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The news is ruining my Friday morning…

November 23, 2012

There’s nothing like a bunch of idiot politicians to ruin my spectacular late-fall Halifax Friday morning.

CBC Radio this morning interviewed the three party reps who are running against the conservative in the Calgary bi-election next week.

In a bi-election located at the very heart of Harper’s conservative base in Canada. Calgarians are increasingly restive, and a conservative win is not necessarily a sure bet. But the Liberals, New Democrats, and Green Party are going to split the centre-left vote three ways, allowing the conservatives to win yet again.

The conservative approach to this bi-election is to have the candidate not do any public appearances, not speak to the press, not engage in any debates with the other parties. So they wouldn’t come to the radio interview, nor send any representative or any kind to participate. This is exactly everything that is wrong with the conservative party in Canada right now. Yet, because we now have three national opposition parties, they get away with this hostile and indifferent attitude to the public democratic forum.

Political liberalism in Canada is currently run by a bunch of idiots who really only want power, and the opportunity to stroke their egos. There is no other way to describe them.

Tell me, in any real way, what is the difference, right now, between the Liberal Party and the New Democrats? Slivers of difference that mean almost nothing to the rest of us. They are both obsessed with the political centre, their economics are the same (with little variance from the conservatives). Yet the pretend they are so radically different from each other.

It’s all very Monty Python-esque.

“We are the liberal voice of Canada!”

“No, we are the voice of liberals  in Canada!”

Can’t you see the difference?

Canada now has the exact opposite problem of American politics. There the right is fractured between moderates and the far-right, here liberals are splitting between the centre (Liberals), slightly centre-left (New Democrats), and environmental-left (Green Party).

Until the three liberalist parties get their shit together, the conservatives will continue to win majority power, yet only ever receive 30-35% of the popular vote. 65-70% of us don’t want the Conservatives in power. But we are so busy scwabbling amongst ourselves that we go nowhere.

And then, I listen to three clowns talk about how wonderful Black Friday is, how much fun it is to get down in the trenches and wait all night in the cold, standing in line for hours and hours, just to get into jam-packed stores and shop till they drop in some orgiastic ritual of unfettered consumption. And isn’t it wonderful?

Such tales to tell to your friends. One actually equated it to our hunter-gatherer roots. Yea, standing outside Target all night, is exactly like my mom’s unemployed neighbour back at the farm, who was out last week every morning at 5am, stalking deer, so his family might have some meat this winter.

Yea, it’s exactly the same thing. Fucking idiots.

And two advertising reps discuss openly on the air how much time and effort and money goes into the psychology of shopping, and what they do to manipulate people’s’ emotions to get us to spend more and more money. Right down to using MRI scans to learn how our brains can be better manipulated. They don’t have to keep ad secrets from us , because we don’t care. No one in the interview had a problem with this.

They have no problem telling me that nothing, absolutely nothing, that I see in a major supermarket or department store has been done randomly. Every product, the entire store layout, the background music, the lighting, the pheromones sprayed into the air – all of it – is designed to get you to spend more money.

Yes, they admit, it is “unfortunate” that people have to work on Thanksgiving Day in America (for minimum wages), but “it’s good for the economy” and that is a much larger need in our society. And besides, it’s what people most want to do these days, when they have a day off work? Look at Boxing Day.

We have been, over the last thirty years, completely re-programmed to want to consume. We know not what else to do.

Who remembers when stores – all stores – actually closed for holidays like Thanksgiving. Christmas. Easter. The “long weekend”. Sundays?

Here in Halifax everything actually shut down for Remembrance Day. (50% of Canada’s military lives or moves through Halifax.) It was like being thrown into a time warp. We went to the supermarket (we are still newbies to Halifax and did not know) and it was closed. The farmer’s market was closed. Everything, in fact, was closed. The streets were empty of cars.

It was like an early Sunday morning – all day long. 

I felt like a child again, in my small hometown, where everything still closed on Sundays and holidays and long weekends.

We now see consumption as the only motivator, the only thing that gives value to our lives.

70% of us are now overweight, our personal debt levels are off the charts, less and less of us read, empathize, walk, think.

We consume. And we consume. And we consume.

The Emperor has no clothes my friend.

Go for a walk this weekend. Read a book. Talk to family, friends, your neighbour. Try and do anything that does not involve shopping. Try it for a single weekend. If you can.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. S.J. Hines permalink*
    November 23, 2012 12:06 pm

    Sorry about the spell-check glitch. For some reason changes did not get saved – and had to be done again…

  2. Eric Weiner permalink
    November 23, 2012 8:31 pm

    The emperor now has lots of clothes. Lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of clothes.

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