Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Love, Toronto style

He was in one gang, she and her family were in another. Now she's married with a couple of kids. Can they ever get together?

The Low Court of Injustice

My favorite law student has sent me this link to the searchable records of London's Old Bailey courthouse from the days when hanging, flogging, mutilation, branding and transportation to Australia were common outcomes of cases that today would be dealt with via community service.

The best headline of the year (so far)

Bright, witty, very appropriate to the story, this is a gorgeous example of headline writing.

HT Kinsella

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Moi?

There's a new web site that tries to reconstruct a person's employment history. Right now, it's not particularly accurate.

Don Martin on the Tiresome Brenda Martin

Columnist Don Martin and I agree that Brenda Martin has become a big pain in the ass. The Canadian media has judged her not guilty and has let her play them like a violin. No one is asking why an American con man in Mexico would hire a Canadian to do his cooking and pay her American-style wages.
My take: she's guilty as hell. She's lied about consular visits, stamped her feet demanding special treatment (which she's received) and given the CBC all the anti-Harper quotes they could ask for. I've lost a lot of respect for Harper's strong-arm regime, but they've gone way above and beyond the call of duty for Brenda Martin.

Today in censorship

The NatPost's Jonathan Kay blogs a letter from the ever-popular Canadian Union of Postal Workers threatening to, at some unspecified time, block mail shipments to Israel.
Any postal worker who does so should be fired.
If CUPW wants to make political statements, the union must do it on its own time. It has no business censoring the mails, which belong to the government of Canada, not the union. As well, we have treaties with Israel and most other countries including some of the most truly repressive on earth, promising we'll deliver the mail.

Welcome Frank scumbags

Remember Frank Magazine? It used to be big in Ottawa in the 1980s and 1990s and is still managing to keep afloat.
In today's web edition the lowlifes at Frank claim ownership of the material on the Citizen's quest for an editor (see below). Since Frank has reported the Petfinder's morale is low because of the machinations of executive editor Graham Green, and because I mention it, I'm somehow plagiarizing Frank.
Hmmm...
Of course, they don't mention the fact that I scooped them on Dimmock's mass e-mail mocking Green. And they've never had the fact that staffers trashed Green in an employee survey. I suppose they'll just lift that for their next issue.
The current incarnation of Frank is published by the same Michael Bate who used to beg me for copy and several times offered to sell me the magazine real cheap. Bate's rep was made long ago when the "Frank Insurance" racket became public: you send your kids to his wife's montessori school, you'll never be Franked (Globe and Mail editor Ed Greenspon, c'mon down!). Bate values his Tuscan vacations much more than he values integrity or a good reputation.
Most of the magazine is written by the worthless and stupid Steve Collins. I wonder if Steve is still with his psychotic stick-insect girlfriend, a frustrated writer of no real ability who used to ruin on-line discussion forums with astounding displays of narcissism?
(I notice a plug for her masturbatory web site in the Frank piece about Lowell Green).
Frank's problem is that no one talks to them anymore. Collins has burned so many sources that Bate can barely function. A gossip magazine has to be discreet, and Collins just doesn't make the cut. It's all hate, all the time, with that boy.
So the magazine is a complete bore. There's nothing in it except rehashed news from the papers with the odd tired Frankism thrown in. The magazine hasn't broken a serious story in ages. And, just as bad, it's not particularly funny anymore. At five bucks a pop, I want a few snickers and maybe the odd yuk. These days Frank is a Mirth Free Zone.
On the gossip front, it's being imitated and stomped by everyone from Jane Taber to Mitch Raphael. Bloggers like Skippy Stalin write far better satire.
Bate recently begged Warren Kinsella for copy, somehow fantasizing Warren would be interested in being screwed over and betrayed again by Frank. Kinsella's a tough old bird who can handle himself. He's not stupid. He knows Bate and Collins would sell his ass out from under him for an absurdly low price.
In Frank's world, if I write "the sky is blue" I'm a plagiarist because Steve Collins and Michael Bate saw it first. Uh-huh.
No one reads Frank anymore. I've been paying for an online subscription just to be nice, knowing they need the money. I also give quarters to bums on the street. Same difference.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Comment moderation

After an influx of Steyn's Retard Brigade, I've decided to moderate comments for a while.
I get paid to teach things to smart people. I have no time to donate to educating the stupid.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tommy Shoyama

I'm looking for people who knew Tommy Shoyama well. I'd like to talk to them for my thesis. Please drop me an e-mail at mbourrie@yahoo.com.

