Thursday July 24 , 2014

Archive for April, 2010

Gordon Brown and the Bigoted Old Woman

As much as other politicians will capitalize on Gordon Brown’s recent burst of honesty when he thought no one but his boot licking toadie staffers were listening, they really shouldn’t. Because ALL politicians are just like Gordon Brown. And if the media was halfway decent, it would make it clear that, yes, all politicians are just like Gordon Brown. If only we could always hear the post glad-handing talk in the limo, we might have a shot at hearing the odd bit of truth pop out of a politician’s mouth on the campaign trail.

And, quite frankly, like most pasty-arsed Brits, that was one bigoted old woman. It was everything before and after he called her one that was the usual lying lieface lie of the politician shamelessly trolling for votes.

 

Capitalism – A Love Story

First of all, Capitalism – A Love Story, has too much Michael Moore in it. Having said that, he’s not what makes your blood boil – and the documentary is guaranteed to make your blood boil. And if you’re following the case against Goldman Sachs, one of the largest criminal organizations in the United States (I’m not, really, because I’m not a professional thief and therefore don’t understand what derivatives are) you’ll be very interested in how influential it is with the American Congress.

There’s a startling scene illustrating the real control Corporate America has on the Presidency when Donald Regan, formerly of Merrill Lynch, who was appointed Secretary of the Treasury, to which he gave his friends in Corporate America open access, leans in and tersely instructs Ronald Reagan, who is delivering a speech to the converted: “You’re going to have to speed it up”.

“Oh, oh, right”, bumbles Reagan, jumping ever so slightly and speeding it up.

The movie also covers the truly awful and unbeknownst to me (and apparently all of their employees) practice by Corporate America, led by the predictable in all things unsavoury Walmart, of course, of taking out life insurance policies on their employees’ lives. There are a couple of really sad scenes where the spouses of the deceased discuss finding out that the company for which their dearly departed worked, has profited, in one case to the tune of $5 million, by the death of their spouse. In one instance, the living spouse was himself an employee of Walmart for 18 years, is left with $100 thousand in healthcare bills – and Walmart has pocketed almost that amount from his wife’s death.

I know what you’re asking, “Did Walmart share the spoils?” Hahahahaha! No.

But the most poignant moment in the movie comes when Moore takes us back to Franklin Roosevelt and his promise of a 2nd Bill of Rights, a Bill of Rights that never materialized because Roosevelt was dead within the year (and one wonders, ever so slightly, if it was of natural causes, if you catch my drift). Juxtaposed to the corporate capitalism that Ronald Reagan allowed to take over democracy instead and it’s hard not to lament the America that could have been – especially when we consider the America that is. Moore makes a pretty damning case against capitalism, but a more damning case against American politicians for allowing it to usurp democracy. And unlike in his previous movies, he kind of calls out Americans as not doing much to stop it all from happening.

The message being: The life you lead may be your own.

Ironic moments? Catholic priests intoning on the failure of American institutions to “do what Jesus would do”. They seemed like good socialists, but, Geez Louise, couldn’t you find some good deed doing socialist Feminist laypersons in the Catholic Church somewhere to make the same point, Michael Moore?

 

Go Blow Yourself, NHL (Updated)

I’m not a REAL sports analyst, and didn’t even watch the game last night (because I knew the Senators would lose), but I blame the coaching staff for the Senators’ predictable performance.  The team is totally lacking in discipline. An early lead almost guarantees that it will completely spazz out later to blow the game. It’s only ever surprising when the Senators lose in overtime by one goal instead in the third period by several.

And now the good fans of Ottawa, Toronto, and Calgary can look forward to a teamless playoff season that will extend well into June. Yay National Hockey League head honchos! One almost wonders if the game is rigged from coast to coast to coast – to coast.

I’ve been boycotting hockey since I was born (I’m from Sault Ste. Marie). I resent its ever expanding intrusion into my life and find professional hockey players particularly unattractive in terms of both looks and personality, so it doesn’t even have that going for it from me. I associate hockey with sexist loutism, although I don’t mind Don Cherry, who brings back memories of my elementary school baseball coach who liked us, he really liked us, and who cried a bit when our relay team lost in the ward finals to those gorillas from Rosedale.

