Monday, February 8, 2010

OBITUARY for Immediate Release

Ronald McDonald (1963-2010), in his 47th year.

Beloved and inimitable mascot of multinational corporation and champion of American capitalism, known to generations of (obese and sodium-laden) children. Friend to the purple hairy lump and the masked androynous figure, among other bizarre corporate mascots, for decades of economic success, especially in the golden Cold War years, as well as steadfast symbolic patriarch throughout the reputational smear-campaigns and financial losses of recent years. Benevolent, cheerful and true to his word, Ronald was as bright and fuzzy as his shock of fire-engine red frizz, as creative and energetic as his striped tights and jumpsuit implied. See you in the hamburger patch, buddy.

In lieu of flowers, generous patronage at your local McDonald's franchise would be most appreciated.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Anti-Prorogation, Anti-Patriarchy

With the second slightly more than suspect prorogation in a little over a year now in full swing, and the Olympics just around the corner, I figured it's time to resurrect this blog. I have sent some ten-percenters and haibuns since the last time we posted, but it's been far too long since we've updated.

The ten-percenters I've received since the prorogation I've simply sent back with the message "GET BACK TO WORK." But this one really got under my skin. I think because it's not the first one I've received that illustrates the commitment of the government under Harper's leadership to sustain at all costs the "sacred" bonds between masculine figures, bonds which express themselves through capitalist consumption and violent ownership of the earth, of women, of "Homes." This is the second ten-percenter I've received which has shown a father-son relationship and suggested its sacredness. Notice how the woman is freakily cut off at the arm on the first picture (she is signified by a single part of her body) while the father acts as overseer to the patriarchal nurturing of the son (learning to ride a bike whose decor boasts "1 1 1" or "I am #1" and the soon-to-come transference of such an activity to something as earth-friendly as a race car). In the second picture now we see that she is pregnant. She is looking down at the son (she must protect him at all costs in order to perpetuate patriarchy) while the son and father look into the audience's eyes, just as Stephen Harper is doing directly below - they are the most important people...and they are "on the right track."

In case you can't read everything I've written onto the ten-percenter...

Front: One day I'll drive an SUV and eat only steak, like my daddy! Big men should have BIG carbon footprints!

Back: Whiteness, the suburbs, and a vessel for the next impressionable little mind - What more could a man want?

Stephen Harper's thought bubble: Treat your son like a REAL man. Don't HUG him. SHake his hand!! (Idiot.)

Address Box: Reinscribing patriarchal values...even while on vacation! GET BACK TO WORK, GARY.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Junkmail No More, Part II: A Few Telling Haiku

Further to our last entry, involving the desecration of thousands of pounds of paper (trees) featuring the sleazy visage of our great PM, here are a number of haiku which we have written to fill those little lonely three lines asking your opinion on the Conservative government. Enjoy!

’09 budget:
Bizarre self-promotion
for one helluva dubious government.

’09 budget:
$100 tax break
for those who use the food bank!
Thank you, Mr. PM.

’09 budget:
Shut up the Humanities,
Social Science radicals.
(Bunch of intellectual parasites, anyhow.)

’09 budget:
No right to pay equity,
cap fed workers’ wage.

Mandatory jail time
for Prime Ministers who suck.

From coast to coast to coast
You see only $$$
You mine this land the most.

We see: you will only
work with those
who share your narrow goals.

What is a “strong” nation?
One that intimidates
and exploits others?

Don’t check Ignatieff
He rolls over for Harper,
bathes in tailings ponds.
(Dirty dog!)

How are the big oil companies
in bed? Big, big boys –
Do they make you hot?

Go back to Calgary
where Bush and Rice await you
with their imperial “policy studies.”

The safety you seek
is your own security,
safety from critique.

I don’t feel safe
going to the polls,
fearing you will return.

Will you feel better about yourself
if I check you out,
check you off?

You mock democracy
and threaten confidence
in your government.

You protect “innocent” businesses
from the critique
that is their due.

You are targeting
disposable populations,
stripping their resistance.

Hardworking Canadian Shield
should be able to thrive
in peace and safety.

Birds, humans, trees, air,
you are not safe
from the greed of Stephen Harper.

What “global problems”?
The ones you support –
Afghanistan, poverty?

Who will dissolve
in the process of mixing
your “global solutions”?

Who is best to lead
Canada into danger?
Stephen Harper’s your man!

Check Harper off
if you think people should die
from carcinogenic oil sludge.
(Mmmm…looks like chocolate fudge)

Check Harper off
if you want your great great great great great great grandkids
to pay off this deficit. Their gonna figgin’ hate us all in 2109.

Check Harper off
if you want to sell your nation
to corporations.

Does that smell like “successful” to you?
Reminds me more of
eau de sucking cess pool.

Thanks for asking our opinion.
We’ll get back to you
when SSHRC will fund us.

