#165 – Duffing It

The Crown has once again flubbed a major case in recent memory, and just like last time this story has been spun in a direction that shields obviously failed systems from meaningful inquiry. That the “vindicated” beneficiaries in both Ghomeshi’s and Duffy’s trials happen to be bodies of Laurentian patronage is rather interesting, but hey – why question the CBC’s human resource team or the assembly of failures that produced this verdict when you can blame misogyny and Harperites instead? If we’re honest about Canadian institutions they could be sad and we could be forced to admit that Canada’s elite are not in fact übermensch and that its institutions beget corruption and vice. Don’t the rich and connected sacrifice enough to make this place the miserable den of lunacy that cakers know and love?

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(s) Truly, this is the face of altruism

In the case of Duffy, the innocent verdict came with calls to stop trials against other members of the Senate, namely Patrick Brazeau and Marc Harb. Pamela Walin, who was also in question but never charged despite the RCMP handing files to the Crown is already back to doing what the Senate does best – getting paid. Don’t think for a second that I’m giving the RCMP an all-clear – those losers didn’t exactly search high and low and even Pravda in a rare case of solid journalism notes the failure of the RCMP to do their job in between piles of the ponderous “Harper is le Hitler you guyz” swill that is apparently the only vein of thought allowed within the Canadian media. The single most critical piece I’ve seen on the Duffy Debacle (by Terry Milowski) goes to the point of calling the Senate “embarrassing” but even he makes the problem out to be the Senate’s staffers and lawyers as opposed to a failure of governance and institutions or Canada’s inability to revise its own shitty Constitution.

The RCMP failed because that’s what they do. The Senate is a failure of a chamber crawling with failures; at least thirty Senators were flagged as owing money to the government after filing inappropriate expenses. I get that the rules are vague and that they aren’t often followed, but when 35% of the 85 Senators in June 2015 are suspected of having improper claims the next step would typically be, you know, changing them. Is it not outrageous that for so long such a valueless body was costing so much with so little public oversight? Nah, that would suggest that there’s a problem in the way Canada governs itself. Can’t have that! And certainly can’t do anything about it even if we do note that it’s bad, because doing is hard.

I am not exonerating Harper or his staff here, let’s be sure. But let’s not pretend that the myriad exposed screwups – from the RCMP’s ponderous review of Pamela Wallin’s expenses to the Crown’s inability to put together a coherent case to the fact that a staffer in the Prime Minister’s Office can exercise so much power, Duffy’s trial reveals a sea of stupidity in which even the Senate itself is but one part – are somehow resolved only within the Senate or better off viewed in isolation to one another. This is indicative of an entire culture of slack-jawed laziness and lack of clarity shot throughout Canadian civics. Whinging about the Senate being useless without calling for it and the culture that birthed these problems to be fundamentally changed (if not outright eliminated) is both taking only one part of the problem to account and even then doing it badly.

And it’s not like Trudwater’s solution, the brilliant idea to jettison Senators from the Liberal Party (and thus clearly removing them entirely from the social circles and elite institutions where high-powered Liberals would lurk) did much of anything. Seriously – this is the plan to reform the Senate. This is all they’ve got put to paper. The solution to elites running roughshod with a badly-designed, extraneous, aristocratic body with little in the way of transparency and less in the way of excuses to exist? Why, put a gatekeeper body of more elites together to decide which elites are the most elite! Amazing!

 

#33 – (In)Complete Coverage

English Canadians love their healthcare system. It’s one of those fortresses of revisionism that Canadians will flee to when their precious façade of a country is threatened by facts. What’s that, rest of the world? Doesn’t matter, got healthcare! The public healthcare system was in 2012 the single thing cakers took the most pride in about their country, and holy shit is that pride misplaced. The problem with Canada’s healthcare system isn’t just that it has disastrous shortcomings which produce some truly horrific consequences, such as the inexcusable fact that 57% of diabetic Canadians can’t follow their diabetes management plan because they can’t afford those costs. It’s that Canada’s healthcare system is a shambolic patchwork of coverages that are littered with exclusions.

