A Brief, Liminal Covid Briefing Bingo

Because we didn’t have time to set up an elaborate framing device. If we had, we’d have used this one.

#Metaphor

Or this:

#SameMetaphorReally

I’m beginning to think that, as 2020 was like being in the boat in Life of Pi, 2021 is just liminal space.

Our video, which has a shockingly low 668 views so far. NOBODY is feeling it today, not even Justin Trudeau:

Okay, here we go. Squares: Outdoors, Outerwear, Rideau Hall, Begins in French, Gloves, Scarf. And Vaccine.

Oh right, you need your bingo cards:

[Strained voice] Swearsie-realsies.

Did they just get the kids to do the front steps today? Step-shoveller(s), also, is half-assing it today.

“Spring is coming” too, implied. We begin with remarks about the arrest and six-day detention of PhD student Mamadi III Fara Camara in Montreal. The Montreal police force, roughly speaking the LAPD of Canuckistan, gathered an all-white-but- with-token-Asian panel to strenuously deny that the arrest was racially motivated, which, if true, would make it remarkable in the history of the force.

Although:

Pfizer and Moderna squares too. Trudeau is SO FUCKING TIRED of the astroturfed, performative hysteria around the supply of vaccines, particularly since it comes from a demographic which will likely floridly refuse to take them, and bloviate about it in the pasges of the National Post.

Cases in Canada continue to decline, so mark that square. Best! Square! Evar! Maybe even better than “Donc” (not really but almost. Still firmly #TeamDonc over here).

Correct. I was thinking of rapid tests. In either case, provinces, get on that.

“Every step of the way” and “Keeping Canadians safe”. Today’s speech is rough. Did it just arrive seconds before he walked through the door? Mark “Astra-Zenica” too. Trudeau, also, sounds rough. Did he sleep in, rather than me, for once? He talks about the vaccine in English because all the people bitching about it the loudest are Anglos.

Mark your “Sign language interpreter swapped out ” at less than two minutes into the briefing. Did someone have to pee or something? There are some odd pauses in this briefing. Is the teleprompter stuttering? I need to add a square for “On track” too. And “Can see your breath” is active, and you could have marked “on track” twice more in one paragraph. His voice actually breaks when he says “I know how tired we all are.” Yeah, we can all hear that, with more than just our ears.

“Passive voice” square active too. “On track” would have been again. Maybe we need a whole column on that. And another “every step of the way” again. That’s twice.

Now Trudeau is explaining, yet again, how Canada is in fact NOT stealing doses from poorer countries. Did I mention how tired he is of these myths?

Mark your “CBC cadence” square as well. Remarkably low # of people watching the video today, only 919. UPDATE: four hours later we’re over 12,000. Everyone’s slow out of the starting gate today.

And reviewing the new travel measures. Looking at “ways to strengthen our land border measures” which sounds ominous AF. Mark your “reiterates the border will remain closed” square.

“Donc” there you go. My favourite square. And “Who we are”. And “Mentions how often he meets with premiers” which I’m counting as the square “refers to the number of times Parliament meets” because hey, things change and I’m flexible like that. And “Rapid Tests”.

Mark your “My aunt calls during the briefing” square.

I really do like the line “les un pour les autres.” We’ve got nothing that catchy in English.

This tweet doesn’t have anything to do with the briefing, but I feel that it needs to be shared as much as humanly possible.

Kinda shocking the way First Nations band leaders are consistently doing a much better job than provincial Premiers at using federal resources that have been offered to them. Seriously, who would put Doug Ford in charge of a pandemic response? I wouldn’t put him in charge of a lemonade stand (he’d just use it to sell weed and black market beer). Mark your “Long term care homes” square and “Thanks the military”.

This kid is truly on to something. PMJT is Exhibit A.

And mark your “Who we are” square if I didn’t say that earlier. He always smiles at this part of the speech, should the speech contain a paragraph on Great Canadian Neoliberal Ideals, which it does about 25% of the time. “Canadian values” and “Democracy.”

