Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Requiem for the Hangover of a Canadian Immigrant - Original Song # 36


Eleven months in
Still finding your place
You cheer for the Habs
Watch The Amazing Race

The kids have made friends
Learned some French, ate Subway
But you cannot find work
And you have just four weeks’ grace

Lo and behold
It’s Canada Day
The PM looks lost touring a tipi in the rain
The natives around you
No flags do they wave
Just beers and grilled beef
And a look of disdain

CHORUS
Don’t fly your flag so mighty
So high
Don’t mix bloody Caesars
With ginger and rye

Know that at the root
Of every symbol is some lie
Don’t mix bloody Caesars
With ginger and rye

The cure for your hangover
If you haven’t yet clued-in
Comes from filtered Florida OJ,
Picked by Mexican migrants
Mixed with Brita-filtered water
(Thanks to the Germans)
And a Samsung-brewed coffee
Picked by Indonesian kids

CHORUS
  
If the Maple Leaf still means
Anything worth a fight
It’s writ ‘tween the lines
Of that Charter of Rights

So don’t hang your patriotism
On a populist rant
On a tax-payer’s gripe
Or an immigrant’s back

- 30 -

Monday, April 17, 2017

Amazing CHé

Amazing CHé
How sweet the sound
Of Habs fans leaving their seats

In the K, he was lost
But with the CH, was found
We give praise to Bergevin

'Twas Captain K that taught
The PP to click
Leko and BBQ, my fears relieved
How precious did that CHé appear
The OT I first believed

Through many Rangers, and Arrogant Fuckface
Our boys have already come
'Tis TFS that brought us play-offs thus far
And CJv2 will lead us CHome

Lord Stanley has promised a Cup to the team
That 16 playoff wins secures
It will the CH goal and passion be
As long as the game endures

When we've been there in 24 other years
Parades shining in the June sun
We've measured days left to ride TFS's saves
Boys, now, let's get it done

Amazing Shea
How sweet the sound
Of Rags getting soundly checked
For PFK, we had love
But now, BBQ and CHé
And the return of SuperPleXXX

Thursday, March 16, 2017

If Y(emelin) Should Fall From Grace with Claude (apologies to the Pogues)

If Y Should Fall from Grace with Claude
After being cleanly beaten
If Y’s muscled off the puck
And his passes fail completely

Let him sit Claude, let him sit Claude
Let Y sit up with the press where the hotdogs come with fries

This Cup was always ours 
Was the pride of Montrealers
It belongs to the Habs
Not to any of Buttman’s fuckers
It’s coming back here boys, coming back here boys!
Dump the Buttman in the south where the hockey fans run dry

Keep GCHuck at C
Let those Forum ghosts direct him
If he shoots from open ice
KidA or LB will deflect them
Into the goal boys, into the goal boys!
Win this town a twenty-fifth Cup
Where the Frenchmen used to fly

If Y Should Fall from Grace with Claude
After being cleanly beaten
Harley’s raring to go
And he passes pretty cleanly

Let him sit Claude, let him sit Claude
Let Y sit up with the press where the hotdogs come with fries


POGUE MAHONE!!!

GYFHG

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Winter's Coming (apologies to Arcade Fire and their Neighbourhoods #1 (Tunnels)

And if the snow buries my CH neighbourhood
And if Che is flying
Then he'll saucer a pass
From his stick blade to PatCHes
Yeah, a pass, from his stick blade to PatCHes

KidA has climbed out of the cellar
And skated up the middle
The middle of the ice
And since there's no one but the goalie around
He'll stay in the blue paint long
And forget how how he used to blow
And then his skin gets thicker
From spraying that goalie with snow

You changed all the lead
In that rebuilt hand
As the puck comes in
KidA shovels it right in

Then Julien tried to fix our PK
Cuz Price had forgotten the way to
The way to shut teams down
But somehow, TFS remembered his goalposts
And how to cover his five-hole
And his catlike trapper hand
Then, the D remembered how to skate strong
And how to cover the man

MB changed all the smurfs
Getting knocked around
As the trades came in
King and Thor came thundering

Purify the CHolours, beef up the 4th line
Purify the CHolours, put scorers in the top two lines
And spread the ashes of Arrogant Fuckface
Over this CHeart of mine!

