In spite of my love for his music since I was a child, I didn’t get a chance to see Bowie until the spring of 2004 here in Ottawa. I took my then 11 year-old eldest daughter with me. I thought it important at the time that her first live concert be someone who should could brag about later in life (Since then, my wife and I took our second daughter to see Rush at Bluesfest… for a similar reason). And to my recollection, she loved the show.
This wasn’t at all surprising. Ziggy’s music was timeless; Heroes is just as poignant now as it was when it was first released decades ago. The duet with Freddie Mercury on Under Pressure is still breathtaking. Space Oddity, still haunting. In this age of kiddy-pop, boring melodies and meaningless lyrics, when a Bowie tune comes on the radio, it stands out as something unique.
Below is the only – and I mean ONLY – Christmas tune that I do not automatically switch off when it is played, at any time of the year.
Thank-you, Sir David.
trashee @ January 11, 2016
So bye-bye 2015 and hi to 2016!
2015 was pretty momentous, yo. What with a new game in town on the Hill, the Jays making a legit run to the WS and Donald Trump proving once again that are neighbours to the south can be a bit unbalanced from time to time, it was full of hope, it was heart-stopping, and bizarre and unpredictable!
But hey, let’s look ahead to the next 12 months.
- Will Team Trudeau live up to the hype? The shine will come off at some point over the next year and the country will see whether the bravado is just that, or if there is real substance in the leadership and Cabinet. I believe it will be the latter.
- Will the American GOP actually, really, truly nominate the white-trash racist blowhard? I hope and think not, but they are an unpredictable folk, those ‘mericans…
- Big year in sports coming up with the obscenely massive waste of money called the “Olympics” in Rio, and for we footie fanatics, the UEFA Euros…
- Speaking of sports, will the Jays make another run? Will my beloved Gunners finally win the Premiership again? Will the Leafs get first pick in the draft??? Will my hometown Red Blacks and Fury have another successful season?
- Will I win the office hockey pool?
- Will Mark Zuckerberg FINALLY give us all that money that he has been promising on Facebook?
So many questions!
Happy New Year! (16)
trashee @ December 31, 2015
The following is a letter from my buddy, Mike.
Open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
On behalf of Canadians everywhere I respectfully request you instruct the Hon. Minister of Justice to initiate proceedings to place the name of Mr. Donald J. Trump of New York City, NY on the Canadian Border Services watch list for individuals prohibited from entering Canada.
Mr. Trump has publicly supported significant and repeated racist actions, made statements that violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and has endorsed actions in violation of the United Nations treaty on basic human rights. Mr. Trump has clearly demonstrated his intention to spread intolerance of specific religious and race based groups and as such should be immediately be placed on all official lists of individuals prohibited from entering Canada.
Trusting you understand the seriousness of this request and the need for Canada to stand absolute in its refusal to allow blatant racial and religious intolerance to be spread within our borders.
Michael B. McGrattan
trashee @ December 9, 2015
… but at least the weather is awesome – if you are a winter-hater like me!
No white death powder in the forecast well into December! Woot!
Yeah, Turkey has provoked war with Russia, the whole freaking world is freaking freaked out by what happened in Paris and security is at its highest since 9/11 and it looks like David Price will leave the Jays… but….
NO SNOW (yet) and it’s gonna be 11 C tomorrow!!!!!
trashee @ November 26, 2015
trashee @ November 11, 2015
- With the revelations that in the dying days of the campaign a strategy was floated in the CPC war room that would have Harper come out and declare that this would be his last election, it confirms something that I suspected a few weeks ago: that the election had shifted to a referendum on Harper. When the Nanos numbers started to show a shift for the preferred PM away from Harper and toward Trudeau, the ballot box changed from the CPC message to whether Canadians wanted Harper back as PM. It became a Harperendum and Canadians voted accordingly.
Would a move to distance himself from the campaign have helped? Maybe, but we will never know.
