I was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, and I am the old school version: we work hard, play hard, laugh hard, will handily whip your ass and then have a beer with you. This was a scrappy city where even the nerdy kids were tough, and yet were friendly, open, and proud.
That version doesn’t really exist anymore. From being tough as nails steel workers who spoke by eloquently turning over cars during a strike to the town where a failed Basic Income project was parachuted in is a tumble in fortunes.
You know it was bad when the CBC was brave enough to open a digital location in downtown Hamilton a few years ago.
I can always tell who’s old school. Those are the tough, but perky survivors who always know how to land on their feet. There is never a thought of being nannied by a government. If you can get up and more parts on you work than don’t, you’re good enough to get back in the ring and beat the shit out of some obnoxious pantywaist who has confused voguing with fighting.
And fucking wipe the floor with them. Like nothing because you’re made of piss and vinegar.
By all accounts, Hamilton should have dominated Ontario. It is situated in a prime location, in the centre between the US border and Toronto. We have space, plenty of roads, a sterling university, top-notch hospitals, and had real and viable industry here. The unions were strong. Businesses were strong. We had cabinet ministers in the government. It could have been on par with Toronto, but Hogtown psyched this popsicle stand out, free trade turned our industries weak, and there was a real and serious brain drain because the children of steelworkers got educated in universities and left the first chance they could.
Then Hamilton started to panic and voted NDP who never win, meaning there wasn’t a cabinet minister who could infuse the city with, let’s be blunt, graft. Outside smaller towns voted shrewdly, and they got the perks that Hamilton could have had if they thought a few steps ahead.
Small-town Grimsby voted PC in the last provincial election, had a small, but viable hospital that was on the Liberal regime’s hit list, but when Doug Ford won, those worries were over.
Hamilton voted NDP and lost their Basic Income project.
Grimsby knows how to take care of itself. Hamilton use to be of the same ilk, but not anymore.
But Toronto has fallen under the same spell as Hamilton. They bought their own hype and thought by sheer numbers alone, they could always play kingmaker, and could always rig the board to their favour.
That’s not how elections actually work.
The provincial Liberals held the same delusion: they always pandered to Toronto, thinking that’s all they needed to cruise to victory.
Except when you pander too much for too long, the person or group you are pandering to starts to see themselves as kings, not kingmakers, and then will look for some better servant to appease them.
The NDP usurped those votes, and then thought they were brilliant, except they don’t actually have a feel for political strategy.
The NDP, like the Liberals, are antiquated, and believe journalists who call their bungling buffoons brilliant.
Don’t look at journalists: they fucked up their own profession.
The old playbooks don’t work any more.
Doug Ford figured that one out and won a majority.
Without Hamilton or Toronto. Or Windsor or St. Catharines.
Andrea Horwath and Kathleen Wynne blew the election because they are, at heart, regional women. They play to Hamilton and to Toronto, respectively.
I am not a regional woman. I was never a regional girl. I am of true Steel City grit, but the world ain’t Hamilton.
And it is the reason I have had columns, articles, and books published in multiple countries over the last quarter century.
It is a global village, but I am not a regional player.
My brain was always wired to be global. I see the waves that bring the big picture into focus.
I can see a single grain and extrapolate, and vice versa.
Because I am an emotional learner, not a script-memorizer.
Regional boys and girls can play certain crowds, but they cannot adopt. The ones who can do it can expand their base and refine and modify their strategies, When we had strong local newspapers, the journalists who could adapt went on to daily metros before going national and even international.
But local got decimated, and now we have a generation of journalists who can’t play it local, national, or global. They can play to a regional crowd, on the Left or Right, but they don’t have the ability to build to form a sustainable base because they always fall on stunts and tricks that work regionally and hinge on impressing the crowd by knowing their Shibboleths, but when they can no longer crack the code of the bigger crowd that plays completely differently than the smaller partisan venues, they tank.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel are regional women. They pandered until it blew up in their faces. French President Emmanuel Macron is finding out just how not “centrist” he actually is. Only months before, the Independent praised him silly with this opinion piece:
Emmanuel Macron is the centrist that Europe deserves – and so desperately needs
His speech at the European Parliament has earmarked him as the voice of sense that we are lacking in the UK and across the world
Only if Europe deserves to be set on fire and have rioters tear down the street.
Speeches mean nothing. Those are pacifiers for the middle class to reassure them and make them feel smart and important.
Mastering various regions is a hard game to play, and that is the reason so many politicians and robber barons are desperately pushing globalism.
Pseudo-globalism, that is.
Not the real mosaic.
But creating a global village where the variety of regionalism they mastered applies to everyone; so they can rig the board, always win, and always predict things and look smart and right.
This is not real globalism: this is just like the Mean Girls who make up rules in high school, and then try to shame, bully, bribe, blackmail, and otherwise terrorize all the other students to agree that they are “popular” and superior to them.
It’s total bullshit.
A global village is nothing more than regionalism.
Force the whole world to wear cheap H&M garbage and shop through Amazon as you forsake cars and are dependent on the government sticking you on some smelly bus with a bunch of pervs that cannot be shamed because they don’t read the Troll Scroll.
