As I have said elsewhere …

I have been saying for the past six months that the coverage of Donald Trump has the effect of support for the Republican presidential candidate. Other events also contributed, most notably the coronation of Trump which constituted the whole Republican convention from start to finish. The mediocre crop of candidates surrounding Trump did not want to team up to bring him down, effectively dividing the vote in Donald’s favour, and everyone was in on the punch line except those same Republican candidates.

But the media play a big role, and all coverage follows a pattern of Trump saying something stupid, and like a Greek Chorus, the media then reacts with pundits buy generic viagra with american express and, oh yeah, the Democratic candidates as well. The rest of the media, including the Democratic party, and anyone else with an informed and responsible opinion all seem to act as the “straight man” to the Donald’s “zingers”.  But it has always been clear that Donald plays the lead.

It is like a sitcom, a serious process of choosing the leader of the free world, which has now become indistinguishable from show business. A person who contributes nothing to any democratic debate, and advances no topic worthy of serious discussion. There is also this slogan — I think it was “Make America Hate Again”, wasn’t it? Seems about right.

OOC 013: Folkies and Rockers

bruce cockburn
Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Cockburn tried to stay back-to-the-land (and later political) in his music and public image for as long as he could. Born and raised in Ottawa, he has been penning songs for over 30 years along many themes, including religion, third world politics, love, friendship, and much more.

Apart from getting his Order of Canada in 1983, he also has several honroary degrees, is a Canadian Music Hall of Famer, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.  Many have covered him, like U2, Ani DiFranco, Barenaked Ladies, Anne Murray, Judy Collins, and many more.

neil_young
Neil Young

Neil Young had a long and storied solo career, but had his origins in Crosby, buy tramadol online without prescriptions Stills, Nash and Young and Buffalo Springfield before that. He appeared with CSN&Y at Woodstock in 1969. Like a lot of 70s rockers, he is a native of Winnipeg – the Guess Who and BTO came from there – but to a greater extent than any other musician, always insisted on doing his own thing.

His 2009 induction into the Order of Canada was one of many ways that his accomplishments were recognised. He was also prominent on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on two occasions: once for his work in CSN&Y, and once more for his solo effort.

Famous Teetotalers 013: She’s a little bit country, and he’s a little bit rock and roll

Donny and Marie
Donny and Marie Osmond.

Donny and Marie Osmond have been singing as a brother and sister act since the early 1970s. Both don’t imbibe, and possibly never did, accounting as to why both look so young. They still have their brother/sister act, which they perform mostly in Vegas these days. Marie has liberal views about marriage and out of support for her lesbian daughter, she supports LGBT rights, something not necessarily agreed to by all of the Osmonds.

You might remember that Donny starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat back in the ’90s. The Toronto musical eventually went on tour, and had a very successful 6-year run. Andrew Lloyd Webber was so impressed, that he chose Donny again to star in the film adaptation shot in 1999. Both Donny and Marie have been raised as Mormons, living that way their entire lives.

So you want to be a witchcraft-practising wrestler?

You are a follower of witchcraft, and you want to become a wrestler for WWF or something (what decent witch wouldn’t want that?), then you need to have a moniker. An alias that captures all that you are. Here, from the website “Behind the Name“, are some name suggestions to help out witches and warlocks who want to also buy veterinary tramadol join the wrestling profession (a mixture of names construed to be masculine and feminine):

  • Batfire Catgoo
  • Spiderpop Ice Threat
  • Money Kick Macho Professor
  • Atomic Grip Dreadspaz
  • Stone Cold Sheik Toadstare
  • Rhino Kick Beetleweed
  • Beetletooth Vixen
  • Boiltongue Demonhex
  • Danger Dragon
  • Roid Muscles Iron Queen
  • Star Hit Swamphex
  • Wartcast Ice Masher
  • Dragon Roid Princess

If you are out of topic ideas …

People who need a quick idea or have writers block and have to write a blog article (maybe they do it for a living), would probably consult another blog where the wrter provides some slightly-inspired-but-okay ideas where you can make the most of the suggested topic, or change it into something the writer wants.

