Seriously? Part 2 for the Introduction to Masks are Bullshit?

Last week, I made a poor choice in choosing to review “Masks are Bullshit” for my new segment about crazy books to get this blog going. I think I wrote nearly 5,000 words taking down his personal attacks and bullshit arguments in his book. However, we’re not quite done with the introductions yet, since Kevin wrote two separate introductions.

So, let’s double down on a bad bet and continue reading this grifter’s book on why masks are bullshit. But one thing I want to ask is… why didn’t he have some other grifter write a forward to this steaming pile of bullshit?

Kevin J. Johnston Doesn’t Understand Induced Demand, Blames Multiculturalism for Traffic Jams

The introduction goes a whole page before saying something crazy. As crazy as claiming that the California wildfires are caused not by climate change but rather, Jewish Space Lasers. A new record for Kevin. He talks about when he wrote this heaping pile of bullshit, “the second, third and fourth week of September of the Year 2020”. Which is a bit odd, as he claims that:

North American Media started picking up on the story in December of 2020, but sparsely.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 18

Whatever. He also makes it clear that at this time, he was still living in Mississauga, nearly one year before he would lose the Calgary mayoral election. But as the next page starts, he gets back to his hateful, nonsensical bullshit.

These highways have more traffic on them than most cities in Canada combined and are hell on Earth to drive on because Canada has a ridiculous Multicultural policy which aims to import the most useless, uneducated, unemployable, disrespectful and incompetent drivers in the world all of whom congregate in the Toronto area and drive on these highways with both their eyes closed.


Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 15

The first issue is that this isn’t actually a true story. Not even remotely. Rather, Canada takes advantage of failings in the U.S. immigration system to pick up high skilled workers the U.S. lets slip through their fingers. In fact, high-skilled immigrants are a much higher percentage of the immigrants Canada accepts than in the United States.

Furthermore, Johnston’s claim that immigrants are “unemployable” runs contrary to his claim in the last introduction that it’s impossible for white guys to get jobs in Canada.

The problem isn’t multiculturalism, why the hell would it be? The problem is car-dependency. That’s why we see the same problem south of the border in the less multicultural United States. You know where we don’t see this problem, though? In cities that actually favor modes of transport that can move more people, like Amsterdam.

It’s not immigrants that create traffic. Rather, it’s prioritizing infrastructure for cars and creating car dependency that creates traffic.

Why does Kevin think “Masks are Bullshit”? Simply put, “Nobody has COVID-19”

Kevin prattles on about an irrelevant point about Lester B Pearson International Airport, Canada’s biggest airport. Then, he leaps to one of the most illogical conclusions that I’ve ever seen.

My point? Nobody here has COVID-19!

You know what that means? COVID-19 is bullshit. You know what else that means? Masks are bullshit!

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 15

This was, at the time, manifestly untrue. According to Public Health Ontario (archived), there were 50,232 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the highest number of cases being in the area Johnston lived in. So, we are able to debunk this claim of Kevin’s… because of math. He claims that nobody there had COVID but we can point to 50,000+ confirmed cases of the disease.

He also got COVID-19 himself after he moved to Alberta. However, he tried to deny it and claim it was pneumonia, but everyone in the house he lived in caught it. He may claim masks are bullshit but clearly, Kevin’s claims about not having COVID are bullshit.

Kevin J. Johnston doesn’t just think he’s an investigative journalist. He thinks he’s the “best social commentator and investigative journalist”.

My name is Kevin J. Johnston, Canada’s best social commentator and investigative journalist. I am the type of guy that believes absolutely nothing that anyone says to him, does not believe that authority exists and does not believe that any Canadian politician has an intelligence quotient above 83. Naturally, I will investigate everything that is said to me making me the worst customer you could ever possibly have because if you lie to me once, you’re fucked.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, pages 15-16

Considering that Kevin was a political candidate himself (and thus, is a politician), I think he’s projecting a bit here.

But the thing is, Kevin is a terrible journalist if we take him at his word that he is one at all. He quote mines like you wouldn’t believe to support his own nonsensical arguments. He accepts as true any sort of right-wing conspiracy that strikes his fancy, hence this book.

And as for his claim that he “believes absolutely nothing that anyone says to him”, that’s not necessarily true. He believes many things that he picked up from other grifters and bigots. His anti-vax nonsense comes from a “Dr.” James Sears, who writes the most infamous Neo-Nazi newsletter in Canada and who was found guilty of the willful promotion of hatred.

Kevin J. Johnston claims his 2020 conviction was about his reporting on COVID.

As a social commentator I began talking about Coronavirus everyday and all I would do is report on what I knew to be true at the time. However, because Canada is both a Marxist and Communist country, my efforts to expose the Canadian government’s incompetence in handling the Coronavirus problem landed me in handcuffs. I had to watch the world falling apart on a single television set only a couple of hours a day from a super maximum security prison. That is correct, if you have a dissenting opinion in Canada, the Canadian government will put you in jail and they did that to me for six weeks between February 1st and March 14th of 2020.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 22

Honestly, I’m not sure if this is true or not and I’m leaning towards the likelihood that it probably isn’t. I tried to look up details on this arrest and I couldn’t find anything. The only prison time I know that Kevin J. Johnston was serving or was sentenced to was for his hate speech against Muslims in Ontario in 2017. Additionally, the court sentenced him for his contempt of court for continuing to defame Mohammad Fakih in 2021. To put it simply, he makes a career out of spreading hate and lying.

But as for his early 2020 conviction, there is enough evidence to suspect that Kevin’s conviction was for harassing the prosecutor in his hate crimes case at a grocery store. Not for reporting on COVID-19. It was only after the government started taking the pandemic seriously here that the right-wing started politicizing it.

However, we do know that Johnston’s claim that he was calling out the Canadian government’s incompetence in handling COVID is nonsensical. In fact, in early 2020 (yes, I made sure to take a backup of the video to archive it), he was advocating for the liberal use of masks and sanitizer. Futhermore, he supported the shutdowns and heavy lockdowns in Italy. He knows that those lockdowns were the government abiding by its duty to protect its citizens.

Good move. No, it’s not an over reaction, it’s a very, very good move

Kevin J. Johnston, in this video, at 3 minutes 12 seconds in about the Italian government implementing a lockdown.

Which, and I truly can’t believe I’m saying that, Kevin J. Johnston was right about. Countries that locked down and locked down hard fared better than those that did not.

Don’t move to Canada if you’re going to be a shitbag like Kevin

Kevin gives arguably the best advice he’s probably ever given in the following paragraph.

If you’re ever thinking about moving to Canada, please reconsider. If you offend somebody or you disagree with our treasonous Prime Minister Jihadi Justin Trudeau you will go to this prison or one just like it, WIHTOUT [sic] A TRIAL, NOR A CONVICTION like I did.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 24

Yes, don’t move to Canada if you think it’s okay to harass or intimidate a prosecutor working on your case. I assume this is what Kevin means by “offend somebody”. Don’t move to Canada if you’re going to spend your time writing hate speech like Kevin does. And certainly don’t move to Canada if you’re going to defame innocent people like Kevin has. The courts in Canada take hate speech seriously.

