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lemming

Happy Lemmings Day! a.k.a Black Friday

Should we besmirch this plucky rodent’s escutcheon by associating Lemmings as the embodiment of greed and feral-consumerism known to a good chunk of the western world as ‘Black Friday’?  It isn’t really fair (hey, just like capitalism) to play on the misunderstood ‘suicidal tendencies’ of the much maligned lemming.  For the record:

Lemmings have become the subject of a widely popular misconception that they commit mass suicide when they migrate, by jumping off cliffs. It is in fact not a mass suicide but the result of their migratory behavior. Driven by strong biological urges, some species of lemmings may migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great. Lemmings can swim and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat. In such cases, many may drown if the body of water is so wide as to stretch their physical capability to the limit. This fact, combined with the unexplained fluctuations in the population of Norwegian lemmings, gave rise to the misconception.[6]

The answer, dear friends, is of course we should – appropriating and exploiting nature is a zesty analog for capitalism and the consumer culture that feeds the satanic mills that are grinding our planet into dust.  (Not enough sleep and too much coffee during this particular writing stint.)

It’s hard to believe, but sometimes your dear host finds it necessary to perch upon a perfectly precarious high horse in order to dispense the needed wisdom to the unwashed massess, the hoi polloi, the basket of deplorables, et cetera.  I remember making a post about Black Friday expressing my disgust with scenes that seem to happen around this time of year.

As noted in the video above – we’re still mired in this terrible consumerist extravaganza. The problem is that, I’m not disgusted, but rather saddened by the whole, often gory, spectacle. The lengths people will go to, to get stuff, that they think will bring them happiness in their life.

Their association of “happiness = stuff” is no mere coincidence, but rather the endgame of a society, while drunk on capitalism,  that measures success, status, and happiness with the amount of material goods acquired. Of course, the needs are manufactured (followed by the goods to meet those ‘needs’) so that the prospect of new shiny baubles will be the next ‘true’ indicator of having ‘made it’ in life. The process of chasing after material goods in the vainglorious pursuit of happiness is a nasty positive feedback loop that reduces citizens in a democratic state to mere consumers always hungry for their next fix and thus justifying the exploitative system that feeds them their drug.

I can’t help thinking that if we had a guaranteed minimum income and housing for everyone people might start to stray from the consumption paradigm. People might start renewing connections with others and engaging in pursuits that they actually want to do instead of what they have to do in their struggle to avoid the depredations of abject poverty.

We’ve lost reverence for the security and connectedness a strong community provides – and it is only way back from the abyss that we continue to create for ourselves.

Make no mistake – capitalism in its current incarnation requires the exploitation of people and resources to make it work. Exploiting people and natural resources inevitably leads to war (see Iraq for instance) and this in this zeal for feeding our doom-systems we often forget that eventually

war1

war2

Start with lemmings and end with Lord of the Rings references, you’ll only see it here at DWR (for better or worse).

I’m fond of a good rant.  :)

I seem to be under the false perception that when attending a meeting with friends that the focus of the occasion should be the people attending and not the digital world available through one’s smartphone.

I write this piece because I have a couple of friends who periodically bring their phones out during dinner, or while having a conversation with them.  I’ve talked to one of them about this behaviour and asked them to not to do the texting at the table thing because of how rude it is and sent the other subtle hints to the other via Facebook like this:

cellphone    The idea of focusing on the people that you are with and not your phone does not seem to be rocket science to me.  The digital world is forever and not accessing it for the 120 minutes that we are together won’t destroy you.  I guarantee it.

But, as always, I am here to help and to educate thus using the power of Duck Duck Go I found this helpful chart.  Voila!  Problems solved all is well in the world.  You’re welcome. :)

 

CELL-PHONE-ETIQUETTE

sirens_call  I cannot identify what it is with dudes and radical feminism.  There must be some strange extra-sensory siren call that attracts dudes and dudely opinion to articles, blogs, and heck even just mere information about women speaking unequivocally about their experiences and analysis of society.  Of course the attraction is just one part of this warlocks brew, the most infuriating part is that the dudes once attracted, have the overwhelming desire… nay with seemingly single-minded animus to grandiloquently extrude their man-centric opinion blithely into feminist conversation.  At the very same time,said dudes, expect to be taken seriously with all the gravitas and respect they usually receive while intoning their manly wizdom.

Concomitantly,  dudes assume that their experience is just the same as everyone else in society(??) and thus, without research or understanding, make pronouncements that, to the finely tuned lobes of radical feminists, sound like Grade A, First Tier, patriarchally laced bullshit.   Once called on their bullshite phase two sets in, displaying in full glory the fragility of the male ego and the ensuing stampede, to either Godwin,Flouce or have a full blown mantrum as they exit from the thread.   Let me assure you gentle readers, this cycle of male-fail is a most dependable and curious clockwork…  But I digress.  The RPOJ has leapt into my hand quivering in anticipation of the justice about to be dispensed.

