StarMetro Edmonton - - BIG OPINIONS - Heather Mal­lick

Is all of life head­ing for chaos? Maybe it’s just the Ro­bi­tussin for my au­tumn chest cold, but it does seem that the world has be­come for­mally ir­ra­tional.

The Toronto po­lice won’t come to my house if the bur­glar alarm goes off un­less there is an eye­wit­ness, a neigh­bour who has ac­tu­ally seen the boots of a bal­a­clavaed bur­glar dis­ap­pear­ing through the base­ment win­dow. But that’s crazy.

Cops will no longer ar­rest al­leged sho­plifters, in­stead leav­ing it to the store and some dodgy op­er­a­tion that will send sus­pects de­mands for money for a crime that did not le­gally oc­cur. There’s the crime, ob­tain­ing money with men­aces. It makes no sense.

I hired snow shov­ellers for the first time last win­ter and they broke my drive­way in three places. Of course I will shovel it my­self as I should have, but how do you break a drive­way? And why would they clear a lawn? You don’t shovel grass, ev­ery­one knows that.

None of this would have both­ered me be­fore, or made me think “noth­ing works.” But the U.S. has a mean id­iot for a pres­i­dent crusted with cor­rup­tion and with the so­cial skills of an as­bestos oven mitt.

He threat­ens world an­ni­hi­la­tion, starts trade wars, kid­naps and gasses tiny chil­dren at the Mexico border, al­legedly of­fered to give a $67-mil­lion Moscow pent­house to a former KGB of­fi­cer named Putin, lives in bathrobes while wag­gling his chan­nel changer, has one suit, one coat and a yel­low bouf­fant, eats Mag­icErasers all day, is cod­dled by trash like Scott Pruitt and Ivanka Trump — is she Asma al-As­sad or just a poor man’s Clara Pe­tacci — and throws pa­per towel rolls at hur­ri­cane vic­tims.

I read Michael Lewis’s “The Fifth Risk.” It re­veals a U.S. fed­eral civil ser­vice full of ded­i­cated, un­der­paid peo­ple who gather ex­treme quan­ti­ties of in­for­ma­tion for pub­lic use. Weather data is so de­tailed that it can reg­is­ter your pool drain­ing.

Trump’s greasy ap­pointees are seal­ing off this golden in­for­ma­tion from pub­lic reach and us­ing it to power and profit their own pri­vate com­pa­nies, like Ac­cuWeather. How is this tol­er­a­ble?

Canada’s West has fire, flood, aban­doned oil wells and toxic tarsands tail­ings ponds, yet Al­berta is hell-bent on build­ing pipe­lines rather than greener en­ergy. The PM is trapped. Noth­ing works.

We are liv­ing in a Jack­son Pol­lock drip paint­ing, chaos spat­tered large and small, where lit­tle is ra­tio­nal and some rough beast is slouch­ing to­ward us “mov­ing its slow thighs.” Is that Don­ald Trump, Doug Ford or Ja­son Ken­ney?

I have al­ways pre­dicted that drought will make the U.S. in­vade Canada and every fire re­minds me of this. I hate this so much that I lose my­self in ur­gent trivia and Benylin All-in­One. Bali Bras is dis­con­tin­u­ing the 3235, for which I comb the huge sub­ter­ranean world of dis­con­tin­ued lin­gerie and china pat­terns.

The Ger­man chan­cel­lor is fall­ing and Bri­tain is saw­ing off both of its legs un­der the im­pres­sion they will grow back. So, I take shel­ter in mi­nor com­plaint. I can’t see my credit card bill on­line. I won’t name the card (hint: sounds like “BD sub­stan­tial”) but if Loblaws can or­ga­nize hills of green beans and tankers of tooth­paste, could their credit card not re­fresh its web­site with­out blow­ing it up?

I spend hours be­ing hung up on, talk­ing to call cen­tre peo­ple cri­sis-hired straight from a half­way house with­out time to ad­just to civil­ian life. They get fret­ful, then angry. “If you do that, we might as well give up on this whole thing,” one older gen­tle­man told me. He meant be­ing on speak­er­phone.

Christ­mas parcels are stuck at the border or in a Canada Post park­ing lot.



A home burns in Par­adise, Calif. last month. “I have al­ways pre­dicted that drought will make the U.S. in­vade Canada and every fire re­minds me of this,” writes Heather Mal­lick.

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