If the court can’t trust that you’re going to abide by the conditions of your release, why shouldn’t they lock you up? Bail and release conditions are all about making sure that you’re going to show up for court and not be a shithead on the outside while you’re waiting for trial.

Kevin J. Johnston whines about facing to consequences of his own actions

In fact, he pisses and moans so much about the state of Canadian prisons and having to face the consequences of his own actions. He goes on for three pages about prison until we finally get to a point relevant to his thesis statement that “masks are bullshit”. As he was waiting for a court hearing to try to get release conditions, all the sports leagues were cancelling their games in response to the pandemic.

In short, the pandemic was so serious that multi-million, if not billion, dollar organizations like sports teams were shutting down their operations.

At 4 p.m. another guard that I had never seen before announced that the courthouse was going to be closed at 5 p.m. due to COVID-19 and was not going to reopen for 6 months and within a couple of minutes another guard announced that the Maplehurst Prison was also closing down which meant that I was going to have to stay in the courthouse jail cell for up to SIX WEEKS. Now I was really pissed off. The way this was being sold to us is that the end of the world was around the corner and I was stuck in a cage for speaking publicly about COVID-19 instead of being at home protecting my family FROM COVID-19.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, pages 27-28

Why would he need to be “protecting [his] family FROM COVID-19” if he believes it didn’t exist? Also, if “protecting [his] family FROM COVID-19” was so important to Kevin, why did he choose to harass that prosecutor?

And when he got released, he whines about his release conditions given to him by “the Crown Attourney [sic]”. Including the prohibition against going to mosques, which seems like an unintentional slip in his narrative. If this were truly about his “reporting” on COVID-19 and not the hate crimes charges any reasonable person would suspect they’re about, why would it be such a big deal for him not to go to mosques?

Though, the release condition about not being able to use social media does neatly explain why he didn’t make any videos until October 2020.

Kevin claims he has a good lawyer

Kevin claims that “because [he has] a good lawyer, [he] can tell [us] all the reasons why masks are bullshit”. No, Kevin, you don’t. You’ve lost nearly every legal battle you were in. The only one that you’ve come close to winning is when Dawson Creek allowed you to plead guilty in the case against you for assaulting Dave at the No Frills and serve no jail time for it.

In short, your attorney is the Canadian equivalent of Lionel Hutz. If I didn’t know he actually exists, I’d think you made him up. The tragic reality, however, is that this dude does exist. Someone wasted so much time going to law school only to be so pathetically bad at lawyering, he only defends right-wing nutters. He’s so bad at his job, if given the choice between remaining unrepresented or having Kevin’s lawyer, I’d rather remain pro se.

“Fake News”, a/k/a Kevin J. Johnston has his nose so far up Donald Trump’s ass, he’s tickling Trump’s prostate.

Donald J. Trump, the greatest president the Americans have ever had, has all but destroyed the left-wing media by pointing out that most of them are fake news… which they are! CNN, Buzzfeed, Vice, New York Times, CBC, CTV, City TV, The Toronto Star, Huffington Post, National Post and others are all losing money because the public has caught onto the fact that they are LIARS. Bullshit can only be peddled for so long before your customer base catches on and you start losing money. These sad and useless media outlets MUST have you tune in to be able to sell a couple of commercial spaces to left-wing businesses and they only way to get a FED UP public to pay attention is to CREATE FAKE PANIC!

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, pages 18-19
It's amazing he claims masks are bullshit, given how he worships America's most infamous bullshit artist.

It’s always amazing seeing someone so fringe that they think CNN is “left-wing media”. The thing about traditional media (which includes everything but Huffington Post, Vice, and Buzzfeed, which I’ll come back to later) is that they’re getting lower viewership. With more people cutting the cord and with lower cable TV subscriptions, we’re starting to see a shift away from traditional media. In fact, the CBC predicted this all the way back in 2015.

Also, I wonder if he considers any business that took the pandemic seriously to be “left-wing”. Apparently, you need to be “left-wing” to take efforts to protect your employees and customers. It’s somehow “left-wing” to reduce your legal liability. I honestly thought this was the action of any responsible business owner. If Kevin ever ran a successful business, he would know this. However, like his idol Trump, all his businesses fizzled out.

Kevin J. Johnston claims masks are bullshit, but tries to make it all about the fear.

He claims that the real concern is the public “ACTUALLY PANICKING”. However, I think the COVID denialism that people like Kevin promoted helped encourage the spread of COVID and kept the pandemic alive. On pages 19-20, Kevin lists “really stupid shit” he claims people did during the pandemic. He attributes it to this fear he alleges people had. However, nothing on his list could be considered “stupid shit” at all. Hell, one of the things he listed likely wasn’t happening at all.

Enforcing mask wearing

For the sake of brevity, because I’m already sensing that this is going to be another long post, I’m rolling “Swearing at people who don’t wear a mask”, “Scream at the top of their lungs in public places at people who aren’t wearing a mask”, “Shouting at 10 year old kids who aren’t wearing a mask”, and “ASSAULTING people who are not wearing a mask” into this.

Again, how is this irrational or “stupid shit” in any way? Especially given that this is a respiratory virus. A mask is the best way to control the spread of the virus. Especially before we can develop and release a vaccine. Wearing a mask is a reasonable measure to take to control the spread of this virus. If someone adamantly refuses to do so, they are showing contempt for the safety of everyone around them, including you. In short, they have chosen to be a threat to you. In which case, swearing, screaming, and “assaulting” (which, in reality, is a form of self-defence because they’re trying to get you away from them) are perfectly logical responses.

Stocking up on supplies

He wrote it up as “Buy 600 rolls of toilet paper and then realizing that you have no money left for rent.”, but the thing about stocking up on supplies is that in the early days of the lockdowns, we didn’t have a great understanding of what we would need. This isn’t “stupid shit”. It is, instead, the result of panic buying.

Misdiagnoses of COVID

Kevin wrote it up as “Watching your son bleed to death in front of you
from an accidental gunshot wound to the throat, and then believing your local hospital when they tell you the cause of death was COVID-19.” However, I’m writing it as “misdiagnoses of COVID”. Either way you slice it, I’ve seen no proof that this is actually occurring and Kevin has provided no proof.

Believing politicians

Even though I don’t trust politicians like Kevin, there was a good reason to trust politicians here. COVID-19 was infecting innocent people all across the country. People knew people who died from this pandemic. Others were severely injured by this pandemic. And the people who claimed that “masks are bullshit” only made it worse.

However, I would argue that politicians used this opportunity – though not in the way Kevin thinks. This was an international tragedy that helped bring people together and helped politicians connect with people on a legitimate cause for concern. It was like every politician in the world had their Rudy Giuliani moment. I just hope they don’t throw it away for a grifter… like Rudy Giuliani did.

