It’s been a week.

Usually during weeks like this, I cope by dissociating from the news cycle and focusing on things that bring me joy— like being a hater.

I also think I found my purpose in life, in a term called “Jester’s privilege.”

Before we get into it, I wanted to inform you lovely humans that  5XPress is starting an advice column! Submit your questions on this form here, and we will kick things off on Monday.

See ya then.

Ok off we go.  Let’s start with something light and fun, shall we?

I’ll have to sell my soul to ever get paid enough 

(Serious inquiries only though, because selling my soul is very much on the table at this point.) 

Sex and the City writer Candace Bushnell was recently interviewed for a feature in the New Yorker, and while this wasn’t at all the point of the piece, she shared how much she was previously paid for her writing in the 90’s.

In an excerpt, she shared that she got paid $5,000 a month to write one single column for Vogue. Later, she discussed how some writers for Vanity Fair were on contract to get $250,000 a year to write six articles. 


“People valued writing; it wasn’t considered something everyone can do. Now, because of the computer, everyone has to do it, so we think everyone can do it,” she said.

I mean yes, in theory everyone can write and share their thoughts, but this doesn’t mean everyone should

The fact of the matter is that certain (often white) writers and columnists especially in large publications are paid exorbitant amounts of money to write dumb sh*t like “here’s why I’m not taking my shoes off in your shoeless home,” as outlined in last week’s roundup.

There’s also a huge pay gap whereby women of colour are paid significantly less than their white counterparts. This means that those who get a pretty penny for the value they provide or the thoughts they share, is reflective of whose voices and thoughts are deemed valuable in the first place.

The state of the media in general, and in particular in Canadian media, means that journalists and writers who are trying to do important work in their communities are scrambling for public funding to keep their publications afloat, and most media business models are wholly unsustainable. It’s all really bleak. So reading that there are folks getting paid exponentially more money to do the same work as you can be extremely discouraging.

I mean, if white women are getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to talk about their sex lives, arguably I should be getting paid as much for the more dangerous undertaking of being a brown girl trying to run an advice column. (Although, mom if you’re reading this I don’t talk to boys and have never held their hands I am strictly theorizing here!)

I don’t know what the point of this rant is but I! Was! Irritated! (But if any government funding bodies or extremely rich people who aren’t Elon Musk want to invest in 5XPress and the next wave of South Asian writers to bring equity to the playing field … holla at me! My soul sold separately)

Elon Musk compares Trudeau to Hitler

I don’t quite understand the inclination of the privileged to try so desperately to be oppressed and to compare their total non-issues to extreme cases of violence and genocide, but here we are.

Elon Musk is continuing to be the insufferable human being he is, and I continue to have to talk about it because I can’t just let this one go. 

The latest in Musk’s Twitter shitstorm, is that he tweeted a meme comparing Justin Trudeau to Hitler. He tweeted a photo of Hitler with the text, “Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau” at the top, and “I had a budget” at the bottom, in criticism of Trudeau invoking the Emergencies Act. 

I know we all know how entitled and awful this man is, but the fact that he felt emboldened enough to disrespect the memory of all of those who were killed under Hitler’s regime, especially in comparison to people who are protesting because they were told to put a f*cking mask on, is absolutely disgusting.

It’s also extremely deliberate for him to continue to appeal to the freedom convoy’s racist supporters both in Canada and in the U.S., because he knows that they uphold the same values and logic as he does. Just last week, freedom convoy supporters in Canada compared the lockdowns to the Holocaust, and that it felt like “being in Hitler’s Germany.”

The American Jewish Committee has now called on Musk to issue an apology for his words. 

Anti-vaxxer cares more about his imaginary rights than his non-imaginary daughter

Nothing made my jaw drop more than this. Although it is wholly unsurprising, the Freedom convoy continues to wreak havoc across the country, despite the fact that health measures are already being rolled back in most provinces. 

A recent article profiled members of the freedom convoy, and asked them about their motivations for taking part in the “protest.” One anti-vaxxer shared that he and his wife haven’t visited their own daughter who has been in the hospital for months, because they don’t want to get vaccinated.

