Celebrating holidays without important people in your life is a tough thing. This is the fourth Easter that has come along since losing my mom in 2019 and if I am being really honest, I only really remember one other of them. Oddly enough it was the 2020 holiday that sticks out in my mind because we were in full lockdown, unsure of what the future held due to a new pathogen circulating the globe. I remember it because I spent the afternoon walking through the urban forest with my dad, a rare time we’ve spent alone just chatting about nothing much of consequence that I wish was much more frequent.
Easter for us Christians is supposed to be a time of rejoicing and reflecting. We are celebrating an omnipotous love that is rooted is ultimate sacrifice. Someone who supposedly died for us so that we might not have to suffer. Someone willing to endure great pain and sadness in our stead. Someone who loved us more than we deserved and more than we will ever truly understand.
For some Easter is simply a secular holiday where we get an extra break from work and celebrate family with goodies and treats and laughter.
Either way, I sometimes wonder if we are worthy of any of it. Over the past few years, I have seen people claiming to have the deepest understanding of their faith and acting as if they know the rules and the advice and the love of God better than most. They study and go to big churches and tithe and toss their beliefs in your face every chance they get. They accumulate wealth but begrudge anyone asking for help. They are unwilling to make any sacrifice of their own interests or desires for their fellow human, putting themselves above everything else. How are we so good at constantly failing each other? How easy it is to forget what started it all- a love beyond all comprehension that serves as the example of the lives we are to lead.
And so today, I think about my dear mum, who suffered so horribly with chronic pain and trauma for so long and how even so she tried incredibly hard to make this world a better place for everyone around her. I think about how she deflected her pain by diffusing the pain of others. She fed and clothed people. She made them feel special. She never let anyone feel lonely. She helped anyone who asked her. She loved all creatures great and small and showed compassion to every living thing. I mean sometimes she was so fucking crazy bu she truly exemplified the idea that faith without works doesn’t count. You can quote a million Bible passages but if you don’t sincerely act on them, what is the point?
This week I remembered her and her exemplary faith with little acts. I took in a sad dog even thought we don’t really have time, money or space for her. I invited an older gentleman to move ahead of me in a very long line as he struggled with his cane. I chatted with a lonely stranger. I mended fences with someone because we all deserve second chances.
And today, while getting ready for a holiday dinner tonight, I couldn’t find any dill for a glaze. But underneath something else, I found a bunch of dried rosemary in the fridge. My mom fucking loved rosemary. It was her favourite herb.
It’s stupid, but I felt her with me just then. It made me miss her, but it also made her feel closer.It reminded me that we can be better and do better with little things. That is what love is.
I’ve written here and there about my unhealthy relationship with food and body image. It has taken me a really, really long time to convince myself that I am lovable, sexy, worthy, and beautiful as much at a size 16 as I am at a size 8. And over the years, my body has fluctuated significantly, although it seems to be the most happy and stable around a 12-14, with a good balance between fitness, overall health, and eating intuitively while not depriving or restricting myself.
I have to admit though, that despite mostly being ok with what I see in the mirror, the world fucking triggers me a whole lot. Despite efforts by some major retailers to just make clothes and offer them to women of all shapes and sizes (thank you Old Navy), allowing women to make their own choices about what they fell good putting on their body, there is still this common separation in most clothing stores between “regular” sizing and “plus” sizing.
I can’t even begin to describe how much this gets on my tits. What the actual fuck is the point of that? Why do we have to make this distinction where you have to cross the aisle because your ass isn’t quite aerobicized enough to fit into those pants in the “normal” section? Why do we need to make a big deal out of this and imply that there are acceptable body types and unacceptable body types? Why do we have to make it a thing?
And by the fucking way, just because someone is shaped differently or is physically larger than another human, it doesn’t mean they want to wear nothing but loud, horrid prints that look like someone was birthed by a lava lamp on mushrooms. Like fuck, ample girls like solid colours and stripes too you fucking assholes.
It just feels like a walk of shame to go to that small section in the back, full of shirts that were made from grandma’s curtains or unflattering elasticized materials, and the assumption that anyone with an ass needs to cover it with a goddamn skirt for a bathing suit bottom. Why can’t all women wear the same leggings or jeans or dresses, they literally just increase the measurements for each size? Stop making this some ridiculous division that after a certain waist measurement you need special consideration. Some girls just need you to make the pants in their fucking size.
Now as someone who rides a very fine line between “normal” and “plus”- I am small, but round, tight but with enough jiggle to drive most of you fucking wild– I don’t need to worry that somehow my fine self isn’t as normal as a tall lanky amazon. That is just plain dumb. There are different body types and sizes because people simply store energy (fat) differently and some metabolisms burn that shit off easier than others. Some people like to eat stuff. Some people like to move more. Some people would rather read a book and drink a margarita on Sundays than go for a long run in the park. SOME OF US like both but don’t want to feel guilty about either choice.