The walk will do you good

Ah, public transit, the answer to all our prayers. That is, if you don't look too closely and see the surly bus drivers running near-empty flith-spewing busses on mystery tour routes, blocking traffic and, more than likely, being more problem than solution.
We have a nasty bunch of drivers in Ottawa. More than once, I've seen drivers try to pick fist-fights with passengers.
Seems they're just as bad in Toronto, where the transit system is now shut down by a strike.
Read through the "historical" versions of the Wikipidiot entry on TTC union leader Bob Kinnear.
Seems there's not much public support for this strike.

(HT Mike McCaffrey on Facebook)

New Petfinder Editor


Today's interesting news is my old colleague Marty Beneteau, now of the Windsor Star, is going to be named very soon to the top editorial job at the Ottawa Citizen.
Beneteau sort of replaces former Citizen editor Scott Anderson, who is now in charge of the national copy boiler-room in Ottawa (until the Aspers find a way to outsource the work to India).
Beneteau beat out the slimy Graham Green, Anderson's hatchet man and much-loathed newsroom beancounter. Late this week, Green sent out an e-mail chastising hacks for their many typos. It was mocked by reporter Gary Dimmock, who probably already knew Green's inside track position on the top job had been hexed by publisher Jim Orban.
Orban apprently looked at feedback comments submitted to management consultants by Citizen reporters and editors. The evaluations were a stream of denunciations of Green's weird and unpleasant management style.
Allison Uncles, former Citizen sub-editor who perfected the paper's story-torquing style under Neil Reynolds before heading to the National Post, will now have to stay put at the Toronto Star, where she's being blamed for the near-collapse of the Sunday paper's circulation.
Other Petfinder insiders who were passed over will swallow their pride and stick around. The country is hardly awash in $100,000-a-year non-challenging newspaper sinecures.
Whether Marty will change the Citizen's circulation-killing editorial combo of eyesplitters targeted at awards judges and skeletal local coverage remains to be seen. The paper's aging newsroom shows little interest in the city, preferring to grind out yawners about their kids, their rural homes, pilgrimages through Spain, tours of the Underground Railroad, Papal encyclicals, cats, etc. Anderson has no use for the city either and put all his money and time into the tedious series that seem to attract award nominations at the expense of readership. And, since he's still the Big Boss of CanWest's rapidly-deteriorating print business, he'll have a lot of say at the Petfinder.
Hang on, Marty. By 2010 CanWest and Anderson will be gone.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who writes for Maclone's?

When Maclean's editor Ken Whyte said he's rather go out of business than allow some Muslim law students run unedited copy in the magazine, I agreed with his point of view. After all, Canada's Newsmagazine should be written by journalists striving for objectivity.
I'm such a Pollyanna. Obviously, I'm too long in the tooth to understand modern journalism, in which flacks mingle with the hacks to make sure we swallow the Harper-Rogers corporatist line.
Today's question: why is self-styled "rogue historian" Sean M. Maloney, now seconded to National Defence Headquarters' Historical section after a rather, um, interesting departure from Royal Military College writing five-page articles for Maclean's on Afghanistan? There's not a word in the magazine about Maloney's employment for the military.
And my sources in Spookworld tell me Maloney's trip was paid for by taxpayers. He was protected by the military and was introduced around Afghanistan as a historian working for National Defence. The CIDA people interviewed by Maloney supposedly had no idea their words would end up in Maclean's.
Headgaskets are popping at CIDA, the military's pissed, the readers of Maclones are reading articles written by historians on the military payroll, and Mark Steyn continues to do his "poor me" schtich while his employer does whatever he can to get some buzz.
Blair Fraser, where are you now?