In Conclusion, Masks are not Bullshit

No wonder Kevin thinks masks are bullshit, he's wearing his wrong.

We got through the introductions, people. Thirty pages in, Jesus fucking Christ. Thankfully, I was able to skip over three pages in covering this review because they were just him whining about the conditions of his release. And I’m also thankful that this response is nearly half the length of last week’s response to his first introduction. Which, to be fair, is a problem in the unlikely event that the things he’s saying are actually true. I’m definitely more of a fan of a European prison system that seeks rehabilitation rather than pure punishment. This is another thing Canada and the US get wrong and other countries get right.

However, Kevin does not strike me as the kind of person who learns from the consequences of his actions. He refused to wear masks, claiming that masks are bullshit, even after he caught COVID-19. He refused to stop defaming innocent people, even though the court punished him for doing so. In fact, he chose to cross the US-Canada border illegally rather than face accountability for his continued defamation of Mr. Fakih in Ontario. He’ll piss and moan about the consequences of his actions but he won’t once reflect on them and how he can avoid those consequences in the future. In short, he’s unwilling to learn from his actions, choosing instead of whine about them.

I am reminded of how people on the right referred to masks as “face diapers”. Which I think is a bit more projection than anything else. After all, if you spend your time spewing as much bullshit as Kevin does, it makes sense that your view that a barrier to your shit is seen as a “diaper”.


Reading Masks Are Bullshit: The Introductions, Part 1

So, I saw that Kevin J. Johnston was offering his e-book, Masks are Bullshit, for free on his website. It is full of his COVID denialist nonsense, hastily written to try to jump on the right-wing grifter gravy train that made a lot of hay out of demonizing measures to control the spread of COVID-19. And I’ve decided to start a new thing called my Crazy Book Club, where I write deep-dives of crazy books by right-wingers.

Originally, I was going to try to cover both the introductions here (yes, Kevin has two introductions at the front of his book). However, as I was writing this, I noticed it getting pretty long and meandering and I figured the introductions had to be tackled separately (for obvious reasons).

Introduction to the Heroes (or as he calls them, “Villains”)

We see our first typo in the first paragraph of the first chapter of the book. With this sentence, Kevin J. Johnston clearly shows the care he puts into editing this steaming pile of what he claims masks are.

There are people in this book who are famous in Canada but are nobody’s [sic] in the USA and in reality are nobody’s [sic] in life at all.

Kevin J. Johnston in Masks are Bullshit, page 6

Looks like someone needs to read The Oatmeal’s comic about apostrophes. But he hammers on from bad grammar to weird, unsubstantiated claims like this, which is literally the next two sentences in the first paragraph:

All it takes to become a celebrity in Canada is to make a brazen statement that you hate America and that you are pro-pedophilia and VOILA! The country knows you and loves you for some reason.

Kevin J. Johnston in Masks are Bullshit, page 6

There is most assuredly a semblance of Canadian anti-American sentiment, sure, but it is wildly unreasonable to assert that many people in Canada are “pro-pedophilia”. I honestly have no clue why he thinks this is the case or on what basis he’s making this claim.

Johnston loves America

Johnston writes a whole paragraph about his beliefs about America, which show how divorced he is from actually understanding America.

Unfortunately America, with the current government and current mindset of the far left in Canada, Canada is not your friend. The left and our government wish to bring about the destruction of America and that makes me very sad. I for one have always loved the United States, I love American Ingenuity, American nationalism, American pride in their achievements and the way that Americans support each other. Canadians could learn not one but six dozen lessons from y’all but that is not the point of this book.

Kevin J. Johnston in Masks are Bullshit, page 6

I will admit that my sentiments about America track closely to Mike Gogulski’s in his essay, Unabashed anti-Americanism. The only place where Mike and I differ is his distaste for what he describes as “New Deal Socialism”.

I’ve lived in Canada since mid-November 2019 and was born and raised in the United States. I would say that the United States has a lot to learn from Canada. Though, I would say that Canadian industry does rely on Canada’s better and more sensible immigration system to bring high quality, foreign talent to Canada.

However, I will agree that Canada should take one thing from the United States. Namely, Canadian provinces should have the ability to nab fugitives hiding out in another province, avoiding prison sentences.

Bonnie Crombie

Bonnie Crombie is the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario. And yes, Kevin does provide something of use in talking about Bonnie Crombie – namely, a handy guide on how to pronounce Mississauga (“Mrs. Saw Guh”).

A collage of three pictures of Bonnie Crombie, on the right are two photos, one superimposed over the other, with the caption "Brain-Dead Bonnie's Real Face" and the other with her smiling with the caption "What the Donator's [sic] see". The two photos show images with an unhappy or stern facial expression.
“Donator’s”. Your editor should be fired, Kevin.

If you know anything about the relationship between Kevin J. Johnston and Bonnie Crombie, you can understand why she would not be thrilled to see this man.

Can Crombie Debate?

He also claims that Mrs. Crombie cannot debate, yet if you watch the few available videos of candidate forums from the time when Kevin J. Johnston and Bonnie Crombie were running for mayor, you’ll see that Crombie came away the better candidate.

And clearly, I’m not the only one who thought so.

Now, I’ll give credit where credit is due and admit that I was impressed by Kevin in this debate in one aspect. Though it was based on my low standards for him. He didn’t open with some fucked up racist bullshit. However, he is wrong in his book. He claims that Bonnie Crombie relies on teleprompters and is thus “brain-dead”. This is manifestly untrue as clearly, in this debate, there were no teleprompters to be found. So clearly, it is Kevin J. Johnston which is full of bullshit, not masks.

Crombie as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood

Additionally, Kevin accuses her of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, Kevin offers no evidence to substantiate this claim. Which is par for the course for him, as he accuses plenty of people of all sorts of untrue nonsense. Kevin lost fair and square in court multiple times for this. Kevin was found culpable for lying about a Muslim restauranteur Mohammad Fakih, the owners of a private strip of beach, and an AHS health officer. He refused to stop defaming Mr. Fakih, even after a court ordered him to do so, thus earning himself an 18 month sentence in an Ontario prison. A sentence he has yet to serve.

So, I have no evidence to believe that Bonnie Crombie is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Kevin cites nothing to substantiate this claim in his book. However, I have plenty of evidence to demonstrate that Kevin has made similar accusations against others and has lost in court every time. So, despite his claim in Masks are Bullshit that Crombie is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, it turns out once again that Kevin J. Johnston is clearly full of bullshit, not masks.

Doug Ford

Kevin uses Doug Ford to whine about the premiers of Canada, claiming that there are ten of them. However, this is factually untrue. The territories have premiers too. So, despite his claim that “all 10 of our premiers are” “gutless turds”, this is clearly not true on the numbers alone.

