Things That Annoy Me – Part 13

61.) Xenophobic (And Hypocritical!) Stupidity 

Around a year ago or so, a phenomenon known as #KetchupGate swept social media. For English and European readers, I am not referring to Richard Philips. Indeed, a quite dated reference. But best cover all my bases. 

As for what I am talking about, this western producer article from last March does a great job. 

It’s been weeks since Loblaws pulled French’s ketchup from its shelves and then backtracked after taking a social media battering.

However, Canadians continue to post selfies on social media proudly holding the ketchups that say “support Canadian farmers.”

Leave it to social media to wrap a Canadian flag around an American company and turn French’s into Canada’s ketchup.

Pretty much sums it up nicely. But, the cherry on top. 

Tomato producers in Leamington, Ont., do rely on the Highbury Canco facility that French’s contracts to produce its ketchup.

However, Loblaws is a Canadian company and its house brand, President’s Choice, has an excellent track record of supporting Canadian farmers. Most of the ingredients in President Choice products, including ketchup, are sourced in Canada, Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy at the University of Guelph, said in a recent CBC interview.

Social media users reacting without nuance? Whoda thought!

Loblaws said it pulled French’s ketchup because it wasn’t selling, which brings up an interesting aspect of this affair.

Reminds me of the former gluten free section of my workplace. At least a 20 foot section of an aisle was devoted entirely to this population segment, yet I ended up writing off and throwing away damn near all of it due to lack of sales. 

But you get rid of it, and suddenly even familier faces are asking (often in condescending tones) where the said section is. 

 IN THE LANDFILL. 

Read the label like every other gluten intolerant person that existed before you fad following morons came along and made a health problem a punchline. 

Calls to buy locally produced goods to support local economies has largely fallen on deaf ears, ever since cheaper foreign goods landed on local shelves.

However, the buy-local movement has a powerful new tool in social media, which provides the mechanism to prop up local companies by co-ordinating the purchasing power of its users.

Social media can make large companies tread lightly, but it remains to be seen how much social media will actually help local companies compete with large foreign and international companies.

Though supporting the local economy is arguably important (the key to a greener tommorow, and all that hippy stuff), one has to be weary of social media campaigns. The article above is a perfect example. People wrapped a Canadian flag around an american company, just for using  Canadian source materials already utilized by other companies botg past and present. ALL companies are dictated by economics, yet one is regarded highly just because of a meme. A meme that could be planted by anyone. 

Rest assured though. Kraft Hockeyville is in full swing, so I have no doubt that EVIL Kraft Heinz (the company that closed a plant, and temporarily screwed up the livelihood of those Onterio farmers) will sell a ton of ketchup. 

Because:

A.) Its the official ketchup of the NHL.

B.) “Whats this about Frenches Ketchup?”

C.) People are FUCKING stupid. Be it sucking off an American company engaged in business as usual, or lapping up blatent manipulation based around an extremely popular and  almost patriotic  passtime . . . people are STUpid! 

But hey . . . if you want to spend huge amounts on foods that are mostly  garbage to your health, have at it. At least the worst of you, in your conforming Jerseys, make yourselves easy to avoid!

Xenophobia

Many may wonder where I got this from. How is supporting your local (or in this case, national) economy a form of xenophobia? 

In all honesty, its a loose connection. One could conceivably make the case. But its also fairly easy to dismiss. Either way, the hypocrisy factor is much easier to demonstrate.  

Roughly half of Canadians who took part in a recent Nanos survey said that if Trump wants to play hard ball, they’d support imposing tariffs on U.S. items.

https://www.google.ca/amp/globalnews.ca/news/3162705/us-tariffs-increase-costs-of-living-canada/amp/

Unfortunately I didn’t participate in said survey. Had I of, I would not have been in the reactionary support side. Because my life is expensive enough as it is. Half of Canadians have so much disposable income that they can afford higher costs on . . . EVERYTHING? 

Or half of Canadians pulled a Brexit or a Trump protest vote, and didn’t think it though? I would bet money on the latter. 

What is more important however, is the reasoning behind the tarrif.  In response to Trumps protectionist patriotism (make imported items less desirable to US made goods), Canadians want to retaliate be essentially playing tit for tat. 

A stupid reaction not taking into consideration all circumstances? Certainly. But more importantly, a very hypocritical reaction on the part of many. 

Half of Canadians want a retaliatory tarrif. I would bet that almost as many Canadians  (if not more) joined the social media crusade to support an American ketchup brand (not to mention campaigning to save it from the loblaws chopping block). 

So, Canadians are allowed to prioritize home products over alternatives in the interest of keeping a few jobs here. But people of other nations are not supposed to do the same thing? 

Indeed, this does expose an obviois flaw in the free trade system (there will always be losers). But it should also serve as a good example of why the global economy requires more scope than the merely nationalistic (or patriot).

