Tuesday April 15 , 2014

Category: Sooey Says

Drinks on the Elephant in the Room!

Spoiler Alert for Frank Magazine print subscribers (Psst: Get online, ya Luddites!)

Frank Magazine (Ottawa edition – Halifax edition is for wrapping yer cawd!) contributes a typically subtle bit to the blathery boohooing over the death of Jim Flaherty by our political/media betters with a rundown of quotes by all those colleagues whose remembrances of Jim past involve having a drink, going for a drink, meeting for a drink, enjoying a drink.

Jim with a drink and glint in his eye. Otherwise, he was known by underlings as S.A.M. (small angry man).

Because he needed a drink.

Now go and subscribe. It’s all the news you’ll ever want and then some. Write a letter and complain about the then some. I guarantee you it’ll be published with a headline mocking its contents that will delight your friends and rellies when you buy them gift subscriptions, too.

Anyway, it struck me long before I saw the bit (which I saw online this morning – subscribe – it’s funny!) that Jim Flaherty looked and acted a lot like an alcoholic.

(I know, I know, judgmental much, Sooey? Well, here at Sooey Says, it’s always Judge Mental presiding – now go and subscribe to Frank Magazine if you want satirical genius!)

And, of course, it’s been alluded to for years that the good minister enjoyed a drink too far. Except that only other people who also enjoy a drink too far would really notice. Even the people doing the alluding wouldn’t notice. Normal people don’t.

(By the way, one Flaherty colleague quoted in the bit is Deepak Chopra, who refers to enjoying an “irish scotch” with the good minister, which really just goes to show how non-discriminating Jim Flaherty was in his drinking buddies.)

The thing is, I’m also an alcoholic, so been there, done that. I enjoyed drinks with a lot of people over the years. And if I’d been an MP I would have enjoyed drinks with a lot more because the opportunity is always there, isn’t it, and free of charge, too.

I’d be the Lindsay Lohan of Parliament – minus the talent – but also not driving myself around town.

I was born with a horseshoe up my ass so I can say that.

Speaking of which (bad behaviour), a couple of years ago I was at a function and my friend that I’ve mentioned before, who was a Liberal MP, was there, too, and we were catching up when I noticed Jack Layton in the crowd.

“Hey, do you now Jack Layton? Introduce me to Jack Layton. I’ve never met him except for that one time at the Bamboo Club.”

Alas, Bob Rae was there, too, and my loyalties were torn. I don’t think they cared for each other even back when they were both NDP. Parachute Club was playing, as I recall. They were always playing at the Bamboo. Anyway, Jack Layton was sort of a one-man-party while Bob Rae was sort of a one-man-non-party, but maybe it was because we were working for him – it was a caucus get together or sorts – and social events with the boss are really just meetings that you have to pay to attend, aren’t they.

We were the third party at the time, David Peterson of the Liberal Party was the Premier. We used to crash a lot of Liberal receptions back in the day. Really, David Peterson spared no expense when it came to receptions. The Liberals always left behind enough for an army, too.

Excellent catered fare. Kudos to you, sir.

Anyway, my friend (who’s just a shade older than me and who is really my mom’s friend, that’s how diversified he is – also he worked for David Peterson while I worked for Bob Rae) introduced me, and Jack Layton’s eyes glazed over at middle-aged me, but then perked up when he quipped to my friend that he should be in the NDP, not the Liberal Party, and I remembered how it is with politicians, so I grabbed my partner’s arm and said, “This is my partner! He used to write for Frank Magazine!” because I can’t help myself sometimes.

Seriously. Sometimes I have the judgment of Stephen Harper. So bad. So very very very bad.

Because, of course, this gave Jack Layton the opportunity he’d been waiting for to launch into a speech about how he started the White Ribbon campaign and had to cancel his subscription to Frank Magazine (sure, pal, as if) over the Deflower Caroline Mulroney contest and blah blah blah.

Omigawd he was humourless. I only wish I’d known about the visits to the temporary foreign workers at the massage parlour back in the day – or rather, remembered, since I did know about the visits to the temporary foreign workers at the massage parlour back in the day. Grr. Woulda coulda shoulda. And now he’s dead and I can’t. Opportunities missed much, Sooey?