I was not aware of some websites which do one better. Some websites run a page that is nothing more than a blog topic generator. I was intrigued. Some websites generate these short lists for a fee. A free sample at one website (who will remain nameless to prevent embarrassment, since they are one of those places that charge a fee) allowed me to enter three keywords. OK. So, I went to a news tramadol 50mg buy online site, and chose three keywords that caught my eye: Brexit, flap, and death. The results were hilarious: “10 things your competitors don’t want you to know about death” was one topic that stood out in my mind. Another was: “10 Signs you should invest in death”; or what about: “8 Best blog articles about Flap”? There was one good one in 10 suggested — perhaps someone can write: “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Brexit”.

I have never been all that great a fan of blog topic suggestions by others or of blog topic generators. I tend to write when I think I have an idea. I then write and see where it takes me. Something about these generators go against the grain for me.

In Memoriam: Gene Wilder, at 83

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The much-memed image of Gene Wilder in his role as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film.

Today, it was reported that actor and meme victim Gene Wilder died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at age 83.

I’ve looked up some things about the meme from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Turns out that the image is from a scene where he reveals a little bit of his chocolate manufactouring process to some enthusiastic children. A few years ago, social media made a meme of this image, attaching condescending statements on all possible topics, in what became known as the “Creepy no fax payday loan buy tramadol Wonka” or “Condescending Wonka” meme. A “Condescending Wonka” twitter account garnered half a million followers, even though the account had little else going for it but its name.

Don’t forget however, that Wilder had appeared in some of the biggest comedy movies in the 1970s, many produced by Mel Brooks, such as Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein; and he also appeared in the Woody Allen comedy Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Were Afriad to Ask.

Mel Brooks, Jim Carrey, Ricky Gervais, and Russell Crowe, among others, each sent their regards within minutes of the sad news, via Twitter.

The popularity of “Child Poverty”

Over the past decade or so, this human rights cause “flavour of the month” called “child poverty” has been in style as something to say and for human rights groups and politicians to champion. Before that, we only had “poverty”, until sometime in the late ’90s, when someone discovered “child poverty”, and now it’s all the rage, and everyone’s talking about it.

The nice thing, is that it made poverty go away. No one has poverty anymore. We only have child poverty now. Images of starving children living in squalor with no education, no running water and no Nintendo while their Ivy League fatcat parents live on caviar and crumpets served with china and silverware and playing World of Warcraft on their X-boxes. Down with fatcat parents!

Of course, that isn’t true, but that is the image it conjures up for me. I just want to ask: when we speak of “child poverty”, don’t we just mean “poverty”? Why do we need to separate the poverty of children from the poverty of the entire family they came from? Doesn’t fixing poverty for children mean fixing poverty for their families?

It also turns out, but you have to do some digging in Google to see it, that there are other kinds of poverty that are up and coming on the poverty hit parade. There is also “elderly poverty” and “working age poverty”. You know, children living high on the hog while the parents have to beg for scraps. I think that’s how it works … In addition, “working age poverty” can still mean children in some parts of the world.

These are not so popular, even though those in “working age poverty” are likely to be parents of children living in “child poverty”, whose grandparents live in “elderly poverty”. Indeed, poverty has become a complicated science. After all, you can’t just “redistribute wealth” because “socialism has failed”. It failed because no one in charge wanted it to succeed. At any rate, social safety nets are soooo ’70’s!

I don’t wish to make light of poverty. I believe all poverty is a social problem. I just don’t think it is advancing any cause to balkanize people in poverty into different factions as if they are in competition against each other for donations, government funding, or anything else of the sort. These new classifications are just rhetoric that make the problem seem more complicated than it is.

Famous Teetotalers 012: Right-wingers

thenuge
Theodore Anthony Nugent

Ted Nugent or “The Nuge” is a hard rock/psychedelic guitarist whose musical career dates back to 1963. He has made his stance against drug and alcohol abuse part of his right-wing activism. He is an ardent Republican supporter, and is strongly in favour of gun rights. It is said that his stance against substance abuse had an influence on a part of the Punk Rock movement known as the “Straight Edge” movement.

Bill O'Reilly
Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, a host on Fox-TV, also won’t ever be accused of accusing the Republicans of anything is it legal to buy tramadol online wrong, unless it involves Donald Trump. And he is also teetotal. His show The O’Reilly Factor, was the highest-rated news show on the Fox network, and brought in the style of news commentary where afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comforted becomes the norm. But he would tell you that his roots are working class. This, like much of what he says, is disputed. However, he there is no disputing that he studied at Harvard; that he has had much experience in journalism before becoming part of the punditry machine that is Fox News.