GOHABSGO

- 30 -

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yes we are all going to die

NATO is not something that can be brazenly referred to as obsolete in a brief missive by the PEOTUS in the days before assuming office. The shockwaves of uncertainty generated from't (especially lacking any spark of contextualization) are far greater than the capacity of the planet to withstand. Geo-politically speaking, war has been declared on the very basis of international relations. The most extraordinary buffoon since Fyodor Karamazov now holds our collective fate in his ignorant, tweet-happy hands. And yet here we are.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Stand Down Therrien (apologies to the English Beat)

I said I see no goals

I see only losses

I see no chance of a play-off tomorrow

So stand down eMTy

Stand down please

Stand down Therrien

I say stand down eMTy

Stand down please

Stand Therrien

You tell me how can it work

With this “process” of yours

All these chip-ins aren’t working,

We want a third goal scored

Stand down eMTy

Stand down please

Stand down Therrien

I sometimes wonder

If I'll ever get to say

Come with me my children

To the Stanley Cup parade

Our hopes seem desperate in your dump and chase plans

Would you give a second thought

Would you ever change the process, I doubt it

Stand down eMTy

Score!

Everybody shout it

Stand down eMTy!

DDD, cut his power play time

More gCHuck at Centre

We score

Score, score, score, score, score

Score, score, score, score, score

Score, score, score, score, score

Score, score, score, score, score

Score, score, score, score, score

Stand down please

Stand down EMTy

Stand down please

Stand down Therrien

I say stand down EMTy

Stand down please

Stand down Therrien

Stand down EMTy

Stand down please

Stand down Therrien

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Harper not about to have sex with sheep. Nope nope nope

That appears to have been the gist of the point made to the CBC news camera of a Harper-Con supporter at today's Conservative campaign event. Point taken. And lo and behold! The Ford brothers - even the crack-cocaine smoking one - are trotted out to help rally the faithful in a Toronto riding the Conservatives are desperately hoping to hang on to in the dying days of their uber-ugly campaign.

Hey, everybody, let's sing:

The wheels of the bus fall off, off, off; off, off. off; off, off, off...

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Election theme song from Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde

Land You Love

Land You Love - Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde from Phil Maloney on Vimeo.

This brings a tear to my eye everytime I play it. Thank you, Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde.

Share! Share! Share!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Dipper Blood & Grit Guts

Dang!

Best debate ever. And maybe because it couldn`t be fully appreciated if you didn't already live in la Belle Province and have a good ear for Québefrancais, but dang!

I watched all the debates, and this one took the cake. For once, Harper was on the defensive and getting pummeed all throughout. Trudeau and Duceppe - and especially Mulcair - smacked him down for the best 120 minutes of the past 10 years.

On more than a couple of occasions I was animated towards my TV like nothing you have seen since the last Habs playoff games.

That said, Mulcair mostly made the gorgeous passes while Trudeau potted the goals. Anyway, I loved every minute. For once, Mulcair was himself mostly. The attack dog making sure Harper won't get away with anything. And Mulcair allowed himself to be himself, and not some weird uncle with the fake smile trying to sell you crystal meth as some hard candy.

Trudeau blew everyone out of the water on debating points, and called Duceppe "mon amour" at one point, completely endearing himself to all québecoise (according to my Québecoise wife) and providing a bit of candor to his otherwise ironclad demeanor. The niqab was debated responsibly. The Middle East conflict and our role therein was debated (marginally) intelligently. Everything I saw in two hours surpassed the past five years of HoC theater. Bravo, all.

Bonus points to JT for calling out Harper on his cowardice vis a vis gay marriage and abortion rights; plus for saying a couple of real truths over the course of the night.

- 30 -

Monday, September 14, 2015

Harper's new ads: Shut Up, I'm Talking I and Shut Up, I'm Talking II

The greater Dictator, dictating (courtesy Huffpost)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/09/14/tory-campaign-ads_n_8134536.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics

Friday, June 26, 2015

Will the really smart Trudeau - Sacha - please stand up?

Dear Justin,

I was very disheartened to hear our current PM today distort your thoughtful positions on restoring diplomacy with Iran and pulling out of the bombing campaign in the Iraq-Syria joint civil war.

That said: nice ad!

