#202 – Folks

I feel like I’m announcing a monster truck rally here, friends. The leftist iteration of caker self-narrative has been replaced by the rightist iteration of caker self-narrative here in Onterrible, land of the wretched and home of the formless. The false self-narrative of Canada as a welcoming, upwardly-mobile utopia of magical diversity unicorns has been banished to the wilderness. Quite literally – 1/7th of the Liberal caucus is from a wasteland. And returning to power from the political cold is the false self-narrative of truck balls, Don Cherry, and buck-a-beer Canadiana. Meanwhile, absolutely nothing changes in the underlying rot of the province except that I’ll be able to buy overpriced beers at convenience stores, which is an improvement in my immediate living conditions that government has failed to give me for many years. I’ll take it.

The whole campaign was a disgusting election with cringeworthy moments galore, but pants-on-head retardation on the campaign trail is hardly unique to Canada. I mean, don’t those links tell you everything? Antiquated memes, massive accounting errors, Hot Topic-esque edge. Fuck, man. That post isn’t even worth writing. Nah, what we’re going to do now is simple – we’re going to celebrate the fall of the technocracy and its replacement by a retarded form of the same thing, because there is absolutely nothing on this earth that I celebrate more than the Liberal Party failing except for Canada failing. So without further a-fucking-do, it’s time to introduce the star of our show, the guy who toppled Ontario’s weaselly aristocrats and left them quite literally without Party status in the 42nd Parliament of Ontario.

(S) FOLKS

Welcome, motherfuckers, to Ford Nation.

Yes, with a blistering 58% of the population deigning to give enough of a fuck to go to one of Canada’s myriad decrepit, fading pieces of civic infrastructure and draw an X in a circle we have decided that the man smiling at you will be the new government. What does this entail? Beyond the ability to buy booze without going to a government agency, auditing the shit out of the Wynne government’s books, the embarrassingly useless stylings of caker business nakedly shitting on this province, and providing an unending source for the hand-wringing shit-peddling that passes for journalism in this country, I don’t really know what Folks will specifically do to make Ontario even worse than it already is. But I can tell you that I’m fucking stoked for it.

Why?

Because that gearning slickback iceberg of a man just kicked Canada in the goddamn teeth. Prince Selfie just went from having a pliant lapdog to a guy who is going to take Ottawa to Hell in a Cell over carbon emissions taxation, and there are two more friends of the federal Liberals on the chopping block before the 2019 federal elections. In Quebec, a scandal-ridden Liberal government with a Wynne-like approval rating among the Francophones of Quebec got fucking steamrolled by the CAQ, and Alberta’s anomalous Notley government is also slated for the ash-heap. The incoming governments all spell bad things for #RealChange: Ford’s populist appeal, Legault’s deployment of Quebecois nationalism, and Kenney’s…well, Kenny’s everything each offer Justin challenges that he frankly has no clue how to face.

In other words, Canada is looking mighty bloody frail internally at a time when it desperately needs to be able to present a unified front against Donald Trump, who has clearly seen through Canada’s bullshit and wants to rough this place up something fierce. Has anyone else watched Aggretsuko? The Don reminds me of Ton, the chauvinistic boss character from that show. Actually, this entire event reminds me of Ton’s callout of Retsuko, which is probably helped by Ford looking more than a little like Director Ton. Between a fraying provincial fabric and international pressure, Canada’s going to be sweating at precisely a time when it can’t afford to.

For someone who hates this fucking shitheap, this is the best show I have seen in years. Already we’ve seen Folks’ unique brand of caker politicking: friends getting promotions they aren’t qualified for, lunatics in high places, an obscene and frankly bizarre obsession with alcohol, and an overabundant interest in Toronto that overrides the pitiable state of the rest of the province and that, of course, entrenches retarded ideas by megaproject into the urban fabric. And he apparently wants to gut the already-dysfunctional healthcare system.

