The Kootenays, under lockdown, 6, 8 weeks now? I don't know. It's been forever. Everywhere the signs tell you: "Essential Travel Only" and "Stay Local". 

Most of us oblige. But it's hard. Especially when you see the Alberta plates everywhere. The lockdowns, they apply to everyone but them.

Alberta, Alberta...

Covid numbers double ours. Everywhere, it's always a result of government - the more regressive/conservative your government, the higher your numbers. 

And Alberta, it's not as if it was an 8 party system, where the tyranny of the minority won with 15% of the popular vote, no, a clear majority of you voted for Jason Kenney, 

Heinreich Cumschwiller Kenney. How many voted? 54.88% majority, less the 1% raping the rest of you - so 53.88 percent of you thought things would get better with this ass-clown in charge? I'm being kind.

Truly the cuts to education have paid off. 

Alberta, Circle-jerk of ranchers and oilmen, darkened back rooms filled with cigar smoke, enter Kenney in his best bondage gear, an oily black PVC catsuit gifted him from his equally erudite and well educated friend Ted Cruz.

Concerned about abortion? How is that an issue when all you can do is butt-fuck the very people that voted and work for you?

And how.

The UCP, like the Conservative Party, only with more swastikas - left gets in, not because people like the left, only because they want to punish the right, then next election counter by swinging more right - "We'll be just like the old Conservative Party, only with more Swastikas..." And Alberta, always, will vote for the clown with the biggest belly and nose. It's a tradition. 

Kenney, rewriting the Alberta Curriculum to highlight his families role in the province, he is making himself king...teach the students about Jazz Legend Grandpa Kenney... about the Famous Impressionist Grandma Kenney, About the Titanic Victim Jack Kenney who drowned while making room on the raft for his other Grandmother Rose DeWitt Kenney, about Easter and how it celebrates Great Grandpa "Jesus" Kenney's persecution at the hands of his political opponents, what year, what country is this?

Nevermind, it's Alberta.

Alberta, birthplace of Ted Cruz the prodigal son that never returned, went off into the world and did well for himself, a source of pride, "The one that got away" most Albertans think to themselves, better looking, better groomed than Trump, and sharing all of their own homespun values.

And Kevin J. Johnston - a contender for Calgary Mayor, why can't he take his talents to the Provincial Level? Clearly the man's an intellectual - and represents faithfully the Alberta ideology - shouldn't Kenney bring him into the cabinet? Offer him a role more suited to his talents and ability?

On the Ferry, 6:30 AM, the Ferry's full, we're the only 2 BC Plates. Everyone else is Alberta. Driving our economy during Covid when even the locals are requested to stay home, rioting it up in Nelson (link here: https://www.castanet.net/news/BC/330033/Kootenays-restaurant-closes-for-long-weekend-after-being-overwhelmed-by-rude-tourists), work, it's scaring me.

Here on  "Essential Business" involving a dozen mountain bikes obscuring their license plate, Kayaks cluttering their car rooves, feeling free to share their "Pandemic is a hoax" theory with any local trapped within earshot. 

How badly do I want to go back to work?

And most people polite, kind, but the Albertans, you can always tell, coming in with t-shirt pinched over their noses, "Do you need a mask?", and "Can we eat inside?", and waiting in a hostile stance at the door to inform me that they want to come in at 10 minutes to close because "Your website says you're open until 9:30". I don't know if it still does, but these people, they're attitude - the Alberta Attitude, The Karen's come calling, it's trying my patience.

An anti-mask rally draws thousands, yet you can't even protest Kenney? Does it never cross your mind to flush the toilet? These people - every member of the UCP - need to tarred and feathered and run out of town. No - it's time. There's an exemplary side to both Justice and Politics. This is it. The tar, think of it as the hot-latex that you all wear in the back rooms, the lather of hot-spicy-capitalist "Most Certainly Straight" sex, sprinkled with Chicken feathers, a homage to all the hard-working poultry farmers.

Alberta, Alberta, rarely even rising to the level of incompetence, "not even wrong", to be wrong you'd have to have understood the question, instead, you deflect it, change it, change the topic, make "Health" about the economy, make the pandemic political.

At war with a cartoon bigfoot and not a single fucking advisor suggested that - well - really? Haven't we got bigger concerns? Maybe bigfoot is right? I agree- I've seen the picture - he's an affront to good taste and grooming - but - that doesn't seem to be where you're taking offense.

Alberta, Alberta.

Gas to Coal - what's next? Stone tools? Banana farms? Sabre-toothed tiger hunting safaris? Kenney, the future hope of all Albertans....Leader of the Regressive Conservatives, The - next to Ted Cruz - epitome of Alberta Culture and education. 

