Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Jian Ghomeshi: King of Kink





What is happening to this staid old nation of ours? First we had the crack-smoking mayor, then Justin "The Egg Man" Bieber. Now we have the King of Kink.

Merde.

Have you seen all the blogs about sweet little Jian Ghomeshi who got bitch slapped by CBC for his love of all things BDSM?

Oh my.

We thought he was just a creep. Now he's a creep with an attitude. He doesn't fight fair, according to the Toronto Star who interviewed four women who said he punched them and strangled them without their consent.

Is he guilty? Not according to him. He told Facebook lovers on Sunday that he's into the scene -- nothing wrong with that -- and this is just a silly prank put upon him by a jilted ex-lover. Then he went on to list all his perversions, like any of us want to know, kind of like a 4-1-1 in case some young ladies on The Facebook might want to, you know, look him up.

Got to hand it to Jian.

He never met a twisted opportunity he didn't like.

My view on this matter is perfectly clear. In matters involving assault and rape, the perp is guilty until proven innocent. I know the law says otherwise, but I don't care.

Statistically, people who come forward with these kind of allegations aren't doing it for fame or fortune, especially in Canada, where TMZ doesn't have rabbit ears. He's not that famous. In fact, I'd say most of Canadians -- the non-hipsters who take their kids to the hockey rink and never listen to CBC radio -- have never heard of him before we saw the story.

Well, we sure know him now. Way to up your influencer stats, Jiani.

Dude, clean up your act!

This is Canada. In spite of what the spinners are proclaiming, we do care what you do in your bedroom if you do it before getting a consent form signed.

Did he think he wouldn't get caught because he was the voice of Q?

Seriously, how stupid do you have to be if you're even a little bit famous to be in that scene in the first place? According to the Star, the only reason those girls even looked at The Little Gnome was because they'd heard his sexy little radio voice and wanted to engage in a little star fuckery.

And then they found out he was actually a sneaky little rat bastard who likes to clock girls as soon as they enter his Kingdom.

Did he think they wouldn't tell?

No matter. He is pond scum now.

Even his minions abandoned the little troll when confronted by the evidence, which he presented himself on Facebook.

Who the hell told him to do that? Navigator?

As my mother might say: Would you blow your head off by eating a firecracker if Navigator told you to do it?

Now he's suing the CBC. Good luck with that Jian.

Thanks to Stephen Harper, the CBC has no money.

Peter Mansbridge is lucky if his paycheque doesn't bounce.

Hmm...Maybe Jian can restart his singing career!






 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Ottawa Shooting: Guns, drugs and video games





A lot of people were making fun of Stephen Harper hiding in a broom closet being guarded by MPs with hand-fashioned sticks last week.
There are memes all over the Internet about it.
Where was he supposed to go?
Have you been in that room?
There are no windows to jump out of, like in the Parliamentary Press Gallery's hot room. There isn't even a bathroom.
This was not a cowardly act, as some have suggested. You know what the flight attendants say. The big person should always put the mask on first in order to save the country.
That's what Harper was doing, making sure the big person would still be alive if his loyal foot soldiers with sticks had been unable to protect him.
Most of us would do the same thing.
He's our Prime Minister, for Goodness Sake, one of our great symbols of democracy.
So stifle yourself, Harper haters.
There was no need for him to come out of the closet.
Besides, I have no doubt the caucus would have done everything in their power to make sure that the Leader of the Free...Canada would have lived for another day.
Still, it makes one wonder if they'd been watching too much Game of Thrones.
Question: where exactly was the Prime Minister's detail? Shouldn't there have been at least one Mountie in that room if for no other reason than to protect Harper from any leadership contenders who might want to hoist him on one of those flagpoles?
It's just what I was thinking. I'm not making fun, truly, I'm not.
It is simply a good question.
Security learned a valuable lesson last week. Never let the Prime Minister out of their sight for even a minute.
Now he'll be lucky to go to the bathroom without armed personnel guarding his manhood.
And surely they'll be outside the door when he and Laureen get down to business.