All I’m saying is that people need to stop caring about the size of other people’s bodies and making decisions about clothing or anything else for them. Make clothes accessible for everyone. Continue to use models with real bodies to promote self acceptance and provide young people with reasonable pictures of what adult bodies look like. Allow us to feel good when we are in a store, not embarrassed because of what aisle we shop in.
And Jesus FUCK stop with the ugly prints. We don’t need to hide behind anything, and we don’t need to look like an acid flashback.
On March 15, Manitoba will follow countless countries and other jurisdictions and remove the last of any public health restrictions that have been in place on and off over the last two years. Everything will now be about personal risk tolerance and choice. There are no more rules, only recommendations. (hint hint freedom trucker fuckers, time to pack in your upside down flags)
Personally, I feel really conflicted about it. I am exhausted by all the back and forth on public health orders and the inability to plan anything with any certainty. I am exhausted by all the debating and double checking of rules and worrying about germs. I am exhausted by the disappointment I have felt in so many people and circumstances over the last two years. This part of me welcomes the return to normal life, even if deep down it feels like so many things are being swept under the rug while the elephant stays firmly planted in his spot in the corner of the room.
We aren’t privy to all of the factors that go into decision making, and while that feels like a deliberate lack of transparency, giving us laymen full access to data we don’t understand and don’t have the skills or education necessary to interpret appropriately, or to even know which questions need to be asked has proved to be a very dangerous thing.
My biggest concerns surround the lack of healthcare resources for anything that isn’t Covid related and the still unknown long term effects of having contracted the virus. Pushing our province into an endemic stage when I’m not sure we really are there (and who knows because all meaningful data collection methods have all but ceased) feels very risky considering the state of our health care system. We are one task force away form an utter disaster of further crisis due to delayed procedures and diagnostics.
All of that aside, where the fuck do we go from here? I am not talking politically or systemically, because that has been a total clusterfuck of idiocy and polarizing bullshit in Manitoba and everywhere else. I am talking about our relationships with others.
I don’t know about you, but living through a pandemic has changed me. It has caused me to re-evaluate many relationships and a lot of them have suffered. Some of them severed completely, fucked beyond all repair. Maybe they were selfish fucking assholes. Maybe I was a hysterical overthinking freak. Maybe we were all just enduring a traumatic experience and clung to different things. I don’t know. But I do know that it has made me way less tolerant of some behaviours and I have made conscious decisions about who I will expend my emotional energy on and who I will not.
So what do we do now?
Do we go about trying to fix things that were broken? Do we try and repair our lives and move forward as if nothing has happened? Do I re-kindle friendships with people who I ethically or morally disagree with?
In a lot of cases that is a hard fucking no for me. It doesn’t mean that people can’t have different opinions. It doesn’t mean that we can’t believe there are different solutions or approaches to the same problems. It doesn’t even mean that our politics have to agree for us to be friends. Dialogue and discourse are normal and needed. I just can’t spend all of my energy trying to convince someone to be a nice human who sometimes puts the welfare of others before themselves. I can’t pull you out of rabbit holes and I certainly will not follow you into them. I won’t have a conversation with you if you are trying to decree if others have a right to exist because of their race, gender,or sexual orientation. There are a lot of circumstances that will begin and end with a “kindly fuck off” and I feel pretty ok about that. I won’t tolerate your bullshit anymore than you should tolerate mine.
So, for me, there are things worth fighting for and things that are not. If I have learned anything over the last two years; energy, both physical and emotional is finite. If I worked with you 10 years ago and haven’t had an in person conversation since and you are spewing idiotic crap on social media that bothers me, I am letting you go. If I have an actual relationships with you and disagree on some things, I will be sensitive to your opinions, but will set firm boundaries. If your risk tolerance to some activities are lower than mine I will respect them and I will hope that you will respect mine as well.
We all have decisions to make and behaviours to choose. I think the next year or so is going to also be difficult, because so much of this is not over no matter what a governing body decides.
A big part of me feels like everything is just fucked forever. There is so much damage to everything and everyone. I can’t decide if the world is repairable or not, and I don’t have any clue where to start if it is.
This morning I got up and it happened. After 4 months of tyrannical snow fall and and our 999th blizzard of the month, I couldn’t open the fucking door to let the dogs out. After much pushing and clearing a little snow from underneath I managed to open it a crack just enough for the wieners and the hound to squeeze through and go for a piss.
This is a slippery slope, I mean- sorta-literally. I am basically a prisoner in my house . My freedom is lost. My dogs can’t take a shit and I will slowly starve to death. My children will have no future. Next the internet will go down or my phone and without the ability to practice escapism through bad YA vampire romances and getting to the next level of ZooCraft I fear for our mental health. Didn’t you read all those studies by that doctor on YouTube? The ones about mental health and freedom and snow?
