Son of Under the Planet of Covid Briefing Bingo

Only Rowsdower can save us. Well, the combined powers of Roswdower, Trudeau, Freeland and possibly Angela Merkel, together in their assembled form known as Antifa Prime.

Yes, dear readers, I am still somewhat sickish and overslept again and missed the Big-Ass Briefing on Friday with both the Actual and the Deputy Prime Minister. I have failed you. I have failed you yet again. And yet, you return.

Come. Let us be codependent together.

Because it is March 224th of 2020 and there is fuck all else to do.

Here is our video, a Big-Ass two hours long, and truly, ain’t nobody got time for that normally, but what did I just say? You can fast-forward to the juicy bits if you like, because today we’re adding the sophisticated technique of timestamping notable…uh…times. You’ll see.

Previous Covid Briefing Bingo cards:

Federal Covid-19 Briefing, October 9, 2020

0.01 I’m calling it “Begins in English” because although the first words were French, they were just basically, “Howdy, y’all” and then he got right into the content in English, so English. Quebec, you may feel slighted if you are so inclined. And we all know…never mind. As a technical Francophone, I’m not going to finish that thought.

Look at me, being so detail-oriented I put on my actual glasses. I don’t do that for everyone, dear readers. Only for you. You and Rowsdower.

Check your “blue suit” box, and, given that Rideau Cottage is off the table as a location, we don’t get to tick that box. This boring briefing room with its fancy wood walls and its carefully arranged flags is It for the time being.

Hey CPAC, do you think you might either hire someone to focus the video camera OR ease up on the Facetune? Not sure which is in play here, but c’mon, I put my glasses on and the picture got FUZZIER.

“Second wave,” there you go, mark that one off. And “app” as well. If we’ve gotten this far and it’s only 1:05, I wonder what happens the other 1 hour and 53 minutes of the briefing. We shall see, gentle readers, we shall see. At least so far we’ve gotten Stern Teacher Voice and not CBC Cadence, as we often do in these indoor briefings. It’s practically refreshing, I tell youze.

And of course, mark your “Deputy PM present” square. These briefings have the fanciest extras. And “Namechecks Dr. Theresa Tam” as well.

Wait, was that “donc?” I think it was. Mark that one off, too.

Dammit, I KNEW I should have been optimistic enough to add a square for “Finds a new way to give Canadians money” for these new business supports like the direct rent supports. Far better to give it to businesses than to landlords.

I really want to interview the person who is in charge of making sure the flags are deployed just so. I’m fascinated by things like that, that might be seen as small but have huge symbolic importance. For those who have NOT been following this blog since the year Dot, I actually did consider studying heraldry back when it was considered cutting edge social media.

Yay, foodbanks! Did you know that a food bank can turn a dollar of donation into three to nine dollars of actual food for its clients? And here we have “foreshadows later announcement by another person” for additional supports. So much money going out to provinces, territories, businesses, and food banks, that one person can’t give out all the news himself, it has to be delegated. #OnlyInCanada

That was a split infinitive the most Canadian of all grammatical errors. Somewhere, William Shatner trembles momentarily.

11:00 And now we are on the the DPM. It just occurred to me that I will need to do new, more ecumenical briefing bingo cards in the future; the ones I have are all pretty Trudeau-specific. Ah well, in the Time of the Pandemic there’s fuckall else to do.

Yet MORE supports for businesses. I almost wish I’d incorporated mine! And Freeland is giving you your “Gesticulates” square. Both PM and DPM have teacher voices, whereas Doug Ford always sounds like that guy at the Legion who always insists on being emcee, jovial and about 10% too loud and enthused.

Freeland may understand more French than me, but now I don’t feel so bad about my accent. French Canada does not have the time to pronounce each word separately: each sentence is more like one very long, annoying word.

Given that I don’t really have any applicable squares for Freeland, Tam, and the others (sorry, Others) we will skip ahead to the 53 minute mark, where the questions begin. Honestly, when the camera pulls back this looks like the world’s most dignified and staid game show. I should really just make a bunch of Covid-and-political-talking-points-focused bingo cards, because lemme tell ya, pandering to the cult of personality has NOT been paying off in terms of going viral. Is this the year issues overtake clickbait? It’s 2020, we can’t rule anything out.

