One says sun and one says sleet
|Alberta Advantage||May 15, 2020|
All my life, all I wanted was to be an optimal worker making rational consumption decisions. I looked up to my parents, two pure economic actors, and I said to myself that someday, when I was big, I would belong to a majority of workers that conformed to the expectations of a model. Today I can say I am the variable I wanted to be. A pandemic can’t change that. I won’t let it.
We all figured there would be a culling of the poor and working class to resurrect the economy from COVID-19, but I think we’re all a little stunned it’s happening so soon.
A window into the madness opened this week with the national announcement of various opening procedures. Bars, restaurants, your local head shop, and the bodega where you go to buy Ding Dongs after you go to your local head shop, might all open in the coming days and weeks so we can get back to the business of being human - making money. It must be all we’re good for, because for the look of the reopening plans and guidelines we might as well be dead.
It’s not hard to see that keeping people safe is no longer the priority. The health care system had a little while to grab new supply chains and stock up on protective equipment so Canadian leaders appear confident to send some more patients their way. While huge questions still loom about COVID antibody production, reinfection risk, and whether or not schools will be breeding grounds for superspreading toddlers and tweens, we’re just going to take the boat out on this whole “potential massive wave of death and misery” thing. Your local meatpacking billionaire can get money out of thin air directly into his pocket but you, dear reader, are the fulcrum on which catastrophe balances. Once more into the breach, essential car wash attendant. We need you to risk your life for the wax jobs of the monied. (Unless you’re in Calgary or Brooks, that is. Sorry restaurant, did you order food and promise people hours? Are you throwing out fifty pounds of romaine lettuce? Whoops, sorry. Oh, no, nobody will be held accountable for that. Is 48 hours notice not enough?)
Pick any part of this shit at random. Ontario is wading into things a little slower but still against the comfort and advice of their health care leaders. British Columbia has so little plan that they’re just slapping backs and telling citizens to get out there and play safe like the high school basketball coach of a losing team. Saskatchewan is doing a passable Dale Earnhardt impression racing to get golf courses open, and (as you’ll read further down) New Brunswick doesn’t even report death tallies to Statistics Canada anymore so fuck it, yolo.
And Quebec. Holy shit.
Quebec is still trying to top the international leaderboards by apparently having everyone in Montreal walk the streets ingesting droplets like Pac-Man and they’re going for it. Every story coming out of their schools is some sort of nightmare seemingly designed to make every possible party go “oh fuck that, why bother”. The photos are enough to make every child psychologist on the continent drool with excitement, but the draft guidelines to prevent infection are really something to marvel at. Kids will be separated from peers and will be assigned to classes as space permits, even if that means expanding to other school buildings. A bus can only take 12 kids at once, and the bus drivers will be wrapped in kind of cellophane. Students needing to bring a garbage and recycling bag for their own waste, and recess (if they do any) will just be distance walking in a predetermined pattern. No lockers, no cafeteria service (even for kids receiving nutritional support), staying at your desk all day, no sharing pencils or pens. Kids won’t even get assignments graded to cut down on the passing of papers to and from the teacher. When a kid goes to the bathroom, a caretaker has to escort them, monitor the break, and then disinfect the toilet after they’re done.
Even if only half of these draft measures go into effect, why go back for the last couple months of school at all? When you root out the core of why these steps are taken and their impact on the people enacting them you can’t help but throw your mental or physical arms in the air and say fuck off with ALL that. If the economy is that fucked without their parents, and we’re all that fucked without the economy, maybe we did a bad thing. Maybe what brought us here was the wrong thing and it deserves some investigation on a fundamental level.
The kids who will have to live through a chunk of Children of Men for two months are a nice excuse to get people off the government assistance rolls. They’re not sick! Their businesses could open! They could work if they wanted to! We say it’s safe! But those very same children could take a look at the world as it is, and these measures as they are, and come to the logical conclusion - it’s way too early, our motivations are broken, and when more people die who could have lived if our government had their back in a time of crisis it will be very, very stupid.
