Latest Drivel, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016

Tory MP confesses to having slept through Harper administration
Conservative MP Ted Falk never thought he would see the day the public would not be consulted by Parliament and bypassed by government. It has happened. The vice-chair of Bill C-16’s standing committee confirmed there will be no public hearings….
“I am disappointed with this decision as all bills referred to the committee ought to be given due consideration and thorough study,” said Falk. Basic democracy has been sidestepped.
 —Joe Wormington, Toronto Sun, Nov. 1, 2016.

Ontario health care leaves even worse taste than previously thought
The mayor of Trent Hills is back on Canadian soil, free of the cancerous tumour in his pancreas that Ontario wouldn’t help him with and ready to give them Hec. “There was an attempted murder on me but I survived thanks to the medical professionals in Germany,” Hector Macmillan said as he landed Thursday from Germany…. Hector hopes to contact the Ontario ombudsman and sit down with politicians of all stripes who want to “fix the problem….” But first things first. “I am craving a Timmies coffee,” he said with a laugh…. The health care may not be up to proper standards, but Hector admits he can’t say that about the coffee.
—Joe Wormington, Toronto Sun, Oct. 28, 2016.

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Hey, if it can happen to a lithe, high-performance athlete like me, it can happen to anyone!
One minute Monday I was taking a break from work to put out the leaves; the next minute I found myself at the bottom of a window well at the side of our house—in shock with a heavy board on top of me. That’s how accidents happen—not during the 11 half marathons I’ve run in the past 10 years, one as recent as a week ago, but around the house.
—Sue-Ann Levy, Toronto Sun, Oct. 25, 2016.

No, no, Denise! They’ll turn me into a Long John Silver impersonator!
The first thing my wife, Denise, did when she answered my pounding on the door –and saw how the fall had left a deep gash in my right leg, exposing my tibia—was to sit me down, raise my injured leg, try to stem the bleeding, and put ice above the wound. Then she called 911, much to my chagrin. I really didn’t want to go to hospital by ambulance, or to a hospital at all. After all, I write often about the waste in the system, the dysfunctional ERs and the health-care chaos in Ontario.
—Levy, op. cit.

An obvious pantomime of activity…just to get back at me!
Toronto General’s emergency department…looked just as I had seen in the past—but not from a stretcher—organized chaos with rooms full and patients in beds in the hallways…. Perhaps I’d done so many stories on hospitals and community care that I expected to be ignored. So I wasn’t surprised when not one of the many medical personnel I saw scurrying about looking busy offered me a cup of water or asked how I was doing….
—Levy, op. cit.

The party? Uh, didn’t stay long—had to get a good night’s sleep for my morning run
It only took about an hour for a doctor to assess my wound, and arrange for pain killers, a tetanus shot and X-rays of the exposed tibia…. But then she disappeared for nearly two hours (she later told me the department was suddenly overrun with patients….) At 3:30 p.m., I asked a student nurse if there was any chance my leg could be stitched up soon—not that I would normally ask, but because I still hoped to make my parents’ 65th anniversary party that evening. Thankfully, that did the trick…. I hobbled out of there as quickly as I could, with no help, starving and doped up on painkillers, vowing never to go to this length to get a story again.
—Levy, op. cit.

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Social currency speculators push Markle to new high
World’s Most Eligible Bachelor meets slightly older, biracial, Pippa-lookalike divorcee who can make a mean Ina Garten chicken (it’s true!), has done humanitarian work in Africa (just like Harry!), began her career as a briefcase model (Deal or No Deal!) and once toiled as a professional calligrapher (what’s not to like about a gal with Grade-A cursive skills…?) In Toronto, needless to say, Markle remains Topic A. In Rosedale carpool circles and even some downtown corporate towers, the speculation is rife.
—Shinan Govani, Toronto Star, Nov. 1, 2016.

Not to mention Stronach use to date Tie Domi, who used to beat the snot out of Joey Kocur, who met Bill Clinton in the White House, where he once danced with Harry’s mother, Squidgy
Finally, there is this very strange six-degrees-ism: Prince Harry is apparently courting Meghan Markle, who used to be coupled up with Cory Vitiello, who used to date heiress Belinda Stronach, who, long ago, was dogged by rumours of a special friendship with Bill Clinton. Stronach has always denied the latter, but it just shows how royally teeny-tiny this world truly is.
—Govani, op. cit.

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THE WEIGH-IN

Zzzzz
I’m going to let you in on a trade secret. Many of us who get paid to “weigh in” on the news for a living run out of ideas on the regular. I call this “opinion fatigue….”
— Emma Teitel, Toronto Star, Oct. 31, 2016.

Sedatives…!? NOW!
At peak times, as many as 7,300 Toronto guests will travel, and sublimely so, from plucky little Kennedy Station—once known as Ice Station Zebra but now the very Heathrow of Toronto transit— to the stately pleasure dome of Scarborough Town Centre itself…. In winter, guests will be draped in fur lap robes, in summer fanned by thoughtful staff who will take care not to disturb anyone’s cascading curls and décolletage, or for women, chest hair…. Music will play. After years of consideration, Albinoni’s emotive Concerto no. 9 for the oboe was chosen, as his violin concerto was “too stringy and bestial” for our consultant, a sensitive man…. For those nervous in the planned “tunnel”—Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it the “deep romantic chasm which slants down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!”—look upwards and see a ceiling of fretted golden fire, look down at the baby sealskin wall-to-wall carpeting, steamed nightly….We offer sedatives.
—Heather Mallick, Toronto Star, Oct. 31, 2016.