And we get right into it with the question about the kidnapping plot, which Trudeau refuses to comment on, just reiterating that his role is to keep Canadians safe. How many times can one comfortably use the phrase “Keep Canadians safe” in one sentence? Because I think he’s gone over by like, three.

Ah, an excellent question about First Nations fishing rights. And your basic “thoughts and prayers” response.

I like how none of the reporters physically present want to sit in the front row.

Freeland looks like this question is absolutely straining her French, and she’s diagramming out the sentences, but she got it and I did not. And seems pleased to be able to answer without asking a translator for pointers. Oh, and she gives you not only your “gesticulates” square, but your “adjusts mic” square, so for that we should all give thanks. Is anybody going to give us “drinks water?” I have a horrible suspicion that is all happening off-camera. Readers, we are being cheated by secret drinkers! But when was that not true of Canadian politics?

Ah, there’s your “Maple Leaf Accessory” square, you can see the usual mask sitting on the desk to the right of the sign, which, meh, doesn’t rise to the level of podium dressing, so we cannot give you the “Plain podium or desk dressed up with accessory” square. That things’s always there. An accessory in this sense would be, say, a vase of flowers, a jade statue of a lion with a maple leaf inside it, bunting, ridiculous, extraneous plaques, that sort of thing. I can be a hardass; I want this bingo to be a challenge!

1:10 is that “Pushes responsibility to provinces?” I think I’m going to say yes.

1:11 I don’t know who that reporter is, but I like his voice. Wish I understood more than a third of what he’s saying, but it is what it is. I definitely get that Trudeau’s response includes “Pushes responsibility to provinces”.

Reporters are asking questions to both PM and DPM as a team. They get that these two are the Butch and Sundance, the Newman and Woodward, the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl of current Canadian federal politics. Pierre Poillievre and Erin O’Toole are, of course, the Laurel and Hardy. Maxime Bernier and Ezra Levant are the Burke and Hare. I’m probably being metaphorical here, but who knows? It’s 2020. Anything is possible (also, has anyone searched their basements? It’s a fair question!).

Interesting, the differences between the way Canada and the US are handling voting during the pandemic. Looks like we’re going to avoid a federal election, but by-elections must continue. Nobody’s trying to shut down the post office or show up armed at the voting place to discourage people exercising their civil rights and their civil responsibility.

And I’m gonna call that a wrap, except to note that as the briefing goes on, Freeland is radiating paper. Literally. As the briefing continues, more and more paper emerges from behind her little “Protect your Neighbours” sign, and is now covering the entire width of the desk. That would be a pretty good square for the fifth gen card. And looking at the level of water in her glass she HAS had some of it. So mark the “Drinks water” square. And now she mentions a reporter by name, so mark that square too! She’s a high-value Covid briefing bingo briefer!

Under the Planet of the #Covid19 #BriefingBingo

Previous Covid Briefing Bingo cards:

So, here we are again. Back to (semi-)regular briefings, and back to mid-March infection levels, or even surpassing them. What the HELL, people? This is your fault. Yes. Yes, it is.

To be honest, I have 14 first cousins, all of whom live in Ontario, my family has been here for in excess of two hundred years, and I graduated from high school here, and I can’t think of 100 Ontarians I’d care to be in close contact with. My contact list is: the dog and The Roommate. And I don’t get too close to The Roommate.

Anyhoodle, it’s time and past time to do the Briefing Bingo, so here we go.

We have, finally, a new Fourth Generation Bingo Card, featuring the well-loved “building back better” catchphrase which, if it’s anything like “from coast to coast to coast” will never be heard again. But you know what?

Here’s our briefing video for today, and the action starts at the seven-minute mark. If you’re impatient like The Roommate and just want to get to the PM, that’s 30 minutes in. The rest of the time he just hangs around being an extra.

Here we go:

Immediately we have action on the “on location” and “extras” boxes. And the Maple Leaf Accessory box, and blue suit as well.

Oooh, they have fancy mats, not just gaffer tape X’s, to mark their, uh, marks.

“Snufalupagus?” Well, you were probably close to the actual name. Even Doug Ford screwed up. And he got “Dias” wrong, and that takes some doing.