- The right wing is predictably blaming the media for the fall of their hero. The CBC bias. The Toronto Star bias. etc., ad nauseum. Favourable coverage to anything not blue and white. Ignoring Liberal gaffes… and on and on and on… They have conveniently forgotten that most of the major news outlets endorsed Harper (well, the Glub and Money endorsed the party but noy Harper, but, but… OK, I still don’t understand that one). Suck it up, buttercups. You lost. But as Mr. Trudeau has said you are not our enemies, you are our neighbours. You will see a lot more kindness from us that we have seen from you over the past 9 years.
- Lots of Liberals are asking – how do we ensure t hat a “Harper” doesn’t happen again? Well, you can’t. That is the nature of a democracy. Sometimes you get the good guys and sometimes the not-so-good. What progressives in this country can do is work together to advance a progressive agenda that will benefit al Canadians. And Canadians will reward us at the ballot box in 2019.
trashee @ October 22, 2015
trashee @ October 16, 2015
With the polls saying that the Harperites are in real trouble in many previously “safe” ridings, Canadians can expect to see and hear a whole new suite of anti-Trudeau ads over the final days of this looooooonnnnggggg campaign.
My operative – let’s call him or her “The CPC War Room’s pizza delivery guy’s barber’s aunt” snuck these tidbits out to me in a used X-large pizza box still smelling of olives and dripping with bacon grease…
- “Justin Trudeau – as Prime Minister he will cut income-splitting to fund injection sites in brothels”!
- “Justin Trudeau – he like babies and he likes to eat pizza – he will FORCE FEED YOUR BABIES PIZZA!”
- “Justin Trudeau – he want to put toll booths on Tim Horton drive-thrus to fund his ‘free-pot-for-schoolkids’ Program!
- “Justin Trudeau – he will appoint an ISIS terrorist as the Minister of National Defense!”
- “Justin Trudeau – he almost drowned once when he was a kid. He was way over his head!”
- “Justin Trudeau – as a drama teacher, he sold pot to kids on field trips to local brothels while reciting lines from Hamlet!”
- “Justin Trudeau – his Dad was named Pierre. Which is French for “stone”. Which makes “just not ready” Justine a stoner who wants to inject drugs into your pizzas!
The only question is whether they will run out of days before ad ideas… (289)
trashee @ October 14, 2015
I was one of those “organisers” of an all-candidate debate / meeting that the news articles often refer to. Our debate last night in the riding of Ottawa South was quite well attended with around 500 members of the community showing up at a local high school auditorium to hear what the all the candidates had to say about some of the issues that have dominated this election.
Um, well not exactly all of the candidates…
It seems to have become a regular practice in this election for Conservative Party candidates to skip these meetings, citing reasons like “too busy door-knocking” or having “previous commitments”. Notice of their non-attendance is usually given at the last-minute or close to it, forcing organisers to scramble a bit as the plans and logistics were geared to a defined number of candidates showing up. But so what… we manage… that’s not really my point.
My point / bone to pick is that by nonchalantly choosing to skip an event like this is a major slap in the face to those who have spent many, many hours of volunteer time to set up such an event. I figure that I alone spent about 20 hours on this event. I work full-time and have kids with activities, etc., etc… so my time is precious.
There is also a real and significant financial aspect. Auditoriums have to be paid for, microphones rented, security guards paid for, tech support booked and paid for… in our case it amounted about a thousand bucks total… not a fortune but significant given that these costs are paid for and labour provided by volunteer-driven not-for-profit groups.
And most of these organisations don’t have bags of cash just lying around looking for somewhere to go.
Now, I’m not going to slam the local candidate. I know the CPC candidate. I worked with him volunteering for Parent Council activities at our kids’ school. Our politics may differ but the guy did step up more than most. My displeasure is squarely on the party that has apparently made it their policy to order – with few exceptions – all of their candidates to skip debates, meetings or any interaction in a crowd where media might be present. They want the to stick with the “door-to-door” where a misstep outside the approved party script would likely not do a lot of damage. I kind of feel sorry for these candidates as they signed on to engage their voters wherever and when possible and they are being told that they cannot.
