Monday, 29 April 2013

Harperium In Excelsis: Game of Drones, Part III

Several of the past month’s news stories force us to derive a number of painful yet unsurprising conclusions about Stephen Harper’s caucus, party, and supporters. I present below a list that is, sadly, not exhaustive. To wit, our Harperoids

...are not averse to watching the Museum of Civilization be bizarrely repurposed into a museum for folks who hate museums (by the people who’ve been perfecting a government for folks who hate government and a Canada for folks who hate Canada), which, if past performance has any predictive relevance, will undoubtedly feature as its centrepiece exhibit a gargantuan bronze statue of Christ in a “USA Kicks Ass” t-shirt riding triumphantly into Jerusalem on the back of a triceratops flanked by an honour guard of Navy SEALs;      

...are unmoved when their “populist” prime minister abridges the rights and privileges of his MPs merely because his party’s base is composed of people who expect their representatives to bring onto the floor of the House precisely the kind of obnoxious-to-the-vast-majority-of-Canadians motion Harper knows makes his caucus look like the cast of Porky’s II and is thus desperate to suppress;

...are content to see the protracted domestic detention of a Crown subject whose “confession”, gleaned by American torturers conducting an illegal, unanimously discredited sondergericht in a Cuban gulag, was extorted partly through the threat of being repeatedly rectally raped, by “big black guys,” naturally (the carriers of what the collective American imagination conceives as the most virulent genus of social contamination). Moreover, they agree with Stephen Harper that the Canadian people, though now paying the full cost of Khadr’s room and board, are too fragile to withstand the apocalyptic impact of whatever he would wish to say from behind bars;

...were proud to see their prime minister ornament the sombre dignity of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral by pimping the event for the sake of a cheap, guttersnipe attack on Justin Trudeau, insolently launched atop the still-warm corpses of the Boston Marathon victims. Nor do they overmuch mind that their tax dollars are currently funding a campaign of wretched defamation, the thrust of which is Trudeau’s alleged faggotry, that is so odious that even hardened Harper-fellating hacks like Stephen Woodworth and Brent Rathgeberwho’ve spent the last half-decade proving that they would queue up naked before the front door of 24 Sussex in a February hailstorm to receive the honour of drinking overflowing bowls of the foetid, maggot-speckled swill compounded of venality, illegality, sophistry, and moral cowardice that perpetually sluices forth from the dank cloaca of CPC HQ—find unacceptably repellent. It’s as if they’ve finally realised that, after seven years of forcing his ward-heeling invertebrates to prostitute every single principle they claim to hold, Harper has managed to become the only maquereau in the history of the West too stupid to know how to run a whorehouse at a profit.     
The primary, and perhaps only, utility Harper’s conservative lemmings can offer real conservatives is their service as a stark daily reminder that humankind is irremediably unregenerate: the immutable fact of human fallibility is a core conservative belief, and our justified awe before the myriad glories of human compassion, magnanimity, and virtue must sometimes be tempered by an acknowledgment that we have not crawled as far beyond the primeval slime as we think we have, a fact that Canada’s branch of the global confederacy of idiocy argues with irresistible eloquence.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Harperium In Excelsis: Game of Drones, Part II

Any attempt at a socio-political diagnosis of North America’s current condition that hopes to claim the slightest dram of explanatory validity must convincingly account for the undeniable fact that the “New World” is afflicted with at least one collective distemper utterly unprecedented in the cultural history of the West.

North Americans have fallen into a state of crushing torpor untold in the chronicles of Western civilisation. For proof, we need only acknowledge that we find nowhere described in any of the histories of the West a popular reaction to brazen elite criminality as mutely bovine as that which greeted Wall Street’s wanton years-long poaching of the global economy. Our cowardice in the face of this perpetually unpunished disgrace has no known ancestor. It is the Mitochondrial Eve of societal moral squalor.
Until 2008, the West had produced no society so thoroughly drained of its ethical haemoglobin as to be prepared to accept with a lobotomised half-smile that the already-obscenely rich perpetrators of the systemic rape of trillions of dollars of global assets shall not only waltz away from their felonies uncharged, unconvicted, and unjailed but shall also be pensioned off with bonuses hundreds of thousands of times larger than the yearly wages of most of those they robbed. Never in the course of human history, not even during the Viking sacks of Ireland’s gold- and silver-larded monasteries, had an act of such rapacious barbarity been committed with such lucrative impunity.

In a society healthier than ours, that of Caligula’s Rome or of France’s late ancien regime, for instance, such a laughing display of unconscionable rapine would have landed an emperor, festooned with innumerable gladius slashes, floating open-eyed amid the currents of the Tiber, or would have destined the powdered limbs of aristocrats to adorn pikes held aloft by garlanded girls dancing down wide, sunlit avenues bordered by their joyously weeping fathers and mothers. Mark that these executors of the natural law would not have been, as they are today, ragtag scratch militias of the marginal and the disenfranchised: it was the powerful Praetorian Guard, quintessential insiders, who obligingly delivered to the Palatine crowds the emperors they wished deposed; it was the most talented, ambitious, and bright-futured among the comfortable French bourgeoisie who led the toppling of the Bourbons.

Meanwhile, we Canadians, clearly aping Americans’ acquiescence before robbery, as we seem to insist on aping every species of American moral idiocy, watch the slow-motion shipwreck of the robocall fiasco unfold with the sullen, heavy-lidded indifference with which a fifteen-year-old Crip, returning to class after a spliff-puffing session enjoyed behind the school dumpster, settles in for a lecture on quadratic equations. Too many commentators have attempted to explain Canadians’ apparent unconcern before the troubling Roboscam facts as a symptom of the alleged “complexity” of the case. Those less afraid to wield Occam’s razor will simply add this supine unconcern to the mounting evidence of Canadians’ quadrennially shrinking inclination to vote for their choice of faceless party automaton and come to the necessary conclusion that a growing number of Canadians do not care whether their government is elected fairly and constitutionally, whether it slithers and slimes its way into the House of Commons via an I-Ching or Tarot reading superintended by one of the Trailer Park Boys, or whether a government is elected at all. Among the most glorious fruit of the harvest of freedom seeded by Stephen Harper’s overturning of the Chretien/Martin tyranny is the undeniable fact that most Canadians, in the year 2013, have as little thought of meaningfully interfering in their own political lives as had Yorkshire ploughmen under the Plantagenets.

Asking whether or not there is hope is not the right question to ask at the tail end of one of the two (formerly liturgical) seasons the most marked effect of which on me is the sad recollection that our culture has managed to degrade two narratives that had at least an iota of morally redeeming value into mere Pavlovian retail reflexes whose only function and practical effect are to goad children into abducting their parents’ superegos and forcing them to enrich China’s Politburo through gratuitous purchases the flamboyant uselessness of which would have caused the buyers to be thrust outside the moral borders of the society that founded this Dominion.

The right question to ask is whether there is a way to hope that does not have at its foundation the very urges that turn our hopes to ashes.