YES HERE WE GO PROUD BOYS ARE TERRORISTS! “Ideologically motivated extremist groups like the Proud Boys,” says Justin Trudeau, finally making it official. Gavin McInnes, your little chuds are all grown up. Congratulations. Mazel tov. Here’s some bracelets…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Trudeau should have done this years ago. None of those knuckle-walking Nazis were ever gonna vote Liberal just because you hesitated to call a chud a chud. Better late than never. He explains that there are years worth of documentation which was necessary to prove they’re extremists so:

  • people like me don’t do what I just did, which is blame him for not doing it sooner
  • people like Erin O’Toole can’t claim they’re just misunderstood children who should immediately be provided with small business grants and 72 virgins or as many as you can round up in Lethbridge anyway.

Now, is Trudeau ever going to answer my emailed questions about the Proud Boys?* He’s worse at responding to email than I am.

It’s so me!

Oh, did y’all like my new Twitter header, shown above? No reason I mention it.

Emo Jesus sez it's okay. He's still got his poetry.
Emo Jesus sez it’s okay. He’s still got his poetry.

He let that whole section on terrorism go by without once mentioning Corey Hurren, whose hearing starts in ten minutes exactly, about a half hour walk from where Trudeau is right now, surrounded by reporters.

It occurs to me only later, when I’m adding this, that DUH, there can be no coincidence in the scheduling of the Trudeau-centric Rideau Cottage briefing at 11:30, a briefing which ran 15 minutes longer than usual, and the scheduling of the Corey Hurren bail hearing downtown at noon sharp. Trudeau’s staff isn’t stupid, nor are they without influence; there’s simply no way to get from Rideau Cottage to the Ottawa Courthouse in time to cover the hearing, and because Trudeau ran 50% longer than usual with the speech, no way for a federal reporter to cover both live. This automatically lessens the likelihood that a political reporter of note will cover the Hurren trial at all. Although you COULD set up a sort of “Isolation chamber” in a bag and have one phone dialed in and the other recording what it broadcasts, but good luck getting that on the grounds of Rideau Hall.

Hey guys, if y’all need a freelancer covering the Hurren thing, call me. I will drop Justin Trudeau in a heartbeat if it means I can be paid to cover the Hurren case.

Actually, Trudeau should pay me to cover the Hurren thing. Nobody reads my website these days, so that would effectively bury the story, and it would get me off his back. Just putting that out there in case my bid to become Governor-General somehow goes into the weeds and I still need paying work.

“Specific Canadian mentioned” square active. “Violent extremism has no place in our country.”

That’s a wrap for the speech today. I’ll be back in a few to cover the questions, gotta call in to the Hurren trial first if I can.

Well, that was quick: I was 100% unsuccessful at my attempt to dial in to the Hurren bail hearing, but it’ll 99% likely be delayed again, even though the accused was here in person. As they say in The Prisoner, “See ya!” It’s true. They never say “Goodbye.” Just the much more Panopticonomical “See ya.”

Update: he pled guilty to 8 charges. Seven of them are weapons charges and one is “mischief” for ramming his truck through the gate of the residence of the Prime Minster of Canada. The other 14 charges have simply evaporated. And that, friends, is the kind of privilege Hurren never for a moment thought he’d actually enjoy. Is Corey Hurren going to be Trudeau’s pet de-radicalized chud, trotted out as a “Live right and make great choices” speaker at high schools across the nation?

Or did he make a deal in exchange for something he knows about QAnon? I doubt he was high enough in any Nazi organization to know anything that valuable, but maybe. If Q himself suggested the attack on Trudeau, their conversations would be of great interest, but the cops likely already have access to all his communication channels. Anyway, now back to our regular programming.

You know what? It’s pretty clear to me that the final French section of this speech was basically just padding to stretch it out; he’d already said all of that. Hmm. I wonder if the plan to run out the clock only happened this morning and that’s why the speech itself sounds so rough. All the padding was added at the last minute to prevent federal reproters from covering the Hurren hearing. Maybe in two years I’ll look back at this and say I was overthinking it, but who knows?

At this rate I’m not sure there will be an internet, a Canada, or a raincoaster in two years.