One of the most damaging exclusions is Canada’s unique lack of national pharmaceutical coverage. Canada is indeed the only country in the world that has a functional public healthcare system without a corresponding drug coverage plan. Indeed, outside of the United States Canada has the highest drug costs in the world. Here’s a case where a Canadian physician was forced to procure a common medication for treating parasitic worms from fucking Zimbabwe. When a failed state is providing you with medications because your government’s own infrastructure can’t do the job in time you know you’ve fucked up something fierce.

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(S) Not pictured: a global pharmaceutical powerhouse

There are so many problems with access to pharmaceuticals in Canada that it boggles the mind. Problems with procurement for basic medications to deal with conditions like epilepsy are getting to the point where even hospitals are struggling to keep stock. Between 20,000 and 40,000 people are reliant on an anti-seizure drug called clobazam; missing doses of the drug could kill thousands. Has that motivated Canada to find a stable supply? Nope! And heaven help you if you’re reliant on Canada’s Soviet mental health infrastructure. Not only is Canada’s mental healthcare system absolute shit – it also can’t keep a steady supply of antipsychotics. Here’s a list of over 800 drug shortages currently afflicting this country. We can’t even deal with syphilis, for Christ’s sake! But don’t worry – Pravda, our beloved national broadcaster, leapt to the rescue by courageously blaming social media for outbreaks of STDs in Alberta.

And this isn’t even getting into the absolute horror show that is drug provision on Indigenous reserves. One of the stories that has stuck with me more than most is the tragic tale of the man who dragged an oxygen tank over 600 miles after his wife died for want of oxygen. Oxygen!! Nurses lacking in basic training working in collapsing, unsafe buildings are par for the course on Canada’s reservations. And the problem isn’t just at the frontlines – government bureaucracy, often clunky and unnecessary, are literally killing people. Children on reserves are dying from diseases that are easily treated, like strep throat, because Canada’s healthcare system can’t handle basic problems. You know where else problems like that exist? Fucking Zimbabwe.

We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of healthcare failure in Canada. Because this is such an important point of Canadian revisionism I think it’s imperative for me to hammer each and every aspect of its failure in, complete with as much research as I can muster. The truth of Canada’s flawed, failing system and its myriad exclusions must be known. From excluding pharmaceuticals to denying mental health treatment to claiming that dental, visual, and audiological health aren’t worthy of public funding Canada’s infrastructure is truly shambolic. Anyone claiming a sense of nationalism from this disgraceful, ill-funded abomination is, to be blunt, deep in the throes of insipid caker revisionism.

 

#27 – Fiddling While Racist Fires Burn

To hear the CBC, English Canadians are horrified at the prospect that they could be closet racists. In order to preserve the myth that Canada is some kind of post-racial paradise Pravda is chalk-fall of mindless stories offering idiotic navel-gazing, asking vague questions about whether Canadians secretly harbor racist tendencies while ignoring the obvious fact that racism is literally the law of the land. My first (of many) pieces of evidence that caker media feeds the myth of post-racial Canada with these vague “inquiries” into the caker mindset? Cakers respond to comments from the victims of racism by shouting and screaming like baboons because to them the value of the mythology of Canada the Good is more important than, y’know, actually being good.

When Canada talks about racism through the CBC, it gets one of two kinds of story. One of them is the sort that blames the rest of the world for breeding racism before expressing fears that some of AmeriKKKa’s icky racism may have slipped into Canada. Here’s a story from the Current which does exactly that – note how often Trump and Brexit are used as rationales for Canadians being racist schmucks. It’s not Canada’s fault, you guys – those meanies from elsewhere are polluting our perfect post-racial society! The other breed essentializes racism through scientific surveys, pinning the problem on human biology as opposed to the Canadian state. In both cases Canada is preserved as being “the good place”, when in fact Canada was built on racism. Which is naturally then excused as being a historical problem despite said racist legislation literally still being on the books, but hey.