A gif from Futurama with. an old man saying, "You are technically correct. The best kind of correct."

But I’m not satisfied with just being technically correct. I know that, more or less, none of the premiers are the “gutless turds” that Kevin wants to misrepresent them as. These premiers made the unpopular choice to lock down the provinces and mandate masks. They took the hits so that the public can be protected from the pandemic. They lived up to their role as public servants. It is dishonest to misrepresent them as “gutless turds”. Especially the conservative politicians who stood up to their fanatical base and took a stand for public health. Even with his current controversy, we shouldn’t ignore the few times in which conservative governments did the right thing.

Kevin Loves Rob Ford

I think I should let Kevin tell you about his love affair with former mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. In fact, Kevin devotes an entire paragraph in Masks are Bullshit to his love affair with former Toronto mayor, Rob Ford.

Doug Ford is the brother of the late and the great Rob Ford. You might have remembered Rob Ford on the Jimmy Kimmel show wearing a bright red tie as the mayor of Toronto. Rob Ford had a larger-than-life personality and had the balls to tackle every problem that was brought before him as the mayor. Regrettably, his brother Doug is less than one-one-thousandth the man that Rob was and has proven to us all that a premier of a province, when they have no balls can do little more than destroy the province and the lives of everyone within it.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, pages 8-9

No, I don’t remember Rob Ford from Jimmy Kimmel. Rather, I remember hearing about him from the Colbert Report. I remember all the comedians covering his fall from grace and him smoking crack.

But maybe that’s not fair? I’m certainly no local to Toronto, never even been to Toronto. But I think the fact that locals to the GTA are making signature hot dogs and burgers to clown on Ford shows what the people think of him.

I think Doug Ford has to play himself as more mellow and sane, considering the legacy of his brother. But let’s not forget, Kevin is using Doug as a proxy by which to attack all of Canada’s premiers, claiming they are “gutless turds” just because they wouldn’t capitulate to the far-right bleating about mask mandates.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Admittedly, this is the first person on this list who I actually had to look up. Apart from using an unflattering photo of him (to the right) and claiming Dr. Ghebreyesus “is one really bad dude” and is “dictating what morality is to everyone”, he doesn’t really talk about any other measurable claims so we’re keeping the section on Tedros (mercifully) short. Which is good, because so far, I’ve written over 1,400 words and I know that’s a lot of time to ask people to invest.

Hmm, maybe a funny video at the end to keep us all going towards the end? Actually, no, we shouldn’t wait that long. I just read the next section and I think we deserve an intermission for what’s coming next.

Justin Trudeau

Oh boy. This is where shit gets back on the crazy train. Though, to be fair, have we really left it? Kevin uses this opportunity to turn the crazy dial up to 11 and run us off the tracks. He literally used the first word in his section on Trudeau to call him a “jihadi”. The picture to the left is what we get for Justin Trudeau in Masks are Bullshit. But that’s not all we get. Oh, no. Kevin goes on a whole tirade, claiming Canada’s a corporation and that Trudeau is “Prime Minister of the Corporation of Canada” (page 10). He then claims that Trudeau is the worst prime minister Canada ever had and that “ever will be”.

In short, Kevin J. Johnston is totally sane and doesn’t need mental health care at all.

Kevin thinks Trudeau is a communist

A screenshot from. the e-book to demonstrate that no, I didn't leave out the "is" in that block quote. Kevin left it out of the original.
Yes, I had to add a screenshot of the e-book just to show that no, he did NOT add the “is” between “He” and “100%”. Remember, this is a book he wanted to charge people money for.

He 100% competent at destroying Canada, and that destruction is by design. His father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was Prime Minister of Canada from 1968 to 1979 then again from 1980 to 1984. Pierre Elliot Trudeau was a COMMUNIST, like his son. Pierre Elliot Trudeau worshiped MAO ZEDONG, the Chinese dictator who killed almost 100 million of his own people. Justin Trudeau worships modern-day China and is proud of his family’s communist leanings.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 10.

Ignoring for a second that Kevin left out the “is” when he wrote “He 100% competent”, Kevin is actually claiming that both Pierre and Justin Trudeau were/are communists. Yes, that’s right, Kevin thinks that Trudeau, a key participant in the SNC-Lavalin and WE Charity scandals, is somehow a communist.

But it gets crazier.

Kevin thinks Trudeau is a radical muslim

The other part you don’t know about this man-child is that he is a RADICAL MUSLIM, not a nice Muslim like my neighbour Iqbal who I play ball-hockey with, he is part of a fundamentalist anti-America [sic] group that is bent on the destruction of Canadian values, Christianity and Canada as a whole. Stupid Canadians ignore these truths because Jihad Justin will continue to state that he’ll solve the fiction of man-made Climate Change that stupid Canadians believe is actually possible.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, pages 10-11

Okay, I have to facepalm at just how idiotic this claim is. In the Principles of Communism, which you’d think “a COMMUNIST” like Kevin claims the Trudeaus are would have read, reads as follows:

All religions so far have been the expression of historical stages of development of individual peoples or groups of peoples. But communism is the stage of historical development which makes all existing religions superfluous and brings about their disappearance.

In response to the question “What will be its attitude to existing religions?”

That would include Islam too. Not sure that’s the position a “RADICAL MUSLIM” would take. Not to mention, America partnered with a group of “RADICAL MUSLIM[S]” to fight the USSR-aligned Afghans in the Cold War. That group of “RADICAL MUSLIM[S] was the Taliban. In fact, there are Muslims that assert that communism is antithetical to their belief system.

However, there are Muslims who would assert that the Qu’ran and Muhammad’s writings could be interpreted in such a way that supports Islamic socialism. However, I doubt these Muslims are the ones that far right-wing radicals like Kevin would consider “radical muslims”.

Also, I’d think Christians have bigger things to worry about than Justin Trudeau. Liberal Christians have to worry about crazy Christians making them look bad. Crazy Christians have to worry about reality demonstrating how crazy they are. Especially with dudes like Kent Hovind trying to undermine the work of sane Christians to make it okay for believers to accept facts like evolution.

Also, one has to ask, what the hell does this claim, even if it were true, have to do with the claim that “masks are bullshit”?

Kevin thinks the mainstream media is on Trudeau’s side

He gave the Main Stream [sic] Media in Canada more than $600 MILLION to speak positively of him, lie about Radical [sic] Islam being good for Canada, lie about climate change, lie about Donald J. Trump, the leader of a different nation, and to completely slander everyone who is on the conservative side of the belief see-saw.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 11

Again, no citations, no proof presented to substantiate these claims. Not to mention the fact that the mainstream media covered the SNC-Lavalin and WE Charity scandals, but as my boyfriend once said, the media didn’t do a good enough job explaining them so that the common people can articulate why these scandals were scandals. This inhibits the political dialogue in Canada.

And when I ran for public office, I made a similar mistake of my opponents. I assumed malice when ignorance would have sufficed. Difference is, I learned from my mistake.