Seriously, F*ck Trudeau. I mean, erecting all those 5G towers so he can influence weather patterns in order to invoke Snomaggeddon and hold us all to his dictatorial pleasures. Making me a prisoner in my own home? Expecting me to use the front door instead of the back door or face this imprisonment? Forcing me to exit my home via the driveway or stay inside? Coercion is NOT a choice.
Don’t even get on me about shovelling. That isn’t how democracies work. I don’t care how much snow falls, it is too inconvenient to have to shovel when I can just walk through it or wait for it to pass. I mean, my sister’s husband’s kid’s cousin twice removed by marriage pulled a muscle while shovelling. And did you hear about Dan? His dad had a heart attack in 1983 and they suspect it was related to shovelling. Fuck that. I am in no way going to clear that snow either. I shovelled once and it will just come back anyway and it doesn’t prevent it from snowing again. Fucking Trudeau. He is probably in on this with China. Importing the fucking snow from China so we can all just become slaves in his plan to reset weather patterns forever. If you support shovelling you are a fucking sheep. Freedom!
Don’t even get me fucking started on the ban on snowmobiles within the city. Those are OUR machines. We paid for them with our hard earned money and should be allowed to drive them wherever the fuck we want. I don’t give a fuck if you are worried that driving them at 160 km/hr in the city poses a threat to your kids. Statistics show that only 1% of children have ever died due to a snowmobile accident. I mean, no one can even prove that traumatic brain injuries were even caused by snowmobiles anyway. They fell and were bleeding but like are they in the ICU because of the TBI or with one? I have my rights you know. The First Amendment says so.
And no, I certainly won’t wear a helmet on the snowmobile, because I am medically exempt from protecting a brain I don’t have. Fuck you for trying to prevent my death. I mean, really. Go fuck yourself.
I say we all jump on our snowmobiles and go to Ottawa and the borders and make sure our voices are heard. We have the right to peacefully protest so bring your bagpipes and your rifles and some flares. If the police ask you to move, grab your kids and get in the way. Line them up along the roads and then make sure to scream about how the police are assaulting women and children because of Fuhrer Trudeau. If there are horses make sure to try and block them with your bodies so that someone can film you getting knocked to the ground and send it to Rebel News. They are just the best. Integrity at it’s finest. Make sure to spit on any journalists who aren’t Rebel News because they are the enemy. Also be mad at them for not covering your story. It makes sense somehow, I promise.
In our protests bring your shovels so our snow wall will be the biggest wall of all time. Bigger than China’s. Longer than the one never finished between the US and Mexico. Hooray for Trump because he also hates snow since he lives in a roach infested pedophile conference centre in Florida. He’s our guy.
And if you aren’t following women home from work threatening to rape them or lighting apartment buildings on fire, is it even a real protest? We gotta make sure everyone hates us enough to convince Trudeau to resign so the Senate or the Governor General can take over and instate someone who hates snow and China and shovelling as much as we do. We cannot live like this under this fascist rule anymore. Real freedom means freedom to choose if you want to shovel or not, without the fear of another storm coming week after week. In fact, it means that we shouldn’t even allow street cleaning anymore. I don’t care if you can’t get to work or get stuck and die on a highway because that hardly ever happens and it means nothing if *I* don’t have my freedom to choose whether the snow is cleared or not. I don’t care if it makes life better for others, because I am willing to die on this hill. Fuck you! Freedom!!
I know if we push citizens and law enforcement to the absolute brink or cry real tears that freeze to our faces they will listen. They will believe us that we are peaceful. They will hang Trudeau like we asked. F*ck that guy. Everything is his fault. We will get our way, because praise Jesus.
I could have just shovelled the fucking snow on the other side of the back door.
I shared a post on my social media earlier this morning that said something about how our reactions to our children’s behaviors have more to do with a our emotional health than with what they are actually doing.
It was a humbling and thought provoking statement that made me pause and reflect on the job I am doing as a mum, especially over the last two years.
When I talk to my friends, colleagues, and other parents, the common theme is that we are not ok. Oh sure, we all put on this brave face and post pictures doing simple things together and talk about some of the positives that have come to be in terms of our family bonds, or learning a new hobby. Honestly, though, I call bullshit.
I am fucking exhausted. I wake up exhausted. I go through the motions of the day exhausted, I go to bed exhausted. I get up in the morning dreaming about the end of the day when I have completed all the things that need doing that day and I can mindlessly play some stupid game on my phone while I watch old episodes of tv shows I’ve seen a million times. I am so tired and emotionally over everything about the last few years that I can’t even invest enough energy to watch something new.
A lot of things that used to bring me joy suck the life out of me now. It all feels like work, with a few exceptions. I mostly just want to be left alone.