“Today, Canada and indeed the world lost one of our most iconic and beloved actors – Christopher Plummer. “Whether performing on stage, in film, or on television, Mr. Plummer showed gravitas, dignity, and heart throughout a career that spanned over six decades. A longtime pillar of Canada’s Stratford Festival, he also performed on Broadway and starred in over 150 feature films, television movies, and miniseries. He gave life to so many characters we grew to love and cherish, from Captain von Trapp, to Richard III and Star Trek’s General Chang. “Mr. Plummer’s talent earned him numerous accolades. He received an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Genie Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Mr. Plummer received honorary doctorates from several universities, was invested as Companion of the Order of Canada, and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and the American Theater Hall of Fame. “Mr. Plummer was a timeless actor who entertained millions around the world and inspired many to pursue the arts. A true gentleman and a consummate professional, his presence both on and off the stage will be thoroughly missed. On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and his many fans.”

Justin Trudeau

And now, the media questions, a brief but eventful six hours later. The moderator refers to the location as “the front yard” and while it’s literally true, it’s also amusing. “Now reporting, from Front Yard…” Trudeau pauses and gives a D’Artagnan smirk.

First question is from Lina Dib of Canadian Press, with a question about M. Camara’s treatment. “What went wrong” was simply business as usual for that particular force getting caught by the public. The system is the problem; the case itself is just the proof of the problem. Trudeau gives a response which acknowledges that systemic racism is in ALL our systems, and it’s particularly important that people be able to have confidence in their police forces.

Which, I must say, would be easier if they, oh, I dunno, imprisoned all the Proud Boys. But how you gonna do that when half your force gets arrested in the process?

Next question from Ryan Tumilty of the NaPo. Oh no, not That Same Old Question Again. Yes, it is That Same Old Question Again. You’d think for what the NaPo is paying they could afford to get a new question once in awhile? Teacher looks legitimately cross now and does the “Hands on opposite corners of the podium, leaning in” thing which, if you ever asked a stupid question in elementary school, has got to send shivers down your spine. Mark your “Gesticulates” square. “Whatever it takes, as long as it takes” paraphrased. This man is a champ at padding, you gotta hand it to him. If he were paid by the word today, Canada’s deficit would triple. There’s literally no amount of information that he can give, however, that will prevent these journalists from asking the same accursed question multiple times at every briefing, which doesn’t prevent Trudeau from taking a deep breath and giving a full info dump with times, dates, quantities, and naming every company that’s ever produced a white paper on epidemiology and vaccines.

The Um Index is off the charts today.

In BOTH official languages, although he has to interrupt the reporter to do it. Oho, he’s never been so quick to fail to neglect an Official Language before. Not without Stern Moderator Offstage making him do it. It all helps run the clock out.

Follow-up question about the Astra-Zenica vaccine being produced in India and possible “Vaccine Nationalism.” Trudeau says he talked to the CEO and got reassurance we will get what we have contracted for. Mark your “Throat Malfunction” square. “From the very beginning” again, and also “Sign language interpreter swapped out.” Again. And your “Drinks water” square.

Justin Ling up with the next question, about how much money the government is spending and with whom, and why there’s so much secrecy around it [WELCOME TO OTTAWA YOU MUST BE NEW HERE].

Ling is basically passive-aggressively asking Trudeau to be more transparent with journalists which, I feel that, brother. I knew Trudeau would fire back with “Keeping Canadians safe” as if that requires him also to keep them uninformed. Let’s just say there are various perspectives around that point, and they’re not all speaking to one another. Mark your “Addresses reporter by first name.” And “From the very beginning” yet again. “Whatever it takes, as long as it takes” for I think the third time this briefing. And “PPE”.

“Part of getting through this well is maintaining Canadians’ confidence in their institutions,” says the man trying to justify NOT releasing information to Canadians. I should have a square for “Trudeau shoots himself in the foot” because we would be using it today for the first time. “But that reassurance of Canadians that we are doing everything necessary to keep them safe is at the heart of what this government is focused on,” a statement which he expects us to take at face value.

We shall pause here while I refresh my cup of tea and remind you that QAnon, also, asks its supporters to rely on faith, rather than furnishing them with the facts so they can make up their own minds. And now, back to Le Dauphin.

