When Jody Comes Home

JWR Opens Up

The site took rare advantage of an opportunity to re-visit the University Women’s Club of Vancouver in my old Shaughnessy hood on McRae there at “Hycroft”, courtesy of an invite from the Liberal Party of Canada.  The Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Vancouver Granville was taking a meet and greet with constituents in the lower ballroom of the venerable old institution, site of many weddings over the years.

The last time I’d been here was some years ago to attend a wedding.  It was a fine wedding with all the pomp you’d expect of a wedding at Hycroft and the marriage lasted one year.

Many are the memories of me tricycling around “The Crescent” when we lived close by before Dad had to go to jail and our family became destitute.  The Crecsent was lined with cars tonight but we found a spot not far from the venue and eased in our beautiful old car.

We’d thought first to walk up from our residence down the hill several blocks but with the threat of rain, a threat we took seriously, the car it was.  I had my own, personal reasons for coming to a thing like this.  Not only had I voted for Jody Wilson-Raybould in the last federal election but I had never been to anything like this before in my life and I was curious.  And it was Hycroft.  In my old Shaughnessy.

I’d had invitations before to functions like this because I’m a pretty important person to the Liberal party.  I give and no donation is too small, which is a good attitude.  In a fit of reverie one lost night I’d thrown the party a fiver in hopes they’d call off their dogs and stop hectoring me for a donation.  It didn’t work but I guess that’s politics.

And politics can be good in minute doses infrequently, and in my case, very infrequently. And this was a case of that.  And she was with me.  My consort had attended that old Hycroft wedding and had also voted for Jody Wilson-Raybould in the last federal election.

It must be admitted we were also here because our MP was a pretty important person and one who had also recently experienced some pretty intense, career-altering events.  These events, as everyone knows, have been all over the news all over the country.  Jody Wilson-Raybould, until recently, was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the reason she was no longer in that fine position, to a lot of people, had some unseemliness attached to it.   A lot of controversy had erupted and, you guessed it, politics.

So it sounded like fun and we both had the evening off and it would be an opportunity to be in close proximity  to the very public person of The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville.

Even though the event is more than two weeks ago the Honourable Member’s saga won’t die.  It wasn’t dying before the event either.

It was a good-sized crowd.  There was wine and beer at the bar by donation and most people from what I could see were donating a fiver.  I didn’t see what brand of beer was on offer but the only wine label I could see was “Oculus”, a retail $135 a bottle red Bordeaux-style from Mission Hill in the Okanagan.  Everybody knows that.  We took two modestly filled glasses from the barkeep for a fiver each and were well pleased with our adventure.

Occupying seats against the wall near the grazing table it was scant minutes before a nice gentleman in his mid-forties, impeccably dressed in business caj and sitting to the right of my partner initiated conversation with her.  I wasn’t close enough to hear exactly what he was saying above the hubbub prior to the start of the show but it turned out he must have surveyed the cut of my Kitten’s jib and deemed her harmless and was sharing a few jokes with her.  Something about lobsters and surfing or something.

He was most pleasant, a largish white guy with french cuffs, monogrammed, and nice looking links on his sharp, blue stripe shirt under the dark blue jacket below which, right again, were blue jeans.  He’d introduced himself and we’d done the same but his name blew right past me and I didn’t catch it.

It developed that he was a member of the legal profession, had worked in Ottawa but was now back home working downtown.  I gathered he’d been a supporter of the federal Liberal Party for some time, but then, in reality, so had we with the one difference that up until tonight we had pretty much been closet liberals but not our  jovial friend.

I always wonder in a crowd if I’m going to run into somebody I know.  It happens, right? So it was gratifying to see Leslie Hurtig happen by.  Leslie and I are old friends and contacts from the book business.  These days she’s doing an excellent job as artistic director of the Vancouver Writers Festival.  We chatted a second, joking about marriages at Hycroft and other stuff.

The constituency president came to the podium and said a few words then a middle aged gentleman in a light grey suit took over and introduced Jody Wilson-Raybould to the assembled multitude to enthusiastic applause.  But not before mentioning that the event was being held on the land and traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Jody Gets down. Baldy guy unknown

She looks just like she does on TV and in the newspaper.  Exactly the same and her visage, as above, has been splashed all over everywhere these weeks.  Jody Wilson-Raybould comes across as a very solid, down-to-earth person but no less a polished professional at ease at centre stage.  She was relaxed.  One of the first things she said was the acknowledgment that we were on traditional territories meant a lot to her hearing it.

That revised my opinion somewhat that this statement regarding First Nations “traditional territories”  heard at the beginning of just about any event of any sort now was already in a state of tiresome cliché with barnacles of political correctness all over it.  The Honourable Member is First Nations herself.  I already knew that and that she’d done a lot of growing up here but she brought the message home somehow.

She said she’d been in politics five years and had been drawn to the idea of doing politics differently, which, as everyone knows, was a campaign concept from 2015.  Jody added that she was also drawn to an idea of, “non-partisanship to grapple with the serious problems we face.”  And that, “The last five weeks have been hard on me and my family.”