OOC Recipients 012: Movie Makers

Cronenberg-1i2i3i4i
One eye, two eyes, three eyes, four eyes

David Cronenberg, a filmmaker otherwise known as the King of Horror, or the Baron of Blood, was essentially a Canadian filmmaker, and didn’t delve into Hollywood much. Most of his films were shot in Ontario, with notable exceptions. Films like Madame Butterfly and Eastern Promises were shot in China and England respectively. Rabid and Shivers were shot in Montreal. In addition to receiving the Order of Ontario and being inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, he received the Order of Canada in 2002.

Atom Egoyan
Atom is tramadol illegal to buy online Egoyan

Born Atom Yeghoyan in Cairo, Atom Egoyan‘s films explored themes of alienation and isolation. His most acclaimed film, The Sweet Hereafter, a film shot in B. C., and based on a novel by Russell Banks, was nominated for two Academy awards. Over time, Atom’s films won nearly every Canadian award, including The Governor General’s Award and the Toronto International Film Festival. His films also won awards in Cannes, France. In 1999 he was made the Officer of the Order of Canada, and late in 2015 the honor was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada.

From coronation to Elbowgate: the extremes of Trudeau coverage

elbowgate_1
Elbowgate and over 300 witnesses.

By world standards, the Parliamentary melee that happened this past week is pretty tame, but what has now become known as Elbowgate brings down our insanely high expectations of Justin Trudeau, fuelled by the media. The melee was nothing, Trudeau apologized, and sensible people are moving on.

shawinigan_handshake
Chretien applying what is now known as the “Shawinigan Handshake”

But in essensce it is a shock that it happened to anyone at all. This is the first time I have ever heard about it happening in a Canadian parliamentary session. The first thing that crossed my mind was: was Trudeau trying to out-Trump Donald Trump? In America, high-ranking politicians get goons to beat down undesirables. In Canada, the Prime Minister does the dirty work. Remember that creepy incident between Jean Chretien and that protester over a decade ago?

I think that this means that in Canada, the Prime Minister doesn’t order the army to bring order to the state. The person a rabble rouser would really need to fear is the Prime Minister. I mean, no one wants The Shawinigan Handshake done on them. There is a “goon” shortage in Canada. People here are too nice. The Prime Minister is the only nasty one among us.

Things cross my mind about Elbowgates, and Shawinigan Handshakes. Political theatre is done with a message in mind. I just can’t see a clear message. The Shawinigan Handshake was clearly political theatre. I don’t think that the PM was in any danger, otherwise, Chretien would never be allowed to be that close to a protestor. Both incidents defy logic in a similar way.

Famous teetotalers 011: Muhammad Ali

StangoAli
Pop art impression of Ali by artist John Stango.

Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, was a lot of things to people living in the 1960s and 1970s. Apart from being thrice awarded the world championship in boxing as a heavyweight (1964, 1974, and 1978), he would be a draft dodger and peace activist, a devotee of Islam, and pop culture icon. Like most elite athletes, he never drank or smoked. It is likely that being a devotee of Islam also helped.

 

OOC Recipients 011: Sigers and Chanteuses

Loreena McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt

In the early 1980s, Manitoba-born Loreena McKennitt was busking in Toronto in order to finance her first album, Elemental. It led to a career in performing Celtic music that would sell 14 million records worldwide over the course of her career. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2004. That was a few years after my favourite album of hers, The Book of Secrets, was released.

Celine Dion
Celine Dion

By the time she received the Order of Canada in 1998, Celine Dion was considered by most music critics and industry insiders as being one of the most influential voices of music of that decade, ranking with Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Influential in the sense that her voice helped to shape how power pop ballads were sung, as well as influencing the “adult contemporary” genre of that time.

