#200 – The Genocide Appreciation Day Post

One-hundred and fifty years ago today, a motley collection of toadies led by a drunken, genocidal doofus were forced by their colonial overlord to unify a bunch of uncertain, tenuously-related colonies into a single colonial governing apparatus which would be cheaper to run. Three of these colonies were so unimpressed that they had to be bribed in; another was tricked into Confederation and had no way to reverse the trickery. Since this impossibly auspicious start, Canada has evolved from an unsteady collection of self-loathing economic has-beens to a larger collective of self-loathing economic has-beens. Truly, nothing could be more worthy of celebration!

For shit’s sake, King Tim Himself has deigned to bestow another Roll up the Rim upon the land! When you roll up that rim and discover that you won nothing, the rim reads “Happy Canada 150th”. Which is a great launching point, because 150 is all about idle expenditure and Potemkin displays of grandeur that leave Canada ultimately with nothing except the bill. Why use the opportunity to build lasting projects with celebration funds, thus enshrining the significance of the event for decades to come, right?

Believe it or not, Canada once used an arbitrary event to procure funds for useful projects. Coincidentally, Centennial ’67 remains a pivotal point of Canadian national identity. Canada’s cultural bankruptcy is even more apparent when you look at how shamelessly the (admittedly pretty kickass) Centennial logo has been aped for Canada 150. It’s not even a try at anything new, leaning instead on revisionistic nostalgia to appeal to cakers.

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(S)

Where do I see the lingerings of Canada’s Centennial in Canada today? Ottawa’s high arts scene, largely esconced in the halls of the National Arts Center, was a gift from the federal government. Indeed, Ottawa was spending $100 million as of 1964 investing in concrete manifestations Canada’s cultural and social fabric. As per the above-linked report, there were over 2000 projects completed. Most Canadians don’t even realize how prevalent Centennial buildings are – if there’s a major arts center in your city, it’s probably a gift from Ottawa back when the federal government recognized that it has a semblance of responsibilty and isn’t simply an exercise in sock-wearing and selfie-tweeting.

The unique funding model for these developments saw a dollar per person given to every municipality and federal funds matching provincial dollars going towards needed public infrastructure. Montreal’s Metro system grew as it did because of the pressures stemming from Expo ’67. In a rare instance of valuing literacy and public availability of knowledge Canada even deigned to create boom of library funding. Dare I say that these kinds of investments are the investments of…a civilized people?

Alas, in cakertown all turns to mediocrity, and the goals and missions espoused by Centennial (which was itself largely the brainchild of John Diefenbaker, who was again buried out of caker history by way of revisionistic make-believe as to the merits of a caker business project) were no exception to the rot. Where once Canada used milestones to build libraries and to create major public infrastructure, Canada now uses shittons of money to fund.

1) Counterfeit, huge-ass rubber duckies!

(S) Duck and a battleship – perfect selfie-mates!

Of course, nothing could ever leave Canada with the lasting benefits of public betterment quite like a large rubber ducky! The oversized bath toy was inexplicably dragged into Toronto Harbor (did I mention that Toronto’s Waterfront was a Centennial project?) at a cost of…wait for it…$200,000. What a large bath toy has to do with Canada is beyond me, but in the article I linked there the justification provided is that it has lots of selfie-potential and is “fun”. That rumbling you feel is Diefenbaker rolling in his grave.

And that’s not even the whole story! See, this giant-ass, unrelated novelty project is apparently a counterfeit. You can’t make this shit up, folks. Even better – the counterfeiter is a profiteer, as the Dutch firm responsible for the original duck has stated that their giant rubber duckie was not-for-profit and was effectively stolen by the guy Ontario chose to do business with. Even though I personally think that a giant rubber duck is a silly investment in the first place I respect the vision of the original designer. Immediately gravitating to the most corrupt option is quintessential Queens’ Park, though.

2) Basic maintenance that any reasonable government would have dealt with ages ago!

One of the key elements of the Centennial projects is that they were major civic improvements undertaken for the sake of lasting legacy. Instead of trying to make Canada’s squalid cities slightly more interesting by way of major public works, Ottawa for Canada 150 is selling basic maintenance like “re-roofing hockey arenas and resurfacing trails”. Problem with that, though: you’re supposed to maintain your shit as a matter of course. Here’s one pivotal, memorable Canada 150 project – fixing broken roofs and floors in a community center! Because in Cakerstan doing the bare minimum required to avoid having your infrastructure overtly collapse is only achieveable during celebrations.