It occurred to me, that during that whole crisis, the Americans were treating Canadians like some sort of damsel in distress, the Dale Arden to their Flash Gordon, the Lois Lane to their Superman.
Immediately, Barack Obama was one the phone to the broom closet offering American support.
We must thank our American counterparts for their help by sending in the really, really big guns in the form of Anderson Cooper.
It was only when some people saw Anderson Cooper that they knew we were in real trouble.
The FBI were also dispatched to comb through their records to find what terrorist cell was ultimately responsible and to vanquish it, while the RCMP were getting out the catalogue to buy themselves some weapons that could actually work against the terrorists. Batons and handguns might be useful for unruly drunkards and Japanese tourists, but they are no match for guys with semi-automatic weapons, bombs and hand grenades.
One global security expert suggested that the RCMP consider getting out of their cars once in a while, instead of listening to their radios.
I agree. They're dressed for it.
Besides, chasing down a bad guy who is on foot, in a car or on a horse, is pretty difficult particularly when there are stairs involved.

What have we learned from our so-called terror crisis?
Once all the conspiracy theories have been explored, it seems that the perpetrator wasn't a very big terrorist at all.
He was, in fact, mentally ill, a drug addict, a fellow who, according to his mother, played too many rounds of Call of Duty.
He was not, his mother said, a terrorist. He was mad at the world.
She is his mother. I believe her.
So before we get too ahead of ourselves and lock down the Capital, let's just take a moment to chill, shall we? Tone down the rhetoric.
No Prime Minister, we do not need to lock up everyone who has a bad thought about other people. Otherwise, we'd be locking up half of your caucus.
And we don't need more scary legislation, in the wake of this terrible crime, to put more people in jail and suspend their civil liberties.
What we need is to get these kids out of the basement, away from drugs and video games, and give them hope for the future. We don't need to fill up the Regional Detention Centre.
And we need better community and school resources to deal with these boys -- and they are boys -- who are shooting up their high schools and grow up to ultimately shoot up Parliament.
We can blame ISIS, or ISIL, or even the Internet all we like.
But video games have desensitized our youth and drugs have addled their brains.
The Tories and the police should spend at least half their energies shutting down the drug trade and injecting more money into community mental health programs. And they should stop encouraging people to buy and use firearms.
Tories love guns. Maybe they should rethink that position.


 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ottawa shootings: living well is the best revenge






When the planes crashed into the World Trade Center on that bright and beautiful September morning, life as I knew it changed.
I'd been struggling for five years to adjust to raising three kids on my own, keeping up with car and mortgage payments and finding part-time work to supplement my child support payments.
It was as if I lived on a hamster wheel (my friend Suzanne calls it the ferris wheel of shit) running as fast as a I could, never having a break.
My kids were teenagers and two of them were already deeply into drugs and skipping school, and my eldest son had threatened suicide. Nick had taken to the streets for a time and nearly died from refusing to take his thyroid medication, which had kept him alive and thriving since he was a toddler.
Every time I tried to take a full time job, something happened, from cops coming to the door to cuff the boys to endless meetings with school officials over truancy.
I was living a single mother's worst nightmare, filled with loneliness, alcohol dependency and fatigue. In spite of it all, I still held hope for a better future, perhaps a new relationship, the children inexplicably righting themselves.
Really, I was living for the future because my present was so damned terrible.
But then the planes hit those iconic buildings, and for me, at least, the possibility of the future was in question.
So I made a decision. If there wasn't going to be a future, I was going to guarantee myself a present.
I walked away from the house that I was sinking thousands of dollars into, pulled some of my savings out of the bank, and rented a house in the city. I paid off the creditors with the proceeds from my house.
I sold all my furniture and had new stuff delivered to a rental property and moved the kids out of the school that was sucking the very marrow out of their bones.
And I took my ex-husband to court to get him to pay me the right and proper amount of child support.
Suddenly, I was no longer a victim of my circumstances. I was shaping them free from the trappings that so many people care deeply about. It was scary but exhilarating.
The jewelry was gone. So were the credit cards.
I bought an old car and paid cash for it instead of financing a new one.
Why would I need anything material? We'd all be dead soon anyway.
That was my thinking at the time.
It was something Joan Dideon refers to as magical thinking. The real name for it might have been delusion.
Actually, I take that back. Maybe for the first time in my life, I was thinking clearly.
I was using the power of intention.
My life started getting better.
I didn't have to worry about how to pay a $6,000 bill for a roof. I had no credit but I had no debt, either.
Most importantly, for the first time in my life, I stopped feeling frightened, stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Instead, I dedicated myself to living in the moment, to dealing with matters as they came up.

