Never the Twain Shall Meet

There’s a bitchy editorial in the Toronto Star today, nyah nyahing on about what fools the good people of Timmins were to think tourists would flock to a Shania Twain museum.

Ah yes, they should have gone with the Charlie Angus (songwriter for the Grievous Angels) museum.

Eff you, Toronto.

Shania Twain should build a Toronto museum now except locate it in downtown L.A. and devote it entirely to Rob Ford.

She should call it the “Ford Nation” museum, too.

I mean, really, for a while there, Shania Twain was the prettiest covergirl in the world. I’ll never forget standing in line at the biggest Loblaws in Canada (the world?) and there was Shania Twain on the cover of Redbook (I know what you just asked yourself(ves) Sooey Says reader(s) – “what book?”) and I did a quick scan of all the other magazine covers and she was definitely the prettiest.

Linda Evangelista (St. Catharines) may not have bothered getting out of bed for less than $10,000 per day, but Shania Twain rolled out of it looking like a million, that’s for sure.

But seriously, Timmins, it’s not Shania Twain, it’s you.

Because that’s the thing about museums, they’re supposed to be about dead people and olden days. Anybody who wants to acquaint herself with Shania Twain should just head to Las Vegas, where she’s headlining as, “Still the One”.

Just look out for dysentery. I went to an Elvis wedding in Las Vegas a couple of summers ago and ended up with something remarkably like the something I had in Mexico once. Oh, and Venezuela, too. Something so remarkably like dysentery that I can only conclude that’s what it was.

Las Vegas is a crime against humanity, though, isn’t it. Luckily, before I got sick we took in a show downtown (off the strip, in other words) – a musical about the history of Las Vegas. It’s worth seeing, if you’re not afraid of the Bobby Bitman-ish lead coming up to you after the show to berate you for the lacklustre audience participation that you may not have been aware was part of the ticket price.

Also, there’s a bizarre French lady (from Quebec) trying to rope you into a five course meal after the show. She owns the venue, but really, she should be in the show.

Unless she is…

But this entry isn’t about any of that show biz stuff, although it does lead to Stephen Harper, our very own show bizziest Prime Minister ever. I mean, can you imagine even P.E.T. playing the piano and singing on stage at the National Arts Centre? How about making a cameo appearance on CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries? (Our public broadcaster picked it up after Rogers dropped it, by the way – ironic, don’t you think.)

Not bloody likely. In fact, I bet Stephen Harper has already eclipsed P.E.T. in the “Private Moments” photo gallery department.

Cripes, he may even have eclipsed Shania Twain and Linda Evangelista!

No, this entry is about economics. Now, I’m not a REAL economist, so I don’t go on and on about the economy like Stephen Harper does, but, you know, I understand the order of things. Like, for instance, if you want tourists to flock to Timmins you don’t build a Shania Twain museum, you hold an annual Shania Twain bar crawl of her old performing haunts. Tourists still wont flock to Timmins, but the locals will have a good time and maybe even a little Timminsite will be inspired to learn a few riffs, pretty herself up some, and get the hell out of Timmins.

Or, you play up Shania’s First Nations connections (yeah, yeah – save it naysayers, step connections are close enough – and look at those dark eyes and high cheekbones!) commission a play about Shania Twain’s Timmins years, singing for her family’s supper in supposedly socialist Canada, do an outdoor performance every July 1st. In other words, forget the tourist angle and do something fun for the good (and seasonally unemployed) people stuck living in Timmins and trying to collect employment insurance.

On the other hand, I just went winter camping, something I would never have anticipated paying good money to do as a little Hollywood aficionado growing up in Sault Ste. Marie. And I did it up in Windy Lake, a provincial park about an hour northwest of Sudbury, where for years it was rumoured the moon landing took place.

Now, remember when Stephen Harper complained about radicals, extremists and terrorists (i.e. people concerned about the future of humanity) supposedly wanting Canada to be one big national park?

Well, I get that he has a vested interest of some kind in natural resource development as opposed to preservation, but he may want to take his head out of his ass and look around because, like I say, I’m not a REAL economist, but that’s where I see sustainable opportunity.

Heh – or he could just watch Allison Redford’s next television broadcast updating Albertans on the need for lowered expectations thanks to those effin’ tar sands he wants developed so bad – to save us from the economics of developing those effin’ tar sands.

Because it was pretty cool to be out snowshoeing (and anybody who can walk can snowshoe) in the quiet of an old evergreen forest of towering pines in the middle of a Canadian winter, let me tell you, and I couldn’t get out of Sault Ste. Marie fast enough just 35 or so years ago.

It beat Las Vegas all to hell, let me put it that way. In fact, while I was cross country skiing (and anybody who can walk can cross country ski) I undid my coat (it was about 10 degrees below celsius) and remembered how horrifying that hot dry wind of 100 plus degrees above fahrenheit was as I battled dysentery in the mildewy hotel that still cost close to $200 Canadian per night.

And Shania Twain wasn’t even performing then. Just Cirque du Soleil that has now laid off several hundred staff.


But this takes me back to the order of things and economy.

And really, has any Prime Minister ever mentioned the economy more than Stephen Harper without doing anything to improve it? I mean, you’d think he’d at least have the sense (dollars and cents!) to avoid mentioning it while it sucks so bad and his government’s policies serve only to make it worse for some of us, speaking as a laid off public servant in Ottawa, of course.

(If the Opposition was smarter, it would turn Parliament into the “Museum of Canadian Democracy” and take their show on the road. Just an idea, guys and dolls. Put the good looking guy out front, please, he’s your ticket seller, for sure.)

But speaking of sense – cents. See, if I was an economist Prime Minister, I would have made a game of the whole cancelling the penny because it costs more to produce than it’s worth (heh – sort of like the tar sands, eh, everybody!) thing and had Canadians submit design ideas for what to do with all our pennies.

For instance, one of the commenters on Sooeys, Fred Zeppelin (not his real name, but close enough) posted a photo of a floor made with pennies. As a bit of a design freak myself (I managed to stuff a mattress topper under a futon cover to make our futon couch 1000 times more comfortable than it was) I would pay $$$s for a penny floor, and I’m sure I’m not alone on that, either.

More importantly, I would have done it BEFORE I lowered the GST, which I would not have lowered at all because there is nothing more aggravating to small business, big business, any business, including families (if comparisons are going to be made between big spending governments and supposedly frugal families, although I’m not clear on how we can be both frugal and have the highest debt levels ever in our history, but whatever – I can compare families to businesses) than random changes made by a new group of politicians who have lost the sense of paying for anything out of their own pockets.

So, like most sensible Canadians, I would have kept the GST where it was, extending it to everything, at 15% so it rounds off to a nickel (as opposed to the 14, then 13 % that doesn’t) – and THEN gone ahead with the penny project.

I mean, really, Stephen Harper, it’s economics, not rocket science.

And yes, some of us DO want Canada to be one big national park. But maybe, just maybe, we understand economics a little better than you do because we can see the trees for the forest.


  1. Well shit, there goes my plan to visit Vegas. $200 for a crappy room, not including twin hookers? I’ve lived under the illusion that those rooms were damn near free. But, to your main topic, Harper is as much of an economist as I am a brain surgeon. I mean, sure, I could do brain surgery, but the result may not benefit the patient.

  2. He whined that statement, too, about some people wanting Canada to be one big national park. He doesn’t like outside, is my guess. I’m just so tired of Canadian politicians who don’t factor reality, i.e. our habitat, into economics. It’s all theory, no practice.