Saturday, 23 May 2015

Press Gallery Dinner 1980: The year of the gams

If you've worked on Parliament Hill, you have no doubt been to a Press Gallery Dinner.
The dinners these days are relatively staid affairs.
Except for this year.
This year, our Elizabeth May extinguished herself by going postal on the Conservative Cabinet, f-bombing her way to a hook off the stage. Good for Liz. There's more than hot air in that helium balloon, and we frankly applaud her for whipping it out.
That said, it was a frankly amateurish performance for Lizzie (who took and axe, gave the Tories 40 wacks), and it was pretty tame compared to Press Gallery Dinners of yore.
I was reminded of this last night when the old codger Ray Stone filled my inbox to the brim with photos of pre-eminent journalists wearing chaps, and drunkenly crooning on stage, to the delight of a mostly male crowd back in the 70s.
There were only a handful of women allowed at the Dinner back then, when I was a sweet young thing trying to break into serious journalism. The women allowed in were either seriously working journalists, or politicians. There was a no wives rule, which meant that the men could get up to all sorts of nonsense, mostly drinking, losing their cars and puking in the hair of other journos.
Some of us, who were not members of the Gallery, got in because we were part of the Gallery show, which went on sometime in the middle of the night. It was a swinging dick contest with lines like this:

Jean-Luc, a steamin' and a strokin'
Jean-Luc, got his caucus in his hand.

There were songs you wouldn't hear today, like the one sung by Don Newman and Peter Van Dusen about the CBC, entitled The Johnson Fags, after the head of the CBC and what was deemed a preponderance of gay men doing his dirty work. Yeah, that wouldn't happen today.
Evan Solomon would have a stroke.

I got talked into doing mostly stripper pole work, as evidenced by this photo.



That's me in the front with the black hair. I was a hooker, a can-can dancer, etc. etc. always in the chorus, never the lead. That was left for the off key Gayle Morris, who did yo-girl's work as the Governor-General, Barbara Frum, and so on. There were other women in the Gallery, but none of the rest of them wanted anything to do with the Gallery show. You can't blame them. Many had worked hard to overcome all the bullshit that came with getting that golden ticket and they weren't going to put on a corset and be mocked by their limp dicked colleagues.
Me, I didn't know any better.
Back then, I could be talked into anything.
Which is exactly why nobody took me serious until my boobs started sagging and my hips started spreading.
I had to work in the trenches for two decades, drowning under the glass ceiling that was being propped up by serious women. I thank them today for their hospitality, and their generosity; otherwise, I would have ended up like Joan on Madmen.
Oh wait...
Nevertheless, I am wistful for the days before children, the times when I never had to buy a drink at the Press Club bar, Not to mention gams that didn't pucker and jiggle.
Oh well, even now, I look better than Michel Gratton, God rest him and his budgie smugglers.

 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

This is where I leave you...for now

Hello CBC friends:

I know you are CBC Radio friends because I check my stats every day and more than 600 people have visited this blog in the past three days. That's thanks to my repeat performance on http://www.cbc.ca/radio/dnto

Maybe you're wondering what happened to me after my husband left me at the airport to take a trip to Bermuda to go fetch his new wife. Well, a lot of bad stuff happened, and a lot of good stuff.

I raised my three kids in near poverty while he climbed up the corporate ladder. Today, he is a multimillionaire with a six figure pension. He's still a big shot.

I've moved on.

I beat the odds and married my third husband 12 years ago, and we are going strong.

It hasn't always been easy, but it's been interesting.

You will find my blogs about my life, a well examined life, in these pages. I wrote this blog for four years and it helped me heal, and it helped me learn about myself. Along the way, I made some great friends.

I don't miss the old husband, not at all. He not only didn't show up at his daughter's wedding, he didn't even send a card. Who wants a guy like that in your life.?

So take some time to enjoy the stories within these pages. Send me a note. I'd love to hear from the people who cared to listen to my sad, sad story.