UPDATE
Welcome Steynians
As usual, Steyn has picked out a couple of words while ignoring my whole argument, which is Maclean's deterioration into a rag that now runs articles by writers who are on the military payroll, without mentioning that fact.
I use the word "corporatist" because there's a strong element of fascism in the present version of Maclean's. I believe strongly in liberty, democracy and an honest press. In the latter case, Maclean's doesn't make the cut.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Justice Delayed

Now that Robert Baltovich has finally been acquitted of the murder of his girlfriend Elizabeth Bain and freed, it's time to look at the behavior of the judge at his first trial. Baltovich was convicted despite the fact he supposedly drove 100 kilometres driving a standard transmission car when, in fact, he couldn't drive a standard. Evidence, even then, pointed towards the "Scarborough Rapist". The judge in the case, John O'Driscoll, said Baltovich was undeserving of any mercy.
Today, after a long incarceration for a crime he did not commit and a nightmarishly long and expensive series of court cases, Baltovich is cleared. The Crown admitted it had no case.
But more than a decade ago, it got a conviction with the same non-evidence. Something went terribly wrong and it needs to be fixed.

Ending Human Rights Commission Censorship

Alan Shanoff, who acted for three decades as the Sun media chain's newsroom lawyer, writes a convincing column on the need for reform of the Human Rights Commissions, saying, as I have, that real hate speech should be prosecuted under the Criminal Code. Human Rights Commissions have no business censoring the press. The most blatant and reckless example was the Ontario Human Rights Commission's drive-thru "verdict" on Mark Steyn, in which his writing was condemned as racist and Islamophobic without the benefit of anything remotely resembling due process.

Why am I paying for the seal hunt?

It's bad PR for Canada. This year, it cost three lives.
I don't care about baby seals any more than I care about cows or chickens. If the seal hunt was of some economic use, I'd be all for it. I have to be consistent: I believe aboriginal and northern Canadians should not have their hunting traditions curtailed as long as the animal population isn't threatened. Yup, it's a nasty business, but it is part of life. Agriculture's a pretty nasty business, too. So is starvation, for that matter.
The seal hunt, however, seems to be more about the assertion of the right to kill seals than it is about sustaining a real industry. The seal hunt does not reduce the seal population to a level that would bring back fish stocks. The natural balance may be restored if we let nature take its course and keep factory vessels away from spawning grounds. And it makes very little economic difference, directly, to the people of Atlantic Canada. It does generate a huge amount of government lolly, though.
The federal spending, as this article shows, doesn't just go to the Coast Guard for protection of the hunters from Brigit Bardot, Paul Watson and the other loonies, or to recover bodies of sealers killed by the Coast Guard. It goes to lawyers, trade bureaucrats, PR firms, lobbyists. Yes, the humble baby seal is quite the little cash cow.
I'd wear baby seal underwear if it was part of a non-governmental solution to Atlantic Canada's economic problem. Instead, it's part of the problem. Time to whack it over the head and put it out of its misery.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

I tell my J-skool students that the reps they establish as students and new journalists follow them for life.
Spell people's names right. File before deadline. Don't post stoopid things on the Internet under your own name. And I say these things knowing I've learned about them the hard way.
That said, I'm not sure how to break this sort of potential career destruction to them.

(Big hat tip to Skippy Stalin)

I, too, am a member of the Aries Nation

Yup, this is it! The Fuhrer's birthday! And in celebration, we present this year's Schicklegruber Award For Destructive Self-Loathing. It goes to these guys.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Prem Watsa sees CanWest, TorStar breakups coming

