QUICK HITS: SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 6, 2017

Critiquing Jagmeet Singh can wait for another couple days. Let’s all sit back, relax, and make some snarky comments about Canadian and international events! None of us can really do a damn thing about them, so we might as well make fun of them!

Note: All news directly relating to Jagmeet Singh and the New Democratic Party will be pushed to a later piece I’m hoping to get out this weekend. 

CANADA

Attack in Edmonton

edmonton-attack
I wish I could say I was above making a U-Haul joke here, but the truth is I just couldn’t think of one. 

I can’t very well go on without talking about the first non-Connor McDavid-related event in my hometown to garner international attention since the 2006 hockey riots, probably.

On Saturday night, during a night game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 30-year old Abdulahi Sharif deliberately rammed his car into police constable Mike Chernyk, who was manning a barricade near his police car at Commonwealth Stadium. Exiting his car, Sharif, being the wonderful human being he is,  stabbed Chernyk before fleeing.

Later that night, after what I can only assume to be a darkly hilarious turn of events, Sharif managed to steal a U-Haul truck  and, after attracting the attention of the police on account of the fact that he stole a fucking U-Haul truck, ended up ramming into four civilians on Jasper Avenue during the ensuing car chase. The truck flipped over, and Sharif was arrested. He currently faces various charges of the “terrorism” and “attempted murder” variety. Despite sustaining multiple injuries, Chernyk is expected to make a full recovery. While the four other victims have injuries that range from “broken arms to brain bleeds” according to a horrifying description from police chief Rob Knecht, two have been released from the hospital, one is in stable condition, and another suffered a fractured skull, but is conscious.

All told, it could’ve ended a whole lot worse. And guess what? We get to talk about an instance of this ending a whole lot worse in just a little bit!

Electoral Reform in B.C.???

david-eby-campaigning-may-2017
British Columbia MP and Attorney General David Eby with Seth Rogen on the set of Pineapple Express 2.

Wednesday brought forth a new chapter in the slog of a saga that the road towards Canadian electoral reform has been. British Columbia Attorney general David Eby announced that the government will present a referendum on proportional representation. The referendum is to be held before November 2018 and will involve a mail-in ballot and a 50%+1 threshold to pass the NDP government’s litmus test.

This announcement, of course, is in the midst of the NDP’s agreement with the BC Green Party, which had electoral reform as a requirement. It also occurs eight months after the federal government went back on its promise to reform Canada’s federal electoral system. Weird how it took a provincial minority government three months to do something that the federal government repeatedly screwed up for sixteen months before pretending they didn’t actually want to do it in the first place.

trudea_electoral_reform
I’m not bitter. Fuck you. YOU’RE bitter.       

SPACE MONARCHY!!!!

2017-julie-payette-gg-facebook.jpg
I’ve never been as much of a monarchist as I am right now.

I don’t have any actual stats to back this up, but if I had to guess, I would say that 75% of Canadians couldn’t tell you who the Governor General was before Monday (David Johnston). Mind you, not that most could name her NOW, but still.

governor-general-david-johnston
Come to think of it, I’m not been convinced that David Johnston ever actually existed. 

But you know what? We SHOULD give a shit now. Because you know what’s special about the new Governor-General? The one that was sworn in on October 2? She’s Julie Payette. And Julie Payette is an astronaut. She has been in the VACUUM OF MOTHERFUCKING SPACE. That’s incredible. It transcends both politics and opinions on the Canadian monarchy.

And if that doesn’t convince you, look at her coat of arms.

canadian-heraldic-authority-payette-emblem.jpg
vnjirobvdsofuckinggoodhffiweslufci

IT’S GOT TWO LYNX AND AN ASTRONAUT’S HELMET ON IT!!! GOD SAVE THE GODDAMN QUEEN!!!!

EUROPE

HOLIDAY IN CATALONIA

 

catalonia-referendum
“You’re going to support a contentious political movement based on a dog?”  “Shut the fuck up and tell Lluís he’s a good boy.”

 

In an incredibly unforeseen turn of events, people all over the world learned what “Catalonia” is.