You know the Albertans here, their cottages, you know them, they chop all the trees down so they can see the trees. The level out the mountains so they can see the levelled mountains. They won't be happy until everything is like home. Cheap vinyl sided subdivisions, - no taste restrictions in effect - and - what was an eyesore everywhere you looked out past Bearspaw and Cochrane is here doubly so.

But - good news just in - Alberta will be fully open in time for Stamped and Klondike Days. Whew. Maybe that will keep y'all home.

Wow. Alberta. Alberta.

Home of the rich rig-pigs who flew back to their vinyl-clad Shangri-La's to discover their vacuous blonde trophy wives cheating, divorcing, taking up Yoga or Exercise, weren't the 3 snowmobiles, 2 F150's, 4 ATV's, enough? Are you really missing the fucking 16 hour days in the oil patch where you had to fucking snort coke all the live long day because - really - that's the only thing that fucking made life worth living? Alberta, living proof that you can have too much of a good thing.

Newspapers that stopped reporting, relied on the Police to report on their policing, the city to report on their debates and policies, the provincial government to advise them of policy, newspapers that forgot about journalism, analysis, facts, all in favor of "OP-ED", shallow criticism of the party in power because we want to be seen as being controversial or independent but we don't want to give offense or they'll stop feeding us news. Newspapers who's only use is to line puppy cages - you wouldn't read one if your life hinged on it, couldn't, you'd gag at the nonsense they publish, fucking rip up you're kindergarten diploma, what was the point if this is all the nonsense they feed you.

I didn't agree with everything Notley did either - but it was clear she was trying, and working in the best interests of the people. When was that not enough? When did you decide you'd rather have a limp-dicked self-serving cuck as your premier? Although - to be fair - he does represent an awful lot of you...

Alberta, Alberta - where every day, every headline is an "April Fools", only - only it isn't. With Trump out of the way we can look closer to home, and - rest assured - Q-Anon's got nothing on you. Shame. 

 

 

Not that there is news anymore, to find it you have to search the deep web. Most of what you read is Op-Ed, Postmedia basically is the Fox News of Canada, (Calgary Herald, National Post, Etc.), a lot of opinions, very few facts and almost always entirely irrelevant or out of context. 

For example all the news surrounding the Vaccines. The efficacy, the drawbacks, misgivings, blood clotting, etc. 

All this is controversy for the sake of print space and advertising. More people will die driving to and from getting the vaccine than will die of complications from the vaccine. Countless more people will die because they didn't get the vaccine, their heads filled with doubt fueled by irresponsible, scientifically illiterate journalism. Until everyone gets the vaccine the pandemic will continue, people will die and lockdowns will become a part of life.

Reporting on "Complications" with various vaccines is irresponsible, and click-bait journalism that leads with headlines like "Blood Clotting" only later in the article to advise you it's still comparatively safe are not only unethical but dangerous.

That's it, that's all. 

On FaceBook, against my better judgement, but - finding rentals out here you leave no stone unturned, and there are the various groups, local, it is after a fashion a way to keep in touch with my less frequent local acquaintances.

Anyways, these acquaintances, there's always a few that are over-sharing, that's the point, some, 4 or 5 times a day posting a fucking picture of every goddamned sausage they eat, the "filtered" selfies that - if you ran into them on the street you would never recognize them, the lie of the camera that it adds weight when in fact most cameras have been used to hide it. Really, if you've ever tried FaceBook you know exactly who and what I mean.

And scrolling through my "FaceBook News" (Oxymoron?) there are videos, little segways that are designed to amuse or briefly entertain you, keep you on their site in lieu of postings from your friends, viral videos, memes or highlight reels from movies with titles like "WHY YOU DON'T BULLY KEANU REEVES..." and I'm wondering what the fuck up Keanu Reeves is a nice guy and all but I'd hardly call him a friend and why is he sending me this shit is he worried about me bullying him and you watch the reel and it's a dumb-ass collection of nonsense movies he starred in and all the voices are a pitch too high to avoid getting taken down for copyright infringement, it's no longer Keanu Reeves it's "Squeaky" Reeves...

Strange thing is it just pops up, like it's "My" sort of content, my own circle of friends isn't painful enough FaceBook's finding me more? Giving me "Humorous" or "Thoughtful" insights (rarely to never!) into the minds and likes of people it judges to be my peers. 

I need to figure out this algorithm. Presumably it's a little more sophisticated than Reddit's formula, which is if you scroll too far they start showing you pictures of pretty girls "2Busty2Hide" and sexualized anime children and then they hit you with the ads for a Therapist or Suicide counselling because, really, if you scrolled that far into Reddit you're probably at high risk...

But todays complaint isn't about FaceBook. You can't really complain about it anyways, I'm just perpetually surprised by it, the whole "Stranger in a Strange Land" Schtick. Complaining about FaceBook is a little like complaining about the government, or taxes, it does nothing, and at the moment I kind of have to have it.

