Seneca says get off your ass

Letters from a Covid Briefing Bingo

We’re back, kittens! Second day in a row with a brand new Covid Briefing Bingo, this time based on the year-end interview with CTV’s Evan Solomon. One more to go and then we’ll be all caught up (ignoring the actual federal panel covid briefings, which, as you can see, I am currently doing).

Today’s Briefing Bingo is named after Lucius Annaeus Seneca‘s famous work of stoicism, Letters from a Stoic. And let’s face it, kittens, if there’s ever a time for stoicism, it’s during a pandemic and in particular during a lockdown. I’m an Absurdist Anarchist of the old skool, but if it weren’t for dipping into stoic practices and mindsets from time to time I would long ago have ground The Roommate up and sold him as raw dog food. The skeleton? Well, bone broth for dogs is A Thing, kittens, A Thing which sells for $4 a litre! Thinking of calling it Sweeney Dogg Gourmet Pet Treats.

With my education it’s about the only career path open to me.

Same, Chrysippus, same. But we’d both have made a lot more money.

Anyhoodle, I was talking about stoicism and here we are with Justin Trudeau’s year end Stoicism and Liberalism Half Hour with Evan Solomon of CTV, who is genial enough, but also has quite a nice line in “But where did you really shit the bed this year?” questions.

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You cannot critique the critique of pure reason

The Critique of the Covid Briefing Bingo

New year new Covid Briefing Bingo nomenclature convention, kittens!

We’ve run through all the good Paul Naschy movies, and many of the worst of Bela Lugosi, but I decided we needed to up our game. It’s 2021. No more laurel-resting! No more B movie titles! No indeedy. We’re moving on up and out and on and now we are going to be ripping off the greatest works of philosophy for our titles!

Today’s inaugural New! Improved! Covid! Briefing! Bingo! Title! comes to us from the immortal Immanuel Kant, whose The Critique of Pure Reason is one of the foundational texts of Western philosophy (although it strenuously denies having anything to do with that skeevy Ayn Rand, Libertarianism, or Jordan Peterson, and polygraph testing proves this to be true).

Allow me to introduce you:

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is the central figure in modern philosophy. He synthesized early modern rationalism and empiricism, set the terms for much of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, and continues to exercise a significant influence today in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and other fields. The fundamental idea of Kant’s “critical philosophy” – especially in his three Critiques: the Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), the Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and the Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790) – is human autonomy. He argues that the human understanding is the source of the general laws of nature that structure all our experience; and that human reason gives itself the moral law, which is our basis for belief in God, freedom, and immortality. Therefore, scientific knowledge, morality, and religious belief are mutually consistent and secure because they all rest on the same foundation of human autonomy, which is also the final end of nature according to the teleological worldview of reflecting judgment that Kant introduces to unify the theoretical and practical parts of his philosophical system.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

If that’s too much for you, maybe this will help.

Thought for a second about calling it “The Covid Briefing Bingo of Pure Reason” and rejected it, as the NDP and Tories would just claim I was stanning for the Libruls, and a strident anarchist such as myself cannot allow such smears on my character to stand unchallenged.

Seriously

And I ain’t got time to be challenging that shit, you know? I’ve got blankets to arm knit, blog posts to compose, links to spam, and reams and reams of pointless government paperwork to sort out in order to restore my CRA benefits. /rant

Shockingly, the pet-sitting market has yet to revive. I KNOW!!! Just as shocked as you are over here. There goes my future of making millions while lolling about on sofas that cost more than my car. Assuming I can afford a car someday, that is. Meanwhile I’m over here applying to be a grocery store cashier just so I can save money on actual food and avoid going “poverty vegan.” Ah, but enough about me. Let’s talk about PM Zoolander.

Swear to god, by now The Roommate literally thinks the prime minister’s name is “Zoolander.” I know I’ve made that joke before, but I’ll only stop when it stops being true.

Today, kittens, we have a brand new briefing card for you! Yes! 2021 is already looking up when it features a sexy new Covid Briefing Bingo card, and absolutely free to download! And this one features an entire column of “Every Step of the Way” (must be completed in a single briefing. Protip: use pencil!) We’re too good to you, kittens, really we are. Enjoy!

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The Smartest Man in Ottawa

On New Year’s Eve I braved the (slightly) below freezing temperatures and the dreaded OC Transpo bus system (ew, masses on mass transit, all of them breathing moistly) to hit the mall and get a bottle of bubbly for midnight. I knew it would be bad, but I did not know exactly how bad it would be.

Friends, it was bad.

Now, it was only bad because it was possible in the first place, and it was only possible in the first place because Ottawa, world capital of freezing rain, adores strip malls. Maze malls. Any form of mall except the kind where the pathway from one store to the next is enclosed from the weather. In any other year this is a true inconvenience and stupidity, but in Covidian Times it is the only thing that allows many retailers in Ottawa to remain open, as all enclosed malls are closed during the Lockdown.

So, friends, I was saying it was bad. It was perhaps 100 people in the lineup for the liquor store bad, that’s how bad it was.