Governments do not want people to have cars. They don’t want them to drive around and experience the Big Picture.
What if you see that what you thought was a great life was shit?
Or that there is crime and poverty three blocks over?
We can’t have that; so let’s say cars are bad for the environment; so down with cars!
As if we can’t make clean cars cheaply.
But the rigs of pseudo-globalism aren’t going the way those overlords wanted.
They are trying to put a genie back in the bottle, and they are rapidly making the situation worse.
Because both their regionalism and their global village are fake, their solutions don’t work.
They managed to piss off the French. They managed to unseat more and more European Establishment types who kept trying to paint their detractors as fascists, but to no avail.
It was simpler times when Europe and the US could bully Serbia during the Civil War. They held all of the cards, after all, and controlled the message coming through the press. They could paint Serbs as killers, monsters, and rapists with no opposition or questioning the giant holes in their canards.
Yes, there was war, and there were a few Serbs who were free out of prison did bad things as did everyone else there. Fuck you.
And because the focus was entirely on Serbs, organized criminal elements in Albania could do whatever they wanted, and get rewarded by Western Europe. The beginnings of Al-Qaeda started then because the US and Europe inadvertently helped train and fund those terrorist operatives.
It didn’t matter because everything was rigged. Systems were cracked and those loopholes were easy to exploit. Serbs didn’t know what hit them.
I knew, however.
I was a teenager and I could easily figure it out because my brain is set to Global.
Not Global Village, but Global.
It is a quirk. When I volunteered as a recreationist at a psychiatric ward when I was a teenager, I noticed people watched a lot of soap operas. I brought art supplies and new magazines for diversions for patients, and I also started buying Soap Opera Digest, and read about every single soap’s storylines past and present so that I could instantly converse with people because it was a nonthreatening topic of conversation.
I could tell you what was unfolding on the Y&R as easily as what went down on Loving. I knew who was the head writer, and every actor’s name. I knew how many actors played a certain role and in what order, and for how long. I became the encyclopedia of soaps. I even knew about soaps cancelled long ago, such as Capitol or Search for Tomorrow.
My grandmother loved one soap: As the World Turns, and I used to schedule my university classes so I could come home at 2 PM to watch it with her. I appreciated the complexities of the stories, and thought Douglas Marland was a genius.
But that was the only one I knew from actually watching it.
The rest I read the recaps as if I were studying for a history or English lit class.
It came in extremely handy. I could make small talk and break the tension.
But soaps may have taken place in fictional small towns, but they weren’t regional. They were global.
Because they appealed to multiple generations of viewers across North America (and beyond) as well as multiple socioeconomic levels. There was nothing remotely regional — or patriarchal about them.
Like comic books, soaps were matriarchal in structure. They were epic, and spanned generations with storylines from decades ago still in play and impacting current and future storylines.
But patriarchal social structures consistently put down soaps as being “girly”, and comics as being “childish”. Both were dismissed as being unsophisticated.
And that’s bullshit.
Patriarchal is regional. Matriarchal is global.
The Global Village is Patriarchal. Globalism is Matriarchal.
I can see that very clearly. You are not going to try some misdirection on me by trying to claim that I am too stupid, nerdy, or regional to know what’s what. Jеби се, говно једно.
But in a world that has the global medium of the Internet, how can it be so…regional?
That’s a dilemma that is an enigma to solve.
The confines of regionalism and its mask the global village have made people feel crowded and frustrated. Global regionalism is now facing a real pushback. People do not want to indulge someone else’s regionalism that takes away their liberties as the ways of others surrounds them. The game of go is like quicksand, and people are drowning in the homogenization of structure and content of thought.
But I am not a regional girl. I don’t do a globe village. I believe in true globalism where there are multiple accepted structures and contents of thought. I believe in ideological flexibility that is sensitive to the zeitgeist and ortgeist.
I believe that rigs are cheats used to hold back natural ideological evolution.
The trouble with the Internet is that is can be rigged to be Patriarchal, when its natural, default structure is Matriarchal. Like #MeToo, the Internet was hijacked and co-opted by the Establishment, which is both Patriarchal and Regional, and now that the shit has hit the fan, people are getting angrier.
But they do not actually know where their illusions of anger are actually coming from.
Chaser is the curator of emotions. It is not just about intellectual facts, but the neglected emotional ones.
Because emotions are more than just global: they are universal, and I am willing to bet omniversal.
Yet we don’t explore that realm. Journalism shunned it outright by claiming to be “objective”, but any system that mimics a psychopathic mindset has a shitty filter to look at reality.
Not happening with Chaser.
We have people who go nuclear on a drop of a hat. We have cheaters who use fear-mongering to keep a fake status quo in place.
The war in the former Yugoslavia showed the deficiencies of journalism because it exposed that they had no feel to cover the raw emotions that explode during anarchy. They had their little preset scripts and narratives and stuck to them like glue.
How to finesse this model is something I am refining at the moment. Emotional reportage isn’t a thing, but it will be very shortly…