The Enemy Within Part 1

The Face of Evil

The following article was originally published on July 24th 2011 by the Forget the Box news collective.

Did you know there’s a war going on? One you haven’t heard of?

It’s not a terribly well organized war. Not too many people are dying – though this is changing, fast.

It’s not very well reported – the established media has been slow at coming to terms of what’s actually transpiring here. They are blinded by their own complacency, and this war is partly their responsibility. Yet they, much like the rest of society, continue to look elsewhere, continue to deny their, our, reality.

Over a year ago, the reality came home. The G8/G20 Massacre was perhaps the greatest single broad, collective violation of Canadian human and civil rights the nation has ever witnessed. It was claimed by the Police State that they were acting in their defence, that they were only doing their job. The buck was passed, but the video doesn’t lie. And more than a year later too few have been held accountable. After all, you’ve got to justify building the Police State, and when there aren’t enough terrorists around, you go after your own.

Across the Arctic, one of our circumpolar neighbours is reeling from what was initially reported – and in my opinion misleadingly reported – to be a terrorist attack. The News Corp owned Wall Street Journal went ahead with that headline today, despite the fact that the Norwegian authorities had already detained a self-described Christian fundamentalist yesterday. The truth is never convenient.

And we’ll certainly know the truth soon enough. The man responsible has been outed by the Norwegian national broadcaster. His home has been raided. His forum posts and electronic exchanges have been found and the picture is becoming very clear. A delusional man hyped-up on thoughts of the impending Islamization of Europe, decided to blow up a government building, and then (dressed as a cop mind you) go on a shooting rampage at a summer retreat sponsored by the governing Labour Party’s youth wing. At the time of writing there are 97 confirmed dead, most of whom are youth. Precious youth gunned down in the prime of their lives because of their political affiliation. Gunned down because preaching racial intolerance and reactionary nationalism sells newspapers, and pulls in advertising. Gunned down because it’s easier to kill your fellow man than to try and understand him. The son-of-a-bitch is apparently cooperating with the police. He is doubtless certain that upon explaining he was merely acting in the defence of his nation, he will be pardoned. Perhaps he thinks he is now a martyr for his cause. It’s sick isn’t it?

Down South, the once great American Republic is being held hostage by the same kind of people who encouraged Anders Behring Breivik online prior to his deadly spree shooting. The same kind of people who fuel a deception/propaganda machine, and ultimately, perhaps unwittingly, produce their own home-grown terrorists; Timothy McVeigh, David Koresh, Randy Weaver, William Pierce, George Lincoln Rockwell, Fred Phelps, Jared Lee Loughner, James Earl Ray – all of these people led to believe that they would provide the solution to troubled times. It is a solution that comes, invariably, at the end of a gun.

When was the last time the Left produced a bomber?

When was the last time an anarchist assassinated someone?

Who was the last Progressive spree shooter?

I can’t think of anyone, but the aforementioned list (which is far from complete) resonates deeply in my mind. What’s sickening is that there this a collusion, possibly an international collusion of media, corporate interests and conservative political movements. The people involved push their flock to the edge of hysteria, and set them loose.

In other words, there is nothing stopping exactly this kind of tragedy from happening here in Canada. There is no preparation, no equipment, no police force, capable of preventing insane Fascists from acting ‘in defence of their nation’. Just like with Islamic terrorism, you can’t stop it. And the home grown threat is always invisible. Whether it’s someone pretending to be a cop or an actual cop, there’s nothing the State can do to stop dedicated killers, oppressors and those who believe the best change is executed with great vengeance and furious anger.

But perhaps the State can go after the media that feeds this insanity.

I would hope that’s what President Obama is thinking right now. In light of John Boehner’s refusal to accept a compromise to ensure the United States doesn’t go into default, it occurs to me that there is a pervading sense amongst nearly all Conservatives that cooperation is a kind of weakness. The child refused to cooperate, and left the meeting room in a huff with the issue unresolved. This is the Republican Party, holding a nation hostage for the sake of the elites. This is the same party, which through its lobby and media tentacles, have convinced countless ‘lone-wolves’ time and time again to wage their own personal war against whomever they disagree with. Boehner doesn’t need to put a gun in anyone’s hand – the NRA’s already taken care of that. Boehner doesn’t need to tell people who to kill, Fox has already declared the Muslims/Anarchists/Liberals (etc, etc) are coming to get us. And Boehner doesn’t need to cooperate to make the American government work either. He’s gambling on an RNC landslide in 2012. He’s gambling on ‘lone-wolves’ to create new problems, new distractions.

Something must be done,

Because it doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s interest to protect the Left anymore.

We’re sitting ducks,

And involved in an undeclared and spontaneous war of attrition with a force that doesn’t seem to place much value on human life in the first place.