The one thing you are not allowed to do as regards racism in Canada is to speak as one of the affected. We’ll definitely get into this later, but Canada has a big problem with racism against black people. While Canada loves to selectively interpret its history of black relations the reality is that blacks in Canada suffer rampant police discrimination and are far more likely to have their children taken away. And what does caker Canada have to say about movements like Black Lives Matter, which dare to actually implicate Canada and Canadians as racists? Here’s a lovely sample!

“The new bully on the block is Black Lives Matter, a tiny group of noisy activists who borrow their branding and their belligerence from the United States.”

– Degenerate caker filth Margaret Wente (note how all bad things are imported from AmeriKKKa in the sick mind of the caker apologist). And in response to that piece, here’s Reddit:

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(S) No population in Canada is more repressed than the police!

Denial, obfuscation, and self-righteous caker rage are the perfect response to blacks talking about the problems that plague them! Canada is different you guys! And this stuff comes directly from the ways in which Canadian media and society deflects racism as being foreign, historical, biological, minor – anything that spares Canada itself from criticism. Between the actual lived experiences of actual people and the mythology of Canada, the latter will win out every time.

And that’s not the only way cakers claim that racism in Canada “isn’t that bad” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Another method of creating ersatz dialog over the issue of racism is to review trees instead of forests. Instead of discussing racism as a systemic, indigenous issue birthed by Canadian attitudes and promoted by Canadians, we get isolated stories about individual concerns in small areas. This story about Hasidic Jews is a classic. Never mind the legacy of the MS St. Louis, a vessel carrying 907 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany that was turned away from Canada because racism. Forget that the Rideau Club, one of Canada’s most powerful social institutions had a no-Jews policy until 1964. Pay no attention to the fact that Louis Rasminsky was barred from the governorship of the Bank of Canada until John Diefenbaker told that policy to fuck off. Don’t focus on patterns and long-standing issues – take issues in isolation so that individaul people and the times they live in rather than the country can take the blame!

#24 – Sports and Weather, Part Two: Sports for Glory

Sports are of course one of the approved topics of conversation in English Canada. To ask your average caker Canadians winning at a sport reflects the glory of Canada. of course, when the Canadians are losing the topic should only be broached by way of clicking disapproval for people who are trying their best in a field of competition that they obviously enjoy. Canadian athletes aren’t worth the caker’s time to talk about unless they’re winning, and when they are winning cakers respond with nationalistic dribbling and feigned interest in a sport they barely knew existed until maplewank got involved.

Individual competitors and teams who previously were completely unknown suddenly become the bearers of national pride whenever they’re wearing caker-colors and competing on an international stage because celebrating capable people is obviously far less important than mindless yay-Canada splooging. They will continue to be half-remembered until we reach the point when they either lose and are forgotten instantly or win, whereupon the CBC puts out a piece proclaiming the glory of Canada before the actual victor is disappeared. The span in between those two points of blissful ignorance is home to some of English Canada’s most banal conversations  – idiots pretending that they’ve always cared about a sport that Team Canada is doing tolerably at.

The CBC in particular is notorious for stoking nationalist fires with coverage of sports that nobody cares about save for the few weeks every four years that the Olympics are on. The flag-waving during the Olympics is absolutely nuts and leads the vapid population of this dump to cheerlead and chant for medals as if the Olympics are an indication of national merit or indeed represent anything more than an individual or a team doing well against their peers. To those who would suggest that medal counts are an indication of anything postive about a country recall that medals were regularly used as propaganda by East Germany and the Soviet Union. Good company to be in for sure.

And that’s just the Olympics. Don’t you worry – there’s always a chance for caker-chatter to be bent by jingoistic media into pained conversations about sport without the Olympics. In North American sport the “Canadian” team is an instant crowd favorite and the media endlessly brays about how they carry the nation with them if they ever achieve anything. Don’t believe me? The Globe and Mail referred to the 2015 Jays making the postseason in baseball last year as a glorious event for the country. There’s certainly nothing wrong with Toronto being excited that it has a shot at another World Series. But what the fuck does Vancouver or Halifax have to do with how the Jays are doing? But because the Jays are the only MLB team in Canada the success of the Jays becomes evidence of Canadian potential and the Jays get to become the hope of a nation as expressed in maudlin idiocy.

