SCANDAL!? Nothing we can’t handle!

The SNC-Lavalin ruckus isn’t really about SNC-Lavalin—it’s about Justin.

Gather around, boys and girls, as once again I pull my granddad pants up into my armpits and hook my Walter Brennan thumbs behind my suspenders. I’ve just awakened from a forty-eight-hour afternoon nap, which is why I’m so annoyingly perky, and though the time is long past when it was even remotely relevant for me to explain what the Tommy Douglas was going on with this Canadian SNC-Lavalin doodad, I need you to listen up and at least pretend to care.

As blessèd Saint Judy was wont to growl:“ATTENTION WILL BE PAID!” Now, could someone help me up off my knees?

I never promised you relevance, Murgatroyd McGraw. I promised you Marlboro breath so toxic it could singe your eyebrows, yellow teeth caked with butter tart filling, mysterious, noisome stains on my gusset and slyly humorous, flippant commentary in place of measured, in-depth analysis.

Measured in-depth analysis? How perfectly common!

So, while I clear my smoker’s throat, the better to hoark another oyster onto my signed, framed portrait of Stephen Harper—some pleasures never pall— it’s time for a Canadian Fireside Chat about politics, optics, and which one of the following options you find most attractive:

Progressive Conservatives: More guzzling of fossil fuels, privatized health care, blatant white supremacy, rolled-back reproductive rights for women, no seat at the U.N. Security Council and compulsory church attendance in calico habits modeled after “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Who?;

Liberals: Badly-needed carbon tax that will actually put money IN the pockets of taxpayers, a stab at equality, properly-funded universal healthcare, business as usual and a pretty—and pretty ineffectual—prime minister, but who, when you look at him, at least doesn’t make you feel like stabbing yourself in the eyes with remorse because you voted your country into a no-turning-back state of oligarchic theocracy run by climate-change-denying cretins; OR

New Democratic Party: You’re kidding, right? Though Jagmeet Singh, the national party leader, is right up there, for me, anyway, in the woody-popping hierarchy, what with that dashing, dark, handsome sub-continental vibe and the liquid music of his accent, which is to me as a moist, patchouli-scented tongue probing my hairy, crusted inner ear.

Though, pace Jagmeet, Sikhs can be a little homophobic, as proof of which I will share that the last time a Sikh guy popped round for a blow-job, he said something kind of, well, insensitive to me as he was doing up his trousers. He cast an incredulous look down his nose at me, and said,

“Why do you like men?”

Betsy DeVos Theranos! This is a tough one! Don’t forget your ‘Smores, eh?


There was once a time in Canada, a long-ago, simpler era when squawking blue jays landed on your outstretched index finger and friendly, efficient beavers in Harris Tweed vests valet-parked your car at the Royal York, when we were content with, even proud of, our de facto one-party system.

Every other year or so you could vote Progressive Conservative (PC) instead of Liberal, just so you wouldn’t die of boredom, and without afterwards having to blush and laugh nervously while explaining that you’d recently been thrown from your thoroughbred at Woodbine Racetrack and weren’t expected to recover full brain function for at least a few months.

There was no shame in voting for the party of John Diefenbaker, or even of Brian Mulroney. Diefenbaker, for example, in 1957, appointed the first female member of Cabinet, Secretary of State Ellen Fairclough, who is remembered for eliminating racial discrimination in Canada’s immigration policy.

Yes, the PC’s were for equality and advancing the role of women in public service. Kim Campbell, Justice Minister and Attorney General under Mulroney, passed important gun control legislation.

And here’s a quote from Brian M:

“I think the government has to reposition environment on top of their national and international priorities.”

Provincially, we had exemplary conservative leaders in John Robarts and Bill Davis (who appointed Margaret Birch as the first female Cabinet member in the Ontario Legislature in 1972).

