I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with the province I have called home since the day I was born. Lately, my beef (see, cause I’m bitching about Alberta today) isn’t with beef prices, or the current state of the economy, or even the provincial or federal governments. No, my problem is with some of the wannabe US Republicans in Alberta. You know the ones… They drive around in lifted, black ½ ton trucks with giant “TRUMP” stickers right across their back windows. (Yes, I have seen this in real life)
I mean, people are even stealing Trump’s slogans and chants. At a recent “Anti Carbon Tax” rally, people began chanting “lock her up” in reference to our Premier Rachel Notley. A woman who, despite how you may feel about the NDP and women in politics, has done absolutely nothing even remotely illegal, making the chant unwarranted and actually quite horrifying when you consider they are calling for an innocent person to be locked away for doing nothing more than trying to repair an economy left fractured by the preceding powers that were. But like I said, this isn’t about the goings on in the government, it’s about the people.
The people who live in cities, but still drive ¾ ton trucks, go out to country bars dressed like metro sexual John Waynes looking for fights, or the Daisy Dukes that straight up consider themselves property to be won by these fucksticks. Look, I get it, there are many farms and small towns all over the province, and in most cases farm life means country living and country music, and I’m not saying you can’t dress like cousin Jethro after landing a high paying labour job in the patch and listen to the new pop country garbage that pollutes three quarters of the radio stations in this province, (I’m more a bluegrass man myself, and a little Johnny Cash, or Merle Haggard here and there never hurts), but the moment you take pride in backwards ass thinking, I take offense. That racist, misogynistic bullshit might fly in the camps on the oil patches, but not in my back yard motherfuckers!
Ah, the oil patch… There’s a discussion for another day… Alberta grew up on oil and has seen a ton of prosperity in the last couple decades. We have privatized alcohol sales and no PST, which is pretty rad! But, surely everybody must admit to some degree that all that extra money wasn’t invested as well as it could have been and now we’re in the shit. What was that saying about eggs and baskets?…
This US Republicanization of Alberta shit, …(what, is that not a word? Ah fuck it) … goes back even before the days of ol’ Donny T. though. Remember just a short year ago, when the panicking PCs scrambled to make us all forget about the important issues during election time and tried to bamboozle us with the whole niqab controversy. They tried to scare us into voting for them to protect us, and instead of letting them, we, as a united people showed every politician that we will not be terrorized, especially by our own government. Seriously, thanks for that. That was a good day. I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about politics in this rant, so I’ll make this next part short and sweet. Maybe we’ll cover the provincial or federal governments later on. And with that I bring you…
MY PREDICTIONS FOR THE FUTURE:
It’s because of this seemingly overwhelming shift towards the far right that I figure Jason Kenney is the man to watch in the coming months. He’s like the unwanted love child of Trump and Pence. A fat, white, rich, anti abortion, anti equal rights, anti birth controlkinda guy, who’s looking to “unite the right” and bring his bible thumping boys club to your home town. If he doesn’t run on the slogan “Make Alberta Great Again” or some other iteration thereof, I will be genuinely surprised.
I know not every Albertan creams their jeans while dreaming about how nice it would have been to have been able to cast a vote for Donald Trump in the last presidential election, and that these pockets of racist, sexist bigots are far and few between, but the thought of them out there, this close, and able to cast their fearful or hateful votes in our provincial and federal elections… I don’t know… I guess at the very least it pushed me to write this rant.
That’s it. The first of what I hope will be many a rant on the first of what I hope will be many a weekly podcast. I will be posting my rants in text form on our blog in case I’m totally out to lunch on the shit I’m going on about and someone would like to set me straight or show me another perspective.
I’m going to close out this inaugural episode by pointing out the obvious. In the opening rant, I tried to stay off the topic of politics as often as I could, as it felt taboo to me for some reason, even though it pretty well took up half the damn thing. Discussing political viewpoints with someone is quickly becoming somewhat gauche, like asking someone how much money they make, (which I really don’t have a problem with by the way) and that’s a dangerous thing. The ever growing divisive nature of politics, and the desire to push our political parties further to the left or to the right is not a good sign of what’s to come.
People should be able to come together and share their opinions on whatever policies or political issues matter the most to them, and not wind up “unfriending” each other on Facebook or shaming each other over the internet. The next time you feel like getting into it with someone who posts some shit about refugees or the carbon tax, meet with them in person and hash it out over a fucking beer. Fuck, even a video call over the net might be enough. You might be surprised that instead of making an online enemy, you make a real life friend, or, heaven forbid, see the issue from another perspective and reform your own opinion. Empathy: easier to come by in real life, especially when you can see the person on the other side. So my parting advice is this: Go out into the world and fucking learn something!