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(s) What was to come ended up being defeat by the Kansas City Royals

What this means for conversation is a near-lethal dose of conversational knuckle-dragging. Do you care about whatever sport Canada is hyping this time? No? Well then fuck you – here are dozens of opinions recycled from the CBC by people with various gaps in their literacy. Should it not be of some concern that tennis player Milos Raonic chose to play for Canada and has said that he might consider not doing so if the pressure gets to be too much? Or that golfer Mike Weir’s Masters win didn’t translate into a newfound popularity for that sport despite that being the narrative presented as a justification for rabid flag-waving?

Those are both potentially interesting points of conversation about why and how Canada expects individuals to perform in the world of sports, but Molson doesn’t make ads about meaningful conversation so it’s off to the caker-races waving the flag around whenever someone wearing a maple leaf does something. Why walk about the state of the country when you can use sports to cover it up?

#22 – The Cult(ure) of Hockey, Part Three: The Riots that Weren’t

One of the enduring mythologies about hockey in Canada is that the sport has a special kind of civility attached to it because of its association with this place. Conversations about violent fans and truly wretched hockey parents are invariably smothered with the usual “it’s worse elsewhere” dodge. And indeed, it’s not hard to find examples of misbehaving fans and drunken lunacy in the United States and the United Kingdom. But when a caker tries to claim that hockeymans don’t belong in the catalog of rampaging hooligans ask them if they remember what happened in Vancouver in 1994. And again in 2011. Or the events of Montreal in 1993. You see, cakers really hate losing the Hockeymans Magic Cup of Destiny, and they’re not afraid to show their displeasure by rioting.

Rioting in Canada is a topic that regularly suffers from erasure by way of historical revisionism. I mean, Canada doesn’t even like admitting to or remembering the the Winnipeg General Strike, wherein the RCMP cracked some skulls in the name of preserving oligarchy. And heaven forbid more than passing acknowledgement of the race riots that rocked Vancouver more than once. In the context of a non-culture capable of erasing important riots, mere nights of mayhem are perfectly mutable even as they happen around us to this day in hopes attaining caker nirvana – deep, soul-crushing national boredom.

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(s) Tee-hee Canada is so boring and staid!

The problem is that despite problems at all levels of hockey from minor-league games with Timmy the Hockey Squire to NHL profesional hockeymans cakers love defending The Game. Coast-to-coast, top-to-bottom, commentary about hockey’s ability to incite violent reactions from fans disappears because in the caker consciousness because cakers are practically programmed to believe that hockeymans could never be the source of anything bad. Hockeymans pundit Bob McKenzie declared the riots to be the product of “left wing loons“; even leftist media loudly protests the innocence of “real fans”, blaming instead drunks who were looking for a fight. But here’s the thing – hockeymans have a drinking culture that encourages exactly this kind of behavior. The whole culture of hockeymans is geared to produce riots – squashing drinking culture into confined spaces with unprepared police officers and a lot of tension is a recipe for disaster.

Violence among hockeymans fans is a subject of endless caker navel-gazing as Canadians try to navigate their consumptive nationalism through a minefield of obvious consequences. No small part of the problem is however cultural, a byproduct of hockeyman machismo that is in turn intimately connected to the Canadian consciousness. When you have antique skinracks like Don Cherry lamenting the “loss of machismo” in the game you are implicitly suggesting that knuckle-dragging violence is a part of hockey as a whole. When beer companies regularly run ads expressly encouraging drinking as a part of hockey you are encouraging the conditions that lead to riots. And when you aren’t really prepared for the task at hand (including actively ignoring the lessons from the last time this happened) you make an already-bad problem worse.

Sports can lead to violence. This is true throughour the Western world. Managing those riotous impulses requires shifts in culture, training, and an ability to honestly evaluate the role of sport in society. Obviously in Canada none of these are possible because it would require caker oligarchs to find another advertising vehicle for shitty beer and a bevy of other cut-corner caker products and a type of societal honesty that has no place in an ersatz collection of semi-literate knobs. In the face of profits and feels honesty and the kind of self-reflection that would help to eliminate Canada’s predisposition towards burning things whenever Canada’s hockeymans lose to AmeriKKKa’s empire of evil hockeymans has no chance to take root.