I have to say though, that I was previously crestfallen to see all Liberals in HoC vote for C-51 because it is such an aberration; yet I know the victory taken from the NDP on their vote against was purely Pyrrhic, as the bill was going to pass with or without either party's votes, and I believe your braintrust presumed it was mostly only a set-piece to provide the Cons (literally now, given Del Mastro's new status) with fodder for attack ads.

However, it does speak to how desperate Harper must be, with so much of his bench dropping off. If the likes of Pollivere (forgive me but I really don't care if I am misspelling his name, which itself is as pretentious as his very ken), and Kenney and Raitt and Lebel and Kirstie Alley - or, you know, the one that looks like her and wants to single-handedly breathe dragon-fire onto the Supreme Court, Ambrose or something - if they constitute Peevey Stevie's shining Cabinet stars,... that tells me his cupboard is just about bare.

I looked with an open mind at the NDP platform today, and while my progressive-minded bent was aligned with much of what they put out there, in a practical sense, I couldn't square much of their plans with the individualized needs of the provinces (standardized daycare, Senate abolition, and minimum wage in particular). The line you spoke last week in response to the Senate was perfect - that when you get the ear of the provincial premieres, the conversation should focus on bread and butter issues; not some navel-gazing exercise with horse-trading for constitutional tweaking this way and that, as Senate abolition would constitutionally require. That was only a burning issue for a week, really. Not a game-changer, so I think once people think about it, they'll see your stance is the best one of the major three parties.

With so many Liberal provincial governments currently in power, doing right by the provinces is a winning strategy, as their own ground troupes might be more invigorated to fighting for you, and it does nothing to irk most voters. As a former GPC supporter, I was particularly wowed by the stuff proposed on realchange.ca and I hope there will be more like it.

Mulcair has a singular option for Proportional Rep that we are bound to swallow should he win in October. Your 18-month consultative plan is much better policy. So is most of the LPC policy. Keep putting it out there and explaining in plain language where it surpasses NDP policy and don't ever forget to use the other differentiator: the LPC is the only party that is not in the hard-line hawkish Israeli back pocket. Hopefully Duceppe - a hard-scrabbly type who won't get bested by the NDP twice - will do the heavy lifting in shining this light on the NDP for you. His francophone sovereignist constituency was turned-on by Layton and can be equally turned-off by Mulcair, knowing how fully he stands behind whatever Israel does, no matter how horribly the Palestinians fare under their occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

Lastly, keep being you. Resist kowowing to the cynical politics of most of our political class, and please continue to speak off-the-cuff without fear. Your genuineness is what made people believe in you from the get-go, after all. Mulcair is stronger and fiercer, yes, but the soft power you so effortlessly harness is what sets you apart.

P.S.: Do tell me that your bro Sacha is not going anywhere; because as long as he remains the RFK to your JFK, I think the "Not Ready" meme is going to be DOA (imperfect as that metaphor admittedly is).

Warm regards, Scott Murray (formerly of Papineau riding, now in Dorval) - 30 -

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Justin Calling

Justin Calling to Albertan towns

Now get prepared for the writ to come down

Justin Calling to the oilsands

Forget about Pierre and his Energy plans

Justin Calling, now look here to us

The new Trudeaumania is on the up'n'up

Mulcair isn't catching

Harper's on the way out

The Cons are corrupted

The Greens got no clout

A BQ error, leaves the left in the clear

And Justin is calling and I'll...

Go for the winner!

Justin calling, yes, I was there, too

An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!

Justin calling to the gun registry arm

Forget it brother, that's a horse that's long gone!

Justin calling to the zombies of Ignatieff

Quit bitchin' bout, those (true) ads all negative

Justin calling, and I don't want to flout

But while you were sulking, I glad-handed about

Justin calling, see we ain't getting high

But there's taxes to be raised from making it legalized

Mulcair just ain't catching

Harper's on the way out

The Cons are corrupted

The Greens got no clout

A BQ error, leaves the left in the clear

And Justin is calling and I'll...

Go for the winner!

Justin calling, yes, I got swept up too

And you know what they said? Sacha's onboard too!

Justin calling through the Mop & Pail bile

After all this, won't you give me a smile?

Justin calling

I never hoped so much, so much so much!

- 30 -

Sunday, May 25, 2014

On Stephen Harper's texticles

It's been a while.

