Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Where's Your Angry Face?
So keeping up a blog was getting a little bit tedious so I decided to prorogue for a little while. I guess I felt this nagging sense of responsibility to do...something. It'd be nice if our Prime Minister felt the same way.
Yea, bad joke, but I guess in a lot of ways that's how I view prorogation.
Like a bad joke, it's something that you know people won't laugh at/support, yet you do it anyway, and I guess you hope that it's so ridiculous/undemocratic -- so backward -- that people are thinking, "No, it can't be a serious joke/issue, or else he wouldn't have done it." So people go along with it and laugh...and laugh...and laugh...until they forget what they're laughing about.
If you aren't on board with this comparison, that's fine, but I hope you understand that this process is completely flawed.
Some reasons Harper prorogued government:
1. Hoping the Afghan detainee scandal will blow over, so he isn't forced into assigning -- or accepting -- blame.
2. Cabinet shuffle: ministers in Harper's government who have new responsibilities would probably not have had time to prepare for debate from the opposition.
3. Allows Harper to prepare for something that he should have been adequately prepared for: outlining the next step of Canada's economic comeback
4. Stephen Harper is an asshole
The prorogue card has only been played three times in Canadian political history; two of which were by Stephen Harper...in the span of one year.
This is one of those abuses of power that we're so unfamiliar with, and Harper feels that with all that's going on in Haiti and the Middle East and the U.S., our attention will be drawn away from Canadian politics. We're not that stupid, are we?
On Saturday, thousands across Canada came together in protest. A similar demonstration to last year's coalition rally, but with one clear exception.
The entire movement was launched by a student. Alberta's Christopher White used Facebook and other social media venues to take his cause to the streets. You can't get more grass roots than that.
With all of these tools at our disposal, students have more power than ever to shake shit up. This protest is evidence that Facebook groups actually mean something. So we should be getting to it.
The problem is, we're not angry enough. I mean we're still angry about a lot of different things, maybe more than ever, but most of them don't mean a fucking thing in the grand scheme. We need to contain that anger and channel it.
I blame this in part on the music of the last decade. Since 2000, all of the music we've heard is missing one of the most common emotions that we feel. There's no angry music in the mainstream, and any angry music that is out there is just angry for the hell of it.There's no Rage Against the Machine, no Public Enemy, no NWA. And why not? Haven't we had enough shit to be angry about? A lot more, I'd say, than in the 90's.
The Harper government has become an expert at giving us a false sense of security. They do this by directing their policy toward immediate satisfaction.
The Immediate Satisfaction plan:
1. Pay off students and other low-income earners (mostly non-conservative voters) with GST cheques. Those cheques are great, but put that money back into our cities.
2. Avoiding a significant investment in an environmental strategy (a long term plan with immediate costs that are ugly; but very, very necessary).
3. PR: Ads focusing on diminishing their competition, cliche Harper photo-ops.
Another unfortunate aspect of this issue is that the opposition is so fucking disorganized that they can't properly communicate this to everyone else.
So what do you do? Harper thinks he's invincable and his opposition doesn't have the balls (I'm convinced they do have the brains) to make things right. What do you do? Whatever you can.
You aren't angry enough to protest? I get that. Join a Facebook group, post some angry Tweets, but most importantly; talk about this shit, and get other people talking about it. Plant it deep, so when election time roles around, all the clouded rhetoric and Conservative bullshit will be far, far beneath us.
The end of radical music.