/Xi and Bobby McGee

Xi and Bobby McGee

By Jim Poling Sr.
From Shaman’s Rock

I shouldn’t have had that extra glass of wine before going to bed. I savoured it while watching the news, forgetting that late-night wine and late-night news combine to give me nightmares.

News of the Russian takeover threat to Ukraine, plus the truckers’ anti-government protests must have triggered my bad dream.

I dreamed that Russian president Vladimir Putin and China’s president Xi were smiling, shaking hands and agreeing to invade not just the Ukraine, but the U.S. and Canada. They said autocracies make the world a nicer place.

The invasions went smoothly. Canada and the U.S. succumbed within a couple of days.

This was easily accomplished because the Canadian forces had no arms or ammunition, having donated it all to the Ukrainians. American forces were either too sick with COVID-19, or too busy arguing whether to support Biden or Trump, to offer any effective resistance.

Immediately after the takeover, Putin appeared on CNN reassuring Americans they would be treated well and their former presidents would be given opportunities to rebuild their nation.

“Donald Trump has been appointed minister responsible for Remaking America Great Again with Communism,” Putin announced.

Joe Biden was assigned to see that all Afghans were returned home to Afghanistan.

George Bush was given the job of ensuring that evangelicals understand that Communism is an improvement over white supremacy.

Bill Clinton was put in charge of state birth control and Jimmy Carter was assigned to head the new Communist Peanut Co-operative.

Barack Obama was ignored because the Russians said he had a weird name.

Meanwhile in Ottawa, China’s top People’s Liberation Army general addressed the protest blockade on Parliament Hill.

“There is no need to protest about your rights and freedoms,” the general shouted into a loudspeaker. “You don’t have any. There is no need for that stuff in a People’s Republic.”

As he finished speaking, bulldozers and cranes cleared the blockade of trucks and garbage put up by the protesters. Then a flatbed truck carrying a rock band appeared, blaring music that drowned out the Peace Tower clock chimes as it drifted past the Parliament buildings.

The lead singer appeared to be Anne Murray belting out a revised version of Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothin’, that’s all Justin did for me
But feeling good is easy pal, when Putin makes me free

And feeling good is good enough for me . . .
Good enough for me under President Xi.”

I woke up sweating and yelling but soon calmed down, happy to be back to reality. I went downstairs, made coffee and turned on the morning TV news.

There was little new from the night before. The truckers’ revolt continued in Ottawa and other cities, shutting down manufacturing plants and putting people out of work.

World COVID deaths hit 11,000 a day and now totalled almost six million. Iran was close to having a nuclear bomb. A gun violence site reported U.S. gun deaths now are running at more than 115 a day.

Another item reported that 50.5 million children under five are acutely malnourished, many because global warming was killing agriculture. It also said that in Asia alone, as many as eight million kids are being forced into begging and child  labour because their parents cannot afford to buy enough food. 

Meanwhile in Canadian news there were reports of teens killing other teens, rampant drug abuse, a shocking rise in mental illness and an even more shocking rise in the prices of consumer goods.

Then there was a video clip of Trump endorsing the truckers’ revolution and calling Trudeau a far-left lunatic who ruined Canada.

There was no rebuttal from Trudeau, who had not been seen since Groundhog Day. Some commentators said he had seen his shadow, which forecast six more weeks of trucker blockades.

I clicked off the TV and poured the coffee down the sink drain. Then I did what seemed a reasonable thing to do in a world gone mad:

I reached up into a cupboard and pulled down a new bottle of wine.