boy's ideas as his own, and everyone swallows it.



Unrelated to any of the above, enjoy this story about a dog that found a giant dildo and wouldn't put it down.

Orlando

Jun. 13th, 2016 05:53 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (silver mt zion)
I keep being reminded throughout the day. I mean, it's pretty hard to avoid the subject. Especially when the Board sends you that general form-letter about how to talk to children about mass shootings. Seriously, that's a thing that they have to do, because the NRA is out of control.

I don't really have anything to add that hasn't been said by wiser people. This one hits a lot closer to home than most senseless mass shootings, though. I just feel sick and sad and furious and queasy, somehow.

As—once again, wiser—people have pointed out, there is no point in asking America to get its shit together. If a school full of six-year-olds wasn't a wake-up call, a club full of queer Latinx who most of their leaders seem to want dead anyway is hardly going to stir them into action. Fucking fuck. That's it, that's my contribution. Fuck all of this shit.

There was some kind of incident at UofT today. Turned out to be nothing, but multiple buildings locked down and so on. I don't usually feel unsafe, but days like these feel pretty unsafe, y'know?

Anyway here are my cats being gay and cheering me up:
tumblr_o8om7wmDDe1r2vmy7o1_1280
sabotabby: (furiosa)
Zoe Quinn's Tumblr post about why she dropped charges against the shitbag who's been making her life, and the lives of many women on the internet, a living hell, hit me really hard. Especially as I'm following the Ghomeshi trial, and the particularly odious Rosie DiManno columns where she calls out Ghomeshi's victims for not acting the way she'd like them to and not remembering trivial details from a traumatic event that happened years ago. I'm not linking to that.

Memory's tricky. Cops are coached about how to act on the witness stand, but I found out recently that in general, the Crown isn't allowed to coach witnesses, just the defence. The result is that women who testify against male abusers typically get torn apart, and that's part (though by no means all) of why rapists don't get convicted.

The games played on Quinn and on Ghomeshi's victims. I know these games. I have rarely posted publicly about my biological father, even in this little dead zone of the internet with my pseudonymity. But he used to play these memory games on me when we would fight about whatever. I would bring up an incident in which he'd been abusive, and he'd question me on these little irrelevant details, and thus make me doubt my own memories of the events. I think this is why I have difficulties remembering large swathes of my childhood. Reading about someone doing this to other women (was your hair up or down? What colour and model was the car?) is just beyond horrifying.

Quinn in particular hits home because she could be me. All she did was be a woman on the internet. She made stuff. It sounded like cool stuff, I dunno. It doesn't matter. She put herself out there as a creative person doing a thing, and some psycho from her past (ladies who date men, don't we all have at least one of those) rallied an army of misogynist slime to destroy her life and her family's lives.

And he's going to view this as a victory. They all will. Same if Ghomeshi gets off—doesn't matter if the criminal justice system doesn't determine innocence, just guilt, people are going to defend this guy and he's going to get to go on with his life while the victims' reputations will be tarnished forever.

I think Quinn is right to walk away from it all. The law isn't going to defend her. It was never meant to do that. You don't call the cops when you're raped, you don't expect them to understand Twitter, you can't possibly be that naïve anymore. The law exists to protect the already powerful and their property. And in the eyes of many, women are very much still the property of men.

Free speech only exists if a white guy wants to disparage those under him and escape criticism for it. Quinn's free speech doesn't get counted.

The message we're given, again and again, is to shut up. Unplug. Stay out of the public eye. If someone hurts you, acquiesce. Don't fight back. Don't take up space or make demands. Sit with our hands on our laps and hope that someone notices our purity and takes pity on us. It's not something I'm inclined to do, but then, it's not like it doesn't inform my life anyway.

My heart goes out to Quinn and to the women brave enough to testify against Ghomeshi. The system failed you. It was always meant to fail you.
sabotabby: (furiosa)
Well, that honeymoon was short-lived. Dustin Waterhole's government has already met my expectations. Canada has caved to the terrorists, of both the ISIS and racist white variety, and will only be admitting women, children, and families as refugees.