So yes, when I am reacting to less than desirable behaviors that my children are displaying, it has wayyyyyyy more to do with my lack of emotional capacity than it has to do with them bickering about video game controllers or who ate the last cookie. It has almost everything to do with me.
I try very hard to have enough self awareness and honesty about where I’m at to walk away when I feel all of the resentment and anger and frustration about the last two years bubble up and get directed at the people who are the very least responsible for any of it. The fact that they haven’t done their chores for the third day in a row without being nagged is something worth a loss of privilege or consequence somewhere, but lately it feels a lot heavier than it really should.
I actually understand and empathize in some ways with all the fucking people at the borders driving around with their upside down flags and misspelled signs and toothless grins. I am tired of feeling like I don’t have any control over what happens in my life too. I am tired of not knowing what will happen next and have to make adjustments and not being able to plan anything either personally or professionally. If I ever hear the fucking word “pivot” again it will be way too soon. I get it- you are TIRED too.
But like the sentiment I shared this morning about our reactions to our children- this all out temper tantrum that is hurting the people who have the LEAST to do with any of it- the reaction we are seeing in our country is more indicative of our emotional well being than it is about what we’re currently pissed off about.
I guess the difference is that when it comes to having a negative reaction with my children, I love them enough to try and be better next time. I understand that while they are doing things that I don’t not like, the only real control I have is how I react to them, despite every justification I may have for reacting poorly. I choose to do better, because that is what’s best for them, but it is also what is best for me.
We as adults need to learn how to have enough love and tolerance for others to understand where and how to direct our frustrations, and reasonable ways to advocate for change. Just like screaming at my children won’t change all of the factors that have contributed to my exhaustion or make any of it better in the long term, tormenting people who don’t have any say in policies and rules is not going to help in the long run.
It’s time for people to go home. Work on restoring your emotional capacities on a personal level. Rest. Learn patience. Choose love. It will all be ok again if we just fucking let it.
If you do a quick search, it is really easy to find references and links between pandemics and extreme beliefs of all kind. Religious fundamentalism, apocalyptic thoughts, political fallout. Plagues incite fear. And as Yoda always said ” fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering”
Forgive the Star Wars reference, because it is cheesy as a pair of sweaty tits on a hot day, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Everything that is going on in our country and around the world is displaying this quote in real time.
In 1919, after the worst of the Spanish Flu had killed something like 287,000 Germans, a small group of unemployed soldiers formed the Nazi party. Adolf Hitler was the 55th member to register in this political party, and over the next 14 years, he used all platforms- even the courtroom at his trial for high treason to spew propaganda until the Nazi party rose to power in the years leading up to WWII. By 1932 they had 37% of the vote. They were not the majority, but they were loud. There was daily violence in the streets. And they got away with it, because the majority of people just didn’t do anything to stop it. They didn’t know where to start.
Fast forward to today. The parallels do not go unnoticed.
As we saw in 1919, 100 years later we are living political discourse that is been fuelled by people’s fear of the unknown. Plague. Economic crisis. Failure of current systems. Clear lack of control by leaders. Use of media or other platforms to propogate political agendas. And maybe less obviously- using what started as the legitimate concerns of a few to try and force change for all that would only benefit the few.
I personally have been feeling increasingly anxious about what I am seeing. We are currently observing a foreign funded occupation of our capital city. Smaller, less organized branches are spreading throughout the rest of the country, terrorising residents and holding the entire country for ransom. Leadership is non existent and the inaction by the police feels corrupt and hopeless in some cases. The silent majority of us are being gaslit by authorities, reminding us that people have a right to peacefully demonstrate- but the word peaceful clearly has different definitions for tantruming white people than they do for any person of colour.
Like in Germany all those years ago, the extreme ideals of the minority are holding the majority of us by the fucking gonads. They are louder, they are motivated, they are organized. And they clearly have support in high places. It’s recipe for fucking disaster.
The past two years have been awful for most of us. When the first wave hit, as someone working in the arts the fear of losing my livelihood was very real. The possibility of seeing everything I have built over the last 20 years go down the gutter was a horrible feeling. On that level, I can empathize with people out there honestly demonstrating because the restrictions have harmed their ability to provide for their families. They are scared, they are angry- and as anyone who clings to any extreme belief system, they are doing it because they need someone to be angry AT, and something to put their faith IN.
Unfortunately, with their mixed messaging of “love and freedom” and symbols of racism, actions of terror, or signage of violence; their actions are clearly demonstrating that they have progressed past the hate stage. And while their hate may or may not be limited to political leaders (don’t display nooses and the names of political leaders and pretend you have peaceful intentions), it is the rest of us who are suffering.
Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.
