The Napoleonic Covid Briefing Bingo

Hello, Possums, and welcome back to another episode of the Justin Trudeau Hour, coming to you live today from Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall, yet again. Just like old times, really. Will we have new porchscaping, Possums? An appearance from the family dog? Will we get the Sophie square? One is on tenterfuckinghooks, one is!

Today’s briefing is named after Napoleon, in accordance with our overarching nomenclature theme. Still no correct guesses in the comments section as to what that might be. But some plenty great visuals!

Justin Trudeau as Napoleon, from (where else) the National Post
Justin Trudeau as Napoleon, from (where else) the National Post

We shall see if either of my computers can make it through today’s #BriefingBingo alive. One can’t get on the internet, the other refuses to boot.

We’re running a bit behind, so today’s intro will be abbreviated in the interests of expeditiousness which, unusually for a Canadian political interest, has no money or votes at all to trade for influence, but where were we? Oh right, getting to the point.

Here’s the video:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic.

Well, that was a right Royal or at least Imperial clusterfuck, wasn’t it?

You can bet Napoleon would have had the whole CPAC team beheaded today.

So let’s for once use the CBC video and you’ll want to skip to 13:30 to avoid all the talking heads CBC has on salary and has to give airtime to. Well, for all I know they’re very good, but they’re just the warm-up for the actual bingo, right Possums?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal ministers, and public health officials update Canadians on the latest measures the federal government is taking to slow the spread of COVID-19.

And here are our bingo cards:

To begin with you can mark your squares for “Rideau Cottage” which is actually officially “at Rideau Hall” but Rideau Cottage is at Rideau Hall and so it counts, and also “On location”. This is the first briefing EVER given by a Prime Minister who is personally quarantined. Certainly in Canada, maybe the entire planet. Personally I’d do my quarantine at Harrington Lake, because it’s super-nice, but then you don’t get the press to cover it.

Actually we sort of have to take his word for it that he’s at Rideau Cottage and not Harrington Lake, because there are no distinctive features except a white-painted bookcase with your standard Roget’s Thesaurus and Karsh Portraits and the general assortment of books you’d find at anyone’s house if anyone went to a good Canadian university. Without the Millennium Falcon to corroborate, we are just going to have to go with it.

I hate blindly accepting authority for something as important as this critical issue. Should I give you the “tells you to have faith in the system” square? No, I’m not that soft, Possums. Not yet, anyway.

Justin Trudeau, left, and Admiral Horatio Nelson. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP & Roger Viollet Collection/Getty Images)
Nelson too had to put up with annoying questions about his preparedness for command, even though he was a high- ranking officer and had seen a lot of action at sea in Europe and North America. As he grew more experienced, Nelson mellowed. Still, as one online biography points out: “He was also vain and loved to be flattered and receive praise.”
And there was that hair.

Also, if he’s so smart why is he NOT at Harrington Lake, which is a metric kabillion times nicer than Ottawa in the summertime? Metric, not Imperial.

All of these briefings, from Rideau Cottage or the “Yet To Be Renamed” Building on Wellington Street, have been socially distanced and in accordance with safety guidelines because, well, obvious reasons.

You can also mark your “starts more than ten minutes late” square, which, how do you be late to an appointment at your own house? But at least he’s consistent about it. I had me doubts when I saw “11:15” on the schedule instead of the usual 11:30 but in any case it’s 11:42 before we get the least sign of action and then we get a cornucopia of fuckery from CPAC, which seems to be somewhat hungover today.

Trudeau, speaking English, is muted. An honestly pretty good simultaneous translator is translating his English into French, which is (from the point of view of an English speaker trying to cover the briefing) really fucking irritating. Normally I could lip-read passably, but not without muting the audio altogether, which means I risk missing it if they get their shit together, so I’m not gonna do that. This continues for most of the actual speech, which I’ll have to rip off his website later. Given Ottawa’s typical pacing, “later” means Monday. Ottawa doesn’t work like the rest of Canada.

Justin Trudeau, Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Julie Payette. This worked out so well for everyone, didn’t it?

Where was I? Oh yes, focusing. Mark “Begins more than ten minutes late” and “Someone appears only via video” and “Someone is on mute” that someone being Justin Trudeau. And while I see he’s speaking English, the CPAC video has a simultaneous French translator, so this is going to be a clusterfuck to cover. At least today I didn’t forget my coffee in the kitchen like I usually do.

I think this is the most I’ve ever used the word “Clusterfuck” and we’re only like ninety seconds in.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall…

Okay, going off the CBC video for once, here we go:

Oh ,you also get the “entire briefing via Zoom” square on the Eight Generation card. I’m also going to be generous and give you the “On Location” square, so mark that. Oh, did I say “Begins in English” because yeah. I thought we had a “diversity/antibigotry/antifa” square but if we do it’s hiding. I’ll put one on the next card for sure. Mark your “Who we are” square.

Duh, mark your G7 square of course. and “vaccine” and “Moderna” and now “into arms.” This whole speech is being read straight off the prompter or paper and it’s competent but not inspiring. Someone piss this man off: he’s always better when he’s pissed off. Many of us are, god knows.

And “deploys the military” square in action now. And “working with premiers/provinces” square too. And “foreshadows announcement to be made later.”

Now he’s talking about extending CRB/CERB/COVID benefits, and “shades Conservatives” for their obstruction of the extension. But one wonders, Possums, one wonders really fucking hard, what is the point of a CERB that is roughly $250 a month more than welfare? It seems extremely inadequate to provide some sort of economic stimulus but maybe somebody can buy the second-cheapest beer, not the cheapest.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall…

There’s another “Got your backs”. In his defence of the Defence Minister, Trudeau seems more emphatic than the rest of this talk. So “Harj” is safe. And another “Keeping Canadians Safe”.

