Dear Canada Post,

I’d like to start by stating I have always been with labour. I don’t side with the bosses, but this case requires unique consideration. BOTH ARE EQUALLY F%$KED. In this instance both sides are in the wrong and simply exposing how archaic the postal service truly is. The mail gets to our door in spite of Canada post not because of it.

The job is not difficult. Some of you supervise, while others sort mail, put mail on trucks and take a leisurely stroll distributing it. Your only natural enemies are neighbourhood dogs, people who don’t shovel the walk and technological advancement. Your service is on the verge of obsolescence and you know it. Sadly, our system is still somewhat reliant on the post and you’ve been able to seize up the works.

This is not an indication of how important the task is. This is a red flag reminding the rest of us of better options. E-mail is instant, couriers are accountable and nearly every office has a fax machine. Canada post has earned it’s reputation as inefficient, overpaid and dare I say unreliable. There are tough times ahead at the post. It’s most important task is the distribution of government cheques and now even that may be halted. We’ll find a way to get our magazines and older people will learn to pay bills online. You’ve forced us to operate without you. Now, don’t be surprised when the change becomes permanent.

Na zedorovya,
Danny Kresnyak

Play It Again Ron

Tonight’s outcome was a horrible mess. Vancouver hasn’t seen a beating like that since the Dziekanski incident. The only silver lining for this Canucks fan was provided by Mr. Ronnie Ron. Give him eight goals and he’ll give you the performance of a lifetime. In one game I heard Green Day, AC/DC, Lady Gaga and a stream of other hits . The Garden’s organ player makes a trouncing sound oh so sweet.

Check out Ron Poster here.

Salutations De Paris, Eh!

(Paris) This is the P-dog’s Paris bureau reporting. You might be a little confused. Last week, I was the Las Vegas bureau. No, the P-dog hasn’t found a “Sugar Daddy”. The closest we have is Niall O’Hanlon and most of what he pays in for ads comes back to him in bar tabs. I’ve just been doing a lot of travelling.

If there is one thing I’ve learned here it’s this: the French know how to protest. They know other things (moustaches, kissing and how to smoke cigarettes while riding a bike) but they really know how to protest. This morning I met up with about 50,000+ of my closest friends and marched down Champs de Elysses to the Arc de Triumph. It didn’t take starvation or poverty to get these people into the streets. They understand that democracy is a participatory process.

Right now, my feet are aching and I’m sitting on a deck. I’ve got a Moosehead and a steak. Billy Talent started on the speakers after Allanah Myles ended. A knockout one-two CanCon combination.People around me are complaining about the unseasonably cool weather. It’s like home except to my right is the Seine and behind me is Notre Dame. The picture is of my lovely server, and Ottawa native, Lindsay (last name withheld. I think she’s on the lamb.) I found her at a place called the Great Canadian Pub. They’ve taken a lesson in how we do pubs maybe we can take a lesson in how they do democracy.

Sin City, Still Sinning

(Las Vegas) Today is supposed to be Armageddon. Like Raul Duke before me, I wanted my doomsday to have a Sin City backdrop. So, here I am. Prairie dog’s Vegas bureau. I’m sitting poolside with a chelada (Why the eff don’t we get these in Canada?) in my trembling hands.

I was at a bachelor party last night. My sister gets married tomorrow. But, I felt like “zombie-pocalypse” was a lock and I took a few chances I normally wouldn’t.  It’s been nearly an hour since the rapture was supposed to befall us, the gleeful sinners. If angry Zombie Christ was going to smite humanity I think this is where he’d start. Vice, deviance and plunder are encouraged here. This town loves a drunk and last night it loved me like the southern states love Dale Earnhardt collector plates.

I’m a little disappointed. I expected fire, brimstone, and Rush tunes to trumpet down from the heavens. I’m talking really shitty Rush….Roll the bones era. Not sure why, but I’m pretty convinced that when the world ends Geddy Lee will provide the soundtrack. Instead I’m sitting here with an empty wallet and a terrible headache. Oh well, I guess I’ll just wait till 2012.

Stewed, Screwed And Tattooed: Pile O’ Bones Tattoo Convention 2011

Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past- Jack London

This looks like it hurts and yes, yes it does. Pain is temporary and being badass is forever. This weekends Pile o’ Bones tattoo convention attracted artists, collectors, looky-lous and law enforcement to the Highland curling club. They came to check portfolios, eye the pin-up girls and take-in a weekends worth of ink-tertainment.