For more than 40 years, I lived in fear.
My fears and low self-esteem defined me. I was even afraid of Santa Claus.
In a strange way, the events of 9/11 brought me new courage and peace in my life.
It gave me a new outlook.
Fear was no longer an option.
I thought of this, this week, when watching the terrorist attack on Parliament Hill and the War Memorial. The events made me sad, for sure, but they heightened my resolve to live each day without fear.
I will walk the streets of Ottawa, I will congregate with friends at a hockey game, and I will not look to my left and to my right to see if some crazy person was there to do me harm.
Life is a crapshoot anyway, don't you know?
We are all one OC Transpo bus away from the Pearly Gates.
I am not stupid, I am not reckless, and I will keep my eyes open, if only to see the beautiful colors of this autumn day.
But I will not "remain vigilant" just in case.
If we live like that, if we stop doing what we want to do, if we stop jogging on the canal on a beautiful day, that's when the terrorists win.
Living well, and without fear, is the best revenge.







 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Ottawa shooting: A death in the family


 
 
 
For many of us in Ottawa, Parliament Hill is more than a place of political wrangling and policy making. It's our home.
 
And the people who work there are more than politicians, bureaucrats and scribes. They are family.
 
It's been years since I toiled there, but like most Ottawa Hillbillies, I left a piece of myself in those hallowed halls.
 
My husband, Scott, spent nearly 30 years on Parliament Hill as a cameraman for CBC. He knows every corner, every entrance, every tunnel, every political escape route. Scott stood for hours most days, in the hall beside the very steps that the gunman tore up yesterday, doing the job of all good camera guys -- scrumming politicians and cooling his heels waiting to catch the eye of seven prime ministers.
 
I worked as both a journalist and a political staffer on the Hill for nearly two decades. I had an office in the Langevin Block steps away from the War Memorial where the gunman took the life of a brave young soldier who was the age of my children.
 
I was married on Parliament Hill, and posed with one of the security staff on the steps not far away from where the drama unfolded yesterday.
 
And I sipped wine in the Hall of Honor, the very place Kevin Vickers shot the gunman, in the very corner the annual Christmas tree is placed.
 
For the first time in forever, there was blood on the floor in the Hall of Honor. And there was blood on the stoop where the Unknown Soldier lay. Innocent blood was spilled.
 
My heart was heavy, hurting for Nathan Cirillo, the young Hamilton reservist and his family, hurting for the mother and father of the shooter, and hurting for my Parliament Hill family who spent horrifying minutes, then hours in lockdown, wondering what would become of the institution they loved.
 
One person was forgotten in all of this, until today, when it was announced that another soul was injured. Constable Samearn Son, was shot in the leg yesterday, a constable who came to work to do his job, a man who is a proud member of the Parliament Hill family, a man who served this country as a member of the protective staff for more than ten years.
 
Constable Son is not unlike other constables who serve both as goodwill ambassadors and the eyes and ears of the place.
 
To the people who come to the Hill daily, the blue shirted constables might look sweet and benign. But do not be fooled. Most of them are former police officers and war veterans who have seen their share of the world's misery. Regardless of their pedigree, each of them would lay down their lives for their country.
 
Thankfully, the terror is gone for now.
 
The threat is over but the fear remains.
 
Undoubtedly, the House of Commons staff worked into the wee hours today trying to erase those human stains from the floor, but it will be a long time before they are gone from our memories.
 
Some people have suggested we lost our innocence yesterday. I don't believe that. Older Canadians remember the toll taken by foreign wars. Younger Canadians remember that horrible day on 9/11. Our world hasn't been innocent for a long time; maybe it never was.
 
One thing is certain. The process on Parliament Hill will never be the same again. There will be new restrictions, loaded weapons and locks.
 
Maybe other brides will have a harder time getting married there.
 
But something hasn't changed.
 
What hasn't changed, what terrorists and crazy people will never change, is the sense of family for those who worked, and still work, on Parliament Hill. Terror doesn't tear us apart; it brings us closer and gives us greater purpose.
 
Nothing can change that.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A sad day in Ottawa

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Justin Trudeau: Keith Davey would be proud





Watching W5 on Saturday, and its fawning hour-long profile of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, I was brought back to a time in the 1980s when Tom Hayden was running for state legislature in California.

Hayden was a famous 60s radical, then married to Jane Fonda, who was trying to rehabilitate his image, to make himself seem more palatable to voters.

Getting him elected wouldn't be easy -- Tom was a bad guy in his youth -- so a gaggle of Democratic political consultants were enlisted to undertake a renovation of sorts, putting putty in the cracks of the foundation, giving him a new high gloss coat of paint.