Empowered women! Gun control! Prioritizing the environment! Are we through the looking-glass yet, did we nibble the wrong side of the giant mushroom, are we mad as hatters? These were “conservative” men and women with some bold ideas (and some dubious ones such as NAFTA), but they were, on the whole, advocates of fiscal conservatism. Whatever their private beliefs might be, they understood that as public servants they were in office to work for the benefit of all Canadians.

That government had a role to play in the lives of voters, that government could and should be a good custodian of the environment, that government should protect and recognize the worth of all its citizens—these were not “radicalized extreme-left socialist agendas.” They were givens.

Only when the execrable slime-bag Mike Harris took power—on the rebound from Bob Rae and the NDP— in 1995 did the conservative shredding of the social contract begin in Ontario. This of course was nothing but the same old conservative playbill, turbocharged and disguised as a “Common Sense Revolution.”

When populists and demagogues start making like Uri Geller with English, co-opting concepts like “common sense,” “revolution,” “freedom,” “democratic” and “people,” and bending them into new, sinister shapes, you know it’s time to pack your weekender from Frank & Oak with rolls of bandages and a big bottle of aspirin, in case your future includes an extended stay in the basement of the Presidential Palace, where they don’t even bother to soundproof the interrogation rooms; and whatever you do, don’t forget your Roget’s so you can look up the exact opposite of whatever they’re promising to deliver.

Mike’s “Common Sense Revolution” involved a typical, explicitly anti-labour, anti-social safety net stance (get those queens off welfare!), gerrymandering by way of the amalgamation of the City of Toronto and its suburbs into a “megacity,” the downloading of once-provincial costs to municipalities, and pedaling the snake oil of “deficit reduction” and privatization: all of this based on the premise that government itself is the problem, and therefore the correct and only model for government is that of a department store holding a fire sale.

Example: Ontario had built and was managing a toll highway, the 407, the world’s first with no toll booths and automatic, electronic billing. This public project was based on the startlingly novel concept that greedy, entitled car drivers should actually pay for the infrastructure that they require and should also compensate for guzzling black gold, with the tolls collected contributing much-needed revenue (deficit!) that would support health care and other social services. This one was a no-brainer, and would surely be Ontario’s golden goose for many decades.

But Harris, following his personal mantra of “if it ain’t broke, break it, then declare it needs privatizing,” sold the highway’s operations to a business consortium in the late 1990’s for $3 billion to “reduce the deficit.” Now, twenty years later, none other than SNC-Lavalin is selling ten percent of its share in the toll highway for $3.25 billion.

Nice business acumen, Mike.


Whatever their private beliefs might be, conservatives used to understand that as public servants they were in office to work for the benefit of all Canadians.


Other highlights of his term in office include the Walkerton tragedy, in which a couple of buffoons in charge of the well water supply to a small town failed to chlorinate the water (which had been contaminated by manure run-off from a farmer’s field), make accurate reports, undergo yearly mandatory training, or indeed to do anything except help themselves to a cold brew from the fridge at the Public Utilities Commission and try to cover their criminally incompetent tracks.

Although the Ministry of the Environment had repeatedly ordered the managers and staff to follow the correct, current testing protocols, no one had ever followed up to see if this had actually happened (it hadn’t). Water testing had been privatized, and it can’t be denied that government was smaller as a result.

So was the population of Walkerton, down by a body count of six unfortunate victims of E. coli-contaminated water and thousands of others laid low by life-threatening gastrointestinal infection as a result of ignorance and bad management.

But let’s look at the bright side: At least we balanced the budget.


Getting back to our “scandal:” SNC-Lavalin is a Canadian company whose executives have, in the past, been rather overly fond of bribing Middle Eastern despots in order to obtain lucrative contracts. (Business as usual in that part of the world, you might understandably murmur, and many did.)

This is old, old news; all of the executives guilty of buying their business are long gone and justice done. Any scandal had been dealt with long ago, yet the stars decreed that SNC-Lavalin would be thrust into the spotlight once more, apparently to provide our new Justice Minister and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, with her inaugural trial by fire.