“Every step of the way” again. Is that a bingo? “Transparency as a measure of boosting confidence continues to be extremely important for this government.” Rather like the way the Church of England is very important to England but nobody goes to church these days? I think I sprained an eyebrow, possums.

“Every step of the way” yeah, that’s a bingo!

Trudeau pivots it around to say the government is focused on delivering for Canadians, ignoring that he is pointedly not delivering facts. Essentially, he’s taking the goodwill people have towards a government which saved them from [looks southward] a terrible fate, wrapping himself and his government in it like a sparkly magic robe, and hoping that we won’t notice that he’s completely failed to answer the question, which is, itself, a perfect example of … the question.

Oh god, fifteen more minutes of this. I’ve literally been working on this one post for eight hours now.

Ling doesn’t let him off the hook either, using the follow-up to point out that the government isn’t transparent even around domestic funding decisions. He points out that in previous governments, journalists could use Access to Information Requests to get information, and that Trudeau himself promised to make it easier to get this kind of information, including his own office, in an interview with Ling six years ago. Trudeau gives him “Twinkleface” so mark that; he knows he’s been got.

“Were you lying back then, or were you naïve?” Yeah, I got me a solid reporter crush on Justin Ling. Trudeau gives him some nice soothing compliments about the importance of journalism. “I thank you for the work you’re doing. I thank you for the pressure you keep pushing on us because we need to continue looking to do better and increase Canadians’ confidence in our democracy. We’ve seen what happens when leaders don’t respect the media, don’t believe in transparency and openness.” Yeah, mark your “Shades Trump without naming him” square. “There’s always more we can do.”

And mark your “Fails to translate into other official language”. Oh JT, you could have filled a good six or seven minutes there. Missed opportunity!

Next question from Radio Canada, about the relationship between the Federal and Provincial governments and its effect on vaccine distribution. And Trudeau goes straight back to his standard answer with how many doses of which vaccines are coming and when, and how well they’re working with premiers.

Something I just noticed is that he only “Uh’s” in English, at least today. He’s tearing through this French without even drawing breath.

Next is Tom Parry from CBC asking a slight variant of the Vaccine Delivery Question: whether there are incentives or penalties to the companies if they’re off-schedule. Mark your “Stern Teacher Voice” square when Trudeau reiterates that he’s chatted with the CEOs of the companies in question, and they promised him. So, it’s unnecessary to get written contracts with penalties and incentives. I guess they made the Unbreakable Vow or something; didn’t know you could do that via Zoom.

Us ordinary people are very well-used to big corporations fucking us over as a matter of policy and default opening move. People who’ve been abused by, rather than promoted by, The System, tend to have far less faith in it. Unclear if Justin Trudeau Of All People will ever be able to understand this in a meaningful way. We all have our personal crosses to bear, I guess.

“Got your backs” mark that square. Twice. No, three times. And while the government did indeed have our backs on income supports at one time, the CRA has frozen those income supports for thousands of Canadians while it takes its own sweet time reviewing their eligibility; in my case, this is the third consecutive month of waiting for them to process the paperwork they requested from me. I haven’t had any of the Covid support money since the period ending I think November 22, and while it made Christmas somewhat less merry, it’s made January and February acutely difficult. And, really, who among us doesn’t secretly think that CRA will change the rules to prevent you from claiming “back pay” when they finally DO approve you?

If the federal government wants us to believe they have our backs, they need to tell the CRA to CONTINUE to provide CRB supports to people while it takes its own sweet time reviewing their documentation. One simple thing that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t cost that much, puts money directly into local economies, and powerfully impacts THE WELL-BEING OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES, PEOPLE WHO COULD CONCEIVABLY VOTE Liberal IF THEY DON’T FOR SOME REASON BEGIN TO ASSOCIATE THAT PARTY WITH ACUTE FINANCIAL PAIN.

I didn’t mean to hit Capslock, but it can stay. It’s earned it.

“Got your backs” again. Yeah, right.

New question from Canadian Press about “having Canadians backs” in the future: what specifically will the government do? Huh. Someone around here had a highly specific suggestion a minute or two ago.

Mark your “Rapid testing” square if we haven’t had that yet. “From the very beginning” again. Double Bingo?