The media campaign included television ads, and a glossy brochure entitled Tom Hayden, Growing Up in America. The brochure featured sad images of racism, segregation, shootings of presidents and preachers. It was meant to explain how Tom Hayden and his politics had been shaped by events in America. Not his fault. He was a product of his environment

On the cover was a photograph of Tom and his son sitting in a fishing boat accompanied by his father-in-law, the late Henry Fonda. Yep, they were fishing On Golden Pond.

The campaign worked, of course, and the voters elected the prince who soon turned back into a frog, as most politicians do.

Those political consultants would have been in awe of the image making that is taking place around Justin Trudeau.

Justin is the perfect candidate, a child raised in the castle, coddled like a three minute egg, nary a hair out of place on his perfect head. The image makers had the opposite problem to Tom Hayden's handlers.

Justin is an unlikely politician. He lacks the neediness of most people these days who choose politics, the men and women who have faces for radio. He also lacks the drive to change the world.

He would rather just buy it a Coke instead.

Justin has lived a perfect life, unblemished, and protected by a doting mother and father.

The Tories would say that Justin lacks depth and experience but really the fact he lacked for anything is the point of it all. There is a softness to his hands, eyes and heart. Ironically, running for the Liberals, he lacks grit, unburdened by the experience of rough and tumbling, of making ends meet, of being turned down for a date by every maiden in the land.

Justin has lived a trust fund life. Money for nothing, chicks for free.

So the image makers had to reach deep, to explore how loss has affected his life and his view. The image presented on W5 was of a man who straddled the darkness and rode it bareback, as the son of a polarizing prime minister and a manic flower child, a brother who lost a brother, a man shaped by his environment, called to good work because of an avalanche, then emboldened by the loss of a brilliant father, called to take up the quest for the Holy Grail that is the prime ministership of Canada.

The goon squad at Conservative Headquarters, the ones hoping to change the copyright laws so they could use Trudeau's words and likeness against him in the coming campaign, were hoping for a bonanza of pithy comments and ridiculous bon mots.

Instead, they got a walk down memory lane, tugs at the heart strings, a one-hour infomercial on the making of Canada's next prime minister.

For the campaign professionals, it was text book.

No hard questions, here. Only soft whispers between Justin and host Lisa Laflamme, whose doe eyes glistened as she listened to Justin's sad tale of his parents' divorce, his brother's death, and his struggle with his mother's mental illness. Viewers could not help but be carried away by the warm images of Justin playing piano with his Dad, learning to swim in the cement pond at 24 Sussex, trailing behind the old man like a duckling to greet heads of state.

Television is all about images, and images of Justin are everywhere.

Like Princes William and Harry, he has been followed by cameras all his life, from his birth on Christmas Day to his grief at the loss of his brother, to the painfully perfect eulogy he gave at his father's funeral. Like the Crown prince he is, Justin's charm, playfulness and love for his family has been carefully orchestrated.

Pretty hard to beat for, say, a Harper or a Mulcair, whose early images were marred by geekiness and unfortunate facial hair.

The documentary contained only smatterings of controversy. Justin is sometimes like a cartoon prince, perfect on the outside, who squeaks like an unoiled bicycle when he opens his mouth. Asked about some of his ridiculous and impertinent musings, the Prince smiles and shrugs that familiar shrug.

His eyes drip with honey as the body language simply says: Well, if you don't like me, too bad for you. I like myself just fine.

This week, the Conservative goons will no doubt be pouring over Justin's memoir looking for dirt with a sad futility. Meanwhile, Justin will travel the country. air kissing the media, making them wet with excitement.

The image machine has done its job perfectly. The Prince has donned his robes and extended his ring.

Come, my subjects, come kiss it. It's alright. Everything will be all right here on Golden Pond.

Surely, this must be troubling for the Dark King, who guards the Holy Grail amongst the gargoyles. He will be pacing, worrying and cursing the national media. He is old, his rhetoric is tired. Even wars abroad can't help him anymore.

Not even a new pair of specs or a new hairdo can undo the magic spell that is being woven over our land by the sorcerers with Blackberries and fawning TV shows.

The keys to the Kingdom are tumbling swiftly from the Dark King's sad, pasty white hand.

Well done, image makers. Keith Davey would be proud.

Justin Trudeau: the man who would be prime minister reveals his past, his politics

Justin Trudeau: Keith Davey would be proud







Watching W5 on Saturday, and its fawning hour-long profile of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, I was brought back to a time in the 1980s when Tom Hayden was running for state legislature in California.

Hayden was a famous 60s radical, then married to Jane Fonda, who was trying to rehabilitate his image, to make himself seem more palatable to voters.

