Happy May Day!
Today is the International Day of the Worker. Normally there would be big parades in the capitals of Europe, a few smaller ones in North America and even a measly procession or two here in Wild Rose Country.
This year, presumably, it’ll be a rather restrained affair most places, owing to the continued presence of the coronavirus in locations whose governments either can’t or won’t manage COVID-19.
In still officially but not really very communist China, where it was already May 1 as this was being written last night, record-breaking throngs of domestic tourists were hitting the road at home for the May Day break, seeing as it’s too dangerous for them to go anywhere in the mismanaged West and the more neoliberalized corners of Asia, thereby giving the domestic economy a powerful boost in the process.
In Singapore – hardly a bastion of raging socialism – the prime minister has already given a cheerful May Day message that praised the entrepôt nation’s unions for their role in helping workers during COVID-19, and bragged about how unions are growing there, not shrinking as they are in the West.
Don’t expect to hear anything like that from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney today, or anything at all about May 1, the ruling United Conservative Party’s Government’s idea of a healthy state religion being a virulently anti-union form of neoliberalism.
Well, have a fine May 1 just the same. If you can’t think of any way to celebrate, you can always sing this:
Arise ye, prisoners of starvation,
Arise ye wretched of the earth
For justice thunders condemnation
A better world is in birth!
As for the tune, we’ll hum a couple of bars and maybe Mart Kenney can fake it!
And now for something completely different …
One week ago today, I spent an hour and a half chatting with Scott Schmidt and Jeremy Appel on their weekly Forgotten Corner podcast. (The Forgotten Corner, presumably, being Medicine Hat, where they both worked on the local newspaper, pre-COVID).
Mr. Schmidt writes a tartly critical column on politics in the pages of the Medicine Hat News. Mr. Appel decamped for Calgary after the News laid off many of its reporters early in the pandemic. There, he’s been doing excellent investigative journalism for The Sprawl, Progress Alberta and other online publications. Mo Cranker handled the technical end of the podcast.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of mainstream journalism in Alberta that a pair of fine young journalists like this don’t have high-profile positions with established news media.
The sorry state of Alberta journalism was one of the principal topics we discussed, along with a little bit about Alberta politics, and my own favourite topic – me.
Anyway, it was fun and interesting and, even though I’m not a podcast kind of guy, I think we discussed some worthwhile topics.