As the music dies, something in your eyes
Calls to mind the silver screen
And all its sad good-byes
-Careless Whisper by Wham!
It’s not every day that you spot a provincial leader at an R-rated movie.
But there I was at Scotiabank Theatre, settling in to watch Deadpool for the second time in a week, when she sauntered in.
Christy Clark rocked a blue baseball cap, trying to go incognito like a dude draped in a black overcoat with the collars popped, strolling into an adult theatre to watch Café Flesh for its superb “dialogue”. Unlike me, Christy wasn’t alone. She came in with three others, eager to catch a Vancouver boy play the wisecracking, revenge-seeking mercenary.
“That’s my hood” she must’ve thought, as cars flipped and bodies turned to mush on the Cambie Street Bridge, the angelic sounds of Juice Newton’s Angel of the Morning accompanying the opening credits scene written, of course, by the Real Heroes Here.
Was the premier appreciative of the 4th wall break within a 4th wall break that was, like, 16 walls, or did she, too, think of referring to herself as Captain Clark, like Deadpool had?
This being the second of three Deadpool go-arounds, I tried to catch as many of the subtleties as possible. Instead, I found myself distracted. I was in the presence of my overlord, the photo-op aficionado premier who was middle-of-the-pack in popularity countrywide, a politician-turned-radio-host-turned-politician whose smug smile had the propensity to infuriate you and ruin your best day.
Thankfully, my seat was located 10 rows or so above hers. This left me out of position to see her smile live in the flesh, thereby safeguarding an otherwise masterful work of cinematic history. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, what she was thinking of the film. Had she ever given a cab driver a crisp high-five in lieu of payment? How did Francis’ lopsided arms deal square with her neo-liberal sensibilities? Did she laugh when Fat Gandalf’s tatas were, however briefly, not hakuna-ed? Did her parental instincts kick-in when Wade wondered if, after three Taken movies, Liam Neeson’s character should just be considered a bad parent? Was the premier appreciative of the 4th wall break within a 4th wall break that was, like, 16 walls, or did she, too, think of referring to herself as Captain Clark, like Deadpool had?
Unfortunately, and for reasons that I’ll never fully understand, such lingering and consequential questions are not considered appropriate for leaders’ debates — be they radio or television. This is the type of policy discussion that people are interested in, but sadly the fat-cats up top conspire to keep information crucial to the public’s interest beyond our reach. I knew my only shot was to ask her, face-to-face, once the movie ended.
But first, it was time to make the chimi-fuckin’-changas.
“We’re just getting started” is a popular line uttered frequently by Captain Clark and her BC Liberals. This would be true if they governed on Jupiter, which would place them in year two of a four-year mandate. Regrettably, Elon Musk’s Sustainable Solar Powered Interplanetary Colonization Project has yet to reach Jupiter, forcing us to begrudgingly accept Earth years as our standard measurement. After some rather complex math, that brings the BC Liberals reign to 16 years, of which six of them have been helmed by Captain Clark.
For what it’s worth, “we’re just getting started” may have saved the presidential candidacy of Harry Truman in ’52. A bit of smooth trickery goes a long way. Such a well-executed slogan would’ve made an otherwise informed public forget that the Democrats had served in the executive branch for the preceding 20 fucking years. The same can be said for the federal Liberals under Paul Martin. Hindsight is 20/20 people. But that’s neither here nor there.
My previous stint in B.C. (before my unceremonious return in November 2015) ended in the summer of 2013, after the BC Liberals won their fourth straight majority. Prior to their triumphant, come-from-behind, Cleveland Cavaliers-esque / Chicago Cubs-esque / New England Patriots-esque / Donald Trump-esque victory, I had exclaimed in true American pundit fashion that, as sure as I was born, the NDP would win that election. Spoiler alert: they didn’t. Evidently, I should now be considered unborn or dead. Maybe I can’t be killed, because some strange experiment left me with super-healing capabilities, but also looking like an avocado had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado.
But much to Captain Clark’s chagrin, the genie can’t make people fall in love with one another
Anywho, my Deadpool-like return over two years later forced me to get re-settled in B.C., not as a student, but as a just-barely-able-to-make-drink-money-so-I-gotta-skip-some-meals-to-get-drunk copywriter. You can imagine my shock, then, when I was informed by a friend that in three months, I’d have to apply for the Medical Services Plan (MSP). I thought those Marxist-Leninist wealth siphoning fiscal instruments, colloquially referred to as taxes, would cover my health care, since every other province in the damn country operates in this first-world fashion. I was wrong.