NOW they appear to have thrown the French translator overboard and unmuted the Prime Minister, so that’s something. I’m still going to have to do this over again this afternoon sometime because I missed literally everything up to “and finally this morning.” Soooooooooper.

But other reporters didn’t!

You can mark “Got your backs” too, I guess. That’s something. I don’t have a square for “election imminent” but you can mark “Shades Conservatives” too.

There’s your “Keeping Canadians Safe” square, and I note the entire G7 is on board with “Building Back Better” which is unfortunate. And I say that as someone who LOOOOOOOVES alliteration.

Oh wait, mark your “alliteration” square!

On to the questions, and alas I missed the first one. Today is going just great chez raincoaster, so here’s hoping it’s going better for you.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall…

We’re all Eurocentric today

Oh yes, you have the “shirtsleeves” square as well. Oh, and the “facial hair” square too. Looking at the backdrop, one has to ask, does EVERYONE in government have that Karsh book? It must be a requirement. Imagine being that publisher? “Yeah, that damn book put my entire family through grad school. Four times for Billy! He’ll start his PhD in Comparative Toenail Zoology at McGill any day now.”

Speaking of Karsh, did I tell you the story of when my grandmother and my aunts were photographed by Karsh? Oh, not like fancy people were.

And it don’t get fancier than this retired Swiss ballerina

No, this was before Karsh was “Karsh.” Come to that, it was before Grandma was “Grandma” and The Aunts were “The Aunts.” So, they’re even there.

Anyhoodle, the whole family which included my mother at this point but did not at the moment (or later, but that’s a tale for another time) include the titular head of the family who was off farming or muskrat trapping or warlocking or boozing it up and murdering a man, but there I’ve said too much…were walking along a pleasantly scenic point by the river or canal, who can tell, it was water anyway, and this guy with a big-ass camera and tripod asks if they’ll pose for him, the lady in the coat and her cute daughters all bundled up for the winter, and then he looks straight at my mother, who also wasn’t my mother yet, and tells her to get out of the shot. She didn’t look like the others, you see. Four girls who all looked alike, and one who looked nothing like them. Karsh, he had the eye even then, when he was accosting random proles on the street and asking them to model for him.

They ended up in a postcard of Ottawa. My aunt has the postcard pinned on her wall. I’ll post a picture of it some day.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall…

Meanwhile, in vaccine lineups around the country:

Methinks Trudeau has had some help with his home Zoom setup so it’s a little less distorted these days. Some of last year’s appearances definitely had that webcam weirdness going on.

Oh the flack he got for this grin!

That’s your “into arms” square. and “Summer is coming” and I’m not sure if we had “Fall is coming” as a square because who the fuck thought we’d still be here now? Mark your “Sign language interpreter swapped out” square, and “Touches face” although technically it was his neck. Hey, I’m being generous today.

Mark your “Technical difficulties” square, did we already have that? There’s your “pushes responsibility to provinces” square, which was inevitable.

Do I have a “vaccine passports” square? Well, if I don’t, everyone ELSE will have one soon, as Trudeau says.

Not officially part of the briefing, but you can mark your GenerationX square for this:

Remember, kids: attack and dethrone god!

Meanwhile, back at the briefing… we are on to questions. And you get the “dimples” square.

First up is Christian Noel from Radio Canada asking whether what’s happening at the end of this parliamentary session is toxic and dysfunctional enough to call an election and Trudeau gives you “we are working very hard” and “Shades Conservatives.” Kudos for hammering home that conversion therapy is a terrible thing and does not belong in Canada.

“Strenuous nod” square active. “Vaccine passport” non-square would be active if we had one. “We are working with provinces” square highly active.

Now Tonda MacCharles asking two different questions as her question: why isn’t there a national vaccine delivery strategy “into arms” and also why still the three day hotel quarantine. That gives you the “travel and quarantine question again” from the Tenth Generation card.

I think there’s a square for “addresses reporter by name” so mark that. Everyone knows Tonda.

Another “every step of the way” which is I believe four, one short of a bingo.

Ryan Tumilty asks why the border must remain closed and mark your “border remains closed” square. Trudeau explains that even though two vaccine doses gives you pretty good protection against catching Covid-19, “even a fully vaccinated individual can pass Covid-19 on to someone who is not vaccinated.” Which, we have explained before and Trudeau has explained before and really, weren’t you paying attention? Don’t you read these briefing bingos?

This moderator is really on the ball, having him repeat in the other official language.

And mark your “softball” question for that one about how, given the huge increase in vaccine supply, will Canadians be fully vaccinated before the original goal September. Which Trudeau does not answer directly, although he answers at length, with optimism, so mark your “unqualified optimism” square.

Lina Dib asks about vaccines and travel and the US border and Trudeau just repeats what he’s said before about how it’s hard to coordinate with different countries and we need to be safe and some countries have different vaccines and everything’s very complicated and also all Canadians should get their vaccines as quickly as possible. I wonder how much money we save by not paying him by the word.

Mark your “Twinkleface” square although it wasn’t for you it was for David Akin. Easy, fangirls, calm down.

“Every step of the way” again WHICH IS A BINGO PEOPLE WE HAVE A BINGO!

“Fully vaccinated” needs to be a square because we’ve just had it like ten times in two sentences. A twofer! “Keeping Canadians safe” and “From the very beginning.”

And in conclusion: Very proud that I have trained my spellchecker to a sufficient level that it now recognizes “clusterfuck.” That’s what a year of covering politics will do to ya.

Meanwhile, in Canadian Conservatism:

“Every step of the way” square active. Twice. And “that same vaccine question” square as well.

And, that’s a wrap. See you next Tuesday?

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall…

And Thomas Jefferson on bass guitar
And Thomas Jefferson on bass guitar

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