Now that right-wing snowflakes have officially made “cancel culture” a thing, let’s talk about the controversial coffee mug they’d like to cancel that rudely mentions Jason Kenney, shall we?
Rather pointedly, the merchant — Majesty and Friends — is donating a quarter of the proceeds from the sale of what it calls its “subtly appropriate Kenney mug” to Alberta schools to buy personal protective equipment for which the Kenney Government won’t pony up. The mugs are made in Alberta, the shop’s website notes, “by people who care about healthcare, teachers, schools, kids, parks, and lgtbq+.”
City TV, a local purveyor of on-air drivel owned by Rogers Communications, got wind of this use of “the word we can’t show on television” and was shocked, just shocked. Its reporter commenced his report with an excited if euphemistic description of the mug, calling its message “as shocking as it is blunt.”
Things went rapidly downhill from that bad start. “The profane mug is an example of how Canadian politics is becoming less and less civil,” the reporter intoned self-righteously, cutting to a political scientist from a nearby university who, in the reporter’s words, “believes we need to express political differences without resorting to personal attacks…”
This prompted a tsunami of hilarious responses, many strongly worded, saying, in effect, where the hell were you for the past six years while Alberta’s right wing assailed Rachel Notley, the NDP, Justin Trudeau, the federal Liberals, their spouses, and, in the case of the prime minister, his mother, using every profanity and obscenity imaginable, not to mention threatening them and, in a high-profile recent case, apparently plotting an assassination?
Social media was flooded with images of hats, bumper stickers, and offensive billboards common in Alberta since the federal and provincial elections of 2015, which saw Conservatives defeated in both jurisdictions. Many are too offensive to show here — you’ll have to look it up online for yourselves. You can start here.
The why-can’t-we-all-do-better crowd was cruelly mocked, and I’m sure some tears were shed by the many snowflakes of the right, people so sensitive that comparing the carbon tax to genocide is considered appropriate but telling their favourite politician to get lost with a blunt Anglo-Saxonism is cause for hand-wringing and pearl clutching.
The point is this has never been a he-said, she-said story. It’s been years of the vilest abuse by one side responded to mostly with rolled eyes and gritted teeth by the other. But now that someone has directed a rude expression about as common as a comma at Alberta’s right-wing premier on coffee mug, it’s newsworthy … Oh, please!
Well, Premier Kenney can take comfort, I suppose, that no one is shouting “Lock ’im up!” Yet.
The plucky entrepreneurs at Majesty and Friends, meanwhile, appear to be doing a land office trade in the mugs. I’d buy one myself if they delivered outside the municipal boundaries of Edmonton.
Right-wing snowflakery was reverting to more normal patterns last night, though, with blogger and Alberta Independence Party founder Cory Morgan screeching that “social justice warriors” are “turning their eyes to the Flames.”
“Just fuck off already,” Mr. Morgan exclaimed in the face of this seemingly imagined outrage to Calgary’s NHL franchise.
He linked his tweet to an interesting story discussing how the Calgary Flames NHL team got its name. Since there is no mention in the story of anyone objecting to the Flames name, certainly not social justice warriors, it is reasonable to wonder what prompted this particular outburst.
The team was once the Atlanta Flames, you see, and the name was a reference to the destruction of that strategic Confederate city in November 1864 by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union troops as the American Civil War drew to its end.
In other words, it’s a factoid far more likely to get social injustice warriors’ knickers in a twist, don’t you think?
It is an oddity, I suppose, for a professional sports team to be named after an act of war, but it is part of our continent’s history, as they say, and being reminded of why Gen. Sherman burned Atlanta, not to mention pretty well everything else from there to Savannah, is quite a useful lesson to keep in mind for those inclined to look favourably on secession.
A note on the use of profanity in news and commentary
Whether or not to spell out profanity in news and commentary is a controversial topic within journalism. I am a member of the school of thought that believes it is better to use profanity rarely, because judged critically it is seldom newsworthy. When it is newsworthy, as it apparently is in this case, it should be stated forthrightly, and spelled out fully in all its lack of glory. That said, the image was a little much for me, so I tastefully modified it. DJC