And there you go, tick off the “My aunt calls during the briefing” square.

Got to say, I’m always thrilled when an actual federal politician’s French is worse than mine. I’d get that French passport I’m always talking about, only I’m terrified they’ll speak to me in French and I’ll look like a dolt. Also must say I’m glad I don’t do these for Doug Ford, because I’d get tired of typing the word “Ontario” three times every sentence.

Kind of interesting that they’re using the Prime Minister basically as a prop in most of this briefing. And there goes the sound again. Again. Again. Again. Oh, and there’s your Doug Ford Bromance square. I put that in, right?

$295 million from the federal government, and $295 million from the provincial government to Ford. Gee, wish I owned Ford. Whatever happened to Ballard? Oh, right: Tesla killed them.

Am rather surprised that, with the federal government’s focus on standardization, they haven’t mandated official “federal government masks” complete with maple leaf and poppy for November. But there’s still time.

And there’s the “App” square! I knew it would be there. And “Contact Tracing” in spades!

Does Bains EVER blink?

And you can tick off your “gesticulates” square but not your “drinks water” square unless I missed something. Let me know.

Uh, my website is offline? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, what’s going on? It’s @wordpressdotcom, that simply shouldn’t be possible. And I doubt #BriefingBingo is THAT popular. That said hate clicks are clicks. Click away.

In the questions from media: Nice zinger there to Ford, who eliminated government supports for electric cars. Today, of course, is all about announcing Ford Automotive in Ontario pivoting to make electric cars. Trudeau took that hit for Ford (technical difficulties) Mark off your technical difficulties square.

Okay, there we go. “Shades the US” when Trudeau says he did not watch the American debates. “I don’t comment or weigh in on American political processes” and says he wants “a clean transition”. Hmmm. Hummmm. Errybody knows who Trudeau wants to win that shitshow.

That reporter sounds really nervous. Oh well, she powered through it.

AHA! There it is. “Building back better.”

Softball about the bromance between Ford and Trudeau, a great opportunity for Neoliberal centralism and commonality. Except they’re both talking at the same time. Trudeau gets the mic over his Tory best bud, of course, because Ottawa>Etobicoke. But Ford AGAIN uh, “fails to disappoint” me as much as I had anticipated. *shudders* don’t make me say that twice. Not where anyone can hear.

And “Technical issues” are certainly a square, so tick that one off. PM admitting there were issues, but we got through it anyway. Spinning straw into metaphors is a big part of the job.

And that’s a wrap. See you next whenever, or possibly several hours after the next whenever if I sleep in again.

#Covid19 #BriefingBingo yes we have reached the stage of hashtagging things in the title. Yes, we have.

So, here we are once again. This time I’ve got an excellent excuse for not having live-blogged this when it happened: I was down with the flu. Well, according to the test I had on the 18th it’s not THE flu. It’s A flu.

Yeah, right.

I wouldn’t mind, but after two and a half straight weeks of fever, I haven’t lost an ounce of weight. I DEMAND TO WASTE AWAY, but only to an aesthetically pleasing extent, of course. We may be radical antifa communal anarchists around these parts, but we are not EXTREMISTS, you understand.

With that said, you’ve seen this game before. You know the rules. You’ve got your Briefing Bingo Card, your Other Briefing Bingo Card, and your Yet Another Briefing Bingo Card. Play one or play them all. Now.

All settled in your gaming chair with your gaming socks on and your gaming beverage to hand? Lucky underwear on, or at least nearby? Excellent. Let’s begin.

The video is from September 23rd, uploaded the next day on Justin Trudeau’s YouTube channel. And like with all these pre-recorded statements, we cannot see the shoes to see if he’s done the dreaded “brown shoes with blue or grey suit”, and we cannot see if he’s wearing colourful socks either. Alas!

So, off the bat we’ve got “begins in English” and “Blue suit”. And “CBC cadence”, always worse in a controlled environment without a live audience.

If you really wanna speak directly to Canadians, maybe have your team put the camera where you’re looking? Or look at your team’s camera? Or put the camera ON TOP of CPAC’s? Becayse we know that’s who you’re looking at.