You will hear me once, non-ironically, say: What about the men?

Seriously, I think I've found the one thing that feminists and MRAs can both get behind, which is to say that this is stupid. It's wrong. It's fractal wrong.

407588_10151140965990967_441452921_n

Here are the reasons why it's stupid:

1) What about gay men? Or trans people? Asexual men, even. Most of whom would presumably need to be closeted. There is a special last-minute exemption, but that sounds like the kind of thing that is very dangerous for LGBTQ++ people in practice. (And then it becomes useless anyway, as gay men, trans people, and asexuals can all be terrorists as easily as heteros.)

2) Did your wife and family get murdered by ISIS? Too bad, you can't come to Canada. Serves you right for not becoming the Punisher.

3) This is security theatre. Like all security theatre, it is harmful (in this case, to young men), and it is useless (as women can be terrorists too).

4) Assuming that the goal is security, which it isn't (spoiler: the goal is optics, because the Liberals crave popularity and post-Paris, 51% of the population now opposes bringing in the refugees), leaving a shitload of unattached young men, the prime demographic for terrorist recruitment, in refugee camps or at risk of being sent back to a warzone, seems strategically asinine.

Ultimately, this is a condemnation of Dustin's pledge to govern "from the heart outwards." You know why rationality is useful in politics? Because any sensible person would have immediately found four obvious flaws in the plan. It's also an indictment of Dustin's particularly condescending brand of Feminism Lite (anyone remember Justin Unplugged? Just me? Okay then!), which pays lipservice to gender equality while failing to address structural inequities.

On the plus side, fucking everyone is making fun of Dustin's global fedora-tipping, so I bet you they'll back down on this before the end of the week.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (monocleyay)
David Cameron, metaphorical pigfucker, is also apparently a literal pigfucker. (Bless the British press—you won't often hear me say that—for immediately supplying the internet with lots of pictures of Cameron holding pigs.)

[An alleged eyewitness] even claimed another member of the group has photographic evidence of the alleged act.

But the individual who is said to own the picture did not respond to approaches by the authors.


Oh hey, fortunately there's video! NSFW, obviously.

Hats off to you, Britain. Your Prime Minister fucked a dead pig. You beat our crack-smoking mayor and Peegate. I now feel secure in the knowledge that nothing that happens in Canadian politics will ever live up to how fucking insane that is.



Meanwhile, lovely Corbyn, alas, is set for a reenactment of one of my other favourite British political dramas. Although apparently he's a vegetarian and so if he doesn't win the next election with the slogan, "at least we don't fuck pigs," he needs better advisors.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
I miss posting about municipal politics, so here's what's been happening.

Broadly speaking, we are in the post-ideological era. We had four years of an openly racist, homophobic, misogynist wife-beater, but then came in Tory as a breath of fresh air, concerned only with Sensible, Reasonable Management of City Resources, etc. Of course, there is nothing more ideological than those claiming to be apolitical, and Tory is Ford in a beige sweater-vest, without the crackpipe. Which is worse for the city, as he manages to be so boring that no one pays attention to the nefarious shit that he pulls.

I warned you this would happen.

Still, some interesting things have happened! Transit is still fucked. The entire subway system went down for an hour and a half yesterday. The whole fucking thing. Massive outcry did not happen because who cares about people who can't afford cars, right? There is no funding and no plan to modernize transit, so everything is just falling apart. Tory had this whole SmartTrack thing in the election that seems to be totally abandoned now, which is fine, because when you hear "smart" in a compound word, you know it ain't.