And by the way, the Deflower Caroline Mulroney contest, while it coulda shoulda been funnier (as in, go big or go home) did not invite Canadians to rape Caroline Mulroney, as the humourless among us would have you believe. It mocked her parents, one Brian and one Mila, for pimping her out as they were doing on such an epic in-our-wholesome-Canadian-faces scale that it would have been a satirical sin to NOT have a Deflower Caroline Mulroney contest. Of course, Brian brought the real funny when he threatened to “get a gun and go down there” and blah blah blah. Still, the whole thing was a little on the poxy dick side for my Feminist funny bone, which is very small and dry, so I’m glad Caroline Mulroney finally came through for her parents by landing a Lapham and fulfilling their American dream.

If I’d been a cabinet minister, I’d also have had a driver, and could enjoy lots of free drinks. In fact, lest we forget, that’s why cabinet ministers have drivers, to cut down on the drinking and driving, thanks to Rene Levesque, who actually ran over someone who had the misfortune of living on the street while Rene Levesque was running up an infinite tab.

Anyway, I think the fact that Jim Flaherty was apparently an entirely different person to his colleagues, who only ever seem to have shared a drink with him, at which time the Irish glint in his eye would be restored, is telling. Whereas to those of us who didn’t have the pleasure, he just seemed cranky.

Because he needed a goddamned drink!

I mean, ferchrissake, don’t take my word for it, you co-dependent enablers of Parliament Hill – get your heads out of your asses and tell a staffer to hook you up with a subscription to the satirical press.

And read your fond remembrances of drinks with Jim Flaherty for yourselves.

 

Tom Flanagan, Sliver-Tongued Fox

My goodness politicians have become self-aggrandizing of late, eh? Whoever said we didn’t think they were human, anyway?

What we didn’t know was that they’re all actors, just playing the role of the careless books cooking friend to the rich and enemy to the poor, or perhaps, outraged advocate for the poor and homeless, defender of civil rights.

Well, alright then. One hand clapping.

You’ve probably noticed, I can whine a bit, be a little blamey, but I don’t really believe that anyone other than me is responsible for the choices I’ve made in my life. And for the most part I’m pretty pleased with where I’m at, how I’m living, although I really do need to get budgeting on groceries.

The problem is, it’s hard for me to not add chocolate covered popped quinoa to my homemade granola now. It’s actually dark chocolate covered popped quinoa, organic, and I don’t want to tell you the price because then you’ll try to sell me swamp land in Florida and I already own swamp land in Ottawa.

Just kidding, we’re sitting pretty, high and dry because we don’t live along the Rideau River. Actually, if we go outside and crane our necks we can even see the Peace Tower. It almost feels like we’re looking down on it.

Although that may just be our superior attitude, not altitude.

But that’s not what this entry is about because this entry is about the resurrection of Tom Flanagan, including a plug for the sliver-tongued fox the other day by Jonathan Kay of National Post fame.

Now, long before Tom Flanagan started opining about this and that, but mostly about how Feminists are to blame for everything wrong in the world today, I blogged the opinion that, as disturbing as pedophilia is, it must be very lonely and socially isolating to actually be a pedophile.

And, of course, I was referring to a pedophile who doesn’t act on his desires and who wishes he wasn’t the way he is. Or who doesn’t act on his desires and is okay with the way he is but also understands that it’s not very likely he’ll meet anybody else who is.

I mean, it’s hard to imagine a lower life form than pedophile.

Rob Anders?

Okay, that was mean to pedophiles.

Also, from what little I’ve read on the topic, there isn’t much that can be done to help a person overcome a desire to have sex with children so that he wants to have sex with adults instead.

And how does a pedophile even seek help for his condition/disorder/curse.

Pedophiles Anonymous?

“Hi, my name is… uh… I’d rather not say… and I’m a… uh… I can’t tell you or you’re pretty much legally obligated to turn me it to the authorities.”

(Don’t go looking for the blog entry I referred to earlier, by the way, because I may just think I blogged all this already and, in fact, never did.)

You’d think it would be the other way around, but my former father-in-law, who was a prison guard, used to say that the adult inmates of the detention center he worked at were always really nervous around young offenders because young offenders are such psychotic little bastards. I get that, actually, there are stages of human development that I think a lot of bleeding hearts sympathetic to young offenders don’t remember very well, not that I think young offenders should be tried as adults or anything Conservative crazy like that.

But back to the column.

(You may need time to figure out how the preceding paragraph is relevant to this entry, but it is, I just don’t quite know how, either, so let’s just move on, shall we? Good. We’re good here, I think.)

In it, Tom Flanagan, by way of JK, lists militant feminists as #1 on his Blame List for the personal and professional shunning he was subject to after his glib remarks pertaining to hide ‘n’ seekers of child pornography (as in, no harm in juss lookin’ – right?) to a hostile audience went viral because a member thereof put them up on the internet.

