Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Big Steve, Working Stiff

Stephen Harper, plump and soft as a double roll of Cottonelle. A man who has spent his entire adult life, after leaving school with a degree in economics, either as a spoiled politician or as a spoiled ideologue in the loving embrace of a right wing think tank. Stephen Harper. A man who is unlikely to ever develop a callus on his hands unless it comes from clutching pennies. This twee, over-fed poofter has the little salted nuts to look into the lens of the camera and portray himself as one of the "ordinary, working people". And that would be opposed to the "ivory tower" justice experts. Well lets just tell the truth Steve, you haven't much in common with the justice experts because you're trying to make your career by skirting the law. But you sure do know the ivory tower, it's your every aspiration. You fancy yourself the philosopher king, the grand leader of men.

After all the bitching about the dirty old Liberals and their crooked ways, the simple fact is that the Liberals set up the Gomery commission and at least made a show of accepting responsibility for their bad acts. You sir, you petulant shit, have made every effort to snow the people of this nation, stonewall committees, stall and evade inquiries into your own party's malfeasance. You have presided over a house of lies since you accepted the responsibility as leader of Her Majesty's government. You whined and kvetched and allowed your caucus to hurl base insults at Belinda Stronach when she crossed the floor. Yet you opened wide your arms and kissed Mr Emerson on his ample posterior when he did the same, rewarding him with a seat in your cabinet. That cabinet also populated by a man that you had to spring into the senate with a sleazy little maneuver that ran counter to your campaign of holier than thou, anti-patronage rhetoric. You fancy yourself tough on crime. Yet your party has engaged in electoral finance fraud and twisted and turned, contorted and lied making every effort to cover up your deeds and evade the law. You sued the leader of the opposition to silence him and now that he appears to have been correct in assessing your character, you've begged the court to quell your own suit. Quite the example.

And what is your solution to crime? The prison industrial complex north. Life for 14 year olds, longer terms, stiffer penalties. After all, look how well crime has been reduced down south using the very model you hope to import. But then preventing crime isn't really the issue, is it? It really comes down to plain old meanness. You don't give a tinkers damn about preventing crime, or resolving the social issues that cause crime. Nope. You just want to play the big tough guy and punish folks you look down upon. That's why we hear this bullshit line about the Liberals coddling prisoners from you and your twittering cohorts. Well I've gone through the gates of a federal pen to write a magazine article and there wasn't much of anything I'd characterize as coddling, most frightening place I've ever been. Where do you intend to put all of the thousands of your newly minted prisoners Steve? Who's going to staff and and train and service the new prisons your tough guy stance will require? Who gets to pay for all of that caged housing? Yeah, us ordinary folk. But the truth of it is that you get off on punishment Steve. It makes you feel strong and important and you like that feeling because there isn't much else going on in that sweater vest of yours. That's why you need to control every message and you lash out at scientists, artists, civil servants and anyone that you perceive to be weaker and worst of all, defiant. You like to lord it over those whom you can control, those people you like to berate and abuse, those actual, ordinary people. You're busily living out the little bit of power in your corruption.

"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people, you know, at a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough..."

Hey Steve, ever wonder who makes all the stuff on the TV? Still, that fucking top 1% of the arts community that have achieved a modicum of success by mastering their craft and bringing joy, laughter and entertainment to the country, how dare they celebrate their achievements. Have they no honour? Who do they think they are, trying to preserve funding for the larger arts community across the country?
Fucking artists.

Canadian heritage minister Bev Oda has been forced to cancel a fundraising dinner next week after it was revealed a key industry lobbyist was helping organize the event.

Chisolm Pothier, a spokesman for Oda, on Thursday confirmed that Charlotte Bell, the vp of regulatory affairs, TV and radio for domestic broadcaster CanWest MediaWorks, had been among five organizers of the Nov. 15 dinner.

Why, the very nerve of those snooty
elitists. Hey, here's some more of those gala gobbling, elitist bastards.