Reclaim? From whom? Why did they have it? What did they do with it? Was it hard getting it back? Did they put up a struggle?
A few years ago when I was working at Maclean’s Magazine I wrote a column about the increasingly popular term “basic bitch,” an epithet used to describe young women who embrace, with unapologetic zeal, anything and everything mainstream—from fashion and literature to music and beverages…. When I wrote my story in Maclean’s about the term “basic bitch” in 2014, I got a lot of flack for advocating that women reclaim what many believed to be a sexist and derogatory term. Little did I know, however, that just a few years later, it would appear everyone under the sun…would be in a position to reclaim the term.
—Emma Teitel, Toronto Star, Oct. 26, 2016.

Hey, we’ve got the EP version of “Muskrat Love” in perfect condition, and we still don’t get the joke
The most horrifying Halloween getup I recall was put together years back by a Toronto Star editor who arrived at a party toting a shotgun and with his head seemingly half blown-off. This was not long after a Canadian politician had committed suicide by shooting himself in the noggin. But it was funny, in a sick way. And I’m a fan of sick humour. Different year, different editor…evoked the brilliant concept, with his spouse, of The Captain and Tamil, he dressed as an admiral and she wearing a sari. (To get the joke, you’d have to be familiar with the awful 70s pop duo, The Captain and Tenille.)
—Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star, Oct. 31, 2016.

And we are, after all, enteiteled to our enteitelments
According to a seemingly silly but fascinating study published last year called The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins, by researchers Lisa Jordan Powell and Elizabeth S.D. Engelhardt, from the University of British Columbia and the University of North Carolina, the pumpkin spice economy—a corporate cornucopia of pale orange bath bombs, baked goods, specialty beers and even hairspray—is indicative of white privilege and wealth…. I find this idea profoundly interesting…. I haven’t seen many people who aren’t well-heeled, white and female, shell out seven bucks for a PSL at Starbucks…. But I am aware of something else, too, something arguably far more important than this. It’s fall outside…. It’s impossible to be a cynic, in the end, about the Pumpkin Spice Industrial Complex because what it points to more than class or privilege, is a totally nerdy, innocent and almost childlike excitement about the changing of the seasons.
—Teitel, op. cit.

Now we have stalkers
Glass walls enable surveillance by weird neighbours, which is something women should consider. I have stalkers, so there are three layers of blinds on some windows of my house. I like light but I block anyone peering in. At some point, condo owners will grow sick of transparency and buy blinds, which rather negates the purpose of the glass room. Then you wouldn’t have strangers deploring the weird brother-in-law sleeping on your couch, or what the dog does when you’re out. Or the way you have sex. Trust me, you’re not doing it right. She is done with you. I can see the look in her eye. She’s getting up to leave.
—Heather Mallick, Toronto Star, Nov. 2, 2016.

Please! We’ll gladly subsidize the radio job!
I’m going to tell you a story. A few months ago I received a phone call from a radio station. A producer there offered me job: she asked me if I would like to host my own show. When I asked her how much the job paid, she told me that, at present, it paid nothing. (They were waiting, she said, for sponsors to come in, and they might in the meantime be able to offer me a modest stipend.)
I may be youngish, but I am also an established columnist for a national newspaper…an already settled career person….
—Emma Teitel, Toronto Star, Nov. 2, 2016.

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8 comments on “Latest Drivel, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016
  1. John MacLachlan Gray says:

    Re the Levy story, help me here:

    “Put out the leaves” what does that mean? Were they not outdoors already?

    Was she trying to push the leaves out through the basement window with a “heavy board?”

    In ER, were the drink servers on a break?

  2. Papadoc says:

    Hec loyally returns to Timmie’s coffee, the probable cause of his first tumour.

  3. gormab says:

    Teitel has it all wrong. Readers get opinion fatigue; columnists run out of ideas on what to do with the other 23 hours in a day.

    • daveS says:

      Are there no editors for Teitel’s copy. Don’t they edit for terseness? Is she paid by the word, not the paragraph?

      Teitel’s “columns” are rife with excess verbosity, spelling out every item and running about 300 words more than the average copy column. I see that 24, the competition to Teitel’s Metro and Tsar drivel, is now printing links to any references that opinion columnists make. Good for them, makes the corrections editor job easier.
      And then the Tsar has the nerve to say “Emma Teitel is a national affairs columnist.”

      Margaret Wente writes more clearly and uses about 200 less words than “EmTeitelment”

      Please give her a radio job so that the forests can be saved.

  4. rumleyfips says:

    will we still get Rosie’s excellent commentary from her jail cell ?

  5. OJM says:

    Allusions to Coleridge, Albioni and tits in a single paragraph…one gapes at Heather Mallick’s virtuosity.

  6. daveS says:

    Ooh, Frank lead me to examine EmTeitelment’s columns, run them for Flesch and Kincaid Diction filters and such.
    And I see that after “seven bucks for a PSL at Starbucks” there is an ellipsis in Frank’s extract that makes her seem even more horrible than execrable Scaachi Koul (…”an explainer on how to pronounce it. I’m a writer for BuzzFeed and my debut collection of essays, One Day We’ll All Be Dead And ..”)

    EmTeitelment:
    “But because I am myself, let’s face it, a little basic, and because I hail from the ultra-basic town of Richmond Hill, I am moved to defend the “pumpkin entertainment complex.”
    Yes, I am aware that when we indulge in all things pumpkin spice and flaunt our pumpkin spice products online we are flaunting our status as members of an unthinking, capitalist cult.”

    Oy Vey!

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