Then, Tory was forced to reverse his policy on carding. For those of you who haven't heard of this (I'm not sure it's a thing that happens elsewhere), carding is where the cops stop people and ask them questions and write down their information, regardless of whether or not they're a suspect in any crime. Did I say "people"? Sorry, I mean specifically "black people." That's why whenever a black person is killed, be it by cops or civilians, they are "known to police." Because the cops literally have a policy of building databases on people of colour who have done nothing wrong. This is an actual thing that happens here. Activists have been agitating against it for years, and recently a group of upstanding, prominent citizens called for an end to it. Tory was all for it until it became clear that supporting carding would lose him the next election, which goes to show that activism can actually get shit done. Don't think he reversed his position out of the goodness of his heart.

So, yay!

And then there's the Gardiner Expressway thing. This is an ugly, elevated expressway that is falling apart. Experts have advised tearing it down and replacing it with a boulevard to allow the land around it to be developed. This would increase commute times, though no one knows how much. The boulevard option is cheaper and will create more jobs, but Tory's platform was all TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC, so he is in favour of a hybrid option that will cost double but not affect commute times.

This is a very interesting bit of politics wrapped up in a very boring sounding debate about a highway. I didn't quite realize it until I was listening to Matt Galloway interviewing Tory this morning. Galloway brought up the number of jobs that could be created with the tear-it-down plan (through construction, new businesses, schools, etc.); Tory kept talking about the financial cost of longer commutes and lost productivity.

Lost in this discussion was the clarification that additional productivity and job creation are not the same thing. In fact, they're opposite—productivity is value stolen from workers. The average voter thinks more money in the economy=more jobs, but of course it matters whether that money is there because there are more workers earning a living or that the existing workers are creating more profit by working harder for capitalists. It was an interesting thing to wake up to for sure.

That interview led to me stumbling to this op-ed in the Star (I'd heretofore been ignoring the whole debate because I walk or take transit and it doesn't directly affect me). It's written by developers. And I agree with them. Do you know what a weird position it is for me to find myself nodding along and thinking, "yes, you greedy little shitbags, that does make economic sense." It's especially weird because developers have historically overridden political democracy in Toronto, and now that they're in the right, it will be fascinating to see whether they will again.

I'll point out again that we could have had a decent transit system and we could have had a progressive mayor who wasn't boring, but for the Toronto left's impotence and insularity and a political direction that is largely decided by those who do not actually choose to live here. Instead, we have far-right austerity in the guise of technocratic rationality, and it's both backward and dull.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (racist!)
Following, via the internet (because fuck knows I'm not going near actual newspapers or TV right now), the police riot in Baltimore. Like most of you, I'm full of rage and helplessness and horror.

In between updates, I've been mainlining episodes of Daredevil (which is awesome, by the way). I highly recommend it for a variety of reasons. Among them are its portrayal of a very nuanced moral universe. Without delving too deep into spoilers, both the protagonist and the villain do objectively Very Bad Things in the service of a near-identical goal: to improve the neighbourhood where they grew up. The latter sees gentrification and disaster capitalism as the key to fixing Hell's Kitchen; the former fights for the rights of tenants in rent-controlled slums. You can probably guess why I like it, beyond that I enjoy silly TV shows with superheroes beating the shit out of each other.

I'm going somewhere with this.

The show is really, really violent. Like, graphic in a way that makes me flinch, and I do not flinch easily. In between fight scenes, the characters debate whether it's justifiable to take the law into your own hands. The premise paints a picture of a dystopian city, where the rich circumvent the law, manipulate the media, and use the police as a death squad—so, pretty much like we have now—and as a viewer, while you may find it squicksome, you accept the narrative justification for Murdoch putting on a mask and beating the shit out of people every night. Because he's tried the other way, and failed.

Which brings me back to Baltimore.

David Simon, creator of one of the best TV shows ever, is requesting that the "rioters" go home. His voice carries a certain weight, since most of what I know about Baltimore I learned from watching The Wire. But he's wrong. The so-called rioters are home. And I don't see as they have much of a choice at this point.

I want you to imagine you're watching a silly show on TV. In pretty much every episode, a young man dies. Usually he's killed by the police, who are depicted as hopelessly corrupt. The deaths are horrific, over-the-top in their brutality. Helpless victims are beaten, tased, left to die. In the last episode, a young man looks at the cops funny, so they arrest him and sever 80% of his spine.