At the same time as all this, though, there’s a dirty truth that needs to be set out into the world. Folks is what Ontarians expect. And he’s what Ontarians deserve. But most of all, he’s really nothing more than a grosser, fatter, more retarded version of the same idiocy that has governed Canada’s “best” province for as long as I have been alive. He is the rightist version of Kathleen Wynne, who was guilty of the same styling but with a bizarre obsession over green energy instead of booze. At least getting wasted is familiar to these worthless cretins.

To wrap up a post that I should have fired off a long time ago: Folks is a wrecking ball that will govern Ontario like a sixth-grader’s idea of a Mafia outfit. He’ll rip out idiotic leftist virtue-signalling and replace it with idiotic rightist virtue-signalling. He’ll continue to see the Premiership as a “Turbo-Mayorality of the Greater Toronto Area” as the rest of the province sinks like a Lada on a Siberian “highway”. And for all of that meddling in Toronto that miserable stinkhole of a city won’t get any better.

But at least he’s scaring Socks, and anything that makes the shittiness of this wretched hive of a country more apparent is something I can get behind. Swing on, Folks. Not like I’ll be living in this miserable province for much longer anyways. Fuck it – at least failure can finally be entertaining instead of merely being an inducement to drink.

 

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#62 – AmeriKKKa, Part Six: Pro-Choice, Anti-Access

People like Rick Mercer love to use abortion access as a way to highlight differences between Canada and the United States. According to these special souls women in the United States live in a state of being not unlike the Handmaid’s Tale. Without any knowledge of their own history regarding abortion, cakers will point to (ridiculous) new anti-abortion legislation in a backwards American state as evidence that the next generation of American women will all be named Offred. Typically, the American judiciary will do what it is constitutionally charged with doing and block stupid legislation from stupid places. But cakers ignore the finely-tuned instrumentation of the American system in favor of screeching like apes so as to mask their own ignorance of their own systems. Having said all of that, let’s take a walk through Canadian history to talk about how abortion access works in Canada, shall we?

We start with a woman named Emily Stowe, who was the first case I could find of Canada bringing the hammer down on an abortion provider. Stowe, who was Canada’s first (not-really but it’s complicated) licensed female doctor couldn’t even get into medical school in Canada, so she had to be trained in New York. In 1879, Stowe provided a minute quantity of a drug that could cause a miscarriage to an “annoying” 19-year old. By minute quantity, I mean “too little to actually do anything” minute. The result was a raucous trial which eventually saw her acquitted on the basis of her prescription being too small to do anything. Abortions would remain illegal under Section #251 of the Criminal Code of Canada until 1969.

It was in that year that the Great Liberator of Canada, Pierre Trudeau would take steps to decriminalize abortion pursuant to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Only a year before Hawai’i legalized abortion on request, California and ten other states legalized access to abortion by writ and Washington state held a public vote legalizing abortion access, Canada finally passed some kind of “permissive legislation” regarding abortion access. The “permissions” required for a Canadian woman to have an abortion performed were strict, to say the least. Remember that Commission that recommended legalizing abortion? Yeah, that was only up to the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. By contrast the “stupid legislation” I pointed to from Mississippi is a ban after fifteen weeks.

And the horror of Canada’s “legalization” doesn’t stop there. In order to access abortion legally under Pierre Trudeau’s regime, you had to get approval from a Therapeutic Abortion Committee, or TAC. The role of the TAC was to effectively judge whether a woman could bypass the existing criminal prohibitions on abortion. TACs were given tons of wiggle room because of the wording of the legislation, meaning that decisions were often arbitrarily in the negative. A TAC that was too lenient was often shuttered and replaced by the hospital in question with one that was harsher. This cockamamie system would remain in place until 1988, which you might recognize as really not that fucking long ago and also recognize as 15 years after the permissive ruling of Roe v. Wade (we’ll get into the difference between permissive and non-permissive rulings in a bit) To this day, hospitals are still notoriously shy about the provision of a service cakers pretend is elementary and regularly available.