Famous Teetotalers 010 – Howard Hughes

hughes
Howard Hughes

twaHoward Hughes (1905-1976) — Was a multi-talented business tycoon, one of the world’s richest men in his day. He was an aviator, an aircraft engineer, inventor, and filmmaker. It would take a long time to go through his accomplishments, but the founding of Trans-World Airlines (TWA) has to count for something. He made some successful films, such as the original Scarface. He purchased the iconic Radio Keith-Orpheum Pictures company (known as RKO Pictures) from RCA, pretty much owning it outright as of 1948. Prior to that, RKO had been a Hollywood jewel, having made movies like the original King Kong, Citizen Kane, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. RKO was also the distributor for movies and cartoons from Walt Disney Studios. Under Hughes, which was a time of rkoMcCarthyism, there was much micro-management which led to the selloff of RKO in by Hughes ten years later. He was more successful as a real estate magnate, where he would purchase large amounts of property in Las Vegas, even places which were run by organized crime, and was instrumental in cleaning up the crime in that city. As an aviator, he did a round the world flight in 91 hours, which back in 1938 was a world record. He was inducted into the National Aviators Hall of Fame in 1973.

Alcohol rarely comes up in the bios I’ve read, but when it does, it is said that he never took to alcohol. Injuries from numerous airplane crashes earlier in his life took a toll, and he started to acquire an addiction to codeine, which he injected into himself. He also became a recluse, imprisoned also by a worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder, dying of complications from malnutrition in 1976.

OOC Recipients 010: You would want your kids to look up to them

garneau
Marc Garneau

Marc Garneau — Kids all want to be astronauts. Or firefighters. Or race car drivers. Most kids stand a better chance at being one of the latter two. Engineer Marc Garneau got the first one: he went on three NASA Space Shuttle flights. And in going full circle with this, he is now, after a stint as chancellor at the University of Ottawa, the Liberal Minister of Transport, and MP of NDG-Westmount, on the Montreal island. He received the Order of Canada membership in 1984, just after his first flight.

arbour
Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour — Another Montraler who served as the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations at The Hague. In 1999, she was later appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada by then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien. She has a long list of honorary degrees and awards from all over Canada.

Famous teetotalers 09: Musicians too

prince_nodrugs
Living proof that you can go on a trip, not leave the room, and not do drugs.

Rumor has it that Prince, otherwise known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, is teetotal, although maybe it is hard to believe. All Google searches for Prince in association with drugs led to Saudi sheikhs, cocaine and beheadings (not kidding), so I can only believe what the rumors say. Actually, it is a little above rumor, since many sources say that his father, John Nelson, was also teetotal, and he looked up to him, growing up. It is likely that he had never drank, and is vegan besides. For Prince to be this creative for so long (complete with his current project, called Third Eye Girl), it would not be believeable to hear he was doing drugs for the past three pet health insurance buy now tramadol decades.

elton_coat_of_arms
The perks of knighthood, Elton’s own coat of arms.

Elton John’s biggest demon was never really booze, most of his demons seem internal. He was given to depressive episodes where others would find him hard to cope with, but later he would come to his senses and make it up to his colleagues, often producers, engineers and fellow studio musicians. About 40 years ago, he suffered a drug overdose and later suffered from bulimia. He also had to battle feelings of suicide on many occasions. In 2015 he celebrated his 25th year of sobriety and freedom from drugs. At age 68, 20 years after being inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, he has been awarded most of his Grammy Awards and Tony Awards only since the 1990s, long after he reached rock superstardom in the mid-1970s.

OOC Recipients 08: Rushing to the top

For the most consecutive gold and platinum albums by a rock band, first place is The Beatles, second is The Rolling Stones, and third place is the Canadian group Rush (24 gold, 14 platinum). The members of Rush have worked hard to reproduce their album sound in their concerts, so Rush concerts have been known for having lots of instruments about each musician. They have also made use of digital sampling to fill out their sound.

All three members of the rock band Rush received membership in the OOC in 1996.

NeilPeart_lost_somewhere
Lost: A middle-aged male drummer named Neil Peart. Swallowed alive by his elaborate drum kit, he was never found again.

Neil Peart – Each member has over the years had made the most of their membership by making themselves into multi-instrumentalists. Apart from drums, Peart has in the past included tubular bells, a glockenspiel, and other obscure percussion instruments, both electronic and not. Peart has been voted the greatest performing drummer by fan-zines like Drummerworld, and many fans attend live Rush concerts to hear Neil Peart do a drum solo. He certainly ranks up there with the likes of Ginger Baker and John Bonham. Peart is also the primary lyricist of the trio.