The stakes: Prosecute SNC-Lavalin, after which they would be forever banned from taking government contracts; or treat it as a civil matter and administer a sharp financial slap on the wrist.

Wilson-Raybould was determined to take the prosecution route. Justin Trudeau, understandably anxious about the potential loss of nine thousand jobs just before a federal election, picked up the phone. In fact, he may have picked up the phone a few times before having his morning de-caf, and he may have insisted more than once, as it’s his duty to do so, that there was an alternative to going hard-line and prosecuting.

This was remediation, involving hefty fines but saving the nine thousand jobs, a rather sensible-sounding approach made possible by recent legislation that had been fully endorsed by the PC’s. In this scenario, there was scope for judicial discretion and prosecution was not inevitable. Remediation would provide transparency, promote confidence in the just outcome via that hefty fine and avoid dragging innocent employees into a quite unnecessary, because redundant, criminal investigation.

Wilson-Raybould, whose staff had examined the legislation and concluded that SNC-Lavalin was not eligible for remediation, was having none of it.

Why was Wilson-Raybould so rattled when the PM, along with other members of the boys’ club, advocated vigorously for remediation, and why did she dig in her heels? The more Justin and other cool heads tried to persuade, the more stubbornly she pushed back. Was she handicapped by the thinnest skin ever sported by a member of Cabinet or, for that matter, a lawyer? Was she revealing that she simply couldn’t cope with the demands of the post?

Trudeau’s lobbying has been spun as “undue pressure,” obstruction of justice, a sneaky attempt to let criminals off the hook, or to pay off business cronies, but all these descriptions are quite false. His lobbying was neither inappropriate nor shady.

Did Trudeau attempt to influence the attorney general’s decision? Of course he did, because this is exactly what is expected in our adversarial legal system. Every day, in every court, lawyers attempt to influence: They advocate vigorously, even aggressively, for the solutions that they feel best serve the public interest. This is not sleaze or scandal or interference; this is how our legal system works.

Now Wilson-Raybould proceeded to have an extremely public melt-down that cast Trudeau in an extremely unfavorable light, and she stirred the contents of this teacup so relentlessly that we can justifiably question if her concern was actually about justice.

Wilson-Raybould’s trump card, and her most gasp-inducing error of judgment—or deliberate act of sabotage, take your pick—was to produce, like a cheesey Las Vegas illusionist producing a white rabbit from her top hat, a recording of a phone conversation she’d had with the PM—a recording she had made secretly, without Trudeau’s knowledge or consent— and every nuance of whose content was now parsed and analyzed in the press ad nauseum.

Seriously, friends.

Such cloak-and-daggerism is not the meat and potatoes of the highest levels of Canadian government. This is high-school drama, the sort of subterfuge the nerdy, overly-sensitive President of the Debating Society deploys on the mean boys in the motorcycle jackets who tease her about her acne.

I draw the following conclusions:

There is no scandal or wrongdoing to be found, and no one is seriously claiming there is. This whole affair was a cynical, calculated exercise in throwing mud and seeing how much would stick. Progressive Conservatives and their official mouthpiece, the Globe & Mail, were more than willing to leverage public ignorance of our government and our legal system and to misrepresent both the substance and context of events.

Let’s see what we have: A Native MP, a woman, being hounded by the “feminist” PM; “punitive” demotions and Cabinet shuffles; sudden resignations, corporate criminals going scott free; secret recordings! Perfect ingredients for the perfect spin, a narrative that could create enough doubt to cast the prime minister as a sneak and a bully, and make Canadians question his judgment and even his legitimacy.

The ultimate goal? Bring down Justin Trudeau at any cost.


Did Trudeau attempt to influence the attorney general’s decision?

Of course he did, because this is exactly what is expected in our adversarial legal system.


