Sing it with me, King Diamond…
“All hail Satan! Yeees HAAAAIL SAAAAAAYYYYYTAN!
Sing it with me, King Diamond…
“All hail Satan! Yeees HAAAAIL SAAAAAAYYYYYTAN!
Between the vicious Republican primary going on in the states and our Canadian government involved in some nasty spying and dirty tricks that have Bob Rae using Nixon as an adjective, it’s almost like we’ve been transported back to the 70′s. What better time than to dig out my Hunter S. Thompson anthology, The Great Shark Hunt, which includes excerpts from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 as well as the Rolling Stone articles Fear and Loathing at the Watergate, Fear and Loathing in Washington and Fear and Loathing in Limbo, the latter three dealing with Watergate and its aftermath.
I bought this book for seven bucks at Powell’s Books in Portland about a year and a half ago, and I had put it down somewhere halfway through the Campaign Trail, not seeing much interest in reading about the 1972 Democratic primary at the time. That’s all changed in an election year, although it’s the Republicans, not the Dems who are having their primary this time around. In Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Thompson hitches his horses to George McGovern, a seemingly long-shot candidate from South Dakota who went on to win the Democratic nomination before being thoroughly trounced by Nixon in a 520 to 17 Electoral College blowout. I think that the last line in the section about his primary campaign on Wikipedia sums it up nicely: “But in the end, McGovern succeeded in winning the nomination by winning primaries through grassroots support in spite of establishment opposition.”
Could Rick Santorum be the George McGovern of 2012? The conservative Catholic candidate has seemingly come out of nowhere to pose a serious challenge to the front-running “establishment opposition” of Mitt Romney. However, it should be noted that McGovern’s platform draws more parallels to Romney’s. While the latter is often accused of being a “Massachusetts moderate,” opponents tried to paint McGovern as a radical in favour of Acid, Amnesty and Abortion. Did I mention that there was a strong “Anyone But McGovern” movement back in the day, much like we’re seeing with Romney now?
While there are parallels between the losing candidate of the ’72 election and the two leading candidates in the Republican primary, I think that the GOP only stands to get trounced by the incumbent if Santorum gets the nomination. I feel that he’s just too right-wing to appeal to anyone but hard-line, religious Republicans, and I can’t see too many independent voters flocking to him. Personally, I could see myself maybe voting for Romney, but definitely not Santorum. Then again, I don’t get a say either way. After all, I’m Canadian.
Speaking of Canadian politics, I started reading Thompson’s Watergate-era articles right around the time that Bob Rae invoked Stephen Harper’s “Nixonian Culture” in relation to the robocalling scandal. I gotta say that the language Thompson frequently uses to describe Nixon would make NDP attack dog Pat Martin blush, and I’m surprised he didn’t get sued for libel. Then again, Nixon was almost certainly guilty, although he was pardoned of any wrongdoing by his successor, Gerald Ford. Truth might be a defence for libel in the States, but that’s not the case in Canada, as Pat Martin might be about to find out. I guess he’ll just hafta wait for Prime Minister Thomas Mulcair to pardon him…
LOL, I couldn’t even say that with a straight face. But something tells me that Harper won’t get his Watergate moment either. That is, not unless Michael Soma knows more than he’s letting on…
Dayumn. Where’s Dr. Thompson when you need him?
In case you missed it, Premier Dad (or Dolton McSquinty, if you prefer) caused quite a stir yesterday with his comment “If I had my preferences, as to whether we have a rapidly growing oil and gas sector in Western Canada or a lower dollar benefiting Ontario, I’d tell you where I stand — with a lower dollar.” Suffice to say that any political points he might’ve scored at home with this statement have paled in comparison to the backlash it created in the national media—and you can bet that he’s not winning any new friends in Calgary.
In a Calgary Herald editorial entitled “String up that Ontario piñata one more time,” columnist Don Braid suggests that a part of Alberta premier Alison Redford must be delighted. “There’s nothing like the old Ontario piñata to get Alberta PCs swinging their sticks during an Alberta election campaign,” he writes, adding “Redford can now keep Dalton on a string for handy use in a few weeks.”
