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The other day, Rob Ford, who people have tried to convince me is the democratically-elected mayor of Toronto, was confronted outside his house by Mary Walsh, who people have tried to convince me is an actual professional comedian. Rob Ford, concerned that an aggressive, plastic bustier-wearing lady was lurching toward him with a microphone, rushed back into his house and called the police.

When I first heard about this, I felt a certain sympathy for Ford and so endured an uncomfortable few hours. It's probably unpleasant to have someone ambush you when you're in your driveway. It's not his fault that so many Canadian comedians could so easy pass for totally unfunny crazy people. There's no reason that Rob Ford, or anyone else for that matter, should be expected to recognize a Canadian comedian from a television show I was convinced had been cancelled in the late '90s.

Thankfully, Rob Ford proceeded to behave in a way that allowed me to whole-heartedly dislike him again. He called the police not once, but three times, demanding to know why a patrol car had not arrived. While speaking to the 911 operator, he said either:

a) “You … bitches! Don’t you f---ing know? I’m Rob f---ing Ford, the mayor of this city!”; or,
b) "This is f---ing ridiculous.:


Obviously, everyone's hoping it was "a", because that's way more exciting and offensive and in line with the kind of person I suspect he is. Even if he didn't say it, I say we continue to believe he did, because it's so much more plausible.  

And if he didn't say it, and someone leaks the tape and he's found to have used an expletive in a less exciting manner (option "b"), it shouldn't be all that difficult to put him in a cussing mood again in the future. I'm sure the CBC is preparing to deploy Luba Goy as we speak. 
 
 
At some point in your life, someone who admires the Dresden Dolls and Angela Carter will probably tell you, with an air of revealing a shattering truth, that fairy-tales are not really for children, that the original fairy-tales, at least, are dark and bloody and perverse and disturbing and as unlike the charming yarns spun for children as Amanda Palmer and Angela Carter are from Hilary Duff and Gordon Korman.

It's also possible that someone you know will decide to tell you that all the nursery rhymes you learned as a kid were about either a) syphilis or b) the Black Death.

And of course, they're right. The stories and songs we use to entertain children are grounded in an awareness of nightmares and horrors. Magical fables and singable rhymes developed out of real-life catastrophes and plagues. How exciting it is to realize that our generation is also producing such rich fodder for future folklore!

Just this week, I heard about something that sounds like an actual horrible fairy-tale come to life and/or inspiration for a horrible fairy-tale still to be written. Katya Adler of the BBC reports that in Spain, over a period of forty-fifty years (from Franco to the 1990s), an estimated 300,000 children were stolen from their parents by doctors and nurses and nuns and priests and then sold to new families. The birth parents were told their children had died. Initially, babies were taken from ideologically unacceptable homes (i.e. homes that housed people who didn't like Franco) and given to Franco loyalists; later, babies were taken from morally unacceptable homes and redistributed to morally upstanding would-be parents; later still, babies were taken from poor people mostly because money could be made by selling them to rich people. 

Many of the graves of infants said to have died have since been discovered to contain stones or adult corpses.

The government, adhering to an amnesty law in place since the transition from Franco's regime, has refused to set up a formal inquiry into this clergy-backed child trafficking. 

It might not be reasonable to fear that malevolent fairy will snatch your child, but in pretty-near-contemporary Spain, it turns out it was completely reasonable to fear that a nun would steal your baby.

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.
 
 
Finally, the CBC has come up with a new way to humiliate itself! I thought it might be content to rest on its crappy scripted non-laurels (e.g. Being Erica) and its crappy unscripted non-laurels (e.g. Don Cherry), but the CBC seems to have decided it would like to be denigrated by more than just people who don't want to look at that guy from Da Vinci's Inquest anymore. 

Apparently unaware that its audience is made up of people who focus on how much better the CBC is than some unavoidably inferior American tabloid news station instead of how much worse anything it airs is than even the vaguest ramblings of Jim Lehrer, the CBC has decided to dress up in American right-wing grown-up clothes by allowing some really smug, annoying guy to say outrageous things. I am not going to make a snide comment about Peter Mansbridge at this juncture, as we all know that he is never outrageously anything.