Credit to P.E.I, though – a bunch of tall ships is a much cooler harbor addition than a fucking rubber duck. Oh, and what’s with Pravda refering to 1 July as Canada’s birthday? What vagina did Canada come out of again? At least call it an anniversary, guys.

3) The biggest Canada flag for Greatest Canada on Greatest Canada Day!

(S) Cracked stroad, massive flag. Says it all, really

 

Windsor, Ontario is jokingly referred to as “south Detroit” by cakers wishing that their worthless suburban sadsack shithole of a city had even a sliver of the pride and ferocious commitment to self-improvement found in Detroit proper. The place could use some fucking help, a marquee project that isn’t a casino that might contribute to the city being known for more than a mediocre university and a casino that still thinks Dadcore from the 70s is worth putting on stage. What does Ottawa agree to give Windsor money for but…the largest Canadian flag ever.

I think I’ll just leave this quote from Nineteen Eighty-Four here and move on:

“About a quarter of one’s salary had to be earmarked for voluntary subscriptions, which were so numerous that it was difficult to keep track of them. ‘For Hate Week. You know–the house-by-house fund. I’m treasurer for our block. We’re making an all-out effort–going to put on a tremendous show. I tell you, it won’t be my fault if Victory Mansions doesn’t have the biggest outift of flags on the whole street!'” (pg. 59)

4) Providing space for a U2 Concert!

Who the fuck wants to listen to U2 in this decade? Seriously – they couldn’t even give an album away for free, and you’ve decided that a group of self-important Irishmen are worth hosting front-and-center on Canada 150? They aren’t getting paid to be there, but the opportunity cost – having an actual, novel Canadian act perform – is a telling one. Apparently #RealChange doesn’t think a Canadian act is worthy of taking the timeslot. Then again I can imagine few people getting on with Justin better than Bono, an egoistical fruitcake with nothing to bring to the table trying to squeeze himself into the center of attention. So I guess Bono does represent the spirit of 150 even if it isn’t exactly the kind of spirit Canada wants promoted.

5) Endless fucking chances to “tell the world” what Canada means to you!

(S) Come, comrade! Speak of how much you love best country Canada!

Nothing is creepier about Canada than its insistence on having people speak on camera as to how much they love Canada. Naturally, these useless recordings are valuable only as propaganda; the factors that made the filmed caker love Canada are transient and subject to change over time, but we never see that kind of longitudinality in these surveys.

It’s also really creepy when adoration is demanded from not one, not two, not three, but four separate entities on Canada’s “signature projects” page. Give it a fucking rest, people! We get it, you’re desperate for people to like you and unable to put in the kind of effort that would actually get people to like you. During Centennial “signature project” referred to major infrastructure investments (which as we’ve seen have been replaced by basic maintenance, reflecting Canada’s squalor and the low bars which Canada sets for its own self-validation). Here, a signature project is a means of inflating the Canadian ego through digital recording in a way that is designed to be transient and pointless.

Oh, and here’s my #Wish150

ks0hqdp

Legit, though. It’s not just me – this is all really sketchy in the “would be a huge red flag if this were an interpersonal relationship” way to you too, right?

6) Junk historical research from a junky institution!

(S) Costume budget: $0.15 and the mudpit outside the parking lot where this was filmed

Oh, Pravda. Wouldn’t be a Canadian Canada Celebration of Canada without the CBC stepping into some kind of cowpie. And indeed they did, launching the epic (and ahistorical) television series “Canada: the Story of Us”. No less than #RealChange himself gave assent to this project, which has been decried as being written with “alternative facts” that cast an English pall over the entire story. Vollmann, the fiction author, has written a better, more nuanced take on Canada’s history with the Ice Shirt than the CBC did with the resources of the entire Canadian government.

What kinds of inconsistencies are present, you ask? Well, it portrayed the Quebecois as shabby turdmunchers who don’t even speak their own language properly because Pravda failed to hire native Francophones (which is an incredible oversight), ignored the province of Nova Scotia entirely while underplaying the significance of Indigenous Peoples and glorifying the English colonizers who, I remind you, ultimately would culminate in a drunken retard trying at genocide by kidnapping children and starving whole populations. The entire affair, which I remind you was headlined by the Prime Minister, has the feel and pomp of an African dictatorship trying to justify itself in cinema.