Since my last post, hola! -- not one but TWO Quebec elections ago, much has changed for Scott in Montreal. The love of my life gave birth to our beautiful (and dare I say, with all modesty, brilliantly telepathic) little girl. That was ten months ago today! And wow, what an amazing thing it is to see a fresh little human being joyously joining three siblings on her mother's side together with two younger ones on mine.

In the midst of that, I have blogged not.

Suffice it to say, Peevey Stevie has been his erstwhile Galacticly Empirical self, all the while supplying the cosmos with little other vision than a long-awaited book about his take on the sport of hockey (mega-yawn), which ought to provide all the fodder needed for Mulcair and Trudeau to lay waste with him in the next election campaign; excepting how that electoral strategy only works in a world twenty or thirty years in the past, when the litmus test of our political leaders still lay in the realm of their abilities to commandeer the written form for inspiration. But let's not forget how video killed the radio star, only to find itself decisively slayed by apps like Sugar Crush. How far did our fearless leader get without resorting to paying or getting FB help, I wonder?

Tasty!

Oh there is so much else worthy of commentary. As you all should know, I cut my blogging teeth railing against Harper and virtually every move he has made as Prime Minister. I have been critical of all the federal parties and their lackluster leadership over the course of the past ten years (but with extra elbow-grease applied to the Conservatives and Québec separatists here and there). I once championed Elizabeth May, and even worked for Ingrid Hein, the GPC candidate running against Justin Trudeau in Papineau riding back in 2008. I think I voted for him though, because it was projected to be tight between him and the BloQuébecois candidate at the time, and I was not keen on being party to splitting the anti-separatist vote.

When I voted for Trudeau again in 2010, I told my sons it was like voting for Spiderman, with Harper being Dr. Doom. "Why would anybody vote for Dr. Doom?" my eldest asked. "Dr. Doom," I said, "has convinced them that HE is Spiderman!"

"But he's not!" my son said, all a-furrow of brow.

"No," I said. "But that is how the Dr. Dooms of the world work." They tell lies that even their own mothers would believe, as convincingly as if they were just describing the colour of the sky.

My other son, at the age of six, boldly declared that he hates Stephen Harper, and wishes for bad things to come to his "texticles."

That's my boy.

- 30 -

BTW: I am calling Habs in 6 vs. NYR

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Cross is Boss: Marois 1, Frontwoodsers 0

As a proud fifth-generation anglo Québecker de souche, properly baptised by the Plymouth Trinity United Church of Sherbrooke, I must take a moment here to salute Parti-Québecois leader Pauline Marois for her bold statement pledging to keep my belle province the rightful Backwoods capital of North America.

Because here in Quebec, backwoods is where it's at. And to underline that, Marois spent time on the campaign trail today defending her party's proposal to secularize the province's civil servants' appearance, lest it offend the non-believers of whatever faith is projected by the bearer's attire (sacred or not).

Unless, of course, the bearer's faith happens to be Christianity (the "good", or at least, "officially-sanctioned" faith, apparently).

Bravo, I say. I mean, I don't know about you, but when I go down to the S.A.A.Q. to renew my driver's license, the last thing I want to see is a fully-bilingual, smiling civil servant wearing a Scottish kilt. I don't want to think about what's behind that Sporran, thank you very much. There is nothing Catholic about the Scots, after all.

And it's not just them, but those snooty Saudi-Arabian immigrant women - you know, the ones who aren't even allowed to drive in their country of origin - but when they come here to pursue a better life pursuant to the United Nations declaration of Universal Human Rights, think they can go on following their Muslim faith and shit anyway. I mean, come on!

And I suppose there are other creeds with their ceremonial daggers and headscarves and other horrifyingly provocative faith-based attire. I just shudder to think. I mean, where did these Muslim people get the idea to have their women-folk cover up their hair with cloth anyway?

It's just so ...barbaric. I mean, really, how dare these carefully selected immigrants wear their headscarves and whatnot once they arrive here, just like they did their whole lives in their some-such places of origin? Why can't they understand they can never become a true Québecois until they completely lay themselves down and take the holy ghost up the wazoo like the rest of us all did from the time ol' Samuel de Champlain put his two fingers together in 1609 and whistled across the pond for La Vieille France to fork over a few hundred God-fearing Filles du Roi (yowza!).

