Archive of ‘Thinking’ category

Cast Away!


UPDATE (Feb. 11): After some re­flec­tion and in­put from friends, I’ve changed my choice of Tina Fey to Tatiana Maslany for the role of Robyn Doolittle. As much as I love Fey, she is con­sid­er­ably older than Doolittle. And Maslany does kick ass on Orphan Black.

The film rights to Robyn Doolittle’s ex­posé of Rob Ford, Crazy Town, were snapped up re­cently, prompt­ing a guess­ing game on so­cial me­dia as to who would be cast in the adap­ta­tion. As I read the book I’m start­ing to as­sem­ble my own dream cast for the soon-to-be CBC minis­eries, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, spon­sored by Iceberg Vodka, Steak Queen and cocaine.

Rob Ford: This guy - Larry Joe Campbell

Doug Ford: If we can’t get Chris Farley to play RoFo, we can at least get his brother, Kevin, to play Dougie.

Mama Ford: Elaine Stritch

Kathy Ford: Kathy Kinney (Mimi) from The Drew Carey Show

Randy Ford: Gary Busey

Renata Ford: A non-speaking, non­de­script back­ground extra

Doug Ford, Sr.: Gordon Pinsent

Sandro Lisi: Jeremy Piven

Chief Bill Blair: John Lithgow

Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux: Nick Offerman

Robyn Doolittle: Tina Fey Tatiana Maslany

Daniel Dale: Daniel Brühl

Nick Kouvalis: John Oates from Hall and Oates

Mark Towhey: Toby Jones

Frances Nunziata: Elizabeth Peña

Denzil Minnan-Wong: David Wain

Norm Kelly: Dean Stockwell

Dennis Morris (Ford’s Hotmail lawyer): Ed Asner

Mohamed Farah: Barkhad Abdi

Fabio Basso: John Travolta

Dave Price: Danny McBride

George Mammolitti: Vincent D’Onofrio

Jerry Agyemang: Morris Chestnut

John Tory: Stephen Colbert

Conrad Black: Michael Gambon

Don Cherry: Don Rickles

And Sam Elliott as The Narrator

Who would you cast?


Happy Holidays (War is Over)


My Facebook feed has been taken over by “War on Christmas” posts. Apparently, some peo­ple be­lieve there is a move­ment afoot by uniden­ti­fied forces to abol­ish Christmas. I don’t re­ally un­der­stand what this “war” means ex­actly, but from what I can gather from these mis­sives, Christmas is un­der at­tack and the only de­fense is to say “Merry Christmas” three times while tap­ping your boots to­gether. I think. It’s re­ally not that clear.)

My cold med­ica­tion is mak­ing me en­vi­sion what a war on Christmas would ac­tu­ally entail:

1. Someone wishes you “Happy Holidays”.

2. Get ir­ra­tionally up­set at the au­dac­ity of that re­tail clerk who failed to as­sume you’re a Christian.

3. Go on­line to find a photo of Santa or Jesus (or Santa with Jesus!). Use your Photoshop skills to af­fix a ral­ly­ing cry of “It’s not Happy Holidays it’s Merry Christmas! Share if you agree!” over the photo. Tip: Use large fonts and nu­mer­ous ex­pla­na­tion marks to re­ally show the world how an­gry you are. OR find an­other person’s post and share it.

4. Put on your flak hel­met and cel­e­brate the birth of baby Santa in your home/bunker. Come out in time for the in­evitable “War on Easter”.

This “war on Christmas” non­sense con­fuses me be­cause JUST TAKELOOK AROUND YOU. Christmas is freak­ing EVERYWHERE! If there is in­deed a war, the other side is los­ing. Big time.