The sport has no reason to address the glaring social problems cultivated by the cultural mores Canada associated with hockey, so why bother? Cakers will forget about it anyways.

 

#20 – Mere Canada

Caker humblebragging is the absolute goddamn worst. Because modesty is a presumed part of the caker identity open idiotic nationalism eventually gets to be too much even for caker-doublethink. But what to do when the caker facade falls apart? Acknowledge problems? Fuck no! More nationalism! But-quieter more nationalism. This human centipede of an idea is self-enforcing: humility creats something to brag about creates a need to appear humble so as to shovel the shit into the next gearning mouth.

The tee-hee-we’re-so-humble meme makes its way deep into the caker mythos. And so does humblebragging, which is quite probably the most passive-aggressive and cowardly method of self-aggrandizement possible. The two can live side-by-side in the caker consciousness because feels. Feels are what happen when you challenge Canada’s claims to humility – irrational, defensive screeching like a car alarm instead of wondering why it is that two seemingly mutually-exclusive ideas are able to live side-by-each within the caker’s cultural frame of reference.

What’s even worse is that these contradictory impulses abet some of the worst parts of Canadian revisionism. The concept of AmeriKKKa is to some degree predicated on this capability to brag about being humble. Canadians in their predictable way typify Americans as brash and boorish by comparison at every possible turn, going to the point of humblebragging about it and thus using it to puff their own chests. This shit is incredibly pernicious because of that neat little feedback loop – like rats seeking food pellets the logic of caker humblebragging is sustained by small bursts of reward until the poor animal is reduced to desperately performing a rote action in hopes of scoring another hit of that sweet dopamine. Pressing levers, barking bullshit and holding completely unchallenged mututally-contradictory moves – both are learned and drilled until they become normalized.

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(s) The caker-level dispenses Kraft Dinner and farts but only if you press like you mean it

An extension of the concept of doublethink elucidated by how cakers claim values they don’t have is how we get to Canada’s weird relationship with international sporting too. Sport is easy for Canada to brag about because Canada often has little to do with them – the individuals frequently end up in financial hot water as a result of their training. Canadians love to claim that they are just so shucks-golly proud to have “the boys” on the world stage; the reality is that caker atheletes are paid by the number of medals they bring in for the Canadian medal standings. Rather than having funding that doesn’t leave top atheletes poor and broken Canada would rather cycle through the hard work of others for cheap nationalism than have a meaningful support system that recognizes a reciprocal relationship between country and individual. You know, like a country that had genuine affection for the athletes they claim to love would have.

Thus we get a weird disconnect that cakers don’t mind. We love you! You do us proud! Now back to the Starbucks mines with you! And when Canada underperforms against its own quota you get navel-gazing shitposts that portray the Olympics as relevant to Canada’s global prestige. In the same breath as we’re told that we love and adore Canadian athletes we’re prepared to basically mine them for prestige and chuck the remains off to the side after the Olympics are through.

And for those with the thought in the back of their minds – yes, this is the logic the Soviet Union had towards its athletes. But heaven forbid we notice that or reflect on how profound the gap between what we say about ourselves and what we enact as policy! I don’t care about the Olympics or specifically about athletes outside of their ability to illustrate the caker doublethink – proclamations of love and affection for the individual atheletes coupled with a system that effectively says “medal or nothing” to them. Canadians loudly yelp when someone wins a medal in their usual nationalist zeal and proclaim it as a Canadian triumph, but the failure and the difficulty – nah, that can stay on the individual. Even though cakers are supposed to pride themselves on not doing shit like that.

 

#19 – AmeriKKKa, Part Three: Y’All are Racists

If cakers had even a tenth of the same energy for solving Indigenous issues in Canada as they do for lambasting Americans and their race relations Canada might actually be a morally-upright state. But that requires far more effort than lobbing ill-conceived, hypocritical race-card bombs so fuck that noise it’s time to once again turn to AmeriKKKa for help with erasing Canada’s problems!

