Thursday, September 22, 2005

random notes

With all the furor about the city's new garbage recepticles, I haven't seen much outcry about the new infomaps popping up in local parks. Their supposed raison d'etre, a neighbourhood map, is hidden by the ads on the outward panels. You'd think the maps would face the street...

UPDATE SEP 26TH - Spacing magazine nicely sums up how crappy these are. Note the appropriate advertiser.

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It's official: the National Post reunion is being held at Macleans magazine. All you have to do is check any site following Canadian media. New editor Kenneth Whyte is piling on former Post writers as the magazine takes a more sensational right-wing tack to rebuild its sales. My department has a subscription and my jaw drops further with each issue...though it was funny to see the word "pecker" on this week's cover (the Brian Mulroney bio). Still, with each issue, the urge to take a match to it increases, especially after the friendly look at Wal-Mart.

The other mag our department gets is Time, which has temporarily ceased putting angels on every other cover.

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Speaking of Mulroney, the brouhaha over Peter C. Newman's bio of one of my least favourite Prime Ministers brings a new light to something that happened to me. Back in grade 12, I was sent to Ottawa for a week as part of a national youth leadership program...Forum for Young Canadians, or something like that. I wasn't one for "leadership" programs (an attitude I attribute entirely to my old man), but the opportunity to go to Parliament Hill was a good one. During a session in the House of Commons, who should stroll in but our PM, Lyin' Brian. By this point (spring of '93), he'd announced he was stepping down, with a new leader in the wings. He stopped for five minutes, made a joke about Kim Campbell and left. Even then, I had the impression it wasn't the friendliest of jokes, though I've long forgotten what the jab was.

Other memories of that week: sleeping on DND surplus cots in a private school, good speeches from Svend Robinson and Senator Phillipe Gigantes, one uptight coordinator who had to be reprimanded, a kid from the Maritimes I couldn't shake and my purposely showing bad taste in formal wear. Y'see, at all daily activities, participants had to be in jacket and tie. Since I barely owned any, I picked the cheesiest jacket hidden at the back of Dad's closet, a beige cord number I still wear on occasion, and wore shirts and ties that didn't match. Somebody had to stick it to the man!

Come to think of it, maybe I was more rebellious late in high school than memory serves. I didn't go with the proposed script when I became the emergency valedictorian. I skipped assemblies. I refused to be involved in other leadership/motivational events to make me a nice little drone. Because Dad usually pushed me in these directions, it never felt like an open revolt.

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In my morning paper: Russell Smith is seriously disturbed by the phrase "Did you remember your ticket" on the Green P parking ticket dispensers because said instruction is "...just not nuanced. It's mot elegant" (the article is a lament to a lost verb tense).

I doubt these are qualities most folks look for while shoving loonies in the meter.

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