Sunday, 7 September 2008
The Stephen Harper Blues
Apparently aimed at the key Aryan Nations demographic ("Gee, our prime minister has, like, the blondest family ever, dude!"), this photo from the CPC's official website offers a classic semiotic event.
Now, we fully understand why a domestic scene such as this, thoroughly politically irrelevant though it is, would appeal to CPC Web designers. Sure, they could have opted for a more pertinent photo of Stephen Harper in action, actually doing something he gets paid--far too handsomely--to do on behalf of Canadian taxpayers, but they would have to find one first.
A photo taken during the course of a typical day wouldn't help. A shot of Stevie cleaning up some paté de foie gras in the dining room of the Château Laurier surrounded by his many CEO cronies or gleefully watching Guy Giorno photocopy his ass on one of the PMO's Xerox machines just wouldn't set the appropriate tone. No, better to go with the real estate brochure for Stepford County.
For this photo is not as ideologically useless as it seems. Granted, it says nothing (nothing, at least, except, "Hi! I'm Stephen Harper. I'm heterosexual, and I can procreate"), but it suggests much. You'll notice that Harper is wearing a blue, rather than a white, shirt. In fact, Harper wears a blue shirt in virtually all of the print and TV ads his party has just unleashed upon a vastly bored nation.
This colour coding is an elementary semiotic tactic in the "populist" politics of class war: by wearing a blue shirt, Harper magically becomes "blue collar". He is working class, you see, very much unlike people who wear white shirts--like those effete office jockeys in the civil service, élitists with fancy degrees and European surnames who know how to choose a wine. Harper hates those people, and he expects you to hate them too.
Now, this picture is not worth a thousand words. It communicates a few dozen at most, and I think I know what they are. This is how the photo speaks to me:
"Gosh, folks. Here I was, having a totally candid, unposed moment with my family when a passer-by entered our home and pulled out a camera.
Actually, I'm rather glad he came along, as I've been far too busy turning civil servants into serfs and smearing the Opposition as Taliban stooges to show you how beautiful my children are. At least, Laureen says they're mine. I didn't ask too many questions. Whatever.
Anyway, if you're like me (and, if you're normal, you certainly are), you understand the value of being smugly "blue collar". In an egalitarian society like ours, where everyone has an equal chance to succeed--whether you be filthy rich or wealthy, beautiful or attractive, well-connected or an expert ass-kisser, Anglo-Saxon or Celtic--it is so very important to find somebody to feel morally superior to.
Of course, it's all too easy to feel superior to North America's irresponsible, over-privileged corporate élite, for most of whom a hard day's work consists of an hour on the squash court. Sadly, those are the people I work for.
So, I prefer to split my cheeks and break wind on teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers--you know, the do-gooder, bleeding-heart types who think that keeping their fingers in the holes of the dike that stands against the rising tide of North America's barbarous materialism and nihilist re-paganisation is some kind of useful labour.
Thus, as an act of solidarity with all you working-class stiffs who hate those kinds of people for knowing too much stuff and reading too many faggy books, I have donned this blue shirt, and, damn it, I'm not taking it off until I've brought us back to widespread illiteracy, divination by mystical runes, and hunting wild boar with sharp sticks.
Sure, I could have worked to earn this blue shirt honestly, but if you seriously think I was going to trade two decades of lounging in Alberta's groves of academe and sashaying around its corporate cocktail circuit for the tedious chore of actually performing a useful, wealth-creating function, you're a fucking idiot.
As you probably know, I'm on the brink of calling an election. I feel it's time. So does my psychic hairdresser, who informs me that Neptune is entering Virgo's ecliptic and will soon form a perfect trine with Venus.
Now, at this critical juncture of our nation's history, I ask you: have you ever seen Stéphane Dion wearing a blue shirt?
You know, I don't think Stéphane Dion even likes blue shirts. And I know for a fact that the Taliban just hates blue shirts.
Is this a coincidence? Maybe. But can we take that chance?
On election day, vote Harper. Do it for the blue shirts. And the men who wear them.
I feel so special. The Yanks have actually taken notice of us "Eskimos" despite being preoccupied with their own electoral circus.
CNN's headline is "Canadian PM Employs Loophole in Potential Power Grab!"--the "loophole" in this case being our constitution, by which the Governor-General-In-Council may dissolve Parliament at any time regardless of any preposterous "law" any presumptuous prime minister may wish to enact to the contrary and regardless of the infantile credulity of those (all too many) who actually think such a law is worth the breath it takes to proclaim it.