, 09.20.2022 04:28 PM

My latest: thunderbolts and lighting, very very irritating

The biggest televised event in human history, it is suggested, was Monday’s funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

The biggest social media event in the past week, it is speculated, was Justin Trudeau’s rendering of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’

You’d have to, um, be living an unreal life, one escaped from reality, to have not noticed that little bit of footage. There was Canada’s Prime Minister beside a piano at a swishy hotel in London, lending a not-entirely-bad bit of baritone to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s’ end part, wherein Queen’s Freddie Mercury proclaimed: “Nothing really matters, Anyone can see, Nothing really matters, Nothing really matters to me…”

Can you think of a more-perfect bit of verse for the Liberal leader to sing? I sure can’t. “Nothing really matters to me” should practically be tattooed on his chest, right above the spot where his heart is supposed to be. Nothing really matters, indeed.

Anyway. Queen – who I once saw at Calgary’s Jubilee Auditorium, front row centre, with Bonnie McRae, who thereafter ditched me because I didn’t have a car to drive her home – thought ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was a ridiculous song, and they were right, even though it would go on to sell a kajillion copies.

The fabled producer Roy Thomas Baker produced the tune, and he has called it “totally insane,” “complete madness,” and “basically a joke.” Which it is, and which it was.

But not to assembled conservatives around the planet, however. Conservatives were super angry about Trudeau’s trilling. They went all, um, thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening, etc. They didn’t think it was magnifico, at all. The headline on the staid BBC web site: “Justin Trudeau’s team defends singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ before Queen’s funeral.”

The Daily Hive: “Trudeau sings ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ gets called bastard while in London for royal funeral.” The Daily Mail, meanwhile, was most outraged about the outrageousness of the outrage: “’Drunk’ Canadian PM Trudeau is slammed as a ‘tone deaf embarrassment’ for singing Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at London hotel before Elizabeth II’s state funeral.”

Personally, I didn’t think it was tone deaf, or a big deal. I mean, the sing-along didn’t happen at the actual funeral, did it? It happened a few days before, and it was clearly a case of someone surreptitiously filming some Canadians who weren’t aware they were being filmed. (Like a Canuck Candid Camera, but not nearly as funny.)

And it could’ve been way worse, you know: they could’ve been singing something from the Rush or Tragically Hip oeuvre. That would’ve been horrible, meriting a war crimes trial at the Hague.

Besides: every politician thinks they can sing and dance, figuratively and literally. Any one of the following scenarios – some the creation of helpful Sun readers – are plausible. Consider:

Pierre Poilievre: playing air guitar to anything by Ted Nugent or Kid Rock, before returning to the physics lab with the other guys, where they will continue complaining about always being ignored by girls. Also, possibly, Iggy Pop’s ‘Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell,’ about Justin.

Stephen Harper: crooning a karaoke version of ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ to be followed by ‘Send In The Clowns,’ a tribute to post-Harper Conservative leaders.

Elizabeth May: a duet with Kermit the frog, singing ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’ Also, as an autobiographical encore: Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy.’

Jagmeet Singh: ‘You’ve Got A Friend,’ naturally, while eyeballing a Trudeau campaign poster. Also, at the same performance, ‘I Will Always Love you,’ if Dolly Parton agrees to it. Which she hopefully won’t.

Kim Campbell: Green Day’s ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams,’ topped off by Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing With Myself.’ That’s mean, yes, but I’m a mean person.

• Brian Mulroney: ‘Gimme The Loot,’ by the Notorious BIG, plus a stirring rendition of ‘Bank Robber’ by the Clash. In the lobby at the Pierre Hotel.

Jean Chretien: What would my former boss sing? Well, he reads my column, so I need to be pretty darn careful, here. I’d probably recommend Shania Twain’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much,’ which he can dedicate to every one of his successors.

Would any of those renderings be a hit? Would any of them top the charts?

Nah. Besides, my editor says she’s had quite enough of this ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ nonsense. So: too late, my time has come. It sends shivers down my spine, and my body’s aching all the time.

So, goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go. Gotta leave you all behind.

(Until the next column, that is.)

[Kinsella has asked that Bonnie McRae consider repaying him for the cost of that ticket to see Queen.]


  1. Robert White says:

    As I understand the historiography Prime Minister Brian Mulroney fought the law, but the law won according to the Karl Heinz Schriber case that identified him as a bag man.

    I’m mean too when it comes to Airbus & bags of cash in brown paper bags.

    Mulroney has not been rehabilitated as some claim IMHO. His earned his Charlie Brown moniker too.


