Categories for Feature

BREAKING: Andrew Scheer resigns

Wow.  Justin Trudeau’s life has just become more complicated.

From the Globe:

Andrew Scheer has decided to resign as Conservative leader after a disappointing election loss and facing internal party divisions over his ability to lead the party, sources say.

Mr. Scheer called a special caucus meeting Thursday morning where he announced he was stepping down.

The decision comes as former Conservative cabinet minister John Baird tabled a highly critical report on the party’s election campaign to Mr. Scheer’s office on Wednesday.

 

 


Age of Unreason is here!

It’s the third and final book in the X Gang series – and my tenth book in all.  Just got it early this morning from Dundurn, my publisher.

You can get Age of Unreason here.  In the meantime, here’s some of the reviews about the series.  Hope you can pick it up!

  • Quill and Quire: “Kinsella skillfully blends convincing depictions of both the punk scene and the racist underground with the hoary trope of a band of kids setting out to solve a mystery. The novel is a suspenseful page-turner that also gives considerable food for thought, anchored in realistically drawn characters and an eye for significant detail.” 

  • Publisher’s Weekly: “Adult author Kinsella (Fight the Right) sets this riveting murder mystery in Portland, Maine, in the late 1970s…Tension starts high and stays there in this unflinching page-turner, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the early punk scene and a moving testament to the power of friendship.”

  • Globe and Mail: “Portrayals of rebellious and non-conforming teens can feel reductive or contrived but Kinsella nails it without any stereotyping or embellishment. Though this authenticity will have big teen appeal, the novel is also part police procedural, part detailed history on the emergence of punk and part gritty murder mystery, all elements that skew more adult. Classification aside, it’s absorbing, jarring and raw.”

  • Toronto Star: “Warren Kinsella is known mostly as a political operative and pundit, but he also has estimable punk-rock credentials (as punk historian and as bass player in SFH, which bills itself as Canada’s best-loved geriatric punk band). This YA novel is loosely based on real-life events, and concerns the murder of two teenagers in 1979 in Portland, Ore., then the epicentre of the punk scene. It will be of interest to anyone interested in punk culture — not just the music, but the fanzines, art and writing of the period.”

  • Booklist: “Kinsella’s book explodes off the page from the start…a dark and engrossing tale of punk-rock heroes fighting for justice.” 


Person of the Year vs. A Nobody

Maxime Bernier said Greta Thunberg was “clearly mentally unstable.” He said she was “not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression.”‬

Today Greta Thunberg was named TIME’s Person of the Year. She will be remembered.

Will anyone remember him?


Bernier vs. Kinsella

One of the first things you learn in Torts class in first-year law school is to never, ever allege that someone published a defamatory statement against you – and then go and publish the defamatory statement yourself.

But that’s what Mr. Bernier’s lawyer, Andre Marin – with whom we have had, um, dealings, here and here – has done.  He’s even pinned it to his Twitter feed.  You can go check it out yourself. It comes complete with spelling mistakes – to wit, “aswait.”

Anyway:  there will be no apology.  There will be no retraction. 

There will be a response, however.  And any media looking for one can contact my lawyer, David Shiller.  He’s on the Internet.

And so, as it turns out, is Mr. Marin – publishing himself the very thing he’s complaining about.

[Those wishing to help out on the legal defence fund – and many of you already have – can do so here.  Thank you.]


39 years ago tonight

My girlfriend Paula Christison had been over, and we’d been studying, then watching something on the little black and white TV we had. My Carleton roommate, Lee G. Hill, was there too. Lee and I had been great friends in Calgary. In junior high, we’d started a couple fanzines with Beatles-centric themes. In our shared room on Second Russell, we had a couple John Lennon posters up amongst the punk rock stuff.

Paula left for her place downtown, so Lee and I were studying when the phone rang. It was Paula. “John Lennon’s been shot, babe,” she said. “It’s on the radio.”

His assassination, on December 8, 1980, was of course a terrible tragedy – and so, to me, was the fact that his last album (before the inevitable avalanche of ham-fisted compilations and retrospectives) was a piece of self-indulgent, saccharine shite like Double Fantasy.

