Canadian family

It’s a wacky world where gardening is racist and porn pays for college

Rod Liddle in this week’s The Spectator points out why it’s a wacky world:

Is your life saturated with racial meaning? The most common answer to this question, when I ask friends and acquaintances, and sometimes people in the street going about their business, is: ‘Your inquiry makes no sense whatsoever. It sounds like the sort of pretentious and thoroughly bogus question dreamed up by some idiotic sociology lecturer in a third-rate polytechnic. Now go away, I have lost my place in the queue at Burger King and will have to wait ages for a bacon double cheeseburger.’

The correct answer, however, is ‘yes’. Our lives are saturated with racial meaning — I have it on good authority. I don’t know what it means, but nonetheless we are all soaking wet with racial meaning, all of us. You especially, probably. This is the view of a man called Dr Ben Pitcher who is — as coincidence would have it — an idiotic sociology lecturer at a third-rate polytechnic. The ‘University’ of Westminster, to be precise, an institution ranked 106th out of the 121 universities in the Sunday Times University Guide, and for sociology ranked 81st out of 89 in the Guardian (which knows a sociologist when it sees one).

Dr Ben has been unpicking the racial subtexts and tropes and memes which infect our lives and, um, saturate us — and of course he has concentrated his attention, as is only right, on the racist excrescence which is Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio 4. This long-running temple of filth must be seen ‘in the context of the rise of racist and fascist parties in Europe’ and indeed ‘the crisis in white identity’. That’s why, you see, those supposedly cosy and genteel old coves on GQT are always telling people to root out invasive alien species from their gardens and fling them on the compost heap or burn them or poison them or something.

Read the whole thing – it’s a real treat.

And here’s the Chronicle of Higher Education on a young woman’s “choice” to enter the porn industry to pay for her college tuition:

Since then, so many students have turned to sex work that it has become a kind of a joke. But Belle Knox is something new: a face of what you might call fourth-wave feminism, a generation of angry young women who have come of age in a pornified, financially devastated century.

Within a few weeks, Knox loudly established herself as a woman who, though “forced” into porn by her parents’ financial downfall, nonetheless loves it. She is a victim of the recession, but not, apparently, of the sex industry.

Like other fourth-wavers, Knox is all about her brand, which she advances via social and legacy media. She is brashly unapologetic about this brand’s embracing all of her roles—porn star, elite-college student, pundit, libertarian, future civil-rights lawyer. But her volume doesn’t mean she is right.

Read the whole sobering article. What are the consequences for a society and culture that embraces this type of behaviour? Would we prefer our porn stars to be exploited rather than empowered? To even ask such a question shows how wacky our world has become.


The taxes are too damn high and there are too many of them!

The Fraser Institute released a report this morning that shows the average Canadian spends more on taxes than on anything else.

In 2013, the study finds that the average Canadian family earned $77,381 and paid $32,369 in total taxes (or 41.8 per cent of income) compared to 36.1 per cent for food, shelter and clothing combined.

By comparison, in 1961 the average family earned approximately $5,000 and spent much more of its income on food, shelter and clothing (56.5 per cent) while $1,675 went to taxes (33.5 per cent).

The total tax bill represents both visible and hidden taxes paid to the federal, provincial and local governments. This includes income taxes, payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, vehicle taxes, import taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxes, and more.

Since 1961, the average Canadian family’s total tax bill has increased by 1,832 per cent, dwarfing increases in shelter costs (1,375 per cent), clothing (620 per cent) and food (546 per cent).

Of course, as John Moore of Newstalk1010 pointed out this morning, they chose the 1961 date for a reason. 1961 is the year before Canada introduced in subsequent years the Canada Pension Plan, unemployment insurance and universal healthcare. That’s fine and dandy John but, as your panel pointed out, are we getting value for the money we spend on these services? Could we do better if were able to invest the money we spend on taxes in a different way? And when is it enough? Should government expand to include even more areas of our private lives? In Ontario, we apparently just decided that government can grow even more with a new pension plan.

(And is it just me or does anyone else notice that John has increasingly become a shill for Unifor? I know he’s a spokesman for a water company but does he have a contract with Unifor, I wonder?). He certainly loves the t-shirt.

Beyond the economic issue, there are some fundamental principles at stake. In a previous post, I told you about the Danish tax that places a 180% fee on cars. Apparently, the main reason they do this is not for the environment but to ensure equality. Danes do not want some Danes to have access to goods or services that other Danes do not have which is ridiculous. The government restricts individual freedom and forces the outcomes it wants. Of course John and his Unifor buddies would say that what the government wants we want – we voted for them. But is that really true? Consider: in the last Ontario election, only 52 per cent of the population voted and the Liberals won with 42 per cent of that. That’s pathetic and hardly an endorsement of bigger government.

Taxes are unavoidable for the most part – you pay most of them even if you don’t use the services. Some of these taxes are fine are far as it goes but where is the point when government takes too much from individuals and makes some of the most important life decisions on our behalf?

I say we are beyond that point.