Well, it's that time of year again. Peace on Earth — or what's left of it; Earth that is, peace has already been completely shot to hell — and goodwill toward... oh, what the heck. What say we just get right down to it and cut the charade, Nick. Okay?
As usual, I'm not really askin' for anything for myself. I feel unusually blessed and short of you having the magic to turn all the food I really love into health food, well, you can use that space in your sack for some of these other things.
I'd like you to bring a little outrage along for pretty well every Canadian. My, we are a complacent bunch.
In the past couple of weeks, we've watched our as our Supreme Leader has been proven to be a knowing liar — that would be the fiasco surrounding the country's "procurement procedure" for the F-35 fighter jet — and someone who, caught in the lie, simply guts the fundamental principles and institutions of Parliament to cover it up.
And then, of course, there's the sycophantic pandering to China, Alberta's and the Conservative's last, best, albeit sinking, hope of propping up the overextended bitumen bidniz. I'm sure we'll all be happy learning Mandarin and moving back into the Middle Ages.
But there's every indication even this wholesale sellout of the country — on top of the already too familiar list of grievances ranging from environmental malevolence, to election rigging, to gagging scientists when their findings fail to square with the Harpocritical agenda — isn't going to be enough to light a fire under mindlessly complacent Canadians pining away for hockey. Today's top story in the country's putative national newspaper, the story more people are following and emailing to their friends, is about a damn pet monkey wearing a swish coat and shopping at Ikea, a store, ironically, I've often likened to a jungle.
So please, Santa, a little outrage. A little backbone. A little perspective.
And while we're on the subject, I know only too well what a struggle print journalism is going through these days. But could you possibly do something, anything, for that national newspaper. It's bad enough the Globe & Mail has started charging $20 a month for access to their online paper — a price I'm not willing to pay and, no, I'm not asking for a subscription — but really, have you looked at it lately. Criminy, it looks like freakin' Cosmopolitan or something. Everything's all "5 TV Shows to Fall Asleep to Tonight," or "10 Stock Picks Sure to Tank," or "12 Christmas Gifts Your Pet Needs." Jeez, Santa, for that drivel they'd have to pay me.
Several gifts please, Santa, that fall under the umbrella of the Milk of Human Kindness.
First off, could you maybe go all Dickens on some of the executives at Walmart and the Gap and other big money retailers and show them what a bleak outlook the ghost of Christmas Future might have in store for them? Their only goal in life seems to be to bring the cheapest merchandise to their shoppers. Problem is, they don't seem to care about who gets hurt in the process.
I mean, they refused to go along with a plan that might have added one half of one per cent to the cost of their clothing lines in exchange for making the sweatshops in Bangladesh and Pakistan a little safer. I know, I know, they're only brown people in third-world countries and therefore expendable, but really, do we have to set them on fire just to be able to afford to look good for the Holidays? I'm pretty sure their families needed the $36 a month they made. 'Preciate it if you'd do your best on this one, old boy.
And perhaps you could toss an extra lump or two of coal into the sack for those Manitoba corporate farmers who think the best way to tenderize pork is to put the boots to 'em while they're still alive, albeit, living a pretty crappy life.
It'd be nice too if you could bring a little understanding to the social media vigilantes who want to go eye-for-an-eye on those sophomoric Aussie DJ's who pretended to be Liz and Chuck last week. Sure, it was a banal prank, not too elevated from the ones we used to pull when we were kids — You got Prince Albert in the can? — but who in the world could have imagined someone would die over it?
Perhaps more to the point, Santa, is there anything you've got kickin' around the North Pole that might bring a little enlightenment to the kinds of cultures who confuse the concept of honour with the need to kill one's self just because you got tricked by a phone call? Ironic how they're the same cultures who find honour in burning, disfiguring and tossing acid at their women to defend the family's honour. Is that perverse or is it just me?
And closer to home, because after all, charity begins at home, could you please, please make the whole banning plastic bags thing go away. Just when I thought it had officially become the non-issue it should be, it pops up again like a Whac-a-Mole.
This time, it was some high school students who collared the mayor in, perhaps a moment of weakness on her part. Instead of saying something like, "If you really want to do something good for the planet and our happy mountain home, which, by the way, depends on snow for its livelihood, you might start by taking the bus to school instead of having your parents drive you," or words to that effect.
Fact is, Santa, we use a bazillion plastic bags. We use them in every, single garbage and refuse container in town. We use them to pick up dog poop, assuming we pick up dog poop. And some of us — and more importantly, some of our guests, the ones who foot the bill for our lifestyles — use them when they buy groceries and gifts. With the grocery stores doing a great job of steering people away from plastic bags, I can't fathom why we want to go all Rambo and ban them.
And finally, Santa, please give our elected council folk and mayor the extra strength they need to begin to tackle the really hard jobs coming up. They've done a great job of fixing some of the easier things, but stuff coming down the road is going to be a lot harder, as evidenced by the shameful reasoning behind ramping up user fees at Meadow Park. Let's see, usage — and therefore revenue — going down, staffing costs going up. What's wrong with this picture?
Thanks, Santa. The cookies and eggnog will be in the usual place. You know where the brandy is.
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