Now that, my friends, was an inspired immigration policy. See, this is why it's so important to wrest that from Ottawa. Oh, wait, I suppose that's already happened. Shhh! Don't tell them that until AFTER the election.

(ahem)

Seriously, any Péquiste with the slightest bit of self-respect - or respect for their visionary founder, Rene Levesque, and his strong sense of democracy - should be voting for either Solidarité Québec, or Option Québec. The PQ has gone so Backwoods, the only sound their pollsters will hear is the distinctive August buzz of mosquitoes and blackflies.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Inconvenient Truth about Thomas Mulcair's "Four-Car" Garage Swiftboating

So my dad and "Tom" (Thomas Mulcair) met up at Briarwood Park in Beaconsfield the other day.

Yeah, really. Two grandfathers laughing it up with a couple of toddlers. They didn't know each other beforehand, but my dad can still spot a pol with a national profile, and the wily salesman that he is, he was none too shy about starting up a conversation.

I had no idea the leader of the Opposition was my dad's neighbour, nor that he had long-since been, for roughly 30 years, since about the time we ourselves moved there from Sherbrooke.

Will wonders never cease? I wanted to know: What street does he live on? Beaconsfield Blvd? The ritzy Hyde Park perhaps? No, no, probably the more laid-back hippie-wetdream champagne-socialist Kirkwood Avenue?

"Lynwood, I think," was my dad's reply.

"Lynwood?"

"Lynwood."

I defy anyone to find a more pedestrian, unpretentious, straight-up homey suburban road in this entire country than Lynwood Drive in Beaconsfield, Quebec. Go ahead and Google-map it if you don't believe me.

So interestingly, I was out visiting my folks just the day after learning of this, bringing my own two kids and upping the grandkid quotient in hopes of divining a follow-up visit from the potential next Prime Minister of What We Hope Will Still Be Somewhat Recognizable as Canada After The Harpercons Have Had Their Way.

I reckon this was about the same time this despicable smear job was being prepared for print, replete with skillfully photoshopped pic of a "four-car" garage (nobody could own a house with that much garage space unless they were psychotically trying to guzzle enough tarsands-derived gasoline to ...insert maniacal slobbering laugh... bloody-well guarantee climate change hell for all the misbegotten creatures of the Earth, of course).

Yeah, Dr. Evil has nothing on our Tom.

For what it's worth, I am not a big fan of Mr. Mulcair, although he is a darn sight better than probably 90% of the people you might find yourself hemming and hawing over on Election Day.

Anyway, on my way down to visit my folks last Sunday, I decided to venture down Lynwood Drive, perhaps the only road in that southwest sector of Beaconsfield where I never once took up delivery of the Gazette in the late 1980s.

I just wanted to see which was the nicest house on that street, the kind of house a man of his stature might deem worthy of himself to have as his domicile. I have to say, I went right past 109, purportedly Mulcair's address, without even considering it, it was so ordinary.

What does this tell us? That Mulcair owns perhaps the middlest of middle-class cottages, while the homes (former and present) of such Canadian political luminaries as Pierre-Elliot Trudeau (Town of Mount Royal) and Brian Mulroney and Jean Charest (Westmount, both) are among the poshest of posh to be found on the island Jacques Cartier named Ville-Marie over 350 years ago?

Big whoop.

And with Warren Kinsella piling on pathetically, (complain about something real, Warren, okay?) all I can say is that my respect for Mulcair has just shot up ten-fold.

And as for that "four-car" garage? Take heart Tom, because if that's the best they can do, they got nothin'.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Paint It, Red

But the sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!

Reports are the casserole protests continued tonight. Thousands marching up St-Laurent Blvd earlier this fine evening. Good for them. "That's the spirit," as my eight-year-old son likes to say.

You know, for months I was reluctant to get behind this particular student-led movement. It really left a bad taste in my mouth every time I heard about "striking" students thwarting others from attending classes. And like many others I spoke with, "strike" (or its french equivalent, "grève", rhymes with Bev) seemed a misnomer. If anything, these guys were boycotting their classes, or at the very least, "protesting". But calling it a strike seemed disingenuous.

I am however, a tolerant Canadian, so I did not quibble with them throwing bricks on subway tracks to get attention when the hardline Quebec Liberal government of Jean Charest refused to even meet with them and hear their grievances. It was not very becoming of Charest, but then again, he is a pompous ass, and when you knowingly elect a pompous ass, you have to expect to live with that devil you knew and know. He was, after all, merely a young pup when learning the tricks of the trade within Mulroney's cabinet.