No take-backs! No corrections! No refunds! #SavetheCBC

Well, that’s a smattering of the stupidity that is Canada 150. Fuck this whole project, fuck the concept of a Canada 150, fuck Canadian revisionism, fuck cakers, and fucking fuck does it suck living in a real-life version of the Nineteen Eighty-Four Victory Parade. I think I’m going to keep working on editing the old shit for a while. Progress is still happening, but you’ll have to follow the Table of Contents to see it. Don’t you worry – posts #201+ are coming on up! Expect to learn about the RCMP’s terrifying “fruit machine”, some more comments about poorly-built buildings, maybe a major-city focused shitshow extravaganza?

Shit about Canada wishes you and yours a critical, tolerable Genocide Appreciation Day!

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(S) Fuck yeah.

#183 – #RealChange Muzzles the Past (for Make Good People of Greatest Canada)

All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.” – Not a good government (actually, this line is from Nineteen-Eighty Four)

Today in cartoonishly-idiotic activities by our one and only Senor Hairpiece we have the erasure of history. Wait, that’s basically all Canada does. Well, here’s an example of Justin doing what Canada does best: erasing its past to ensure gearning smiles for the future. Remember Stephen Harper? Well, Google doesn’t anymore. Wanna learn about why Harper was a hated Prime Minister through first-hand evidence? Well, fuck you. Who needs evidence when you have Justin and that magical, magical hair?

The hilarity of the new government erasing history after (rightfully) accusing the last government of doing just that leads to the darker realisation that this is the modus operandi of the country. Consider this remarkable piece of caker commentary:

Yeah, that’s it! The last guy didn’t save data, so it’s totally normal for this guy to do the same! Except that both instances are bad, Skeezix. Remember the whole “hooray for unmuzzled scientists” theater that we got? The one that culminated in Trudeau playing My Little Dear Leader at an embarrassingly scripted Q&A in Waterloo? See, the shit that the government is “archiving” (and that a professor at Waterloo can only find parts of) is the research material for the social sciences. I’m trained as a political scientist; I need to see what the old government did to look for changes and new patterns of thought emerging from the new regime. In removing the previous government’s data so hap-hazardly we are effectively being muzzled.

And people are pretty okay with that:

Hey, asshole – “partisan PR stuff” is the bread and butter of political science in Canada. You’re basically saying that it’s okay to not have a grasp of political history in Canada because…because why again? And speaking of, why do people have a problem with Stephen Harper’s communications existing on the Internet? Is it because cakers fear any recognition of Stephen Harper, as if the man is some sort of political Beetlejuice? mean, here’s my Google Search for a list of news releases by Stephen Harper while he was Prime Minister:

Note that none of these are about Stephen Harper. Indeed, the only press release I could find on the first page of search results that had anything to do with Harper’s reign was a bit about investing in a memorial to the Irish. Not exactly the kind of stuff most people need, but potentially useful information for someone writing on, say, Irish-Canadian relations or the preservation of Irish-Canadian history. And you’re okay with that disappearing, cakers? “Durr, it’s standard practice” – no shit, and that’s part of why we’re flying blind!

We live in an age where the single most powerful referencing source for most people is Google. Google is like the Yellow Pages of the Internet; without it, the best you can do is blindly grope about a bunch of sites hoping to find things. This stuff can’t just disappear; what more, Library and Archives Canada shockingly kind of sucks. The Internet is already notoriously poor at archiving in a readily-searchable way. Making data less visible through a Google search and blindly assuming that Library and Archives Canada hasn’t dropped the ball is at best laughable. And it’s not like Canada is known for having any kind of coherent digitization strategy.

Think Justin’s any different than Harper as regards leaving the government pantsless while the rest of the world computerizes and digitizes? He’s overseeing Shared Services Canada, a disasterous abomination, actively putting police lives at risk with their uselessness. You know, one that seeks to ask the private sector to do its job for it at a no-doubt inflated price? When Trudeau’s not busy claiming that veterans aren’t owed government assistance he’s busily humming O Canada while Shared Services takes a solid wafting shit all over the Department of Defense and pretending that Canada’s worthless Internet infrastructure will make Canada into My Little San Francisco.

What I’m saying is, this is not a guy anyone should trust with understanding Canada’s digital failures. Canada’s understanding of the Internet, of the need for research information, of how dangerous simply allowing a government to define the policies of the one prior while eradicating any sources that could offer a different perspective – that shit don’t fit in 140 characters. Having to read any more than that is just too much for #RealChange and the band of cakers his fetid fans epitomize.

