LAWN SIGN WARS III: ELECTION TRINITY.
At some point within the last day or so, someone from the NDP campaign came and stuck a sign for Ottawa West-Nepean riding candidate Marlene Rivier
into our lawn.
Where was it stuck? I can't say, since my father took all three election signs and rearranged them in the snowbanks alongside the driveway.
So, now, if west is left and east is right, the signs are in the correct relative positions to one another, with Marlene Rivier to the left of Liberal candidate Lee Farnworth
, and Conservative candidate John Baird
to the right of them all.
Not that I think that's the reason my father rearranged them like that. I think he put the John Baird sign closest to the house so that it would be the least visible sign from the road.
At least they didn't follow through on their threat to put up a fourth sign saying "A Pox on all their Houses".
Incidentally, wanting to be a little more creative than the straightforward first shot, which I took from the angle my father suggested, I also did this "cat's eye view" from within my cat's carpeted perch, as seen in this entry
I have another non-lawn-sign-related election post half-written, but I've been feeling really lethargic this past week. Maybe it'll be here later this evening, but I want to go to Blockbuster and maybe Microplay and see if I can rent Kingdom Hearts
or Star Ocean 3
AN ODD ITEM FOR 6TEEN FANS...
For my money, the best, or, at the very least, most interesting, 6Teen
character is Nikki Wong
, the somewhat cynical rebel girl who is actually the moral voice of the gang, the counter to Caitlin Cooke's fashion magazine trend-following air-headed shallowness, who grudgingly accepted a job at the "Khaki Barn" (the Gap) only because it was the only store at the Galleria mall that would hire her, though she hardly "works" there at all, either ignoring the customers altogether or dissuading them from buying the clothing there with her honest appraisals of how they look in them. She's working to destroy the system from within, because she hates the corporatized conformist culture of Khaki Barn as embodied by the "Khaki Barn clones", her two extremely vacuous co-workers and their only slightly less vacuous manager Krissy. She also hates the Khaki Barn's corporate practices, particularly in regards to allegations of child labor. Some might say she's the perfect young anti-capitalist character, but I think that would be much too simplistic a read of the character; she probably is more for responsible capitalism or capitalism with a social conscience.
So, given how the 6Teen
writers have established Nikki Wong as a budding corporate critic, it would be rather odd if Nikki Wong offered a strong defense of Wal-Mart, wouldn't it?
Well, strange as it seems, I found this defense of Wal-Mart's policies and practices written by Nikki Wong
Here's a sampling of Nikki Wong's Wal-Mart cheerleasing:
"A non-union status allows Wal-Mart to more effectively offer additional benefits to its employees. By reducing overhead expenses related to union jobs such as specifically defining job descriptions, grievance resolution, and or accounting for complex wage schedules according to the time of day, Wal-Mart has more money to exercise additional benefits for its employees. To my knowledgeWal-Mart has not done this yet. But, there is nothing preventing the Wal-Mart Corporation from incorporating additional benefits for its Wal-Mart employees in the future."
Needless to say, this is not the writing of the Canadian cartoon character Nikki Wong, who does not actually exist other than being a collection of poses, expressions, blinks, and limb and mouth movements stored on a computer, animated using Toon Boom
software, and then voiced by actress Stacey DePass
. This is the writing of a student at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business whose name coincidentally happens to be Nikki Wong.
I just find the contrast in corporate attitudes between cartoon Nikki Wong and real-world Nikki Wong to be priceless. Sorry.
Also, yes, as a Conservative voter, I am aware that, if cartoon Nikki Wong actually existed, in all likelihood she'd vote NDP. But, no matter how long this cartoon lasts, she'll never get a chance to vote in a Canadian election, even if they did an election episode of the cartoon, because she's stuck in a time warp where she'll eternally remain sixteen as long as the show lasts, unless they change the title. So I don't have to worry.
And, while this isn't the first time
that I've linked to an article in defense of Wal-Mart
, being someone who is unapologetic about generally enjoying my shopping experiences at Wal-Mart
, this one was written by a cartoon character namesake, so it's automatically better.
By the way, speaking of Wal-Mart, at the beginning of the year, I was going to do an article about "deleted scenes" with random paragraphs from unfinished articles, but, due to me playing Gran Turismo 4
, I never quite got around to it.
