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CHRISTINA UPTON,
Unpublished Author

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

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Warning: This page contains both bad language and personal opinions. If you object to either of these things, don't read it.

February 16, 2015 - Take this job and automate it
I recently watched Jon Stewart interview Marco Rubio on The Daily Show, which sparked an important question in my brain; why do Republicans agree to be on this show? After watching for a while, another question sparked in my brain. The Honorable Mr. Rubioís policy on income inequality isnít to raise the minimum wage, because, ďI donít think a minimum wage law works.Ē I canít begin to tell you whatís wrong with that statement, so letís suffice to say he could have ended the sentence after the first three words and it would have been the most honest and correct thing heís ever said.

In place of raising the minimum wage, he wants a ďfederal wage enhancementĒ for people who make sufficiently low salaries that they, you know, have a job, but canít afford a place to stay while theyíre not at the job nor transportation to get there, and letís not even talk about something to wear during their regular period of gainful employment. So not only is it understood that some employers pay their workers what is laughingly called a salary, itís okay, because the guvímint is going to spot them the difference. Which means the difference comes from the taxpayers -- some of whom are also being paid in pittances -- instead of from, oh, I donít know, the employers who have the money to hand out in the first place.

But letís not dwell on the fact that, holy shit, if youíre a politician big enough to be gunning for the White House, you should really be forced to take a degree in economics. Or part of a degree in economics. Or one class in economics. Or part of one class in economics. Letís just focus on what the response was when Jon Stewart asked why you couldnít have both a federal wage enhancement and a raise in the minimum wage. The distinguished gentleman feels that the latter will cause people to lose jobs, because when people get too expensive, itís going to make automation look better to employers. The interesting part was that they both seemed to agree greater automation was inevitable and keeping wages low will only delay it, not negate it.

So hereís my question: instead of letting fear-based loss-of-jobs rhetoric get a vote in what legislation should and should not be implemented, why not just scrap employment now? Itís coming eventually. As populations continue to rise, and occupations, particularly occupations with meaning, slowly decline, thereís going to come a point when weíre forced to admit that not everyone needs make-work to justify their existence. Weíre going to have to sort out a way for everyone to have shelter and transportation and clothes with or without a profession, so please, for the love of everything, letís just do it now and get it over with. And then I can spend much more time ranting and no time whatsoever scheduling television commercials. Go Team!

February 9, 2015 - All my opinions are unpopular
Despite what it may seem like when I start with all the swearing and yells that invariably accompany my righteous indignation, I have a wee, teeny-tiny little self-esteem. I get upset when someone on Facebook or Twitter tells what an ignorant jerk I am and I have been known to cry like a little girl when I think that people are being mean to me. Because of this, I generally donít say anything controversial on Facebook. I once said that new mothers annoy me because I find them self-involved, and I got a couple of painfully polite comments telling me how hard it is to be a new mother, and lost one Ffriend. And I try to keep my FB numbers down, which means that when someone goes, I notice.

This makes it hard for me to really rant, because I worry about the potential backlash that could occur if I share what I honestly think with the internet. Any random person could put me through the shredder with the virtual equivalent of a sneer and a moustache twirl. And when I consider that my opinions tend to be ruthlessly practical, and hence, unpopular, it makes the chances for sniffles and pouty-face seem that much more likely. I never thought Oliver Plattís character in 2012 was the bad guy when he made decisions about who could go on the life-saving arks. The arks could only hold thousands, so the majority of Earthís inhabitants were going to have to die. That math is so simple, even I can handle it. But everyone treated him like the villain.

It would be easier for me to share my opinions if the people I meet on my journey reacted as if a difference of opinion from theirs was something they could handle without having to send a mob to my apartment with pitchforks and torches. I once made the foolish mistake of expressing a preference for Krispy Kreme doughnuts over other kinds. ďBut theyíre terrible!Ē cried the woman I was talking to. No, theyíre not. Thatís a subjective opinion, and you shouldnít state it as if it was a provable fact.