#182 – Canada: Branded Within, Excused Everywhere

Yes, Canada is a brand, and few people get it quite as cynically as #RealChange and his motley Synod of snot-nosed go-getters. And as with most branding efforts the goal is to have the consumer look at the shiny sticker and miss the obvious signs that the product you’re getting is actually a sockful of shit. Like wheat, which caker business is busy squandering Canada’s claimed reputation for quality by producing inferior shit. Don’t ask about Canada among lentil sellers abroad or you’ll hear tales of cheating and shit quality. But hey, it’s Brand Canada!

Brand Canada’s effects produce revision inside Canada, and that’s where we’re going today. Cakers love to think that Canada rolls up to the global trade party with the equivalent of an inoffensive potato salad. Harmless, right? Tee-hee, aren’t these Canadians just so silly and sorry! Never mind that Canada is actually the #2 supplier of arms to the Middle East. Profiting off of the misery of others is a Canadian speciality; after slaughtering and cruelly debasing the Indigenous Canada’s off to go ruin the lives of some more brown people! After all, if Canada doesn’t sell arms to barbarians someone else will! Or so says Stephane Dion, the Minister for Foreign Affairs. And why does Canada excuse itself for disproportionately contributing to misery and woe? Why, because that’s not in Canada’s brand!

The Canada Brand is of course obnoxious as shit, because it kind of has to be in order to drive out the truth about Canadian exports and business practices – namely, that they’re dirty, shitty for labor, and consequently kind of suck. But because Canadians can’t acknowledge the harm they cause and thus encourage some kind of filthy “improvement” or “humanity” in their ersatz-society, they pull out Brand Canada to make themselves feel better. What’s this about exporting a nad-radding medical scanner? Nah, man! Check out this beer! It says Canada on it so it must be good!

This is the kind of bait-and-switch that comes from a country that runs itself as a shitty, shitty corporation. Here’s Canada telling you that hockey is evidence that Canada has the most “heart” of any nation. I remind you that this is a country that uses poor peoples’ homes and countries as dumping grounds, a country that fairly uniquely opted against calling for a ban on the export of toxic waste. Speaking of dumping, did you know that four caker businesses actually seriously fucking invested in cluster bombs? The country whose capital shares a name with the global ban on anti-personnel mines is investing in other foul machinations of war.

But shit like this doesn’t look good in domestic markets! Canadians need to feel unduly special lest they actually look around and start demanding that Canada do things properly. I know – throw them a hockeymans commercial! That’ll baffle the semi-literate fucks.

The disparity between what Canadian believe about their country and what Canada actually does on a regular basis abroad is, I think, the result of Canadians getting pounded with caker-jingoism from the word go. Canadians are outwardly told what they should think about themselves, attitudes and ideas which are then confirmed or set aside as needed by way of branding Canada. We’ve talked about consumptive Canadiana a lot – this is consumptive Canadiana creating internally a national brand for which there is no evidence externally. Or for that matter internally – in a country that still can’t bring itself to see Indigenous voices as worth listening to here’s Tim Hortons telling you that Canadians are “brought together” by hockey:

But Canada can’t be arsed to act like a good neighbor, so it instead tells a pliant population that it’s totally cool you guys and implies that the rest of the world totally loves Canada because Canada acts like it does in caker commercials. A false image produced domestically prevents Canadians from meaningfully reacting to scenarios externally where Canadians are acting like their usual toady selves.

#181 – Deferring to Stupidity

Cakers don’t like to maintain infrastructure. When given the chance to spend money to keep infrastructure standing, Canada generally opts to not bother. That this often results in more costly repairs down the line is a trivial consideration for a country that is so scared of spending its own money that it would rather screw itself over. Deferring critical maintenance is like ignoring your power bill in hopes that it’ll go away. Silly Canadians – your bills are expected on-time even if you’re increasingly not getting paid on time.

There’s a nifty metric in commercial real estate called the Facility Condition Index, or FCI. It goes from 1-100, with 1 being a practically new building to 100 being a piece of shit that has no business standing anymore. Generally, buildings want to hover around 2-5 on the FCI to avoid snowballing repair problems. Canada’s hospitals average at 11.3. It has been estimated that Canada’s hospitals need $160B in repairs; the report I cited the FCI from suggests that Canadian hospitals need $3.2B a year just to keep up with current disrepair.

