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Are People Shitty, Or Just Afraid? Does It Even Matter?

man doing dab position near beach

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I’ve been sitting here for several days, between trying to get work accomplished, continuing to educate my beautiful students, and being the parent that my children need.  Notice that I didn’t say “homeschool” my children, because I am not.  I do plenty of activities with them, play music and read and try to continue to enrich their lives as if we are just on an extended school break.  They are young, they will come out of this with fond memories of a time we slowed down enough to focus on each other, at least I hope so.

In between all of that, I have been purposefully changing my social media presence to simply include a brief account of what our lives are looking like during this piece of historical significance. I have also started purposefully avoiding getting into any more conversations about this pandemic, or the measures being taken, or the possible cures or anything politically related.

If there is one thing I enjoy under normal circumstances, it is a good debate or impassioned conversation with opposing viewpoints or opinions where two people can look at an issue from two very different sides and learn from one another and grow as humans.  I think that difficult conversations are important to be able to understand that there is not one thing in this world that is entirely black or white, and that almost always we all deserve a seat at the table.

These are not normal circumstances.  And I am no longer enjoying the debate.  In fact, at best some of these conversations are making me really sad, and at worst I am absolutely horrified and disappointed in some of the people that I know and love dearly and the things they are either saying or virtually applauding.

Look, I get it. This whole situation blows. Try being a fucking musician in times like these and see how worried you are about your employment prospects for the near future.  Other industries are on hold right now.  Everyone is anxious and exhausted and 100% not in control and that produces a fear response that a lot of times makes people do and say hurtful things.

For the record, COVID 19 is a super shit thing that the entire world is having to go through headfirst, blind, and pretty much with flailing arms.  We don’t have a radar screen to navigate by here, so most reasonable leaders are trying to use lessons from history to determine how best to sail through this storm.   It’s going to be messy, and imperfect, and expensive.  There will be much economic fall out from this and we are all going to have sacrifices to make.  

Ironically, people who have less are the ones who seem to be the most understanding of this.  The ones who have the most are so used to getting their own way and having access to all of their entitlements that they can’t fathom sacrificing one thing from their hoard of capitalistic treasures in order to create widespread benefit for the health and welfare of everyone else.  And really, this is what this pandemic is showing me.  That many of us are so selfish and tied to material things that we are willing to “sacrifice one old granny” rather than sit tight and ride out this storm with grace.

I’ve read the conspiracy theories and they are annoying, not fact based, and scientifically inaccurate.  People want to push through experimental treatments with total disregard for human safety.  They think it’s fine to just let hundreds of thousands of people die and allow millions suffer because it’s “less than 1% of the population” so far. They keep talking  about how the numbers are so low and we are all fools hell bent on their economic ruin.  Talking about how our children will have to pay the price for this.

I don’t know for sure, but I feel quite strongly that these are merely excuses because they are tired of being inconvenienced. They are worried about their current lifestyles being permanently affected. And in response to that fear,  some people have a put a price tag on the lives of the vulnerable and the elderly and poor. There is a line drawn in the sand about what has value and what does not, and there are so many people that I thought I knew who are on the wrong side of that line.

COVID 19 is not a socialist plot to fuck you over.  The financial aid being given out is not an irresponsible and frivolous act that will be the downfall of the country or world.  It is a much needed rainfall in an out of control blaze of fuckery and flame.

By the way, in 1918, communities that completely shut down in response to the pandemic social distancing recommendations had better economic outcomes and faster, steeper recoveries than the communities who ignored them.

I could go on and on in order to rebuke every ignorant and cruel comment I have seen lately but am I exhausted by the seemingly never ending dialogue of selfish, misinformed people who are slaves too busy worshiping their green paper gods to have any sense of what is right and good.  I am sure I will have to continue to bite my tongue and ignore this continued dickery once I post this article as I get bombarded with more hate messages and hurtful comments.

When this lockdown first started, I had a lot of hope.  Not hope that it would be quickly resolved, but hope that we would all be able to value this “Grand Pause” in our lives and see the meaningful things we are blessed with and for the first time in a long time, really appreciate them.  I thought that parents would see this as an opportunity to reconnect with their kids, and families to actually eat dinner together again and realize that the hamster wheel we’ve all been on for so long maybe was spinning beyond our control. I hoped that we would once again start to be able to distinguish the difference between want and need and realize that simpler lives may, well, simplify our existence.  Love, connection, health, peace….I thought those things might re-emerge.