We are in the suffering stage. It is widespread, varying from the residents who live in and around the demonstrations, being tortured by noise and harrassment and abuse to the rest of us feeling powerless to intervene or stop it from growing. Constant bullying of journalists. Concerns for freedom of movement across borders or even within their neighborhoods. Are we to assume that the goal is make life as horrible as possible for the rest of us that WE will ask leaders to make policy changes that satisfy the demands of these dipshits? At some point, the people we democratically elected to advocate for us need to do something to address this. And it doesn’t include olive branches or anything else of that nature. It includes consequences for inexcusable behaviour and breaking the fucking law.
The effects of this situation is wearing on all of us. We are worried that this will go on indefinitely. We are worried that despite doing everything asked of us over the last two years, this angry mob of uneducated fools will get their fucking way and make things a whole lot worse again. I get that they are angry, but I sure as fuck didn’t do anything to them. I don’t love Trudeau, but I sure as fuck love him a lot more than any potential leader who thinks that even one Nazi is tolerable. I get that they are frustrated and want some guarantee that life will at some point return to the “before”, but I sure as fuck understand that it won’t.
So many people have lost our way. I believe there are a minority of individuals who are trying their best to exploit the vulnerabilities of those most affected by this pandemic by offering them a big shiny political win. I believe that these occupations are thinly veiled political theatre and obvious adult temper tantrums by people whose lack of education make them easy targets to be moved around as pawns on the gameboard.
I don’t mean to call people stupid, but don’t fucking act stupid.
My final thought is that what’s good for the goose (HONK FUCKING HONK) is good for the gander. If the right the ‘peacefully protest” is so fucking protected and supported, then I would suggest that every single person out there who thinks this is rank bullshit comes out from behind their keyboard and stands the fuck up like those cyclists in Vancouver. Like those women in Ottawa. All the Indigenous people who were violently removed from protecting their own land, every homeless person forcibly removed from a public park, every person of colour, every woman who had to fight for her reproductive rights, every LGBTQ2+ person who had to fight for the right to exist, every single person who has every had to fight for ACTUAL freedom should assemble and march their asses to their legislative building or downtown or parliament and park themselves like these uninformed conspiracy loving idiots.
I wonder what would happen then? Would the right to protest be supported then? How much noise is too much? Can we bring saunas and cranes and piss on pictures of Candace Bergen? Should we bring our kids? Should we jump into traffic and get run over? WOULD THAT ALL BE OK?
As expected this “Freedom Convoy” has revealed itself to be what we all knew it was: An excuse for people who want their own way to act like a bunch of dicks.
I don’t care about the protests. I really don’t. People have the right to demonstrate for what they believe in, and I am ok with disagreeing about their cause. If this was TRULY about not wanting to have to be vaccinated to work in certain sectors, fine,continue to be annoying as all fuck and get it out of your system and then suck it up and wait until the next election like the rest of us who don’t like current administrations.
After watching some of the footage from yesterday- and yes, I choked back watching videos from all over the place- far right clearly bigoted motherfuckers, religious extremists, left leaning media, fairly neutral observers, live cams, I gotta say that I feel just gutted.
The organizers don’t seem to have a game plan. Nobody seems to know what happens past getting to Ottawa- they aren’t sure collectively what they want. When asked, they all say “freedom” and “there is so much work to be done” and “people are waking up” and “bodily autonomy” while referring to themselves as patriots. But there is no specific action requested, no plan to negotiate, no civility. There are a lot of threats, vague statements, screaming and horn honking. They are mad that Trudeau won’t talk to them, but who can fucking blame him? I saw a child standing next to life size depiction of a man being lynched, with the label “Fuck Trudeau”. It doesn’t seem like they want to actually talk, does it? It sounds like they wanted a chance to rant and rave, but have unfortunately sent their credibility packing with infantile behavior, questionable motivations, poor leadership and overwhelming stupidity.
Thinking about the images I saw, there is no space that I am aware of that would house the word FREEDOM with the following:
Swastika flags being flown on Canadian soil.
Defiling a Canadian flag, flying it upside down and drawing Nazi symbols on it.
American confederacy flags- what has that got to do with anything in Canada?
Defiling a war memorial by pissing on it and having some bitch screaming freedom from on top of the statues like a day drunk sorority girl in a B horror film
Vandalizing the memorial of one of the most loved figures in Canadian history- Terry Fox, a symbol of hope, selflessness, sacrifice and determination. Is that the problem they have with him?
Calling gay men faggots and young girls dumb cunts, for walking down the street with a mask on or wearing one at work.
Demanding that homeless shelters feed and house them and threatening them when they won’t.
Threatening harm to journalists, vandalizing their vehicles and spitting on them.
Mocking Indigenous culture by sounding drums they know nothing about and imitating the cultural dances all for the sake of invalidating the significance of them and making a bunch of noise.
