A Brief and Random List of Some Things That Suck

Leaf blowers: Unless it is functioning as some sort of sex toy, I can think of no earthly reason why anybody should be using one of these horrendous contraptions. Is there anything stupider or more pathetic than the sight of a grown man walking up and down with some piece of military-looking machinery strapped onto his back, doing a job that could easily be done with a garden rake, and aimlessly blowing leaves off the sidewalk into the gutter where they will inevitably clog the drains and cause flooding?

People who complain about fashion faux-pas: Don’t like my egg-stained Deep Purple t-shirt? Shocked by the fact that I wear blue nylon dress socks with my Army and Navy sandals? Get a life, thou slave to fashion.

Drivers who don’t stop at occupied crosswalks: Is it because they are too rude, dim-witted, busy yakkety-yakking on their cell phones, or a combination of these? It’s anybody’s guess. All I know is that in the past two days, I have seen two incidents in which elderly people were nearly crushed beneath the wheels of SUVs. This is the sort of thing that sets me to whistling If I Had a Rocket Launcher.

Nickleback: Why do the Canadians that actually succeed south of the border always have to be the ones that blow extra hard? I mean, for Chris-sakes, here we have a band that writes lame-ass songs with rehashed riffs that would make Mike Reno and Loverboy cringe, and with lyrics so clich├ęd they make Bryan Adams look like Leonard Cohen. And yet the chuckleheads down below eat it up. Tragically Hip? Nah, we’re not interested. Spirit of the West? Fuhgeddaboudit. Nickleback? Yeah, we got a sweet tooth for that shit!

Morally-bankrupt politicians: Take, for instance, the Liberal Party of Canada whose tireless campaign to escalate voter cynicism may yet end up forcing the normally-reasonable and moderate Canadian electorate to vote into power that creepy corporate flunky Stephen Harper, along with his party’s platform of tired, mean-spirited and dangerous Thatcher-Reagan-Bush-style neo-conservatism. Consider, also, the recent decision of the irony-immune B.C. legislature. After our beloved provincial Liberal party spent the past four years eviscerating our educational system (along with our crown corporations, health care, etc.), B.C. teachers were forced into taking illegal strike action. Bullied by the government’s legislative hammer in the courts, they were eventually forced to accept a continuation of the present unsatisfactory job conditions, along with a paltry wage increase. Weeks later, in what can only be construed as a hearty “Screw You!” to the people of B.C. in general, and to the teachers in particular, the provincial MLAs voted themselves a hefty fifteen per cent wage increase. Excuse me, make that twenty-one per cent for our Premier Gordon Campbell, the delightful drinking-and-driving Stephen-Harper-clone. With, I might add, no prior hearings, debate, or public discussion! What makes this all the more sad and disgusting is that the wage increase was passed unanimously by all members, including the opposition NDP MLAs, thereby depriving the opposition of any possibility of taking the moral high ground. And they wonder why more people sign up for Samba lessons than show up on voting day. Egads!

Oh, well. It’s sometimes good to get things off your chest.