The province that actually forced Canada to confront its Victorian attitudes regarding abortion was of course Quebec, the only province in this shithole with the stones to stand up to obscene regulation. Enter Henry Morgentaler, who actually served jail time and endured a firebombing of his clinic in Toronto in this country of unending tolerance and respect for women’s rights. Morgentaler’s tireless work providing abortions where hospitals refused (and still refuse) to earned him unending legal troubles until the infamous R v. Morgentaler ruled that the arcane insanity of the TAC was unconstitutional.

After that, we get an attempt from Brian Mulroney to pass new legislation regarding abortion which would entrench restrictive bureaucracy and penalize women who are so desperate that they seek to self-abort. A tie vote in the Senate killed that first and last attempt to legislate abortion in Canada. And here’s where I talk about the difference between permissive rulings and the Wild West that Canada lives in. Roe v. Wade sets in law the right to have an abortion; R v. Morgentaler merely cancels Canada’s abortion legislation. Since then, Canada hasn’t bothered trying to pass any kind of ruling on the issue.

The problem with this is that the Wild West mentality tends to restrict abortion access. New Brunswick doesn’t allow for abortions broadly speaking, and there’s not a goddamn thing Canada can do about it. Outside of Ontario barriers and restrictions to abortion are common, especially in rural areas. Even with rule changes the lack of ultrasound machines coupled with a non-medically-necessary requirement to have an ultrasound before medication inducing abortion can be provided still hampers access in rural Canada. Without legalized abortion in Canada training for abortions is still haphazard and often wanting. If #RealChange gave a shit he could fix this mess, but he won’t because that’s hard…and because Canadians on the whole aren’t particularly liberal on the matter themselves.

#54 – The Quadriptych of Death, Part Three: On Suicide

I first encountered the great French sociologist Émile Durkheim in my second year of undergrad. I was immediately gripped by his explanation of industrial society and the sense of loneliness it creates in man. But it is another of Durkheim’s intellectual triumphs, the categorization of types of suicidal impulse that we’re going to be working with today. The reason for this is simple: comparison of suicide rates across countries, as my research has found, is practically impossible. Indeed, it’s one of those meaningless numbers that this series is supposed to be combatting. So instead of trying to compare Canada’s dispositions to end it all, let’s instead try to look into why Canadians and which Canadians tend to off themselves. The data on this one is…yeah, you probably already know the drill.

In terms of where Canadians commit suicide, we need only look North. Nunavut is the capital of suicide in Canada, with the issue getting to a point that in 2007 40% of coroner investigations in the territory pointed to suicide as a cause of death. The issue is so extreme that even Pravda has felt the need to call for a state of emergency over the matter. It’s not like Nunavut has a bevy of coroners; bearing witness to children as young as 13 deciding that life isn’t worth living can’t be good for the mental health of the coroner. And it’s not like people have stopped trying since 2007 – attempts are up as recently as 2016, with the victims largely being under 30 years old.

While Nunavut is the worst of the worst (literally) there are other instances of high rates of suicide that we can look at. There is of course the legendary Attawapiskat, where a state of emergency was declared after waves of attempted suicide cases would swamp local medical infrastructure. Prince Selfie, in one of his most egregious acts of inhumanity to date, promised help and has yet to deliver a timetable for the deployment of that help. This co-opting of Indigenous issues for political profit was probably the greatest collective national gaslighting to ever transpire. This place is literally crazy-making, and cakers have been in the business for decades now.

Back to Durkheim now. Émile found that he could explain the rationale behind suicide attempts with one of four schema. The first is egoistic suicide, which stems from a lack of sense of community. Without the social ties that keep us grounded, we develop a depression and a sense of hopelessness that eventually claims us. The second is altruistic suicide, where the suicide is the result of being so overwhelmed by social demands that we kill ourselves in the name of the greater social good. Think martyrdom in the Christian sense and you’ve got the right idea. The third is anomic suicide, which I think the Wikipedia article does a better job explaining that I can.