And don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of beautiful people out there doing beautiful things,  among them the artists and young people and communities working together to support one another and brighten our days and reach out to help where needed.

But for many others…..there is an ugliness that is probably being inspired by fear and lack of control that is making them search for someone to be angry at, or an enemy to fight, or some other reason why none of this can be really happening. And I just don’t personally know what to do about that.  Probably nothing but just feel sad about it.

Anyway, Bitches, Stay well, stay safe.  Hold the fucking line.  See you all on the other side.

 

I can troll these bitches on Twitter all day but it is up to you to get rid of them in 2023

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Welcome to Manitoba, where provincial politics have degraded into an inability to make good decisions, have productive conversations or effectively represent anything other than individual interests of re-election.

Realistically, politics is often a dirty game between opposing sides of the aisle. Even when they are being polite to one another the venom is swirling and any opportunity to drag the other through mud will be pounced upon like a cat stalking a mouse. So what is so shockingly terrible about Manitoba’s provincial government right now?

Well, from my perspective and from my personal experience, the Conservatives in this province have turned a deaf ear to the very people they are supposed to be advocating for and representing. They refuse to communicate, respond or account to anyone who may ask questions about the issues that matter to them. The issues that directly affect them. A culture has been created where only those in agreement get a seat at the table, and those in public office actively block, ignore, screen out and silence those who are asking them to do their jobs- to represent the people who elected them in the first place.

For me, that means everyone gets a voice, and no matter how an MLA or any other representative feels about what is being said, they don’t get to effectively censor the dialogue because they are uncomfortable or unequipped to give appropriate answers. They aren’t the “Appropriation Police” who get to dismiss people because they have one hand on their pearls and their head in their ass while being either too incompetent to deal with being in the hot seat or too weak to take the stand that needs taking.

Personally, I’ve gone a few rounds with my MLA Audrey Gordon. I’ve since written her 3 emails asking for meetings to discuss everything from her public mocking of trans folk, supporting Springs Church and her position on the Premier’s words on Residential Schools. I have not even received an acknowledgement from her office that I exist.

After the fiasco with her church back in May, Audrey removed herself from Facebook, shut her office door and stopped answering her phone. Her assistant Jana regularly posts pictures of Audrey in gardening costumes and yellow pantsuits on community Facebook pages but turns off the commenting so that the only person who gets to have a say is Audrey. She effectively cut herself off from anyone whose voice is not in alignment with hers.

Andrewwhosew Smith recently blocked constituents for asking him to do more than post selfies and government bulletins and stand up for educators and Indigenous folks.

Heather Stefanson won’t even make room in her schedule for the Federal Health Minister.

Cliff Cullen won’t respond to repeated emails from school boards requesting a meeting regarding the massive upcoming changes to education.

Shall I go on?

NONE of this is ok.

We are a democracy, and democracy depends on everyone having a voice that is represented without bias by the people we elect to do so. Refusing to have conversations with anyone except your elite posse who are busily stroking you off is not democracy. Ramming through bills that affect all of us despite obvious monumental and bipartisan public opposition is not democratic. Allowing a Premier and Minister of Indigenous Relations to justify the cultural genocide of an entire nation of people and standing by them is not becoming of a democracy.

I don’t know what we can do. It’s so frustrating. I can troll a bitch on Twitter all day long but what good is it going to do unless we all make it our mission to get rid of these fucking assholes in 2023?

Seriously Bitches. The gloves are off. VOTE THEM OUT.

Luke Prokop’s announcement is bittersweet in some ways

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Over the past week I’ve seen so many posts supporting and talking about Luke Prokop, the Nashville hockey player who is the first ever active NHL player to come out as gay.

Like so many of you, I applaud and celebrate this man’s ability to live as himself authentically, and visibly, lending himself to those that haven’t yet found their voice. Role models that are representative are so, so important in all fields-sports, science, government, arts, education and the military.

This little voice inside me felt sad though, because the world is still in a place where someone’s sexual orientation is still a potential “scandal” that needs to be preempted, in fear of someone “finding out” your secret. We’re still there. Love is love, gays can legally get married, but we still need to announce to the world where we get our orgasms from.

There are still many people actively fighting against same sex unions, adoptions, roles as educators. Anything other than white picket fence, heterosexual missionary lovemaking is considered dirty. We have lawmakers and representatives refusing to acknowledge Pride events or to support efforts that afford the same human rights to all, based on archaic laws or fanatical religious excuses.