Does a bank of flags count as a “Maple Leaf Accessory?” I’m gonna say yes. Tick that box. Flags, as always, folded to show exactly the same portion of the maple leaf. I should probably add a square in the next card for “flag derangement” only that’d get some poor working person in trouble for inadvertent flag anarchy, and we couldn’t do that to a comrade.

On the next card I’m gonna put “Second wave” and “Third Wave” and “Building Back Better” for sure. And, hell, “Donc.” I fuckin’ love that word.

Okay, that mention of Christmas is “Gives shout-out to religious festival” so tick that box.

God damn, I’m so punchy I forgot I was supposed to be putting this on the damn blog. I’ll copypaste later. And now, here I am doing exactly that. Did you feel the timeshift? Did you?

Be honest.

I think we had a “Now, more than ever” in there. So mark that square on the second generation card.

…and there’s “Mentions contact tracing” from the Third Generation card. “App” definitely has to be on the next card.

Dude, I would go get my flu shot, if I COULD EVER GET OVER THIS DAMN FLU! Stop nagging me!

And that’s “Name-checks Dr. Theresa Tam,” so mark that square on the first generation card.

And now you can all tick off “My aunt calls during the briefing”. There is literally NO hour of the day or night when this square could not be in play.

“There is a covenant between government and the people government serves.” Can you IMAGINE that coming out of a certain other national leader‘s mouth? Still no “Attack and dethrone god” tho.

Indoor briefings have a lot less suspense. No possibility of cottonwood fluff, live animals or insects, photobombs, windswept hair, or porchscaping. I think we’ve seen the last of Rideau Cottage on these, for security reasons. Too bad, I like pretty houses and good outerwear.

There’s “PPE” from the second generation card. And what is that THING that looks like a jade lion with a maple leaf inside it? Is it…a jade lion with a maple leaf inside it? Soapstone Great Old One? Marble maple gryphon? Does it have a name? Enquiring minds want to know!

It looks like a “Seymour” to me. Please, let it be a “Seymour.”

And “ramping up” from the second generation card. Okay, that’s “Gesticulates” which I didn’t think we’d get this time. He’s much more subdued and less spontaneous without a live audience and/or members of the press right there shaking their heads and holding up flashcards that say “WE SCANDAL”.

Dang, there’s “Building back better” which I haven’t yet put on a card. Gotta get that done. Even Payette said it in the Throne Speech. It is the “From coast, to coast, to coast” of September 2020.

Okay, that verbal malfunction “Home/Hold” counts as “Throat malfunction” on the third square just because I’m feeling generous today. And bored. And punchy. That’s what happens when you’ve been up 36 hours straight.

National early childhood education and childcare, national pharmacare, social supports at a living rate across the country right through to next summer, man, the NDP should sue him for plagiarism. Not that I’m complaining. As a wise man once said, “I don’t mind the Honourable Member stealing my pajamas, but he should wear ALL of them if he does not intend to look indecent.”

And, that’s a wrap. I really liked the address to the UN so I may do that one tomorrow. We’ll see. I may just sleep through tomorrow.

BONUS CONTENT JUST BECAUSE: Justin Trudeau reacts to mean tweets.

Covid Briefing Bingo, Part The Part Where I Got Bored

Yes, we are still doing this. It’s March the 204th of 2020 and here we are: live-tweeting and live-blogging a week-old video as if it were new because FUCK EVERYTHING THAT’S WHY.

Also, I’m sick, so it’s even more boring to live through a pandemic when you have a debilitating, uncomfortable, but relatively banal and unfatal seasonal flu. So I’m in what you might characterize as either No Mood or A Mood, depending on your regional dialect and idioms. So, there’s that.

First Generation Covid Briefing Bingo Card

Second Generation Covid Briefing Bingo Card

Third Generation Covid Briefing Bingo Card

Here is our video, helpfully titled by CPAC as “PM Trudeau on throne speech, election speculation, Covid-19 aid for provinces – September 16, 2020.” Great job hitting all those keywords, guys!

Shall we begin? Let’s begin.

There’s fuck all else to do around here, as I believe I mentioned.

Okay, there’s your Begins in English and Blue Suit squares checked. Didn’t see the shoes but smart money says yes, brown shoes. *shudders*

Didn’t see it because CPAC edits with a chainsaw, but you can bet the “Maple Leaf Accessory” was in play with the usual mask.