I don’t know why, but I felt myself choking up slightly because with those words Jody Wilson-Raybould  got choked up just very slightly herself for an instant.  I know it’s difficult to believe the hard-assed administrator of samoyeddogs.net has feelings but I was thinking here is a human being.  This is the person, not the TV and newspaper packaged semi-cardboard cut-out for consumption.

The member for Vancouver Granville said she’d been very proud to be the minister of justice and attorney general and proud to be the minister of veteran’s affairs.  There were a few more words.

Photo Op Post Address

And that was more or less it.  We strode purposefully up the stairs and out into classic grey month of March twi-nite Vancouver rain.

Go Get Us

Sarah Huckabee Sanders bitching about how America has been nice to Canada over the years. How entertaining. With the implication that it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy for you, effing Canada. The bully boy’s on the block now and you’re going to pay. It’s pay-back time.

So what does the great country of America really hope to gain by beating up on Canada? Answer: We’re doing it because we can, dumbass Canadians. You’re dealing with great Americans now. We ain’t taking it on the chin anymore from you bastards up there.

What can we, as Canadians, do when we’re being insulted like this? Answer: Enjoy it while you can. We know that America is the greatest country in the universe, that they won “World War II” and “The Great War” and “The Civil War” and “The American War” and “The Cold War” and are tough, mean and ready to kill you with a bad deal.

We know Americans have paid the price in blood and we know about accountability, that countries are responsible for their own well-being and that America has contributed to peace, prosperity and progress all over the world in defence of freedom and democracy out of all proportion to what they needed to and just because they could. If that’s all over welcome to mean times, America.

We’re as tired of you being taken advantage of as you are. Just like America we’ve had it! We’re sick of America taking the hit. That’s why we’re tariff-ing up. We’re here to help.

If there’s one thing we can’t stand it’s when things ain’t fair when you’ve been nice. It’s bad manners and we hate that because we’re polite. We’re with you, great America. It sticks in our craw.

It’s disgraceful to see a bunch of Canadians being so ungrateful. We despise ourselves too if that’s the way you want it. Nothing is going to stand in our way about that. We know there’s no chance of ever being up to your standard in niceness and the effrontery, we agree, is galling. We better watch out.

And that’s what we’re doing. We’re taking a long hard look at ourselves. Everybody on the planet should do it. It’s refreshing. No more illusions. We know we can never be as great or as nice as America and we don’t want to be. That’s your job.

We have no intention of trying to take that away from you. That’s no fun. We’re sticking with what we know. So thank you, Sarah, for pointing out what a hard job it is to be nice to us. We’re with you every step of the way.

We’re So Nice

 

February 2017

It’s tough to be apolitical.  Sometimes you just can’t.  There’s an old saying in aerodynamics.  If it looks right it’ll fly right.  And that’s not happening here.

Chicago Tribune Image Grab
Chicago Tribune Image Grab

Something doesn’t look quite right here.  The aerodynamics are off.

Mattel, makers of the talking Kellyanne Conway doll, announce a life-size version.

There was a time when this reporter said, and he always said this, whether he was just trying to be funny or who knows what, “It’s probably the greatest name that was ever invented.  I never met a “Steve” I didn’t like.”

It sounds stupid but those days are gone.  It didn’t start with this guy exactly.  But the expression itself had its origin in something a guy named Will Rogers once said.  “I never met a man I  didn’t like.”  However improbable or implausible a concept, Will did apparently say that.

The Globe&Mail published a piece on the weekend by Robert Everett-Green about Masha Alyokhina.  in 2012 Masha Alyokhina was tried and jailed with two other members of “Pussy Riot” after a performance at a Moscow cathedral.

Masha, 28, has some interesting things to say.  “The modern history of Russia is written in the courtroom.  There are really  no opposition politicians who don’t have criminal cases against them.”

Masha co-founded “Mediazona” in 2014. Mediazona “Mediazona covers all topics connected with freedom in Russia, police violence, political violence and political courts,” says Masha.

“In two years we have changed the media discourse.  Before us, nobody covered political courts, prisons and police violence.  Now, because we are quite big (in terms of readership), others have to cover it too, even state media.  They do it in the old way, like propaganda, but they have to cover it, to be in opposition to us.”

Masha rejects comparisons of Donald Trump with Vladimir Putin.  “The difference between Trump and Putin is really big.  Putin is a product of the Russian state-security service, which has a long history of repression, almost a century.  Trump is just an asshole.”

This is a general, all ages site that doesn’t go in for a lot of swearing and cursing.  We save that for the TV.  But I thought that if the Globe can publish that word I can do it here once.

Back to “Honey Badger” Steve-o Bannon.  You may have read that the honey badger is his favourite animal and an animal he compares himself to.  Yes, he wasn’t joking.  Something to do with the badger’s thick skin and how Bannon, like the badger, can make it through the most violent personal attack.  He is unperturbed.  You can tell that by the simpering expression usually adorning his face.

Bannon’s due for a spanking and it’s only a matter of time.  Maybe it’ll be Kellyanne Conway, maybe it won’t, but one of these days somebody’s going to pull down his pants and tan his hide.

Here’s a link to the Globe&Mail story if you’re interested in reading the whole thing.

Dissident Russian artists try to break through ‘the zone of message control’

dscn0995

Have a great evening…