Before we move on, I want to say that it’s pretty obvious America has race problems. They talk about it constantly, film awesome documentaries on the subject, and generally tend to keep the issue out in front. I won’t claim that Americans are free from cancerous stupidity on the subject but my thesis on that country holds here too – Americans are a decent if limited people trying to think their ways out of big problems. Whether they do it well or not is immaterial to the act of trying, which puts America far ahead of cakers and their incessant maintenance of revisionist attitudes and false equivalences over conscious thought.

The “Canada isn’t racist” meme belies a few obvious problems, namely that Canadians can’t even be trusted to discuss Indigenous issues on the national broadcaster’s website. Yes, boys and girls – cakers are so fucking mean that even Pravda can’t spin it into something positive. Here’s the editor-in-chief on the topic:

we find ourselves with a unique situation when it comes to indigenous-related stories.

We’ve noticed over many months that these stories draw a disproportionate number of comments that cross the line and violate our guidelines. Some of the violations are obvious, some not so obvious; some comments are clearly hateful and vitriolic, some are simply ignorant. And some appear to be hate disguised as ignorance (i.e., racist sentiments expressed in benign language).

The caker might spin this as a positive – see, Canada’s so concerned about racism that we won’t let it happen on our watch! Hooray for Canada! Except that hiding the problem isn’t the same thing as resolving it. And as for the bit where the CBC will force commentors to use their real names, well, this is the comments section of that piece in May of 2016:

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I highlighted some bonus literacy just for you. “Some victim group”, indeed

So no, not quite there yet. Unless MY MILKSHAKE, Bobber, and cammyboy are real names. In this place I could almost see it. Christ.

Moving on, the same people who loudly proclaim that Canada is more betterer about race because AmeriKKKa is a “white supremacist concentration camp” are missing more than a few things about Canada. Like the strange coincidence that keeps appearing where “multicultural neighborhoods” are in fact broke, poorly-educated, and desperate. Like this one. Or this one. Here’s a paper talking about how wrong it is that Canadians pretend and don’t bother studying concentrated urban poverty despite conditions working to that end here being akin to American conditions. See? Canada’s not racist! It’s just ignorant!

The predisposition to hide evidence of racism in Canada sometimes takes a more novel, nu-left turn. Some folks are more than happy to admit that Canada has a race problem with the Indigenous but will then use that to proclaim that the issue is “complicated” and that therefore a lack of movement on the subject is fine. AmeriKKKa needs to get its cops in line right now; the RCMP disciplining racist cops is really hard you guys! Saskatoon police continually trying to delete evidence of Starlight Tours after cops who literally left people to freeze to death got 8 months in prison is a deep, complex issue that totally doesn’t reflect Canadian norms you guys! What’s that? Racialized prison system, you say? I bet someone’s working really hard on that file. Even after it was revealed that the RCMP have thousands of cold cases regarding missing and murdered Indigenous women protests were feeble and short lived outside of Indigenous communities themselves.

By contrast, look at the anger caused by the death of Eric Gardner of “I can’t breathe” fame. His case, a brutal example of police brutality, inspired days of (rightfully) angry protesting. American demands were pretty fucking clear – killing people and hiding behind the badge to do it is bullshit. No navel-gazing in that one. Americans have in the past displayed righteous, perpetual civil force to enact reform in the face of incredible resistance. In Canada we don’t have access to basic policing statistics and nobody seems to care. Reform! I guess. Maybe. Sometime. When you get to it.

Meanwhile, cakers continue to use the better than AmeriKKKa line to avoid having to think too hard about Canada or indeed preventing the shifting of shitty attitudes. From hiding problems to having no clear capacity for sustained protest, appeals to mediocrity constitute a mendacious desire to do nothing in the face of outrageous racism but write mopey think-pieces about how hard it is to solve Canada’s problems. Yeah, it’s gonna be hard – and that’s why you start by having clear demands and pushing for them against the forces of apologism and reactionary sentiment. You know, like those evil AmeriKKKans.