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(s) Take two rolls of duct tape and don’t call me in the morning because that costs money

This means that at current Canadian hospitals there are literally billions of dollars of needed repairs in Canada’s hospitals that just aren’t done because spending money on the facility means we can’t have more administrative bloat. As everyone knows, more MBAs and people with undefined “real world experience” (as opposed to those of us who have only worked on holodecks, presumably) means better healthcare. What’s this? One Ontario hospital (the government won’t say which) needs $287m. There’s a $3.2B deficit in 148 healthcare facilities just in Ontario.

But don’t you worry! The fun continues! Know what else Canada sucks Satan’s salty bunghole at keeping up to snuff? Schools! Feels great dropping Timmy off at your local elementary school. Hope he’s not in Calgary, where there’s $1B in work to do that just hasn’t been done. Or Edmonton, which has a similar fate looming over its schools in the next decade. And don’t think this is just a Western thing – here’s Southern Ontario choking on repairs it can’t afford. Nothing shows children the value of education quite like not being able to keep their school from falling apart. Reach for the stars, Timmy!

Some problems come from dumping heavy fiscal loads on crippled municipalities. This is the case with water pipe repairs – because voters literally can’t see the pipe there is a perverse incentive to instead spend limited funds on flashy projects that in turn need maintenance which is of course deferred. Municipalities carry $123B in needed work and on average that number grows by $2B every year. Looking at the piece I just cited we see some classic Canada in the causes and influencing factors segment. Just look at this clusterfuck:

i) poor maintenance of infrastructure; ii) lack of life cycle costing and incorrect pricing (e.g., difference between cost, price, and value); iii) inadequate management approaches; iv) short term focus; v) a lack of integrated planning; vi) a disconnect between planning and implementation; vii) a need for accountability and innovation; viii) a lack of use of best practices.
– Source above

Not giving a shit? Not pricing properly? Not planning? Using guesswork instead of accepted practices? These are the great Canadian attitudes that ensure that new projects will quickly fall to shit and old standbys will grind themselves to dust in the name of making sure that the balance sheets don’t look scary to the kinds of people who focus solely on balance sheets. You know what is scary? This chart, which shows that we’re barely investing enough to maintain basically nothing.

er4gy5d
(s)

Investing half of the low end of the replacement funding needed for roads and sidewalks can’t possibly go wrong, right? Just like how Canada’s hospitals are run on politeness and Tim Hortons and will just stand up forever without needing to address their problems. Cakers will scream up and down about the very real costs of infrastructure only to demand more of it through sprawl and tract suburbs. Rather than fixing what they have cakers would rather build mindlessly and endlessly without the slightest regard for the future.

#46 – Tim Horton’s Brown Sludge Water™, Part Four: the Timitentiary

One of the least pleasant places in the world to be is at a Tim Hortons “café”. Who wouldn’t want to sit staring into a void of parking, listening to underpaid workers attempting to negotiate temporary peace with knuckle-dragging shitbiscuit customers who don’t seem to understand that the milk and cream are poured automatically and pre-portioned (which means that no, the workers weren’t “trying to cheat me” out of milk, which is a refrain I hear far too often). The scope of the unpleasantness is vast and has myriad entrepots for blame. Some blame certainly goes to Tim’s stubborn adhesion to Canada’s equally-uncritical relationship with personal motorcars, which ensures that the outside world looks hideous and uninviting. Metal furnishings tinted with varying shades of shit-brown provide an uncomfortable allusion to shit, which when considering the quality of Tim’s products is not an association that they should be wanting to make. Uncomfortable chairs, ugly designs, bad urban form, and cakers as far as the eye can see. This sounds like my version of hell.

The horror of the physical experience of a Tim Horton’s begins before you even get inside. Cakers and their insane reliance on both driving and drinking a substance that needs to be plied with an unyielding quantity of fat and sugar in order to be palatable combine to create legendarily-stupid traffic snarls. Of course, the lack of planning and foresight incumbent to Canada don’t help in this regard, as moronic cakers are inclined to simply queue in their cars like cud-chewing morons when confronted with delay rather than considering whether they could go, y’know, literally anywhere else. Cakers are so in love with bad coffee and driving metal boxes that they regularly break traffic laws across Canada. Here’s Terrace, B.C. being retarded. The oilheaded buffoons of Fort McMurray are apparently of the opinion that roadways are akin to drive-through lineups. The mysteries of getting out of your car and walking into the Timitentiary are too much for cakers – from coast to coast, these morons can’t manage to grasp the incredible power that is fucking getting out of the car and walking. And we wonder why Canada is obese as fuck?

