God Damn Canada: A Response to Nicholas Kristof

One of the most irritating things in the world to me is when American liberals and leftists buy into the stereotype of Canadians as being a meek, polite folk who basically live in a colder, more progressive variation of America. I can’t say I blame them, but it gets to be a bit much when every article in which Canada respectfully asks Saudi Arabia not to turn Yemen into a parking lot earns comments like “once again, Canada sets a standard that CHEETO MUSSOLINI fails to meet,” or “bravo to Canada for stepping up when America won’t,” or “god, I want Trudeau to sit on my face.”

So, imagine my delight when, on February 6, I stumbled upon this op-ed in The New York Times by Nicholas Kristof, author of such hot takes as “sweatshops are good, actually,” and “fuck teacher’s unions.” The article, entitled “Thank God for Canada!” and subtitled “Our boring neighbour is a moral leader of the free world.” is… An interesting example of what journalist Luke Savage calls “maple washing” in both his interview on the fantastic Citations Needed podcast and in his excellent 2017 piece, “Accounting for Histories: 150 Years of Canadian Maple Washing.”

Maple washing can be loosely understood as a conscious or unconscious act of covering up the reality of Canada being a voraciously capitalist settler state built on the genocide of its indigenous peoples in a progressive veneer, meant to elicit idealization from both Canadians and foreign nations. This has the effects of said Canadians and foreigners placing Canada on a sort of progressive pedestal while ignoring its numerous misdeeds.

And let me tell you; Whether he’s aware of it or not, my boy Nick’s view of Canada is DROWNING in maple glaze. And we’re gonna look at just why his view is so erroneous and, ultimately, harmful. It should be fun!

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Quick Hits Episode 6: In Which I Give You Stale News, and You Like It

(Featured image from CBC)

What’s it been since my last one of these? Twelve years? Something like that?

I meant to have this one out last week when these stories were much more relevant (although some of it is still ongoing), but I got sidetracked by other things. I considered trashing it and starting with a newer one, but I figure that I should at least show some signs of life before writing my next one. And also, it’s pretty good. But mainly because Maxime Bernier is supremely entertaining, sometimes.

Anyways, it’s a short one this week, but next time we’re talking about Saudi Arabia. So that should be fun. Or not, because good news is a luxury that we apparently can’t afford.

Moving on!

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OntariOH NO

What’s this? Two posts in two days? I better slow my roll, I don’t want anybody getting the idea that I’m competent, or anything.

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Ruh-roh.

Whenever smug Canadians point out that electing a craven hard-right populist like Donald Trump could NEVER happen in Canada due to, I dunno, niceness, or smug superiority, or something, this election will serve as a constant reminder to them that they’re full of shit.

The Ontario provincial election has come and gone, and, as one would expect from a voter turnout of, as of Thursday night, about 57%, it went about as well as I predicted. Which is to say that everything is fucked.

(For my election preview, click here.)

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ONTARIO ELECTIONWATCH 2018

(Featured image from TVO)

For most of the last two months, the upcoming Ontario election has kind of been a representative microcosm of how most timelines of recent elections in the “Western world” (for lack of a less exclusionary term) have progressed:

  1.  Phenomenally unpopular, uninspiring centrist status-quo government exists, as the right-wing opposition salivates in anticipation for the chance to knock them off.
  2. Right-wing opposition presents “populist” candidate and/or platform that offends every moral sensibility held by decent people.
  3. Right-wing opposition gets incredibly popular anyways on the basis of “not being the phenomenally unpopular centrist status-quo government.”
  4. Right-wing opposition pulls ahead in polls, unhindered by smug, matter-of-fact contentions from the phenomenally unpopular centrist status-quo government.
  5. The election happens.
  6. ???
  7. Everything continues to be shitty.

These story beats are all-too noticeable when examining the lead-up to tomorrow’s Ontario general election between the incumbent Liberal Party , the Progressive Conservative Party, and the New Democratic Party. However, the race has gotten unexpectedly competitive as of late, and there are some added quirks thrown into this particular linear path towards the inevitable violent overthrow of the ruling class that make a post worth everybody’s time. And by “quirks,” I mean oh my God, they’re going to elect Doug Ford, aren’t they?

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Quick Hits Episode 5: A Brief, Yet Triumphant Return

(Featured image from CBC)

We are all Xavier Trudeau/Nous sommes tous Xaver Trudeau.

Because I can’t understand steel tariffs, and because of the torrent of anger and vitriol that Colten Boushie case stirs up inside of me, we’re going to start with the literal least important possible thing to happen in the last couple weeks: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s surreal visit to India for a state visit and meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The People’s Cold Front- The Tumultuous​ History of Canadian Communism (Introduction/Definitions)

communist-party_of-canada

Almost one hundred years ago to the day, in the former Tsarist hellhole that was the Russian Empire, the Russian Communist Party, led by revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, seized power, toppling the Russian Provisional Government in an event now immortalized as the “October Revolution,” despite the fact that it apparently took place in November.

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Russia is a silly place. 

The October November (?) Revolution led to the creation of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Soviet Russia), which later merged into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (commonly known as the Soviet Union or the USSR), effectively becoming the world’s first self-described socialist state and, later on, the first self-described socialist state to metaphorically eat itself alive.

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Things really went downhill after Mr. Big was deposed, in my opinion. 

I did it. I made the hackneyed Rocky & Bullwinkle joke. Only God can judge me now.

The Mid-Fall 1917 Revolution sent shockwaves around the geopolitical landscape, with Western Nations (All of whom were either capitalist states or monarchies. Go figure.) immediately scrambling to try to kill the nascent Worker’s State in its metaphorical (presumably worker-manufactured and worker-owned) cradle during the Russian Civil War (1917-23). Nevertheless, the USSR prevailed, and it’s success served as inspiration for far-left movements in countries the world over, Canada being among them.

While Canadian Communist movements are certainly not privy to the same success as their capitalist contemporaries, the Canadian Communist Party is actually the second-oldest political party in Canada after the Liberal Party and has actually had representation in federal and provincial parliaments. I don’t think it’d be realistic to say that they’ll be getting representation again anytime soon, but the far-left in Canada has had an interesting history that’s worth telling. Especially since Alberta elected a radical communist as their Premier, or so I’ve been told.

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You know, by morons!

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