However, Trudeau does benefit from what I think of as the incumbent’s privilege. The incumbent actually holds the office and has the power and responsibility of that office. So the actions of his government (like banning conversion therapy and the COVID economic recovery) get positive coverage.

This privilege, however, turns negative when your government is incompetent and there is nothing positive to report. Like Donald Trump’s was. In fact, Trump’s shitshow of a presidency makes it a relatively easy case to make that Trump was inarguably the worst President of the United States.

Kevin forgets the “charm” in “charm offensive”

Kevin criticizes groups he clearly knows nothing about.

Women in Canada voted for him because he has “nice hair.”

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 11.

Stephen Harper had nice hair. What the Liberals had that got people to vote for them were better policy positions. And after over a decade of Harper, the people were hungry for good policy.

Millennials voted for him because he promised open borders to rapists and thugs.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 11.

I’m a millennial and I can tell you that I wouldn’t want borders open “to rapists and thugs”. Again, where the hell is he getting these weird ideas from? Also, Johnston has no room to be talking about other people being “thugs”. Especially given how he treated Dave from Dave’s No Fills up in Dawson Creek, BC.

ISIS members voted for him because he promised to legalize bestiality, which he did!

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 11.

No, he didn’t. Section 160 of the Criminal Code still holds bestiality to be criminal.

Beta Cuck males voted for him because maybe they though [sic] he’d get them laid, and he would make it easy for them to stay home and play video games 21 hours per day.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 11.

To be clear, Kevin has provided absolutely no evidence for anything he has said thus far. In fact, while I’ll freely admit that I have yet to read the whole book, I haven’t come across a single footnote or endnote. Also, the reasons why people voted for Justin Trudeau have nothing to do with the claim that masks are bullshit.

Kevin thinks Justin should be ashamed of being a feminist

In bringing up yet another irrelevant issue to the question of whether or not masks are bullshit, Kevin talks about the question of whether or not Trudeau is a feminist. Now, that would go against Kevin’s claim of Trudeau being a “radical muslim” but would be in line with Kevin’s claim of Justin being a “communist”.

Feminists voted for him because he claimed to be a feminist, and because feminists in Canada all share the same barely-available 11 IQ points. There is almost nothing worse and more militant in Canada than a Lesbian-Feminist Justin Trudeau fan.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, pages 11-12.

So, like in the previous part, he’s on about attacking feminists, claiming that “feminists in Canada all share the same barely-available 11 IQ points”, even though there’s nothing about supporting equal rights for women that makes someone less intelligent. Also, even though he claims “there is almost nothing worse than a Lesbian-Feminist Justin Trudeau fan”, he doesn’t go on to say why.

Meanwhile, I can articulate why I think there’s nothing worse than a Karen convoy participant in Canada. Not just the fact that they defaced the Terry Fox memorial. Not just the fact that they terrorized the residents of Ottawa for three weeks until the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time since it replaced the War Measures Act. In fact, the residents of Ottawa themselves described it as such:

People who live and work in downtown Ottawa endured several weeks of widespread human rights abuse, amidst a climate of threats, fear, sexual harassment and intimidation marked by racism, misogyny, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and other expressions of hate and intolerance

Part I, what we heard” (Archived), Ottawa People’s Commission on the Convoy Occupation, page 3

You see what I just did there? I cited my sources. I used multiple sources to support my allegations. Kevin hasn’t done that at all. He makes a lot of claims but cites no evidence to support them.

Kevin is hard at work in the quote mines

Brace yourself, because Kevin was clearly hard at work in the quote mines.

Mercifully, this is how the first intro ends. I’ve been working on this for the past five hours. I know I’m ready for this to be over.

Kevin is puzzled that a man thinks we shouldn’t have an irrational fear of the word “feminist”.

Justin Trudeau has made public statements like:

“We shouldn’t be afraid of the word feminist. Men and women should use it to describe themselves.”

HUH??? A man said this???

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 12.

Yes, Kevin, it is possible for men to be feminists. There is a larger conversation on the role men have in feminism, but I would argue that it makes more sense for a man to be a feminist if he’s at all interested in preserving the rights and freedoms of all men and women. But again, this has nothing to do with the claim that masks are bullshit.

The Fourth Estate and Kevin’s fascination with smurf porn

“I don’t read the newspapers I don’t watch the news. I figure if something important happens, someone will tell me.”

WHAT??? Hey Justin, Smurfette chose to blow Hefty Smurf, and not Handy Smurf in Parliament! Important enough for ya?

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 12

This quote, uttered 22 years ago, is more indicative of Gen X’s relationship with the fourth estate. I won’t dare to comment on the quality of journalistic standards in his day, but to a certain extent, I wish I could share his view. As Thomas Jefferson once said of the newspapers,

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day […] I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, Date: June 11, 1807, Page 2 of 3, Source Collection: The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress, Series 1: General Correspondence. 1651-1827, Microfilm reel 038.

I find the work of independent journalists such as Erin Reed and community sites such as Xtra Magazine, Out Front Magazine, Washington Blade, and Pink News much more reliable than more general outlets like the New York Times and the Guardian.

Not sure why he’s talking about the sexual habits of Smurfs, though. Maybe Kevin would be better served spending his time looking for Rule 34 of the Smurfs that writing unhinged rants about anyone and everyone he perceives as having wronged him.

Kevin doesn’t understand that actions have consequences

“When you’re a baby, you are a scientist…”


Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 12

I can see why Kevin doesn’t like this quote.

He doesn’t like the fact that babies can figure out that if they do x, they get y as a response. The things Kevin does, including defaming people, assaulting shopkeepers, and other such fuckery yields negative results. Because, as a whole, we decided as a society we don’t like it when assholes go up to random people and assault them unprovoked.

And in case it wasn’t clear before, yes, Kevin assaulted Dave in Dawson Creek. Here is a side by side comparison of the different versions of the video, from different angles.

Kevin can’t be arsed to remove the frivolous speech elements

This quote was a pain in the ass to parse.

How about his gem about TRADE with the Americans:

“UHH-we import UHH more steel that the Americans
UHH ex-UHHH-import UHHH…sorry. We have a significant
trade surplu-Americans had a traditi-significant trade
surplus with us on steel which means…UHHH…we buy steel
from them, they buy steel from us.”

WOW, it’s true that ski-instructors know nothing about

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, pages 12-13

What about unemployable grifters who can’t cite a source to save their life? I tried searching up this quote but I couldn’t find a reliable source that has Trudeau saying this. Closest I could find is someone on LinkedIn posting this.

Kevin J. Johnston blames Trudeau for his inability to find work

“The very concept of a nation founded by European
settlers is offensive to me. Old stock White Canadians are an
unpleasant relic, and quite frankly, replaceable. And we will
replace them.”