I really wish that if I said something like, I think Oliver Plattís character made the right choice, people would think twice before reacting like this: ďYouíre wrong! He was a horrible man who will burn in the pits of hell for all eternity for what he did!Ē Also, they should bear in mind that heís fictional. And maybe switch to decaf. What I think would be super would be if people could hear each other out, and say, ďI disagree with you, but I still think youíre a reasonable human being, you dirty, stinkiní Krispy Kreme doughnut-loving freak.Ē But judging from the behavior of the vast majority of the internet, thatís just one more of my ridiculous, totally unpopular opinions.

July 20, 2012 - Rob Ford is a puddinghead.
Iíve said it before, Iíve said it a lot, and Iím sure Iíll say it again. I yelled it directly at him at last yearís Santa Claus parade. The Mayor of Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, is a puddinghead.

Most of Toronto is alive at this point with discussion of gun violence, due to two recent events that have stood out in the media, a shooting at the Eaton Centre on June 2nd that killed two people, and a shooting at a community BBQ on July 16th that killed another two. Opinion is polarized, as it always is, between the people whose response to this situation is ďTougher gun laws!Ē and people who point out that you can make the gun laws as tough as baseball card chewing gum and criminals will still be able to get guns on account of being, well, criminals.

The first comment I heard from Rob Ford after the July 16th shooting was that Toronto should combat gun violence with more jobs, and I agreed with him. It shocked me to agree with Puddinghead Ford, but statistically it had to happen sometime. Unfortunately, that relatively intelligent comment was immediately drowned out by the broadcasting of Fordís next theory, that we should take all the gun-wielding criminals and run them out of town on a rail.

I donít have the strength for the amount of head-shaking and eye-rolling that this thought requires.

Neither do I have the time to point out all the flaws with this plan (How do you keep them from coming back? Do you not care what happens to the increased crime rate in Oshawa? Where are you going to get all the armored, guarded buses that this move would require?). Instead I will just content myself with repeating, yet again, that Rob Ford is a puddinghead, and move on to a connection that I havenít heard anybody make.

This is the kind of fallout society can expect when 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth. The people who have no money, no future, and no hope tend to be the kind of people who join gangs and commit gun-related crimes. If the 99% could convince the 1% to spread around the doubloons a little, maybe we wouldnít have to listen to Puddinghead Fordís incredibly uninformed, asinine comments.

So, Mayor Ford, what Iím saying is that not only do I think there should be much deeper and more sustained investment in combating poverty and unemployment in this city, Iím suggesting that you fund it personally. Iíll be around to your place momentarily with a collection envelope.

June 26, 2012 - The Euro Cup
Ah, the Euro Cup. Any football-related event on the world stage has a special meaning for me, living as I do in Torontoís Little Portugal, and the meaning is this; get the fuck away from me. Because the inhabitants of Little Portugal and Little Italy Ė and presumably Little Germany and Little Spain and whatever other regions of the city you have to take your little passport to get to Ė like to celebrate their chosen countryís football wins by driving around, flags emblazoned from every part of their car capable of carrying a flag, honking their fucking horns.

I have so many problems with this, I can barely figure out where to begin.

So letís start with this; I donít understand *anybody* whoís so invested in a sports team that they tend to say things like ďWe won!Ē No. They won. You might have won the Couch Sitting Open and the Beer Drinking Invitational, but by god, you went nowhere near a football, except possibly in the backyard with your kids.

Two; do you not know that gas is fifteen million dollars a gallon at this point? Does this really strike you as the finest use of an expensive and rapidly dwindling commodity?

Three; which country do you live in, exactly? If youíre so goddamn supportive of Portugal or Spain or Germany, why donít you live there? I realize that people like to be proud of their ethnic backgrounds, but why do I never hear this kind of shit when Canada wins hockey gold? If you or your parentsí homeland means so goddamn much to you, get out of mine.

Four, and most importantly; all this honking is annoying the shit out of me. Stop it. As a friend of mine who also lives in the area said recently on Facebook, ďÖ if you wake up my kids tonight with your incessant honking I'm going to set you on fire.Ē I could not have said it better myself.

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