After crossing the vehicular Rubicon and daring to go inside the Tim’s you could almost be excused for huddling in your car and causing traffic snarls rather than going inside. When even the head office operates like a prison you just know that the front-facing experience is going to suck. Indeed, the average Tim Hortons has the aesthetic and feel of a waiting room in a substandard caker prison. A fixation on price-cutting and skeleton-staffing throughout the factory caker-feed industry means that the place is likely utterly disgusting. And check out these incredibly-comfortable looking chairs:

(S) Void within, void without.

And just to show how ubiquitous this horror is, here’s another picture of the inside of a Tim Horton’s:

(S) Yup, that sure is some boring shit. Note the “view”.

People congregate in these places not because they are desirable places to be but because they are in many situations the only places remaining for cakers and their victims to sit and converse. Somewhere in these ugly-ass, one-size-fits-all walls there is a tragic sentiment – that somehow, Canadians gradually permitted the degradation of space to such a degree that sterile veneers and dirty floors supported by plastic donuts and wretched coffee have become the most common gathering places.

But at least those people who do go inside as opposed to wasting even more space in their vehicles than they would simply as people. Where cakers take to declaring the cultural force of Tim Hortons as a national marker of identity I take it as a sad testament to the fact that cakers claim to love places that are so abhorrent that so many of them avoid the entire place by sitting in their fucking cars. In either case the logic of the prison wins out – utilitarian slop and generic places for those who come in, and isolation for those who opt for the drive-through. Outside or in, there are few places as rotten by design as the average Tim Hortons.

 

#35 – The Cult(ure) of Hockey, Part Four: What Injuries?

Fairly recently, the NFL had a bad moment of PR when it was revealed by Congressional report that the League had attempted to influence studies of concussions caused by playing major-league football. What really stuck with me about the whole disaster was an idle thought – what would Cakerstan think about an investigation into the injuries caused by major-league hockey? To answer that question, we need only turn to Don Cherry, a man who once called people critical of rampant fighting in the NHL “nerds“.

w2qdfj3
(S) The man on the left is taken seriously by English Canadians. I am not kidding.

With St. Cherry’s Divine and Final Word on the matter of fighting (which is completely tangential to the point of hockey, which appears to be scoring more goals than the other team), it seems that Canada has decided to not give a shit about brain trauma in hockey. This is a small problem because, well, Canada has this thing about drilling young children into the hockey (cult)ure. Said children are getting smoked on the ice and experiencing head injuries, which in classic Canadian fashion they are told to hide from others.

Hockey, it is important to repeat, is a fundamentally reactionary activity in English Canada. It hearkens back to (badly distorted) images of Canada’s past, when brown people could be actively sneered at, winters were “real” winters with literal mile-high snowbanks, cigarettes were practically mandatory, and seatbelts were a socialist plot. The reaction to Rogers adding MuchMusic host and obnoxious #engagedyouth George Stroumboulopoulos to the Hockey Night in Canada ecosystem was fucking nuclear. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that kind of conservative method of cultural preservation, I start taking issue with it when the call to preservation expressly masks known problems and cruelties. As was the case with the NFL, the NHL has a serious head injury problem. But unlike the American people, Canadians are happy to hide from that fact amongst the reactionary reeds.

Let’s be perfectly frank here – the NHL absolutely has a head injury problem. Its coaches and players won’t even use the right terminology when discussing the problem, but as we’ve learned here before pretending that problems don’t exist shockingly doesn’t magic them away. People have had their lives ruined because of their time in the NHL, and the teams as late as 2016 still try to withhold information about head trauma that relevant authorities might need to, oh, I don’t know, save that person from a life of disability and pain. The NHL has even eaten several lawsuits over the matter. The linkages, despite what commissioner Gary Bettman would have you believe, are perfectly clear – fixation on hockeymans means a greater chance of having little Timmy’s grey matter coming out of the game less intact than the average Canadian flag flying today.