No one in authority does a thing. The friends and families and communities of the victims try to do the right thing. They try to appeal to the law. To the media. But the police are corrupt, the courts are on their side, and the media is preoccupied with Bruce Jenner or something. When their appeals are met with silence, they take to the streets in peaceful protest. You can imagine what happens next.

At what point, oh viewer, does violence become justified? Let's be honest; if this were a TV show, and not reality, you'd be rooting for the hero to be mowing down these fascists in the first 15 minutes.

Now, I wouldn't recommend violence because the state has bigger guns and is happy to use them, but I understand it. What gets me is the utter lack of empathy on the part of people wringing their hands about a few bricks being tossed, like a window matters more than a young man's life. I don't get why people don't see that every legal, civilized means of dissent has been exhausted and trampled over. I don't get why everyone in that entire city and anyone who can get in a car or on a bus, isn't out there in the streets, protecting the protesters from the cops.

I like fiction because it builds empathy. We can sympathize with drug dealers and junkies when The Wire reveals their struggles and aspirations. We can sympathize with vigilantes when we watch their desperation at an unfair system grow. And yet. We can watch high school kids, armed with nothing more than bricks and righteous outrage, face down a militarized racist police force that won't hesitate to kill them, and complain that they're not behaving like we would want them to, that they just need to lower their voices and their fists and we'll talk this out like rational people, as if anyone in power had any designs on civility. As if were ever anything but an impossible struggle against an implacable enemy. We get this in fiction, so why not when it happens in real life? Is it really that hard to understand?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
Mystery solved!

Police have located the two men who built the tunnel near York U and determined that:

a) They are not terrorists. (Read: white guys.)
b) They pose no danger to anyone.
c) They did it for "personal reasons."

Yes, that was what the official police statement actually said. "It's all good, no charges will be laid, they did it for personal reasons."

In not-entirely-unrelated news, I can only assume that this is our police department's new logo:

tumblr_mry4d638dC1s5hhh3o1_r2_500

Seriously. Our local police make official statements that combine the words "mysterious tunnel" and "personal reasons" and they expect to get paid $100,000+ a year and no one has a problem with this.

Other sources have reported that the two men built it as a "man-cave," though since they were not identified in any media, I can't rule out the possibility that what they were building was actually a Bat Cave.

In fact, I think it was probably a Bat Cave.

That, or they were scabs trying to cross the picket lines (good luck, 3903 friends!).

But it was probably Batman.

ETA: The National Post, of all places, has more speculation and a diagram. The video is worth watching.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (pinko pie)
It's miserable in my fair city and everyone is depressed. I, for one, am horrifically ill and dragging my sorry, hacking corpse to work everyday through -30°C weather as I have an underdeveloped sense of self-preservation. The coldest winter in the history of ever shows no signs of abating, and there's little to rejoice about.

Until. The York Tunnel. Otherwise known as the best thing to happen to Toronto since the IKEA monkey. This has made everyone's day.

Short version for those who don't like paywalls: a conservation officer stumbled upon a sophisticated tunnel near York University and the future site of the PanAm Games. Some people lost their shit because TURRISM!; others suggested drugs or sneaking into the PanAm Games for free, still others hailed it as the closest we've gotten to a subway line since they decided to put a university up in the middle of nowhere with no decent transit to it. The cops, remarkably, seem to have maintained cool heads about the whole thing, leading to one of the funnier tweets I've seen in awhile:

If you built a tunnel near the Rexall Centre in give us a call, k? 416-808-2222

They found a rosary and a Remembrance Day poppy down there too, meaning that if it is terrorism, it's likely the "gunpowder, treason, and plot" type of terrorism. But it's probably not terrorism.

What is it? The Beaverton (our national equivalent of the Onion), hailed it as an "extended metaphor for student debt."