You can practically see the glee oozing from Braid’s keyboard as he rattles off this province’s deficit and debt figures, a whopping 16- and 251.9-billion dollars, respectively. This coming, of course, from a province that still doesn’t have a provincial sales tax, much less the HST, and whose now-retired premier once mailed each resident a 400-dollar surplus cheque. I conducted many a toast to King Ralph back in ’06, believe you me!
Braid then, giddy as a schoolgirl, brings up “his favourite” Ontario moment, back in ’79 when Premier Bill Davis “not only intended to seize Alberta’s energy revenues, but cap prices, as well.”—with the help of Trudeau, natch. Fortunately Brian Mulroney came along to end this decade of deep trouble!
In the Calgary Sun, columnist Michael Platt writes “Dalton McGuinty is frantic for someone or something to blame — even when the blame defies logic.” He notes that the 65,000 Ontario jobs the oil sands would create over 25 years pale in comparison to the 300,000 manufacturing jobs the province has lost under McGuinty’s near-decade of deep trouble and points out that the oil industry provided much of the revenue that funded last year’s 2.2-billion-dollar equalization payment to Ontario before comparing Ontario to the Costa Concordia.
But thank God for Tim Hudak, Platt concludes, quoting the provincial opposition leader no less than six times (including one partial quote) in the last eight paragraphs of his piece. “We’ve got a jobs crisis in our province and calling the oil sands an embarrassment as Dalton McGuinty’s government has done is wrong,” says Hudak.
Man, if I had a dollar for every time an Ontarian apologized to Alberta and/or posted “well, I didn’t vote for him!” on the Sun’s comment section, I’d be toasting McGuinty tonite.
Davy Jones, lead singer for 60’s made-for-TV pop group The Monkees, has died today of a reported heart attack. In a cruel twist of fate, his death was foreshadowed by comments he made on the Today Show last summer:
Did you know that the official Leap Year Capital of the World is a small town named Anthony on the border of New Mexico and Texas? As MSNBC reports, both state governors made the official proclamation in 1988, and it was included in the Congressional Record by former Senator Pete Domenici in October of that year. Activities on tap in Anthony include a car show, golf tournament and “THE FIRST EVER WORLDWIDE LEAP YEAR FESTIVAL ICE HOCKEY GAME!!!” Gee, I wonder how long it took em to field two teams of players born on February 29th?
On the other hand, if spending your birthday deep in the heart of New Texicas isn’t your idea of a good time, the Z Hotel in NYC is reportedly offering a free one-night stay for anyone born on this day. Dinner for two at their restaurant? 29 dollars!
I guess when you only have a birthday once every four years, it’s worth going all-out to celebrate…
Fracturation hydraulique: To fracture a layer of rock with a pressurized liquid. Known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking in English.
As seen in: « L’Assemblée nationale du Québec sera appelée à voter demain sur une motion du Parti Québécois qui pourrait enfin instituer un moratoire complet sur l’exploration, la fracturation hydraulique et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste. »
(Translation: “The National Assembly of Quebec will be called to vote tomorrow on a Parti Québécois motion that could finally institute a full moratorium on the exploration, hydraulic fracturing and exploitation of fossil fuels.”)
Since there hasn’t been a new episode of Storage Wars for a few weeks–and I’ve already seen all the re-runs–I’ve recently started getting into Ink Master, a reality show on Spike, which just so happens to be the next channel up the dial from A&E on my local cable. Part L.A. Ink, part American Idol, this show is a competition between a group of top tattoo artists to see who’s the most well-rounded tattooer. Every week features a new category, with the weakest link voted off by the judges. I gotta say, I first came across this show a coupla weeks back, and now I’m hooked!
The show is hosted by Dave Navarro, who let’s face it, has a lotta tattoos, and judged by Chris Nunez from Miami Ink and Oliver Peck from Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas along with a special-guest judge each week. Usually, it’s a guy from a tattoo magazine or something, but last week they had on Chris “Birdman” Andersen–a guy who also has a lotta tattoos. Although these artists are all pretty good, the judges really know their stuff, and often rip ‘em to shreds.