But once he had had enough of these unwavering protesters, his pomposity grew to such outbound proportions with his Bill 78 that I knew in a heartbeat that rather than making a Swift, Decisive, Strong Leader decision, he had instead impetuously shat the provincial bed.

I look on it now as my Grinch moment. It awakened me.

There I was, hand cocked to ear, sitting atop Mount Crumpet with all the self-righteousness of the many people like me, feeling unlawfully hindered from wending our little ways through the workings of life to get to our woefully underpaid jobs. I was fully (gosh, naively) expecting to hear the mea culpas from CLASSE spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and the others. And like all those who'd poo-pooed the movement and quietly categorized them as uber-brats, I had expected them to back down and accept that they were about to be firmly screwed again. The way I got screwed. The way we all have been getting screwed by the untenable but nonetheless well-embraced mantra of neo-liberalism that doesn't know anything other than sucking every ounce of life from the 99.9% to feed the self-important point-0-one.

But this generation of students? Nuh-uh. They wouldn't - and won't - have any of it, even though Bill 78 meant these students had just had their whole semesters scuppered.

But just like the Whos in Whoville who had been robbed of all their worldly possessions, the "entitled" young buggers came right back out into the commons anyway. They came out in numbers much greater than what wept for Maurice Richard's passing, and they sang their protest song on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012. Over a hundred thousand people marched in bold defiance of a law that so obviously contravenes our utmost rights (bestowed by the people to those that rule us, remember, not the other way around), even the dimmest of voters could not help but see it.

We all heard them; me from the 8th floor office on de Maisonneuve Blvd where I earn subsistence wages for an American company that constantly insists none of us may take a sick day without later furnishing a Doctor's note, never mind that it's against Quebec law to ask for that for absences of less than three days.

I went down to the street on my break and watched the marchers head down Peel Street. They were joyously defiant. They had all the violence of a John Lennon or Ghandi.

They were on the right side of history, I figured.

For what I had heretofore failed to see was that the tuition increase wasn't all they were protesting. The increase, or "Hausse" was more like the straw that broke the camel's back - the camel that the mass media was always looking beyond because it figured nobody cared so much about camels as about Kardashians. And if it's sad that they are right in that assumption, it's also true that they had a big hand in making it so.

I guess I didn't relate because my own experience in university was that tuition kept going up each year, but my parents (what foresight!) had been saving for me and my sister since we were tots to make sure we had money to get a degree. And they had expected it to be a lot more expensive than it turned out to be.

My first year at Concordia University was also the last year of a long-standing tuition fee freeze (1988), and my contract for a full year's study, including extra administrative costs, was all of $750. After that, there was books and living expenses of course. And I did my bit. I toiled unrewarded as a volunteer student journalist; I paid my way and switched to studying part-time once the $350-a-year increases kicked-in in 1989, working minimum wage at McDonald's - a real Flaherty job if ever there was one.

Since graduation, I have found the market for my writing, my reporting, indeed the sum of my skills learned within the two departments of Journalism and Communications, to be drier than a James Bond martini. The jobs just haven't been there, and when they were, I jumped at them, only to find myself jammed-up with numerous others, like the hammers of an old manual typewriter all struck at once, with none eventually hitting the ribbon, but left with no recourse save full retreat.

I am 43 years old, with two dependants and an ex-wife. I had to start over last year, grateful as hell to find employment that provides good family benefits and a measure of security (not maternity-leave replacement or fixed-term contract work, but permanent, full-time with vacation), despite the fact it pays less than I made twelve years ago as a McDonald's manager.

So if the greater message is that this society is just not providing opportunity for the average Joe and Josephine, yeah, I get it.

And as someone who is squarely in the red, living in a tiny apartment with no money to go on vacations and unable to set aside anything for my kids' education, let alone my own retirement (which I imagine won't come before I am 70, if not 67 - unlike the tsk-tsk-ing well-heeled Boomer generation that is so disgusted by all this protesting), you bet I get it. Even Arcade Fire and Mick Jagger get it.

So I am with you. Sorry I wasn't listening earlier. That's what happens when you're working for the clampdown. I always loved that song. Now I've lived it.

