Migrants & Melania

Thus far in the global migrant crisis Canada’s border has been quiet, mostly due to our geography/isolation. But now that the U.S. is closing in on itself and relegating immigration to a zone of fear and instability, we have seen a threefold spike in the number of refugees/migrants coming across.

You know people are desperate when they trudge north through waist-deep snow and brutal winds in the deepest, darkest winter for 10 hours to the border, losing fingers and toes to frostbite in the process. Now that spring is whispering in the wings and soon the weather will be warm, this trickle could very well turn into a torrent. The New Yorker reported on an underground railroad poised to launch the migrants they are currently housing and protecting. Soon we may see our nation’s claim of racial tolerance tested.

On another note, Melania Trump has been on my mind for a long while; I’m not alone in wondering what kind of man Rump is in private and what she must endure. In one of the protest rallies outside the NYC Rump Tower someone held up a sign that read: Melania, blink twice if you need to be rescued.

This week, 22 Minutes, Canada’s troupe of irreverent comics who riff on current political topics, put out their latest video: “Mrs. Trump, this is the third time this week.”

So I’m posting it here, because we’re all holding our breath and it’s Funny Bone Friday, Episode #12

 

Some new kind of crazy

We have to change our ways, and fast, and yet our politicians are still smiling for the cameras and pushing fracking and LNG plants; in faraway offices behind closed doors they’re still approving oil and bitumen pipelines that traverse vast stretches of land, up and down mountain ranges, in an active earthquake zone, pipelines that are bound for coastal tankers which will then navigate rugged BC fjords during winter storms and other extreme weather events, pipelines that are bound for tankers that will go right through the heart of Vancouver’s staggering coastal beauty.

And why are politicians dragging their feet and timidly avoiding the green revolution? Because they want to get re-elected. Because they lack vision and/or courage. Because they put politicking over people, because they don’t want to go anywhere near the touchy subject of structural economic change. Because they don’t want people to panic.

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War for Dummies

Easy instructions for readers of all ages! Recommended by experts in the weapons trade! Non-fiction by I. R. Soul!

KEEP THOSE FIGHTER JETS IN THE AIR

Bombing campaigns are important. Withdrawing your fighter jets from the Middle East, as Canada plans to do with its six CF-18s, is a big, big mistake. There’s absolutely no truth to the rumour that the best way to lose control of your country’s fiscal autonomy is to buy in; contracts signed with the Military Industrial Complex come with reasonable payment terms. You can trust us, we’ve been honouring our commitment to upgrade our product lines for nearly 100 years.

BE SURE YOUR MEDIA IS ON SIDE

There’s no point in confusing the little people, keep the stories simple! They have been well trained in loss and revenge so be sure to hammer home any losses on our side. Ignore casualties on the other side, it’s best to pretend there aren’t any. Encourage simplistic thinking, the only two protagonists allowed are Us and Them. There’s a fringe movement of lunatics suggesting the equation ought to be We = Us + Them but that is dangerously naïve.

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Trudeau’s Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was sworn in yesterday and this country has never been more jazzed. 

trudeau_taking oath

Swearing the oath.

Something amazing is happening in Canada. For the first time in my life, people are excited about politics. Yesterday for the swearing-in ceremony 3500 people crowded the grounds at Rideau Hall to participate. Four cool young dudes from Montreal got up and 4 am to drive 192 kilometers to Ottawa and be the first in line to get in to what they believe was an historic occasion—and trust me, prior to this, “cool dudes and Ottawa” was an oxymoron, though I suppose that depends on who you’re talking to.

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So..my dream came true

Last night I spent a marathon 6 hours watching the federal election results as the Liberal Party were swept to power with a majority of seats. Thank the gods, change has come! Many months ago I had a vivid dream about Justin Trudeau, so vivid that I convinced myself that soon we’d see the back of Stephen Harper and his retrograde policies. So I started a blog called I Dream of Justin…Trudeau, that is which would compile the dreams that other people might be having of Justin Trudeau — or any Canadian politician for that matter.

There was a fascinating American blog called I Dream of Barack that compiled people’s dreams in those early days of Obama’s rise to the Presidency; I hoped for confirmation that political change was percolating in the Canadian collective unconscious. I Dream of Justin…Trudeau, that is got exactly one hit — from a kind relative offering encouragement. But no matter, it turns out that the people were dreaming, too, because our country now has a leader with vision and courage, my heart is bursting, and we can start to feel proud again.

Truth and Reconciliation

June Op-Ed for the Bridge River Lillooet News

The Truth and Reconciliation commission just ended and now the government must follow through with its recommendations. Top of the list should be making it mandatory that the history of residential schools is taught in grade school curriculum.
Two weeks ago I was in a Fraser Valley classroom and the teacher asked the students (all non-Native), whose ages ranged from 19 to 25, if the history of residential schools should be taught in schools. Of the ten students, two said yes, eight said variations of no. “They get enough handouts already,” one student said and the rest agreed, parroting what they’ve heard many times before from people just as ignorant. Further discussion revealed the students had little or no actual knowledge of residential schools, let alone the horrors that occurred inside them or the terrible repercussions that ensued.

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Guantanamo

**In honour of the release of Omar Khadr, a 15-year-old translator-turned-soldier who was held for over a decade in the gulag otherwise known as Gitmo, and in honour of the documentary about his experience being aired on CBC Thursday, May 28, 2015**

Guantanamo

in the spring
when the air was sprayed red
at the Hotel Misty on the shoreline
on the edge of Guantanamo Bay

raccoons were calling themselves family
inspired by neon lights while
the Stumps played Muskrat Love
and Daisy spun in her polka dot skirt
her lips plump as mushrooms
and heart without purchase
at the Hotel Misty on the shoreline
on the edge of Guantanamo Bay
when raccoons were calling themselves
family inspired by Japanese lanterns
and the clock struck twelve darkness
descended no mere absence
of light while Daisy spun slowly
in her polka dot skirt, Major General
her partner The Stumps playing
the final refrain of Muskrat
Love at the Hotel
Misty on the shoreline
on the edge
of Guantanamo Bay

when the air was sprayed
red
it’s not what anyone wanted
the military calling us family
and the guns lying
next to the camera