Maybe one day, I'll be back. Maybe CBC will give me my own sitcom?

For now, this where I leave you...for now.

All the best, Rose


 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Kathleen Wynne, Justin Trudeau and the thrusted penis of power




I nearly wept this morning reading Robin Sears' scathing analysis of the current state of politics in Ottawa and Ontario. Sears used two examples to demonstrate why voters, old and young, are so cynical.

Example A: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's chief of staff is fingered by the province's Chief Electoral Officer for trying to bribe a hard working Liberal to stop him from running against the preferred candidate. (Criminal charges pending.) Example B: The well-coiffed son of a former revered prime minister accepts sloppy seconds from the Prime Minister. Mucho gusto!

As a voter, I'm loving it. I find day-to-day politics exceedingly boring, and I frankly don't care where John Baird hangs his hat.

I'm here for the dirty stuff.

Ontario never, ever, disappoints. And we have David Peterson to thank for all of it. Peterson is the Canadian version of Kevin Bacon. All the shenanigans -- and people -- can be all tied back to Peterson, even Robin Sears who once toiled for Peterson as his man in Hong Kong.

We have Peterson to thank for some of the great scandals and bungles.  Ontario Place, Fridge-gate, Patti Starr. And now he's given Kathleen Wynne the greatest gift of all: Pat Sorbara.

Pat Sorbara once toiled in the office of Shelly's husband. She ate bear paw with the Chinese. She organized and whispered in the backrooms with the best of the good old boys. Now she's taken everything she learned at Peterson's knee and smeared it all over Kathleen Wynne like cream cheese on a lox bagel.

It's what happens, you know, in politics. Some people leave and grow consciences and make money, like Robin.  Other people can't seem to manage it in the private sector. So they hang around and begin to smell bad. After a time, like many old pros, they begin to develop political amnesia. They might have read the rule book back in the 80s, but it's soon been forgotten amidst the thrill of using the thrusted penis of power.

Given Wynne's trouble, Justin Trudeau might prove to be a genius after all.

He may have been right to turf all and sundry political veterans from his team. Names like David Smith, Gordon Ashworth, Terry Mercer have all been scrubbed from the walls at Liberal Party HQ. The good news is that Trudeau's team may be political dementia-free but the bad news is that it leaves a vacuum on the team which needs to be filled by someone. So I guess that explains why Eve Adams, is to Trudeau at least, seen as a good catch. She has absolutely no links to Liberals whatsoever, so she is perfect for his new-fangled team: devoid of any loyalty whatsoever, willing to use her Jimmy Choos' to step on anyone to do his dirty work, certain to spill the guts of Stephen Harper all over the floor.

Trudeau may, indeed, be offering Kathleen Wynne a solution to her current dilemma. She will be looking for people to fill in the blanks of her office when she has to turf David Peterson's sloppy seconds. And there are plenty of federal Liberals out of jobs thanks to Justin. And old Liberals have to work somewhere, right?

Perhaps this is all some grand Liberal strategy, wherein the Liberals take a page out of the playbook of, say, Twin Peaks or the X-Files. Hmmmm, maybe the Twilight Zone.

In the meantime, we lovers of As the Political Stomach Churns, can't wait to see what will happen next.

 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Family Day is the Stupidest Holiday Ever




