The Weekender: Don’t Hate the Player, Hate His Pawns


A few months after he secured the nomination, and several weeks after he was official made the Republican candidate for President of the United States, it seemed like Donald Trump finally made the pivot to the general election this week. Of course, if he waited much longer, the November election would have looked more like a coronation for Hillary Clinton, but as the man said, better late than never. While Republican party heavyweights like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell may be the most relieved ,or – if only for a moment – slightly less concerned about a full GOP repudiation in three months time, the most relieved must be Trump’s spokespeople, who get a break from having to defend the insanity.  Continue reading “The Weekender: Don’t Hate the Player, Hate His Pawns”

The Weekender: Why So Serious?


There’s a lot to love about Superman: The Movie, Richard Donner’s still seminal big screen adaptation of the Man of Steel from 1978. Christopher Reeve, who at that point mostly known as a New York theatre actor, was plucked from obscurity to play the hero, who as soon as he reveals himself as Superman saves both Lois Lane from a crashing helicopter, and a little girl’s cat who’s stuck in a tree. In the end Superman saves the world, takes Lex Luthor to jail and says, “Don’t thank me, Warden. We’re all part of the same team.” That’s modesty. But 40 years later, it’s not enough for heroes to just save the world and fly away, they have to beat each other to bloody pulps now. Continue reading “The Weekender: Why So Serious?”

The Weekender: Sharing Should Be Caring at City Hall


This Monday at city council, the integrity commissioner will do something he hasn’t to do in a while, give council a report on a complaint that was filed against several its members. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on this thing at arm’s length because Guelph Politico is right deep into it; the complaint involves two people, one identified and one not, who talking to me. The charge was that these people broke the seal of confidentiality of the closed meeting, and while Robert Swayze found that on most counts the complaints are unfounded. But I think this whole episode misses the real problem: we’re having too much discussion in closed meetings. Continue reading “The Weekender: Sharing Should Be Caring at City Hall”

The Weekender: Sometimes, Sarah Palin Says Something So Dumb…


It’s been a banner year for Sarah Palin. The former Alaska Governor has retaken the political stage as one of the first “establishment” Republicans to jump aboard the Trump train, she welcomed her third grandchild, and she’s going to be getting her own People’s Court-style reality show. That’s nice, but candidly if the world were to forget Sarah Palin ever existed, we wouldn’t be missing anything (and I’m aware of the irony of saying that in the midst of a takedown piece so don’t bother pointing that out). But then, she had to attack Bill Nye. Continue reading “The Weekender: Sometimes, Sarah Palin Says Something So Dumb…”

The Weekender: Are We Too in Love With Our Cars?


Most fast food places have drive-thrus, a convenience invented for the purpose of allowing consumers to pick up food quickly and smoothly and take it elsewhere to be consumed, perhaps with family. Still, take a walk past a restaurant with a drive-thru and look at the parking lot, and you will see people, eating in their cars, after picking up their food. Why eat your meal crammed behind the dashboard of your car instead of eating it at a table or a booth inside the restaurant? It’s part of, what I think, is a dangerous fetishization of our cars. Automobiles are no longer a convenience, they are an extension of self that people feel they’re entitled to.  Continue reading “The Weekender: Are We Too in Love With Our Cars?”

The Weekender: Playing it Cheap Has its Costs

In a very busy news week, I saw a piece on the evening news that, in my mind, tied together two of the biggest stories, the untimely death of Rob Ford and the delivery of the Federal Budget. It was one of those consumer reports pieces that more often than not I find a venue for either Andy Rooney-style whining about how apples don’t cost a nickel anymore, or highlighting the bizarre naivety of the consumers they’re trying to protect. This one was more of the latter, so let’s begin by saying when you see a man selling iPhones in front of a suburban Toronto Costco, he’s not Tim Cook. Continue reading “The Weekender: Playing it Cheap Has its Costs”

The Weekender: We Shouldn’t Be Mocking Patrick Brown, But Encouraging Him


Beneath the pomp and circumstance and celebrity spotting at this week’s Washington D.C. visit by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, there was an actual substantive announcement between the head of Canada’s government and U.S. President Barack Obama. Called the “U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership”, it set goals for implementing the Paris Agreement, co-ordinating domestic climate action, advancing climate action globally, establishing co-operation on clean energy, and for initiating a shared Arctic leadership model. Given the importance of such an agreement one would think that pro-climate action politicians would be giving a hand to politicians that announce their intention to contribute. And you would be wrong. Continue reading “The Weekender: We Shouldn’t Be Mocking Patrick Brown, But Encouraging Him”