#190 -New Bumswick, the Fief

Imagine yourself a life. The city you live in, dominated by massive tanks with the company’s name slathered on them, suffers an disproportionate number of respiratory problems and cancers. But you’ll never know – every single newspaper in the city, indeed in the whole place, is owned by the company. Your work options are scarce. You could work in timber or paper-making for the company. You could work in the oil industry for the company. The government’s new initiative is call centers; you could always listen to cakers, day in and day out, as they bitch and moan about God-knows-what. The ultimate dream is a terrible administrative job with the government, desperately trying to make sense of byzantine regulation and severe understaffing.

Got a good mental image going?  Good, ’cause I’m going to pencil it in for you. Welcome to New Brunswick, a polluted hellhole clinging to life by accepting Ottawa’s sloppy seconds and licking the boots of some of the most loathsome, terrible caker businesspeople that cakers have to offer. New Brunswick is practically owned by the Irving family, a collection of lizard-people who own or dabble in basically every economic activity in New Brunswick. Their combined net worth is equivalent to the entire province’s revenue in 2014. Yeah, this is going to get ugly.

The Irvings are notorious for their hyper-aggressive oligarchic hold over the province of New Brunswick. Sound a bit like post-Soviet Russia? You’d not be the only one thinking that – people live in fucking fear of the choking control that the Irvings have over their lives. Here’s a story of the Irvings collaborating with both the provincial and federal government to bury a story about glyphosates (a common herbicide used in forestry) and their connection to declines in deer stock. The degenerate caker mafiosos are aided in their Chechnyesque stylings by the fact that they are the key players in what a 2006 Senate report called an “industrial-media complex“.

fowlmouth
(s) Irving “reporter” getting “the news”, circa 2013

Oh, and they like to use dodgy shell companies in Bermuda to avoid paying Canadian taxes. Because nothing says that a company is committed to and cares about the areas it exploits quite like them running away from fiscal responsibilities. That’s kind of shitty given that New Brunswick is wildly in debt and doesn’t seem likely to fix it anytime soon. Oh, and another small sign that the Irvings may not give a shit about the people of New Brunswick: the places that they’ve industrialized, like their massive operation at Saint John, are at greater risk of cancer than other New Brunswickers. Meanwhile, the Irvings keep growing and stowing their wealth, running their little Dagestan as it putters and shits like a Lada rolling to a junkyard. You know what’s even better? The Irvings aren’t even the only shitty oligarchic family operation in the province!

So the Irvings are massive wankers. And what they and the province have wrought is impossible misery. Between the ages of 15 and 24, there are only 36,900 workers, giving the province an incredible 17.1 percent youth unemployment rate. The general unemployment rate – the stated one, mind, with all its flaws and failures – hovers around 10%. Nearly one in seven was living in poverty in 2006. An astonishing 53% of adults in the province are functionally illiterate, meaning that they street signs are about as complex as it gets. This may have something to do with the government’s make-work programs there being critically understaffed. There’s something ironic here, given that New Brunswick is unusually bilingual, but I just can’t find it in me to kick down people who can’t fathom that there’s more to the written canon of man than words written on street signs.

Oh wait, yes I can. New Brunswick is basically Canada’s end-game. It’s a province almost singularly devoted to extraction for the benefit of a tiny minority of people while the majority suffer pollution, fear, poverty, and idiocy. It’s a dismal, miserable, appallingly-poor province in a country that seems more and more full of these sorts of bush-league failures the more we comb through province by province through the abomination that is the Canadian federal family.

 

 

Advertisements

#61 – Channel Surfing, Part Three: Rick Mercer Reports on Nothing

Rick Mercer is the Don Cherry of the caker left in Canada. I’ll admit to putting this off because watching the man in action is just so unappealing. Look, people. I’ve watched Schitt’s Creek, Little Mosque on the Prairie, and listened to the Vinyl Cafe for the sake of research. They were all insipid, gloopy, flaccid mush. But I would take in every episode of that dreck twice in the name of avoiding this moron and his mouthbreathing Potemkin Tour of Canada. I don’t think it’s possible to any less amused by anything ever put to film than I was while doing the research for this piece. I hate Don Cherry because he is an empty suitrack with a singular competence who nevertheless feels that his reactionary, know-nothing voice is wanted. For Rick I feel much the same, only without the “singular competence” bit. Even the Moan and Wail won’t hesitate to call Mercer a coward!

Let’s start with this noxious example of how Rick peddles in Canadian revisionism:

Rick scores some rotten points immediately with his whinging nonsense about American border security. He makes a point of attempting to break US law by having his driver only bring his driver’s license to the border, and then he sagely advises the viewer that although his passport contains Afghan visas (because Afghans in the US were at the time being horrifically mistreat…oh, wait) he himself is white and therefore should have no problems. He then suggests to his viewers that should he fail to follow (another) US law regarding filming border crosses he will be sent to Syria and tortured. Hey assbag – Canada was complicit in the extradition of Omar Khadr. Amazing how you didn’t mention that part, eh fuckface? He finishes by making it to Buffalo (one wonders how the driver managed to get over, unless he actually had his passport the whole time) and shilling for Tim Horton’s, because you just can’t be a revisionistic shitstain on the face of Canadian “entertainment” without that. DAE security warnings in Canada are the same as the quantity of cream in a shit cup of coffee?

Hilarious.

Then we get this laugh-a-minute look at the poverty of Newfoundland:

You see, Rick doesn’t have the balls to make fun of the hideous urban form of Fort McMurray or the ludicrous stupidity of having a mono-industrial town in the middle of nowhere. Instead, he decides that it’s hilarious to say that as a thirty-something year old Newfie it’s shocking that he hasn’t been to Fort McMurray. Never mind that this guy already has a job, making the entire joke utterly pointless. But don’t worry – Tim Horton’s is hiring!! What’s with this moron and his idle worship of Tim Horton’s? I also find it remarkable how the notion of sending remittances to failed parts of this country is rendered into humor by Rick. Tee hee, aren’t the Maritime provinces just so fucking poor? LOL having to leave your home to find work in extractive bullshit is funny! HAHAH-oh, right. Funny how Rick never jokes about how trashy Fort McMurray is.

And this isn’t even the worst of Rick. His wretched show is mercifully kaput, but he maintains his idiotic ramblings in a Toronto alleyway with his singularly blunt “Rick’s Rant”, where he shills for #RealChange by effectively suggesting that Canadians are too stupid to oppose obvious failures in the Canadian state because they will instead idly point to Donald Trump. It turns out that Canadians are not in fact immune to populism, as future Premier Doug Ford looms over Ontario like the Hindenburg coming in for a landing. Or this unbearable left-caker insinuation that only white people can hold reactionary views and thus that only white people are responsible for civic and social failure in this country.

Part of the reason I took so long to do this is because I genuinely want to punch this gob in the nose every time I look at him. To read the comments on these videos it seems like Rick is fooling Canadians into believing in their ramshackle shit-shack just fine, which is even more alarming and disheartening. A propagandist with an unfunny bundle of jokes and the kind of comforting upper-middle-class opinions that middle management bleats out over Thanksgiving dinner, Rick Mercer represents a Canada that is simply too scared to meaningfully self-reflect. I can’t wait to watch him squirm when Doug Ford becomes Premier of Ontario, mostly because I’m curious as to how these caker munsons will try to pass this off as somehow congruent with their revisionistic make-believe.