- For all of my American friends who are caught up in the summer's most watched reality show starring The Donald, please take some heartfelt and battle-scarred advice from a Torontonian who (barely) survived Rob Ford....this too shall pass. It will get much worse before it gets better, but eventually the media will tire of the circus and they will deprive the asshole of the oxygen so very necessary for his survival. The one thing that you cannot do under any circumstances, is write him off as a joke. He is arrogant, outrageous, racist, obnoxious, self-serving, and mean. But because he is rich and famous, he demands serious attention. Money talks. There is a large swath of disaffected and disenfranchised people all over the country who have been itching for someone like Trump to lend credence to their creepy concerns, and he is just the narcissist to give them what they want. His entire raison-d'etre is to shake up the Republican race and he is doing exactly what he set out to do. He is wholly ill-equipped to lead an ant farm, let alone a country, but the continuous coverage and his massive celebrity will guarantee him several more months of trash-talking. Believe me...I feel your pain.
- For all of my Canadian friends who are basking in the pre-election nonsensical glow that has invaded our collective subconscious, I offer a passionate word of warning. For any of you who think that this Prime Minister and his corrupt band of merry men have been rocked to their core and are going down this October, think again. The demographics are simply not favouring the progressives.....yet. Redrawn electoral districts, a reinvigorated Bloc that is challenging the NDP in Quebec, angst for the Liberals in Atlantic Canada, a still huge Tory stronghold in Alberta that will not be swayed by the provincial election results, all have conspired to keep Sweatered Stevie not only competitive, but even hovering around yet another (gasp!) majority. Combine that with the graft checks coming this week, the despicable attack ads playing ad nauseum, and a very weak Liberal leader, and you have all the makings of another five year nightmare. All is certainly not lost, however. If Canadians truly want change this fall, we simply must do better than 60% turnout at the polls. Voting is the only way to disrupt the narrative, so get to work my fellow Canucks and let's turf this venal asshole.
- It is really difficult to get worked up about the hacking scandal at Ashley Madison. Believe me, I get it. Internet privacy is a real issue and should be on everybody's radar, but how can one not feel a certain amount of schadenfreude watching a business that is actually complicit in helping people hide their bad behaviour, being called out for their own? I think that the funniest thing I heard yesterday was how millions of marriages may be in jeopardy because of these "hacktivists". Really? That's why these marriages are in trouble? That's like saying that broccoli sales are suffering because I ate cauliflower today.
- Bill Cosby is a scumbag. There is no defense left anywhere for anybody trying to rationalize his actions. I'm sad. Not for my distorted childhood memories of comedy, but for the scores of traumatized women who have been left in his abusive wake. I never again want to be reminded of this man.
- My city is in party mode because of the PanAm Games and it has been a blast, but let's be somewhat realistic. Most Torontonians couldn't have cared less about these games up until a week ago, and even then most were fairly pissy about the cost overruns, construction messes, traffic issues, and political pandering. The idea that this city would even entertain the idea of an Olympic bid is pure folly. It is true that my hometown rarely gets anything accomplished without the threat of a major deadline hanging over our heads like the Sword of Damocles, but this is also a city that fought tooth and nail for years over a few pink umbrellas at Sugar Beach. There simply is not enough political will or political capital to expend on a billion dollar boondoggle like the Olympics, so just forget it. Not happening!
- And while we're on the subject of these sporting events, can I just call out the bullshit that is beach volleyball. Why do the men get to wear gym shorts and tank tops while the women are dressed in sports bras and bathing suit bottoms? On a cool rainy day last week, I actually saw the women clad head to toe in black bodysuits with their sports bras overtop. This shit just plays into the entire Serena Williams body discussion. When are we going to take women's sports seriously and not focus on their appearance over their abilities? Please...I don't want to hear one single snide remark from anybody about how smart the marketing is for this sport. When the men show up for their matches topless and in Speedos, we can discuss the marketing plan. Until then, it is just plain sexist nonsense designed to titillate.
Tuesday, 21 July 2015
Random Thinks for a Slumbering July Day
I have been resisting the very real temptation to wail relentlessly on the ridiculousness of the summer's moribund news cycle, but my willpower is for shit and I simply must call out bullshit when bullshit is so very obvious.