Not the way I'd hoped.

*Photo: thanks, Aly Neumann!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Québec Students: You're Coming Along

After school is over you're playing in the park
Don't be out too late, don't let it get too dark
They tell you not to hang around and learn what life's about
And grow up just like them, won't you let it work it out


As I type this, thousands of youth are out in the streets of Montreal, in defiance of a police decree set at 22h30 EDT that their protest tonight is illegal. They are ostensibly protesting the planned hikes of tuition fees set in the last Quebec budget by the tired and corrupt Liberal government headed by former Mulroney Conservative Jean Charest.

This Spring, they aren't out there looting after a professional hockey loss.

They aren't out there sitting in tents in a park like the Occupy movement.

They're rather mobile in fact, as if they well understand the difficulty for the police in hitting a moving target.

And they clearly aren't in any mood to negotiate.

As someone who watched in horror while the 2010 Toronto G20 summit devolved into a disgraceful showcase of police belligerence against peaceful protesters, I shudder to think of where this is all heading.

My question for CLASSE: was it ever really about tuition fee hikes? Or was that just an excuse to get the ball rolling on a push for revolutionary social change? And how many of your followers will follow as far as you want to take this?

In the context of a super-corrupt and tired Charest government, I have to think this is all becoming the biggest test of our social fabric since the '95 referendum.

- 30 -

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just saw the english Mulcair ad

My reaction: Why is this man on my TV looking all psycho-eyed in a suit and trying to make nice with me?

As an anglo Quebecker, I really don't like the Sherbrooke resolution that got so many Bloq supporters to vote NDP. I consider that a classic and shameless sell-out move on the party's part.

I have a big problem with anyone kowtowing to the separatists, because their project is rooted in xenophobia, and my very existence on Québec soil is an irritant to many of them. Their vision of Québec has no place for me.

There's a reason Chretien passed the Clarity Act.

The NDP is a party replete with such short-sightedness, and I see no indication of a change of direction on their part. If anything, I imagine their next move will be to become more corporate-friendly (especially given the carefully rendered signals of this ad, wherein Mulcair is wearing a dark suit and situated in a board room).

I would hope the left-of-centre Liberals and the Greens could eventually merge with the NDP and get a real solid leftist alternative in place. Then maybe we could have a party that would feel strong enough they don't need to make such concessions. But I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Progressively Blooging

I return to blogging today because I understand there has been a disturbance in the Force.

It isn't right to say that we should consider whether or not a woman has control over her body. All this wondering aloud about "when life begins" is truly BS, coded talking points expunged from Great Amounts of Male-Dominance Seed Money collected from paranoid, depraved anti-social oddities of the human race that are as willing to jump aboard a ship of well-meaning fools as they are incapable of feeling the fit of their fellow fools' shoes.

It's a false argument: "where does life begin?"

I don't know and you don't know, and if there is one thing for certain, it's that outside of our cushy Canadian existence, where the sanctity of human life is held higher (if not nearly high enough for our humanitarian ideals), there are craploads of people elsewhere, whom we leave to suffer and die prematurely every time Bono snaps his fingers, while we arm their oppressors for our own profit - in order to enjoy such a high level of health and prosperity for ourselves. Within our borders. And not, so much, without.

So if you find yourself wringing your hands over the decision of a woman to excise the growth within herself before it becomes a viable human being for which she will be ultimately responsible, ask yourself what you are doing to alleviate the suffering of those who are already here and grasping for hope for any kind of life. Ask yourself if this is really the debate we need to engage in. Ask yourself why you feel you are progressive in your blogging.

There are those of us who have been here a spell, who await your answers.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Original Song #35: Skeleton Key

You're hiding out in the open
There's so much said in deeds unspoken
And I know you, and your inflections
Eyes aflutter, laughing stutter

I was walking
You were talking
And you were holding the key
I was walking
You were talking
And you were holding the key
The skeleton key to me

You told me you want to hold me
You say you've stopped it, you couldn't help it
And you know me, know how to snow me
I say I've got my pride
But I'm thinking about my "pride and joy"

I was walking...

How much can you put me through?
How much do you stand to lose?
How do you expect me to love you?
I can't even look at you
Not now, not now
Not now, not now
Not now, not now
Not now, not now

I was walking...