“It’s okay, Mr. B, the Howe sisters have to graduate sometime…”

And I particularly can’t stand the wives and girlfriends, aka “Puck Bunnies”, of hockey players. They all seem like throwbacks to a time when pretty girls had no other options but to line up with all the other pretty girls, pucker up and hope to be picked up as wife number one. And I can’t stand how they’re treated as if they are the wives and girlfriends of soldiers off at war during the playoff season. Of course, I can’t stand how we fawn over soldiers’ wives and girlfriends, either. It’s all so ridiculously out-of-date and irrelevant. Get lives of your own, pretty wives and girlfriends! And jobs! Get jobs of your own, too! Because I’m sure the divorce rate for both soldiers AND hockey players is higher than it is even in the civilian population.

And call me un-Canadian (please) but as far as I can tell, hockey seems to be  intruding into my life at an exponential rate. Enough already. I’ve had it. From the Prime Minister on down: Stop shoving hockey down my throat!

 

What Fresh Hell Is This?

The other day I arrived at work after a half hour bus commute to a city not my own to be greeted by an elevator line-up that reached almost to the non-revolving revolving door.

“What fresh hell is this?” I queried aloud.

People turned and looked at me, which is unusual enough, normally.

“What did you say?” asked a woman who rides in on the same bus as I do, but is one of those commuters who has learned to stare studiously out the window so as to avoid making eye contact with any of her fellow commuters. 

“I said, ‘what fresh hell is this’ – I ripped it off a friend”.

“Omigawd”, another woman said. “I have two sons and both are writers – I’m sending them that!”

“It’d be a great title for a book!” said a young blond I often sit next to on the bus, but to whom I have never spoken. She has since taken to giving me a smile and a wave every day when I get on the bus.

A young man chimed in, “Or for a band!”

“The thing is”, said an old guy (probably my age, but I think of myself as 12, so I think of people around 50 as old) with a beard and a British accent, “You could build a whole book just around that title: What Fresh Hell Is This?”

“Where’s your friend from?” he asks.

“Hamilton”, I say. “She grew up on the wrong side of Hamilton.”

“There’s a right side of Hamilton?” he asks. And everybody laughs.

“Actually”, I offer, “We both used to work for Bob Rae back when he was leader of the third party at Queen’s Park. And whenever there was a situation that involved a Member being in a drunken brawl, or sex with a minor (or same sex with a minor – never as bad, for some reason), or maybe just saying something stupid to a reporter, and there’d be a story circulating about it when we got in to work in the morning, she’d say, and she was in our Communications Department – ‘What fresh hell is this?’ After a while, it became kind of a standard line. Politicians are like cats. Leave them alone overnight and you’ll come home to find they’ve peed on all your clothes.”

“Omigawd”, said the stare-out-the-bus-window lady, “I can just hear Rahim Jaffer and Helena Guergis at the breakfast table, picking up the morning newspaper and starting to read, What fresh hell is this?”

Everybody laughed.

“Yup”, I said, “No matter how bad things get at work today, and we’re starting it off lining up for an elevator, at least we can say to ourselves that Rahim and Helena are having a much worse day than we are”.

Then my friend from previous days but who works in the same building now as I do shows up – Ottawa is the smallest of big cities.

“Nope. I’d go through all that if I ended up with a no money down mortgage on a nice house in Ottawa. Totally worth it. Interest rates are so low right now. But I don’t have any money for a down payment. They got an amazing deal. I would walk naked onto Parliament Hill and shout, DEATH TO THE QUEEN, if it meant I could get a no money down mortgage on a house in Ottawa.”

“She’s Irish”, I say to everybody as we get on the elevator.

And we all laugh.

 

Ironic Ink

Jonathan Kay had a hilariously delusional tenpercenter in Full Comment (a National Post blog) wherein he declares ”the demise of the hard-left columnist” due to Antonia Zerbisias moving from the Toronto Star’s Living section to features writing.

What is it with male pundits and their hard-ons for The Zerb, anyway? Jealous much, boys?

But if it wasn’t ironic enough that Jonathan Kay was taunting the Liberal/Left from his NatPost spidey-hole, it turns out Liberal/Left TorStar is lined up to buy CanWest, hard-right owner of said hard-right NatPost.

Demise of the hard-right press, anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Kay?