And Watsa owns 19% of CanWest. Watsa's Fairfax corporation began buying CanWest last year and has steadily added to its holdings as the stock price tanked. His last purchase was at $4.60, just above the 52-week low. He's also buying TorStar non-voting stock. TorStar's voting stock is controlled by a collection of "founding familes" assembled after the death of Joseph Atkinson, the publisher who built the paper. Atkinson wanted to leave the Star to a charitable foundation, but the Tory government of Ontario put a hex on that idea. The top executives of the paper bought it themselves and left the control of it to the present generation, which shows little sign of interest in the business. This generation of coupon-clippers may well decide to sell if the paper's dividend falls.
In CanWest's case, the company is so loaded with debt that the company needs to have a healthy after-expense profit just to keep the bankers at bay. As I said more than a year ago, CanWest is a recession away from being broken up and sold. Well, the recession is here. Media always feels hard times first, and both TorStar and CanWest stock have tanked.
As I noted in the post below, TorStar's reaction has been the type of occified thinking that got the Star where it is today: lay off the young, bright people in the Internet department, do some buy-outs and toss some staff.
Don't get rid of the bloated management of the paper. Don't re-think its sections. And when you get real desperate, hire someone to do another re-design.
At CanWest, the newsrooms are run by office politicians and their toadies and are fat with ass-covering management. That's why they don't have boots on the ground in the community. Quite simply, reporters are missing the news and their bosses don't care.
And what's the excuse with weekly papers? They aren't being beaten by the Internet. No one posts Midland Town Council news on the Internet. In my home town, the Midland Free Press is dead because it has one reporter. Two decades ago, it had six. Now, people won't buy the paper. There's nothing in it.
What happened? It wasn't the Internet. It was the sale of the paper by Thomson to Conrad Black in a leveraged buyout. Black sold the paper to the Aspers in a leveraged buy-out. The Aspers sold the paper to Michae Sifton in a leveraged buyout. Michael Sifton sold the paper to Quebecor in a leveraged buy-out. The "profit" from all of these buy-outs was actually just debt loaded onto the balance sheet of the paper.
So the geniuses decided to cut costs to make the paper pay its debts. Where to cut? Well, they started with the newsroom. No one there brough in any revenue. And they sold the press and the office. They essentially acted like a farmer who sells his topsoil for quick and easy money. When the paper eventually closes -- after more than 110 years of publication -- Quebecor or whoever will likely blame "market conditions" and the "Internet", which are now the lame excuses of every sad-sack media manager.
The problem isn't the Internet. It's media corporation debt, "investment" that was just paper profit for lawyers and sellers, shrunken newsrooms, lack of community presence and, above all, lack of relevance and respect.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Missing the talent trade

My friend Tim Naumetz worked with Glen McGregor of the Ottawa Citizen on the series of investigative stories that led to this. Their National Newspaper Award nominations are a sure thing. Yet Tim, who, along with Glen, is arguably the best investigative journalist on the Hill, was allowed by CanWest to slip away. His freelance work used to exceed the output and byline numbers of most CanWest-Citizen staff. Recently, it was reduced by CanWest to a trickle. Now he's writing for rival CP, which seems to be the destination for most CanWest casualties as the company continues to cut costs, dumb down the papers and fill its newsrooms with flunkies, children and non-entities.
CanWest stock -- and here we can take the real measure of the company -- traded near $12 in the last 52 weeks and hit $16 in the convergence craze four years ago. It reached new lows most days in the past couple of weeks. The last day I checked, Monday, it was at $4.30. One fund is buying up the the stock and now holds about 18 per cent. The reason? CanWest is ready to be taken over and broken up. It is reaching the point where its composite parts may well be worth more than the whole, especially if taken out of the hands of the Asper family and run by professional media managers. What's the connection between stock prices and CanWest's inability to attract, hold and manage talent? I'm sure the Aspers would ask that question. But when you are very much in the business of selling news, great reporters are your finest stock in trade. Lose them and people say "there's nothing in the paper". And "people" aren't just the folks who drop a buck on a paper. Advertisers are readers, too.

Update:

Spent the evening at the launch of Michael Petrou's new book on the Spanish Civil War. Petrou, who now holds a PhD in history from Oxford, was a student intern at the Ottawa Citizen about five years ago. They didn't keep him.
I rest my case.
(Nice, though, that CanWest's head of editorial, Scott Anderson, showed up for the launch, along with Citizen "war correspondent" Mike Blanchfield).


Meanwhile, the wheels keep coming off convergence:

(From the Washington Post newspaper business roundup today)

Toronto Star: Torstar Corp. is shedding 160 jobs including the entire internet production staff of 10-- and taking a $21 million charge in a restructuring of its newspaper division. The Canadian company, which owns The Toronto Star and several other Ontario papers, cited continuing weakness in the newspaper industry. The Star.com: The job cuts were a mix of "voluntary and involuntary staff reductions," which Torstar says will save the company $12 million. The Star was able to avoid a strike back in January. Last fall, it shuttered its e-newspaper after a year to in order to exercise greater focus on its online and mobile websites. Canadian Press: "Most of the job cuts, taken through severance packages, were already expected, but laying off the 10-person Internet staff came as a surprise, said Maureen Dawson, an official with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada." Their message to the world is that they're all dedicated to the Internet, but then they lay off the whole department."