Americans living in Calgary are being asked to help fund Republican efforts to elect John McCain through the visit of an influential Republican senator who doubles as one of Mr. McCain's campaign co-chairs.

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is being invited to the city in August by a well-known Tory supporter and lawyer, Gerry Chipeur, who also has significant links to the U.S. Republican Party...

Possibly the best part is that the proceeds from the proposed $1000 a plate Brownback dinner will go to Friends of Science, Tim Ball's oil industry-funded anti-Kyoto "charity", whose funding was laundered through the University of Calgary by Harper's buddy, Prof. Barry Cooper, before the U of C put a stop to it.

Again, Mr Harper, you say one thing for one set of ears but you do an entirely different thing for your own glory. My friend Ron is a talented, dedicated guy who lives and breathes his craft. He's producing my new album. We've worked together for years and I know for a solid fact that he keeps working long after the bell goes and the hours paid are done because he wants things to sound good when they leave his hands. His clients get far more than their moneys worth. And like the vast majority of working artists he leads a modest existence. By every right he should qualify as one of your elites, except by the measure of compensation. Last year one of the records he produced and performed on was nominated for a Juno Award. That's one of those gala occasions you seem so troubled by. Ask Bev Oda what they're all about, she spent about $5,500 on limos at the Juno gala in 2006. Anyway, my friend Ron, he couldn't afford to go and join the festivities because it would have meant time off from the studio, travel and accommodation. That's the reality for the cultural elite you have chosen to flick your snot at, you over compensated lump.

Fuck you Mr Harper, fuck you and your think tank elite, fuck you and your ideological elite, fuck you and your party elite. On behalf of more than
616 thousand ordinary, working Canadians, fuck you.

The Conference Board estimates Canada's cultural sector generated $46-billion, or 3.8 per cent of Canada's GDP, in 2007. The sector's total impact including "indirect and induced effects" on other sectors leaves an economic footprint of $84.6-billion, or 7.4 per cent of GDP, the report states. Those revelations paint a picture of industry stability: Statistics Canada reported culture accounting for an identical 3.8 per cent of GDP in 2006.

The report put 2003 employment in the cultural sector at 616,000 jobs.


Mark Richard Francis said...

"The report put 2003 employment in the cultural sector at 616,000 jobs."

And Harper knows few vote for him, so he doesn't give a crap.

You're either with him, or against him.

True enough.

Prole said...

I love you when you're angry, PSA. Righteous rant.

Lindsay Stewart said...

you have a point there mark, but harper won't be very pleased if it turns out that he has mobilized those 616,000 to get out and vote against him. i know i'll be putting down my snifter and sullying the soles of my artsie elite shoes to stamp a ballot against him.

and back atcha prole. ;-)

Frank Frink said...

Most excellent, psa.

Frank Frink said...

In case anyone didn't click through to the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting link, please note the paragraph following the paragraph about the 2003 employment figure.

"Including direct and indirect contributions to employment, the report estimates that culture accounted for 1.1 million jobs in 2007."

Who knew Canada had so many "elite"?

Frank Frink said...

Oh yeah, lest we forget about 'elites' attending 'rich galas' that are 'subsidized' by the taxpayer'.

Leaves me with one last question. Since Phat Stephen hates the elites so, will John Baird be her escort that evening?

Anonymous said...

As to the prison industry, PSA, I've come to the conclusion that since the industry is so huge, and Harper and the other Cons are such big corporatists, one purpose of their fake "tough on crime" stance is to provide more product for the prison industry to feed on.

Wouldn't put it past these monsters for one second.

Niles said...

Yeah, here are more of those snooty elitists, with the presently ivory tower-dwelling pals of Harper in front of the gala.

Calgary, my cowtown

As for Harper's stance on crime. I heard an interesting comment about what engages voters of different ages. Crime 'control' appeals to the older, suburban voting population who are more afraid of what *might* happen to their security and pensions, while younger voters are interested in education and employment.

