By Kyle Siler
The transit strike has left thousands of Calgarians without a reliable source of transportation. Was this really what Karl Marx envisioned when he called for the working man to take control of his labour, subverting and eventually superseding the exploitative parasites he is forced to serve? However, this transit strike does nothing to subvert the causes of those in power, who are now enjoying our bus-free streets, including the spacious confines of 7th Ave. as they drive their Lexuses, BMWs and such to work. There aren’t many CEOs, VPs or city officials who need to beg their parents for rides, have to negotiate a ride from a trucker in exchange for five minutes in the cot at the back of the truck or get hypothermia while walking to work. Especially fortunate peons who can’t go anywhere without transit (or who just feel like skipping a day of classes) can spend the day constructively marooned at home with a dignified breakfast of mouldy KD and imitation brand decaf with the witty conversationalist Regis, frantically screaming out prices at the petrified pensioner on The Price is Right and deriding the latest piece of promiscuous, STD-ridden trailer–park trash on Maury. You may be stuck at home, but being the loyal friend it is, TV is always there to remind you that there are people that manage to stoop even lower in life than you. However, transit drivers aren’t the only people who are uniting to greedily stick their faces into the capitalist pie; we are all at the trough drooling and slurping in search of a bigger and sweeter bite (and people wonder how that meningitis bug keeps getting re-transmitted…).
The following is a look at what would happen if members of certain other professions were to go on strike.
Boy band managers:
Sure, they get all of the money from the toil of Justin, Lance, Nick and company, but how fair is it that they get all of the fame, admiration from girls and intricate Tommy Hilfiger wardrobes? Without managers, no new clones… er, bands and songs can be spawned, lyrics get left off teleprompters and choreography lacks guidance, leading to many entertaining, yet painful collisions on stage amongst puppets… ER, band members. With nobody around to mediate the fights over solos, hurt feelings, hair gel, blush and mascara, boy bands soon disintegrate, making way for a Macarena revival fad to take its place. This would also reduce the number of songs in the Power 107 rotation played in one day from eight to five.
Sick of being relegated to the seedy street corners, hotels and a transient life of fear and deception, not to mention inconveniences like occasionally losing successfully smuggled bags of coke in body cavities, dealers hit the picket line. Leaving the streets of the world coke-free, junkies desperately turn to other toxic, mind-altering substances including smack, shrooms, Brazilian beef and Mountain Dew. However, despite their initial hard-line stance, the coke dealers break and give in after only a few hours of staying strong, settling for a small snort of baking powder and some Flintstones chewable vitamins.
After seeing the solidarity and strength of transit drivers, Ronald and friends decide loving to see you smile just isn’t enough at the end of the day. In fact, the workers would likely win the settlement when it is revealed that McDonald’s has been violating labour laws for both children and the mentally retarded for years. Despite their victory, few employees return because the welfare checks pay more anyway.
Okay, this one actually has more than comedic merit. Though women comprise half of the population of the world, they perform two-thirds of its work, while possessing a minute fraction of its power and wealth. They have also been working without a contract for centuries. Kind of puts split-shifts and tenths of percentage points on raises into perspective, doesn’t it? In contemporary society, women bear the brunt of a disproportionate amount of unpaid and unvalued labour. Perhaps bra-burning was only the tip of the iceberg, and someday women will unite and strike someday. Desperate, suddenly overburdened men unfamiliar with the jobs usually ascribed to women in our society–housework, meal-making, child-caring and such–would soon bring the households and children in our society into a panicked state of poorly-laundered, starving, colour uncoordinated chaos while trying to keep their own careers in order. Angry single mothers wear, "I got knocked up and all I got was this lousy kid and T-shirt" attire. Other prominent slogans include "My man needs to cry and talk about his feelings after hockey practice" and "Burn your own damn dinner!"