  2. Sean says:

    The bar is already so low with Justin that none of this stupid shit surprises anyone anymore. These tailor-made *sigh….only possible with Justin* disasters have reduced the Liberal vote permanently by about 5-7%. That will continue until his staff instructs him to do the responsible thing, throw in the towel already and stop wasting everyone’s time.

    However, as Warren keeps saying, if Justin is so bad, Conservatives need to figure out why they still lost three elections in a row to him. The Justin disasters just aren’t moving enough votes to change the 30 or so soft seats they need in and around the 905 etc….

    The bit “any way the wind blows” will be a center piece for about a 1/2 dozen very powerful Tory and NDP campaign ads..

  3. Sean says:

    Jean Chretien’s song would be “Don’t worry, be happy”.

  4. Warren,

    Frankly, sometimes conservatives just need to get over themselves and this is a case in point. (At least we didn’t hear from idiot Trump.)

    Who cares what this guy does anymore.

  5. Martin Dixon says:

    There is a bit of a lesson here though about the legacy media and the voters who are not paying any attention to it. And the #Trudeaumustgo movement for that matter. That video had hundreds of thousands of views before any of the media actually realized it was out there. That video was sent to me at 12:52am on Monday. I saw it at 6:46am. Didn’t bother to see if it was real until a few hours later and that was when it was starting to hit a lot of the news feeds. By then it was old news.

  6. Derek Pearce says:

    This might not be exactly the same thing but after funerals for dear departed elders in my extended family, the other family members (mostly cousins) have all gotten together and shot the shit over several drinks and let off steam. I know this was technically before not after but still…
    I can’t stand the guy but detractors are just being lazy here, there’s a million other things to criticize him over.

  7. Steve T says:

    Thanks for the light(er) article Warren – a much needed laugh today.

    As for the song itself, I liked it when I was a teenager, but it has dropped down my list each time it made a comeback. The first time was after Wayne’s World came out, and some of my work colleagues asked if I had ever heard of this “new band” named Queen with this cool weird song. Uh….
    The second time was, of course, after the movie of the same name came out recently. The song that was overplayed in the 1970s and then overplayed again in the 1990s started to get a third overplay-ment in the 2020s. Enough already.

  8. EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    Our PM is a classic narcissist. Why would we be surprised at his antics in London? With respect to former PM Chretien, I am quite sure he is a Sinatra fan, and I can definitely visualize him belting a classic version of “My Way”.

    PS: BTW, I am a huge Rush fan! I have a small shrine to them in my basement (notice I said mine, not mom’s). I also own and play a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass. So there!

    PPS: Do not like the Hip. (Don’t hate them, just not crazy about them).

  9. Ron Benn says:

    What PM Trudeau is guilty of is a lack of situational awareness. He and his entourage were partying in the middle of London, ostensibly to demonstrate their solemn grief at the passing of the Queen. London is the centre of the paparazzi (an Italian word for life form barely above leech) universe. The members of that universe earn their livings from taking pictures/video of celebrities, or unreasonable facsimiles thereof, in compromising or embarrassing situations. The customer base for these paparazzi are the London tabloids.

    So why are PM Trudeau and his handlers surprised that their not so solemn behaviour made the front pages?

    As to whether their behaviour was inappropriate? That is in the eye of the beholder. In this instance one of the beholders was the London tabloids.

  10. Doug says:

    It isn’t a big deal, but reinforces:

    1) Trudeau likes to the center of attention

    2) He isn’t a serious person

    3) Perhaps Katie Telford should have been more clear…Justin you are going to London for a tribute to the Queen, not to tribute Queen

  11. The Real Me says:

    Yeah, those guys that studied real science and hung out in the lab were total dorks. The hipster dudes always took social sciences, kept diaries and contributed to the school newspaper.

    LOL! Social Sciences, BWAHhhhhhhhh!!!

  12. Martin Dixon says:

    When I first started to check to see if it was for real, most of the usual suspects were saying to give him a break, that was at the jubilee, not this year-look at his hair-look at the summer camp sign, etc. In effect they were agreeing with the other usual suspects that figured it was inappropriate to be during the funeral week.

  13. Shawn says:

    We had two retirement luncheons slated this week for one public works person and 0ne military. Both were canceled. Reason? No celebration while the queen was laying in state. But hey, there is always a double standard for der gropen fuhrer von black face now isn’t there from masks, social distancing and everything else.

    • Shawn,

      My God, as wonderful as she was, The Queen wasn’t God. I’m OK with canceling events but also OK with not canceling events. This is a democracy after all, much more than a technical constitutional monarchy. Geez, live and let live FHS.

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