Local publication startles world with blunt phrasing.
After what seems like an endless amount of disappointing economic news resulting from an entirely predictable, if not Gatsby-esque crash in oil prices, a local publication has come forward with an announcement.
“That’s it, Alberta’s cancelled everybody. Go home.”
Whether or not an province could logistically be cancelled is still being debated by those close to the statement.
What was most likely intended by the local media publication was that what has become known as known as ‘Alberta’ ( ie. the exhilarating, “kissing-the-sky” cosmic stardust adventure of beautiful, beautiful financial gain which occurred at these latitudes between roughly the years 2000 to 2014), has been cancelled, not the geography itself.
However, it is a small glimmer of light for those toiling in our friendly neighborhood communication and media outlets, who are laboring under the pretense that this downturn in oil prices is still regarded as a breaking news, and hasn’t transition with 2015 into the archives of yesterdays papers. This preposition is based on the concept that if something stays consistent enough, it is no longer a developing story. Rather, a fact of life, like many of the serious and noteworthy subjects that are missing from the front pages of our newspapers.
“The plain cold fact is that the price of oil and the resulting effects on our economy, most notable in Alberta outside the Edmonton region, is somewhat serious. However, we are finding the local coverage from our major newspapers to be somewhat fixated on that, using drastic phrasings such as ‘collapse’, ‘shuddering’, ‘18 months,’ ‘meltdown’ and ‘bloodbath.’
Because of this, it has been increasingly difficult to tell if the newspapers are using their fancy word experiments to embellish the actual problem, perhaps as a way to posthumously validate the attention they gave these industries before the downturn, or if it is truly that bad out there. Because of this confusion, we have decided it would be better to just cancel the whole thing altogether.” States local journalist working behind the scenes on the story.
Sources close to The WestStar have contacted another insight from a lead analyst covering the condition of employment in Alberta:
“Basically, I don’t want to lie here folks, but if you are in the position to be affected by this downturn? You will have known by now. And if you don’t? You definitely would be using other sources other then the local newspaper or politicians to find out where you stand in this world. That is the reality of working in Alberta. So really, what is this about?”
Pragmatic advice, most surely from a person who understand that Alberta is not a really a richer province then our Canadian friends and neighbors, rather, it is more like a desert which sometimes experiences serious bouts of nose candy fueled, hard partying, delightful, delightful monsoon storms, before reverting back to its mostly regular, maybe a little colder than you would prefer, boring prairie situation.
” Admit it. We’re all just a bunch of drug addicts anyhow. In some way,” cites one local stakeholder in the affairs at large.
Insensitive? Perhaps even erroneous? It is impossible to tell, but what is possible to tell is the cited near 40,000 to a generous 180,000 direct and in direct jobs to be affected this year by the low oil prices is no where near a large portion the estimated 4 million people who live in this province.
That being said, the question of whether or not everybody will go home is still up for discussion.
Those who have moved to this province during the good times will most likely have not been gone long enough to lose their connections to happy, smiling communities they were raised in, family members ready to embrace them and their daring tales of the dysfunctional west if they decide to return.
Fortunately, those who don’t, such as those folks born in Alberta, shortly before or during the upturn, endearingly known as ‘boom brats’, or ‘boom trash,’ (this writer included), will most likely find a move to a steadier, more reasoned economic environment to be somewhat inhabitable to their highly adapted systems. As specimens bred to feast shamelessly on the garden of earthly delights in a over the top, hedonistic fashion at certain points, and starve at others, the moderation of a diversified economy would leave them directionless and floundering, like a bat stranded on the ground between the kicks and prods of the children of a soccer field.
These people may find life outside of Alberta to be completely unsuited to the complicated evolutionary process that bore them in this province, people numbly gyrated out between the cheap hotel sheets under tawdry sea foam paintings on some boxlike, cardboard of a wall, a three star purgatory, a business trip rooted and tangled in the mess between the unforgiving prairie and the stinking muskeg, between ambition and circumstance, a place so close to all of us we pretend that it isn’t ours.
For them, Alberta has always been a frigid, heartless, heartless, place where people generally just ram their vehicles into other vehicles.
However, one such young Albertan had this to say to the WestStar about the matter.
“Well I can’t just go home. This is my home. What do you mean?”
Baffling words, but honest nonetheless.
Needless to say, regardless of the situation at large, one thing remains consistent. The potential that things will be really, really, really great at some unforeseen, perhaps even imaginary time, is preferable to it being somewhat great tomorrow.
This is the Edmonton WestStar, January 9th, 2016