I don’t want to hear that it’s not all of them. It’s “NOT ALL MEN” either and that is also a bullshit, apologist statement from people who fucking know better but don’t have the balls to do something about it. All it takes is one of these things to happen and whatever shred of credibility your cause was hanging on to is done. Guilt by association and blah blah blah- but you don’t share space with Nazis, either wannabe or real unless you are ok with what they stand for. So fuck you too if you don’t have a problem with “just a few of them” being there.
You know what I think about when I see all these entitled shiteaters dancing around our nation’s capital right now?
I’m thinking about every sandwich or cup of coffee passed out to them. Every church that opened its doors and housed them. Every person who cheered them on from overpasses. Every dollar donated, every piece of energy expended. And I wonder what kind of “freedom” we could achieve if we had the same motivation to take care of people who are exploited every day in this country. What if we put the same massive energy into feeding people and offering them shelter, and promoting this unity that we keep hearing about from these patriots? Freedom comes at a cost, but the cost is not what the self proclaimed freedom fighters think it is. It comes at a cost of letting go of our own interests in order to support the well being of everyone. It means that every single person in this society is valued equally. Funny how that is something worth fighting for when it comes to vaccine status or a threat to their livelihood but nobody has the time or energy to spend on it for other systemic failures.
I am tired about hearing about these “heroes”.
Have we lost sight of what that word even means? A hero is someone who takes care of others at great personal cost. What sacrifices are being made here? The people involved in this protest haven’t made any sacrifices. They went about their daily lives, harrassing those who WERE making sacrifices and expecting to be catered to along the way. They broke every rule, faced no consequences and nothing changed about their lives except maybe they couldn’t go to a Jets game or a restaurant for a few months. What freedom have they lost?
That isn’t a hero. They aren’t making this world a better place. They are taking things from it without giving back. Nobody is benefiting from this shit except for THEM. The motivation for change is based on selfishness, not compassion for others or a desire to improve the lives of all those who live in this country.
So no. The protests are not about freedom, they don’t involve heroes, and it reeks of shit so vile they can smell it down in hell. Where all these people belong.
Truckers for Fucking Freedom or whatever bullshit line they want to use so that it makes for an effective yet concise hashtag is eating up all my timelines. Protest for freedom? Really? Are people seriously that stupid? This isn’t about vaccine mandates- much. It is so much larger and dumber and dangerous than that.
Let me preface this by saying that I believe truckers should get vaccinated. I also believe that grocery store clerks, teachers, health care providers and literally everyone else should get vaccinated. Now, I actually don’t give a fuck what you ultimately decide to do for yourself, but if you decide not to get vaccinated to hep you fight a potentially lethal pathogen when it is available to you FOR FREE- I think that is absolutely the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Besides the Freedom Convoy, that is.
However, I am not entirely convinced that imposing a Canadian vaccine mandate on truckers crossing into the US is going to have the impact it is intended to on the spread or containment of Covid at this point. This shit is too far gone, and the truckers have a lot less direct contact with other humans while working than they probably even would when they aren’t working. I’m not opposed to vaccine mandates, but even I have to admit this feels like a bit of dick-waving and setting of a precedent. The other issue is that we don’t even really have a mandate for health care providers working with highly vulnerable populations, so the optics of that seem really idiotic. I know they are different jurisdictions, and Conservative vs Liberal folks in charge, but it still just doesn’t make as much sense as it should.
Having said all of that, there are so many holes in the premise of this “protest” that even I don’t know where to start patching.
The first is that we seem to be having a really hard time understanding what rights actually mean. One of our rights is NOT employment. We aren’t entitled to shit in terms of employment. If we were, then all of the people in this country with housing insecurity, or who get laid off, or can’t get their first job or anyone else who wants to work but can’t should march their asses over to Ottawa and sue the living piss out of the government for not providing them with employment. Employers or unions or crown corporations or anything regulated by government can create employment standards that you may feel violates your right to choose what you do for your body, but in the end you get to decide if you are willing to meet the conditions they set or not. That is where your rights begin and end. For example- when I worked as a bartender years ago, I really wanted to pierce my nose. The restaurant said that if I wanted to work there I wasn’t allowed to have facial piercings. I made a choice that I liked my job more than I liked the idea of having a hoop in my nostril. Condition of employment met. The vaccine requirement is no different, and plenty of notice was given regarding the change in standards. Everything after that is foot stomping, entitled, cry baby nonsense.
Second, I LOVE PROTESTS. All of them. I don’t care if I like what you’re bitching about or hate it. I love the fact that we have the right ( there’s that word again) to call our elected officials and tell them what we think. I love that we can organize with a bunch of like minded people and go hang out at government buildings and lobby for change, or ask to be heard. Protest everything you want. I think that if a proportion of truckers want to go and tell Justin Trudeau that he’s a shitty Prime Minister and ask him to reconsider and have a giant temper tantrum while telling him to fuck himself, they should be allowed to do that all day long, twice on Sunday and once in the ass.
