How to fix politics

We stick politicians in metal coffins. No, it's not what you think.

Democracy is the least worst system of government that's been tried, but just because a kick in the testicles is better than a knife in the eye doesn't mean you shouldn't twist and avoid the blow. A horrible combination of apathy and inevitability (like being hungover in front of daytime TV) means that while all politicians are now assumed to be lying sacks of hate, people aren't rioting in the streets demanding revolution but instead try to pick the 'best' of a bad bunch (and these days it's like finding the best meal in the skip behind a McDonalds). But I've found the solution: we stick the politicians in metal coffins.

The future face of politics.

Think 'Captain Pike' if you know Star Trek, or 'immobilising metal box in which they can only communicate by flashing a light' if you're good at contact sports. Political hopefuls will be held silent and immobile during all election periods, fed and relieved by tubes until all the ballots are tallied. This prevents any and all lying, baby-kissing, muck-raking or posturing. Tax cuts cannot be promised from inside three inches of solid steel; nay, not even the loudest pledge to magically create jobs shall escape. How will we find out what they say about the important issues of the election? We already know: whatever we want them to say. No matter their fine ideals when entering politics any one of them would surf to power on a promise of free blowjobs if they thought it had a chance of working (a tactic some protesters have highlighted).

Words are cheap. Words are free. If you compare election promises of the past to what actually happened, these words end up costing you money so we're safer saving our time. Instead of judging their ability to treat people like sheep we judge them on their past work, because unless you have a boatload of money or used to chase Sarah Connor (or both) you can't just walk in off the street and say "I'd like to be in charge of the country please, oh thank you very much". Not even if you wear a short skirt. There exists a vast web of assistantships, departments, administrations and committees for these political larva to burrow through and the higher up you go the more roots these metaphor-mixing politicians have. So shut them up, stick 'em in a tin, and whoever did the best job in their old position wins. Anybody who didn't do anything in a post but come out richer is disqualified. And left in the tin.

You'll notice this system doesn't allow for charisma or stage presence. If I want stage presence I'll go to a comedy show. It cares not whether the ministers screw around in their spare time, because unless the screwing is spectacularly forceful it doesn't affect their ability to combat inflation. Most importantly it isn't affected by how much money the hopefuls have, because there's an inverse relationship between how much cash someone gets from private firms and how much they're likely to care about the public sector.

Trust me, this system will work. In the words of Captain Pike himself:


NXNE Music Festival

I talk about rocking out over at CampusX. Direct links to reviews for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Conclusion: Fun Factor Five.

Review - Thai Bangkok restaurant

412 Spadina Avenue

Should you find yourself here, your best bet is to try eating those plants in the window.

The Thai Bangkok is a lot more decorated than the usual chinatown quick-lunch joints, as it actually has decorations. Wall paneling, paintings and enough (carved) elephants to keep Tony Jaa happy for a month. Then you notice the dirty spots and peeling paint around the edges but for a moment you had the impression you were somewhere nice for your six dollar lunch: enjoy that impression because it's all your money is buying you.

Despite the themed trimmings this eatery does exceptionally poorly on the nationality test (fraction of customers from the same culture as the food), with a total of absolutely zero Thai present (counting the fact that even the visible staff weren't Thai, the place earns negative points). It was pretty easy to check the home country of the eaters too - for most of the meal I was the only one there and I'm Irish. At lunchtime in a spadina/college restaurant that's just tragic.

Hungry and hurried I ordered lunch special #1 (hard to get any faster than that) and it's a damn good thing I did because lunch special #1, at lunchtime, took twenty minutes to arrive. If I'd ordered anything else I might still be there. The upside was that the extra time allowed me to fully appreciate the highly excitable menu:

That's three exclamation marks! This is the most excited menu of all time!

Whoever wrote this urgently needs to be sedated. Anyone who finds the concept of rice coming with Thai food exciting might explode if they see something truly astonishing, like a window or a barking dog.

I honestly cannot review the spring roll because I inhaled it, having become so hungry my body was trying to photosynthesize or absorb the tablecloth through osmosis. This lessened my crippling need for food enough to appreciate the hot and sour soup, much to my regret. When the most basic starter possible for any chinatown restaurant takes twenty minutes to prepare you expect something special. Hand polished tofu with beansprouts plucked by specially trained experts, carefully ladled into a platinum bowl and mixed precisely by multimillion dollar perfectionist robots. You do not expect a bag of starch dumped in hot water by the chef during a break in Judge Judy. The spicy beef was an an exemplar in lazy food, a paragon of a spicy meal made wrongly: tough lumps of meat with chunks of flavourless plastic masquerading as peppers glued together by a thick and utterly effortless sauce. I don't mean effortless as in "the masterful chef effortlessly created a wonderful taste", I mean "the person who happens to work in the kitchen expended absolutely no effort in making this". Turning the plate over I expected to find "Screw you, stupid foreigner, you don't know real food anyway" written on the bottom. Of course I didn't - they had no need to waste ink when they'd clearly expressed that message in the food.

Every time I see this place it's deserted. Keep it that way.