Day 7 of 20: The REAL Reason for my Trip to Europe

20 Feb

Some of my readers are under the mistaken impression that I went on this last-minute trip to Europe to confront fears of my own, inevitable mortality. People who know me well understand that this is simply not true as I have already mapped out in great detail the final chapters of my life. They way I see it, many years from now when it’s time to do battle with Death and his icy scythe I will do so at my home in Ottawa armed with the most powerful religious symbols from all the different faiths.

You see up until now (despite my best efforts) I have been unable to figure out which is the one, true religion. So I hatched this plan where (during the final battle with Death) I will employ a symbol from each religion in my attack / defence so I can properly determine which is the True Faith. If my theory is correct when it touches my adversary, the symbol will create a slight burning sensation at the point of contact. I will then convert to that religion right there and then and smite my foe!

Anyway, the real reason I decided to take this short-notice trip outside the country was to escape the endless CBC broadcasts that inundate citizens of the Great White North every hour of every day. It’s bad during normal times but with their exclusive, ongoing coverage of the Olympics it had become unbearable.

Living in Canada is not without its drawbacks and the CBC is one of them. It would be fine if citizens were somehow able to opt out but it’s actually quite difficult. TVs in bars, radios in cars, the Internet, YouTube – the CBC is everywhere and it can be very taxing. On top of the non-stop broadcasts and the multiple television channels and radio stations (in each official language), they have “news” programs that are 100% fake but they don’t tell you that. This means whenever you happen upon a bit of news from the CBC you have no way of knowing if it is real or not. The fake news coupled with the CBC’s country-wide omnipresence in all spectrums of the media (radio, television, Internet) has been known to drive people crazy. There are several well-documented cases.

So the other day I read an article in the Globe and Mail (on their web site actually, for free) where the author was trying to draw attention to the fact that the CBC is being blocked outside of Canada and all the CBC podcasts are currently unavailable for download. I could not believe my eyes: Were two of my prayers being answered simultaneously? Was it possible to escape the Olympics *and* the CBC at the same time? Could it be done with but a single ticket on flight AC838 YOW to FRA? And how good has the CBC’s reporting been on this particular topic? And which religious symbol was I holding in my hand when I prayed to God this specific request? [note to self: be more selective with the prayers – too many decent parking spots; not enough winning lotto numbers]

Upon finishing the article, reading it a second time, and pinching myself to make sure I was not asleep in some wonderful dream about a CBC Newsworld-free world, I opened a new tab in my browser and immediately booked a three-week trip to Europe.

The first couple of days of my vacation were great as I was getting nice and comfortable with the idea that I would not have to worry about any CBC content popping up on my Facebook or any of their embedded links sneaking into my RSS feeder. Then this morning I got an email from my mother telling me that CBC was back on the air – worldwide. It turns out that a Canadian citizen-activist was able to effect change using non-violent, well-reasoned arguments articulated in – get this – a national newspaper (I know, how quaint).

And now the rest of the world has to live with the fallout from the actions of this one individual.

It’s actually quite horrible – and I’m not talking about the CBC’s renewed ability to track me down wherever in the world I happen to be. Full disclosure: they can’t get me any more. On Friday one of the clerks at the German Department of Motor Vehicles* informed me that I am now legally blind (and def) as a result my of dancing too close to the stage during the second set of the DJ Firewerks Lazer and Sound Spectakular at that party in Mannheim on Thursday. “Blind? Really? Then how are you writing this post?” Easy, I’m using apples hi quality voice-to-text software.

Anyway, the problem is, people all across the globe (the planet, not the newspaper) are now going to start believing that they can actually change the things that are important to them by using grassroots methods to put political pressure on entrenched bureaucratic and social hierarchies. These techniques do succeed now and again but their successes are so rare that they end up causing more harm than good. And by “harm” I mean giving false hope to activists who have worked tirelessly to have March 2 declared Planet Earth’s first-ever, international world-wide holiday for everyone (the most worthwhile cause if there ever were one).

Readers who are paying attention know what I’m talking about.

* Traveling without health insurance? There are lots of places one can get high-quality, medical diagnosis (and prognosis) at a fraction of the cost of going to the hospital.

Coming through loud and clear. Mostly loud. And way too clear.

Coming through loud and clear. Mostly loud. And way too clear.


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