Burning Down His House

C. Montgomery Burns & a defensive Asian Smithers - not the work of the author

I hear the clichéd phrase ‘oh, how the mighty have fallen’ being uttered here, there and everywhere – often of late with regards to an individual I consider to be perhaps one of our society’s greatest evils. His name is Rupert. His wife’s name is Wendy. He’s Australian. And he’s turned deceit, fraud and manipulation – on an epic scale – to create the world’s premier bullshit machine. I don’t necessarily agree with the aforementioned phrase; frankly, he’s not falling quickly enough.

And as capitalism falls, so too do the most egregious examples of our laissez-faire complacency, and I can’t personally imagine a more sinister product of market-driven capitalism than corporate-friendly mass-delusion media. Some in power would look on the success of Fox News, News Corp etc as a great testament to an individual’s business savvy. I look on it’s success as nothing more than applying Goebbel’s methods as a ‘necessary balance’ to an assumedly liberal media. The evil is palpable.

The embattled chairman says he is humble.
And then he falls asleep during the proceedings.
He has the gall to claim humility, but acts with utmost hubris.
He apologizes – not for the crime, but for not being a better boss.

He indicates in open session of a parliamentary inquiry that he will make those responsible pay for their crimes.

Just who the fuck is this asshole anyways?

Does he honestly believe to be beyond the reach of the law?

From the looks of things – yes, I would bet my bottom dollar that Murdoch honestly believes at this point in his 80-year old mind that he has ascended to a position beyond the reach of any law enforcement. This may legitimately be the case. If Murdoch can plausibly deny direct knowledge of the goings-on of his subordinates, and let’s face it, he probably can unless new documents prove otherwise, then he’ll likely not be held responsible. No jail time, perhaps a fine, maybe an expedited retirement and the appointment of a sufficiently ‘Murdochian’ heir – perhaps even his son. And at that point, in corporate parlance, we’re now dealing with a ‘media dynasty’ with Rupert as elder statesman. In Murdoch’s mind, the corporate giant and the country are on an even playing field, with Chairman and Prime Minister of seemingly equitable stature. His presence at these meetings is nothing more than an attempt at public relations. It’s damage control, the danger being that he’ll likely be left in the driver’s seat.

The News of the World Scandal has considerable implications, but only if the current inquiry balloons into an investigation of the entirety of News Corp’s operations, past and present, across the globe, with Murdoch toppled like Saddam and the corporation broken up into a million tiny pieces. Unless the people demand this from their elected officials, the implications are merely within the realm of possibility. While the Brits have been doing a decent, typically balls-out aggressive, job hammering the Murdochs, Brooks, Coulson and Cameron, I have a hard time believing Americans will demand the same degree of open hostility from their elected representatives when questioning News Corp operatives this side of the Atlantic. I find it ironic that News Corp, by stoking the flames of sensationalism, jingoism and scandal, were able to coax once genteel British politicians (and the People too for that matter) out of the closet of decorum and passive, almost academic politics and (somehow) into a new role as righteously indignant investigative reporters. Watching footage from the parliamentary committee and, subsequently, the grilling of David Cameron by the Opposition, I wondered what makes us so passive, so unwilling to hold evil accountable? Why aren’t our elected officials prosecuting those who harm the people with a self-appointed righteous conviction?

Writing this article has left me feeling somewhat impotent; there’s a lot going on here which is going to take some time to work itself out, and its difficult to say where this will all eventually lead. I would like to see this scandal take down Cameron, Murdoch and the entirety of News Corp. I would like, one-day, for their to be a new compound word ‘newscorp’ which will be a synonym for the People’s revenge, a figurative head on a pike, reminding future generations that the media must serve the People, inasmuch as the State must do the same.

Tell me what you think:

Hi –

It’s come to my attention that there is more than one person reading this blog.

Hooray!

So as you’ve noticed, I’ve been playing around with a new layout. I’d like to know what you think, so please leave a comment. Tell me whether you like The New Kondiaronk, or if you prefer Kondiaronk Klassic. Tell me what you’d like to see more of, and what you don’t care for. It’s all part of making this site a more accessible platform for all things Montréal (and a few things about me).

Also, check out the new exceptional videos page. I know there’s an issue with the ‘exceptionality’ of these videos – specifically the low-res ones – but either way I think there’s a little something special in each. Tell me what you think.

Cheers,

Taylor

What to do with the Shell Refinery

Credit to Kristian Gravenor for highlighting the region

A little while back I saw this post on Coolopolis and it got me thinking – what would I do, if I were Mayor, with this rather fortuitous recent development.

As it stands, my understanding is that there is only one fully operating refinery still functioning on the Island, though there are still plenty of oil storage sites. The area highlighted in the aerial perspective is an absolutely massive piece of property, which also happens to include two old quarries, a railyard, an industrial zone and the metropolitan golf course.