The problem is that what I’m seeing isn’t a protest about a condition of employment that they think is unfair. That’s the excuse, but that isn’t really what this is about. It appears to be a front for a deeper political cause of trying to remove a public servant forcibly. It appears to be an attempt to organize the blocking of essential and emergency services to an entire city until they get their own way. The whole “surround them and starve them” ideal. That isn’t a protest. It’s an act of violence, war and domestic terrorism. If that is what happens in Ottawa this weekend, you’ll know you’ve been duped. One may agree or disagree with the implementation of vaccine mandates during a global health crisis, but that is not a protest and it needs to be addressed as such.
Third, I fucking HATE the term “mainstream media”. What the actual fuck does that even mean? Media that covers everyday news stories? The ones that have longstanding reputations for excellent journalism and high standards for ethics? Those guys? The ones you complain won’t cover your Freedom Convoy story and when they ask you for an interview to hear your perspective you spit on them and break their windows? Sounds to me like a made up term by a bunch of crybaby cowards who know they are full of shit.
Fourth, this country has a really, really, gross history of beating the shit out of Indigenous people and preventing them from protesting decimation of their own lands in peaceful protests and blockades. (major oversimplification) Those are protests- they are standing up for what is legally theirs to protect but most people are okay with it because we figure they have to let us take whatever we want from them. Comparing that to the roads and highways being blocked already by this clown parade and the lack of police presence or interest is very, very troubling. Until this “protest” is met with the same type of enforcement as they talk about guns and running over officials and forcibly overthrowing a government you can’t convince me that this country isn’t based on racism that runs so deep that there is no hope of trying to even pretend anymore.
Last, this is not just about vaccine mandates. It’s about a political spectrum that has become so hugely polarized that there is no longer hope for any cooperation, negotiation or compromise. Ironically, many of those who are so terrified of being controlled by a vaccine or a facemask or a governing body have no problem being controlled by a book filled with stories about arks and a magic omnipotent daddy in the sky whose son can walk on water and rise from the dead. NO disrespect to Zombie Jesus or anything, cause he’s my guy too, but I just don’t remember Him threatening that I’ll burn in hell for taking a vaccine. I don’t know. There just seem to be a lot of critical thinkers and freedom fighters that are so terrified of eternal damnation that they follow a lot of rules for those who like to bitch about, welllllll…..RULES.
So yeah. Lots to unpack about the Truckers For Freedom. If they end up having a honest to God protest, then great. Have at ‘er. Protest the fuck on, mates. Anything else that is going on, well, we can only hide the truth for so long.
I am tired of wearing every hat- employee, teacher, parent, wife, daughter, friend, advocate, mouthpiece, confidante. I am tired of waiting for it to end and it never fucking ends.
I am tired of not knowing, trying to figure shit out, decision making, mitigation, concession making, pivoting, and fighting.
Mostly the fighting. Everybody, including me has their opinion about how to go about fixing the mess we’re in or how to make it better, and we are ALL experts on pointing out the mistakes others have made and all the coulda woulda shouldas in the history of ever.
In the end I don’t think any of it really matters anymore. Maybe I am just feeling abandoned by a government and a community that seems to have just given up. Maybe I am just feeling disheartened that some people are so greedy and stupid and selfish that they seem willing to risk the well being of others in the name of the almighty dollar. Maybe I am just feeling defeated that after 2 years of this fuckery, even the people who tried so hard in the beginning are too exhausted to continue on.
I get it. This has gone on for a really long time, the current situation is pointing to disease that produces less severe outcomes proportionally and appears much milder in the acute phase.In this exact moment it feels like continuing to take pauses and make more sacrifices is overkill for some people. And as much as I hated watching that complete shitstorm of a cuntboxing match of a press conference this week, one gross truth emerged from it: we really do need to take care of ourselves at this point, because the solidarity that used to exist as we all swam upstream in a body of liquid shit over the past couple of years is clearly starting to crack.
It feels like the province has lost control of the situation because they invested in the wrong strategies and resources and didn’t listen to the people on the front lines. (hint- ALWAYS listen to the people on the front lines when you want to fix something) The current strategy appears to be reminding us that our province was the first to implement restrictions 12 months ago and gaslighting the public about capacity while manipulating data and basically just being a bunch of ignorant assholes. Good reason fell on deaf ears as economic priorities took precedence, but it is a fool’s errand. We are already dealing with a loss of access to essential services due to a lack of human resources that I believe will get worse before it gets better.
So at this point, Heather’s statement is accurate. “It’s up to Manitobans to look after themselves” because the system is in failure.