Is SNC-Lavalin a great, big, heavy-duty Glad bag full of sleaze? Sure, but no more so than any other corporation doing what capitalism does best, i.e., feed itself. Is Justin Trudeau an entitled, opaque, overgrown brat who expected business as usual with the boys in the backroom and who doesn’t understand how his apparent belief that he is not obliged to justify any action, or tell the whole truth, ever, reveals him as shifty and arrogant? It would seem that way.

Were any laws broken? No. Did anything happen that was even out of line? Apart from maybe Nancy Drew and the Case of the Secret Phone Call, not even close.

This was a scandal-free scandal, a big helping of Nothing-Poutine, yet the Progressive Conservatives made a meal of it, bulking up the thinnest material with insinuation and indignation. More insidiously, they caught the attention of the white male demographic that despises Trudeau; despises him for being his father’s son; despises his patrician upbringing and gentility; despises what they see as his “girliness,” his drama teaching days, his avowed feminism, never acknowledging that he grew up breathing politics as the son of Pierre, our most flamboyant and also most intellectually rigorous statesman, the man who held this country together with his bare hands when it threatened to disintegrate and would not let go until it was out of danger.

The trolls and the disgruntled slingers of mud forget Justin’s long years of political dues-paying and his resounding success in 2015; and they are apoplectic at Trudeau’s inclusiveness, his generosity, his uncanny ability to unite Canadians, to embody our pride, to build and articulate our identity and our collective vision for this brave, fragile confederation, this country that is barely more than a wish, a dream, an idea of a country.

Trudeau inspires; white male conservatives, fuming with hard-hatted rage at their diminishing hold on power, carp and threaten and bury their heads in the tar sands and call, shamefully, for a return to “European values.”

They are full of that odious, passionate intensity; the very worst, as always, dragging down the very best.

Keep your kids, like. Ignorcent?! (TM) with Dug-Up Ford and Susan Dreamy, D.D.

Hi, I’m like,

susandreamy

Susan Dreamy?  D.D?  That’s Doctress of Dreaminess, OK?  And I’m here today to help you live a dreamy,

Life?  Also to talk to you about the things that are really, really,

Like, important?  OK?  So let’s get, like, started?

So Dug-Up Ford and like, the Conservatives in Ontario, have, like. Your kids best interests.

At heart?

They know that being like, a Doctor or Doctress of Dreaminess takes hard, like.

Work?

And they want your kids to live a dreamy, you know, life?  Just like. You know.

I do?

They want to keep your kids, you know.  Ignorant and Innocent, OK?

That’s why they came up with this new, awesome, like.

Conservative Thing?

It’s called

Ignorcence!™

And they tee-emmed it, which is so you know that it’s like.

Theirs?  OK?

Ignorcence™ is like, ignorance, but super dreamier cause you’re like. Innocent, too!?

Conservatives know that your kids are being distracted by like, shhhhhhhh!!!!! naughty things? 

Like wobblyboobies or crotchpackets and sticking goggodoodies up your, you know.

Gash?

That’s wrong!  You don’t find out about, like naughty things like your poodangle or your whattamahoozie in school!  That’s like, dirty snowflake stuff!  Not dreamy, OK?

It’s better for your kidz to focus on arithmetic and, like.

Yeah!?

So Mr. Dug-Up and the Conservatards are doing, the right, you know. Thing? And rolling back naughty! whisper! sex! ed!  So we can forget all the stuff that’s not dreamy!

And then your kids can learn about whipwangs and bleedywunckets, like, after school!  Your kids will be, like.

Ignorcent!™

and so fucktarded dreamy about sssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh!!!! SEX!

It’ll take like, five of them? Working together just to figure out how to stuff Johnny’s peeperdoodle??!! into Jenny’s, like.

woofooney???!!

Like at recess?  You know? But they can always do that for, I guess, like.

Homework?!?!?!

That’s, like, your Ford vote working for Ignorcence™! Like, day and night!