My heart is aching for a world where nobody needs to make an announcement about who is dicking who, or lack of dicking, or multi dicking in their bedrooms. I want to live in a world where when teenagers go on their first date there is no big “coming out” conversation with their families and they just introduce the human they have chosen to temporarily or permanently partner with to their parents and they go to a movie or dinner or whatever.

I want to live in a world where the Luke Prokops get to just play hockey and don’t spend their time worrying about who they love and how that affects their career. I want the Luke Prokops to simply show up with their boyfriends and not even make the news.

It’s really on us, the parents of this generation to simply talk about things like homosexuality, transgenderism, bisexuality, pansexuality in the same fashion we would heterosexuality. Making phrases like “John and his husband” or “John and their partner” as accepted and as regular and “John and his wife”.

I mean, I prefer dark haired men and big arms who make me laugh and tolerate my bullshit. But last time I checked I didn’t need to announce this to my employer or anyone else. What I keep in my bedside dresser is not something I have to share with anyone except who I share my bed with. My sexual activities don’t require an announcement, because I am in a heterosexual relationship.

I want us to get there. Where diversity and representation of EVERYONE simply exists, and nobody has to live in any sort of closet. I want us to live in a world where fear of being who you are and consequences of your personhood doesn’t exists, and love can actually be love no matter how different love looks like for all people.

In the meantime, I applaud all the Luke Prokops in the world for blazing the trail and helping us get there. Skate on, brother.

I’m not spending another year in my house because you are too scared to get vaccinated

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The other day I Tweeted this: I’m tired of trying to nicely “educate” folks about getting vaccinated. We’ve been trying for 6 months. Simple solution: Vaxxed folks can resume their lives, non-vaxxed stay home. How’s that for an incentive?

Now, most people caught the jist of what I was saying. I’ll acknowledge that it comes off a little huffy, but you know me. Straight to the point. A few had to get all fucking irritating about it so I thought I’d use my own forum to expand on my thoughts.

I get it, I really do. Everything about this year has been so fucking hard. Everyone has got their opinion about EVERYTHING. I’m not going to rehash all the conspiracy theories and bullshit and reasons everyone is out of their damn minds…but you know what? Even though I think a lot of people have gone completely batshit- I STILL think they are entitled to hold their opinions.

What I don’t believe we are entitled to do is to make choices based on those opinions that are detrimental or cause harm to others, especially when the consensus from the scientific and medical community directly contradicts your opinion. Science will win every damn time for me. And while science is not static and is constantly evolving as we learn more- it doesn’t mean we get to use our fears as an excuse to be assholes.

So when I say that people who are choosing not to be vaccinated should be the ones to stay home and isolate, I meant it. And as they rant and rave about their rights and ask me if I am from China or call me a Nazi-aren’t these the same folks who were telling us to stay home if we were afraid of Covid? Now THEY are the ones who afraid, but the suggestion that they stay home due to their fears and choices is so unfathomable?

I’m not suggesting we actively punish people for their opinions- Lord knows I’d probably be in the clink myself- but choices have consequences. Moral, economic, social. If you have access to the vaccine, and reliable information about the vaccine, and you are eligible, and your doctor agrees that it is right for you and yet don’t take it, you no longer need to be educated. You need to lie in the bed you’ve made for yourself. If you are medically fragile, or have a language barrier or a disability or are facing any other type of barrier to accessing the resources you need to get your questions answered this post is not about you.

Right now our hospitals and ICU’s are so full that we keep shipping folks out of province. And the people in there are not vaccinated people. Some communities have a 10% vaccine uptake. TEN PERCENT. They are getting sick. So if you are not getting vaccinated, YOU are the one breaking the system ( well…..after the PC government already did but that’s a whole other post). We are out of fucking resources. We have a duty to our community to all do our part to come out of this.

As a vaccinated person, I pose very low risk to the public. I followed every rule. I made every sacrifice.I don’t have a fetus growing out of my forehead or a third tit and Jesus didn’t strike me with lightning.I had a fever for a day as my immune system kicked in. So now, pardon the absolute FUCK out of me, but I think that as such I should have a few freedoms at this point, because it is unlikely that I will harm anyone or stress the health care system further. An unvaccinated person can’t say those things.