Today friends we delve deep into the world of dudes explaining Radical Feminism AND misandry – all in one post – who would have known it was soooooo easy.  Let’s put on our swashbuckling pantaloons and join The Brain in the Jar; hmm…lets tighten that up a bit and go with Shit for Brains (SfB); and watch as he puts on his Mansplaining boots and beats all your favourite strawfeminist arguments to death.

The original post by ‘Brain in a Jar: Of Radical Feminism and Misandry’ ,in all its glory can be found here.

—–

“Whenever I bring up the subject of feminism, I always hear about those crazy extremists who really are all about hating men. I’m sure they exist.”

  Well if you only talk to other dudes and MRA’s why of course you are going to get a nuance free view of feminism and feminists.  Looking beyond your own bias is hard, and who the fuck wants to do that?

“There plenty of crazy ideas out there, and misandry is actually saner compared to them.”

   Awww! Lookit SfB put on this big-boy-boots of equality and deep understanding, to show how amazingly aware he is of what he’s prevaricating on about.

“Women are also parrt of the dating game, so the terrible of reality of people wanting to have sex with you but not be in a relationship must have taken its toll on some. The thing is, these people can never refer to an example of such a radical feminist.”

  Editing, what the fuck is it?  Also, did you catch the subtle(?) hostility toward women?  I mean isn’t it totally obvs that women are in the position of power when it comes to dating and relationships? (*eyes rolling into back of head*) That whole male violence/rape culture stuff those feminists prattle on about sure clouds the issue about those bitches not knowing their place and bowing to my ‘peen.

“They also don’t see that misandry and feminism, even the radical version, are two seperate things.. You can point out misandry all you want, and if it makes sense I’ll get behind you. It’ll never be a solid criticism of feminism or radical feminism.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Festering_Swamps    The cesspool that is toxic masculinity, the sea we all swim in,  had a newsworthy (aka an effect on people other than women) peak at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado.

Three people were killed and nine others injured after gunfire ripped through a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., during an hours-long standoff that unfolded Friday afternoon.

Officials announced the casualties — one police officer and two civilians — at a brief news conference Friday evening.”

The resolution was thus:

“The standoff involved at least two exchanges of gunfire and lasted about five hours, before the gunman was taken into police custody.

“We did get officers inside the building. They were able to shout to the suspect and make communication with him, and at that point they were able to get him to surrender and take him into custody,” said police spokeswoman Lt. Catherine Buckley. He was apprehended at 4:52 p.m. MT.”

Well, so we have the murderer in custody, after a shootout, with police casualties.  Care to guess the ethnicity of shooter? (Helpful Clue: He’s still alive).  He allegedly said the following:

“He uttered the words “no more baby parts” to police after his arrest, according to a law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation. The official did not elaborate on the comment.”

Ah, motivation for saving babies – You would think that endorsing a violent man’s actions in shooting up a women’s medical centre would bring nothing but anger, shock and censure.  You would be wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

businesscycle_1   Be it resolved – If the Private Sector is cutting jobs in a economic downturn then the Government of the day should also be cutting Public Sector.

This is my debate point.  You won’t find it anywhere in the Alberta@Noon podcast I’m about to link here.  I know most of you won’t be thrilled to hear about Alberta’s budget from the finance minister so instead, skip forward to 33:50 of the podcast when two guests, one from the Alberta Taxpayers Federation and one from the Parkland Institute are invited to respond to callers and engage in some debate.

The Alberta Taxpayers Federation (ATF) has shades of the Tea Party mixed in with neo-liberal dogmatic imperatives.  Much of their ‘research’ comes from the equally dubious Fraiser Institute, a rightwing corporate skunk-works whose only aim is the complete corporitization of civil society.  Listen as Paige from the ATF gets tripped up because her sloganeering has little to do with fact and much to do with stirring right-wing populist notions.

What I’d like to talk about is the caller ‘Mike’ and the following discussion (36:40 – 41:15).   Mike is a plummer who lost his job and had to take a lower rate of pay with his job because of the downturn.  Mike feels like a faceless drone supporting the ‘queen bee’ of that is the public sector because our recently elected provincial government stated in their platform that they would protect the frontline public workers and public services of Alberta.

Now here is the thing, Mike and other neophytes of the Free Market dogma, there is this thing called the business cycle.  When you *choose* to work in the private sector you are choosing the insecurity that comes along with ups and downs of said business cycle.  In terms of personal responsibility and making choosy-fucking-choices when the economy is good you will be doing good, and when the economy is bad, you’ll be doing bad too, generally speaking.

This is a choice.  Contrast this with the public sector though, whose wages are generally lower and tend not to increase as quickly or dramatically with the ebb and flow of the business cycle.  Public sector work therefore, is also a choice with related benefits and negative attributes.  Stability over profitability, one could say.

Mike, you don’t get to turn around and demand that the people who have chosen to make less than you in good market conditions all of a sudden should share your pain when the economy isn’t so robust.