Let’s make Ontario Ignorcent™ again!   Thanks Mr Dug-Up!!  Thanks for your

Ignorcence!!!???™

Also, when your kids go on, like, Facebook, there are sometimes, like, GUYS?  Who sound really really dreamy cool, but then they want to meet you after class is out, but it’s like OK?

Because your mom and dad sent them!  That’s like.

Super dreamy??!!!

Brandy met someone about a month ago, and we, like, just got the postcard from, like.

Brazil?!??!?!  

Brandy’s having an awesomely awesome dreamytime and meeting a lot of cute, like.

Boys!!!??

Brandy is super super IGNORCENT™!  Thanks Mr. Dug-Up, you’re, like.

SUPER DREAMY!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??

And so is being your new thing, like IGNORCENT!
Except that’s SUPER SUPER AWESOME, too!


DREAMY, LIKE.  JENNIFER!!?? INTERVIEW!?!?!?!?

Hey there!  Jennifer!  You look super super awesomely dreamy??!  How is your, like,

Ignorcence!???????????????™

“It’s OK, I guess. Yeah. Feels good. I dunno. Protected. Whatever.”

That’s, like.  AWESOME, and, like. The twins?

“Well, you know, fucktard Fords. I drank some dishwashing soap and hot water and jumped up and down for three hours.  Finally that lady down the hall managed to scrape them out with a coat hanger.

“Johnnie and I named them Ford-Blobs One and Two. Then we buried them in the back yard, but the cat dugged ’em up.  Gross.

“We’ll just fuckin’, I dunno. Wait for the full moon. Worst case scenario, like, pray harder and bury ’em deeper next time?  

“So, like, sorry but I gotta finish my relief map for geography class. Nice talkin’ to ya.

“Oh yeah, if ya see Johnnie, tell him to come home and hurry up cause I’m still fuckin’ bleeding.”

That’s SUPER SUPER DREAMY JENNIFERRRRR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a DREAMY LIFE, GUYS!  IGNORCENT™!!!????!?  OK?????!!!!!???!?!?

The NightMayor before Christmas: Zombie-Rob Ford returns from the dead to tell his bro’: “This time I want REVENGE!!!!”+PLUS+ Random Reco’s

zombie3b
We didn’t use enough garlic. Or stakes.  Or garlic steaks.  Or something important.  Obviously! Because now – there’s TWO OMFG, EIGHT of them!

Aw Jeez, Louise, not another one!

Sometimes… trying to choose my words, here … sometimes…

… how to put thissometimes it’s like, you’ve just this minute finished whacking your living-dead disgrace of an ex-mayor in the noggin with a coal scuttle, chopping off his flabby, pustule-sprouting, gangrenous limbs and throwing the whole squalid, stinking mess of decaying arms, legs, torso and head into an anonymous pit filled with quicklime, where, upon impact, said body parts explode like overripe melons – and then, goldarnit, what happens but you have to, like, turn right around and do it all over again.  What the fuck??!!

You ever get that?  Yes, no?

That’s how I felt yesterday, when I learned that living-dead Zombie-Rob’s brother, Doug Ford, was busier than a pedophile hockey coach on Junior League Recruitment Day rousing the Ford Nation rabble in a last-ditch attempt to finish the job his brother started, namely:-

The zombie-engineered total evisceration, deracination, exfoliation and extirpation of the city of Toronto.

(“Evisceration??” says Zombie-Rob, salivating:  “Sounds like luuuuunch!”)

But this isn’t just picking up where Zombie-Robbie Baby, the Un-Doug, left off.  Oh no, my terrorized little Virginias, this is exponentially more.  This time—inspired by his ghoulish bro’s beyond-the-grave lust for revenge (and that unexpected zombie-Rob-hankerin’ in the afterlife for his favorite tea-time snack, a bucket of KFC, hold the salad, dude)—this time—

Doug’s MAD.  REAL mad, the way only a 905-er can git.  He’s mad down to his white wall mag tires, Stanfield boxers, wife-beater and Molson Canadian; he’s mad at those elites, mad at the big words; mad mad mad about bein’ oppressed by a bunch of Politically Correct Women’s Libbers, Yo!

