I’ve known Jason Kenney for the better part of two decades now. We first met in the early 2000’s during our wild salad days of online fan fiction. We’ve written together and collaborated often. We’ve talked petty shit and incited unnecessary beefs. We founded this very website together, I wrote the foreword to his pretend autobiography AND I’m still drawing a two page comic strip he wrote last year (sorry, dude). We’ve known each other before we were married and we’ve know each other before we had kids. We’ve practically watched each other grow up to be capital A adults from behind internet browser windows.
I’ve known Jason Kenney just about as well as one could know another person online without ever having met them in real life and if you were to ask me to describe him in one sentence I’m going to reply with the same sentence that I’ve always used since the fall of MySpace:
Jason Kenney is a goddamn saint.
Now imagine my surprise when I started seeing him get wrongfully roasted on Twitter by random irate Canadians. Obviously using it as just another reason to flex his sainthood, Jason calmly wrote me back saying that it was all good and casually mentioned that it’s because he just so happened to share the same name with the current Premier of Alberta.
That was a while back and if he seemed cool with it then I’ll be cool with it. No sense in starting a flame war with people you don’t know on the dumpster fire known as Twitter because they couldn’t be bothered to check who they were tagging with their vitriol (such a pre-2020 sentiment, I know I know), but then it just kept on happening.
More and more, I’d see Jason’s interactions with these (maybe, probably) justifiably heated people across my timeline and each time I have to stop and marvel at how well he took it. Every insult, every barb, every shot at his name, he took them all in stride. He never lashed out or hurled the negativity right back at them. He’s always ever responded with a wink and a quick dose of his signature good natured wit.
It takes a person imbued with a special kind of patience, humor and grace to be able to not only deal with being mistaken for a high profile public figure, but also for it to not be a very well liked one. I couldn’t honestly say I could do the same if put in his position.
But that’s the difference between Jason and I, isn’t it? He’s the one that takes all of the misplaced bile spewed at him and side steps it on his way to taking high road and I’m the one who reads this once and decides that if it’s gotten to the point of being an actual news story then it’s time to get some good out of the situation.
For the month of December, 50% of the profits from the “Sorry, Alberta THIS Jason Kenney IS NOT Your Premier!” line of shirts and sweatshirts (available for purchase now) will be donated to Jason’s charity of choice, The World Pediatric Project.
I’m not going to pretend to know anything about Canadian politics or what type of shenanigans the OTHER Jason Kenney has been up to during his tenure. What I do know is that for all of those people who went after my friend on Twitter for something he absolutely had nothing to do with and are feeling some regret about it then maybe it’s time to give a little back AND show their support for (what appears to be) the only Jason Kenney in this particular conversation with his head on straight.
Honestly though, any province, state or whatever other way you call that parcel of land you live on would be lucky to have MY Jason Kenney (even in some small way) be a part of leading it.
But then again, speaking as a person who isn’t the most politically inclined, don’t take my word for for it.
In case who haven’t figured it out yet, I may be a bit biased.
Illustration by Jericho Vilar
Jericho Vilar is an illustrator currently based in Santa Ana, CA. He’s been known to drop the occasional heat rock.