#170 – DNDark: A Soviet Repair Tale

The Ottawa headquarters of the Department of National Defense looks like the government buildings in a particularly podunk post-Soviet region. It’s a dreary brown slab of shit sandwiched between a shitty shopping mall, a shitty university, a shitty “park” full of drunks and hoboes, and the spectacular shitshow of meep-meepery that is Elgin Street. A regular hangout spot for drooling morons and tuff-guy skateboard punks, this unassuming Soviet piece of shit is going to be scarring a lot more than the Ottawa landscape when its ventiliation, plumbing, or fire suppression are taken offline. While people are working. Well, at least the building and the policy are meshed because that’s some fucking bush-league third-world bullshit that further demonstrates how divorced from reality the Ottawa Caker Crew really is.

(s) In Cakergrad, building designs you! Seriously though, this thing is total wank

The government has taken to advising employees trapped on the 11th floor without elevators and practically working by candlelight that the chance of fire is minimal, which is totally reasonable and not at all a ridiculous cop-out after basically telling your employees to eat shit. We’ll just ask potentially-combustible material to please stay sans fire and we’re golden! Backup plans? Nah. We’ve never had that problem before, especially not during renovations. This is also in the context of DND leaving this heaving hulk of a shit-campus in favor of a suburban shit-campus in the middle of fucking nowhere, which has been going about as well as Soviet Cakerstan can manage. Which is of course fucking not at all because these people can’t even take their own national defense buildings seriously.

This particular Soviet abortion of a building has a long, turgid history as the equivalent of a perfectly-coiled dog turd in a public park. Officially called the Major-General George R. Pearkes Building, the design was conceived by a deeply confused human being named Jacques Greber who thought highways were the future and who hated density and trains. This particular building consequently contributed to the loss of Ottawa’s downtown train station. So if you’re wondering why Ottawa got the name Cakergrad it’s basically shit like this building that did it. Rob Campeau would be proud – Greber took a dump on the city and contributed to it being the lifeless, low-density hole of a city that Rob would later take his own dumps on. Greber was a member of the City Beautiful Movement, but you wouldn’t know it from this piece of shit because all it can possibly inspire is snide commentary like mine.

So not only is it a horrible building (which was actually initially meant for the Department of Transportation, because those two departments have exactly the same building needs), but it contributed in its own shitty way to the ruin of Ottawa (if there ever was anything good there, which I frankly doubt). And now that the government is planning on moving out of that nasty place (ironically fleeing to the suburbs exactly as Jacques Greber encouraged Ottawa’s public serice buildings to do), they’re not able to figure themselves out to do that either. The whole building is a history of slap-dash whoopsie-doodles.

And that shitty pile of flaccid failure now squirts a stinking load, as necessary systems are now required to stay open despite have no water, refrigeration, fire protection, lighting (headlamps don’t exactly cut it), or toilet. It’s not like you can just say to an overseas mission “yeah, Canada shit the bed again, so we’re gonna leave you to it and we’ll catch up with you Tuesday”. People have to be there. They could have been in a proper campus where this Chernobyl sarcophagus wannabe’s maintenance schedule wouldn’t be a problem. But they aren’t so they’re stuck holding their shits in and praying the place doesn’t catch fire.

(s) At least this place could possibly fucking glow or something.

Remember kids – safety first! Unless, you know, safety requires competence or expense, whereupon fuck that noise.


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