Student newspaper terrorist

This column appeared in The Gauntlet on April 12, 2012.

Since the beginning of the fall semester, in September of 2011, the University of Calgary’s independent student newspaper, the Gauntlet, has been held hostage by a lone ultra-left terrorist who goes by the simple pseudonym “Remi.”

The founding member of the terrorist network the Coalition for a Revolutionary Alberta Society, Remi has single-handedly managed to capture and control the Gauntlet’s nine section editors, as well as countless numbers of the paper’s volunteers. Adopting the title of “opinions editor,” Remi has transformed the previously arch-conservative student newspaper—once the springboard for Canadian right-wing heroes such as Ezra Levant and Stephen Harper—into an ideological tool for a terrorist message of “pro-autonomy” and “pro-dignity,” ideas that are clearly dangerous to the health of sensitive Albertan minds.

Having precipitated several violent incidents on the university campus, Canadian security and peace enforcement agencies having been pooling their resources to capture, kill and end the strife he has caused.

‘Remi,’ as he is known to allies and enemies alike, commandeered the student newspaper on September 3, 2011, and seized the title of “opinions editor.” The opinions section previous to Remi’s takeover maintained a small but humble position near the back of the weekly  issue of the Gauntlet. While maintaining his reign of terror over the paper’s real editors and volunteers, Remi has successfully expanded the opinions section to take up most of the paper, and through the section he bombards University of Calgary students with a weekly barrage of horrifyingly new ideas. As student Emily Hamilton, member of the Delta Upsilon Mu sorority observed, “The newspaper [the Gauntlet], like, used to be, like, totally fair and balanced, like the Calgary Sun is. Now it’s basically like mostly opinions from that hipster fag Remi or whatever his name is.”

As of the March 28, 2012 issue of the Gauntlet, a total of 300 students have claimed serious injury after having been exposed to an issue of one of Remi’s signature articles or illustrations.
One political science student Sam Bloom, remembers all too well how he obtained his injuries.
“I was walking down the hallway just leaving professor Flanagan’s class, and I saw the Gauntlet. I used to read it all the time. It was way better in my day. But I hesitated picking it up because it had something I totally didn’t like on the cover,” Said Bloom. “I flipped it open and it was just ultra-leftist filth everywhere. Some of the art was even communist looking. Then I started to read this article by that boy Remi. There were words that I didn’t like, like ‘passion,’ ‘vitality of life,’ ‘apparatus’ and ‘wherefore.’ I barely got through the first paragraph when I felt this terrible pain fill my head. Next thing you know I’m in the hospital for an entire day. I wasn’t even allowed to go to ThursDen that night. Like what the fuck. Remi is so pathetic and stupid.”

No one has yet to successfully discover the identity of “Remi,” although the Canadian Security Intelligence Service believes Remi’s gender is of a male-like variety, as one Gauntlet hostage reported as having seen, “A large phallic-like object,” which supposedly came out of Remi’s pants once during a  visit to a bathroom. Remi’s elaborate use of disguise, including a tangled mess of hair, crafty and distracting glasses and a penchant for shadows has allowed him to avoid recognition. It is thought that Remi is capable of producing fake newsmedia as a tool for deception, as well as writing about himself in the third person (generally considered an extremely masturbatory act) as to dumbfound and irritate his detractors.

The Coalition for a Revolutionary Alberta Society was, according to the group’s website, founded by Remi in late 1988, apparently not long after “Remi’s” supposed birth. Since that time both Remi and cras have grown considerably and have forged powerful relationships with various terrorist groups. Yet Remi has retained his anonymity since day one. Even fellow terrorists involved in Remi’s terrorist ‘Front’ or affiliated groups in his terror network apparently know nothing relevant about the ultra-leftist’s identity or origins.
In late 2011, members of the West Albertan Nationalist Guerrillas and the Socialist and Anarchist Coalition who had participated in terrorist acts of “discussion of political alternatives” alongside Remi’s CRAS, were apprehended by the Royal Canadian Peace Enforcement Agency and were subsequently coerced into revealing details behind their terrorist network. The coercion undergone by members of WANG and SAC revealed startling information about the level of penetration perpetrated by the terrorist connections here in Alberta and abroad, but failed to reveal anything significant about Remi. Even Remi’s Facebook profile is incredibly vague and misleading, claiming that Remi is, “In a relationship” and “Likes” such topics as “reading” and “music.”

With a love for violent “debate” and the use of frightening tactics such as “critical thinking,” Remi has successfully kept the editors and volunteers of the Gauntlet student newspaper hostage. Current Gauntlet editor-in-chief Eric Mathison, who has managed to maintain a level of connection with the outside world, stated in one letter that, “most of the time we are subjected to his [Remi’s] constant discussions of ethics, politics or metaphysics, as well as hour-long diatribes about the proper accents on ‘Slavoj Žižek.’ But he has allowed me to go for the occasional coffee and washroom break, and every now and again my wife is able to bring me in some vegan cupcakes.”