Generally, he always needed Paul as an editor, and vice-versa. But his best album – and one of the best albums of all time, in my view – was Plastic Ono Band. It was like him: it was stark, and raw, and different, and deeply, deeply personal. Some say the LP was the product of his dalliance with primal scream therapy, or his response to the (necessary, and overdue) collapse of the Beatles. To me, it was instead an actual piece of art and great rock’n’roll, improbably found under the same piece of shrink wrap. Like listening to someone’s soul, without having received an invite to do so.  You should listen to it today.

The next morning, exams weren’t cancelled, though it felt to me like they should have been. When I walked into Carleton’s gym, there was a guy sitting there, already wearing a John Lennon T-shirt. I wanted to punch him. Instead, I just took my seat and wrote the stupid exam.

Thirty nine years. I can’t believe he’s been gone that long; I can’t believe I’m way older than he ever got a chance to be. It sucks.

Here’s my favourite picture of him, the one I used to use on posters I’d make up for Hot Nasties shows.  I liked it because he looked like a punk. That’s Stu in the background, I think.  Also long gone.

We miss you, John.  Hardly knew you.



Fourteen reasons

…why we still need effective gun safety laws, and why we need to stop violence against women.

30 years ago.

  1. Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
  2. Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  3. Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  4. Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  5. Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
  6. Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
  7. Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
  8. Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
  9. Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  10. Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
  11. Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
  12. Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  13. Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
  14. Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student


When something becomes A Thing

And the NATO “hot microphone” thing has indeed turned into A Thing.

My regular readers didn’t care what I had to say about it, either: Conservative followers and friends were incensed.  Still smarting from the election result, they pounced on Justin Trudeau’s unguarded remarks.

It was shocking, they claimed, that a world leader wouldn’t know a live microphone and camera were pointed his way – even though Princess Anne, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and even Donald Trump were also caught saying and doing dumb things, on tape, at the same summit. (Trump isn’t new to “hot mic” missteps, of course.)

It was unstatesmanlike for Trudeau to say what he said, they insisted – even though Trump was far more insulting, calling Trudeau names, and leaving the summit early, like the petulant child that he is.

It won’t hurt Trudeau at home – most Canadians detest Trump, and the ones who don’t would never vote for a Trudeau, anyway. But it may hurt us in an impeachment-distracted Washington. Yes, that is true.

Because, 24 hours or so later, it seems that what happened at NATO isn’t going to fade from the collective memory anytime soon, here or in the U.S. It has now turned into A Thing – a thing that may be unhelpful to Canada.  The occupant of the Oval Office is a monkey with a machine gun, you see, and he ain’t gonna be happy about this:


Sigh. It’s a good ad. Which is probably bad news.

Trips abroad are never very good for Canadian Prime Ministers – remember Joe Clark’s lost luggage? Remember Paul Martin grinning in a tent in the desert with Libyan dictator Mu’ammar Qadafi? Remember Stephen Harper missing G8 photo sessions because he was in the bathroom?

I, again, don’t blame Trudeau for the hot mic – that’s the fault of the Brits, and some political staff who weren’t on the ball. Nor do I blame him for what he said – I have been present when Canadian Prime Ministers talk with other world leaders, and I can assure you it can get pretty nasty, and even pretty ribald, pretty fast.

But there’s no doubt this thing is now A Thing.


Bye bye, NAFTA: “Trudeau mocks Trump” (updated)

That’s the main story over on Fox News, which is basically a Rorschach Pattern of Donald Trump’s brain.

Trudeau’s remarks – and that of Macron and Johnson – are completely defensible, but that doesn’t matter.  And, why the Brits (a) had a pool camera pointed at the leaders (b) no one told the leaders (c) no staffers bothered to ask…well, those things will be debated for many days to come, I suspect.

What won’t be debated is that Trump now has an excuse to treat Canada like a chew toy for the foreseeable future.  Again.  Adios, NAFTA et al.

That impeachment vote can’t come soon enough!

UPDATE: Aaaaaand we’re off to the races!