Saturday, October 30, 2010

On the Vitality of Quebec Separatism

In Today's Gazette, you'll find a column from Don MacPherson on the current state of the PQ leadership.  The subject is as old as the party itself: PQ members are sniping at Pauline Marois.  In fact, it is the usual cabal of jealous and impatient peckerheads: Yves "some of my best friends are jewish" Michaud, Jacques "money and the ethnic vote" Parizeau and Bernard "red rags" Landry.

None of these stalwarts find Pauline separatist enough.   Pointedly, they praise Duceppe's separatist-ness.

The story is unremarkable deja-vu except one thing:

Parizeau and Michaud, each 80 years old, team up with 70-something Landry to bash 60-something Marois in hopes that 60-something Duceppe will take over the reigns.  On the horizon, there's a couple of "young wolves" who might displace Duceppe.  Bernard Drainville is the most ambitious "young wolf."  The age of the "young wolf"?  47!!!

Forty-seven is not old.  But the only place where you could call a 47 year old man a "young wolf" is in a retirement home.  Or, apparently, the Parti Quebecois.

Duceppe, Marois, Parizeau, Landry, Michaud: a gaggle of geezers that should be fighting over lawn bowling and bingo cards.  Or maybe they should move to Florida and see if they can get a trailer park of senior-owned mobile homes declared its own country.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bush beats Obama

The Tiger talked about this yesterday and this poll has many jaws flapping down in Yankee-land:  more Yanks think W was a better president than the Great O is currently.

There could be lots of good reasons for this.  I'll pick on the two big, flashing, obvious ones:

1.  W's presidency responded to the challenges of the times.  When 9/11 hit, W's presidency was completely re-defined - compassionate conservatism was out, homeland security was in. 

Obama was presented with economic enormous challenges and, for the most part, ignored them.  That's the nice way to put it.  Really, he compounded them.  Regardless of its long-term merit, health care reform was a bone-headed project in the midst of the current economic horrors.  The legislation passed months ago and still most companies haven't quite figured out what it means to them.  Uncertainty is instability's best friend.  Why nurse uncertainty?

2.  W accepted protest and dissent.  Visiting Canada, W once had a terrific line about the warm reception Canadians gave him as he drove from Ottawa airport to Parliament hill: "I want to particularly thank those Canadians who waved with all five fingers."  Bookstores were overflowing with anti-W books.  There was even a movie that fetishized his assasination.  W took it all.

Obama has fairly nasty stuff to say about anyone who gets in his way.  The electorate is largely stupid, afraid, religiously dogmatic, impervious to facts and ignorant of science.  The last is my favorite: a lawyer who feels he's mastered science.  Obama's skin is thinner than a sheet of graphene.  And, cloistered in the academic world for so long, he is not accustomed to the diversity of thought one encounters in the wider world.

A wise, wise man - whose good looks rival mine - once said that if W could run against Obama, W would win.  In 2012, this observation will be plain to everyone.  Like Ethel and Archie Bunker once sang, "mister, we could use a man lie George W Bush again."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stephen Harper - Colossus

On National Newswatch, the Liberals have a banner ad that reads: "the video Stephen Harper doesn't want you to see".  It takes you to an infomercial about Michael Ignatieff and his orgasmic vision for Canada.  I reviewed it some days back and second viewings only confirm first impressions: crap about a guy who mmakes Stephen Hawking look physically imposing.

The jury is out: Stephen Harper doesn't mind you seeing the video.  In fact, after you watch the infomercial, if you tell a friend about it, Stephen Harper will send you a kitchen knife that cuts through metal pipes just for the word of mouth advertising.

It will get worse.  The polls don't capture public reaction to the stunning results of latest Auditor Generals' report which conclude by lauding the stimulus program executed by the government.  Titanic sums of cash dropped in a flash of time without a whiff of putrid play about it.  That's good for a couple of points, n'est-ce-pas?

Stephen Harper will never be liked the way college kids dream of President Obama.  Stephen Harper has always been boring.  President Obama is nouveau-boring; recently joining the ranks.  Likewise, Stephen Harper will never be disliked the way most of us have come to dislike President Obama.  As rigidly ideological both men are, Stephen Harper has displayed vastly greater intellectual flexibility than President Obama seems capable of fathoming. 

The floor of support Stephen Harper has is 30 inch slab of concrete.  By the time his legacy can be summed, the slab will be a good 60 inches.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Calgary last week. Toronto today. Canada has entered the Bizarro world.

So, Toronto picks the chub-master.  And the tradition of loony mayors in Hogtown continues. 

I know my lefty comrades probably don't consider David Miller loony: he's a dour, puritanical, ahem, "social democrat".  But even in his shades of grey colourlessness, David Miller was a loony.  He had French visions of a social order built on puff pastry and whipped cream fantasies.  The reason you Torontonians couldn't see the folly is that you were all caught up with it.  It fit so nicely in a Jeffrey Simpson column, you thought it would look terrific in the Mayor's office.  Instead, it pretty much looked like a big, heaping pile of stinking garbage.

Now, Angry Suburbanite takes over.  Good on ya', Toronto.  You beat the Yankee tea-baggers by a week.  You are the continental trendsetters, my friends.  Some days, it won't work out so well.  While I doubt this new mayor will be walking the Gay Parade next to a man with his bum hanging out of chaps or debating whether or not city workers should have 26 versus 27 sick days a year.  But, maybe he'll worry about cannibals on an official visit to Africa or one of those far-off tropical islands.   Who knows what it is, but to be sure it is coming.  Still, it will be worth those wince-makers.  Toronto's gettin' an early spring cleaning.

