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Fear and loathing and poutine

December 3, 2015  By Ian Robinson


So am I that guy, now?

You know the guy.

He may not be old … but he kind of talks like it?


Guy who sometimes starts sentences with, “Well, back in my day …” Or, “When I was young …” Or, “You know. When things made sense…”

Look, it’s not like I don’t know the difference between Facebook and Instagram.


I have a Twitter account, even.

I tweet.

And while I’m still annoyed Grand Funk Railroad broke up, I can also name a couple of Imagine Dragon songs which, while that doesn’t make me a modern, up-to-the-minute hipster, at least means I’m not completely fossilized.

And the new Adele album is awesome.

But I used to understand the world. I used to get it.

Thing is, at least for my generation, things did make more sense back then.

Check out the world right now and tell me I’m wrong.

Donald Trump — Donald. Freaking. Trump. — could be president of the United States of America some day.
As I write this, he is currently leading the field of Republican candidates.

Nearly half of all Americans surveyed said he’s the most trustworthy Republican running for his party’s presidential nomination when it comes to dealing with terrorism.

The head of the Satanic Temple ‘church’ in Minnesota has, perhaps as a reaction to that opinion poll, issued an open invitation to any frightened Muslims.

If Muslims are afraid to leave the house, just call the Satanists.

“We would be glad to escort you where you need to go without advertising our presence,” the head Satanist said. “Just big dudes walking you where you need to be.”

Pause to consider this carefully: People who worship Satan are offering the hand of friendship to people who worship God.
And not one of those easygoing, hugs-and-happiness gods, either.

Tell me how that makes sense. Just tell me that.

The Calgary Stampeders got their asses handed to them by the Edmonton Eskimos.

That’s wrong on a lot of levels.

Plus in these politically correct times, you know that’s a team name on borrowed time.

The Eskimos basically got the name as an insult.

Nasty newspaper columnists in Edmonton called Calgary a cow camp and nasty newspaper columnists in Calgary — referring to Edmonton’s ghastly weather — referred to them as ‘Esquimeaux’ — an oldtimey spelling for Eskimo.

They can’t change it to the Oilers, and not only because that name’s been taken by the NHL team.

By the time the NDP are finished with those of us living here in Alberta, we’re not going to have an oil business left because apparently everybody now hates the business that puts gasoline in your car.

There’s a group of people in the Middle East called ISIS and a lot of their recruits are from Canada and the United States.

These North American kids have turned their back on us … western civilization.

The same western civilization that gave the world rock and roll and hip hop, Scotch whiskey, Elvis and Snoop Dog, hydroponic chronic, girls who go to dance clubs wearing dresses that, when removed, can be wadded up to fit into the average cocktail glass.

And these self-same girls are very happy to have those dresses removed. On top of that, there’s NFL Sunday, unlimited Internet pornography and high-performance American muscle cars like the Dodge Charger.

And young people are turning their backs on all of that to live in the dust and blow themselves up in the name of … religion?
Weren’t they listening to John Lennon?

What happened here?

Back in the days of the Cold War — yeah, I know, when I was growing up and the world made sense — it was pretty much an article of faith for those of us living on these shores that with enough Coca Cola, whiskey, freedom and chicks in bikinis … the world could not resist us.

Canada’s contribution to the Great Decadence Offensive was poutine.

Nobody can turn away from poutine. You throw poutine into the aforementioned mix, and we should all be too fat and happy to go to war.

There’s a case to be made that the Soviet Union fell because people behind the Iron Curtain wanted Levis and unfettered access to Miles Davis albums.

So what’s with people who already have Coca Cola, whiskey and freedom wanting to give it all up?

And poutine? Did I mention poutine?

Plus it turns out the Soviet Union wasn’t dead. It was just rebranding itself and Vladmir Putin is bringing it back to life.

So now with all the brand-new boogeymen populating my nightmares, the old boogeyman from my childhood — the freaking Russians! — are back.

And while they’re still sorta bad guys — just ask the nearest Ukrainian — they stepped up in the Middle East to fight ISIS, which kind of makes them sorta good guys.

My head hurts. And when my head hurts, I’m just glad I live in a culture with whiskey and poutine.

I’ll be the old drunk guy in the corner covered in gravy.

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