He’s fuckin’ MAD at Margaret Atwood! “Whoever THAT is!”

He’s mad at all those opera-goin’, book-readin’, bureaucracy-lovin’, cocksuckin’, femi-Nazi spendthrifts and non-existent gravy-drinkers at City Hall; and for good measure he’s mad at the teachers and the cyclists and the homos, and why?

Because that’s what white, male, middle-aged heterosexual losers  – a.k.a. str8-tards – do.

By now, dear reader,  you will gather that there is but a single emotional tone here, and the tone is MAD (yes, as in “…as hell and I’m not gonna take it any more!”).  There ain’t enough Fentanyl in the entire soon-to-be-privatized healthcare system to take the edge off this months-long barroom brawl-to-the-bottom.

You may also have discovered, in the course of your spirit-dampening sploosh through the brackish standing water of the innernet, the following truths:

When liberals get mad at something, nine times out of ten it’s because some minority – like say, LGBTQ2, or women, or the homeless, or people of color, or Gaia – is once again being offered that endlessly-extolled all-you-can-eat buffet of fresh, steaming-hot shit sandwiches.

And hold the phone, did I say “minority”? ‘Cause when you add up all those “minorities” you’ll find you end up with just about every single non-str8-tard person on the planet.

But when Conserva-tards, or TeaParty-tards, or any rightwing-tard at all gets mad, it’s not righteous anger on someone else’s behalf. Righteous anger on someone else’s behalf is – are you sitting down? – socialist !  No, when they’re mad, it’s because no one is paying enough fucking attention to THEM.

So this time, Doug—with Zombie-Rob breathing that scorched, fetid  just-plain-folks zombie-breath into his ear—this time bro’ means business.

This time Doug’s gonna make damn sure it happens…

[To be, unfortunately, continued…]


… Poor old fat dumb regular-guy Robbie.
He never realized we just needed a good laugh for a few months
While he ran Toronto like a teen with an I.Q. of 50,
A pipe full of hard,
And a not very interesting hobby…

from my Canada Day Ode
A Beaver in Polite Company


Random Reco’s

In which I shamelessly pad my blog – gawd, that sounds rude – with, like, Totally??!!  Random??!! recommendations of sites I’ve stumbled across while trying desperately to avoid doing anything remotely resembling “work” (I gagged a bit when I typed that).

Dear Luddite friends,

Now that you’ve learned not to refer to your monitor as “the TV-looking thingy that shows all the pictures” and to not answer, “Where did you find this story about Hillary Clinton creating a secret army of terrorist femiNazis bent on firebombing the Capitol?” with “On the computer”, it is time to yank those potty-training pants right up under your armpits and march bravely into the cyber sphere alone.

How-to Geek will help anyone who doesn’t look at a packet of
Quaker Instant Oatmeal and think, “Too complicated”.

How-To Geek
(opens in a new window)

The “Our” of His Death.

Revised May 13, 2016.

Rob Ford. Rob Ford is on my mind. God and all the friggin’ archangels help me.  That’s at least two brain cells gone forever.

As erstwhile Mayor of Toronto, Ford exhibited the frustration, temper and childish resentment of someone who had been placed in a position whose responsibilities he knew he wasn’t capable of meeting. As a private citizen, a tormented and guilt-ridden “secret” addict, he had the defensive demeanour and uncontained ferocity of a cornered animal.

If only that ferocious energy could have been harnessed for good; that is to say, not just good for Rob Ford and his ego, but truly good for Toronto and all of its citizens.