YES, he said this when asked about the danger of his
open borders policy. If you are a white family that can’t find
work in Canada, this is why. HE is why.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 13

Unlike many of the quotes Kevin used, this one is an utter fake. And honestly, as someone who passes for white, I think it’s manifestly untrue. The only places I’ve found trouble looking for work is in conservative strongholds like Alberta. When I was living in the Yukon, I was able to find work much more easily.

Though, I think Kevin is unable to find work because he has chosen to be a right-wing douche. That and he has multiple judgments against him and grifting makes it easier for him to evade collection.

Domestic terrorist Kevin is incensed that international terrorists have equal protection for their citizenship.

And now my favorite:

“The Liberal Party believes that TERRORISTS should get to keep their Canadian citizenship. Because I do; and I’m willing to take on anyone who disagrees with that.”

Yeah, he said it to a live audience who thought he was doing stand up. Canadians have a lot to learn about selecting their leaders.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 13

Yes, Kevin, Justin Trudeau said that. And do you know why he said that? Because Justin Trudeau believes that naturalized Canadians should have just as much protection for their citizenship as natural-born Canadians do.

And Kevin and his friend Artur Pawlowski should be grateful for that fact. In fact, the terrorism that Pawlowski and the Karen Convoy participants engaged in is more of a threat to Canada than international terrorism. The people who believed that masks are bullshit engaged in domestic terrorism.

I of course am willing to take him on, but since I would use words with more than 1 syllable, he wouldn’t understand me.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 13

It wouldn’t be Kevin J. Johnston without ending on an ad hominem attack.

In conclusion: The First Introduction

Let’s begin this book.

Kevin J. Johnston, Masks are Bullshit, page 13

Can we not? Please, can we not?

Nah, I’ve already written this. I’m already this far in. Let’s fucking do this. I’ll have the next installation of this shit show written next week. Even though Kevin claims “Masks are Bullshit”, it’s clear that it’s Kevin that is full of bullshit.

That was a lot to write. I can’t imagine it would have been better for you to read. But we got through this together, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And as for that reward I promised…

Hopefully, next week’s takedown of the second introduction won’t be as bad.


Expressing Yourself On the Web: Jekyll & Github Pages

Yesterday, in my series about expressing yourself on the web, I talked about Neocities and the expressing yourself in an old web way. Today, I’m going to write about using Jekyll & Github Pages to build a website.

What is Github Pages?

Github Pages is a service run by Github that allows users to launch web pages for free. It was launched to help open source projects have a place to communicate information about their projects.

Github has limited preprocessing. Namely, processing Markdown and Jekyll projects. Hence why I’m recommending Jekyll to go along with Github Pages.

What is Jekyll?

A screenshot of the homepage of Jekyll.

Jekyll is a ruby-based system to facilitate pre-processing static content written in Markdown. It allows you to use a command-line interface to compile a site into static content. Alternatively, you can use Github Pages to avoid the command-line interface and have Github compile the site for you.

If you have a Mac, you can install Jekyll pretty easily using the Terminal. And I’ll explain how.

What you’ll need to know to use Jekyll & GitHub Pages

Honestly, you’ll need the HTML & CSS knowledge I mentioned in the Neocities review, but with this, you’ll also need to understand concepts related to Git and some Ruby knowledge wouldn’t hurt. So, if Neocities seemed a bit challenging for you, I wouldn’t recommend this approach either.

How to install Jekyll on Mac and set up a website

First, go into the Applications folder. Then, go into the Utilities folder. There should be an app labelled “Terminal”. Open it. You’ll need to copy and paste the following command into your terminal:

gem install bundler jekyll

Then, once that command has finished running, you’ll need to navigate to where you want to install the Jekyll site. For example, if you want to put the folder in your Documents folder, you’ll need to run this command.

cd ~/Documents

Then, run the following command, changing the text in bold into the name you want to choose for a site. No, you can’t use spaces in this version of the name so don’t ask.

jekyll new my-awesome-site

There you go! You’ll have a new Jekyll site on your computer. All you’ll have to do is commit it to GitHub with every change. You could do so through the command line, but you can also use the GitHub Desktop app.

If you found this a bit too involved, the next option will probably be more your speed. If you found it too easy, then Thursday’s entry would probably make you happy.


Expressing Yourself on the Web: Neocities

In this week-long series on expressing yourself on the web, I want to talk about five separate services that allow you a platform you can use to express yourself on the web. Today, we’ll be talking about Neocities, a host of static HTML pages and popular with sites that use old-web tech.

What can you build on Neocities?

Honestly, if everything your website can do is done in the browser with no server processing, Neocities is okay for you. Though, you probably would need some knowledge of HTML and CSS. You can find free learning guides on Sadgrl’s website and Codeacademy. However, if you want a guided learning path, I’d recommend this track from Treehouse.

Put simply, if you used something like Geocities back in the day (think 1990s to early 2000s), this is the service for you.

If running WordPress is crossing your mind, Neocities is probably not for you. If you plan to use this to build a blog, don’t. Honestly, this service isn’t great for that. Also, any preprocessing is going to be out the door, so things like Markdown are not going to be interpreted into HTML for you.

Having said that, though, the wide variety of sites that exists on Neocities is something to behold. As someone who actually used the old web, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. Seeing all these websites use old web tech makes me irrationally happy. I, for one, would love to see more people building websites using this tech.

What would I recommend this service for?

Honestly, pages that you don’t intend to update often. Also, if you’re not uncomfortable with a text editor like Nova or VS Code. Alternatively, you can use some sort of WYSIWYG HTML generator.

On the one hand, it is a free service. However, on the other hand, you’ll have to work to publish anything here. So, this service is perfect for smaller websites where you don’t mind updating things manually.


How to Not Pay Outrageous UPS’ Brokerage Fees

So, I bought myself a Freewrite Hemmingway Special Edition Smart Typewriter a couple of weeks ago. And on Wednesday, the amount of the fees I had to pay were posted on UPS’ tracking site. In short, they wanted to charge me the GST due and owing, plus nearly $120 in brokerage fees. In no uncertain terms, this is highway robbery.

UP clearly showing me that they wanted to charge me nearly $120 in brokerage fees, which is nearly double the amount of GST they wanted to charge me. Oh, plus the GST, for a grand total of $180.

Needless to say, for something I paid $1,588 for (yes, I got the 2-year warranty too), I wasn’t thrilled about throwing down another $180. I recognize that I would have to pay GST and GST in Alberta is 5% with no PST. But, that doesn’t mean that I was okay with also adding an additional $120 on to that.

You don’t have to pay duties on purchases made in or from the US, but you do have to pay GST on those purchases. This is thanks to CUSMA (which replaced NAFTA).

How to avoid UPS’ Brokerage Fees

In order to do this, you’ll need to first call UPS to get a B-15 letter. UPS can e-mail this letter to you. It’s called that because you’ll need to go to the CBSA, pay the duties, and get one of these.