Twitter was on the case:


B-nvmVTWkAAtFyj

A friend of mine suggested this explanation:

1958392_727245017388889_6140733232007785795_n
Anyway, whoever built this thing, it's cold outside and we're all pent up and we're very bored, and there's nothing we like more than a really weird mystery. I for one welcome our new subterranean overlords!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fighting the man)

I'm against hate speech.

I'm against murdering people for making cartoons.

I'm against attacking people in retaliation for murders that they had nothing to do with.

I'm against the climate of xenophobia in France, which is, among other things, fallout from France's colonialist history.

I'm also side-eyeing the fact that there was nowhere near this level of international outcry or media coverage of the murders of 145 Pakistani children massacred and suspect it was because they weren't white Westerners.

(For context, this is a useful thing to read. Not substantially different than Nazi anti-Semitic cartoons of the 1930s. But they shouldn't have been killed over it, obviously.)

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (hellraiser kitty)
It's official. As usual, the rhetoric is "optimistic" but we're all grownups who can see through the soundbites. The Honourable Wife-Beater is probably doomed. (Liposarcoma has a pretty decent 5-year survival rate, but other factors suggest that he is not long for the world.)

It's almost poetic. The guy, against all probability, wins an election to the mayoralty of Canada's largest city despite an impressive lack of qualifications or functioning frontal lobe, proceeds to take the most spectacular dump over municipal politics the world has ever seen, keeps on keepin' on through a fucking crack scandal, and may very well die before he ceases to be mayor. I couldn't make this shit up, people. Only in Toronto.

My earlier comments stand, but here are some helpful pointers to get through the next few days:

• Just because someone is going to die horribly doesn't mean they suddenly become a good person. Remember what Ford said about AIDS victims. Remember that he beat his wife. Remember that he doesn't care if he kills pedestrians. Remember Anthony Smith.

• No fat jokes. Fat jokes are never okay.

• Tasteless jokes are okay though. Even if it's someone nice, which he isn't.

• For the most part, cancer doesn't care whether you lead a healthy lifestyle or not.

• Cancer is neither a journey, a battle, or God's test of how strong you are. It's a bunch of cells mutating. That's it.

• Cancer does not care how hard you fight or how much you pray. Whether you wish the HWB well or not, he will live or die according to biology, medical science, and chance.

• There is, nor will there ever be, a restriction on speaking ill of the dead on this LJ. That goes for the dying too.

That's it. What a day it's been.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
Part of why I'm working on refusing people who ask me to do unpaid work for them is that the municipal elections here are starting to heat up, and that's where my volunteer efforts are best directed. Specifically Paul's campaign for city councillor (check out all the new content! Also, follow him on Twitter and Facebook), but I'm also enthused at how Olivia continues to be practical and level-headed and full of energy and confidence, in stark contrast to continued revelations about the Honourable Wife-Beater's criminal activities.

Meanwhile, Sarah Thompson, unable to stay out of the spotlight for even a minute, declared her candidacy for mayor by riding in to City Hall on a horse-drawn wagon.

Toronto politics. Gotta love 'em. It's a long time until October, but right now we have the incumbent bashing into journalists and embroiled in scandal, a bunch of "sensible" conservatives who won't decide amongst themselves who's best for the job, and an experienced, left-leaning, smart person leading the polls. I'm happy, you guys.

(I mean, I'm exhausted, because activism happens around my continually expanding work hours, but after almost four years of absurdist dystopia, my beloved city might get fixed. And this directly relates to my continually expanding work hours, because I have to stay late almost every night these days and then commute anywhere between an hour to two hours home on transit, in Mars-like weather, and had it not been for Ford, I'd have a much shorter commute by now. But. I'm also optimistic for the first time about where Toronto is going.)
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
I haven't read any of the articles. Don't really care to. Bad things happening to children is something that I find difficult to read about and so I don't do so recreationally.

But. Whenever a woman publicly accuses a man of raping or molesting her, she is held up for public excoriation. She's accused of lying and worse. Her sexual history is interrogated, her name is dragged through the mud. It's bad enough in the case of a regular man; in the case of someone famous and well-loved, it is exponentially worse.