My point is that we need to go get fucking jabbed unless we want to ride a few more waves. Trust me they are on their way. I stand by the thought that if I have to choose between ALL of us living through another year of lockdowns and “adapting” and sacrificing, or those who are not doing what is right have to be the ones to remain in isolation until we reach enough immunity so that those who really are unable to get vaccinated are safe- LIKE MY CHILDREN, I choose them.

ONE THOUSAND PERCENT.

If you think that makes me a bad person, that’s a you problem, cause I don’t give a shit. I know that I did what was necessary to protect those that needed protecting. I know that I did everything that was asked of me and more….and even if that all turns out to be a giant crock of steaming shit, at least I TRIED.

While we are busy with Healthcare being in the toilet, some of Manitoba’s teachers just got dealt another cock shot

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While the Conservative government in Manitoba is self destructing with a catastrophic situation in Healthcare, people dying in transport due to a lack of space in critical care and MLA’s sharing laughs in Question Period over it, public health compliance scandals, transphobic jokes and basically just a complete misfire on every fucking end of the governance spectrum that you could possibly imagine……there is still a fire simmering that we shouldn’t forget about.

The education system in this province is struggling. After years of chronic underfunding, the events of the last 15 months and the dark cloud looming that is Bill 64, the complete and utter burnout of staff, students and parents is a heavier burden that we are capable of carrying for long.

We all have our opinions on whether or not schools should be in remote learning. I personally believe that this was the right call and should have happened way earlier, despite the challenges and near impossibility of being a working parent trying to facilitate my children’s education at home even with the monumental efforts of our teachers. These past few weeks have been burdensome. Teachers feeling like they need to live up to the same standards they normally would, feeling the criticism of the chaos of last spring freshly enough to drive them to go above and beyond what seems reasonable or achievable today. Parents needing structure for their kids but struggling to keep up with all of their duties and responsibilities. Wanting desperately to throw in the fucking towel and just NOT.

These are trying times, and I will tell you from my personal experience that I am pretty much over it. The only thing keeping me from refusing to do a single thing more in terms of printing assignments and threatening the kids’ relationship with electronics FOREVER so that they do their work, and taking pictures and submitting and fighting is literally the utmost respect that I have for my fellow educators and the amount that they care about our kids and trying to give them some stability in all of this.

And that respect and knowledge about how hard teachers work has me shaking my fucking head about how underappreciated teachers are in this world.

“THOSE WHO CAN”T DO, TEACH.”

It seems to me that those who teach literally DO EVERYTHING.

And so now comes the extra what the fuckey ……

Teachers in Winnipeg School Division today finally got a contract. They have been negotiating for FOUR YEARS. They are finally getting a nominal raise that will back payed for 4 years. But there’s catch:

In order to pay teachers (almost) what they’re worth, the school division will have to cut 120 permanent full time teaching positions. Seniority will not be a factor, it will be cutthroat decisions based on how valuable you are. So teachers with highly specialized skill sets may be safe, but anyone else is fair game for a lay off.

From a teacher in WSD: “ Everyone loves us when it comes to babysitting their kids so they can go to work, but no one actually wants to pay us” (what we’re worth)

In all of this we keep referring to these people as heroes, yet we give them the choice of accepting less than they deserve for literally ever, since the beginning of time, or watch a bunch of their hardworking hero colleagues lose their jobs??

So, the next time Pallister or Cullen or any of the rest of those fucking assholes gets up and starts talking about all of the investments they are making in education, and when you all get your education tax rebate cheques, remember it is founded in bullshit and what it is at the expense of. People losing their jobs. Your children losing educational resources. Your children’s relationship with their teachers as class sizes continue to grow.

This province needs to stop congratulating itself on a job never done and top sucking their own dick in the media about how awesome they are.

If this is Team Manitoba, the stands are empty, revenue is in the red and the coach needs firing. Fuck already.

Audrey Gordon has dug her deepest hole yet-who else isn’t surprised?

I hate to say “I told you so”, but I fucking told you so.

When I had my run in with Audrey Gordon last fall, I stupidly thought briefly that maybe I had gone in too hard. Maybe I should have given her the benefit of the doubt and approached her more passively rather than being aggressive and insistent on answers that she had no ability or intention of providing.

After watching her online interactions with others and avoidance of issues that matter in the community with a fake smile and a free ice cream cone for kids, I definitely feel zero remorse for going in hard and demanding accountability.