Here's an excerpt from my unpublished post about my failed job interview at Wal-Mart.
"Got to the Kanata Centrum shopping centre, combed my hair, went inside the store... well, after that 10-year old girl who was waiting for her mother to get there blocked the entrance for like half a minute... went to the Customer Service desk, waited to be told what to do, noticed my shoe was untied so I surreptitiously tied it whilst she was on the intercom, went to the back Layaway desk, and was given a form to fill out before the interview.
It was a "test with no wrong answers" that was basically a questionnaire giving us several dozen statements to which we were supposed to rate how strongly we agreed or disagreed, with total disagreement being 1 and total agreement being 10. From the questions that were asked, it is quite obviously a litmus test to weed out total undesirables. Several were about your attitudes about stealing from your workplace, as if anyone who was so inclined would answer honestly. Not that I've ever stolen anything in my life; wait, does one downloading new episodes of South Park off the Internet so as to not wait months for the episodes to get to Canada count as "stealing"? Well, I don't do that either. Yeah, that's the ticket. Generally, in fact, I'm so "goody goody" that, this one time, circa 1987, I took a catalogue I assumed was free from a table outside Radio Shack and was horrified to see that it had a list price of, I think it was, $2 on the cover, so I immediately froze with guilt and, embarrassed, walked back to the Radio Shack, ready to pay for what I assumed I had unwittingly stolen, only to find out that the price was just a suggestion and this particular Radio Shack was giving them away.
Some other questions were obviously designed to flag ideological opponents to Wal-Mart's trade practices. Obviously, as someone with generally libertarian principles who is pro-capitalist, pro-free trade (though I'm increasingly a bit cautionary about China, considering their sabre-rattling regarding the invasion of Taiwan is disconcerting, especially the part about nuking hundreds of American cities should the United States try and stop them, though I feel that trade is the best way for freedom to take root and practically, it's impossible to isolate a market that represents a full fifth of the world's population, and most other chain stores sell the exact same made-in-China stuff anyway, so it's not like it's just a Wal-Mart issue), and suspicious about the motives of most organized opposition to Wal-Mart, especially around college campii, thinking it's often being attacked by people with a covert, or blatant, communist agenda because Wal-Mart is a prominent symbol of international capitalism and American cultural imperialism (which I fully support; hooray for McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Pixar!)
The questions that bothered me were the ones about marijuana use. While, generally, the libertarian attitude towards marijuana is to totally legalize it, if one is to be consistently libertarian, one also has to find it acceptable for Wal-Mart to not hire marijuana users if it doesn't want to. That, I don't have a problem with. What gets annoying is when Wal-Mart asks you ten times whether or not you smoke pot, and that the question is never a straightforward "Do you smoke marijuana?", it's things like (paraphrasing from memory) "Do you think it's acceptable to arrive at work high?" and "Do you believe that smoking one or two marijuana cigarettes a week is acceptable, as long as you don't do it before work?" I don't smoke pot, I never have, and I have no intention of starting, but somehow I resent being asked about it over and over, especially with questions that beat around the bush. And, when it comes to other people who might occasionally indulge in such things, if I was a manager at Wal-Mart, I really wouldn't have a problem if people smoked it in moderation on days they weren't working.
You can read a little more about the questionnaire in an article entitled "Welcome to Wally-World" in a blog called "Somewhere over the Rainbough".
After I had filled out the questionnaire, they made me sit and wait for the manager to interview me, but, for whatever reason, I had to wait for some twenty minutes. And, I'm a nervous guy, so, the longer I'm waiting, the more quickly my bladder fills up. I had to pee. And the wooden benches I was sitting on were in a little alcove near the layaway desk, literally in-between the doors to the mens' and womens' washroom. But, I had to valiantly hold it in, not wanting to risk not being there when the manager came out. I guess something happened that couldn't be avoided, but I did do my best to be punctual and meet at the appointed time. One weird thing I noticed was that the sprinkler in the ceiling closest to the benches was moving around in the ceiling socket, like the pipe it was attached to was sometimes being jostled. Meanwhile, every other sprinkler apart from the one closest to me seemed firmly anchored in the ceiling. I was beginning to slip into Dale Gribble mode, getting paranoid that the reason the sprinkler closest to me was moving around was because there was a camera in it, to monitor what I do while waiting. It would be a little odd for them to do that, since it's not like they don't have normal security cameras watching virtually every square inch of the store, so it's not like they really need to hide more cameras."