🥞Look, I don’t want to be a PIE IN THE SKY IDEALIST but I’m just saying if you block worker reps from safety meetings, get people killed in multiple time zones, get a shop steward killed (rest in power, comrade), get food inspectors sick, and convince the federal government to cover the PPE you refused to provide, MAYBE, just maybe, you should, as management, be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life. I’m sorry! If you kill workers maybe you should get private security! I would! For my safety!
👎🏻When it comes to grifting, Alberta oil and gas vampires are honestly pretty high-end. I’m really impressed.
👩🏽💻Never forget that austerity cuts will always impact the most vulnerable first and hardest.
🥠Everyone else is seeing that seasonal deaths and total deaths year over year are way the fuck out of wack, casting doubt that the number of reported COVID deaths is the true number of deaths due to the disease. We don’t have that problem here, we just have data too shitty to tell if that’s the case! Thank goodness, just not knowing is really soothing my jimmies.
🍷If retailers won’t pay their rent, why should you?
🦊COVID has at least one conquest of bread.
🥊Facing a dying oil industry Alberta has opted to give sick people a Greyhound ticket and tell them to move to Vancouver.
🐉Honestly delighted to see Alberta politicians and pundits try and punch at Norway and just swooshing their fists past it’s pale Scandinavian body, like a bully is holding them back by the forehead.
🚣🏾♀️Anyone keeping track of the number of workers being hustled to the Celestial Gore Pyramid to feed the Blood Hunger of deepest Capitalitrox, the Person Eater? It’s a big list including airline catering workers, white supremacy manufacturers, postal workers, junk mail workers, remand inmates, be-smocked makeover girls, teachers, children, NHL players, ACLU lawyers, the homeless, prisoners forced to scab, innovative undertakers, and others. But the real victim is barbecue dads!
🕴🏼Everyone seems to think or feel in their gut that reopening shit is a bad idea right now but we’re just doing it anyway? Good luck to Ontario and their sad looking medical guy who just wants the Chad government to listen to him even once.
🥍The government of Tanzania isn’t going to let western leaders in Brazil and the United States out-kill their own citizens, no sir.
🕷Workers and citizens alike are stuck on plague ships and governments are just like, uhhh stay there.
🙉Americans are dying by the thousands but hey yeah remind everyone you have cool planes and nuclear bombs, cool, we forgot.
☂️Some MMA bros landed in Venezuela trying to do a Call of Duty coup and got owned, so they’ll probably send in some U.S. Marines next. Then they get a snake to get the Marines, then a ferret to get the snake, then a…
🧩Patrick from Team Advantage is in the process of decompiling and analyzing the contact tracing app being distributed by the Alberta government. If anyone has a background in this sort of work and wants to contribute time or knowledge, please reply to this newsletter.
🍩Hearst tried hard to keep unions out of their magazine and publishing businesses and they got the People’s Elbow from the NLRB. A rare triumph story.
⭐️Yeah whatever he’s a VP at Amazon his resignation over anti-worker shit isn’t that big of a deal but any black eye dealt to Borg Cube Prime is worth noting.
🎑Turnips should remain food! Do not financialize turnips! Just munch em’!
🚆I’ve watched this movie about 40 times and I didn’t notice the anti-fascist black-and-red flags in the final frames until viewing 40. What is wrong with me (everything).
🏉Holy shit just do the Green New Deal already you dummies.
🥃Sikhs prove they rule, as usual.
📉Heated has a podcast now, and their second episode explores how oil and gas companies are using COVID to suck tax money into their dumb wallets.
🎧Mark Ames? On TrueAnon? Yes please.
🔇Dog Island talks about some sort of innovation district in Halifax. Innovation means “give me public money to do nothing” so this is a must-listen.
🎚This month the cool kids over at the podcast had national boyfriend James Wilt on to talk about trains (swoon) and they yelled about dummies yelling about China to distract from their myriad failings. I’m still on podcast time-out because of my views on My Little Pony, and talking about those views in the studio. I accept this.
🏴Stay indoors and yell at Matt Wolf on Twitter.