This weekend, Springs Church held some sort of graduation ceremony for their “college” (whatever the fuck kind of college that would be). It is rumored that Audrey Gordon was there, although I can’t confirm that. She is, however, a member of this organization that has repeatedly tried to find ways around the pandemic restrictions and is currently in court fighting against the rules. Is it not a direct conflict of interest for an MLA to be a member of an organization that is fighting against the very rules that she is telling her constituents to follow? How can she continue to condone this behaviour and justify it to herself? I believe that by not publicly speaking out against them, she is silently giving her permission.

At the moment, the two Facebook groups that she uses as platforms are discussing the issue. Most people are absolutely enraged by her refusal to respond to their questions either privately or publicly. Some are bellyaching about kindness and all sorts of toxic positivity bullshit that falls right in line with Springs Church and their self serving philosophies and in my opinion- they can fuck right off. If you are a public figure using a community forum for your professional purposes, then you should be required to respond to public issues on that page, rather then asking the admins to delete the threads or turn off the commenting.

And this brings us to the apparent hilarity of anti-trans jokes on those same forums. How can someone who is the Minister of Mental Health and Wellness not be aware that any joke that starts with “I IDENTIFY AS” is a direct but subtle dig mocking the very existence of trans folk? How can she not use her position to educate and address a comment like that, rather than laugh at it?

The answer as I see it is really that she IS aware, but that she doesn’t give a shit. It is quite literally her job to be aware of these types of things. So either she is incompetent or holds bigoted views against the LGBTQ2 community- either which would call for the resignation of her Health portfolio at the very least. Also, considering she came crying to her community for support when racist graffiti was painted on her photos ( appalling and not appropriate regardless of one’s personal feelings towards her) I can’t begin to understand how she doesn’t have empathy for one of the most marginalized groups with some of the highest risk factors for suicide and depression among any community.

Among all of this is an unwillingness to address the very real concerns being brought to her attention. In my experience with Audrey Gordon she works very hard to puff out her feathers while trying to diminish you, all the while screaming about respect and how wonderful she is and that swearing makes you a terrible person.

I’d argue that her silence is the most disrespectful language of all, and that laughing at harmful language directed at trans folk is probably a lot ore damaging than, for example….. telling someone who is a acting like a cunt that they are being a cunt….but that’s just me.

In the end, this latest fiasco is probably going to come back to haunt Audrey in the next election. People won’t forget, and most importantly, in the age of social media and screenshots- folks won’t let us forget how she behaved.

These times do try us, Dear Audrey. You will have a very hard time climbing out of this latest hole you have dug for yourself. Proverbial straw just met the camel’s back, I think.

Is body positivity just another branch of toxic beauty culture?

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The past 15 months have been epic. As in, epically difficult in so many ways.

So many pressures coming from every single angle, and the inability to really control or plan for anything because every single moment seems to be hanging on the edge of a knife, ready to fall or change or be sliced open.

It is exhausting to live in a perpetual state of wondering what tomorrow will bring when your choices are limited and you have no power over the decisions that affect your life.

For a woman, particularly a working mother, we are used to living in a world that calls on us to meet the expectations of everyone around us. Having to give a 100% in all of our roles lest we be judged by our bosses, our families, our fellow mothers and ourselves.

And now, with those expectations amplified with limited or no options for ways to recharge or take breaks or say no, I am feeling especially tired of any expectation of beauty standards or body image attacks or fashion or any of it really.

I have always been a huge advocate for body positivity, self-acceptance, fitness at any size, and ignoring stupidly unattainable goals that some dickhead decided was hot. And now I am questioning if even that is something we should give a shit about.

Why do I have to be beautiful to be worthy?

Why do I have to be skinny or fit or groomed, or feel like I should celebrate my stretch marks or surgical scars or any of it? Is body positivity just some other bullshit vanity marketing tool?

Why is beauty a PHYSICAL attribute? I mean, to begin with, what is beautiful to me visually is not beautiful to another person. Beauty rather might be better defined by personality traits like kindness, consideration, self sacrifice, love and generosity.

And in terms of the past 15 months of our lives, when there is so much pressure on us to be all of things without much time to consider for ourselves, why are women most specifically still worried about whether they are beautiful or not? I honestly don’t know who has time to fucking care right now.

Maybe I am just burnt out. Maybe I am lazy. Maybe I am lucky to be in a relationship with someone who sees ME, not just my appearance. Maybe I am throwing in the towel and going full Apocalypse Dom where no one cuts their hair and having a shower is a major accomplishment and fatness is a sign of stability and wealth rather than a shamed thing we try to hide.