I can’t walk into a store with­out be­ing as­saulted with Christmas car­ols blast­ing over the PA sys­tem. And it’s the same songs over and over. (How about adding “Back Door Santa” to the mix?) There’s even a ra­dio sta­tion that has gone full-on Christmas. (I feel so sorry for those dee­jays.) And every artist you can think of has put out a Christmas al­bum, even Bob Dylan. Bob! Effing! Dylan! put out a Christmas al­bum. (I think it’s a Christmas al­bum. I can’t un­der­stand a word that comes out of that man’s mouth, but the CD cover says it’s a Christmas al­bum, so I’ll leave it at that.)

And there are Christmas trees every­where. EVERYWHERE. There’s one in my condo lobby. There’s one at my of­fice. There’s one out­side of City Hall. I’m pretty sure one has some­how made its way up my arse (which would maybe ex­plain my prickly mood). And lights! Pretty, blink­ing lights, strung up every­where, suck­ing up electricity.

I miss my favourite TV shows. They all go on hia­tus and are re­placed with Christmas spe­cials. After re­peated view­ings (and a few glasses of wine) they all kind of blend into one an­other – a snow­man comes alive and is vis­ited by three ghosts who ar­rive on a sleigh led by a red-nosed rein­deer, pah-rum-pah-pah-pah.


You can chop down a tree, drag its corpse into your home and fes­toon it with gar­ish trin­kets and sil­ver tas­sels. You can plop a na­tiv­ity scene on your front lawn with a big old baby Jesus smack dab in the mid­dle of it. You can also go to mass and cel­e­brate the birth of your Christ, singing hal­lelu­jah at the top of your lungs.

You can choose from hun­dreds of cards that say “Merry Christmas” to send to all your friends and fam­ily. (And here’s an­other friendly tip: Get some cards that are blank in­side and write “Merry Christmas” many times, in dif­fer­ent type­faces, colours…even glit­ter! Or, bet­ter yet, buy a card where you can record your voice, so when the re­cip­i­ent of said card opens it up you can scare them into a heart at­tack with a loud and proud “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”)

Happy Holidays” has be­come de rigueur this time of year. Because of the great cul­tural mo­saic that is Toronto, there are many Canadians who do not tick the box next to Christian on their cen­sus sheets. That’s how it is. You can­not be­moan that fact while you or­der Ethiopian food and buy chicken tikka masala at your gro­cery store. You do not get to take ad­van­tage of the mul­ti­cul­tural smörgås­bord that is Toronto with­out re­spect­ing the fact that some cul­tures do not cel­e­brate the birth of baby Jesus.

Happy Holidays” is not a bad thing to say. It is all-inclusive, wel­com­ing of all cul­tures and tra­di­tions. “Happy Holidays” can mean “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hannukah” or “Happy Kwanza”. It can also mean “Happy New Year”, “Happy Boxing Day” or “Happy Winter Solstice”. (For athe­ists, it could mean “Happy Nationally Mandated Days Off!”) It’s very Canadian.

So why does it mat­ter so much to some peo­ple? I could of­fer a lengthy dis­course on pos­si­ble xeno­pho­bia and na­tion­al­ism, but I lack the en­ergy or men­tal ca­pac­ity to do so right now. Instead, I’ll just go and stare at all the pretty lights.

Happy Holidays!


The OMG Diet: WTF?


I’m break­ing my self-imposed but en­tirely un­in­ten­tional blog­ging hia­tus to com­ment on this OMG Diet. I will prob­a­bly start blog­ging again be­cause as I get older, the more things piss me off. Instead of be­lea­guer­ing my boyfriend with my rants (and be­cause Twitter only al­lows for short an­gry mis­sives), I’ll pour out my rage here.

To re­cap: Some douchey per­sonal trainer, who has no med­ical or sci­en­tific back­ground, wrote a book called Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends. In it, he gives some stu­pid tips to lose weight, like blow­ing bal­loons, tak­ing cold baths and skip­ping break­fast. Seriously. Not mak­ing this shit up.