COMPLETELY WORTHWHILE DEBATE THOUGHT...
When Gilles Duceppe says "subcommittee", it sounds like he's saying "soft comedy", and I'm like "What? You mean like the sorts of comedies, like On se calme et on boit frais à Saint-Tropez
, that Télévision Quatre-Saisons used to show on Bleu Nuit
around 1990, back when they could show breasts but not genitalia beyond long distantce shots in which you could sort of vaguely make out female pubic hair... like the 'full-sidal' nudity in Rochelle, Rochelle
, the fake foreign movie showing one woman's erotic journey from Milan to Minsk on Seinfeld
LAWN SIGN WARS II: THE LAWN-ENING
This afternoon, someone from the Liberal campaign came and stuck a Lee Farnworth
lawn sign, which my mother signed up for at the Liberal site the other day, into our lawn. Unlike the John Baird
Conservative lawn sign guy, the Liberal guy evidently noticed the big snowpile next to the bottom of the driveway, and stuck the Liberal sign more in the middle of the lawn, further away from the road and the driveway for increased visibility. I suppose one could say that the Liberals occupy the middle ground while the Conservatives are the "extreme right" (the road being technically to the east of my lawn, and, on most maps, other than those wacko upside-down ones with Australia on top, east = right), but, if you look at the lawn from my driveway, you're actually looking south and the Conservative sign is on the extreme left
Anyhow, while I didn't touch the Lee Farnworth sign, I thought the John Baird sign needed some assistance in order to be more visible to drivers driving south, so I moved it about two metres south of where it was.
Maybe the Conservative guy placing the John Baird sign just behind the gi-normous
snowpile was trying to impart a conservative message upon me after all: while I could have sat on my lazy ass all day and let him do all the sign-placing work, he left open the opportunity for me to actually show some initiative and improve the situation by undertaking the strenuous task of moving a sign made mostly of plastic film two hundred centimetres, so that all citizens of the Ottawa West-Nepean riding could partake in the spectacle of John Baird's campaign's signage no matter which direction they're driving down my street.
Or maybe the Conservative guy just didn't think the snowpile was that much of a visual obstruction. (To be fair, it was a fair bit smaller last week, we just got quite a dumping over the past couple of days.)
For those of you fans of my horrific self-pics
(all three of you), I knelt down in the cold, cold snowbank for you just to give you a picture with me showing support for my "team", carefully concealing the Liberal sign with my acne-riffic face, the same way that Wes Anderson shot that one scene in Battery Park in The Royal Tenenbaums
with Gene Hackman's much more dignified visage concealing the Statue of Liberty.
And, just for equal time:
I wonder what sort of wacky lawn sign placement strategy the sign-sticker-in-lawn guy for NDP candidate Marlene Rivier
will use? My suggestion: top of the snow pile.
And, yes, there's a reasonably good chance that all the candidates advertised on our lawn will split the votes from the three adults in our household, so the presence of competing lawn signs isn't insincere in the slightest. We should start painting white stripes down the centre of various rooms, like in many an episode of old sitcoms, except we'd have to divide each room into thirds.
Oh yeah, there's a debate
on right now, I should really stop typing this and watch.
MORE ON THE LAWN SIGN WARS...
Here's a picture of the John Baird lawn sign I described the other day
As you can imagine, my non-Conservative mother isn't too happy about this.
She's in full "I didn't have anything to do with that; it's my son!" mode when talking to the neighbours. I already mentioned that she claimed that she and my father have signed up at the Liberal and NDP websites for Lee Farnworth and Marlene Rivier for lawn signs, but I forgot to say that they'll also put up a sign that says "A pox on all their houses." or something. But, since it took the Conservatives something like a month for them to deliver the signs, no word on whether or not the Liberals and NDP can get them here in time, and whether they'll think something's fishy when they arrive and already see a Conservative sign.
That's if they can see it, of course. It's kind of obscured by the snowbank at the end of our driveway, at least if you're driving south/west.