Maybe Covid has worn me down and shown me that beauty standards are fucking bullshit and has taught me to re-establish my priorities. Maybe beauty never even really existed and women should finally feel like they don’t have to hurt themselves with dieting or over exercising or guilt about eating something delicious or spending their hard earned money on fake eyelashes and nails or hair dye.

Maybe I’ll change my mind. Who knows.

But honestly, right now….I am going to let my hair grow wild and my eyebrows go unplucked and I’ll wear nothing but leggings and comfortable shoes and promote things that celebrate the beauty that exists in humanity on the inside.

It’s nice to be “pretty”, but let’s promote beautiful humanity rather than a pretty picture.

Cliff Cullen should stop writing cheques with his mouth that he can’t cash

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The problem with making bold statements is that at some point you’re going to have to cash the cheque that your mouth writes. In Manitoba, it feels a lot like the cheques being written by our leaders are bouncing.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling rather frustrated by the inability of political representatives to answer direct questions posed by media, constituents in formal emails or informal online forums. There is a lot of redirecting and deflecting going on, and ridiculously, blocking.

As elected representatives there is a responsibility to the public for transparency and honesty and neither of these things seem to be in the playbook written by Coach Pally and his team.

My specific experience has been one of hostility and buck passing, and of late, lack of ANY response- not even the stock, party written answers that are a waste of my good time and efforts.

I have to say that it sort feels as though the plan is to just pass off each inquiry rather than answer it, and force someone to repeatedly contact their representatives with honest questions about many concerning actions of this government in a time of unprecedented uncertainty- until we are gaslighted into believing that we are just being bothersome.

Personally, I don’t care if they are annoyed by me. I am as relentless as a dog with a bone. As a citizen who cares about her community and the well being of everyone, I will continue to be relentless in my inquiries until someone-ANYONE- in this government is able to be accountable to me for the words coming out of their mouths and the claims they are making.

At the moment, in light of Bill 64 and all of the abominable commentary by the Minister of Education in his recent guest column in the Winnipeg Sun, I am trying to figure out how this government can insist that they have reduced poverty rates in this province in the last four years by 25%. I want to understand how this was measured, what factors were considered and how they studied the varaibles. And IF (big if) this statement is true, how was it achieved? Wouldn’t the government be so proud of this amazing work that they would want to share their programs and policies with other provinces so that they would be able to achieve the same results?

I have many doubts about truth of this matter. I figure that if this statistic is not made up, the information to prove it and back it up would be readily available.

I have reached out several times to the Minister of Education by email. I wrote him directly, and also to my local MLA, who promised to forward my concerns and request information be sent to me. No response.

I phoned Minister Cullen’s office and provided my contact information. No response.

I was informed by a friend that she had been redirected to the Minister of Families to request this same information. I will not hold my breath for a response, but here is my letter to Minister Squires. If you are so inspired, feel free to copy and paste the text of the inquiry and initiate your own contact. They can’t ignore all of us, can they?

Good Morning,
Thank you for taking my call this morning.  
To follow up, I am requesting information regarding the claims of a 25% reduction in the poverty rate in the Province of Manitoba. Specifically, I would like to receive the studies/peer reviewed research indicating this change in poverty statistics. Ideally, I’d like to understand what outcomes were measured, in what populations, who performed the research and what the study designs were.
One would assume that a 25% reduction in poverty would translate to a significant and observed impact in local communities in terms of income level, employment rates (specific to the impoverished communities), access to resources, reduced use of food banks or shelters, improvement of health, and drastically improved educational outcomes. 
In addition, I would like to be sent information about how these outcomes were achieved, specifically what programs were developed and implemented/introduced.  A 25% reduction in child poverty is substantial achievement, and I would think the strategies used to get there should be shared with all who have a vested interest in helping those in need. 
I look forward to hearing back, and would be open to scheduling a meeting to further discuss the subject.”

Dear Manitoba, start enforcing restrictions or STFU

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Fuck restrictions.

Honestly. Closing retail spaces and restaurants and gyms again isn’t going to do anything further unless a few other things happen.