The guy I'm talking about is Kevin O'Leary, a man who looks like a sleek and malevolent seal and has apparently made a career for himself out of making money (fair enough, I guess) and saying abrasive things he clearly think are hard to take because they're so steeped in bitter truth instead of because they're positively drowned in a sea of completely baseless self-regard.

For some reason, the CBC, desperate, perhaps, to employ someone who's not Nicholas Campbell or Eric Peterson, has allowed this man to appear on approximately 85 television shows. He's on Dragon's Den, where he dismissively tells people dismissive things and manages to be neither insightful nor funny, and on The Lang and O'Leary Exchange, which, when I thought about it all, I thought was a 1970s movie about hostage-taking.

The other day, he bravely faced off against Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges on the topic of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I say "bravely", because Hedges is obviously smarter, classier, and more celebrated than he is. 

O'Leary defends principles of journalistic accuracy and integrity by reminding Hedges that he called him a "nut bar" and not a "nut case". He apparently intends to disparage a largely grass-roots, anti-corporate movement by calling it "low budget." He leaps delightedly on the "you probably drove a car to the demonstration" point because he just KNOWS that charge of hypocrisy will oblige Hedges to give him his Pulitzer.

While watching this on the internet, I thought "Sun TV must have a larger set budget than I thought, and money for more than one camera-person." Then I discovered that my blessed ignorance of Canadian television had protected me from the knowledge that O'Leary was speaking as an employee of CBC. This is a CBC show. This man is employed by Canada's public broadcaster. He's not just biased, and combative, and insulting to his guest; he's also complacent and stupid and paid for with tax dollars. 

The CBC seems to be trying desperately to make itself relevant by employing more and more abrasive, shit-talking, smug sons of bitches. I don't see why they don't just replace everyone with Don Cherry. Surely, that would be more cost-effective.

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.
 
 
Canadian elections are often discouraging because they generally lack the really exciting and inflammatory fear tactics employed by Americans running for office. We don't tend to hear about anchor babies or toddlers being turned into shameless, sex-crazed atheists after receiving government-mandated vaccinations. At best, we're treated to the phrase "tax-and-spend" used in such a manner as to suggest "vicious killer of especially adorable babies."

Thank goodness for Tim Hudak, who not only looks like a bloated and malevolent Steve Yzerman, but is also finally bringing to Ontario provincial politics some of the barely-concealed xenophobia and homophobia we've been forced to admire from afar for so long.

First, he spoke darkly of "foreign workers" being given employment advantages by the Liberals, conjuring up images of sinister hordes of immigrants swarming across Ontario with their advanced degrees, snatching up plum jobs and refusing to sign their kids up for hockey. But what else would the father-daughter pair from the this-should-be-about-a-long-distance-plan-but-it's-really-about-Tim Hortons commercial and the appallingly off-putting young people from the Rogers commercials fear besides job-thieving neurologists from South Asia? That's right: pint-sized perverts.

You've probably heard by now about the fantastically entertaining flyer being circulated by some Conservative candidates and adamantly defended by Hudak. It asserts, in both comforting blackboard-y and menacing old-typewriter fonts, that Dalton McGuinty wants to turn the next generation of Canadians into a bunch of transvestite sluts. McGuinty, unsurprisingly, denies that this is his secret and nefarious aim and claims he just wants kids to be informed and not quite so mean to one another.

I suggest to the Liberals that in the one day of campaigning they have left, they change their approach ever so slightly. Instead of arguing that the pamphlet is crazy and full of lies, why don't they simply admit that their vision of Ontario relies heavily on cross-dressing primary schoolers? Liberals are working tirelessly to create a future full of and for cross-dressing primary schoolers and job-stealing immigrants. I myself would far rather live in a province populated by boys in skirts and highly-trained professionals from abroad than one peopled with small, medium, and large-sized, and somewhat-hateful, really-hateful, and pamphlet-makingly hateful Tim Hudaks.

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.