As I walked around the show, a favourite Yeats quote echoed in my ears: “There are two kinds of people in the world: people with tattoos and those who fear people with tattoos.” It may be dated, but it still has some truth to it. Why? I’m not sure. I’ve worked in shops for many years and everyday I am amazed by who, what and where ends up inked. A decade ago, having a sleeve could stop traffic and now every teenage bottle-rocket is sporting huge pieces.

The stigma is gone for most but the revolution takes time. What’s the genesis of tattoo-phobia? Call it puritanism, suspicion or just finding it yucky. Cops, border guards and the unenlightened often equate tattoos with criminality. These folks overlook an art-form with a history predating civilization. People have been getting tattoos for thousands of years and the “trend” is showing no sign of slowing. Tattoos are a legitimate billion-dollar industry and conventions like Pile O’ Bones, are where the pros come to show their work and their ink.

Dear Mr. Ignatieff

It’ll be late by the time you read this. The end of a day that could have ended better. Polls didn’t look great this morning, but who could’ve predicted the historical collapse of Canada’s most decorated political machine? Now, the voting stations have closed, ballots are all counted and the bleeding has finally stopped. Wounds like this need iodine. It’ll sting at first but cuts need to be cleaned if you expect them to heal.

THIS IS NOT TOTALLY YOUR FAULT.

Two years ago, you rode a red-tide of insider support to Liberal glory. Surely you’d connect with voters better than your predecessor. You were a new man. A powerful man. Entering parliament convinced your Ivy League grasp of political process would have Harper on the ropes. You landed a few shots in the early rounds, but in the end you were out-hustled.

Heck Iggy, I have to say it. If you want a promotion show up to work. Show up and be a team-player. That way when your boss (the voting public) reviews your record; things don’t look so sinister. You spent too much time behind closed doors. Too much time working on secret bids to seize control. Ottawa was built on back-door deals but you broke rule number one: you got caught. This gave the Conservatives everything they needed to destroy you. They painted you as an outsider. An affluent intellectual American trying to subvert democracy and the image stuck.

However, there are silver linings in this storm cloud. You’ll see some familiar faces in the unemployment line and some new faces in your old office. Gilles Duceppe and the BQ took it on the chin. Voters rendered the Bloc’s platform obsolete and gathered behind Marvelous Mister Mustache and the surging orange crush. Ralph Goodale managed to hold his seat as a lone and beleaguered western-Liberal; score one for the red team!

Your party may have lost ground but at least it was in the name of progress. Progress? In a Harper majority? Yes, it is possible. Elizabeth May took a seat for the Greens and the NDP has shown themselves as a legitimate National third-party option. You lost your Toronto riding and were denied the Prime Minister’s chair. Over the coming days, expect to hear from Liberal-insiders less and less. You’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. Maybe you should write a book.

Keep your chin up,
Danny Kresnyak

Harper Promises To Renew Interest In A Shameful Industry

Story here.

“The only party that defends the interests of the chrysotile industry is our party, the Conservative party.” -Stephen Harper

Chrysotile is a fancy word for asbestos. It was coined by pro-business lobbyists that want to keep the toxic product in circulation.

Well Mr. Harper, there are some things that nearly everyone agrees on. The fact that asbestos is toxic is one of them. For years the international community has begged Canada to ban the production and export of this carcinogenic monstrosity.

Harper’s hasty election promise is a clear example of putting profits before people and vote-pandering before common sense. The asbestos market is failing and the world should rejoice. Job creation is a good thing, but not when the risk to life is so abundantly clear.

No Questions In Harper’s Garden

Harpers get hands dirtyThis photo opportunity has been brought to you by: manure and the Conservative party of Canada. What a headline! Harpers get hands dirty at Dutch Growers. Planting seeds of conservatism and hoping they bloom in May. “You know this is photo only. No talking,” The women in blue rimmed glasses reminded me. Mr Harper doesn’t take questions when he’s gardening.

He was talking earlier though. The PM addressed a small crowd of conservative party members, reporters and sunglassed RCMP security at Performance Marine. He came with a handful of budget initiatives repackaged as campaign pledges. Promises for small business and a “continued commitment to strengthening Canada’s economy.” Nothing new on today’s agenda. Why here? If I had to guess, it might be that the airport is within walking distance.

We probably won’t see much of Harper around here before the election. The West is just a pit stop. One the Conservatives think is a lock. The battleground is out east. But, a quick morning rah-rah in Regina followed by a Winnipeg pep-rally would brighten anyone’s day. Tomorrow he heads back to Toronto. Harper has been all over the “golden horseshoe” as of late. He’s mad for a majority and needs a chunk of the Liberal’s Toronto ridings to get it.