To that party and those who made this disengagement decision I say that they have made a big mistake. You have played into the hands of the opposition that likes to portray Harper and the CPC as cold, heartless and out of touch. I say too that you have angered a great many community leaders who make up these community groups. You have spat in the faces of these folks that are, by and large, respected in their communities and their words carry some weight – not saying mine does… but there are some really influential men and women in these organisations.
And that, ladies and gentlemen will come back to bite the blue party in the end.
trashee @ October 9, 2015
So it is becoming painfully obvious that the CPC is feeling the pressure and are actually considering the possibility that they may not form the next government. Hence, the shorts pants in the PMO have launched a pre-planning campaign to counter such an eventuality.
Code named “Operation Impending Doom (OID)”, the strategy is to trot out and associate the CPC brand with as many Canadian icons who will agree to cooperate. And for those who do not go long with OID, they will use them anyways – and apologise later.
First was Wayne ” took-way-too-many-elbows-to-the-noggin” Gretzky who positively gushed over how awesome a job Harper has been doing and how super it would be if he could continue to do such an awesome job! Cuz ol’ Wayne has spent the last few decades in the previously unknown province of “California” where #99 has been intently following the policy and program developments in the country of his birth.
Next was – Uh-OH – the desperate and weak attempt to link TERRY FOX with a Conservative election promise to give more funding for cancer research. Now Minister Moore and the PMO skipped over that chapter in the Canadian Politics 101 manual that talks about the dangers of politicising icons and diseases. It is a short chapter consisting of only 3 words:
DON’T DO IT!
The Fox family and the Foundation under Terry’s name came out to state in no uncertain terms that they did not consent to this link with Terry or the Foundation and that they remain completely non-partisan.
Federal Industry Minister James Moore had said Sunday that the Conservative government, if re-elected, would commit up to $35 million in matching donations raised during the annual Terry Fox Run.
Moore, who is not running for re-election, made the announcement in Port Moody, B.C., during the 35th iteration of the run. This year, the annual, non-competitive event aims to fundraise $35 million — one dollar for every Canadian.
The Terry Fox Foundation, an international non-profit, has avoided endorsing any particular party in the past. No one from the Fox family was present at the announcement.
When asked about the Fox clan, Moore nonetheless described the family as “enthusiastic . . . they think it’s great.”
Fox’s family then released a statement Monday clarifying that they “did not respond enthusiastically suggesting the idea was great as MP James Moore reported in yesterday’s Conservative announcement.”
“We will continue to make no public comments with respect to any federal party promises during the election campaign unless it is a unified all party announcement.”
Predictably, the CPC offered up a lame apology and backed away.
The damage to the ReformCon cause will likely be minimal but it is symbolic of how far this party will go to gain a few extra votes.
So, who’s next? What other Canadian icons will be hugged and loved by the PMO short pants? My mole inside Langevin Block leaked me the following list:
- Maple syrup. Good ol’ sirop d’érable will soon be touted as a Conservative invention and mandated to be dyed blue before sale.
- The beaver. At a rally to be soon held in small Manitoba town, Harper will come on stage cuddling a baby beaver and feeding it a bottle. He will claim that he has always had a soft spot for beavers. Always.
- Tim Hortons. OK. This one was done already when a group of people – presumably Albertans – tried to get a “boycott Tims” movement going because an outlet was running anti oilsands ads on one of its TV screens in the resto. The movement was an #epicfail.
- Totem poles – the totem pole is an aboriginal icon that the CPC will adopt for its own purposes by recarving the faces of Harper and past Conservative PM’s into the grand totem pole now housed in the Museum of History. The PMO will claim that nothing had changed and that Dief’s face was ALWAYS on the pole. No one had ever noticed before.
- The RCMP Musical Ride. An honoured iconic symbol of our nation. The ride will stay the same except for one small change. The music that the ride is choreographed to will be by Nickleback. Horses will bolt.
- The CBC. It will, of course be privatised and rebranded as the Sun News network. Angry Ezra will replace Mansbridge.
- Hockey. The Harperites will continue to march multi-millionaire hockey players in front of cameras as they declare their allegiance to the “low-taxes-for-the-rich” policies of the CPC.
trashee @ September 22, 2015