Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boom Boom Pow

By now you've heard all about the Rob Ford victory in Liberalville and how it's a hop skip and a jump from here to Majority-land for the PC Party of Ontario. The Toronto elites are committing mass suicide with lattes laced with toilet bowl cleanser. Yippee-ki-yay.

People are treating Ford's win like a joke that you laugh at, but you don't know why you laughed. No matter how conservative you are, some part of your brain is going, "This guy is mayor? Of Toronto?" today.

The best clowns can not only tell a joke well, but can explain what makes the joke funny without killing the joke. By explaining Ford's win in terms anyone can understand, this is what I will attempt to do today. Wish me luck.

I could use Friedrich Von Hayek to explain the phenonemon among voters, but nobody knows who that is, so let's use something just as intellectual: The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow."

I remember first hearing this song driving down Avenue Rd. in Toronto and getting stuck near Bloor due to the traffic caused by construction that has lasted for some years now.  I remember feeling annoyed with Toronto City Hall. (There's a weird synchronicity in that, or maybe it's because people are always annoyed with Toronto City Hall, Mayor Ford or no Mayor Ford.)

gotta get that boom boom BOOM
gotta get that boom boom BOOM

I wasn't sure at first if this was some sort of joke on *me*. Was something wrong with my radio? This was a hit song? "It's just the same words over and over again," I said. I switched off the radio, thinking I'd never hear the song again.

Of course, unless you lived under a rock during the summer of 2009, you couldn't get away from that song. It was repeated endlessly, everywhere you went. The record ended up breaking records, despite the fact that the song made absolutely no sense. We never figured out what the boom boom pow exactly was or why it was so desirable. DOESN'T MATTER. If you were thinking about why people loved this repetitive and silly song, you were so two thousand and late. Or maybe you were Glen Murray. Same thing.

Before "Boom Boom Pow", we had "Don't Phunk With My Heart" and "My Humps". It was important for the Peas to establish themselves over a period of several years as reliable hit-makers who consistently put out danceable jams with recognizable hook-y choruses before they built  up to "Boom Boom Pow." You might say they crafted a message that resonated with people.

So we have a song that was simple and repetitive, didn't bother with details, was superpromoted, and followed in the footsteps of other similar hits. Sound familiar yet?

gotta stop that gravy TRAIN
gotta stop that gravy TRAIN.......


*chorus of boos*

OK, OK. You get the picture.

The reason why Rob Ford is Mayor of Toronto has very little to do with Rob Ford and has everything to do with his campaign having beats so big they were steppin' on leprechauns. Tim Hudak will have to demonstrate in a similar fashion that he's on that HD Flat with 808's that boom boom in your town, and make the case that Dalton McGuinty is stuck on lo-fi stupid 8-bit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Short And To The Point

The McGuinty government tried to ban the KFC Double Down because they care about the health of Ontarians.

Oh they don't.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Regulated to Death

In my last missive, I dealt with the Liberals' Mike Harris obsession, one they appear to have no intention of letting go of. Today, we'll crack open another Liberal chestnut, specifically, Deregulation Kills.

It's an unfortunate reality that people die every day, but in the Liberal universe, people *only* die because of conservative ideology. Some conservative somewhere sometime did something or didn't do something and people are dying today (or will die in the future) because of it. If everyone was a Liberal, everyone would presumably live forever, as the Nickelback song clearly demonstrates.

Accidents of any sort are due to a lack of regulation in the Liberal universe.  That's why we have laws enforcing zero blood alcohol levels for teenagers and banning street racing. For the longest time, we were without a law banning cell phones in cars, for which many people chided McGuinty for being out of step with the rest of the civilized world. The idea is if we ban things RELATED to automobile accidents, people won't find other ways to kill each other and themselves with their cars. The ultimate solution is of course to declare war on the car itself.

Gun crime in Toronto is due to handguns coming from the United States, and, more importantly, the lack of regulation banning handguns. While the outgoing mayor is the biggest proponent of this particular idea, the Premier is a strong supporter of the ban. It couldn't be that criminals will find other ways to import handguns or just use other weapons to commit crimes. Pitbulls bite people, so the obvious solution is to ban them. In this case, even the Toronto Star conceded that the ban hasn't stopped dogs from biting people, which begs the question of why they thought a piece of paper written by the government would alter dog biology so that the dogs would stop doing what they've done since forever.