I’m not totally against Mike and what he has to say but I don’t think he’s looking at the big picture.   Our government, for the last 41 years, has been taking a shit on basic Keynesian market prescriptions.  When times are great, we lower taxes because we want to attract more business.  When times are crap, we lower taxes to keep our businesses afloat.

Do you see the problem here?  Lowering taxes during the Boom times royally screws the government and people of Alberta.  How do we save for the economic downturns when we have lower revenue during boom times coming in; also lowering taxes during boom times increase the rate of inflation and makes the bubble expand that much quicker – recklessly endangering public health, infrastructure, and public services.   The Anti-Keynesian aphrodisiac the old Alberta PC Party snorted by the bucketful, systematically razed the economic flexibility and resiliency of the province by tying the running of the government closely to the business cycle.

Albertaatnoon    The false-populist beliefs that the ATF, represented by Paige on the podcast, are an extension of this seppuku inducing cycle that our old government perfected.  What is fascinating to behold is the scepticism over what beneficial counter-cyclical government economic policy is actually supposed to look like.  The government is supposed to spend more and take on debt to moderate the business cycle during economic slowdowns, conversely, the government must raise taxes during the high times to pay of accumulated debt and to moderate reckless growth and expansion during the boom times.

This is what moderating the business cycle is all about and why it is so important is because when you shave off the peaks and troughs, the people who make up the economy have a better chance of keeping things together and surviving in whichever phase the economy happens to be in.

This basic understanding of Keynesian market management is in the curriculum. I’ve been taught, and have taught it to students in this province.  Why we elect governments (up till recently) that don’t apply this basic economic fact boggles my mind.

 

Canadavotemap

Go vote! Or don’t! The FPP system will probably scuttle your intentions anyways. I hear spitting into the wind or pissing up a rope are fine substitutes for exercising the barest of minimums required for participatory democracy.

The getting out the vote campaigns are heroic and all that stuff, encouraging all those young whipper-snippers to exercise the merest formality in participating in a democratic like system.  But really, young people…oh you sad sack millennials,  you’re fucked.  Generation X is now in the demographic that tends to vote often and is catered to by the political class – did you hear all the campaign promises about lowering tuition and making going to university/college easier – I didn’t either.  Have a nice future pouring my coffee and lackadaisically ‘helping’ me at retail locations.

What I heard a lot of during this overly long election cycle (thank you Conservative gerrymandering squad) was economy, jobs, and then niqab.  None of these topics have been ‘tailored’…ooo… I guess the word for it now is ‘curated’ for your easy consumption and understanding.  Did you tune out and start that really important twitter conversation about the Blue Jays?  You did?   Good for you!  We’ll see you in line, eagerly waiting to express your ‘individuality’ by purchasing the next mass produced shiny over-hyped bauble at the Apple store.   Because what you buy defines you.  (Not your actions, not your commitments to others, not your responsibilities – just your *stuff*, honest.)

Conspicuous consumption, they have an app for that…

The political leaders, during the election cycle, have talked, emoted and generally performed fairly well; all of them selling their shiny political promises and filled with rainbow farting unicorns and free bonbons for all.  A series of turgid farts strained through a dirty burlap sack would have just about as much relevance and importance to the decision Canadians are making on the 19th of October.

What is really at stake here is the continued march of Neo-liberalism and the decimation of the social fabric of our society.  Corporations are not people, nor should they have the right to sue our governments for protecting our people (and businesses) from predatory capitalism.  The TPP is NAFTA all over again.  Do you like having domestic industry?  Unions?  Society run for the benefit of the people living in said society?  The TPP is the enema-bag filled with hydrochloric acid poised to flush all those nasty things I mentioned out of Canadian Society.

I could care less who gets into power as long as this latest shit-swirl in the ice cream of trans-national capitalism is strangled in the crib, because combating Neo-liberalism is the big picture now because if NL wins democracy doesn’t matter anymore.    Is our country for Canadians or Corporations?  Profit or People?

ndpNow I voted NDP because my MP is one kickass woman (Linda Duncan) who regularly kicks ass and takes names in Parliament, she responds to mail and makes me think briefly that representative democracy might not be bag-of-rats I think it is (that feeling passes quickly).

The 10 week slow motion seppuku that was the NDP national campaign was about as inspiring as being hit repeatedly in the head with a dirty sweat-sock filled with cold spunk.   I just need the names of the NDP campaign-brain trust who somehow thought that throwing all the ham at all the walls by going centrist was the best-est idea evar?  The salty-tears of socialist jebus are leaking out of the dark hall-closet you mung-gargling-arseholes tossed him in for this election.  Pandering to the centre and abandoning core democratic-socialist principles… who would of thunk that was a recipe for getting ass-whipped in the election…

Hello NDP your political base is calling wondering where the hell you are and why there are smexy middle of the road blonde hairs on your damn overcoat.

So anyhow, happy election day Canada.  We’ll get the government we deserve today.   I’ll see you, fair readers, tomorrow as I have a date with TIO and the good Captain Morgan.

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