The beard that ate the news

I’ve been away for a lovely Christmas vacation. Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy my time off immensely, but I always worry, what if something major happens while I’m gone?

But then I reassure myself and say, hey, nothing usually happens over the holidays. It’s not like World War III is going to break out. Relax.

Face palm. I stand corrected.

While it has nothing to do with me — absence or not — it appeared earlier in the week that something very close to World War III may break out, as President Slap Happy in the United States authorized the killing of noted terrorist and second-in-command, Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The timing of this is suspicious to say the least. It has wiped Trump’s embarrassing impeachment off the front pages, for a few days, at least. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

Trump’s water-carriers immediately went out with the message that Iranians would welcome the action (sound familiar, Iraq in 2003?). That has not proven to be the case, thus far.

Vice President Pence went so far as to lie that Iran was involved with 9/11, a theory which has been thoroughly dis-proven.

The U.S. Congress is annoyed that Trump authorized what amounts to an act of war against Iran, when law and tradition says Congress must be informed. Trump’s minions’ defence? He tweeted it. In defence of Trumps’ minions, he conducts all foreign policy by tweet.

Sure. Congress was informed by tweet. When it was too late to do anything about it, much less vote to authorize it.

The State Department apparently has no idea what is going on at all, issuing statements, then walking them back. Iraq has requested that all U.S. troops leave that country, which the U.S. appears to be responding to by sticking their fingers in their ears and reciting “I can’t hear you!”

But that’s not the official response because it hasn’t been tweeted yet.

U.S. allies, including Israel, are carefully distancing themselves from the killing, and the American position in the Middle East is on fragile, shaky ground, which means we’re all less safe today.

But of far more import to Canadian news media, apparently, is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is growing a beard. Yup, he came back from vacation with facial hair.

“Statesman, ‘daddy’ or dud: Justin Trudeau’s new beard ignites social media” Global reported.

“Hair apparent: How Justin Trudeau’s beard makes him look like Dad” CBC

“Trudeau’s new beard matches more serious, businesslike approach to being PM” The Canadian Press

“Justin Trudeau’s Beard Is Here Now And We Need To Talk About It” Huffington Post Canada

“Justin Trudeau returns to Ottawa with beard after trip to Costa Rica” The Star

“Justin Trudeau Has a Beard Now. What Does It Mean?”

Well, breathless press, it might just mean Justin Trudeau is growing a beard. Cause he wants to.

You know, a new look for a new year. Men, especially prime ministerial men, do not have as many options for a new look as women do, although Trudeau has tried a few different looks in the past, which didn’t work out too well.

In a way, it’s a teeny bit satisfying to see a man so judged on his appearance. Because women in power certainly are. Hilary Clinton couldn’t go anywhere on the campaign trail without her pantsuits begin analyzed for cost, style and meaning. Meanwhile, no one said much about Trump’s thousand dollar plus suits.

Women in politics have their every look scrutinized, their every utterance analyzed. Any anger? The woman is shrill. Any bling on the suit or dress? The woman is all fashion, no policy. And any extra pounds? The woman is weak and sloppy. No man has to answer to these charges.

So, the media obsession with a male Prime Minister’s facial hair?

It’s fun to see it happen to man as well.

But it’s not as important as even the thought of being on the brink of world war.

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