Stop selling Canada
its petroleum high,
making gas addicts out of citizens.

If you stand for oil,
lie down for Stephen Harper,
your partner in crime.

If you stand for lives,
do the irresponsible:
don’t check anyone.

Cozy up
to the Conservative niche:
Be Harper’s bitumen bitch.

Stand up for your country!
Put Harper where he belongs –
in the doghouse. (Bad boy!)

Suck it off and swallow
Like a good Canadian
Stephen Harper wants you
Coming back for more and more oil.

The Humanities will not be silenced!
The Humanities will not be
The Humanities will not
The Humanities will
The Humanities

'09 budget:
Shock therapy for SSHRC
Decreased fluids, leather binds to the wrists
Lovers’ getaway package for “business-related degrees”
Deluxe suite, buffet breakfast, walk-in fireplace.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Junkmail No More: Compliments of Sticky Haibuns

Are you opening your mailbox to find flyers from the Conservative Government asking you to "Stand Up For Canada" with Stephen Harper? Do you these flyers end up in the recycling bin along with your cheese-encrusted pizza boxes and jam jars?

Throw no away no more flyers! Instead, put this paper to good revolutionary use and write back to the Government! Please see samples below for ideas on getting started.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Letter #4: To Premier Ed Stelmach, as he Guides Alberta Deeper into the Tarry, Oily Mire

Send your copy to:

Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building 10800 - 97th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2B6

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Letter #3: To the Calgary Mayor and Chief of Police, in Petitioning them to Better Protect the Public from the Racist Antics of the Aryan Guard

The “Let’s Guard Anti-Racist Canada and the Safety of its Citizens” Haibun

On the Occasion of the Upcoming White Supremacist March
on 21 March 2009, United Nations Anti-Racism Day

Would someone mind explaining this to a questioning mind: why are anti-racist activists targeted by government agencies when they protest the overt presence of racist fanatics? Namely, the presence of the Aryan Guard. Would someone mind also explaining this: why do police guard the Aryan Guard while they drum out a message of violence and poison the air around them? The air around all. The air which does not distinguish human lungs but nourishes us all.

Too few call out the haters for the damage that they do: no, ‘free speech’ is too sacred. But it’s everyone’s responsibility to call hate what it is, especially the police. We refuse to fade into the background as indiscriminate wallflowers, allowers of the slash where Calgary’s mouth should be. And so we speak now, with free speech and not hate speech, between which there is a chasm. We condemn the members of the Aryan Guard, not for their skin colour but the violence of their acts. Their march terrorizes witnesses, both near and far. All the way in Edmonton people feel shock and pain as they listen to the thumps of hate. These are not the sounds of intelligent dialogue. These are the sounds of assault, of fear. Guard members wear bandanas across their shamed faces, meaning a Sudanese-Canadian must sweat when a white face passes; could that be one of them? Meaning an Aboriginal Canadian cannot feel safe in the city she calls home; why do they hate me for the colour of my skin? We’re disgusted by the terrible things the Aryan Guard breeds. So would someone mind explaining once and for all: why are racists protected by ‘free speech,’ not arrested and charged with what is clearly hate speech?

“White pride” is a hoax
And racism hurts.
Protect us all on March 21st.

Send your copy to:

Mayor Dave Bronconnier
Office of the Mayor
The City of Calgary
PO Box 2100, Station M
Calgary, AB T2P 2M5

Chief Rick Hanson
Calgary Police Service
133 Sixth Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 4Z1

Monday, February 2, 2009

Letter #2: To President Barack Obama, in Petitioning him to Scold PM Stephen Harper for the Tar Sands Mess and the SPP

The No Trespassing, Yes Partnership Haibun

On the Occasion of your visit to Canada on 19 February 2009

Mr. Obama,

we understand that you intend to end the American dependency on oil. No wait, it was on foreign oil. So one question we ask: does this mean that Canada can maintain its sovereign soil? If your intentions are true, then we beg of you: tell Mr. Harper his tar sandbox sucks. Suggest he quickly moratorium or even outlaw further digging, sludging, muck-trucking, and bird-killing out in the Albertan wilds. Tell him his sandbox gives cancer to children, infringes Native land rights, ruins our shared earth. President Obama, reconsider the terms of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP): ask yourself who should reap the benefits of ‘prosperity’? And who precisely is targeted by so-called ‘security’ - is it PEOPLE wanting access to clean water? And turn down Mr. Harper’s invitation to the US military to get comfy on Canadian ground. Ban and burn the Canada-US Civil Assistance Plan (CUCAP). This is dire. The last thing we need is more friendly fire. Don't let Mr. Harper sell you all that oil – recoil from Canada’s blood smeared hands.

We believe in peace, hope and change:
Please be Canada's partner in all three.

Send your copy to:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500