You can try this same fun thought experiment in any setting. Watch an episode of Mad Men with your friends. Why do they cover their eyes whenever a character casually lights up a cigarette or drinks heavily? Because they can't believe that at one point in time, it was OK to behave that way. The whole thing smacks of deregulation and conservative attitudes and simply WON'T DO and that's why we have eliminated smoking and binge drinking in our enlightened and much more regulated era. Well, no, we actually haven't done that, but that's because those deregulatory attitudes from back then are still with us. Fifty years after Don Draper, he and his Neanderthal ideas are the cause of all those deaths due to smoking and alcoholism today. See how convenient and easy it is to blame everything on deregulation?

The Ontario Liberals like to stop just short of saying that Mike Harris and his government murdered the people of Walkerton. And obviously, since the PC Party of Ontario and everyone else concerned wouldn't have LEARNED anything from Walkerton in the ensuing decade, the implication is that people will start dropping dead of tainted water the second we elect a Tim Hudak government, one decade later. Of course I could point out that there were a number of factors that contributed to the Walkerton tragedy- incompetence, local cover-ups, and an NDP government that split off responsibility for management of water treatment plants from the Ministry of Environment, but doing that would make Bob Rae look bad, and we can't have that.

Yet- somehow- people continue to die under the McGuinty government. When bad things happen to people under Dalton McGuinty's government, and it can't be linked to Mike Harris, the first thing Dalton usually does is blame Stephen Harper. Seniors end their days in poorly maintained retirement homes in Dalton's Ontario. Sick and dying patients can't access ERs. During an H1N1 outbreak last year, when people such as 13 year old Evan Frusataglio were dying, McGuinty said he wouldn't force people to get the vaccine. Should we therefore blame Dalton for Evan Frustaglio's death?

Uber-statist Michael Bryant, he of the "reverse Reaganism" theory, decided that the government must be given total authority to decide who shall live and who shall die. Soon afterwards, he put his theory into practice by killing Darcy Allan Sheppard. ("But Mr. J, he did 'what anyone else would have done!!!'"....Funny, I never hear about any attempted carjackings that end with the victim killing the carjacker. Must be those unreported crimes I've been hearing so much about.) Also, it's worth pointing out that Bryant did this with his car, despite the ban on street racing, talking on cell phones, blood alcohol levels, etc. etc.

Regulation doesn't prevent death. Deregulation doesn't cause it. Death (like taxes) will continue to be a fact of life under the McGuinty government, or any government.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


With a year left to the election in 2011, it's worth taking a little time to speculate about what direction the Liberal campaign strategy will take. Now, I'm really going out on a limb here, but I have the distinct feeling that the Liberals will talk about this guy quite a bit:

Mike Harris Mike Harris Mike Harris MIKE HARRIS Mike Harris. Before, during, and after his time as Premier, for what seems to be as far back as I can remember, the Ontario Liberals have been all about Mike Harris. Scratch that- Ontario politics, period, have been all about Mike Harris.

Harris's party hasn't held power for seven years. He hasn't been Premier for eight years. DOESN'T MATTER. The Ontario Liberals live and die, to this very day, on the premise that they are as different as possible from the Mike Harris Tories. Not the Ernie Eves Tories, whom they beat, or the John Tory Tories, whom they also beat, but the Mike Harris Tories, whom they never beat. (Maybe their obsession with Harris stems from the fact that they never beat him?)

Now, the Tories can *also* try to be as different as possible from the Mike Harris Tories, which is a big part of the reason why John Tory became leader. When they did that, however, the Ontario Young Liberals made a video saying that John Tory actually *was* Mike Harris. And people believed them. That's why I roll my eyes every time the Liberals sigh, "You know, it's too bad the PC's didn't go with a more progressive leader," or some similar nonsense.

Pretty much every Liberal talking point shrivels and dies when you consider it in the context of their hate for Harris.

Liberal talking point: "We are the party of new ideas and forward thinking!"
Me: No you're not, because you spend your time scaring people with memories of a Premier who hasn't been Premier for eight years.  