The disproportionately wealthy Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia held a controversial referendum on October 1 to decide whether or not Catalans wanted to remain part of Spain or become an independent republic. Controversial because it wasn’t actually approved by the Spanish central government, merely by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and the Parliament of Catalonia. Despite repeated insistence from both Spanish and Catalan courts that the referendum would be illegal and nonbinding and the boycott of pro-unionist parties in the Parliament of Catalonia, the referendum was going ahead as planned, with some Catalans camping out in voting stations to prevent them from being shut down by Spanish authorities.

One would think that the Spanish authorities would’ve regarded this with indifference, seeing as how the referendum was unbinding according to pretty much any law in Spain or Catalonia, and support for Catalan independence within Catalonia has always been kind of tepid. One would certainly think that Spain wouldn’t be so mind-numbingly stupid as to send in riot cops (more specifically, the National Police Corps and the Guardia Civil, or “Civil Guard”) to seize the ballots and violently beat the crap out of people who are exercising their democratic ri-

171001085901-06-catalonia-referendum-1001-super-169
Ah, fiddlesticks.

893 injured Catalans later, and nobody knows what the hell is gonna happen in Catalonia. The Spanish government, most notably Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Felipe VI have roundly condemned the Generalitat for organizing the referendum in the first place and either downplaying or straight-up ignoring the National Police and the Guardia Civil‘s instigation of violence. The Generalitat, led by Carles Puigdemont, the President of Catalonia, have declared that they will move forward with a unilateral declaration of independence? After that? Who knows.

The Catalan people, for there part, have certainly shown made their voices heard. For what it’s worth, more than 90% of the respondents in the referendum voted in favour of independence, although that figure is likely not particularly accurate considering the seizure of ballot boxes by the riot cops and the boycott of the vote by many unionists. Still, if the widespread protests and general strike are any indications, support for independence in the face of spontaneous, bizarrely disproportionate Spanish oppression is catching on in Catalonia. So long as Quebec doesn’t get any smart ideas, this should be fun to watch.

LATIN AMERICA

MR. TRUMP GOES TO SAN JUAN

donald-trump
If you stop trying to make sense of it, it may hurt your soul a little less! 

As much as I would love to get through this without talking about Donald Trump, I’m pretty sure that dividing by zero is more likely at this point.

After a productive few weeks spent golfing, whining about football players kneeling, and criticizing Puerto Ricans in the midst of a terrifying humanitarian crisis destroying the island amidst enormous debt and three consecutive earthquakes, Trump decided to show that he cared (beyond dedicating a useless fucking golf trophy to Puerto Rico) by calling the mayor of the Puerto Rican capital city of San Juan a Democratic plant, and visiting San Juan. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that there is no way that this ends well.

During his visits, he and Melania Trump threw paper towels into crowds of desperate Puerto Ricans for…. Some reason, I guess? My personal favourite part was when the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Roselló, told Trump that the death toll had risen to sixteen, and the President congratulated officials, saying they “can be very proud”, and that it wasn’t “a real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina”.

Meanwhile, most of Puerto Rico does not have electricity, and half the population does not have access to clean drinking water.

Here’s hoping the last story is somewhat cheerful!

UNITED STATES

LAS VEGAS

gessen-las-vegas-shooting-terrorism
Weeks like these make me wish I had gone into sports journalism or something. 

On the night of October 1, gunman Stephen Praddock opened fire on attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival from his suite in the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. Praddock killed 58 people, including himself, and injured 489 others. His motive is currently unknown.

I’d like to say that I’m a good enough writer to spin a snarky joke out of this, or that I can say some uplifting words to make everything better, but I can’t, and I don’t trust myself to try. The world just sucks sometimes. And as much as I believe that thing will get better someday, sometimes, we just can’t seem to help ourselves.

I wish I had a better note to end on. but I don’t.

Here’s a picture of a bunny.

eb-mdqcfjxgqaay-b5n2ve27cck-zvfmpxk5neqlm2c
The real world is gonna be tough for me, I can tell. 

 

 

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