Form BSF715-1 from the Canada Border Services Agency

Basically, need to pay the taxes at a CBSA Inland office. An inland office is able to collect these duties and issue a receipt like the one above. This form used to be numbered B-15, but is now BSF715 or BSF715-1. In order to get it, you need a copy of the shipping bill that the person who sent you the stuff sent. It includes the price of the goods and is important to calculate taxes and duties.

At the Inland office, they’ll look at the invoice. They may ask you a couple of questions about the nature of the goods. I know that the officer had more than a couple questions about what a “Smart Keyboard” was. Once they make their assessment of how much duties are owing, you’ll go to the cashier. The office that I went to accepted credit and debit cards as payment, but I brought cash just in case. Once you pay, you’ll get that form I mentioned above.

Afterwards, you send this form to the addresses UPS told you. Keep the original copy to show the driver. A good app to take a picture of the

The Day Of

You’ll want to make sure you can receive your package. But thankfully, everything went smoothly. The UPS driver even commented that I knew exactly what I was doing. But now, I have my new gadget and I’m going to be spending my next couple weeks giving this thing a test drive.

So, in short, don’t pay UPS a shit load of money. Instead, go to the CBSA office (if you can), pay the taxes, and don’t pay UPS this insane cost. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to paying the shipping when I buy myself a new… writing chaise. But at least I know how to pay the duties myself the next time UPS has a delivery for me. And yes, sadly, Liberator uses UPS to ship orders. Needless to say, this is useful knowledge for me to handle a future order. And I hope this information is useful for you too.


A Review of Sprinter

A person writing at a table in a notebook/journal.

So, for the past couple of days, I’ve been using the Sprinter distraction-free writing environment by Freewrite/Astrohaus. And so far, I think it’s an okay environment to give you a semi-distraction free writing environment.

The Sprinter environment is rather simple. It’s a drafting tool with no formatting tools, no spell check, only one real way to go back and edit things (the backspace key). It is good for what it is: a way to birth your ideas into the world. Editing comes later. In this sense, Sprinter does its job.

The Good

Firstly, it’s free. And I don’t mean it in the same sense as the Danger Notes app is free, but it has ads once you finish each sprint. I mean it in the sense that it’s not only free but ad-free. You can use the environment as a completely distraction-free writing environment.

Secondly, it allows you to sign up for Postbox, which is their own syncing service. I wanted to sign up for Postbox immediately because I had recently bought a Freewrite Hemingway Special Edition Smart Typewriter. Though, that’s a bit of a mouthful so I’m just going to call it the Hemingwrite. Postbox also allows you to set up a connection between it and Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. I chose Evernote because I have over a decade’s worth of notes in there.

Thirdly, and most importantly, it gives you (to a certain degree) the space and freedom to just write. In just two days, I wound up writing 3,844 words across two projects I am working on.

Fourthly, it gets you to commit to and explore ideas because, again, you’re disincentivized to go back and fix things. For example, I thought that I wanted to give my main character strawberry blonde hair but then, I had realized that a paragraph or two before, I gave her red hair. Now, if I were on Scrivener, I could have just gone back to that paragraph and fixed it. However, because I was in Sprinter, if I wanted to go back, I would have had to delete everything I had written from that point. In short, you’re sort of incentivized to commit to what you’ve written and move on.

The Bad

Now, time to get down to the bad. And the first bad thing is that sometimes, inexplicably, you can lose your whole draft. Now, thankfully, I had the wherewithal to set up Postbox pretty quickly upon getting the membership. This included syncing to Evernote. There was a time delay between when I lost the draft and when it would be removed from Evernote, so I had to act fast. I was able to grab a fairly complete copy of what I lost, copy and paste it into Scrivener and finish the sprint.

Now, if you’re just saving this to Postbox, you’ll likely have a bad time. But, if you save it to a third party streaming service like Evernote, you’ll probably be able to recover your draft. But why should you have to be prepared like that?

The Ugly

Firstly, by default, you’re going to be using Folder A with no means of moving content between folders. Now, with any review of the Freewrite Smart Typewriter or Traveller, you’ll know that one of the things you get is a folder system that lets you sort drafts into three folders, A, B, and C. However, when you use Sprinter, everything saves into Folder A and I’m not entirely sure why.

Secondly, and this is crucial, you’re (presumably) accessing it on your computer. And this leaves you open to notifications. While it is true you can disable most (or all) notifications by creating different focuses in OS X, this doesn’t stop Facebook from pinging in your browser if you have it in another tab. It doesn’t stop the other apps you have open from showing their red dots to try to get your attention.

Also, if you want to use it as a drafting site to blog, you might find it difficult to use a more rigid template. After all, this is just a blank screen for you to put your text on. Copying and pasting don’t work in this environment.

Sprinter, in Summary

Overall, would I continue to use Sprinter? Long term, no. But until UPS sends me my new Hemingwrite, I think I’ll continue to use Sprinter to draft with the keen awareness to have Evernote at the ready to pop open just in case it eats another one of my drafts.

Also, I earned an achievement for writing my first 1,000 words through the service. I hope that the image for this achievement has a transparent background so it’ll look nice whenever I get around to setting up dark mode on this site. 🙂


Learning French on Duolingo

I'm on Section 3 of the Duolingo French course, which corresponds to the A1 level.

So, I am currently learning French and while I’m not quite good yet, I feel like I’m making slight progress. However, I feel like I’m moving up the skill tree quite slowly. After all, I’m learning on Duolingo and I finally got around to finishing Section 2 of Duolingo’s French course. I also don’t feel like I’m getting a good sense of past tense/future tense, even though I am learning a few words (like pleuvoir) that describe something that’s going to happen.

Now, I feel that the way I started did help me to learn a bit more with learning on Duolingo. The first bit of work I did was a French course in community college with a native French speaker from Africa. This helped me with my pronunciation and I feel like I focused a lot on that. This was critical for helping me to speak French better.

Further, Section 3 (which I am currently on) is still the equivalent of CEFR level A1. However, I had an evaluation with someone from the local Alliance française in my town. They placed me on level A2.1. They did mention that I don’t have the past and future tenses solid. However, they think I know enough to be able to flourish in the A2.1 classes.

So, what comes next, after Duolingo?

Honestly, I’m not quite sure. According to their course, they can get me up to level B2 on the CEFR. Even though I do have aspirations to learn a couple more languages, I do want to be just as fluent in French as I am in English.

So, what other languages am I planning to learn?


The first result I got when I searched Pexels for "Mexico".

Well, it depends on when I get to level B2 of French. Pragmatically speaking, Spanish would be useful. After all, I’m planning to have three surgeries in two Spanish-speaking countries (Mexico and Spain, in case you were curious). And I feel it would be incredibly critical to be able to speak to people in those countries.

I also know that if I learned Spanish, I would be able to increase my reach. After all, I do want to be an educator on trans issues. To be able to do this effectively, I need to be able to communicate with more people. So, I would want to be able to communicate and relate to Spanish-speaking people. In other words, I have a mission-minded motivation to learn Spanish too.