“It is the product of moral deregulation and a lack of definition of legitimate aspirations through a restraining social ethic, which could impose meaning and order on the individual conscience. This is symptomatic of a failure of economic development and division of labour…People do not know where they fit in within their societies. Durkheim explains that this is a state of moral disorder where people do not know the limits on their desires and are constantly in a state of disappointment.”

Thanks, Wikibro.

Finally, we come to fatalistic suicide, where life is so restrictive and brutal that death is a better option. Prison camps, oppressive dictatorships, slave labor – that’s the kind of “restrictive” we’re on about here.

Looking at these and evaluating the economic and social condition of areas known for high suicide rates in Canada, we can argue a strong case for the very real consequences of the feelings of detachment, disappointment, economic failure, and stagnation that Canada pretends to do anything about before going back to staring at socks and being smug about bullshit.

I’d be lying if I said living in Canada hasn’t gotten me down some bad paths in my life. If you’re struggling here too, know that you aren’t alone. Work on making yourself the best you can be and make an escape plan. You don’t have to stay here. You deserve better.

(S) Pictured: a place you could be in that is not Canada

#53 – The Quadriptych of Death, Part Two: Dirty Cradle, Living Grave

Way, way, way the fuck back in post #10 I mentioned the obnoxious tendency towards blaming parts of the country for failures of the whole country. It’s an annoying-ass trait that certainly contributes to Canada’s no-can’t-do attitude, but the other side of the coin hides some lethal disparities. Cakers love to point to the high life expectancy of Canadians as a good thing, even though I personally cannot imagine why anyone would want to live longer here. We’re going to talk about the disparity in Canadian life expectancy, and then we’re going to mention some statistics about the sad consequences of that much-vaunted life expectancy figure. Expect a lot of unhappy stories about nursing homes, folks.

(S) Because this is a sad state of affairs, here are some feel-better bunnies

Statscan can’t provide a decent answer because apparently digital infrastructure from the 1990s is totally appropriate for a national data collection service, but the average I’m getting here is that a newborn baby in Canada will, on average, make it to 81.8 years old before cacking it. Unless, of course, you are a male Inuit – in that case, you get to live to be 64 years old, a number which is actually in line with the average in fucking Ethiopia. Non-Inuit Indigenous males have the incredible honor of living to age 74, which is about as long a life as one could expect in that Mecca of longevity, El Salvador.  Frankly, any kind of comparison to Ethiopia in terms of raw numbers kind of does my work for me. But here’s the typical caker reaction: blame the blue guys, disregard the fact that Liberal regimes have existed since the 1960s, which is where life expectancies for some are still mired. Did I mention that Indigenous in Alberta are actually losing ground on life expectancy? Because that’s a good sign, right? Ignore the details, highlight the big number!

And here’s where that bit about post #10 comes back. When anyone has a totally minor problem with the fact that a country that calls itself developed boasts life expectancies on par with a country that fought a several-decade long civil war, the usual apologisms about it being hard to take care of people comes up. You’d think that we’d be good at provision of care in distant places by now, but that would assume that cakers gave a shit about anything more than blaming underclasses for their systemic woes.

Here’s the next rub: do you even want to live that long in Canada? In a country with nearly six million elderly people, 750,000 suffered abuse in 2015. For those keeping score at home, that means you have a one-in-eight shot of ending your life in Canada as a punching bag or a glorified bank account. Far worse, you become a victim of caker business preying on the last pensions that will ever exist in this sham of a country. How bad does it get? How about wrapping people in fucking garbage bags so they don’t make a mess of their bed? Or you could be like Arthur Ross, who died a “13th century death” with a stage-four ulcer. Oh yeah, and that wouldn’t be the last time bedsores killed someone under the care of caker business.