  1. Close the borders for real. Redefine what essential is and make sure that you monitor it. Yes, the variants are already here but adding new sources of infection is just plain dumb.
  2. Go to remote learning, at least for high school. Stop allowing team sports to practice. This is one of the fastest growing age groups spreading infection, and the data showing limited spread in schools no longer applies as variants are changing the game.
  3. Vaccinate everyone who works in a manufacturing or factory setting. These people are essential to supply chains and work in small, poorly ventilated environments and have a high proportion of new Canadians or folks living in multi-generational homes. This immediately makes close contact numbers high, exposes those more vulnerable, and continues to put at risk those that have no other alternatives for income, no sick benefits and do not have the option of working from home.
  4. Mandate anyone who is able to work from home to WORK.FROM.HOME.
  5. Vaccinate teachers.
  6. Vaccinate bus drivers and taxi drivers.

And here’s the big one:

It really does not matter one bit what restrictions you impose if people refuse to follow the rules. Increasing the restriction levels does nothing but further punish those who are already doing their best: wearing masks, limiting contacts, only seeing people outside their household outdoors, limiting non-essential activities. The people who aren’t doing this and are organizing anti-mask rallies, or spreading mis-information online, having personal gatherings, and basically anything else to effectively thumb their fucking noses at public health officers will continue to do so no matter what rule you make.

They are LAUGHING at you.

To be honest, we all are. You sound like a bunch of idiots. Nobody trusts that you know what you are doing or are prepared to actually back up these rules.

Until this government gets out there and actually enforces the rules they are making, not one of these anti mask “BUTMYRIGHTS” wads from a rancid dickhole is going to give a shit.

As we speak, there is an anti mask rally happening at the Forks. No cops, no bylaw officers in sight. Not one ticket being handed out, not one arrest being made. THEY.ARE.LAUGHING.AT.YOU.

If the Manitoba government wants people to take their Covid actions seriously, they need to get serious about them. Ticket every fucker who breaks the rules. They don’t pay the ticket? They can sit in jail until the 14 day quarantine period is over.

And I don’t want to hear anymore about how they are worried about people lying to contract tracers for fear of being fined. They are lying ANYWAY. If you had your shit together, you could easily investigate this.

Get your shit together, Manitoba. Or we are about to be Ontario, Part Deux.

On the subject of appropriateness and other bullshit

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I read something this morning that hit the nail on its fucking head.

https://bcmj.org/presidents-comment/nature-being-professional

Basically, this doctor in British Columbia talks about how we have these standards of “professionalism” and “appropriateness” and I swear to fucking god this man nailed it so hard.

I’m not a doctor, obviously, I am a teacher. A parent.

Both of these titles comes with this list of expected and accepted behaviours that people like to hold over your head not because they mean anything, but because it makes them feel better about themselves if they can have some criteria to judge you by.

“Teachers don’t get frustrated. They don’t get angry. They are always calm and patient and never swear. They engage in professional, arms length relationships with their students and their families. They don’t share personal experiences or stories. They don’t reveal personal details about faith or family or belief systems.”

“Parents have endless supplies of energy and selflessness and love. We shouldn’t yell, or consider ourselves. We are capable of knowing when library day is and whose laundry basket is full. We keep track of what time is swimming lessons and soccer practice and what day are we meeting friends at the park and who needs a new jacket and did you brush your teeth today and we’re almost out of ketchup. Our energy is endless and we take the time not to discipline our children but just have meaningful conversations with them and it’s ALL FINE ALL THE TIME HERE IS A NICELY EDITED PHOTO FPR SOCIAL MEDIA.”

It’s all fucking bullshit. They are impossible standards that are built on a mountain of lies we tell ourselves that do nothing but hide the truth about our personhood and all the beautifully real and messy thing that go along with being human.

Here’s the thing. The second you stop pretending that you need to live up to any of these standards is beyond liberating.

I literally break every rule, every fucking day.

Like Dr. Chow in the above article, I refuse to live behind a set of barriers between myself and my students and my children. I wear leggings and messy buns. I share my struggles and successes as a musician and a parent. I ask about their day and their feelings and I actually listen to them. I give them a safe place to fall without judgement.I say fuck in front of my kids and in the company of adults. I fuck up and get mad and take ownership of myself and say I’m sorry. I tell the truth about who I am every single day and in return, people feel like they can tell me the truth about who they are.

And while I may not be everyone’s favourite flavour at the ice cream shop, at least you know I’m not full of shit. Professionalism? No thanks. Realism? Yes please!