As his intellectual and political mortal enemy, I hated his utter lack of vision for this city, a predictable, dispiriting focus on “stopping the gravy train” (though consultants KPMG, hired to identify the “gravy”, found none), and lowering taxes (because taxes, in the black-and-white world of the Tea Party and their spiritual ilk, are always wrong, taxes are “big government”‘s flame-thrower in the war against property owners, the war against the car; though no one asks how, for example, roads would be planned and paved and maintained, or who would be paying for them.  Apparently not the car owners, or the manufacturers of the vehicles).

It was, true to the conservative ideology, a mayor-dom of negatives, a great big world full of “no”;  if you can’t cut it, close it, stop it or jail it, it’s not in the conservative toolkit. Their social-Darwinist predisposition is to build nothing, but simply dismantle what’s there with no intent beyond the David-versus-Goliath optics and a supreme ignorance of historical context.

Ironically in Ford’s case, his hatred of big government was coupled with an egomania so pathological and a sense of entitlement so dictatorial that he failed to comprehend that his mandate was not to rule by fiat but to achieve consensus via City Council.

This is how you wake up one day and discover that your mayor and his brother – that phrase in itself speaks scary volumes – are advocating for a casino and a Ferris wheel on the most historic section of Front Street East.  Ideology or crack cocaine?  Only a conservative would know for sure…

robFordRIP
Rob Ford (1969 – 2016). The controversial, rabble-rousing former Mayor of Toronto has died of cancer at the age of 46.

I was mad, Christina, so very mad at the dirt of Ford’s misogyny and his homophobia and his sheer willful plodding idiocy and his “just plain folks” demagoguery that painted all government as inherently bad, all spending as inherently gratuitous, all culture as an unnecessary frill.

I hated that he had wadded himself with fat, the better to bulldoze his way through life; hated his embarrassing outbursts (who’s Margaret Atwood, though that unbelievable comment is perhaps properly shared with his angry buffoon of a brother).

Above all I hated how he divided us:  905 area coders versus 416 (plain-folks ‘burbs vs. elitist downtowners); gay versus straight, tax-wasting culture vultures vs. sensible Boomer radio middle- and low-brow; Canadians against immigrants, cars against bikes, every fucking thing against everything else, as though citizenship was a zero-sum game of winners (cars, hockey) and losers (bikes, Pride).

A true leader, with vision, who has the courage to ask, “What kind of city do we want? How can we do better by all of our citizens?  What are we going to do about poverty and homelessness? What kind of environment do we want to leave to the next generation?” – a true leader thinks big, thinks to the future; a true leader unites, inspires and energizes.

Poor Rob Ford.  Just a regular guy.  

Men learn to be men of vision, to be civilized beings instead of marauding appetite machines, from wise mentors (often, but not always, their fathers): painfully, slowly, step by humiliating step. It takes a lifetime.

Rob Ford, I think it safe to say, had poor mentors.

And now that he’s gone, if I were to dwell on Rob Ford and his “journey”, I could feel for him; feel how lost he was and experience sadness about unrealized potential and limited horizons and separation and low self-esteem.  I could probably bury the hatchet.

could probably do all of that.

But I’m greedy for exceptional men.  Regular guys can do my accounting, I want exceptional ones to be in charge.  If you hold public office you are accountable for your actions, and the potential harm you do affects millions; harm that may take decades to heal.

Harm that spins out to its conclusion well after you’ve left office.

Which is why I cannot feel sorry that Ford is gone; will not, cannot forgive his brazen attempt to diminish Toronto’s greatness and destroy Toronto’s future through his arrogance and ineptitude.

Give me the grace to stop now before I become uncivilized. The ersatz king is dead. Long live Toronto.

TorontoskylineFuture
Projected future skyline of Toronto.  Photo / digital composite credit:  Scott Dickson, Upside Down Marketing and Design (via Huffington Post).  ©Scott Dickson, 2016.  Use of this image with attribution does not, and is not intended to, imply endorsement of the views contained in this post, which are the sole responsibility of the author.

~

May I Call You Justin? or, R-r-r-r-oll up and r-r-r-rim to win™!