I don't believe in most cases the trade-off is worth it to lie. I mean, you'd have to be deeply fucked up to put yourself through that.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
It's been a fun few days in Canadian (and in particular, Torontonian) politics.

By now, you may have heard that the Honourable Wife-Beating Mayor was filmed in a restaurant, three sheets to the wind, ranting in faux Jamaican patois. Included among the Laughable Bumblefuck's utterances were the words “bumbaclot” and “rassclot,” which has the local media in a frenzy as white people try to translate. It's pretty funny, actually.

I imagine this will do good things for his polling numbers, because let's face it, “bumbaclot” is a hilarious word.

It speaks to one of the fundamental contradictions about the HWB, though. I mean, the guy is racist. He says racist things, but more to the point, his policies are racist and cause disproportionate harm to racialized Torontonians. It's pretty racist for a white guy to mock patois. And yet. One of his strongest bases of support is in the inner suburbs populated by these same racialized Torontonians (including, by the way, the owner of the restaurant, who was on CBC this morning defending his regular customer and claiming that the outburst was in no way racist). The easy answer is that for all his flaws, and they are many, the Laughable Bumblefuck makes an effort to physically visit communities in the inner suburbs, whereas I see very few downtown left-wing politicians in Scarborough. But I don't think it's the whole answer.

If you were waiting for Ministry's legendary Al Jourgensen to comment on the political situation in Toronto (I know I was), you'll be pleased to know that he's finally weighed in. His official statement:
You do realize Torontonians he is making yer city a punch line to every fucking joke in existence .....I wanna meet this guy....uncle Al will set him straight...I'm like 6 years older than him...always respect yer elders !

Thanks for that, Uncle Al.

MEANWHILE IN ISRAEL, OMG STEPHEN HARPER!

Much has been made of our Chief Devourer of Kittens' recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, wherein he has been attempting to prove himself, and by extension, the whole country (yeah, thanks for that, asshole) more Zionist than the Israelis. And wow. He brought 208 people, which is about twice the size of the Knesset, including a member of the terrorist-sorry-"controversial" Jewish Defense League. Who are not at all the same as the group that even the US government considers a terrorist organization despite the fact that they have the same name and the same goals. And they in no way pall around with the EDL. Right.

So! Highlights include Mr. Harper serenading Netanyahu. You know how sometimes satire goes around on FB and people report it as news because internet? This is not one of those cases. By the way, it's okay to read the comments on that link.

Even Jonathan Kay, militant proponent of Palestinian self-determination and human rights that he is (that was sarcasm in case you've never read his column) has written that Harper's gone too far and even Zionists ought to find it creepy. Dude, when Jonathan Kay is pointing out that you support Netanyahu more than most Israelis do, you've clearly got a problem.

Alas, this will probably do for Harper's numbers what shouting "bumbaclot" will do for Ford's, as if there's one thing that can be guaranteed in Canadian politics, it's people voting against their own interests because they think they'll save 50 cents in tax breaks.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
I honestly kept forgetting that he was still alive. Happy to speak ill of the dead in this case, but it's not like he was up to particularly much in the last few years.

Related: Journalists Worldwide Really Struggling With Ariel Sharon Obituary.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
I'm going to just leave this article here because I think it speaks for itself and the real reason (not crack or cunnilingus remarks) that the Honourable Wife-Beater is a genuine fucking menace.

People Might Freeze To Death Because Rob Ford Won't Quit Being the Mayor Of Toronto. Excerpt:

It is amazing to me how quickly everyone I know has become used to the situation in Toronto, to the more or less total suspension of the ordinary. If you had told me last Christmas that in a year 39% of the voters of Toronto would support a crack-smoker, I simply would not have believed you. Daily life is weird.