Furthermore, I feel that Spanish would provide me a gateway to learning Hebrew. I know that statement would cause a few people to scratch their heads in wonder. However, it’s not that shocking. There is a Jewish language in the Diaspora called Ladino and it’s actually a language spoken by Sephardic Jews. Another name for it is Judaeo-Spanish. I also find it intellectually fascinating and a unique way to approach Hebrew.


The inside of a German train station.

However, my intellectual curiosity is pulling me towards German. I’m incredibly curious about learning German because English is a Germanic language. I feel that learning German would give me a greater appreciation for and understanding of my native tongue. I also distinctly remember wanting to learn German when I was a kid. However, I honestly don’t remember why.

Furthermore, I know that Yiddish has Germanic roots. I feel that increasing my knowledge in German would help me to learn Yiddish. And I feel that learning Yiddish, like learning Ladino, would help me to learn Hebrew.



Then, there’s also the weeb in me and as a result, Japanese is a contender for my next language. I’d like to be able to watch anime and read manga without dubs or subtitles. I also feel that it would give me access to more manga and anime. After all, I wouldn’t have to wait until some fan group dubbed or subbed a particular series. I remember waiting anxiously while a fan group of subbers were slowly releasing episodes of Bleach. It was excruciating and I’d love to be a bit more independent in this regard.

So, what resources do I plan to use to perfect my French?

Honestly, not sure. I’ve heard good things from Evan Edinger about Clozemaster. I also plan to read more French and Québecois news and listen to French-language podcasts.


Write The Truest Sentence That You Know

That sentence was once written by Ernest Hemingway. No, not the “fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck” one. That is a screengrab from the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Misery. But it does loop so well, no?

Now, I’m not sure I could ever write poetry. Best I could do is a limerick about a trans woman from Nantucket. But I know I have stories in me that can be told. I’m currently working on a couple of romance novels and a weird fiction story that I’m actually kinda proud of. I’m working to write them all by the end of the year.


Why I’m Sticking With Dvorak

Anyone who’s ever tried to use any computer I’ve had over the past decade has learned the hard way that I’m a Dvorak typist. In fact, I’ve been typing on the Dvorak keyboard layout for almost a decade now. I learned the Dvorak keyboard layout during the 2013 floods in Boulder County, Colorado. At the time, I was living in Longmont. I was stuck at home due to the rain. Transit wasn’t running at all, so I needed something to do to pass the time. So, I decided to whip out a keyboard map I printed from the Dvorak Zine and switch my new MacBook’s keyboard to Dvorak. No time like the present!

Confession Time: Why I Needed To Learn the Dvorak Layout

A bird perched atop a branch
I bet this bird could hunt and peck.

I used to hunt and peck when typing. Yes, I was someone who programmed for a living and was hunting and pecking. I learned a ton of bad habits when I was learning how to type, which is odd since I took a keyboarding class in high school. However, my typing speed was never that great. It was high time to fix that shit. Dvorak was my ticket to touch typing.

And it worked. I’ve been touch typing ever since I spent a week learning the Dvorak keyboard layout. Now, the thing is… can I tell you where the “o” is on a Dvorak keyboard? Sure. Could I tell you if I weren’t allowed to move at all and/or I weren’t in front of a Qwerty keyboard? Not a chance. I’d be telling you from muscle memory. I know that my left ring finger would be the one to hit the “o” on the Dvorak keyboard, meaning that it would be the letter “s” on the Qwerty keyboard. It’s pure muscle memory.

Enter Colemak

A race.

So, if I’ve found a tool that works for me, why bring it up? Point is, I’ve been aware of another alternative keyboard layout called Colemak. And I’ve given a little thought to switching to Colemak. But the thing is, my speed is pretty appreciable and based on the advice of others, I don’t think Colemak could help improve it any further. I know I could hit 70-ish WPM if I took a typing test without preparing right now.

Point is, Dvorak is doing what I need it to do for me. I type pretty well and I do so without having to look at the keyboard except if someone hypothetically asked me why I’m hitting the wrong keys and yet, typing the right words. But usually, I’m too fast for people to notice that sort of thing. The fact that randos typically can’t just walk up and use my laptop is an added bonus.

I’m not looking to be a speed demon. I’m just looking to start writing novels.


Mastodon, ActivityPub, the Fediverse, the Fall of Twitter, and Free Speech

Elon Musk finally bought Twitter and as anyone with eyes has predicted, the site is going to hell in a handbasket. Despite claiming to be a “free speech absolutist”, he has blocked several journalists, people who parodied him, rival social media platforms like Mastodon, and anyone who he simply doesn’t like. Meanwhile, he’s decided to unblock and protect transphobes, white supremacists, and other such monsters. And while I don’t approve of his completely reckless and irresponsible behaviour, it is his platform.

And now, it’s our choice as to whether or not we want to be on it or not.

Not your server, not your platform

Here’s the thing people don’t get. Twitter is a privately-owned proprietary platform, so nothing that they do could be considered an infringement on free speech. Not before Elon’s takeover and certainly not afterwards. Twitter owes no obligation to you. Twitter, as a private business, can do business with anyone they wish. This is the crux of the problem with all the big social media platforms. At whim or will, they can ban a person’s account and, barring certain exceptions, you just have to deal with it.

This is why open social media networks, like Mastodon, have been gaining traction. Mastodon is different as it’s not just one network nor does it use a proprietary standard. Anyone can join a Mastodon instance and if they don’t like their instances, they can move their content from one instance to another. Or, in other words:

And even better, sites like Mastodon use a standardized framework known as ActivityPub.

What is ActivityPub?

ActivityPub is a standard. And this is what makes it freer than any network like Facebook. Whereas Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are walled gardens, ActivityPub is an open standard. Combined with federation, you can post a wide variety of content that can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms. This site is now using ActivityPub through a WordPress plugin which broadcasts an ActivityPub stream. Now, you can follow this blog on Mastodon, CalcKey, or any other ActivityPub-enabled platform. Just follow me at on your preferred instance of choice and you’ll get my blog. Just as if you follow me at @daria, you’ll get my social posts. And that’s because these sites “federate” with each other.

And it is my hope that soon-ish, I can create better federation between this site and other ActivityPub platforms like Pixelfed, Peertube, and BookWyrm and move off of (or reduce my dependency on) sites such as Instagram, YouTube, and GoodReads.

What the hell is federation?

Federation is interconnectivity between services. Just like how e-mail services “federate”, ActivityPub “federates” in a similar way. You put the user’s username first (in my case for Mastodon, it’s daria), then an “@” symbol, and then the server name (in my case, it’s “”), so it’s @daria.

Why the hell should I care?

Put simply, you should care because this is the way you get your free speech. Private companies like Twitter and Meta have no obligation to you. And with the walls closing in, you should get out now.