Thursday, October 28, 2010

Four for Thursday

1. The big news of the day in Iqaluit - after 36 days the dump fire is finally out. And there was rejoicing, although I noted a hint of sadness among some reporters on Twitter, who mourned the passing of an easy story on a slow news day.

For those people in Iqaluit who have grown accustom to the oily, burnt rubber smell that occasionally lingered over town, never fear. After all, Tim Hortons is opening up next month, so the smell will be back in no time flat.

2. It's now the October 28 and there is still no snow down on the ground in town. The temperatures are finally starting to dip a little bit below zero. But because it's so cold and dry, whenever the wind picks up you get little dust storms blowing around town. I hit one the other day that was bad enough I had trouble seeing where I was driving. So I never thought I would say this, but I'm kind of wishing for some snow to finally land on the ground, just to cover up the dirt.

Besides, living in the arctic and not have any snow on the ground in November is just plain freaky.

3. The phrase "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is one of those completely foreign concepts to politicians.

Westcott was wrong to send that email. It was probably a case of him being frustrated over something, writing the email and then forgetting the cardinal rule of email. If you're not sure, stand up, walk away for five minutes, look at it again, shake your head at it and then hit delete (for example I had a sentence in this post I wasn't sure about, got up, came back, hit delete. Probably for the best). He didn't and he's paying a price now.

By the way, spinning it as a joke was a mistake. The simpler response was "I was in an upset mood and sent an email I shouldn't have. We've all done it, but that's no excuse of the language I used. I apologize."

But for the premier to stand up with a straight face and call it vile is rich considering all the truly vicious things he said over the past seven years (pretty certain Westcott hasn't conducted any interviews where's expressed a desire to have people shot). There was actually a good comment in the story where 'Mark' said, "I know that whenever I find something vile and offensive, my own inclination is to wait over a year and a half to react to it."

It's mock outrage to score political points. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

4. Finally got to see "Red" last night. Mmmmm, digital projection. Very nice. Fun movie as well. Glad to see that someone remembered Bruce Willis is at his most effective as a charming action hero, which is what he is here. If there is a fault, it's that there was not enough Helen Mirren with a Big Fucking Gun shooting people. However, it is set-up for a sequel so there's always the hope of Helen Mirren shooting Big Fucking Guns in "Red 2".

By the way, I'd love to be able to say, "If you liked the movie you really should go and read Warren Ellis graphic novel." Except they have virtually nothing in common. This was action comedy. Ellis book was a grim little four character action piece which also played with a theme he was running with at that time about the unexploded mines and ghosts of the 20th century that were going to haunt the 21st century for some time.

It's still a great book, but if you're expecting to see a whole cast of characters, no. Not so much. If you like that theme, I'd also highly recommend "Global Frequency".

You know how Ellis is a great writer? Because he's left behind so many fantastic ideas that he's simply grown bored with and moved on to the next thing. He could still be writing Global Frequency if he wanted to, that's how rich with ideas that series was. And Red was three issues and done. Others would have stretched that a dozen issues or more. Ellis told it in three and it was just fine.

Last Five
1. Fix you up - Tegan & Sara*
2. Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan
3. Scenes from an Italian restaurant - Billy Joel
4. Into temptation (live) - Crowded House
5. Desert rose - Sting


Ron said...

Is it fair that the Premier can casually mention a passing fancy to shoot health care workers? Of course not but that doesn't mean he loses the right to speak on issues asd they arise or to engage in the day to day cut and thrust of politics. On occassion you have expressed what might be gently described as "harsh thoughts" or "mild irritation" with the poltical wisdom of the Newfoundland and Labrador body politic. There is also your incendiary thoughts about your alma mater, its staff and former classmates. But none of us would want to suspend your right to free speech for suggesting the entire population of the province be euthanized, as opposed to the Premier’s desire to wound one segment of the labour force. Sadly the truth is that to cast stones you pretty much need a Master’s Degree in Sin.

No one is questioning the motives of the Premier's office in releasing this email. PC staffers must have spent the last weekend hugging themselves with glee after they heard Westcott was going to be the DoC for the Liberals. A friend compared it to Christmas in October.

Speaking to Williams sincerity on the issue of mental health, what I am told by people at the CMHA and other related (non-political) sources is that the provincial government over the last couple of months has been announcing several policies to support mental health in the province. They felt this was a good thing and that the gov't was on the right track. There might not be any sincerity in Williams outrage but all he has to do is point to gov't policy statements and initiatives regarding mental and sexual health, quote the amount of money the gov't spends annually on same and then wave Westcott's email around. "KaBLAM"

What is mind blurringly amazing to me is that Kelvin Parsons backed up Westcott's assertion that the email was a joke. Calling that a mistake is understating the case. It was a colossal echoing clusterfuck of a mistake. Its like Archduke Ferdinand telling his wife, "Darling, there’s nothing going on in Vienna, lets spend the weekend in Sarajevo.”

Mental health problems go very deep and taking it lightly hits a nerve in the public (I had an uncle who had mental health issues and ended up killing himself). It is an issue almost everyone has a connection to and a sad story. In the next election liberal candidates are going to hear many of those stories to the point they might as well start calling themselves the Mental Health Party. How this will hamstring Westcott in his role as chief communicator for the party. Are there other similar emails in the Premier's Westcott File? If I were the Liberals I wouldn’t want to find out. Not to mention the discension this fosters among those who didn't care for the appointment to begin with. Right now the Liberals are so deep in the hole you might as well buy them a chinese phrase book.

The upside to this is the attention it is bringing to mental health issues. So there is at least one small silver lining coming out of this awful mess.

WJM said...

For those people in Iqaluit who have grown accustom to the oily, burnt rubber smell that occasionally lingered over town, never fear. After all, Tim Hortons is opening up next month, so the smell will be back in no time flat.


WJM said...

Of course not but that doesn't mean he loses the right to speak on issues asd they arise or to engage in the day to day cut and thrust of politics.

Indeed. In fact, he's the only one who has that right; anyone else is liable to get sued for doing so.