Well,  come Monday the 19th, I donned my tiara with the great, big flashing “L-for-loser” and trotted off, unopened VISA bill in hand, to vote, non-strategically, for the Beard Party.

Taut muscle + tousled hair + Winner of the Rim Job Thought Experiment = The Person Called Trudeau.
Taut muscle + tousled hair + Winner of the Rim Job Thought Experiment = The Person Called Trudeau.

Mainly ’cause of their free Birkenstocks platform and their fantastic thank-you-gift collectibles for any voter over nine who could be persuaded.

I’m thinking – and these are just the ones that are top of mind – of the Special Election Edition Linda McQuaig “Make My Hair Pretty – Please?®” Doll (cheap batteries, tube of Dippity-Do and tiny, dandruff -encrusted brush included); and of course the Jack Layton Memorial Steeped Tea Mug with inspirational quote  – “I said it was massage and Olivia says so too!”- which dribbles “Sleepy-Time” onto your white collar through its secret hole and then just –  breaks.

You may be wondering.

Voting in our first-past-the-post system brings with it all the enfranchised fun of buying a Lotto 649 ticket just after you’ve spent your rent money on another ball of “hard”. Though it be ever so complex, all you need to know about this system is that voting for who you believe in is for chumps.  Believe in?! Puh-lllllease!  

You vote for anyone you think will win who’s not the person you don’t want to win, and/or the person called Trudeau, whichever comes first.  Are you getting this down?

My vote for facial hair therefore virtually guaranteed the sweeping into power of the National Liberal-Twink Alliance Who Are Virtually Indistinguishable From The Conservatives But Certainly More Hot If It Is, In Fact,The Person Called Trudeau.

Rim-Job Thought Experiment™ To Determine Voting Preferences:

To determine which Canadian election candidates are “hot”, and therefore who to vote for, try this Rim-Job Thought Experiment™.  Yes, ladies, you too!

Part 1:  Are you lying on your back?  OK.  First, imagine Stephen Harper sitting on your face.  Look, I didn’t say this was going to be easy.  That’s right, you got it, go to town with this image.  Fill in lots of detail.  Spare yourself nothing regarding his personal hygiene, unkempt pubic hair or lack thereof, his reactions.  DOES he react, that’s a good point, excellent work, Céline!   You see?

Now, in preparation for Part 2, please brush your teeth.

Part 2:  OK, now, on the other hand, imagine The Person Called Trudeau lowering his ass onto your already wagging, eager tongue.  Keep going, make this as concrete as possible!  Imagine his ululations of pleasure as you probe and savor!  Get specific!  Does he grind his butt?  Or does he just let his weight settle down, down, down, so you fear – or hope – you might meet your maker while clamped in his luscious, gluteal embrace?  Bring. It. ON!  Right?

Conclusions:  So, having tried the Rim Job Thought Experiment™, who do you think is hotter?  Well, I would definitely agree with you!  Yes, I am kind of awesome, and it’s sweet of you to bring it up yet again!

Thus, with a Canada-wide blast of hold-your-nose-and-anyone-but-Harper mass strategic voting,  an eerie is-this-Alzheimer’s-or-is-it-really-1972? wave of déja-vu, and a collective panty-moistening of every female over 45 in the entire country,  we elected The Person Called Trudeau in a landslide of taut muscle, tousled hair and optimism.

Steve Harper, that glassy-eyed alien (and for that matter, his crack-fueled croney Rob Ford, Toronto City Hall’s very own “Night With Chucky“) was nothing after all but a second-rate, tone-deaf accountant at karaoke night dreaming he was onstage at Massey Hall.

Mr Harper? Your rapture flight will now board, and may you and yours have swift and final uplift.

And Mr Ford?  Robbie Baby Bobbie Boobie?  Eat more food, dude.  You hear me?  Robert darling?

EAT. MORE. FOOD.

A large, malignant Fordoma