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Perfect. They'll never know.
For the first time, The Toronto Sun has broken a story that does not involve Rob Ford respecting tax-payers or the Liberals refusing to respect tax-payers. Apparently,
former Harper deputy chief of staff Patrick Muttart sent The Sun a report from a mysterious U.S. source that claimed Ignatieff advised the Americans on military strategy before its 2003 invasion of Iraq. And not from any cushy, east-coast armchair, either, but from a base in Kuwait. Muttart also helpfully sent along an image that ostensibly shows Ignatieff hunkered down in front of a helicopter cradling a giant gun.
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The photo, unfortunately, was low-resolution, and lacked the metadata that would have proven when it was taken. The Sun asked for a high-resolution version of the photo, and when it was finally provided, the paper discovered that while the image had been taken in 2002, the man in question was not Ignatieff. Not one bit. 

I find this all extremely depressing. Not because it seems like this was a dishonest and underhanded attempt to throw crap on an opponent, but because the Conservatives can't even seem to pull off a good, old-fashioned unfounded smear. They aren't without know-how and resources. If they were themselves duped, do they have no photo-analyzers of their own? If they were actively and knowingly attempting to dupe, did they not realize a sophisticated analysis would reveal the high-resolution image to be a clumsy forgery? Did they not have access to a photo-forger who could have produced something a little more convincing? Couldn't they have located and employed whoever was responsible for making Obama's long-form birth certificate?

I bet the Conservatives are also wishing they'd just waited a couple of weeks. Then they would have realized the doctored photo featured the wrong man. I'm going to offer them this one, free of charge:
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Marilyn Davenport, Tea Party activist and elected member of the central committee of the Republican Party of Orange County, has landed herself in hot water by sending a totally harmless, inoffensive, and hilarious email to local Republican officials.

The email included this image:
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And the words: "Now you know why no birth certificate." As Davenport said when it was suggested the email might just be subtly racist, the whole thing is "much-ado-about-nothing" and she didn't realize it could be considered racist "until one or two other people tried to make this about race". (She has since apologized more apologetically, although no more convincingly.)

She's absolutely right. It would take someone aware of history, politics, and other people to realize that this could be seen as profoundly offensive. Her email inspired me to create my own amusing and unobjectionable messages:
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Now you know why no brain.
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Now you know why no soul.
The problem is, these funny jokes aren't nearly as inoffensive because they're about people who belong to a group that hasn't historically been subjugated. So I tried again:
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Now you know why so gifted.
That is SLIGHTLY more amusing and innocuous. 

And remember, even if a couple of people "make" my art about anti-conservatism or sexism, I can just say about myself what Marilyn Davenport has said about herself: "I am an imperfect Christian lady who tries her best to live a Christ-honouring life". 

How better to honour Christ than to send humourous emails that couldn't possibly offend anyone? Who can forget this classic, sent by Christ to his early followers:
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Now you know why money-changers at temple so greedy.
Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.
 
 
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It seems there are only white people in Canada. Canada is so smug about its multiculturalism, you'd think it would actually make a point of showcasing its diversity in ways besides making visible minorities share the small screen with Sheila McCarthy. But two recent television-watching experiences have led me to question whether this country is, in fact, populated only by Caucasian, sweater-sporting executives and their blonde, Queen's University-attending children.

First, there was Top Chef Canada. I was willing to look beyond the host (Thea Andrews, who, coincidentally, is blonde and graduated from Queen's University and calls to mind that episode of Seinfeld in which Kramer suffers from Mary Hart-related seizures) and the fact that a strangely high number of the contestants appear not really to be able to cook. What I find hard to accept is that they couldn't have included one contestant of a non-pale hue. Apparently, the show's (unnamed) defenders claim that "the contestants were chosen based on ability, not on location, gender or race". That just means that there happen not to BE any women or minorities who are as good at cooking as these white men are, which is especially distressing as most of these white men appear not be very good at it at all.

Then there was the whiteness of the recent election debate. I'm not referring to  the fact that all four leaders and the host were white (and also men - although Steve Paikin is a Prince Among Men, which sets him slightly apart). I'm talking about the fact that all six citizens whose videotaped questions were shared were white. They were careful to balance the sexes (three women [all blonde, as far as I can remember], three men) and the regions represented, but made no effort to vary the colour scheme. One of the women had an accent, but that was about as diverse as the evening got. 

Are Canadian television producers so obsessed with regional diversity and not looking like the only place they care about is Toronto that they forget there are other forms of inclusiveness? I find I have been retroactively protesting their lack of inclusiveness for years by forgetting about the existence of Canadian television.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.


 
 
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Hooray for Stephen Harper! He's finally decided to emulate a politician other than himself. Unfortunately, it's Tim Pawlenty.

Never heard of Tim Pawlenty? You're not alone - most Americans haven't either. A former Republican governor of Minnesota, Pawlenty is right-wing, looks like one of those Mormons who proselytizes on the subway, and is stultifyingly tedious. He is currently not setting the campaign trail on fire while running for president.

Harper's choice of role model may initially seem surprising, in that he is already right-wing, subway Mormon-ish, and stultifyingly tedious. However, he's not trying to imitate the OLD Pawlenty; he's trying to imitate NEW Pawlenty. 

Pawlenty recently released a non-campaign campaign ad clearly intended to prove he is VITAL, CHARISTMATIC, and PATRIOTIC. If it had been released in the form of text, it would be all red-white-and-blue capital letters. It features noises, and flashes, and quick cuts, and then more loud noises:
It is extremely silly. It took Stephen Colbert no time at all to release his own, slightly less earnest version (his response to the original ad is at 4:53, his own ad starts around 6:58 - because I'm in Canada, I can't access the just-the-bit-I'm-talking-about versions available to Americans).

It took Stephen Harper only slightly longer to release his own INSPIRING and PATRIOTIC version:
Hooray again for Harper! He has succeeded in reinventing himself as Canada's Tim Pawlenty, in that he is proving himself to be equally as dull and desperate. He's even one-upped the American, in that he's also managed to add derivativeness to the mix.


Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.