As for me, Tarkwell Robotico, I must confess some sadness.  As many of you know, I have been a huge supporter of John Letonja since he first announced his intention to run.  Lots of people said Letonja was splitting the vote, letting Rob Ford come up the middle.  But Letonja had the vision for Toronto that made me exclaim, "yes we can."  Turns out, we can't; he couldn't.  Letonja 2014!!

How to Fill 12 Inches of Newsprint

1.  Keep a tickle trunk.  (That's where you stuff stories that, at any given moment, can be pulled out and feel current.)

2.  Reach into tickle trunk, blindfolded.

3.  Take story out and publish.

It is a stunning result.  If someone asked me whether Canadians preferred peacekeeping to combat, I would have said "combat" in a second.  My guess would have been that Canadians like the idea of carnage on the battlefield; maimed soldiers; collateral damage.

Turns out I was exactly wrong: Canadians would prefer our military to run peacekeeping operations.

Thank you, Globe and Mail, for giving me the news I need.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Confessions of an NPR supporter

This week, NPR dumped Juan Williams because he publicly confessed that he was scared by folks decked out in Muslim-wear when riding a plane.

Well, fire me before I get hired because I agree with Williams.  Sure, I know that a guy with a beard as long as his robe isn't likely to want to blow my plane up.   But maybe he hates me like a guy in dockers never will.  And likely, he thinks I'm doomed to burn in hell for my infidelity anway.

Still, he's free to dress the way he wants.  I ain't stopping him from riding the plane with me.

But I'm not free to be scared?  Yes.  I am free to be scared.  I just shouldn't admit it.  Airing out our fears is sooo counter-productive - even bigoted.  The road to understanding lies in repression.  Every Wasp knows that.

Dress how you want.  Let me judge you for it.  Afterall, some people judge me by how they dress.  The Niqab - that toe to crown gown with a mesh slit for the eyes - is a judgement.  When a woman dons the niqab, she says: "you men are all Colonel Williams.  You sex pigs.  You become a perverted beserker at the sight of my neck!"

Meanwhile, I am not hiring a Goth to babysit my kids.  Quick, call the human rights commission!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Splice, A Movie Review

With gereantric habits, Torkwell and Wife, only get around to hot new movies when they come from a cable plugged into the tv.  So, last night, we watched Splice.

It is a Canadian sci-fi flick with a promising setup: two nerds in a lab splice together a new species that looks half-human, half-evil flying squirrel with scorpion tail. 

The movie sucked harder than the biggest water pumps the Big Apple uses to feed the taps.  Why?

Because it is Canadian and cannot resist the gravitational pull of the Canadian film stereotype.

Of course, Splice isn't a terrifically made monster movie - a modern day Frankenstein terrorizing downtown Toronto.  That would be too awesome.   People would have fun watching that movie.  And in Canada, fun in film is verboten (Trailer Park Boys excepted.) 

Instead, Splice is what Canadian science-fiction always is: a stylish exploration of sexual perversion.  It answers the metaphysical question: "What would happen if Golem were a raw-meat eating woman-creature with a hint of breasts?  Would Sam the Hobbit be as hostile to her as she was to him?"

The answer happily comes to us just as we are hoping this creature will escape the barn and go on a killing spree to scare the be-jesus out of us.  Instead, we get to see Adrian Brody's skinny white arse thrust up and down as he releases his passion on the thing with rooster legs.  Minutes later, this creature will turn into a man and rape his "mother-clone". 

"Ahh," I said satisfied with a night at the movies when the credits rolled.  If there's one thing that really kicks off a work week, its 90 minutes of sexual perversion.  I feel so edified.  Thank you Canada's film industry.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Did Toyota pay for its product placement in Iggy's ad?

Iggy's latest personal journal can be viewed over at Calgary Grit where, predictably, the Grit is swooning.

Me, Torkwell Robitco, I am creeped out.

Not just because in the shot of Iggy hugging an old lady, Iggy's shoulders are tinier than hers (he's what, 110 pounds?).  That's not fair, his lentil diet has nothing to do with it - she was a former Roughriders linebacker in her youth.

No, its mainly because he says he never admired his father more than when his father looked after his ailing mother.  Really?  Family is just so, so important to Iggy.  Just not the family he deserted when he found his "soul mate".  Can you picture one of Iggy's children, a couple of decades down the road, running for the Liberals, saying in a whispy, philosophical tones, "I never admired my dad more than when he dumped my frumpy mother for a hot hungarian with a tongue that ties cherry stems in nots."  I doubt it.

Then he slams "career politicians" because they are such a gross class of people.  You know, folks like Liberal premier Jean Charest.  Or maybe former Ontario premier and bigwig Liberal Bob Rae.  Even Jean Chretien.  Career politicians.

As a right-wing fanatic, I am pleased to see the Liberal party leader impugn and repudiate Jean Chretien.

Friday, October 15, 2010

You just took the first step to making your life better

By visiting this blog, you have done what countless others wish they would do everyday but only a handful actually do: you said "yes" to life. 

Maybe I can't help you lose weight.  Maybe your blood pressure needs a pill and not me.  Maybe your family's happiness depends on much more than what you'll find in this blog.  Heck, maybe this blog will actually make your family's happiness worse.  I probably can't help you make any more money or win praise at work.

Those, my friends, are just details.  You've tried everything else.  Healthy living, board games, Anthony Robbins tapes, the latest garlic peeling gadget.  None of it made a dent, did it?  That's why you're here.  In another age, Donald Rumsfeld would call you a "dead-ender".  There are no other options but this spot.

You need me like you need a placebo.  But when there's no cure for what's bugging you, a placebo is just what you need.