Did you realize that the Canadian flags are always draped to show the same precise segment of the Maple Leaf and that is someone’s actual JOB and I kind of love that.

That’s your “CBC Cadence” square ticked, and we’re a grand total of 17 seconds into the speech.

We’ve also got “Extras in the background” from the 3rd Generation bingo card. Very fancy extras including the Deputy PM.

And that’s “shifts responsibility to provinces”. I should make a square for every time he announces another new way to give Canadians money.

WTH is going on off-camera on the right? Something very interesting, apparently.

How can you have a Cabinet retreat in Ottawa when Ottawa is where Cabinet meets? Did they all just stroll over to the Lord Elgin and play dopey teambuilding games in a board room or something?

WHOA HE JUST SAID THE WORD “SOLIDARITY”. What was I just saying about Canadians being Socialist, @Guerrilha_Grodd?

Oh, got the “namechecks Dr. Theresa Tam” square a while ago, forgot to call that one out.

That “congratulations” on the US caving to Canadian demands about its aluminum tariffs is definitely a “Shades the US” square, so mark that one off. This is a busy briefing. Canada is a passive-aggressive nation, truly. These are My People.

There’s your traditional “Drinks water” as always in the pause between the speech and taking questions from the press. Dammit, I should have created a square for “Twinkleface.”

Bonus “Shades Putin without naming him”.

I just love that word, “donc.” I love it. Who knows why? It’s like punctuation, only verbal.

WTF? I didn’t have a square for “Building back better?” And me the world’s #1 alliteration fan. I am ashamed, people. I have failed you.

There’s your “Gesticulates” square but it was pretty weak. Normally he’s gesticulating away, particularly when he speaks French, but today was all the Concerned Priest Hand Clasp Pose.

If I were the Deputy PM and Finance Minister, or an Ambassador, or any other Minister, I’d be pretty pissed off to have to stand there silent for a full hour just to be background dressing for the Prime Minister. They must all have better things to do, surely.

Well, the question about the election got the arms flailing like a KitchenAid mixer. I sense the man might be somewhat emotionally invested in the question.

Freeland’s French is way better than I thought. Way better than mine, for sure.

Did…did they have Chrystia Freeland the Deputy Prime Minister stand on a box the whole time so she’d be in the shot? Yes, readers. Yes, they did.

And that concludes your Covid Briefing Bingo for today. Well, last Thursday. Whatever. It’s March 204th.

Justin Trudeau "Because it's 2015."

Covid Briefing Bingo, Continued…

Justin Trudeau "Because it's 2015."

Justin Trudeau “Because it’s 2015.”


But for how long? Who among us can say (not even the esteemed Dr. Theresa Tam knows, nor the revered Dr. Bonnie Henry. Surely not your humble blog host). Now that the daily briefing has become the Once In Awhile briefing, there seems to be less and less point to creating new bingo cards; on the other hand, there is more and more boredom.

So, here we are.

Almost two months ago we launched the Canuckian version of Briefing Bingo, alongside pre-existing British and American games, taking our rightful place on the world stage. We dunno what’s up with the other two countries in Five Eyes, but maybe their retired journalists have better things to do with their time?

God knows I don’t.

Almost a month after the media frenzy (not really, although the NaPo did give me a very polite rejection email) of our initial launch, we followed up with the Second Generation Briefing Bingo card, featuring the square that would be near and dear to my departed mother’s heart, had she not departed this Earth back when Prime Minister Zoolander was still at school. I refer, of course, to the “Wears brown shoes with blue or grey suit WHICH IS JUST MORALLY WRONG” square.

To date we have filled exactly ONE row, the second row from the top in the first generation card. But do play our Daily-Briefing-Bingo-3rd Generation, either with or without previous editions, because if we can just coax him into saying the words “Attack and dethrone god” on-camera, it will all have been worth it.

Tune in now and then at roughly 10ish-11ish some mornings, follow along live on Twitter with the hashtag #BriefingBingo, or just check this site once a day for the roundup of each day’s bingo calls in the comments section. And if we miss something, an accidental photobomb, an insect, or a muttered “attack and dethrone god”, by all means hit us up in the comments; thanks to CPAC, we can always review and amend.