According to the internationally accepted formulation for whether the society you live in is fascistic or not, the smugly arrogant and deviously deceptive Corporation of the City of Nelson checks off all the requisite boxes as it majors in hypocrisy and sycophancy. 

Powerful nationalism is demonstrated by Mayor Ghoulieʼs mandate to have our Canadian flags at full-mast even when the Peace Tower flag in the nationʼs capital is at half-mast due to the residential school apocalypse. Disdain for human rights is evidenced by how most poor freaks are mistreated and disdained here, before being chewed up and spit out by our snobbish gentrified elite. Identifying enemies as scapegoats is the CoNʼs favourite pastime, as shown by Ghoulieʼs willingness to throw his anti-vaxx voters under the bus for the national media. Supremacy of the military is highlighted by Major Ghoulieʼs many self-portraits of him posing with cops, and his mewling apology videos to the Abbotsford Police Department. Rampant sexism is the modus operandi for most local bros, as betrayed by Count Ghoulie and his gargoyle acolytesʼ passive-aggressive bullying of the supplicant women captive inside their white supremacist walls. Obsession with national security explains why the CoN cult enabled Queenieʼs train cops to clear out our homeless exiles from their grand tech-shrine opening in order to protect the familial hardware storeʼs hanging baskets. Religion and governmentʼs intertwinement is revealed by a christo-fascist regime leading this dominantly white hick-town that has dozens of Christian churches and not a single synagogue, etc. Corporate power is protected more than anything else in the Corporation of the City of Nelson, as all corporations exist only to serve their own existence. Labour power being suppressed is enumerated by our staggeringly high and above-average poverty rate within a privileged bubble so inequitably rich per-capita that Bill Gates wouldnʼt even give us his free school computers because we could technically afford them. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts is underlined by all the broke artists unable to perform whom no-one actionably cares about, along with the coarse level of discourse around this current bench-clearing brawl over whether to support our healthcare workers or protest against them. Obsession with crime and punishment is reason number-one why Captain Ghouls & Co. sabotaged our cannabis industry, even though it was their prime moneymaker and the lifeblood of most local livelihoods, right before weed became legal and every other region stole our well-earned thunder which had made us famous, sustainable & still existent in the first place. Cronyism and corruption oozed out of Old-boy Ghoulie when he waxed nostalgic about him and his croniesʼ latest golf game in an unmasked council meeting last summer while his flock was in the throes of a soul-destroying, era-defining social lockdown which birthed the depths of his present economic despairs. And anyone whoʼs seen an all-candidates forum hosted by Big Country Hicks knows the CoNʼs zany fraudulent elections are fodder for a network documentary introduced as a dire warning to its citizens. 

Lastly, freedom of the press and controlled mass media! The two regular news outlets in town (1 print, 1 online, 0 TV) that kinda fail to conduct their journalistic reportage in a somewhat traditional manner are both critically hemmed in by their predictably boring need to be quasi-objective fact-tellers who are just current event stenographers more than journalists, while writing for the same nonexistent middle-aged centrist reader targeted by all mainstream media whom they arrogantly imagine doesnʼt crave any subjective opinions, in favour of their milquetoast avoidance of anything controversial which may upset the nervous-nelly advertisers who pay their bills and pensions. When you have a handful of bought journalists tasked with reputed truth-telling who are beholden to what the CoNʼs businesses want to read or what theyʼd rather censor, let alone all the essential truths deleted from the public record weekly by the armed authorities in the supposed name of our communal benefit, youʼre going to end up with a jingoistic situation where a smoky fire can happen downtown on stolen CPR land within sight of Shitty Hall and our flammable houses this combustible summer with the fire department on scene in the heart of an epic wildfire crisis and groundwater-depleting drought, and we never hear about it in the least or learn any of its key details from our absentee press. 

Journalism used to feature contentious opinions with columnists writing about scandals that might piss off the powers-that-be and cause the in-house lawyers to check if theyʼre gonna get sued for libel. Local beat writers with chutzpah and moxie used to seek out edgy stories that might offend the Horrible Mayor, or the Chump of Commerce, or the Creep of Police, or the fascistic rail goons that divide this town literally and figuratively in half, for starters. Instead, we get two goofy dolts prancing and preening in front of diesel engines giving said train dictators hours of free airtime who think theyʼre funny while they tap-dance around the beyond-meat of the story and reveal only what they think their Oak Bay media baron and the CoNʼs ringwraiths will want to hear. The Daily Snooze used to be a civic-friendly propaganda newspaper on Baker St. that became a Rossland-based website run by a CoN bylaw officer who collects a monthly paycheque from the very state heʼs meant to criticize as a morally and ethically biased news publisher. Have you ever heard of a faux cop who can write you a ticket for jaywalking being the same fake editor who decides what gets unsaid about your loony municipalityʼs consistent foibles, such as its negligent hands-off mishandling of the ʻFreedom to Be Infected Rallyʼ, let alone unbiased reporting about unmasked and aggressively hands-on Albertan brownshirt jackboots threatening to arrest and jail mothers and their children within city limits in the complicit shadow of Shitty Hall during a spiking global pandemic? 

Itʼs incredibly obvious at this point for longtime readers of the Snooze and the Dark Star where their journalistic loyalties lie, and how their allegiances do not serve the public at large. The CoNʼs bylaw officer is going to edit with his authoritarian bosses in mind, and the twin eggheads who think they have a popular web show down by the station where you canʼt catch a train to anywhere are guaranteed to tweak their views to please their petro-car advertisers that dominate our urban landscape just as much as the unCanadian non-Pacific imperial monster which refuses to clean up its colonial mess all over our stained, neglected, polluted, untreated, dog-ridden, shit-disturbed waterfront. 

If Citizen Blackʼs minions love playing with toy trains on the job, and if Kaiser Fuhrerʼs lap-dogs support anyone with a civically sanctioned gun, how do we have freedom of the press? Before you answer ʻsocial mediaʼ, donʼt even, cuz the CIA has something to say about your latest posts on Facebox and Instagag. Or was it Tec-talk, and Twatter?

#forstmedia #opinion #goldenheron