Also, this article is mostly about other stuff, but I was wondering if Armando Iannucci (the creator of the remarkably-utopian-in-hindsight The Thick of It) had weighed in on Ford, and hey, yes he did:

Yes, that was huge over there [and in the US]. And Rob Ford's still in the job, that's the remarkable thing. You can sort of get away with stuff over there. If you're larger than life, people like you. Whereas if you're larger than life here, people think you're a nutter and the party gets rid of you.


Toronto politics are officially the most ridiculous in the industrialized world, you guys. Even Berlusconi was kicked out eventually, but the Laughable Bumblefuck continues undeterred. I suggest that the people currently shivering in the dark find something to light on fire and bring it on down to City Hall.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
In the vast, sprawling spectacle that is the Mayor Ford Crack Scandal, the catfight between Finance Minister Jim Faherty and Employment Minister Jason Kenney, both of whom are complete douchecanoes, is at the moment a minor sideshow. But it's exactly the sort of thing I hoped would happen when the crack story first broke, and the reason why I want the Honourable Wife-Beater to remain mayor for as long as he continues to spiral out of control.

Reason being, despite the Laughable Bumblefuck's attempts to present himself as a roguish, independent man of the people, he is very much tied to the Tory political structure. He's buds with provincial Tory leader Tim Hudak (who would bring back chain gangs if elected) and Prime Minister Stephen "Soulless Robot Kitten-Eater" Harper. He is not some working class sitcom schlub; he's a millionaire son of a former Conservative MPP and his other head, Dougie, has provincial aspirations. They have money, and it's been noted that Toronto's elite has been overall quite silent and disinclined to cut ties with the Fords, biding their time to see if Hizzoner is re-elected.

Which is why the Flaherty-Kenney feud is of interest—it's a sign of cracks appearing in the Conservative machine. Harper got into power, despite having all the warmth and charm of a Vogon poet, on the basis of out-organizing the centre and the centre-left, as well as the less reactionary elements in his own party. He's fucking smart and he runs a tight ship. Even in the face of two gigantic scandals, no one in his cabinet is allowed to speak off-message.

Until now. Kenney is evil but may have a sense of which way the wind's blowing—he broke ranks to call on Ford to resign last month, and it has created a shitstorm. Flaherty, who was buddies with Doug Ford Sr., loudly told Kenney to "shut the fuck up," and apparently it almost came to blows. I think we would all like to see that.

The longer this goes on, IMO, the better it is for everyone. Ford is completely capable of dragging down the entire corrupt, nasty, Tory apparatus. In order for that to happen, though, we need to focus less on the salacious personal details of crack and cunnilingus and more on the political gangbang that is Canadian Conservative politics.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
Canada Post is phasing out home mail delivery and cutting 6000-8000 jobs. (It claims that people will retire and just not be replaced, which is great for current posties but less great for people who might want secure, unionized jobs in the future.)

Um, do I need to say why this is a shit idea? I don't even need to say it, because it was all over the news:

1. Disabled people
2. Elderly people
3. People who appreciate conveniences that come with living in a civilization

As one of my friends put it, the purpose of a public service is not to make money, it's to provide a public service.

And fuck it, I like getting letters in the mail. It's nice. Some things can't be replaced by e-mail, including getting nice postcards when friends travel and getting my Metropass and pay cheques and such.

Naturally, junk mail will still be delivered to houses, because the free market r0xx0rz.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (monocleyay)
What happened: Lord Tubby of Fleet (that's not a fat joke BTW, that was apparently his prison nickname) interviewed his new BFF, the Honourable Wife-Beating, Drunk-Driving, Bird-Flipping, Crack-Smoking, Drug-Dealer-Murdering, Lying Liar What Lies Mayor of Toronto. You can watch the video here:


Or read the Star to get the most newsworthy bits.

But I think I'll do a reaction post anyway, because let's face it, this is an HISTORIC INTERVIEW OF EPIC LULZ.

It's a reaction post! )

Well that was 17 minutes of my life I'll never get back. Worth it, though; the whole thing is comedy gold.

ETA some reaction gifs, because apparently I'm a 13-year-old girl on Tumblr.

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