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The death of a newspaper

I have never been the biggest fan of the Ottawa Citizen. Ever. Preaching, self-righteous columnists like David Warren turned me off the paper years ago. Their coverage is usually biased, overtly partisan and sometimes poorly written.

However. And it is a big “however”. Those are my opinions, and I am entitled to them. Others think differently and that is how it should be. A healthy democracy needs all opinions to be aired and discussed. Newspapers have traditionally performed that function and usually very well.

That is why losing another newspaper like the Ottawa Citizen is a tragedy. With each passing of an Ottawa Citizen or a Sun or any other paper, a little bit of our democracy is eroded.

There are some talented people named in the Tweet below. I have had the pleasure of meeting Joanne Chianello on a couple of occasions and she and her work is top-shelf. Same goes for Andrew Potter. They are both talented individuals who will land safely somewhere. And I wish them the best.


Maybe it is time for another one of these?

Why is this happening? Like Warren Kinsella, I am not buying all of the B.S. excuses that Godfrey et al are spewing.

What does it mean? Well, it means Paul Godfrey doesn’t give a sweet shit about Canadian journalism, for starters. That much should be clear to everyone, by now. All that he cares about, seems, is fattening the accounts of U.S. hedge funds, and giving himself big bonuses as amazing people like the ones above are shown the door. –


On tragic stars…

… and award shows…

First of all, let me be clear that I’m not and never have been a fan of award shows. I see absolutely no value in watching a collection of incredibly wealthy and self-absorbed performers speak exultantly of themselves. I guess that, for me, award shows are like religion: I don’t “get it” and see no point in it.

So, I, of course, didn’t take in the Grammies last night. But throughout the day yesterday, Facebook and Twitter was all a-fluster about the death of Whitney Houston and how the Grammy Awards were adding a last-minute tribute to the singer. If there is one thing that the entertainment industry likes more than talking about themselves, it’s talking about one of their own who has recently passed away – preferably in a sad and tragic manner.

And I’m sure there was lots of love in the room. Lots of great words were uttered and sang. But really, could anyone truly be surprised about Houston’s death? I mean, even I, who does not follow celebrities at all, cannot help but glance at the tabloids at the grocery check outs to see her face plastered all over them periodically. It appears that she is yet another tragic figure to meet her untimely demise due to the excesses that are all too alluring when one has unlimited wealth and fame. And that is really too bad for her family and friends.

Free advice for her fans: forget about the circumstances of her death and focus on the music that she produced. I’m not a fan – not my taste in music – but certainly appreciate that she had a beautiful voice. Look at her how I look at Jim Morrison; forgetting about the stupidity of some of the things he did and remembering an unparalleled lyricist and his smooth vocals.


Life and death in the digital age…


An Ottawa-area woman live streamed the birth of her third child early Sunday.

Nancy Salgueiro, a chiropractor and childbirth educator, gave birth to a six pound, 10 ounce boy at 3:18 a.m.

Ms. Salgueiro posted on her Facebook page that she is still deciding on the spelling of her new son’s name.

And death….

Personally, I like the url on the tombstone thing. I’m already thinking about designing my own casket with a HD TV on the inside of the lid looping the last leaf Cup win over and over for all eternity…

And yes – ye doubters, I realise that this might be the ’67 win that we’re talking about.

But in any case, why not live stream a birth… ain’t nothing any parent hasn’t seen before!

And why not have a website on the marker? It would be a lot more descriptive than the usual birth and death dates!!!

Here rests Trashy

Check out for the latest updates

And if there are updates… be very, very afraid!


So an accused paedophile is dead – big whoop

WARNING: For readers who are rabid – or even non-rabid – fans of overrated, freaky, has-been pop stars who are accused paedophiles, you should stop reading cuz you will be very offended by what follows.

OK. You have been warned.

I have never been a fan of Michael Jackson. Didn’t like his music. Thought that he was creepy beyond belief. Figgered that he was as much an invention of the media as anything else.