Captain Clark claimed in the televised debate that MSP sits at 1993 levels, which would be true, if she had a genie voiced by the late Robin Williams that could grant her three wishes, magically making it appear. Come to think of it, if she did have that genie she would’ve wanted Linda from #IamLinda fame to fall in love with her. But much to Captain Clark’s chagrin, the genie can’t make people fall in love with one another, as evidenced by the timeless love story of Aladdin and Jasmine. When it comes to MSP, it will be near 1993 levels for households and families in January 2018 if we re-elect the BC Liberals. From that point, the party will assess the feasibility of phasing out entirely the very MSP they first introduced. This objective is not too different from her Animal Farm-inspired opposition of the NDP, but of course that doesn’t stop her ministers from criticizing the proposal because apparently, B.C. stands for Batshit Crazy.
If Clark is starting to seem more like the villain, Francis, than the reluctant superhero, Deadpool, you might be right.
Keeping with the Batshit Crazy theme, the BC Liberals have responded to attacks that they’re ‘bought and paid for’ (on account of corporate and private interests) in a truly novel way: the NDP has taken money from unions! This “you did it too!” argument is certainly true, but doesn’t actually justify Captain Clark’s salary top-ups of up to $50,000 per year she received from donors, let alone the astronomical amounts the BC Liberals have taken in from corporations. Instead of saying they would scrap donations from corporate donors and unions (like the NDP has, and the Green party has already acted upon), the BC Liberals would like to have an independent panel assess how it can be done “right”, which inspires a great deal of confidence in the public, and shows the BC Liberals’ prudent, ethical and principled leadership.
How about the unverified hacking claims made by Captain Clark? She claimed that the BC NDP, like the alleged Russian agents that “hacked the US election,” had infiltrated the website of the BC Liberals. To date, no conclusive, verifiable intelligence reports, or anything remotely resembling proof, has been provided to back such claims, much like the alleged Russian-directed attacks in the US.
If Clark is starting to seem more like the villain, Francis, than the reluctant superhero, Deadpool, you might be right. But maybe it was all just a coincidence. Maybe everyone should just chill out and recognize that she’s only human. People make mistakes! Captain Clark is principled. Right?
The embarrassing Supreme Court ruling that forced her government to rebate education in the millions. The RCMP investigation into campaign contributions. A government presiding over a province with one of the highest child poverty rates in Canada. I could go on, but according to Captain Clark, any actions and possible controversies that resulted were always done “with the best interests of the people at heart.” Glad we got that straightened out.
Voting day is May 9th, and you know what that means: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Okay guys, let’s get out there and make a difference!
“Who doesn’t love a happy ending, huh? Till next time, this is your friendly neighborhood pool guy singing: I’m never going to dance again.”
Wham! It was almost time — bit of credits, then the post-credit scene, then the real questions that the people have been dying to get answered.
Unfortunately, the planned interaction—that I imagined would be like Meet the Press or Hardball or Hardtalk—hit a bit of a snafu. You see, Captain Clark decided to take a pass on the post-credit scene which, to the very least, illustrates her questionable judgement as a leader, and shows a pattern of behaviour of not seeing things fully through, much like, say, the Sun Run.
I was at an impasse: Do I leave to get the answers that the people need, or do I stay for the post-credit scene that I’ve already seen once, albeit without the keen eye of a sophomore?
The decision was obvious: watch the post-credit scene.
It’s a play on Ferris Bueller, a childhood hero of mine, and if that wasn’t reason enough, it gave me an extra couple of minutes watching Deadpool, a movie that I’m clearly quite fond of.
I ran out after the post-credit scene to catch the Captain, but she had either shapeshifted into another person Mystique-style, or turned into a misty fog and escaped to Vancouver Island, I assume to take on matters more pressing than WATCHING THE POST-CREDIT SCENE OF DEADPOOL!
For what it’s worth, I did send her a tweet afterwards:
Strangely, I didn't get a reply, nor did I receive a courtesy 'favourite'.
But like any great story, there’s still room for a sequel.