“Not that I’m in any way comparing myself to J.D. Salinger”

How can we know the dancer from the dance?
Fake News, no surprise, is itself fake news. That’s the primary thing to know about it. It is a product of the eagerly conspiratorial minds of the anti-Trumpers and Never Trumpers.  It is quite interesting to note how the rational liberal observers of 2017 are so invested in conspiracies. They think the idiot Trump—for that is how they see him—set in motion complicated collusions with Putin and the Russians, and simultaneously undermined the national media with Fake News, and lulled an entire nation into the belief that he could not be elected…. Such has been the substance of the coverage of the Trump presidency since the day he took office. There’s the—forgive the expression—real fake news.
—T. Rex Murphy, National Post, Dec. 22, 2017.

When PolitiFact fact-checks fake news, we are calling out fabricated content that intentionally masquerades as news coverage of actual events. When President Donald Trump talks about fake news, he means something else entirely. Instead of fabricated content, Trump uses the term to describe news coverage that is unsympathetic to his administration and his performance, even when the news reports are accurate. Trump is so taken with the phrase “fake news,” that he’s mentioned it at least 153 separate times in interviews, on Twitter and in speeches, according to a count compiled by PolitiFact. Recently, Trump even took credit for inventing the term.
—Angie Drobnic Holan, politifact.com, Oct. 18t, 2017.

“Look, the media is fake. The media is—really, the word, I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with—is fake.”
—Donald Drumpf, on Mike Huckabee’s talk show, October 2017.

A bill has been introduced in the Connecticut legislature providing for the punishment of persons who send “fake” news to newspapers. The evil complained of has grown to great proportions recently.
—Report in the Lebanon (Ore.) Express, 1893.

Plucky petro-shill subverts shaky science with scathing sarcasm

This year will almost certainly rank as one of the planet’s top five warmest years on record,      according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. In fact, the top NASA climate scientist reported Monday that 2017 is likely to be the second-warmest year on record, behind 2016, which in turn displaced 2015 from the top spot.
—Reported by Andrew Freedman, mashable.com, Dec. 19, 2017.

Of course I believe in global warming. How could I not…? It is so cold that the downtown scalpers in Toronto are selling tickets for next year’s March of the Penguins…. Of course the absolutely hopeless global warming skeptics are making great fun of all this…. Fortunately, the Jesuitical mandarins of Pembina and Greenpeace and Sierra…are on the case…reminding everyone that they have long ago “rebranded” Global Warming so it does not mean that anymore. It’s Climate Change now, up, down, across and around…. We are fortunate to have such guardians, to direct us away from our senses, and beckon us back on the road to faith. Climate Change can cause cold temperatures, too, they intone…. In fact, any variety of weather whatsoever can be traced, if you but model hard and often enough, keep the grants flowing and the contradictions unexamined, to the One Holy Underlying Theory of All Weather. Climate Change, everything proves it. It’s the scientific method at its best.
—T. Rex Murphy, National Post, Jan. 5, 2018.

Wouldn’t “Can I get a copy editor?” be a more apt choice?
After all, the “The world needs more Canada” sloganism [sic], not showing up at all and ticking off a half-dozen world leaders was a curious choice. Next year’s slogan—“Can I take a rain cheque [sic] on that”—will be more modest.
—T. Rex Murphy, National Post, Dec. 29, 2017.

No future now—or then, for that matter
Having already explored the timely issue of discrimination and hate in society in multiple works of non-fiction, former Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella has tackled the topic yet again, this time using fiction, with his latest “punk rock mystery novel,” Recipe for Hate. “We do live in a dangerous time, we live in a dark time, all of us, and Recipe for Hate is about a previous dark time, but hopefully it provides some ideas about how to have hope,” said Mr. Kinsella….
—Reported by Laura Ryckewaert, Hill Times, Dec. 18, 2017.

Translation: Turns out the YA audience doesn’t give a shit about the scribblings of a pushing-60 punk poseur
Recipe for Hate is Mr. Kinsella’s eighth book and second foray into fiction. [T]he roughly 300-page book is the result of three years of work, and was intended for a young adult audience—a first for Mr. Kinsella, though a broader readership has since picked it up, said the author.
Ibid.

So, yes, I guess I am comparing myself to Salinger
“It was getting the voice of young people. So Salinger, what he did—not that I’m in any way comparing myself to J.D. Salinger—is that he would just go in diners and sit there and listen to teenagers. And so I kind of did some of the same stuff….”
—Warren Kinsella, quoted by Laura Ryckewaert, op. cit.

Not a good cheese knife, it isn’t
One supposes there are two kinds of shoppers who purchase RCMP holiday merchandise: those who are so smitten by the cute, cartoonish design that they forget the weapon-wielding characters adorning the handle of a cheese knife represent the carceral state, and those who just love the police…. Which brings us to the real issue. Far more distressing than the idea of having an after-breakfast nap on a pillow bedecked with buzz-killing cartoon cops is that by accessorizing with festive Mountie merchandise, corrupt police behaviour, including police brutality, is tacitly condoned…. By continuing to categorize the Mountie as charming Canadian iconography, we play down the harm that can be done by police in this country. That’s a lot to overlook for the sake of a cheese knife.
—Carly Lewis, Globe and Mail, Dec. 23, 2017.

No fooling this little lady
This week the trailer for Ocean’s 8, the forthcoming instalment in the Ocean’s Eleven series starring an all-female cast, made its online debut to mostly ecstatic approval. Apart from the occasional sexist jerk…a lot of people appeared genuinely pleased to see a handful of A-list actresses in the roles of mastermind thieves…. But a breakthrough feminist achievement? I don’t think so. Unfortunately this is where I have to rain on the Ocean’s 8 fan girl parade, because though I can certainly endorse excitement about a fun summer movie (and believe me, I will be there opening night), I have a harder time accepting that this “Bechdel test dream” of a film represents a sea change in a sexist industry.
—Emma Teitel, Toronto Star, Dec. 20, 2017.

 

 

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