This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has tightened Canada's drugs laws throughout his nearly ten-year reign, has taken out an ad to sing the praises of Breaking Bad, a show about how awesome it would be to quit your day job and start cooking and distributing meth in America.
Yes, ostensibly, the ad is about Harper's displeasure with the so-called, currently nonexistent "Netflix tax," which was invented by the Conservatives as a shot at the Liberals and the NDP. (Both parties are also against the nonexistent, non-proposed tax but have yet to take a position on killing puppies. Just saying.)
"Something you might not know about me is that I love movies and TV shows," Harper says at the beginning of the ad, confirming he is, in fact, a human who lives in the 21st century.
"One of my all-time favorites is Breaking Bad, it's even available on some online streaming services, if you've never seen it," he says in front of a large Netflix logo.
He then says some other boring politician stuff in the minute-long video. Moving on.
Harper's newfound love of Breaking Bad comes several weeks after VICE published an 1,875-word exposé on his relationship with his previous favorite show, Murdoch Mysteries. There are no coincidences in 11-week long election campaigns.
As Jordan Foisy pointed out in that 1,875-word article, Harper's inner being, a mysterious, unknowable beast, becomes a lot clearer when you close watch Murdoch, a show about a early 20th century detective. But what are we supposed to learn about candidate Harper from his love of Breaking Bad, AMC's groundbreaking series about how sweet and consequence-free it is being a badass chemistry teacher-turned-meth-cook-turned-meth-kingpin.
Related: Watch our documentary, 'The Real Walter White'
First, there is the character of Walter White. In the pilot episode of the show, he's a brilliant but dorky middle-aged academic, who feels deeply under-appreciated at his job and by his wife. Moving on.
White eventually turns into Heisenberg, a self-made badass with a penchant for being manipulative, controlling, and occasionally a crybaby, but still manages to make it to the top of the drug heap while dealing with lesser villains like a guy with great hair and another guy with facial hair.
Then there's Jesse Pinkman, the lovable fuckup, whom White has a father-son/frenemy relationship with. Pinkman is young and naive but willing to do whatever it takes to stay in White's good graces. He literally shoots a really, nice guy in the face for White, so he'd probably be willing to stand up and say some rather inane things from time-to-time for his boss, much like Pierre Poilievre.
Of course, Pinkman kinda hates himself and is full of sorrow for his actions, so I'm sure this comparison is waaaay off base. Moving on.
Then we have Gus Fring, the cool-as-frozen-ice-cream chicken-meth lord of the Southwest.
As a drug lord, he rules with a cool, dispassionate iron first and has a small army of loyal guys willing to take a bullet for him. But Fring's public persona is friendly and philanthropic and he's even a big supporter of the DEA. You know who else is a big supporter of the war on drugs—Stephen Harper.
In his nearly ten years as prime minister, Harper's Conservatives have taken numerous stabs at tightening Canada's drug laws. They recently passed a law to make it harder to open safe-injection sites, increased mandatory minimums for minimum drug sentences, doubled the penalty for making Schedule II drugs, spent millions of taxpayers dollars on anti-drug ads that everyone knows was a shot at Justin Trudeau, played tough with medical marijuana users and has kept a hardline on decriminalizing drugs while other Western governments have begun relaxing them.
Anyway, Fring totally had a hidden agenda for his war on drugs. Moving on.
And lastly, we have DEA agent and Walter's brother-in-law, Hank Schrader. He's a total bro, brash and outwardly over confident, and to government types, the hero of Breaking Bad. Many viewers of the show had conflicted feelings about Hank, who much like Skyler White, was always trying to ruin Walter's fun times of murder, mishaps, and general mayhem.
But can't you all see that Hank is just doing what is right for you by taking the drugs away? Beers and barbecues in the backyard, why can't you be happy with those pleasures, dear viewer?
Hank know's best, OK. He deserves our love for his tough love! Love Hank, Canada, he totally is not a stand-in for Harper in this convoluted metaphor. Moving on.
So there you have it: last night, in that one-minute Twitter ad, Harper bled for you. He showed you his soul via Breaking Bad. Now excuse me while I start a rerun, I haven't been able to figure out a decent "he's just not ready" joke about Saul Goodman.
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