Daily-ish News: Festival Of Links

Welcome to Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Today’s high is -18 and we’ve got a low of -23, with a windchill of -33. Tomorrow will be colder. The sun rose at 8:56 and sets at 5:15. How was your holiday break? Mine was lovely, thanks. Had some drama with a snooty dog but it was funny, so that’s okay. Here’s a round up of some news that’s a-newsing, brought to you by New Year’s resolutions, good intentions and sad delusions.

1. EITHER 7,900 OR 10,300 JOBS GO “POOF” Saskatchewan’s economy had a rough 2016. Not sure how rough, because I don’t get the apparent contradiction in job numbers in this story. Maybe 10,300 is the December number, and 7,900 is the total for the year? Anyway the public sector is bailing out the economy so I’m sure it won’t get way worse in 2017.

2. SUSPICIOUS = POC According to the Halifax police, the Halifax police stop three times as many black people as they do white people. “It seems like it’s a tax and I keep having to pay,” says one black guy who gets stopped three times a year for being black.

3. TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME You might be suffering from it if you despise Donald Trump, according to some rando right-wing fuckwit with a column.

4. TRUMP IS A LYING JACKASS SYNDROME There is only one person in the world infected with this and his name is Donald Trump.

5. U.S. PLANS TO SAVE POLAR BEARS ARE GARBAGE, SAYS SCIENTIST Details here. I’ll miss polar bears when they go extinct in 20 years.

6. LINDY WEST LEAVES TWITTER Okay this is from last week, but it’s a big deal. It can be tough to define the line between free speech and harassment, but more and more professional writers are opting out of accepting feedback thanks to rampant abuse. It’s frustrating. Here’s another piece on this.

John Gormley To Global News: “What Do You Have Against White People?”

John Gormley, yesterday:

Ooh! I can answer the question! Global doesn’t have anything against white people. Global ran Andrew Russell’s story about the make-up of Trump’s cabinet (which is, factually, mostly white, male, and rich, which, also factually, isn’t demographically representative of the country he was (technically) elected to lead) because it’s news.

And that homogeneous make-up is, arguably, a problem — because a room full of white, rich dudes is saddled with a narrow range of life experiences informing their public policy. They won’t have experienced racism, sexism or poverty, and as a result they’re much less likely to understand ordinary people’s real, lived experiences.

So the make-up of Trump’s cabinet is absolutely a legitimate topic for a Global news story — especially after all the racist (“Mexican rapists”) and sexist (“Blood coming out of her wherever”) things Trump has said.

It sure as hell isn’t racist against white people, as Gormley implies.

That said: to me, if anything in Global’s tag line is conspicuous, it’s that it doesn’t mention how rich Trump’s cabinet is. But we’ll let that pass because Russell’s actual Global article sure does:

The 17 people Trump has so far selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have a combined wealth of $9.5 billion including DeVos – whose net worth is estimated at roughly $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.

I wish John Gormley worried more about narrow-minded, self-interested business elites being handed the keys to the U.S. government by a horrible, horrible man, and less about imaginary racism against white people.

Fifty Trekin’ Years

spocks

Fifty years ago today NBC debuted a science fiction TV show called Star Trek. You’ve probably heard of it — the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise, and all that? I grew up loving Star Trek (in reruns — I’m not THAT old), so I’d have to be drunk on Saurian brandy or dying of Vegan choriomeningitis to ignore this occasion. Here are my six favourite original series episodes. You can bet I’ll watch a couple on Netflix tonight.

1. “Balance Of Terror”
This episode introduces the recurring Federation foes the Romulans with a Cold War paranoia and racism parable. It also has a chess-like spaceship duel that’s second only to Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan’s.

2. “Yesteryear”
I’m cheating — this one’s from the 1973 animated Star Trek. Given that all the major actors (except Walter Koenig as Chekov) returned for this show (and Koenig wrote an episode anyway), it’s legit Trek in my book. After Spock is erased from history, he must travel back in time to save his younger self. You’ll never forget Spock’s adorable childhood pet sehlat, I-Chaya. Trust me.

3. “The Doomsday Machine”
Can Captain James T. Kirk use a wrecked Federation starship to defeat a humongous tinfoil space worm? Goddamn right he can. Amusing transporter problems and exasperated Enterprise crew members add to the fun.

4. “Devil In The Dark”
Space miners put jobs ahead of local wildlife and habitat. Sadly still relevant.

5. “Operation: Annihilate!”
Flying rubber pancake parasites from outer space wreak havoc. ’Nuff said.

6. Honourable Mentions
Oh come on, no one could pick only six favourite Star Trek episodes, so here are more: “City On The Edge Of Forever” (time travel, lethal moral conundrums), “Errand of Mercy” (Klingons!!!), “Space Seed” (Khaaaan!!!), “The Trouble With Tribbles” (an ecological meditation on invasive species — plus Klingons!!!), “Arena” (Kirk wrestles a bug-eyed space lizard), “The Enterprise Incident” (Romulans haz Klingon battlecruisers???!!!), “The Corbomite Maneuver” (discussed: the merits of poker over chess), “The Mark Of Gideon” (or: “why condoms matter”), the two-part, brilliantly-retrofitted original Star Trek pilot, “the Menagerie” (which won a Hugo award), and of course, “Amok Time” — because A.) horny Spock!!! and B.) the word “amok”.

Keep on Trekin’!