The Star says it's committed to its internet presence and is adding some jobs in "soft" news, which is probably another big mistake. Meanwhile, according to the union at the Montreal Gazette, cuts are on the way at that paper. And there are cuts planned for the New York Times.
Say you owned toy store. People said they found your toys boring and old-fashioned. They said you were selling the same toys that you had a generation ago but of crappier quality. Would you deal with the situation by getting rid of some of the old-fashioned toys, shrink the store, and raise the price of the remaining stock? Do youn think this would bring the customers back? Would you keep the managers who told you this is a good idea? Or would you see it as a time for a shake-up, a re-investment and maybe even a re-invention of the entire business?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I guess no proffreakers have joined

The "National Press Club Foundation", a collection of lobbyists and PR-types who contaminated the old National Press Club, drove it into bankruptcy, then absconded with its name, declares its mission:

The Club continues to encourage excellence in jornalism through awards and an ambitious new Scholarship Program, supports press freedom, provides a venue for newsmakers to be heard on issues of the day, maintains a traditional close contact with the ethnic press and the Diplomatic Community in the Nation's Capital.


Sadly, these verminous flaks plan to sell off a big chunk of Canadian journalism heritage and history later this month at a $75 a plate dinner. Ghastly. Unfortunately, Hill journalists have very little sense of corporate history, a strange trait in a group of people who, for reasons inexplicable, believe they'll be remembered five minutes after they're gone.

(http://www.pressclub.on.ca/)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An interesting turn of phrase

Tory MP's comments under scrutiny after recording surfaces
David Akin , Canwest News Service
Published: Thursday, April 10, 2008


OTTAWA - A week after a 17-year-old video of Conservative Tom Lukiwski making anti-gay comments prompted an abject apology from the Saskatchewan MP, another recording from the past has resurfaced that puts comments from a junior Tory cabinet minister under scrutiny.

In the eight-year-old audio recording, Calgary MP and Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity Jason Kenney suggests members of an ethnic minority will use "the race card" to win arguments.

Critics say his comments reflect a Conservative, intolerant view of Canada, and are relevant today given Kenney's junior cabinet position.

The recording is not new and it resurfacing now highlights again the latest dilemma facing politicians: electronic archives, file sharing, and ubiquitous recording devices have given unlimited shelf life to any comments made by them - and there are no shortage of opponents ready to exploit those words.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Great Blog Lawsuit

Lawyer Richard Warman, who lost a lot of my support when I saw a film of him counselling a pie-throwing attack on an obviously insane British writer, is suing Ezra Levant, Kate McMillan, Kathy Shaidle, the National Post and the FreeDominion bloggers.
Here's the statment of claim.
This is a serious case.
If Levant et al can't prove Warman called Sen. Anne Cools a "nigger" and a "cunt" in an anonymous posting on a racist website, they lose $50,000 and costs.
If they can prove Warman made the post, Warman will be ruined as a lawyer and an activist.
It's not a lawsuit about Human Rights Commissions. They're peripheral to the issue, despite the bleats of the right-wingers.
Nor is it a fight over censorship, as I was orginally led to believe.
It's about being able to prove what you say and about the care you must take before you publish allegations that can wreck a person's life and career.
Free Dominion got the ball rolling by making the claim about Warman during the fight over the role of Human Rights Commissions as monitors/censors of journalists. If the claim is true, if Richard Warman did post the most viscious of insults on a web site to plant "evidence" and stir up shit, Free Dominion's post was an important piece of journalism.
But if the allegation is false, they went way over the line. So far, the only "evidence" is the testimony of a white supremacist who claims to know his way around computers.
The National Post will pick up the great bulk of the costs of this suit, unless the paper settles. The bloggers will need some financial help to handle their out-of-pocket costs.
For both sides, this is a winner-take-all.
If it defies the odds and goes to trial, it's going to be quite the show.

A loss

Good money drives out bad money. Stupid councillors and a joke of a mayor just drove out Ottawa's medical officer of health. This is a setback to public health in Ottawa and sends a very bad message to any other public servants on the city payroll who have strong professional ethics.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Today's freekie fact

I'm officially Ontario's best weekly newspaper columnist.
Unfortunately, I'm between column-writing opportunities, as it were. The paper I wrote for, the Ottawa City Journal, went the way of all flesh last year. I did write one op-ed piece for the Montreal Gazette this year. Maybe next year I'll have more time, now that I've worked out some teaching routines.
Anyway, thanks to TransCon, the judges, and especially our small clutch of devoted readers.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Do I amuse you?