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(S) This is your brain on Canada, folks

The trauma and savagery of the major-league version of hockeymans is transmitted down to the minors, too. Almost half of the brain injuries experienced by young athletes in Canada are caused by hockey. And what has the response from Canada been? Well, caker parents and caker coaches, their heads addled with star-struck visions of vicariously living through their children and proteges, are still pressuring their children into ridiculous training regimens. In the process, a shit ton of caker businesses are taking huge sums from parents who can’t really afford them. Hockey parents are perhaps the worst subset of caker, to the point where even other cakers have agreed that the hockey moms of the world need mandatory training so as to be halfway decent people. The whole thing is a festering ball of Canadiana, a way to separate cakers from their money by using their own insecurities, sense of patriotism, and children against them.

Yes, hockey enrollment is down in Canada. But that’s likely because of cost, not because Canadians have somehow figured out that children and head trauma go together as well as Canada and civilization. Oh, and if the hockey squire does in fact make it, guess what? They’re treated like shit by Hockey Canada, which was actually created by the federal government in 1968. Say what you will about Americans and football – at least they had the good sense to use their federal governmental powers to demand better of major sporting leagues instead of creating yet another avenue of unfairness for those pressured into a dangerous sport whose physical harms are shouted down and ignored by reactionary cakers like Don Cherry.

#34 – Sports and Weather, Part Three: Forecasted Obsolescence

For being a country that incessantly bitches about the stuff, Canada sure fucking sucks at predicting bad weather. This comes to be a small problem when dealing with extractive industry, which frequently involves doing shit outside and which therefore typically needs a bit of a heads-up when shit is about to hit the proverbial fan. It’s a right shame then that Canada not only is home to an obsolete patchwork of equipment for forecasting but also frequently ends up shitting the bed by either failing or being late about providing information about extreme weather. And as per usual for caker country the response is to shrug at a problem for decades before decrying how hard it is to do basic shit.

A good place to start with this is a piece that I found from 2003 which references chaos, underfunding, and “literal rust out” as a sampling of problems affecting Canada’s meteorological infrastructure. An amazing example of this method of forecasting-by-fuck-it-whatever can be found at Mould Bay weather station, a long-standing and strategic asset near the Northwest Passage that was simply left to rot in 1997. Even more fun facts about that one – of the $8 million budget to decommission the place (which was nearly-new when it was abandoned) as of 2008, only $700,000 can actually be traced.

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(S) Even the fucking sign looks mouldy.

And it’s not like things got any better. This is a charming little report from 2012 which features such reassurances as “obsolete” radar stations and notes that available systems aren’t life-cycle managed. That’s a fancy way of saying that nobody’s keeping track of when that shit should be replaced and the only way we know that shit’s fucked is when shit gets fucked. Enter West Sea Otter, a vital offshore weather forecasting system that was down for seven months in 2014. When the place being forecasted on experiences hurricane-force winds you’d think fixing it might be a priority. Oh, and for those counting at home this is at least 10 years of chronic government inability to perform basic meteorological tasks.

But don’t for a second think that the fun stops there! Remember those non life-cycle managed radar systems? Yeah, those have gone down for months too! Here’s the story of the radar system out of Bethune, Saskatchewan, which kept going down during major weather events in the summer of 2015 and even prompted the MP for the area to call for an investigation. Which was probably the right call, seeing as Environment Canada fucking forgot to report on a tornado. Also in 2015 the radar station at Strathmore, Alberta went down shortly before a hailstorm came through. Not like anybody needs to know about that, right? And we can’t leave out Canada’s glorious telecommunications system, which is apparently the cause of this radar station failing to transmit information before and during a tornado touchdown in Taber, Alberta.

Even when they do modernize bad infrastructure Environment Canada manages to fuck up, as happened when the newly-retrofitted station at Exeter, Ontario still couldn’t convince the government to warn people in a timely manner about a tornado in Southern Ontario. It seems that the country can’t maintain a coherent standard for forecasting, which is in line with the 2012 report I cited above. Before anyone blames human error, Canada’s automated weather forecasting stations apparently also suck. A CBC report from 2010, citing the unfindable report titled “Degradation in Environment Canada’s Network, Quality Control and Data Storage Practices: A Call to Repair the Damage” notes that in a single month there are hundreds of cases of missing data and false reports from automated stations.

We’re supposedly getting new radar systems now, years after we were warned that the system was obsolete and years again after said system has demonstrated how shitty it is over and over again. We’ll see if Canada can do a proper fucking forecast after this, but here I’m seeing a 90% chance of scattered bullshit turning into a wave of complacent laziness in a few more years. One key piece of evidence for my forecast? There was no announcement for the new systems.