What demographic do you think Harper is trying to reach here? Our country is still 'small town' enough, when one violent death happens, it's a national story and we all participate in the grieving, even if for a second.

The national emotional bite of those events (and frankly, I'd rather have us grieve each time rather than become calloused about it) gives rise to a need to 'do something' to ease the grief

Too bad it's easy to play off in a caustic, cynical way, dismissing the 'ivory tower' elite criminologists because they dissent from the fearmongering. Someone is experimenting with the national psyche alright, considering us bugs under glass to get an A on the science project, but it's not the criminologists.

Beijing York said...

Fantastic rant PSA! Bravo!

I think Phyl is onto something on the prison industry front. It is a lucrative market in the US. I wouldn't put it past Harper to privatize our prisons under the ruse that the private sector is better suited to house all the new prisoners we'll have once he institutes all his "tough on crime" legislation.

As for his hatred of arts and culture, and his absolute disingenuous and manipulative actions on that front, I'll just post what I said elsewhere on this subject.

It's a myth that the "Tim Horton" crowd dislikes arts and culture. It's a myth that is being promoted by Harper based on lies.

The cuts he has made so far to Canadian Heritage and DFAIT (ProgArt) are industry oriented programs that help develop and strengthen cultural industry sectors, which are primarily made up of SMEs.

He has not made cuts to the Canada Council for the Arts who are responsible for administering grants to non-profit arts organizations and to individual artists at various stages of their career. These are the types of artists that Harper's retrograde supporters keep attacking in their posts and letters, conflating to very different methods of public support for arts and culture.

But rest assured, should Harper win this election, he will go after the smaller independent artists as well. He has already telegraphed his intentions by replacing Karen Kain with an investment banker to head the Canada Council.

I'm no psychic but I also believe that if he gets a majority, he will privatize the CBC and dismantle the CRTC. There will be less, if any, controls over foreign investment in the cultural industries and large media mergers. And the Canadian content system that is very much responsible for the development of a very successful Canadian recording industry and television industry will be thrown out the window.

JJ said...

Yay! Nice work, psa.

P. Drāno said...

Well said!

Canadian Hegemon said...

Loved it!
But, why would anyone possibly take heed of the advice coming from those in the Ivory Towers, when you can get the real goods from a grounded charitable organization like the Fraser Institute?

liberal supporter said...

Yo Harper is all for privatized prisons.

He's got Mike Harris' old correctional services minister (responsible for Ontario's failed private prison experiment) "reviewing" the federal system. Link

MK Piatkowski said...


After a day of fighting it out with conservative ignorance about the arts, it's nice to come here and see someone getting it. My industry deserves to survive and thrive, and these cuts are a devious way to deny both. Thanks for saying it.

cedar said...

i don't know if folks are interested, but there's a "Ordinary Canadians DO SUPPORT the Arts, Mr. Harper. You are dead wrong" facebook group here: grou...gid=41692823152

2,700 members, and climbing.

Frank Frink said...

Thanks, Cedar! Just joined and sending out invites.

Rev.Paperboy said...

damn, PSA, that's gonna leave a big bootmark on Steve's pants!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering. Is there much overlap between psa's noble "ordinary working Canadians" who Harper is screwing and CC's "ordinary Canadians", meaning those of you who are still such intellectual illiterates that you'll happily suck up the latest scientific idiocy that you're spoon fed, and who are mentally deficient to the point where you can still be cowed by spooky stories of nasty Islamojahidafarians and the like.?

I guess there is ordinary and there is ordinary, no?

CC said...

Peter, context. Context, Peter. I'm sure you two will have plenty to talk about.

cedar said...

Thanks, Frank! It's up over 4000 now.

I don't know that these Facebook groups actually *do* much, but maybe if enough bloggers mention it, the MSM will pick it up.

Post Girl said...

Well, all I can say is THANK YOU! On behalf of a young woman who studied the arts, who is surrounded by artists who struggle to make a living...goddamn I needed a good rant! :)