Now Mike Le Couteur with a very interesting question about misbehaviour by former chief of defence staff Jonathan Vance. I thought that resignation was rather abrupt and quiet.

Trudeau’s face says he knew he’d have to answer this sooner or later. “From the very beginning,” yet again and my boy, we need to do a cliché intervention on you. At least get some new ones! He reiterates that everyone, especially everyone in the military, deserves a workplace free from harassment, that an inquiry is taking place, and that his government has strengthened measures against such behaviour. Mike says that while the PCO was aware of the allegations, the PMO claims to have been in the dark until the report by Global was released. “Would you consider it a failure that you were not informed of these allegations?” Trudeau just repeats his earlier response from like 90 seconds ago about taking it all very seriously.

“Every step of the way,” we may be going for a triple bingo today, possums.

And now he remembers that if you translate it into French, it takes twice as much time, so that’s what he’s doing. And here on the blog we’re at 3500 words, and didn’t I say at the beginning this was going to be brief? At some point I started transcribing and recapping and this is where we are now.

New question from CTV news, sorry didn’t catch the reporter’s name, about why all the major vaccine companies declined to manufacture in Canada. Answer: We didn’t have the ability to produce them quickly enough, thanks to Stephen Harper and mark your “shades Harper” square. Trudeau is SO HAPPY to go out of this briefing answering a question with warm fuzzies and lots of documented success.

“From the beginning we said we’d have Canadians’ backs.” Dear god, man, a twofer. You’ve said each about twenty times in this briefing alone. Can someone get this man a new phrasebook? Is he as bad in French as he is in English? Guess we won’t find out, as he’s not going to translate this one.

And that’s a wrap.

The words that stand out for me from todays briefing were, “Looking at ways to strengthen our land border.” This, along with the ban on recreational and tourism boats in the Arctic until Spring of 2022, says Trudeau really does expect a flood of Americans whether refugees or … some other category. This year. Possibly this summer. Joe, Joe, I thought we were pals? Maybe these plans have been in the works since back when they thought Trump would take the election, and Trudeau thinks, “well, fewer illegal Americans in Canada, that’s a good thing.” and hard to disagree.

I know, I know, but “No One Is Illegal” doesn’t apply to privileged white people. And I am throwing all of my white privilege behind that statement, so don’t you DARE contradict me. *stern Maggie Smith arched eyebrow*

Meanwhile, in the US:

In Directly-Related News, try going to Antifa.com [Updated to add, awww, someone disabled it. Used to redirect to WhiteHouse.gov]

*No, possums, he is not.

5 thoughts on “A Brief, Liminal Covid Briefing Bingo

  1. Aww, the redirect on Antifa.com doesn’t work anymore. Some time between the time I posted the first draft of this and the time I finished it stopped redirecting to WhiteHouse.gov.

    Don’t know my own strength.

  2. Reblogged this on #OpCovid19 and commented:

    The latest from Canada, including an update on the QAnon supporter Corey Hurren, who attempted to “citizen’s arrest” the Prime Minister by ramming his truck through the locked iron gates. Oh yes, and there were illegal weapons in the truck, more than he could physically carry.

  3. Mamadi Fara Camara, the Black Montreal bank manager who spent six days in lockup after being wrongfully accused of attacking a police officer, could easily have been formally charged, tried and convicted.

    When I hear how relieved people are when some guy is charged with a reviled crime — ‘Did they catch him? They did? Well, that’s a relief!’ — I mentally hear the phrase, ‘We’ll give ’im a fair trial, then we’ll hang ’im.’

    And if I’d point out he may be the wrong guy who’s being railroaded, I could receive the erroneous refrain, ‘Well if he’s truly innocent, he has nothing to worry about.’

    It’s why I strongly feel the news-media should refrain from publishing the identity of people charged with a crime—especially one of a repugnant nature, for which they are jailed pending trial (as is typically done)—until at least after they’ve been convicted?

    Considering the flaws—even corruption—in the law-enforcement and justice system, no one should have their name permanently tarnished and life potentially ruined because the news-media insists upon immediately running a breaking story.

  4. I wasn’t.
    My post was about a corrupted societal mindset in regards to others’ guilt, the legal system and an almost unconscious presumption of guilt.

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