No, todays complaint isn't about Facebook. It's about their fucking ads.  

As a kid I bought a "Boney the Skeleton", from the back of a comic book, 6' high, glow in the dark eyes, $1.00. And so I saved up and sent off for it to receive, many, many weeks later after I'd long forgotten - a 6' plastic printed sheet poster of a skeleton with glow in the dark dots that you stuck in the eyes. "SCARY". Not.

My disappointment was profound. I genuinely thought I was going to get a skeleton.

Anyways, an early lesson on advertising and skepticism about the mail-order comics business, which in many respects resembles the internet and in every way resembles FaceBook.

Adverts that popped up in my feed over Christmas included the Astronomia by Jacob & Co., original retail price over $500, 000 US, now knocked off on Facebook for under $50.00 per watch. The ads are shot for shot rip-offs (by which I mean directly copied) from Jacob's promotional material. And then there's the Jacob & Co. Bugatti Watch, with a real working V16 Engine inside...

Why not? The half million dollar price tag reflects it's uniqueness, limited run, why shouldn't China reverse engineer one, knock off a few thousand for a fraction of the price, why, they have entire factories devoted to doing nothing but this!

There were others and I look and kind of want them but ... well, now a lot older and only slightly wiser. I bookmark the links, they've since disappeared. The most likely explanation is that they never existed in the first place. Not on FaceBook anyways, and surely not for $50.00.

Now I'm besieged with ads for a Magic-Tapestry, which you can see here (click here) or here (click here) or here (click here).

See? Real Cool. And a bargain at double the price. And it must be a hot product, look at all the different vendors selling it. Read the comments. 

Wow. I'll have to get one. Maybe 2. Perfect...imagine tripping on acid, or mushrooms, or maybe just smoke a joint or hang it in your tent for the next big music festival.

Really, I need to have it. Goddamn it I'm not going to let it disappear on me I'm going to order one right away....

Just right after I do the teensiest bit of research..."Buyer Beware", "Due Diligence" and all...I shouldn't have to do this, really, it's FaceBook, that's all they do is sell advertising, they're a huge company worth billions, surely they vet their advertisers?

But, the slightest bit of sleuthing and you find out that, in fact, it is a complete fraud. That there's nothing like this for sale, it doesn't exist, period, and the whole "Magic Tapestry" thing was a rip-off of some DJ's light mapping, which was pretty cool, but it wasn't a fucking magic carpet and I'm damned sure that these bastards aren't making or selling anything close to what they're advertising, but as long as FaceBook is making money no one's complaining. Not for another 6-8 weeks, at which point the products will start to arrive and the reviews start to come in and all the vending websites will have mysteriously rolled up and disappeared...

You can see where they ripped off their promotional materials here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKwcfDHQx5E

So, I wasn't going to complain about FaceBook but they have one job - know who's paying you - and they're clearly not doing it.

This is, of course, next or late stage capitalism, wherein the capitalist maximizes his return on the most negligible of investments. The dot-com bubble come to fruition.

A few examples so you know what I'm talking about: Amazon, Ebay, Uber, UberEats, Doordash, Skipthedishes, Airbnb, YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Any Dating Site, etc etc.

Amazon and Ebay both make money off of listing items for sellers (and charging the seller a commission) and as well making a commission on the purchaser. That commission might be hidden in a hundred ways, from service fees, transaction fees, interest on money that stored in Paypal accounts (very clever Ebay!), advertising fees, etc, etc. In fact, once you have the platform there's no end to the ways you can monetize it. But - Ebay & Amazon themselves produce nothing - jobs to administer, upgrade the website, liaise with customers, in the case of Amazon perhaps some items stored locally in warehouses, but nothing is done that couldn't be done cheaper by the manufacturer of the product.

What Amazon provides is an Umbrella, of sort, where everything can be found under a single "roof", because - no one wants to go to the trouble of searching different websites.

In the case of Uber, UberEats, DoorDash & Airbnb, money is paid by the clients (restaurants or property listers, commissions for restaurants frequently averaging above 20%, Uber charges drivers in excess of 25%), that surcharge is in turn passed on to the customer. Except - in restaurants, which already precarious in their earnings must swallow and additional 20+% loss in food sold through third party "middlemen", and to make matters worse the middlemen cut the vendors out by setting up look-a-like websites and ads and rerouting phone calls to the restaurant through their service. Nobody wins but the middlemen.

Dating sites? YouTube? A hundred other websites? All creating profit and money through content created by the users. Users have become hostage to the platforms they helped to build.

This is now the world - the vast disconnect between the people that produce value and the people that make money off of it. Money spent "locally" is routed through Uber and winds up in the hands of corporations thousands of miles away with no local interest or investment.

Anyways, it's a pointless rant, merely a list of services (and the types of services) that I strive to avoid.