In return I feel an enormous sense of community around me. When my mom died two years ago, my students’ families took care of me, because I at some point had taken care of them. They fed me and cried with me and took care of my kids. When my dog died and my students came for their lessons, they hugged me and forgave me for being the worst teacher ever that week. When my students became teenagers and they needed an adult to be on their side when they made bad decisions and to give them advice, I was there. When they were hurt and needed help, they asked me. When my families were struggling as units, they shared their hardships with me and I loved them anyway.

When I was a terrible parent and was exhausted and shitty to my kids, the other moms reassured me. When I couldn’t find a solution they offered advice. They didn’t judge me. When they saw me failing or bitching or asking for help, they shared their own problems and complained in solidarity. We supported each other.

And honestly, I think being real and transparent and sincere is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and each other.

Personally, I don’t give a fuck about the details, as long as you own yourself. Being real and authentic can’t live in the same house as “appropriateness”.

And yes, I get it- there are obviously situations where we respect the boundaries and limitations of others. That’s a given. I’m just saying you can’t exist authentically in a bubble blown up on the expectations of others without being in fear of it popping all the time.

BE MESSY. BE HONEST.

A rage post dedicated to Brian Pallister

You know, I have been trying to write these nicely balanced articles full of good points that are blunt without hearing about the language I use, but I am pretty much over that today.

This is a rage piece, so if you aren’t here for that, I won’t take it personally. If you are a pearl clutcher, know that I will continue to use grown up words in a grown up place and you can either put on your big girl panties or complain about it to someone who isn’t me.

Manitoba is fucking bullshit right now.

I am so sick and tired of a government that is so clearly gaslighting people and vote pandering with their “keeping our promises” posts and throwing out some seemingly really terrific bones that seem to always come with conditions that end up bending you over and assaulting your back door.

It wouldn’t feel half as insulting or half as terrible if Brian Pallister would just seriously shut the FUCK up. Every time that guy opens his smug, arrogant mouth, teachers and health care workers everywhere both alive and dead collectively vomit into their own mouths or roll over twice in their graves asking Jesus to just rain down Armageddon already.

Look Brian. I get it. It’s been a real shit time to be in charge of anything. Someone is always going to be pissed off at you. But right now, TODAY, even the people who fucking like you think you are an absolute piece of shit.

Exhibit A: Today a reporter asked you “Does it bother you that teachers have to pay out of their own pockets for supplies?”

To which you replied “It doesn’t bother me at all…..I’ve watched teachers invest their own money out of their own pocket for decades now and I just think this is a good fair incentive to encourage other teachers to do the same.”

Once I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I wondered if you had ANY idea how enraged people- not just teachers- were going to be about those words?

And really, the answer is zero. You are so fully out of touch with the people of this province and such an arrogant fool that you couldn’t even muster up the foresight to imagine how ignorant this statement was.

Your government claims it will be investing record funding into education with this budget, and yet not two months ago a 1.6% cut was announced, which is forcing school divisions to slash their budgets. This will not only leave them chronically understaffed, but programs that provide the little bit of equity that is attainable like milk programs are on the chopping block. Teachers have been in contract negotiations since 2018, and I would bet my ass that Bill 64 will undermine the collective bargaining abilities from divisions once they cease to exist. Education support staff are heroes that are having their wages frozen while you and your gang will enjoy an increase that is retroactive to April 2020.

NO. Teachers should not be paying for classroom supplies out of their own pockets. If they do, I think the rebate you meant to offer is 100% reimbursement, not 15% of up to 1000$. It is a public system. They are not private contractors. Offering a tax refund so you have yet another reason to underfund the system is a dick move and you know that. And just because it has been happening for decades doesn’t make it right. It continues to create more inequity in the system.

There is so much contradiction in everything you do and say. You continually fuck things up and then act like a dick about it in press conferences to deflect from your deficiencies as a leader. You love to call people by their first names while we must address you by your title, MR. PREMIER, in order to try and diminish their status or credibility and don’t think for one second it doesn’t go unnoticed.

The last time a Conservative government treated healthcare workers and teachers like absolute shit it was the beginning of their own demise. 17 years of NDP governance followed-because that’s how long it took to people to forget.

We have two years until the next election cycle, Brian, and trust me, we won’t forget. Your legacy will ultimately be the downfall of you own party and you will be nothing but a series of bitchy memes people use to make fun of terrible leaders.

PS: take a warm bath and have a fucking drink or something. You always look like you just got electrocuted.

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