The sad part is, pub­lish­ers are beat­ing down his door to pub­lish this tripe be­cause — fuck you, young girls and com­mon sense — this will make them a ton of money. Because there are peo­ple who want to lose a lot of weight in as lit­tle time as pos­si­ble and with min­i­mal ef­fort, and they are des­per­ate to try any­thing — ex­cept, you know, eat­ing bet­ter and ex­er­cis­ing — and will buy this book. They will buy it, and they will try to ad­here to its crazy method­ol­ogy, like chug­ging black cof­fee and shun­ning broc­coli (se­ri­ously?). They will then tire of it be­cause tak­ing cold baths is not plea­sur­able and smooth­ies are very de­li­cious. They will con­sign the book to the cob­webby bot­tom shelf of their book­case, nes­tled be­tween other stu­pid books about the Atkins diet and the mas­ter cleanse. But it doesn’t mat­ter, you see, be­cause the au­thor and his skeezy pub­lish­ers will have taken their money. Suckers!

Perhaps I’m be­ing harsh on the guy. After all, for as long as woman have been shamed by the la­dy­mags for their thighs and eat­ing and what­not, there have been weight-loss books. Lots and lots of weight-loss books. For every “How to get a flat stom­ach in 6 days to get a man in bed” Cosmo ar­ti­cle, there is a fad diet that makes you drink your own pee or give up air. The au­thor, who goes by the alias of Venice Fulton (I’ve rolled my eyes back into my head so se­verely they’re stuck that way and I’m now typ­ing blindly), is just the lat­est in a long line of mod­ern snake-oil sales­man who claims to have the so­lu­tion to quick and easy weight loss.

Here’s why the OMG Diet makes me ROTFCMAO (rolling on the floor curs­ing my ass off, in Internet-speak — be­cause every­body likes acronyms!):





ba·nal: / beyn–nahl / ad­jec­tive
1. de­void of fresh­ness or orig­i­nal­ity; hack­neyed; trite

a·nal·o·gy: /uh–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. a sim­i­lar­ity be­tween like fea­tures of two things, on which a com­par­i­son may be based 2. sim­i­lar­ity or comparability

ba­nal­ogy: / beyn–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. A hack­neyed and stu­pid com­par­i­son made be­tween two things that bear ab­solutely no sim­i­lar­ity or com­pa­ra­bil­ity to each other 2. A word I just made up

In an up­com­ing in­ter­view in Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp com­pares photo shoots to rape:

“Well, you just feel like you’re be­ing raped some­how. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird — just weird, man.”


While I un­der­stand the point Depp is try­ing to make, he could have used an­other word — “vi­o­lated”­, for example.

Is it just me or are peo­ple in­creas­ingly us­ing the word “raped” as an anal­ogy to de­scribe feel­ings of frus­tra­tion and an­noy­ance? For ex­am­ple, I once heard some­one say they were “raped” by their cell­phone provider. Really? Getting overcharge­d on your phone bill is anal­o­gous to a vi­o­lent sex­ual assault?


I can’t imag­ine the psychologi­cal, emo­tional and phys­i­cal tur­moil that a rape vic­tim goes through. Rape is a tool used to wield power, dom­i­nance and fear over a per­son. It is meant to di­min­ish a person’s dig­nity and self-worth, to re­duce them to some­thing less than hu­man. To have the word “rape” used in such a way as Depp has takes away its im­pact and its brutality, and trivialize­s the experience­s of those who have been vic­tim­ized by it.

Before you use the word “rape” to de­scribe some­thing you’ve gone through, ask your­self this: would a vic­tim of rape de­scribe her or his ex­pe­ri­ence in the same way? Would they say some­thing like, “As my vagina was be­ing torn apart, I thought, ‘Now I know how Johnny Depp feels be­ing in a photo shoot.’”? Or, “Getting punched in the face felt like get­ting hit with data roam­ing charges.”?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

UPDATE: Shortly af­ter I hit the “Publish” but­ton, I saw this:

Hank Williams Jr. pulled from ESPN af­ter com­par­ing Obama to Hitler



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