To be honest, I’m going to keep my powder dry (because nursing homes will absolutely be under the gun later on. But I think I’ve made the point I wanted to. Even if you can get old here, the prospect of living between a failed healthcare system, a built environment designed to eventually force you into isolation as your ability to drive a car fades, and the possibility of being abused and neglected as you slowly die under the aegis of the worst kinds of caker businesses doesn’t exactly leave you with high hopes as to the quality of those years. If it sucks to live a long time, why do we celebrate the life expectancy rate?

#51 – Canadian Storytime, Part Two: Glassy Narrows, Rotten Soul

The Grassy Meadows disgrace features all of those hallmarks that we so love when talking caker stories. We’ve got the hideous exponents of caker business practices. There are Indigenous people left to rot as a result of critical failings of imperial governance. There are ludicrous falsification gymnastics as the cakers in charge of Ontario continue to obfuscate and hide from the fact that caker business has once again utterly shit the bed. And of course comes with that “awful ever after” ending that caps off any good caker story. For four decades now, the province of Ontario has known about the dangers of mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows – and done precisely dick all about it. Valiantly passing the buck and ignoring the very real, very disturbing effects of mercury poisoning done by Soviet-style dumping practices, the spectacular failure of the peoples of Grassy Narrows is certainly worth its place in the pantheon of caker malice.

Asubpeeschoseewagong is a community of Ojibwe people inhabiting lands in Northwestern Ontario, near the subhuman storage containment “community” of Dryden. Wabasemoong, which I immediately loved because they call themselves “independent nations”, is also in Northwestern Ontario near to the Manitoba border. Both had the misfortune of having to deal with cakers, particularly the caker businessmen who ran the Dryden Chemical Company and the Dryden Pulp and Paper Company. Because fuck caring about the environment and because especially fuck foresight, the Dryden branch of Caker Business, Inc. dumped mercury-laden waste products directly into the Wasbigoon-English River. Not only that, workers at sites in the area recall dumping barrels of mercury in plastic-lined pits. And not even government orders to stop Dryden Chemical from dumping shit into the river stopped Dryden Chemical from dumping shit into the river until 1976, when they went the way of all caker businesses and folded like a cheap lawn chair.

(S) Totally worth nuking a river for!

In and of itself, this is a Soviet mess worthy of a post. But what makes this a True Canadian Story is the horrific human cost of this nonsense. And as usual, the worst victimization is left to the Indigenous. Enter Minamata Disease, a lovely condition caused by organic mercury contamination. Among the amazing side-effects include polydactyly, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and neurological defects, because it’s just not Canada without some birth defects and brain damage! Oh, and the fish from the river aren’t edible, which is a problem given that food is fucking expensive and the local economy was based on sport fishing and is now defunct. Oh, and did I mention that there still isn’t a local treatment center for the effects of Minamata Disease at Grassy Narrows? Because there isn’t! It’s okay though – only 90% of the population suffers from Minamata.

But don’t you worry, my friends! This gets even worse! Somehow! See, here’s the thing – we’re going to start the story of government intervention (or lack thereof) in this shit shortly after Ontario “demanded” that Dryden’s toxic plants stop dumping slag into a fucking river. In order to save caker business in 1979, the Ontario government agreed to take on the costs of monitoring the toxic waste site. After letting caker business off the hook Ontario immediately led the charge against Soviet-style industrial practices by doing jackshit all for decades! As late as 2015 the Ontario Liberal Party refused to commit to cleaning up the goddamn mess. Prince Selfie also waded into the fray, doing his level best to fulfill his promises to Indigenous peoples by immediately passing the buck back to the Ontario government, which promptly leapt into action by ignoring an existing report on the matter for another year. Just for shits and giggles! It’s not like this is fixabl…oh. It is? And we’ve had to tell this to Queen’s Park more than once?

Fuck me, this country is a sluggish pile of donkey dicks slathered in PVA shit-glue.

#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.

map_of_zimbabwe
(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.