Allan Woods, the Toronto Star's reporter covering Stephen Harper's European trip, trashes him in today's paper for not being chatty during or after his visit to Auschwitz.
Some things leave you speechless, Allan.
What is he supposed to say? What can anyone say that fits the situation?
This is what the Ottawa Citizen reports Harper wrote in the Auschwitz guest book:

"We are witness here to the vestiges of unspeakable cruelty, horror and death. Let us never forget these things and work always to prevent their repetition.

"Lord, bless the souls of those who suffered and perished here, and deliver us from evil.

"Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, April 5, 2008"


That says it all.

(HT, Norman Spector)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Never mind the bullocks...

Dunno why I have this rift going through my brain today...

"I wannna be
in the Law Societeee..."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Old Montreal

Today, I did something that I had been saving for myself all winter. I visited Old Montreal.
Incredible. An area the size of a medium size town frozen in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. There were places that made me gasp: masterpieces of the stonemason's art, beautiful buildings built by the French, the English and the Scots. I walked for miles down streets that my own ancestors and relatives had seen more than a hundred years ago, looking virtually the way they did when my great-great-grandparents had this picture taken here in the 1890s.









I saw the place where Charlee Le Moyne D'Iberville was born, saw the old City Hall where Charles De Gaulle made his famous "Vive le Quebec libre" speech, the cathedral, and hundreds of buildings that any city in North America would kill to have.
Many of these buidings have restaurants and galleries. Some are empty. A surprising number of upper floors -- perefect for loft apartments -- are vacant. If I lived in Montreal, I'd certainly try to make a deal for one of them.
Toronto has only a few old buildings of note: the flatiron near the St. Lawrence Market, the old bank incorporated into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Osgoode Hall and the buildings around the University of Toronto and Queen's Park. The heart of old Toronto, King Street East, was allowed to decay and fell to the wreckers' ball. The old Parliament buildings (both on Parliament Street and on Front) are gone. the old city hall and the Don Jail were almost lost. Trinity Church is buried in the Eaton's Centre. But Montreal, by accident and design, saved so much, and the original buildings, incorporating the wealth of the fur trade, then of the canals and railways, were masterpieces. But there are small gems, too: buildings that go back to the French Regime; an old governor's chateau that was lived in by Benjamin Franknlin when the Americans occupied the city; streets that were walked upon by the greats of Canada's history, from Maisonneuve to Papineau, to Sir John A. and Sir Wilfrid. The narrow streets speak of the millions who have come and seen this wonderful city.




(No one mentions De Gaulle was looking at Nelson's Column when he made that "Vive Le Quebec Libre" speech. That's one monument that's not kept up so well. You can barely make out the words carved into the sandstone.)



This town should have been able to steal New Orleans' tourist trade. Yet there were very few people, and hardly any obvious tourists. Partly, it's the short-sightedness of the provincial government that keeps this place from becoming a must-see tourist attraction. And anyone who says Montrealers aren't friendly has obviously never been here.
If two languages were welcome in business and government, this city would become a new San Francisco. it really would be a world-class city. It is a slate waiting to be written upon. It has not been frozen in time by Americans or English Canadians. It has been stifled and crippled by Quebec politicians trading on the rube's perennial hatred, fear and envy of big cities and the "foreign" elements they contain. The Bloc, PQ and ADQ all trade in this noxious prejudice.
It's a coomon trait all over the civilized world. Here, it's a the gospel of the political class, safely ensconced in ethnicaly-cleansed Quebec City.



When I started teaching at Concordia, I wrote on this blog that Montreal is so cool it hurts. And I barely knew it. This is the most amazing place. Every Canadian should see it.
So much of Canada knocks my socks off. BC is amazing. The north shore of Superior is like one giant work of art. Ottawa is the physical embodiment of Canadian politics. Toronto is, well, Toronto. (I can say that because I was born there).
This year, I want to see the East Coast close up.
The more I szee this country, the more I love it.





(Here's a true Canadian scene: a squirrel drinking maple sap at Loyla College, where I teach. Photo by Maia Bourrie)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

There are Nazis and there are Nazis

and then there are British Nazis.

Finally

These people were stale when they left radio. Civil service commedians are rarely funny.
They were developing a new generation of cast members, but, really, everything has a "best before" date.