“Klassen said he hasn’t been able to visit his nine-year-old daughter in months. She is receiving palliative care at St. Amant, a care residence in Winnipeg, but due to restrictions that require visitors to be fully vaccinated, Klassen and his wife can’t see her.”

To have a child receiving care and to deny her the comfort of her own parents, all because you don’t want to get vaccinated is absolutely disgusting.

It also sums up what many of those in the convoy have been doing: manufacturing oppression and playing the victim. It is a choice not to get vaccinated, and it is a choice to leave your daughter in a time where she is critically ill. 

But we can’t expect these people to think like this, all they’re capable of doing is thinking about themselves. That’s how we got here in the first place.

Racist yelling lady 

Speaking of which, the entitlement brigade continued their protests by protesting outside an Okanagan high school, leading to an altercation between grown-ass adults, and literal teenagers. 

Anti-mandate protesters took to protesting mask mandates at a high school in Oliver, because for some reason they were convinced that arguing with children is what it takes to get things done in this country? 

According to CBC, “things turned "hostile" as one adult singled out a student of South Asian descent. In a video filmed by another student, a woman identified by RCMP as Silke Schulze of Oliver, B.C., can be seen leaning toward the student and yelling, "I have a f--ing right to be in this country, do you?"

Listen Karen, this country may be founded on stolen land and white supremacy, but that doesn’t mean you have a right to be here, either. Yelling at teens who are decades younger than you also certainly won’t change that. 

You’re grown. Are you not embarrassed? 

The NYPD is gross 

Cops in New York arrested 12 people and seized goods including diapers, medicine and body wash, and then posted about it like it was a feat worthy of celebration. This made my blood boil.

What kind of a world do we live in where instead of providing help to those that need essential goods, we are policing them? And then post it like it’s a flex?

According to reporter Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, two of the people arrested were living at a homeless shelter, and one was a 64-year-old woman. 

It’s really sad that this is where we are as a society, but again, this is where we have always been. Funding that should be pushed into communities is instead invested into policing. These communities don’t need to be policed, they need to be supported, FFS. 


The discourse around Kanye West this week has been nothing short of disturbing and dangerous, and for the most part, has been entirely missing the point.

While Kanye continues to publicly post about “wanting to reunite his family,” social media continues to poke fun about the entire ordeal, simultaneously obscuring the power dynamics at play, which really can and should be looked at and considered as continued public harassment.

We really do not need to make a spectacle of a situation like this, especially when Kanye is exhibiting controlling and manipulative behaviours.  

Many people have been making jokes about how if they were Kim, they would just take Kanye back, which minimizes how public manipulation can be used as leverage to attempt to push people to get back with manipulative or controlling partners. 

Hanna Phifer summed it up perfectly in her piece “Kanye West’s Harassment Of Kim Kardashian Is Not A Joke”  for Elle Magazine:

“There is no ambiguity to the ongoing harm being committed here: from his releasing private conversations with his ex-wife despite her explicit wish for him not to; to threatening violence on her partner; to engaging in love bombing—a coercive technique in which a person will shower a partner of theirs with affection to later use against them—like sending her a truckload of roses on Valentine’s Day. Kardashian even issued a statement earlier this month condemning West’s “constant attacks” on her, saying they are “hurtful” and “causing further pain” to their family.

It’s important to consider how this is more than just sharing silly memes or jokes, but a deliberate attempt at trying to regain control in his relationship, at the expense of his former partner. It is dangerous.

Phifer adds, “the passive and active enabling of West’s behavior sends a signal not only to Kardashian but also victims of this type of harassment, or even more serious abuse, that what they’re experiencing is not to be taken seriously.” 

That’s all from me this week. 

See y’all on the flipside. 

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About the author

Rumneek Johal

Rumneek is a journalist, host and speaker. She is currently the BC Reporter at Press Progress where she focuses on systemic inequality, workers and communities, as well as racism and far-right extremism. Her previous work centers on asking tough questions within her community, starting conversation and chipping away at the status quo. Other focus areas for her work include the South Asian community, arts and culture, pop culture, and more. She is a proud Punjabi woman from Surrey, BC.

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