And, if there would even be one crime where I would support the use of capital punishment, it is paedophilia or any other kind of serious child abuse… of which Jackson was accused of on a couple of occasions. Only his money saved him from public humiliation and jail time.

I do not look forward to the next few weeks as there will, of course, be platitudes by the ton, weepy fans on camera and public expressions of grief from all corners of the world. I am reminded of the ridiculous events after the deaths of Princess Diana and Elvis. With the possible exception of Jackson, these were just human beings, people! Get over it!

What about the children who, each and every day and around the world, are suffering from disease or abuse? What about the countless deaths caused by the various forms of that horrific scourge, cancer? What about that poor girl who was hit by a truck just down the street from me and is now fighting for her life?

None of the above receives the attention of this so-called “king of pop” but they certainly do merit it just as much. Says a lot about the priorities in our culture, eh?

I think I’ll keep the radio and TV turned off for the next little while to avoid the silliness that is sure to come.


What is middle age?

Middle age – I have never quite understood where that begins and ends. The term is often used to denote the years between, say, 45 and 60. Or 40 and 55.

But if it is a term that is supposed to denote the “middle” of one’s life, then, given modern life expectancies, anything older than 40 or so is a little unrealistic. I seriously doubt that most of us envision seeing our 90th or 100 birthday cake – unless it is served by ol’ Mr. Death.


So, if not a temporal term, what does “middle aged” mean?

  • It has a physical connotation.

Many of us note that, upon reaching our 40’s, the girth of our “middles” becomes much harder to predict or control. One’s belt size increases by leaps and bounds if left unchecked. And even those who are saintly about their diets and have an exercise regime that would make a UFC fighter blush still struggle to keep the inches off their torso.

In the past month, I have made a real effort to watch what I eat. Yeah, right – I watch that bagel go from the platter to my gaping yaw. But I have been hitting the gym for an hour FOUR TIMES A WEEK! True, I have seen a bit of progress and my biceps are tighter than they’ve been in years. But I’m still in my size 38 jeans and feel that I’m about 25 pounds over what I should be. Sigh.

And I find that my travails are not dissimilar from others of my vintage.

Unless you’re one of those freaks with the metabolism of the Tasmanian Devil who can eat all you want and do zero exercise and STILL fit into your size 32’s. Yeah. I hate you all! You suck.

  • You are in the middle of your career. Or the upper middle if you’ve kept your nose clean.

By the time we hit 45 or so, many of us have a pretty good idea about where we want to spend the next 15 or 20 working years. No harm in staying at the position and the level that you currently occupy – but some see the brass ring and throw their considerable weight into grasping that damned thing and riding it off to the world of executive washrooms and really boring meetings about stuff like “strategizing” and “enriching competencies”.

In the public service, you can move from one of the working level classifications to be an “EX”… standing for Executive. Or Exhausting. I’m not sure which is true.

And in the PS, there are no perqs associated with being an EX. MUCH more work with marginally better pay. Yet, if ou have passed those middle years and have not jumped to that exalted state, well – ya probably won’t get there in this lifetime.

  • Your opinions become more “middle of the road”.

I know a lot of middle-agers like this. They have mellowed. More grey than black or white. More white bread than multigrain. More Julia Roberts than that chick from L.A. Ink.


More – well, you get the picture.

Happily – I’m not like this and seriously doubt I will ever be.

This middle-aged guy is gonna stay on the upslope as long as he can. I don’t like the notion of becoming something I despised as a teen. Though that is likely already too late.

Well, I don’t think any of the above is what I would consider to be “middle-aged”. For me, it is a state of mind rather than a set of years, the size of your waistline, the state of your career or your tendency to sell out to “the man”. I despise the thought of getting old. I don’t even really like old folks. They can’t drive worth a crap and they often stink to high heaven as they run around in those motorised scooters.


Me, I’m staying generic – no age applicable. And until my kids put me on an ice floe, that’s where I’ll stay, thank-you very much!

Hmm, maybe it’s time for another tattoo?