So as I digest this thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have zero fucks to give about what anyone else does at this point. I don’t care if the province says they expect my kids to go to school. They aren’t going right now. I don’t care if they say I can’t have access to the same short term supports others will get, because I am still not sending them. I don’t give a fuck if you don’t get vaccinated. Fine. Exercise your right to suffer. If you want to take your mask off and walk around some shitty restaurant with a bunch of other dickholes flaunting your rights and exposing your tiny brains and, go right ahead. I don’t care about that either.
I am tired. I am putting on my own oxygen mask so that I can help my own people. I don’t care if you disagree with my personal decisions, or think everything is ok and I am crazy, or wanna explain this data or that data. Not one person needs to justify themselves to me or anyone else. Do what you want to do. Accept whatever risks you choose. Weigh your options. Own your shit and deal with the consequences or rewards.
The past two years have felt very, very long. Living in a state of constant uncertainty, trying to manage the unknowns both personally and professionally, and coping with the rollercoaster of rules and restrictions has not been easy for anyone. Most of us have made constant sacrifices to try and protect ourselves and others often at the expense of our own well being or mental health and in some cases our careers or businesses.
And yet, there was hope.
The best, smartest and most dedicated scientists in the world worked tirelessly to try and find either preventatives or treatments for Covid so that we could start to put this whole thing behind us. Using decades old technologies and combining them with new knowledge they were able to develop vaccines that had good efficacy and safety.
And we hoped some more.
In the meantime, a small pocket of people were determined to shatter that hope. They were loud, and abusive, and just plain wrong.
And while this post is not about the science behind the vaccines, I will acknowledge that vaccinating against coronaviruses is a difficult thing in terms of efficacy and long term immunity- I myself believe that vaccines alone won’t fix things. First, because vaccinating against diseases in the upper respiratory tract is problematic, second because coronavirsuses mutate quickly and often, and third because the resulting immune response wanes relatively quickly. I think that research should also continue to focus on therapeutics and “cures”, and understanding long term effects of the disease while ALSO knowing vaccination remains one of the most important tools we have in this fight to get back to a normal life.
Having said all of that, I think those opposed to immunization don’t understand (or don’t care) why those of us in support of it are frustrated, disappointed, or in some cases really angry at them.
It’s frustrating when someone you care about shows a lack of concern for you. Having someone in your life who appears to put their own fears, investment into conspiracy theories or self indulgent Dunning-Kruger behaviours ahead of the care of others is disheartening. Watching someone be willing to increase the risk of others around them is disappointing. Having a loved one willing to put themselves at risk in the name of being *right* makes us sad and worried.
Having to make a choice that you can live with in terms of your risk tolerance for a novel disease with so many unknowns and being accused repeatedly of being divisive is shit. Having uncomfortable conversations with friends or family or clients explaining why you can’t have them in your home not because you are mad but because you aren’t willing to put your children at risk- or them for that matter is SHIT. Being made out to be the bad guy when all you are trying to do is mitigate risk and keep your family from harm is fucking shit.
It’s worrisome to think about losing someone you care about when it is something that you can improve your odds on. We have grieved the loss of so many things these past two years and do not want to watch loved ones get sick, die and suffer. It is avoidable.
Listening to the absolute arrogance of ignorant people who should have stayed int their lane way back at the starting line is fucking irritating. Watching health care professionals be harassed while they care for people who refuse to get vaccinated is an abomination and the stupidest thing ever. Being threatened online by strangers for choosing to get your child vaccinated is horrifying.
Watching our medical system (which albeit was already a mess before) sag and almost collapse as the added strain of unvaccinated Covid patients exploited every weakness it had is scary. Knowing that it will probably be a decade before we catch up with non-Covid related illness and conditions and the weight of treating those who are now sicker and will require more care is daunting. Knowing that Covid maybe could have been “just a cold” for most of those people is hindsight nobody wants to think about.
If you’ve chosen not to get vaccinated not because it was a decision your physician made with you but because you’ve decided you know better-you still deserve love and compassion and care. But if you wanted to understand how your decisions have affected others, not just in terms of their health or access to healthcare now you know. It feels like a betrayal on a lot of levels- in terms of who we thought you were, your character, your willingness to protect the things that need protecting. It feels like the hugest disrespect to all of us who have made every efforts to protect ourselves and YOU.
Back before there was an internet, before the Chris Skys and Maxime Berniers we listened to the experts because they were the experts. We took care of one another. We listened to reason and tried our best.
A big part of me wishes we could go back to that. Everything is so toxic now.
But let’s go back to trying our best, and remembering that just because you are mad at someone you can still love them.
Meet Jax a funny, kind, and smart preschooler who was a micro-preemie born at 23 weeks. Now that Jax is older, the scariness of the NICU has faded, but we're still learning how to manage the lasting effects of prematurity including chronic medical issues, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is our story of love, hope, and survival.