So what would I do? It’s largely dependent on what Shell wants to do, but if they have no actual inclination to resume refining operations and would rather sell their land to the City for redevelopment, I would gladly enter into an agreement to assist Shell in decontaminating the site. This would be vital if there is an interest to convert the site for eventual settlement, really of any kind. It has tremendous potential as a new high and medium density urban residential zone, being as large as the Plateau, Mile-End, Villeray, Rosemont and Parc-Ex combined. Moreover, it would certainly justify expanding Métro access along several corridors into the Eastern portion of the island, and is already easily accessible by road. Imagine what another 500,000 people could provide for the City in terms of tax revenue. Part of the problem is that part of this sector actually belongs to Montreal-East, a separate municipality. A voluntary annexation plan would have to be drafted, though I can imagine now that Shell is packing up its operations, there may be a new enthusiasm to be part of the City’s Master Plan.

But in order to get here, we’d have to aggressively decontaminate the soil, and a measure that could be used to do just that could also provide Montréal with a massive new nature park. I would use the opportunity, and our province’s cadre of university-graduate forestry engineers, to design and build a massive new ecological preservation zone on this site. It wouldn’t be forever, as there would be far too high a demand to re-develop the site to generate a steady tax revenue. But for the amount of time that it takes to render the area useable, we may as well try to return the land to its natural, pre-development state. I would go so far as to hire students to plant all varieties of flora for the entirety of a summer to help speed-up the process. It couldn’t hurt. And why stop there – animals, reptiles, birds, fish and amphibians ought to be re-introduced to help develop the area into a stable, sustainable eco-system. Not only could it potentially help clean the soil quicker, but it will also allow for the creation of a new geography and ecology for the area. In order to properly return the area to its pre-development state, we’d have to include ponds, streams, creeks and brooks, a varied topography, areas of dense forest, marshland and open fields.

I would look at it as an invaluable tool for the study of conservation, preservation and ecological regeneration methods. We’d have a golden opportunity to become world leaders in this field, and could support the project through research grants at the provincial, national and international levels.

But perhaps most importantly – when it does eventually come time to redevelop large sections of the sector for residential purposes, we’ll have already taken care of an important element in community building – having a large green space and having something beautiful to look at, play in etc. I would hope that future urban planning and residential development would be able to better integrate itself into an established large ecological zone, in a manner quite different from the slash and burn methods of previous generations.

Something to think about I guess.

Vintage Pics – Industrial Little Burgundy

View looking Southwest over Windsor Station with view of old Mountain Street Viaduct - not the work of the author, early 1960s(?)

I can’t get an exact date on this pic, but as you can see the Champlain Bridge is up but Nun’s Island isn’t much developed. Griffintown and Little Burgundy are clearly visible in this pic, though you can see there’s a considerable focus on new light-industrial activity centered on the old stockyard. As it happened, Mayor Drapeau re-zoned much of this area for exactly that purpose, driving residents out and leaving the area in its current state. Of course, what he wasn’t entirely counting on was CN and CP going through major downsizing and rationalization during the 1980s and 1990s. The end result was that all the track in this picture would be deemed excessive and ultimately destroyed. The nail in the coffin of sorts was when PM Brian Mulroney, as his last act in office, cut the ribbon at a dedication ceremony during the construction of the Bell Centre.

Here’s a link to a Wikipedia page with info pertaining to new skyscraper construction in Montréal. One of the only commercial property development projects not currently waiting for an anchor tenant or otherwise on indefinite hiatus, is Cadillac Fairview’s new Windsor Station Project, which aims to build several towers near the intersection of Mountain and St-Antoine. Cadillac Fairview had previously proposed a new train station to be built South of Windsor Station (but still integrated into the station as part of the Réso) with a viaduct crossing St-Antoine. Of course, we all know how good the Bonaventure Viaduct worked out for this area.

If it could be done in such a fashion that there was a major increase of diverse residential housing in the area, then I’d be more inclined to think that both of these new projects would be winners – that even a new viaduct could be done in such a fashion so as not to further dissect the urban core. However, that being said, I’m disinclined to think Cadillac Fairview will be interested in constructing anything but condos – someone will have to ensure that medium and low income housing is also provided, in addition to family-run small businesses and necessary community and cultural services. If the newly redeveloped parts of Griffintown and the Faubourg des Recollets seem to be lacking something – they are. They’re not communities yet, and they don’t feel like the rest of Montréal. Ultimately, you can’t leave city planning up to corporations from Toronto.

A Saucerful of Secrets РMontr̩al on Film

I came across this video of Montréal in the 60s set to the music of Pink Floyd on the NFB’s blog. It seems to be mostly NFB stock footage and I know I’ve seen some of this in Luc Bourdon’s 2008 Masterpiece, La mémoire des anges. Apparently, it originated on a blog called Montreal State of Mind.

Enjoy – it’s trippy and its what we used to look like. Watching vids like these remind me of why Montréal really is a fantastic place to shoot films.