LAS VEGAS - MAY 10: Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson performs at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 10, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The rock trio are touring in support of the album, "Snakes & Arrows." (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) Original Filename: 81050582.jpg
Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson – Alex is the sole remaining founding member of Rush, and possesses the ability to play several kinds of guitars, and on occasion some keyboards. According to Rolling Stone magazine, he ranks among the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, just below Eddie Van Halen and Queen’s Brian May. As for vocals, I could find no indication of  him doing more than backing vocals for the band.

Geddy_Lee
Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee – Bassist and the voice responsible for the band’s signature high-register vocal. He actually possesses three octaves, ranging from baritone, to tenor, and then to alto, reaching into mezzo-sporano. While his vocal styling may have received some criticism, his instrumentation rarely has. Besides bass, he also plays keyboards including synthesizers. He once did a cameo with Bob and Doug MacKenzie on their album Great White North, and the song Take Off was the largest-selling single of Geddy Lee’s career. While Geddy Lee cannot strictly be called a founding member, he joined when the band was 1 month old, and happens to be a high school chum of Lifeson.

Famous Teetotalers 08: Those who are good at what they do

March 1983, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman stands in front of a blackboard strewn with notation in his lab in Los Angeles, Californina. --- Image by © Kevin Fleming/CORBIS
Richard Feynman. Photo taken in 1983.

Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman (1918-1988) was the only famous scientist I could find that was teetotal by repuation. Einstein was a moderate drinker, and a heavier smoker. Feynman reportedly used to be a moderate drinker also, no reason why not, but on a trip in Brazil he felt a compulsion to drink alcohol in the middle of the afternoon where there was no social reason to drink. He thought about it, and reportedly never drank again for any reason.

clapton
Eric Clapton

If there was a Nobel Prize for music, Eric Clapton would deserve it. At age 25 he was already hailed as the world’s greatest living blues guitarist. He was inducted three times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a member of The Yardbirds, once as a member of Cream, and once as a soloist. He had a weakness for alcohol and was a long-time alcoholic, but has been a non-drinker since at least 1988.

OOC Receipients 07: Entertainers

ConnieKaldor
Connie Kaldor

While Connie Kaldor won Juno awards on three occasions (1989, 2004, and 2005) for her work on Children’s albums, she is better known for her amazing talent in folk music and live performances. She has made 14 albums to date, not including her children’s albums. She became a member of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Mary Walsh

Mary Walsh is the uproariously funny comedienne from St. John’s who was trained in theatre in Toronto. She was itching to do the real how to buy tramadol thing, though. She joined CODCO, which became a TV series alongside Andy and Cathy Jones, Tommy Sexton, and Greg Malone. This spurred a series on CBC Television from 1987 to 1992. She was most recently known for her stunt where she did a This-Hour-Has-Seven-Days-style ambush of former mayor Rob Ford in late 2011. Walsh became a member of The Order of Canada in 2001.

Retail sales attention grabber

IMG_20160225_181947883_HDRI was driving to Oakville, and stopping at Tim Horton’s, and this bicycle store sale sign caught my attention. I have heard of “door crashing sales” before, but the Mississauga branch of Cyclepath were not just shooting the bull, they meant it. Due to what appears to be a serious accident, the entire front window to the right of the door was taken out, and parts of the panes separating the windows had to be cut out. And it being winter, they needed to board it up. I would say it was an actual crash, rather than a brazen attempt at attention grabbing, but when I was inside browsing I didn’t ask anyone. In the fact that they saw humor in this to spray paint that message on there, I would guess that no one was hurt. It is unclear when this sale will end, but I guess that it will be over by the time the display window is fixed.

Famous Teetotalers 07: Philosophers

thoreau
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau – Author of Walden and Civil Disobedience, among scores of other books, this 19th-century Harvard-educated American philosopher and writer stands at the top rank of American Literature and philosophy. His connection with nature and desire for a balanced life led him to write “I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor.” While it is not clear if he had not been a drinker all of his life, it seems as if he had been a non-drinker for most of it.

kafka_etching
Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka – Early 20th-century German philosopher, the long-reigning king of ennui. I found a quote about his feelings toward alcohol, said only in the way that Kafka can say it: “My peers, lately, have found companionship through means of intoxication – it makes them sociable. I, however, cannot force myself to use drugs to cheat on my loneliness – it is all that I have – and when the drugs and alcohol dissipate, will be all that my peers have as well.”