Not all Canadians are clowns

Last week the WordPress community went berserk and a well-known Canadian blogger’s site imploded, taken down by another blogger under accusations of e-harassment. As usual I was late to the party and didn’t have a clue about what had happened until sometime after. I was a follower of Le Clown, albeit a half-hearted one, having hit the “follow” button as a gesture of reciprocity, only to decide later that his posts lacked a certain…kindness that I look for in a blog, whether it’s about beer, parenting, or whatever. And while I checked in with his blog occasionally, I had no sense of the WordPress politics brewing—and honestly, still don’t. I’m just a bear, and while I feel ardently that cyberbullying is not okay, I wasn’t following this blow-up and I don’t feel justified commenting on it.

What I must do, however, is redeem Canada for you, my fellow inebriates. Not all Canadian are clowns, and Canada has a lot going for it.

Case in point: Look at all the bears we have.

Bear collageLike, OMG, right?

And never mind bears. Look at all the beers up here.

Picture: Edmonton Journal

And then look at how nice Canadians are. No, really, my fellow inebriates. We actually don’t mind lining up. And our national pastime? Apologizing. Okay, sometimes we show off a little bit about health care, but then we apologize and tell you how long we had to line up for it. Right?

Is it freaking cold? Yes, it’s minus 4 at LBHQ, but that’s Celsius, so no biggie. If you haven’t tried Celsius, you might like it. Everything counts by tens, which is really great when you’re drunk, but not much good when you have two paws instead of ten fingers.

I will admit, we have Rob Ford, douchebag extraordinaire (but gift to comedians).

stephen-harper-beer

And PM Stephen Harper, who poses with cats just to get you to like him. He poses with beer just to get me to like him!

My parents say that if I can corral one of our cat-sized silverfish in the bathroom, they will pay the shipping to send it to Stephen Harper as a pet.

My parents say that if I can corral one of our cat-sized silverfish in the bathroom, they will pay the shipping to send it to Stephen Harper as a pet.

But still. There are some cool things here. Did you know that Alberta has a UFO landing pad? The Ministry of National Defense inaugurated it in 1967.

UFO landing pad

kirk-vs-gorn

And the Shat? He came from here!

So did the Bloody Caesar… 😉

Okay, fine, Canada did give the world Justin Bieber, but we also pour a lot of SLEEMAN HONEY BROWN LAGER

What do you guys think about Canada?

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STARK RAVING RED—Warranted for four reasons

In the bathtub this morning: the most massive silverfish ever witnessed at LBHQ.

Only slightly larger than this morning's silverfish. More cuddly? Only Stephen Harper knows.

A well-known screenwriting technique for making a character more likable is “SAVE THE CAT.” Early in the story, the character rescues something—maybe a cat. Maybe Stephen Harper rescued this cat from a tailings pond. Maybe?

I wanted to put it in a cat carrier and send it to Stephen Harper as a pet, but instead my mother took a shower with it. So immense and robust was the silverfish, she reported, that it would not be nudged by mere water down the drain. Instead it filibustered by the hole until she aimed the showerhead right at it.

Now, ordinarily I would prefer not to have a play-by-play of any of my mother’s nude activities. But I like to monitor our silverfish situation—for a while, you may recall, I thought Fluffy Bear was summoning the creatures from some nearby Hell Mouth. He seemed to be marshalling them for some sort of arthropodic assault, an insect-amplified grief cry for our deceased Granny, whose bear he was before he came to live with us.

But then my dad sprinkled some white powder (instructing me not to even think about snorting it) around the baseboards, and the silverfish disappeared. For the most part. Those that survived his poisoning emerged larger, stronger, and more apt to wrestle you in the shower.

I think you’ll agree, my fellow inebriates, that the foregoing ramble warrants wine on at least four counts:

  • Encountering a silverfish the size of a cat is traumatic.
  • The mere notion of my mother in the shower is doubly so.
  • Should Fluffy choose to summon armies of silverfish again, they will be formidable.
  • Stephen Harper is still the prime minister of Canada.

stark raving red with LBKnowing that Stephen Harper probably wouldn’t think to reward us with, say, a bottle from the cellar at 24 Sussex Drive, I don’t feel so bad about failing to wrangle him a creepy new pet. Nor do I feel bad about busting the screwtop off a bottle of STARK RAVING RED. A big, jammy blend of Tannat, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet, and Petit Syrah, STARK RAVING RED is gonzo with plums and cherries, filling the mouth with sweet, somewhat cloyingly boozy fruit. It’s not disciplined in the least, MFI, it’s in-your-face, as bold as a silverfish on steroids, but without scales or antennae. I liked it even though there wasn’t a chance of taming it, decanter or not.

Would I send a bottle to Stephen Harper? Not on your life. He probably drinks $100 wine every night. Nope…if I ever send him anything, it’ll be a cat-sized silverfish, and he can stroke it.

stephen harper with silverfish copy

Liquidity support? Support these liquids, Harper

My Fellow Inebriates,

CBC reported today that during the recession Canadian banks received $114 billion in bail-out money.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper using a kitten to elicit your empathy—the way I'll get page views by tagging this post "cute pictures of kittens."

Of course we don’t call it “bail-out money” in Canada. We call it “liquidity support,” and it amounted to $3,400 for every man, woman, and child in Canada. Whereas 436 U.S. banks went under during the recession, liquidity support kept all of Canada’s lending institutions out of the shit, supplying—at times—more than 150% of those institutions’ worth.

Getting to the bottom of these numbers will take more than the efforts of a drunken bear.

Despite applications for full disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, the Bank of Canada refuses to release its accounting. Details of today’s report came from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which publicly released data on a U.S. program into which Canadian banks had dipped (in addition to taking their Canadian handout)—Canadian banks that ultimately posted combined profits of $27 billion when all was said and done.

Gimme that beer.

Meanwhile, little knowing how far underwater Canadian banks had sunk, we all continued to pay usurious credit card interest, got bilked on monthly “service” charges at institutions where the so-called services had long since been fully automated, saw the removal of services in return for said service charges, endured who knows how many dinner-time insurance sales calls, and—for the privilege of taking out a mortgage with one of these stable lenders—ponied up $20K in insurance money to insure not our risk but the bank’s. Oh yeah.

If the kids asked what a “bank” was we’d say it was a place to save money—a place where your money is safer than it would be under the mattress. Canadians often crow about the safety of their banking, but as it turns out, we pay dearly for that security.

So to you, Stephen Harper, with your selectively socialist impulse, bite me. I want my $3,400 back. I have a bar to stock, and you’ll be getting my shopping list.

Lucky me, I have a conservative MP to whom I can address my concerns.