Well, I managed one full week without mentioning you-know-what. One week is about all one can accomplish. So let’s take a quick look at some COVIDicisms …
This past week, Bryan Adams, Canada’s gift to mushy love songs, was in the spotlight for Twitter comments he made about COVID-19. Adams, incredibly, is doing a tenancy at the Royal Albert Hall in London (apparently, nobody good was available), and he went on a Twitter rant about having his concerts cancelled. Here’s what he said, sanitized for your protection:
“Tonight was supposed to be the beginning of a tenancy of gigs at the @royalalberthall, but thanks to some f**king bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy b**tards, the whole world is now on hold, not to mention the thousands that have suffered or died from this virus.”
Bryan, Bryan, Bryan. You should know what happens to celebrities who go on angry rants. The twits of the Twitterverse went on full outrage mode, accusing Adams of racism, xenophobia, etc. But he’s not wrong. It is believed that the virus originated in the disgusting ‘wet markets’ of Wuhan, China, where live animals are kept in cages until they are slaughtered for the discerning palates of Wuhanians. The story goes that a woman ate a bat that she bought at the market, and became Patient Zero for the virus. If that’s true, then China and its wet markets have a lot to answer for. But to the Twitterverse, always on the lookout for ways to be offended, just mentioning the wet market is ‘dog whistle’ racism.
If that’s true, here’s another ‘racist’ comment.
“It boggles the mind how, when we have so many diseases the emanate out of this unusual human-animal interface, that we just don’t shut it down.”
That noted racist? Dr. Anthony Fauci. I guess your degree of racism depends on how obscene your rant is.
The Kovid Kops were in full authoritarian mode in Edmonton last week. In an incident captured on video, at a modest anti-lockdown protest at the Legislture grounds, a man was hauled away by two sheriffs and a city cop. His ‘crime’ was failing to provide ID when asked. Why the cops asked this guy for ID is unknown; it’s probably just because they can.
This guy was engaging in a peaceful protest. He had a megaphone (which should be enough for a life sentence) but that’s not illegal. In fact, he was doing nothing illegal – not even breaking the social distancing diktat – but the Kovid Kops conspired to create something illegal. Not to belabour the point, but this is not too far removed from the kind of thing you’d see in China or North Korea; a guy being carried away for peacefully protesting. Premier Jason Kenney has vowed to look into it, but nothing will happen, of course. Cops are essentially immune from answering for their actions in this country. (By the way, there was a guy behind the protester who is carrying an upside-down Canadian flag. THAT should be a reason to arrest someone.)
Every commercial on TV these says includes someone getting a sincere (or at last as sincere as TV commercials get) thank you. Whether it’s first responders, nurses, doctors or even the lowly stock boy, everybody is getting a thank you.
I’d like to add one more. Let’s thank the fine drinkers of the state of Wisconsin for agreeing to become the COVID canary in the coal mine. The U.S. state – whose most famous and largest city is Milwaukee, a city indelibly linked with beer – has opened all its taverns, with no restrictions. The governor, a Democrat, wanted to extend the stay-closed order, but the state supreme court overruled him. Within 45 minutes of the decision, taverns were packed with anti-social distancing, unmasked booze hounds. The photo above was taken inside a Wisconsin bar in the first hours after the bars were declared open.
So why thank Wisconsin? We should thank them for conducting a large-scale experiment. If COVID cases don’t soar in Wisconsin over the next few weeks, then opening the bars was a success. If the cases – and the inevitable deaths – go up and up and up, then maybe wide open gathering places wasn’t such a good idea. So thank you, Wisconsonites, for risking your lives to test out the veracity of the stay-at-home order and ignoring all the safety measures. Better you than us.
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed all other news to the sidelines for the past few months, including the mass murder in Nova Scotia. This would have been the story of the year in Canada, but it has been shunted to the sidelines. Fortunately, Maclean’s magazine has provided a comprehensive look at the worst mass murder in Canadian history, and the RCMP does not come out of it looking good. Read it here.
Fred Willard, one of the great comic actors of our time, died last week at 86. Willard got his first taste of national exposure as Martin Mull’s sidekick in the satirical talkshow, Fernwood Tonight. Never a star, Willard’s specialty was in making brief, hilarious appearances in TV and movies, always playing a guy who was happily clueless. He was at his best in the the ad libbed Christopher Guest mockumentary films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show (his appearance as a dog show commentator who knew nothing about dogs was peak Fred Willard), A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. And we haven’t seen the last of Fred Willard; he plays Steve Carrell’s father in the Netflix comedy series Space Force, debuting May 29.