Family Day is the stupidest holiday ever.
It only makes sense to skiers and provincial civil servants.
Teachers, maybe.
But for the rest of us, Dalton McGuinty's legacy is nothing more than a huge pain in the ass.
You can't buy groceries. I hate any time I can't buy groceries.
You can get your mail delivered, but you can't get your drink on.
The kids are off school, but you have to work.
It's a babysitter's dream; a parent not so much.
Those of us who work on Family Day can't get anything done. In my case, I work with doctors and their associations from across Canada. The doctors are at work, a lot of them, but the associations have the day off -- in Ontario.
I can't take the day off because the rest of Canada doesn't have the day off.
So it's a kind of damned if you do, kind of holiday.
Aside from the huge inconvenience, Family Day falls on one of the coldest days of the year.
That means it's too cold to take the kids anywhere other than to the movies or the mall. Ooops! Not the mall cause the stores are all closed.
So the parents who do take the day off have to listen to screaming rugrats and indoor fights or spring for a new video game for the PS4.
Family Day is expensive.
Sure, you can take them to the museums in Ottawa. Again, ca-ching.
Anyway, I don't have school aged kids, so I don't care about all that.
But I do care about my gym and it is full of little ankle-biters. The pool is full of peeing, pooping, farting little tykes, so I'm not going near it until next week.
That's why I'm here at my computer, talking to you, you who work for the federal government, you who run a daycare, you who have clients NOT in Ontario.
How's Family Day going for ya?
Passive-aggressive, that's what it is.
Thank you, former Premier McGuinty.
I will think of you today when I don't get my emails answered.

 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Is Eve Adams "Oakworthy"?



Former Conservative pop tart Eve Adams is working closely with her arm candy, Dimitri Soudas, on a plan that will prove to Oakville Liberals that she is indeed "Oakworthy".

We have learned here, exclusively, that the love birds, who are now being called DimEve by affectionate Liberals, are in talks to put a strip shopping mall on the very site of Dalton McGuinty's failed gas plants as an olive branch to the well-heeled folk whose mansions buffer the stink fest that is Lake Ontario.

The mall will be aptly called All About Eve and will include many exclusive boutiques where Oakvillians can get their hair and makeup done at ridiculous prices and have their cars lovingly washed and detailed using Argon oil and sea sponges while they wait. It's not just for the ladies; there is also a Hair Club for Men!

Eve's campaign headquarters will be run in a prominent piece of real estate in the centre of the mall, proving once again that she is, indeed, the centre of her universe.

"I'm really hoping that some of the other Liberal candidates will come and experience All About Eve," said the candidate herself on a call from a spa in Colorado. "Good, Lord! Have you seen some of those women? They could certainly use a little Botox in their lives!"

Should her bid for office fail, Eve is already planning her next move.

She is in talks with Andy Cohen to produce a Real Housewives of Oakville series which will run on a new specialty channel which will replace the Sun News Network.

"I'm hoping I can do both," Eve chirped over Skype. "I've been a Cabinet Minister, well, sort of, and I know there's lots of down time in those jobs. Justin (Trudeau) has promised me a position that would mean I would have plenty of free time. Something like Health. I'm not really sure. Maybe Revenue. Personally, I'd like National Defence, but he says he doesn't want me near any of those soldiers who are, you know, sick in the head."

As for Dimitri Soudas, he has landed a job in the Parliamentary barber shop shining Liberal shoes and is just waiting for the campaign to get under way.

"I simply can't wait," said Soudas who famously was canned from his job for spending too much time polishing Eve's shoes. "Justin is a remarkable man. He's handsome, he's perky. He's just what the doctor ordered after working for Herr Harper."

Soudas is also writing a tell all book about Stephen Harper entitled, The Devil is in the Details, a work that is planned for a pre-fall election release.

"It's my Valentine to Stephen whom I always considered a father," said Soudas with an uncharacteristic grin. "Daddy Dearest."

And now, this....