Liberal talking point: "Dalton McGuinty is a consensus builder! Everyone's welcome in Dalton's Ontario!"
Me: Everyone except people who like Mike Harris.

Liberal talking point: "Tim Hudak's criticism of the Liberals is juvenile, repetitive, and doesn't offer any solutions!"
Me: And you blame Mike Harris for everything that goes wrong or has gone wrong in our province. Juvenile, repetitive, and no solutions offered. 

You know how Tim Hudak talks about the Liberals being out of touch and out of gas?

You know what proves that better than anything else?

The fact that the Liberals are going into an election next year and the biggest stick they have to beat the Tories with is a Premier who hasn't been Premier for eight years.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Venom and Vitriol

My taxfighting buddy Justin Samlal, who is running (while his three opponents could charitably be described as walking) to become the next Councillor in London's Ward 7, asked me this past weekend about the whole "clown" thing I`ve got going on during his opening sign blitz, which, I`m pleased to report, ended when we ran out of rebar for the signs but definitely not sign locations.

"Clowns are scary," he said. "Why do you like them?" (Sorry if I just lost you the clown vote, Justin. :P)

To some people, clowns are scary. To some people, conservatives are scary. But really, clowns are just trying to make people laugh, and conservatives are just trying to make people self-satisfied and self-sufficient.

A clown, as this very 90`s website tries to convey, "exaggerates everything about himself, his pants, shoes, collars, ears, and wig are bigger, wider, or baggier than is usual." That white makeup and the red nose and lips that gives everyone the shivers is meant to be an exaggeration of the human face.

The clown, through his exaggerated antics, is trying to show man's true colours. He brings things we wouldn't normally talk about out into the open. Does the truth scare you, or does it make you smile? :)

We know how Jim Coyle, Star columnist and Liberal cheerleader extraordinaire (kind of redundant to be saying that), feels about the truth being told by members of the PC Party of Ontario. Coyle sniffs that we shouldn't be pointing out the unfortunate implications of a McGuinty government plan to introduce cell phones into classrooms, or suggest that the Premier is asking people to wash their clothes in the middle of the night when he decides people need to do laundry at off-peak hours.

Of course, when Liberals get into hot water (or maybe milk, all the better to go with cookies), Coyle is quick to rush to their defence.

Others have pointed out how Jim is OK with Liberals clowning around, but not conservatives. My favourite example is an oldie but goodie- back in the Mike Harris days, some local "artists" put together a calendar comparing the Common Sense Revolution-era PC's to medieval torturers. If you Control-F your way down that page, you'll find an approving quote from Jimmy, who thought the calendars would "make you laugh- if they don't make you cry."

Jim's own paper reported the news today that the Liberals backed down on opening an unpopular gas powered plant in Oakville rather than stand up to a maverick MPP that wanted to keep his own seat next year. If I pointed out the obvious joke about how Dalton was trying to "avoid a stink" by shutting down a gas plant, would that be  "playing Ontarians as idiots"?

What if I pointed out how Coyle's suggestion in today's missive that Christine Elliott isn't capable of writing her own speeches reminds me of his dismissive characterization of Christine as a "nice church lady" in an article he wrote during the PC leadership race last year (one he apologized to Elliott for personally, an apology he doesn't seem to have meant?) Who's really playing people for idiots, Mr. Coyle?

Professional Liberals like Coyle are afraid of the unknown....of things we don't talk about in polite society. Of the uncomfortable but necessary places where real humour, and conservative truths, come from. 

And that's the biggest joke of them all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Very Special 1-Year Anniversary

Happy Birthday To You
Happy Birthday To You......
Happy Birthday, Dear eHealth.....
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuu!

Yes, it promises to be a spectacular 1-year anniversary for everyone's favourite health-related scandal. I know kids' birthday parties are getting more and more expensive these days, but everyone knows eHealth is the Ontario Liberals' baby, and nobody's offspring is more spoiled than that of our McPremier.

Of course, every parent lives in fear of the terrible twos. What a delicious birthday present it would be if the Liberals were turfed on election day 2011, which just happens to coincide with the day Dave Caplan announced he would quit as health minister?