However, not all students or Gauntlet members have been overcome by Remi’s takeover. A post-Trotskyist student organization, a campus-based anarchist association and various pro-human rights activist students have all asserted their solidarity with Remi and CRAS. Additionally, current Gauntlet news editor, Amy Badger, has, according to one hostage mediator, fallen ill with Stockholm Syndrome.
According to Mount Royal University psychologist Evrin Ting-Halvoff, Stockholm Syndrome is “a paradoxical psychological condition where hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, occasionally to the point of defending their captors.” Badger is believed to currently be involving herself in sexual relations with Remi, although this has neither been confirmed nor denied by either party.

The Royal Canadian Peace Enforcement Agency has been unable to infiltrate the Gauntlet and arrest Remi. RCPEA commissioner Dic McIver stated in a recent press conference that, “we, the law enforcement agency of this fine city, have been unable to capture Remi. As it stands, we have been heavily preoccupied with meeting our quotas for speeding tickets, parking violations and agitation of undesirables.”

When questioned as to what changes might aid the RCPEA in their hunt for Remi, McIver claimed that an increase in peace officer funding and powers would enable the organization to “finally rid the city of its unwanted elements,” at which point the capture of Remi, “would become our top priority.”

With the student newspaper under Remi’s control, the ultra-leftist terrorist has been able to offend and horrify the delicate minds of University of Calgary students. With a large proportion of upper-middle class students attending the institution—all of whom are succeeding through their own rugged individualism—the terrorist demands of Remi’s, which include the “proliferation of genuine autonomy” and “respect for the dignity of all people,” have erupted into obscene ideological violence.

Transgenders and transsexuals have rights too

The plethora of possibilities that comprise gender identity and gender expression — and the recognition and acceptance of sensitivities of such a spectrum — is critical in shaping Canada as a progressive, positive and nurturing nation. In accord with such notions, it is intuitive that Canadians with alternative or non-traditional gender expressions or identities — those different from “normal” views, such as transgenders or transsexuals — should certainly be recognized and protected all the same. Bill C-389 is an attempt to do just that. Introduced to the Canadian House of Commons by Burnaby NDP MP Bill Siksay, Bill C-389 is an attempt to extend an arm of support and compassion to transgender and transsexual peoples by legally recognizing their expression of gender and gender identity. Although the bill is not expected to pass the Senate, a narrow vote of 143 to 135 got this private member’s bill through the House, scoring a surprising and significant moral victory for advocates of transgender and transsexual rights.

Opposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Bill C-389 would effectively amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to protect the rights of transgender/transsexual citizens, prohibiting discrimination based on “gender identity” or “gender expression.” This would be a much-needed progressive step forward for our country. As one would expect, the opposition to the bill has been fierce. Detractors, which include large portions of the Conservative Party (notable exceptions being House Leader John Baird, Foreign Minister Lawrence Canon and Heritage Minister James Moore), the Conservative Senate, several Liberal Party members and the Institute for Canadian Values headed by the windbag Charles McVety, fail to see the bill’s necessity. There is no denying the difficulty associated with being a member of the transgender/transsexual community and detractors to the bill often do admit the point. The problem is that their partisan games and unyielding dogmatism have blinded them from seeing the needed priority towards human rights that the bill addresses.

As remarked regarding the necessity for the bill, “Without anti-discrimination protections, transgender and transsexual Canadians face economic marginalization, lack of access to services, and even violence simply for being trans.”

The fears held by critics of Bill C-389 coalesce in the notion that the bill somehow enables or legally protects child-predators, voyeurism, or any other form of dangerous perversion. Charles McVety of the Institute for Canadian Values, the loudest and most inane of voices speaking out against the bill, stated that “Bill C-389 is a danger to our children … any male at any time will be permitted in girls bathrooms … if I then try to stop such a man from showering with my little girl at the local pool I could be in breach of the Criminal Code of Canada and could face imprisonment.” Following a similar line, other critics have dubbed Bill C-389 the “bathroom bill.” These criticisms manage only to echo the panicked rhetoric once used against gays and lesbians and show the misguided spirit of the critics. In reality, starting in the ’50s and ’60s, transsexuals began using washrooms according to their gender identity without trouble. Also, the bill does not legalize or make acceptable any unethical behavior in washrooms. Predatory action remains predatory action. Furthermore, the assumption that the transgender and transsexual community is more predisposed to perverse predatory behavior reflects the insensitive and uninformed sorts of biases, as held by its critics, which necessitates the bill.

Perhaps the deepest problem is not the political game being played around an issue of human rights, which is troublesome enough, but rather that the bill’s critics have failed to recognize the spectrum that is gender, seeing only the antiquated and diluted male-female gender polarization.

As the bill approaches the Upper House for voting, despite forecasts of doom regarding its passing and the relentless spewing of homophobic fear-mongering-based rhetoric, we can be content that at minimum Bill C-389 passed the House of Commons. That transgenders and transsexuals have won one moral battle signifies that Canada as a whole is perhaps almost prepared to take the superior step forward in gender rights.