Now, I’ve cut back on my alcohol intake to the point where my liver thinks it’s a virgin, but I do love my cava, and had even considered splashing out on some Macieira and blood oranges to make a very Iberian cross between a French 125 and a sidecar. But, kittens, I have my limits and a 100-person lineup is well past it.

Instead, I deked into Loblaws, which also sells wine. It was sold out of pretty much everything with bubbles except Mountain Dew and beer, so I grabbed a bottle of red, some instant oatmeal, and a bottle of rhodiola supplements, and was in and out in ten minutes.

As I was passing the liquor store I noticed that the lineup had shrunk to perhaps a dozen stragglers, so I got into it thinking “what the hell, did everyone just give up at the same time?” but then I realized I HAD wine, didn’t need more, and could probably catch the next bus home if I hustled, so I began hustling bus-ward.

At which point a genial man with a shopping cart asked, “What are you looking for? I have everything.”

I looked into the cart. He did, indeed, have everything. It seems I had just met the reason the lineup had vanished: this man had gone into the store, bought every bit of bubbly and booze he could afford, and wheeled the cart down the lineup asking people what they wanted.

An honest to god bootlegger, people. An honest to god bootlegger.

If I’d had my Vry Srs Jrnlist hat on (it’s a newsboy cap, of course) I’d have asked him what his markup was, but I was hustling bus-ward so we exchanged just a few words before I was out of earshot.

Earshot. I saw a horse pedigree once for a hunter and while I forget the sire’s name, the dam’s name was “Earshot” and I realized that someone had waited that horse’s whole life for it to give birth so she could say the foal was “out of Earshot”. Nothing I like better than a long-running joke. Respect, horse-namer. Respect.

So, that’s how I met the smartest man in Ottawa, and I hope he made an absolute killing. The security dude was standing right there, but he couldn’t have cared less. He was no revenuer.

Mark of the Vampire

Mark of the Covid Briefing Bingo

We have been slacking kittens, but we’re here now. It’s Christmas Eve, also known as Justin Trudeau Eve, traditionally celebrated throughout the nation by doing shots of Sortilège maple whisky. He’s a Christmas baby, you see. The story is that Christmas Eve 1971 Margaret Trudeau, who was and probably still is a bit of a Christmas nut, and was additionally nine months pregnant, wanted to go to Midnight Mass. Her husband was all “meh, nope”, so he called John Turner and asked him and his wife to take her, which they did. And had to make an abrupt exit when Justin Trudeau began to make his entrance.

If the story isn’t true, please don’t tell me. It’s a great story.

They just got their covid test results.

Speaking of completely real and spontaneous traditions, our briefing bingo today is named after the Bela Lugosi film Mark of the Vampire, a definite non-classic that even Lugosi didn’t like. But it did have some snazzy still photos, as you can see.

Our video is here:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians from outside his home in Ottawa on the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He also discusses Health Canada’s approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. This is the second COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Canada, following the regulatory approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 9. The prime minister announces that Canada will receive an additional 250,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in January. A total of 1.2 million doses from both Pfizer and Moderna will arrive in Canada by January 31, 2021. The federal government is committing an additional $70 million to the Canadian Red Cross to support its COVID-19 work. Trudeau also announces that Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, currently the commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, will be appointed to replace General Jonathan Vance as Canada’s chief of the defence staff. The prime minister also confirms that Canada’s suspension of passenger flights from the United Kingdom will be extended for two weeks until January 6 amid concerns about the spread of the new variant of COVID-19.

Cards:

One day I’ll make a new card (with an entire column of “Every step of the way”) but that day? Is not this day. It’s Christmas Eve. I’ve got fruitcake to buy! And eat!

Fun fact: last night at midnight I was on Twitter bitching about being down to my last four dollars and having a craving for fruitcake, which I lurve, but which is always, always more than four dollars. And someone I’ve never met in my life sent me fifty bucks to my Paypal for the best goddamn fruitcake Ottawa can provide. Except now we’re in lockdown and I can’t go fruitcake browsing.

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Bleach, Rubbing Alcohol, Garlic, Ginger, Liquor, Essential Oils, Cocaine, Vitamin C, and other things that don’t cure Covid-19: Video

A great video about a not-very-bright fellow who thought drinking toxic chemicals would kill Covid-19 before it would kill him. Guess how it ends?

#OpCovid19

It may upset your aunt, the one who is the local superstar of her essential oil MLM, but there are a large number of things currently rumoured to be effective countermeasures to Covid-19 which just. don’t. work.

Here’s Chubbyemu, civilian name Dr. Bernard Hsu, Associate Director at Novartis Oncology, to break it down for you.

The science, not the virus. Even really good YouTubes can’t break down a sturdy virus on their own; only knowledge paired with right actions (like washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water) can do that.

Yeah, don’t do that. ANY of that.

As one of the commenters on YouTube remarked,

“CB felt confident, he was not going to be infected”
He’s smarter than all of us really. Can’t get infected if he’s dead.

In related news, here’s Chubbyemu’s link to a good scientific Covid-19 video playlist, updated daily.

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