Election fallout continues. On Friday, the formerly unbeatable PCs essentially threw in the towel. In a stunning housecleaning, the ex-dynasty fired all staffers except one and announced plans to close their Calgary and Edmonton offices. Remember, this is a party that raised $825,000 in the first quarter of 2015 (more than the Wildrose and NDP combined), and $5.6 million in 2014. Now, with one bad election, they have virtually shut down. Seriously, how can a party that raised about $6.5 million in less-than 18 months have no money in the bank to run the operation? One can only assume that the PCs ran their party exactly the same way they ran the province — spending wildly on everything without concern for the future. The Liberal party, which is run not on a shoelace but on an aglet (that little piece of plastic at the end of a shoelace), must be having a chuckle right now.
Our favourite new NDP MLA, Deborah Drever, is back in the news again. You will remember last week she took heat for her Facebook pictures of her with a beer case on her head, etc. This week, it was discovered that she posed for the cover of a cassette (yes, a cassette) for a Calgary metal band called Gatekrashor. The cassette, titled Fear of Attack, shows Drever sprawled against a fence while a guy appears to be ready to assault her with a bottle. The NDP, desperate to distance itself from its own MLA, issued a statement supposedly from Drever which said: “The photo I appeared in was in poor taste, and I apologize for its offensive content. It is not a photo I would appear in today.” The reaction from some quarters (the director of women’s studies at the U of C called it “a gutwrencher”) is an overreaction, of course. Notice the title is Fear of Attack, not I’m All For Attacking Women. Drever will take the heat for his, but the real criticism should be directed at the NDP. For years, the NDs have put any name on the ballot just to look like a big league party. Clearly, they made no effort to vet this candidate, and probably none of the other paper candidates who won. They’ve been playing this game for years, and now they’re getting burned. Makes me laugh.
The Dippers aren’t the only ones who didn’t look into their candidates carefully enough. The federal Conservative candidate chosen to run against Justin Trudeau, Chris Lloyd, turned out to be an “artist” who was only running to “mess with” the Harper Conservatives. Turns out, Lloyd looked upon his candidacy as an art project, and he really can’t stand the Conservatives. But he still got his picture taken with Harper, both of them doing Harper’s moronic thumbs-up pose. I think Lloyd just blew his chances of getting a Canada Council grant.
In entertainment news, Fox has announced that the next season of American Idol, its 15th, will be its last. In more important entertainment news, actor Harry Shearer is leaving The Simpsons. Shearer is the voice of Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and most importantly Mr. Burns. And still in more entertainment news, CBS has announced that its long-running series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation — a show that spawned CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and CSI: Cyber — has been cancelled. In all the years and in all its various forms, I have seen exactly one CSI, and it was so stupid I never watched it again. I don’t feel that I’ve missed anything. What I will miss is David Letterman, who is ending his 30 year run on late night TV this Wednesday. Just how important and oddly beloved is David Letterman? Watch the great, cynical Canadian comic Norm MacDonald give a tearful tribute to Dave, and you’ll see that there is no denying that Dave, the curmudgeon, the crank, the cynic, is genuinely loved.
In sports news, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended for four games for his role in (sigh) ‘Deflategate’, the pseudo-scandal involving underinflated footballs that has rocked the sports world. With America’s obsession with the National Football League at all-time highs, the suspension of one of its superstars is considered major news.
In the not-at-all surprising news department, a survey by Microsoft has found that the average Canadians’ attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. Thanks to our connected, smart-phone obsessed world, our attention spans have fallen from an average of 12 seconds in 2000 to just eight seconds today. The average (or maybe above average; they’re goldfish, so who knows?) goldfish attention span is believed to be nine seconds. If this research is accurate, then most of you reading this have already skipped over this sentence and gone on to the next item.
It was a big week for idiots using the f-word. First, ditzy Green Party “leader” Elizabeth May dropped the bomb at the parliamentary press gallery dinner, telling the assembled media and politicos, in a possibly drunken attempt at humour, that Omar Khadr had “more class than the whole fucking cabinet”. Her ‘joke’ did not go over well, and she was gently ushered off the stage by cabinet minister Lisa Raitt. Then there was the certainly drunken idiocy of Toronto FC fans during a live TV hit post-game on CITY TV. One of the boorish boobs used a phrase that is apparently all the rage to shout at female TV reporters amongst yahoos. (I will not repeat it here.) But this time, the reporter turned the tables on the jerks, and asked them why they would do something so crass. One of the idiots defended the hilarious line, even dropping another f-bomb during his brilliant statement, and saying that his mother would think the bon mot was hilarious. (I don’t know his mother, but somehow, I doubt it.) CITY posted the clip online, and the expected outrage was go great, the guy lost his six-figure job with Hydro One. I think the reaction of Hydro One is overkill and barely legal (the idiot was not a public figure, and he was on his own time, so where do we draw the line?) but I’m not too sympathetic. As a card-carrying male, proud member for 59 years, the increasingly boorish, sexist behaviour of my fellow males makes me sometimes think I should hand in my membership card. Men, show a little class, please.
RIP: B.B. King, the King of the Blues and one of the great guitar players of all time, died at 89. The thrill, indeed, is gone.