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Please Advise! Honk If I Should Fear Vaccine Mandates

The ‘Freedom Convoy’ and pals like MP Melissa Lantsman are threatening empty stores. Start hoarding?

Steve Burgess 25 Jan

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

On Sunday a “Freedom Convoy” protesting against vaccination requirements for cross-border truckers left B.C. for Ottawa. The convoy attracted support from the Alberta government — Premier Kenney said supply shortages are “turning into a crisis.” Pierre Poilievre tweeted about the federal government’s “vaccine vendetta” and claimed grocery shelves were empty. Meanwhile Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman was among those who posted photos of empty grocery shelves.

Is it time to start hoarding?


Worried and Hungry

Dear WH,

First of all, to be clear: Dr. Steve is always pro-hoarding. Dr. Steve has numerous furnishings that are really just stacks of toilet paper with large cloths draped over them. Dr. Steve’s apartment has a major geological feature consisting entirely of Triscuits. He has enough stored coffee beans to repair every crack and rupture on the Coquihalla. When staples go on sale, hoarders must hoard. It is our way.

However, for the chronically anxious like Dr. Steve that’s all just a regular Tuesday. Take it from a human squirrel — there is currently no particular reason to hyper-hoard. The current hysteria being whipped up by various right-wing outlets is, as usual, sound and fury over nonsense. The Hunger Games might be available on Netflix but so far it hasn’t showed up on TSN.

Lantsman’s tweeted photo of empty shelves was quickly revealed to be a stock photo from northern England. Perhaps the empty shelves in the photo were the result of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s staff stocking up for his birthday bash. Maybe the photo was taken at the local Brexit Mart. At any rate the shelves in question did not formerly contain Kraft Dinner, President’s Choice ketchup chips, or Nanaimo bars — probably bangers ’n mash and Yorkshire pudding. Dr. Steve assumes that stuff sits on almost every English grocery shelf, jumbled together with Earl Grey tea and digestive biscuits.

As for Kenney and Poilievre, they may wail about food shortages but their true agenda is never going to be confused with the plot of Les Miserables. The protesting truckers are mostly anti-vaxers, and those currently purporting to take up the rallying cry of CW McCall are just one more group intent on painting public health and safety measures as a sinister government plot.

None of the protesting truckers have managed to explain how vaccinations would somehow make their tires square or turn their mighty 18-wheelers into mice-drawn pumpkins. Apparently once the tyrannical government makes you get the jab, your right leg no longer works. And to top it off, the evil cackling of Bill Gates drowns out the radio.

Freedom is under attack, the anti-vaxers say. And they are quite right, if they are referring to the dictionary definition. Thanks to the massive sewer pipe of phoney libertarian rhetoric, “freedom” has been transformed from a precious human right into the mating call of the self-centred, overgrown adolescent.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of the U.S. senator and presidential candidate murdered in 1968, recently gave a speech saying Holocaust victim Anne Frank had it easy compared to unvaccinated Americans. There’s an old saying that says: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” In fact RFK Jr. has now scientifically demonstrated that sometimes the apple will launch from the tree as though propelled by a solid-fuel booster, achieve escape velocity, and travel to distant planets. Uranus comes to mind.

Meanwhile, on Monday U.S. President Joe Biden muttered into a live mic that Fox News reporter Steve Doocy was “a stupid son-of-a-bitch.” The topic in that case was inflation but at this moment in history Biden’s remark feels more like a State of the Union address.

While there is arguably far more dangerous and malignant idiocy abroad in the United States, we in Canada have quite enough of our own. Thanks to the likes of Pierre Poilievre, Melissa Lantsman and Jason Kenney, we are well-supplied with misinformation, ignorance and bad faith. Truckloads of it in fact, now headed toward our nation’s capital. So if you feel you must stock up on something, try searching for sanity, common sense and a sense of shared responsibility. We seem to be a little short of those lately.  [Tyee]

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