Getting him elected wouldn't be easy -- Tom was a bad guy in his youth -- so a gaggle of Democratic political consultants were enlisted to undertake a renovation of sorts, putting putty in the cracks of the foundation, giving him a new high gloss coat of paint.

The media campaign included television ads, and a glossy brochure entitled Tom Hayden, Growing Up in America. The brochure featured sad images of racism, segregation, shootings of presidents and preachers. It was meant to explain how Tom Hayden and his politics had been shaped by events in America. Not his fault. He was a product of his environment

On the cover was a photograph of Tom and his son sitting in a fishing boat accompanied by his father-in-law, the late Henry Fonda. Yep, they were fishing On Golden Pond.

The campaign worked, of course, and the voters elected the prince who soon turned back into a frog, as most politicians do.

Those political consultants would have been in awe of the image making that is taking place around Justin Trudeau.

Justin is the perfect candidate, a child raised in the castle, coddled like a three minute egg, nary a hair out of place on his perfect head. The image makers had the opposite problem to Tom Hayden's handlers.

Justin is an unlikely politician. He lacks the neediness of most people these days who choose politics, the men and women who have faces for radio. He also lacks the drive to change the world.

He would rather just buy it a Coke instead.

Justin has lived a perfect life, unblemished, and protected by a doting mother and father.

The Tories would say that Justin lacks depth and experience but really the fact he lacked for anything is the point of it all. There is a softness to his hands, eyes and heart. Ironically, running for the Liberals, he lacks grit, unburdened by the experience of rough and tumbling, of making ends meet, of being turned down for a date by every maiden in the land.

Justin has lived a trust fund life. Money for nothing, chicks for free.

So the image makers had to reach deep, to explore how loss has affected his life and his view. The image presented on W5 was of a man who straddled the darkness and rode it bareback, as the son of a polarizing prime minister and a manic flower child, a brother who lost a brother, a man shaped by his environment, called to good work because of an avalanche, then emboldened by the loss of a brilliant father, called to take up the quest for the Holy Grail that is the prime ministership of Canada.

The goon squad at Conservative Headquarters, the ones hoping to change the copyright laws so they could use Trudeau's words and likeness against him in the coming campaign, were hoping for a bonanza of pithy comments and ridiculous bon mots.

Instead, they got a walk down memory lane, tugs at the heart strings, a one-hour infomercial on the making of Canada's next prime minister.

For the campaign professionals, it was text book.

No hard questions, here. Only soft whispers between Justin and host Lisa Laflamme, whose doe eyes glistened as she listened to Justin's sad tale of his parents' divorce, his brother's death, and his struggle with his mother's mental illness. Viewers could not help but be carried away by the warm images of Justin playing piano with his Dad, learning to swim in the cement pond at 24 Sussex, trailing behind the old man like a duckling to greet heads of state.

Television is all about images, and images of Justin are everywhere.

Like Princes William and Harry, he has been followed by cameras all his life, from his birth on Christmas Day to his grief at the loss of his brother, to the painfully perfect eulogy he gave at his father's funeral. Like the Crown prince he is, Justin's charm, playfulness and love for his family has been carefully orchestrated.

Pretty hard to beat for, say, a Harper or a Mulcair, whose early images were marred by geekiness and unfortunate facial hair.

The documentary contained only smatterings of controversy. Justin is sometimes like a cartoon prince, perfect on the outside, who squeaks like an unoiled bicycle when he opens his mouth. Asked about some of his ridiculous and impertinent musings, the Prince smiles and shrugs that familiar shrug.

His eyes drip with honey as the body language simply says: Well, if you don't like me, too bad for you. I like myself just fine.

This week, the Conservative goons will no doubt be pouring over Justin's memoir looking for dirt with a sad futility. Meanwhile, Justin will travel the country. air kissing the media, making them wet with excitement.

The image machine has done its job perfectly. The Prince has donned his robes and extended his ring.

Come, my subjects, come kiss it. It's alright. Everything will be all right here on Golden Pond.

Surely, this must be troubling for the Dark King, who guards the Holy Grail amongst the gargoyles. He will be pacing, worrying and cursing the national media. He is old, his rhetoric is tired. Even wars abroad can't help him anymore.

Not even a new pair of specs or a new hairdo can undo the magic spell that is being woven over our land by the sorcerers with Blackberries and fawning TV shows.

The keys to the Kingdom are tumbling swiftly from the Dark King's sad, pasty white hand.

Well done, image makers. Keith Davey would be proud.

Justin Trudeau: the man who would be prime minister reveals his past, his politics