getting harder and harder to tell.
Justin Trudeau real? To me, he seems totally concocted, like
a hologram or a department store mannequin brought to life
by a casting agent and a critical theory professor. His woke
hardwiring is so impeccable, three separate black-face incidents
barely left a scratch.
his programming glitches out, especially when it comes to
uppity women. Like that time he chose a gender-balanced cabinet—“because
it’s 2015.” Duh!—then kicked defiant Jody
Wilson-Raybould under the bus.
errant software bug surfaced during a G7 meeting. Trudeau,
having already solved all his own country’s problems,
decided to mansplane equality to Italy’s Giorgia Meloni:
“Canada is concerned about some of the positionings
that Italy is taking in terms of some of the LGB rights but
I look forward to talking to you about that,” he told
how did this go over?
Media reports described the Italian prime minister as being
“visibly irate.” My interpretation is more in
the vein of ‘deeply annoyed.’ That expression
of hers is one that often precedes the question “Is
this guy for real?” Well, Ms. Meloni, that’s exactly
what I’d like to know.
of political holograms, find someone who loves you the way
Virginia Heffernan loves US transport minister Pete Buttigieg.
That’s the lesson of a recent tongue bath profile of
Mayor Pete in this month’s WIRED magazine.
nothing new about profiles that slather powerful people in
glowing praise. But this piece of journalistic puffery spins
off into so much hyperbole, reading it made me wonder if I
was living inside a Truman Show-type universe.
introduction alone is so dripping with honey, it should come
with a bear warning:
your subject spares an entire apse in his cathedral mind,
the least you can do is repay him with more lubricating gushes
along the lines of “We are told ‘even as he discusses
railroads and airlines, down to the pointillist data that
is his current stock-in-trade, the US secretary of transportation
comes off like a Mensa black card holder…”
he reads Knausgaard in translation, but that’s no reason
to barrage him with ‘gotchas.’ Only pillowy soft
questions will do for this potential Mensa black card holder:
“Running the Department of Transport seems to suit you.
Are there more ways the challenges of transportation speak
to your spiritual side?”
the answer is ‘yes’ . . .
think we are all nearer to our spiritual potential when we’re
on the move. Something about travel pulls us out of the routines
that numb us to who we are, to what we’re doing, to
everything from our relationships with each other to our relationships
with God. That’s part of the reason why so many important
things in the Bible happen on highways,” replied Secretary
attentive news junkie—having paid attention to the transpo
boss’s series of unforced errors on the job, all of
which go unmentioned—will be left wondering: is this
parody? Of the many thousands of Twitter responses to the
story, this was the number one question. Number two was: ‘WTF
happened to journalism?’ On that question, David Burge—the
wittiest man on Twitter—had this to say:
we live in an age of gauzy puff pieces illustrated with artsy
photography about minor government functionaries. I love how
journalists act like they’re hard-bitten cynics with
a gimlet eye and finely tuned bullshit detectors and then
publish this kind of Tiger Beat-level fan drivel about politicians.”The
truth is, mainstream journalism truly is in dire straights.
Layoffs and bankruptcies are at an all-time high while public
trust in the institution is at an all-time low.
not unsympathetic. But it’s hard to feel bad for these
journalists when they keep sawing away at the branch they’re
sitting on. Also, who’s the real victim here? Journalists
or writers of parody and satire?
The list of otherwise harmless things that are racist, bigoted
or rooted in colonialism is long and growing. We’ve
known for a while that math is racist. Apparently, lawns and
gardening are too, along with being punctual. Did you know
parks were unbearably white? Also, while filling up your tank,
has this ever occurred to you?
“As the planet warms,” writes Professor Daggett,
“new authoritarian movements in the West are embracing
a toxic combination of climate denial, racism and misogyny.”
And here you thought you were just picking up groceries.
getting back to the racist hegemony of early risers, there
is, sadly, no there there. We are told that “acknowledging
the cultural diversity in sleep patterns and work schedules
is another important step toward dismantling harmful stereotypes.”
The problem is, no documented cultural differences in sleep
patterns exist. Every culture has its larks and its owls.
mind facts when there’s a grievance to air.
genre of ‘grievance headline’ has become so common,
conspiracy theorists are calling it the handiwork of far-right
activists out to discredit their progressive political opponents.
More likely, blaming everything on white supremacy right down
to your spouse leaving the cap off the toothpaste trickles
down to us from academia. Specifically, from fields like gender
studies, queer theory, critical race theory, intersectional
feminism and fat studies.
from these PoMo critical theory departments—famous for
high levels of absurdity and low academic rigour—aren’t
exactly light beach reads. If you’ve ever come across
the Grievance Studies hoax, you’ll know what I’m
talking about. Briefly, in 2018, the writer James Lindsay
and two of his colleagues submitted 20 bogus papers to high
falutin journals. The nature and success rate of their submissions
makes for hilarious reading.
personal favourite—accepted by the gatekeepers at the
prestigious Gender, Place & Culture journal—is
titled “Human Reactions to Rape Culture and Queer Performativity
at Urban Dog Parks in Portland, Ore.” The fake researchers
claimed to have observed dogs at dog parks, noting how often
humans intervened when their dogs were observed “raping/humping”
other male dogs.
of my own situatedness as a human, rather than as a dog,”
cautions the author, “I recognize my limitations in
being able to determine when an incidence of dog humping qualifies