The cast doesn’t quite go at it like the Storage Warriors, although things have been heating up a bit as we get further into the competition. Everybody seems to have their own specialties though, like Shane O’Neill, who’s great with black-and-greys, or Josh Woods, who can really do traditional tattoos. For me, this show isn’t about the drama so much as it’s about the art, creating a piece of artwork on a human canvas–and of course about the competition. Just like the storage auction bidding wars add excitement to a buncha old lockers, Ink Master has me tuning in to see who drew the best tattoo this week, and who’s going to get voted off. And yes, watching this show kinda makes me wanna get inked again. It’s been a little while…
Ink Master airs new episodes weekly Tuesday nites on Spike at 10 pm, the same timeslot that A&E used to show new episodes of Storage Wars. On that note, I hear that there’s gonna be a new Storage Wars this Sunday at 9:30. Hmm, I wonder which exclusive made-for-TV movie will be airing afterwards…
UPDATE 2/29: Well, it looks like Josh Woods got voted off last nite, so we’re down to the final three. He was not happy about it, either! I will say that I thought he did a slightly better tattoo than James Vaughn, but I’m not the expert here. I do think James is the nicest guy left on the show, though, and if I lived in Carolina, I’d come into his shop The final episode will let each artist do their own choice of tattoo, so that should be interesting! I know I’ll be sure to tune in next week…
Antiseen – Trapped in Dixie (Eat More Possum) 2:16
The Octopus – Evil is Real (888) 4:09
Negative Reaction – Space Capsule 1 (Frequencies from Montauk) 3:27
Zebulon Pike – Spectrum Threshold (Space is the Corpse of Time) 11:25
Black Tusk – Resistor (Set the Dial) 4:27
Freedom Hawk – Faded (Holding On) 4:56
Across Tundras – Buried Arrows (Sage) 4:30
Orange Goblin – Acid Trial (A Eulogy for the Damned) 4:13
The Harold Wartooth – Queen Sheep (Hot Brent) (Seconds) 4:27
Astrosoniq – Play it Straight (Quadrant) 5:35
Grifter – Piss and Gas (self-titled) 4:25
Denizen – Waiting for a Plymouth (Whispering Wild Stories) 3:23
Alunah – Circle of Stone (Call of Avernus) 7:00
Premonition 13 – Hard to Say (13) 3:06
Gideon Smith & the Dixie Damned – Love of the Vampire (30 Weight) 3:14
Roadsaw – Electric Heaven (self-titled) 6:10
Borracho – Grinder (Spitting Sky) 6:34
Indian – The End of Truth (Guiltless) 5:29
Rue – For Thousands of Years (Thorns) 6:12
Dixie Witch – Let it Roll (Let it Roll) 4:08
Stone Axe – There’d be Days (live) (self-titled) 5:08
Uzala – Wardrums (self-titled) 5:43
Apostle of Solitude – This Mania (Apostle of Solitude/Rituals of the Oak/The Flight of Sleipnir split) 5:45
One common complaint about the Conservatives’ robocalling campaign is that they’re borrowing tactics from the Republican Party. A quick look at this Guardian article about the Republican primary in Michigan would appear to validate this concern. Here are a few choice snippets for your perusal:
“Romney used a rare press conference to take a swipe at Santorum, describing him as ‘desperate’ for resorting to what he called dirty tricks in the Michigan primary, where voters are flooding to the polls on Tuesday.”
“Santorum, in an effort to bridge the gap with Romney, has resorted to robocalls pleading with Democrats to come out to vote against Romney because he had opposed Barack Obama’s 2008 bailout of the car industry on which Michigan depends.”
“If Romney was to lose Michigan, the robocalls offer him an opportunity to claim he won among Republicans but lost because of mischief by Democrats, encouraged by Santorum.”
All that’s missing is a reference to Nixon, eh Bob Rae?
The latest on the robocall scandal is that the phone used to call RackNine was registered to a Pierre Poutine of Separatist Street in Joliette, Quebec. Yeah, that’s not a fake name or anything. Did I mention there’s a Pierre’s Poutine in Guelph? The Ottawa Citizen does here. And Restaurantica gives it 3.5 stars!
That said, the most interesting conversation I’ve read on the topic today comes from a Macleans Magazine blog that does little more than provide a couple links to other stories. I like how the respondent misconstrued the question here. Gee, the CPC wouldn’t know anything about that, would they?
(What happens if you go to vote after work, though?)