The weather outside my window has become as extreme and polarized as the humans who toil under the rising sun tweeting frantically before heading over cliffs like lemmings. Alberta became the latest province in Canada to reject their progressively-left female incumbent only to replace her with the amalgamated social monstrosity that is the United Conservative Party, thus veering hard right and straight into the abyss of unrealistic promises and minimal transparency. Jason Kenney fashioned his political resurgence largely at the expense of Rachel Notley’s enormous burden; specifically, how to deliver on jobs, improve the economy, and address the pipeline quagmire. And since he spent his entire campaign calling her out on perceived failures and propagandized falsehoods, I can’t wait to see how this latest hot-air populist uses the prime minister as a dedicated preoccupation to help overthrow his federal reign rather than focus diligently on domestic priorities. The centrist in me wants to give this latest firebrand a chance to prove me terribly wrong, but my experiences in Ontario this year alone have left me anticipating a troglodyte’s fait accompli (pandering to the lowest denomination, reversing social justice initiatives, abdicating climate change responsibility). The exotic and bilingual nature of Quebec always captivated me as a child, as did the burgeoning multiculturalism of British Columbia, but now I find the existential plight of this particular Maritime province (be it struggling with opiate epidemics, real estate housing market plundering, homeless citizenry, gaudy gas prices) to be one that reminds me why getting old comes at a price when you have a bloody long memory and can see how history always seems to repeat itself.
Here’s a slice of political surrealism; six years ago Christy Clark, Alison Redford, Kathleen Wynne, Pauline Marois, Kathy Dunderdale, and Eve Aariak were all at the helm of Canadian provinces as female premiers. They were heralded and praised as game-changers; forces to be reckoned with for their progressive ideals and post-modern devotion towards fighting the crippling tide of gender inequality and economic disparity. So what does it say that Canadian taxpayers either repudiated them at the ballots or silently watched as they stepped out of the fray and into the sunset? I’ve always accepted that there’s a certain threshold of misogyny that exists in this world – one that can’t be rationalized or properly understood unless you were raised alongside Diana in Atlantis or happen to be a woman yourself. But this really makes me wonder what’s in store for the future of my country. Today, there isn’t a single rose amidst the latest stock of fearmongers who resemble a vanilla sausagefest of one-dimensional shysters with really bad haircuts. The moment we collectively decided to place our trust in demagogues was the beginning of the end for any hopes of vaunted plurality or imagined fairness in our political system. It almost seems as if these women were all destined to inherent the soiled underwear of their gender counterparts who not only started this whole warped-generational mess in the first place, but are now destined to see it through to the end. I may be my mother’s son and will seem profoundly biased on this subject, but I refuse to accept the stark reality that a country populated by more women than men is now governed exclusively by the latter.
The Mueller report findings have enveloped social media to such dizzying heights that I purposefully stayed away for nearly half a day (and that should be considered a record for me). Having followed the investigation closely from the start via traditional American networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC) and though popular comedic mainstream hits (Bill Maher, Jim Jefferies, John Oliver, Samantha Bee), I can honestly say that I’ve come to regret every minute of time I’ve wasted given how this spectacle is playing out before us. And although we can agree that there’s more to come in terms of political and legal fallout, the very fact that the viewing public is forced to watch this mockery and normalize the term “redacted” into their psyche (at the expense of the carnival sideshow orchestrated by a misanthropic leader and his attorney-general lackey), is further proof that our reality is becoming as absurd as the trainwreck that is the second season of American Gods, any original Netflix film about a dystopian future where children have to close their eyes or not utter a word to avoid dying, and whatever the hell followed Frank Darabont’s brilliant season one vision for The Walking Dead in which he was unceremoniously dumped for wanting to make something meaningful for posterity instead of the almighty dollar.
The Toronto Blue Jays are 8-12 without Vlad Guerrero Jr. and although they can’t hit (.217 AVG) they most certainly can pitch (3.55 ERA), and this should be seen as something legitimately promising in a year where transition and turnstile personnel management will leave you wondering who the next Chris Colabello might be (sans the drugs and late blooming mystery); could it be Eric Sogard or Alan Henson or Socrates Brito or Elvis Luciano or Elfo? Anything’s possible when you’re told to have absolutely no expectations. At least with the arrival of the chosen one (along with the marketing hype that will go into massive overdrive the moment he sets foot on that glorious astro-turf faux grass which should have been upgraded years ago after a false promise by executives we’re told to trust), we should have ample reason to stay interested in this team on vicarious thrills alone. Professors of analytics and the sabermetric church of baseball will have the time of their lives studying this phenom as he takes his mercurial 80 hit rating into the realm of the living. May the Old Gods and the New bless the souls of all the dauntless pitchers who will be victimized by the Krakenesque spawn of Guerrero and the six years of servitude that the Blue Jays worked so diligently to secure on our supposed behalf.