This is not even taking into consideration the increasing saturation of automation in all areas of business. If the ketchup factory is employing only a small number of actual people with machines replacing hundreds of others, does it really matter if the plant is in India, China, The United States or Canada?
62.) Atheistic Habits And Arguments That Need To Die 

Enough of this already. It’s not clever. It’s so painfully obvious to the point of being stupid. A bit like listening to these 2 gab for the benefit of an enthralled choir. 

Also, it’s funny that Atheism surcumbs to those very same 2 words, from a strictly logical veiwpoint. Yes, many get around that with a series of flair. 

I can’t be bothered anymore. My opinion on the matter. 

Fuck if I know. Next! 

63.) Fake News / The Alt Right / The Regressive Left

Though many of us have known of this phenomenon for arguably years (for me, in a more encompassing context than just news), it has now gone viral after this election. Like the Alt Right of which many of us also knew about for (at minimum!)  a year or 2, fake news only seemed to break the surface after becoming a genuine thorn in  the side of the traditional establishment machine. And like the Alt Right, both terms have become catch all pejoratives for opposition criticism. 

The Alt Right does have (and give credance to) a great many ridiculous people. As does the progressive left, more commonly known now in many circles as the regressive left. However, I am careful not to associate entire groups (beit writing off the entire Alt Right, or labeling the entire progressive movement as regressive) by its most prominent media figureheads. Simply because of the mentality of social media (if it clicks, it sticks!).  Nuanced and balenced conversation is not nearly as engaging as trashing Steve Bannon or Reza Aslan.

The combination of this popularity bias and knowledge of our increasingly  microtargeted digital world makes me extremly careful in evaluating trends in society in general. This is not to say that all popular conclusions are not without merit. I just also have to take into consideration that many (most?) others tend to be ignorant to how much power an algorithm can have on ones world view. While we all likely know of many  EXTREMELY notable examples of this in our easily led friends and family, anyone that is not paying much attention is vulnerable. You don’t have to be stupid. You just have to be a typically busy person with a passive (but continuous) social media presence. 

It all comes down to digital literacy. Society has always done a shitty job of preparing its citizens for the increasingly complex and ever changing digital world (aside from often idiotic and detrimental reactionary laws, anyway). And that vacuum seems to be becoming increasingly visible, in often completly unexpected ways. Though as always, its affects are being scapegoated. 

That exploration of complexity aside, there are many increasingly thoughtless usages of fake news, Alt Right and regressive left. 

Something that is written from an opposition (or just ANOTHER) point of view than yours does not automatically mean its fake news.

Someone that has diffrent ideals than you (be it in the context of the right or the left) is not automatically a member of the alt right or the regressive left. Though this would seem to be transparent to anyone with a brain, I see this all over the internet. From comment sections on youtube and elsewhere (even one of my posts), to AP news retractions on Twitter. 

Don’t be stupid. Think before you post the stupid bullshit you put all of 2 nanoseconds of thought into.

64.) Tom Cruise \ John Travolta

An interesting thing . . .in the past, neither of these celebrities really meant anything to me. I know them from some movies I had seen, but that’s it really. Though my family was fairly culturally sheltered growing up (people were SHOCKED I didn’t see Ghostbusters until my mid twenties. OMG!), our celebrity favorites were more Jackie Chan (those mad skills), Robin Williams (what’s not to like?), and maybe Danny Devito (his part as the greedy rich guy in many movies, my favorite being Ruthless People, was always good for a laugh). 

Before, I didn’t really have anything negative to say about either Cruise or Travolta. Well, with the exception of the  Greece aftermath. While not QUITE as likely to make me want to swallow lead (as an alternative to watching it again), it’s a close 2ed. 

This changed however, after seeing the HBO documentary Going Clear however. Getting the inside scoop (or, as close as you are going to get, anyway) to the inner workings, insanity and criminality of L. Ron Hubbard’s dianetics based brainchild. And also learning that it be likely almost impossible for high profile members Cruise and Travolta to NOT know about some (many?) of the more underhanded activities of the church (including false imprisonment, amoung others). 

They are likely not the only high profile members that choose to take the perks that come with being a very high profile Scientologist over the ethical alternative (doing the right thing!). It again, goes back to human instinct. 

It’s still not a valid excuse however. Travolta, Cruise and others complacent in this are still garbage people, unworthy or my (or ANYONE’S!) respect or attention (let alone money!). 

Fuck John Travolta. Fuck Tom Cruise.

And most of all, FUCK L Ron Hubbard and his fraudulent organization of thieves. 

65.) Collateral (2004 film)

Fuck both Tom Cruise AND Milo Yiannopoulos for ruining this film for me! 

Speaking of Milo . . . Has he ever done anything with those charitable donations yet? 

Set up a charity? A transparent bank account? 

Anything?

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