(SNN) - Since our launch in February, our writers have had plenty to say about politics, Canadian and American style. We’ve been busy weaving our leaders absurdities into twisted, satirical pieces and bold, in-your-face opinion. In Canada, citizens are concerned about social issues and worry about the drain on public resources. In America, our government is shuttered and we are shuddering at the thought of a default on our debt. This is a good time to take a look back at some of the humorous (or humourous) political pieces from the slightly warped minds of our Sage writers.
Na-na Na-na Boo-Boo!
Political infighting, finger pointing, and a stubborn refusal to move an inch may be childish, but it’s not child’s play. It’s more like Theatre of the Absurd where the entire audience is being held hostage as the players take center stage, taunting and teasing, bad guys against the good. With humour and strong opinion, our Sage writers are pounding their keyboards furiously to keep up with the latest dirt in the political arenas of North America.
R.S. Gompertz reports that a group of fed up U.S. Senators recently turned prankish, entering the bowels of the House of Representatives in an attempt to clean up all the crap coming from the radical side of the GOP. Even though the radicals are hell bent on shutting down the U.S. government, Gompertz thinks there are some benefits to a shutdown.
But how does the average American feel about the government shutdown? We check in with Ed Toolis, who investigates amid the chaos of rush hour in Chicago’s Daley Plaza. Ed’s sense of hearing is sharp; in all the chaos of the typical, noisy rush hour in the Windy City, he managed to pick up on what was said in the gridlocked shout-down about the shutdown. Way to go, Ed!
In Canada, there seems to a bit of a lighter mood among politicians in high places. Take Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. Sage writer and thespian, Chris McKerracher, reports that Harper is downright giddy after receiving a call from President Barack Obama seeking his help with the Syrian chemical weapons crisis. Harper is no doubt happy now that he has made Obama’s list of “Dudes to Call When I Don’t Want to be Alone”.
No wonder Harper got so giddy over a little bit of attention. Apparently, the guy is a bit of a loner and not one to reach out and touch someone. If the Canadian press is trying to expose Harper’s dirty little secrets, writer and comedian, Steven James, says there aren’t any. But Steven’s investigative reporting efforts paid off when he uncovered a litany of Dirty Little Secrets held by other of Canada’s finest political figures. OK, now the hits on Steven’s work are going to skyrocket!
We Care; You Don’t?
It’s always in the back of my mind that my fellow Canadian Sages are emailing each other back and forth in private, discussing America’s “me first” attitude, especially when it comes to health care. It’s no secret that the radicals among the U.S. population are fighting against Obamacare, which isn’t even close to Canada’s much more equitable (and envious, in my view) health care system; but it’s all we’ve got….for now.
Even though I have heard some of my Canadian friends complaining a bit about the long wait for health care appointments, I also see how grateful they are for the care they receive when it is their turn to see a medical provider. Sage Editor, Brian K. Hahn, wrote a brave and honest opinion piece about the kind, compassionate and efficient care he was given during and after his radical prostatectomy. He reports being astounded by how the entire team of caregivers, from surgeons to housekeeping worked in harmony to provide exceptional care for him and for other patients around him. There may be negative complaints in the Canadian media about wait times, prescription costs, and other annoyances, but the care Brian reports as “astounding” certainly trumps the gripes that hit the media.
What astounds me, is how America can be so brazenly exclusive in who gets health care and who doesn’t. This current fight over Obamacare, which has literally shut down the government, in my view, is outrageous. Obamacare (official name, The Affordable Care Act) is the law of the land. It was even upheld by the Supreme Court, yet the uncaring in our political realm are fighting it with all they’ve got. This Sage writer reports on a raging band of radical idealists, formally known as the Teabaggers, who are rumored to be planning a raid on the New York Stock Exchange to unleash their fury. It may be satire, but the absurdity of trying to bring down the law on the backs of those with and without health insurance isn’t so funny.
Crossing the Borders
Sadly, Canada and America don’t share health care systems; but we do share borders; thousands of miles of borders. We are good neighbors (and neighbours, too), but there are some tensions beyond a few fisticuffs in hockey. Take that little fuel line called the Keystone XL Pipeline. Sage contributor, William Munsey, calls out Albertans for thinking that they’ve done enough on the environmental front by greenwashing their bitumen. Selling the stuff to the U.S. is the hope, even though President Obama’s focus is on more sustainable energy sources.
While President Obama is focusing on cleaner energy, The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) is focusing on dirty laundry and odor emitting objects. With the new Smell-O-Vsion technology, Sage contributor, Suzanne Lucas, explains that border agents can now sniff out suspicious items on an x-ray screen instead of opening bags and containers. If you want to cross the border into or out of Canada, save yourself some embarrassment and wash your underwear.
The Crazies: Let’s Trade!
I’ll trade you one Minnesota Congresswoman and a former U.S. Vice-Presidential Candidate for that cute Canadian liberal politician with the fancy hair. Heck, I’ll even take your Canadian Hell’s Angels gang! According to writer, Suzanne Lucas, they support Obama on gun control. We need them to keep order here in the American Wild West.
You’ve heard the rumors; someone in Mississippi saw the image of Christ on a Wheat Thin. Then, there is a run on Wheat Thins; even the Lite ones. Sage contributor, Scott Shultz, informs us that the next roll of stamps you buy just may have the image of Michele Bachmann, the aforementioned crazy Congresswoman. That’s scary enough; but read more of what Scott has to say about these new, genetically modified stamps. It’s a good thing we don’t have to lick stamps anymore!
Then there’s Sarah Palin. She may not be genetically modified, but she is certainly genetically challenged! I heard rumors that she wants to be the ambassador to Russia, that country she can see from her house. But Canada got her instead. Briefly. Chris McKerracher gives us the lowdown about Palin bailing on her duties (where have I heard that before?) as Ambassador to Canada. But we really don’t want her back. No, Canada!
So, there you have it. We’ve provided a peek into what our Sage contributors are saying about the politics of the day in North America. If you are a political junkie and you enjoyed this sampling of rants and raves, you might want to follow these writers for more dishing on the politics of our time, on both sides of the border. They’re a passionate bunch!
COMING: The Sage periodically provides a look back on past articles by our talented (and a bit twisted) team of writers. Look for the next recap in January, as we approach our first year anniversary!
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