 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Justin Trudeau and Harper's sloppy seconds


As a woman, and as a sometime Liberal, Justin Trudeau has just stepped on my last nerve.
By embracing Stephen Harper's sloppy seconds, Eve Adams and Dimitri Soudas, and bringing them into the Liberal fold, he has created a party that is both undemocratic and a laughing stock.
Libs are well known for parachuting in tainted meat as a cynical means to an end. (Who can forget Jim Coutts?) It seems to be the inherent right of the leader to step on and over people who have worked hard to get a nomination. But this.
This is beyond anything I've ever seen before.
It's not like Eve Adams was a prized catch. She and her little henchman were turfed from the party they claimed to dearly love for electioneering regularities.
Plus, her Diva behavior, disrupting the lives of little people who just want a bit of gas cause her car wasn't clean enough, I mean...imagine what she would be like as a CABINET MINISTER!
Justin, I need a bigger car. Justin, I don't like my office. Justin, there is dog shit on my shoes, lick it off!
What exactly do Liberals get in this deal with the devil?
A little dirt on Stephen Harper?
If they want dirt on Stephen Harper, they might as well have invited Frank publisher Michael Bates in for a little talk about his election prospects.
This is not the kind of scenario I want to read about in the morning paper.
I want to believe that Justin Trudeau is focused on policy not Botox.
Besides, I've been around politics long enough to know not to trust a turncoat.
Even Bob Rae couldn't explain to Liberals, or the electorate, how he got to be a Liberal after screwing up Ontario as an NDP premier!
I want to believe that candidates actually believe in the policies they are flogging, that they have a philosophy that matches the party playbook.
Instead, we get Eve Adams who has been a Tory since she was 14 whipping her blue dress off and putting on a red sash. In other words, she seems to believe that a person can change their political stripes as quickly as they can get hair extensions.
Blather.
Attention, Justin Trudeau. You better come up with a few better plays before the election or even Mike Duffy won't be able to save you.

Read the Bible. See what can happen when you get mixed up with the wrong, um, pair.

 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Brian Williams: The Brother Glib



Let the eggs be cast.
It's bad enough that NBC anchor Brian Williams "misremembered" the fact that he wasn't riding in a helicopter that came under fire.  But he couldn't even manage a sincere apology to the people who were there.
I have questions, so many questions.
How is it even possible he was allowed to fib about his whereabouts for a decade, particularly considering the event took place with witnesses everywhere?
When he first told the story, didn't he think "hmm, maybe I'll be called out for bullshit?"
And as he continued to embellish, going from a passenger in the follow helicopter to the pilot, didn't he think "well, maybe that's stretching the nose a bit too far"?
Evidently, his hubris and delusion knows no bounds.
Clearly, Williams can no longer find the demarcation line between the truth and a lie which is an odd landmine on which to sit if you're trying to be the voice of reassurance and trust.
Maybe his head exploded, as he snuggled with his daughter watching her performance in Girls, the one in which she had a man licking her up the backside while she purred softly. I cannot even imagine the supportive conversation, but it might have gone something like this:
"Hey honey, that was tremendous, especially the way you arched your back so perfectly. I give you tens all round."
Williams has morphed into some kind of creature that is akin to a Muppet animatron, with that staccato deliver. Bam, bam, bam, bam, the kind they teach in broadcast school in America, the delivery that is void of any kind of sincerity or emotion.
You'll never see Williams emulate Walter Cronkite, who famously took off his glasses as he shed tears for President Kennedy. Williams has capped teeth, hair plugs and Lazik. Probably Botox and filler, too.
See for yourself. His face doesn't move.
Clearly, Brian Williams is the kind of guy who shoves another into harm's way if he messes with his closeup.
He is the cowardly lion without a heart, a man who is so deep up his own ass that he cannot empathize with the suffering of others, or put others first in his race to the finish line.
The real puzzler is his misremembering.
Part of the job description of a news anchor is to have a near perfect memory and an encyclopedia brain full of facts, figures and events that put everything in perspective.
So how can we trust a man who can't remember where he was when the bombs went off?
If he's having a senior's moment, then he needs to be put out to pasture.
If he's simply a blowhard, he needs to be fired.
It's probably too late to save his reputation.
Brian Williams has already had his Breaker Morant moment in the court marshal of public opinion.
If NBC doesn't get rid of his ass, it's time for us all to switch the channel.