I mean, wtf? Thanks to Feminists (edited to blah blah blah). We don’t all have access to a pulpit, as does Tom Flanagan, but when you add the internet to an increasingly egalitarian society (thanks to Feminism), well, I can do this, can’t I.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it. Tom Flanagan did and does have access to a pulpit and he either misspoke when he claimed that viewers of child pornography do no harm, and should climb down and retract – because of course looking at pictures of children being sexually violated causes harm – or, well, maybe he should stay away from the pulpit until he’s clear on the whole words/meaning thing.

It wouldn’t all be nearly so egregious if both Tom Flanagan and Jonathan Kay didn’t support a political party that, after cheating its way into power, brought in legislation to allow authorities to arrest citizens without charge. But they do. They support the firing of whistle-blowers, the targeting of political dissidents, the harassment of the unemployed/the poor/the homeless – all by government, no less.

Come to think of it, Tom Flanagan, at least Rob Anders has the good grace to blame brain damage for his behaviour – and not everybody else.

 

 

Jim We Hardly Knew Ye – No Really – Who the Hell Were You?

So while we discreetly overlook the awkward circumstances surrounding the death of Jim Flaherty this past week, which, yes, is sad, however expected by anyone paying attention, which apparently none of his colleagues were, I think the reaction by politicians/media may help explain why voter turnout is so low these days.

Because from where I’m sitting, it appears that the real two solitudes are them, politicians play acting (as it turns out), and we the people, their paying audience (many of whom have given up on following the plot and/or are too distracted trying to make ends meet to realize that a central character has left the show).

Really, all this bi-partisan sorrow at the passing of Jim Flaherty, Saint Jimbo of Parliament Hill, has me wondering how it was that I thought I was at least a bit player in the game when, clearly, I’ve only ever been a paying member of the audience.

I’m just saying, either politics matters, or it doesn’t. And Jim Flaherty was the second-in-command of two of the most polarizing governments in the history of Canada, governments I would describe as enemies of the poor and friends of the rich, governments led by men whose policies are directly responsible for the deaths of people whose lives they’re supposed to protect.

Or am I missing a crucial piece of information here, like, say, Jim Flaherty was secretly donating his salary to food banks across Canada to make up for cutting welfare rates across the province of Ontario back in the day.

No wonder the next government never undoes the damage done by the previous one. Politicians are really one big family behind the scenes. It’s all just theatre, Question Period, political panels, scrums.

Having a state funeral for Jack Layton was a nice, if unnecessary, gesture, but only because Jack Layton wasn’t a governing politician. He didn’t use his power to beat up on poor people while being driven about in a limousine they paid for so he could relax in comfort while he cooked the books.

Still, it was over-the-top and not really in keeping with the theme of his life, which was that we should care more about each other than we do, but who knows now, maybe behind the scenes he was tossing banana peels around the mall on seniors walk day.

But I don’t care that he had a state funeral and I don’t care that Jim Flaherty will have one, either. Let them bask in the reflected glory of it all.

I just don’t think it’s appropriate that a governing politician, maybe even anyone, should be given a state funeral in the egalitarian society that is Canada in 2014. We all work hard for our money. All a state funeral for a politician does is accentuate the divide between public them and private us.

It’s unseemly, this grand gesture, when politicians enjoy lives of privilege the people who pay for them can only dream of through their purchase of lottery tickets.

And gawd only knows what we’ll have to pay for when the Queen finally shuffles off this mortal coil.

We’re all equal in death, so why are politicians getting away with pretending we aren’t all equal in life?

 

Eulogize This, O Ye Politicians Near and Far

If I only knew you as a politician who spent his career “playing politics with people’s lives” (Olivia Chow), and never experienced the hale fellow well met that your fellow politicians knew, then please understand – my mourning at your passing will be… restrained.

Nothing personal, eh? But if you politicians are going to be actors just following orders, feathering your retirement nests while the people you’re supposed to represent suffocate under the burden of poverty, well, farewell then.

And yes, I thought the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the death of Jack Layton was a bit much, too. It’s all a bit much, politicians, governing or otherwise, your inside boys club revealed as a world apart from the rest of us.

May Stephen Harper live a long and healthy life because I don’t think I can take the eulogizing should his wee hard heart be suddenly crushed by what appears to be his monstrous ego.

 

From Harrisite to Harperite

My first thought on hearing that Jim Flaherty died was: “Oh no, political eulogizing.”

My second thought was: “So who called 911?”

If you can’t say anything nice – ask a question?