Armagideon Time

Heard Willi Williams’ original version coming in this morning.  Reminded me of the time me and my Jamaican brother Karl Hale saw him play it at the Phoenix, in the middle of the night.  I felt like the White Man in Hammersmith Palais, which naturally is and remains the best song of all time.

Here’s Joe and the boys.  Listen to the words.



This is the face of a hero

RIP.

A Chinese doctor who tried to issue the first warning about the deadly coronavirus outbreak has died, the hospital treating him has said.

Li Wenliang contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital.

He had sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30 December but police told him to stop “making false comments”.

There had been contradictory reports about his death, but the People’s Daily now says he died at 02:58 on Friday (18:58 GMT Thursday).

The virus has killed 636 people and infected 31,161 in mainland China, the National Health Commission’s latest figures show.

The death toll includes 73 new deaths reported on Thursday.

 


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 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.” 


I love Joe

My guy.

Brought back by a pal who was down there this week. Why do I think Iowa is good for him? When super delegates see him way down in Iowa and NH, they will stampede to support him in SC and into Super Tuesday. Iowa doesn’t hurt Joe Biden – it helps him.


My latest: sad Trudeau

Is Justin Trudeau sad?

He sure looks sad. He looks positively dejected, in fact.

In his few public appearances since the election, Trudeau has radiated none of the boyish charm that was the signature of his first term in office. Gone are the selfies, the costumes, and the maddening preoccupation with social media.

In their place: a grown-up Prime Minister, kind of.

The beard, the flecks of grey, the downcast eyes: all of it combines to give the Liberal leader the gravitas that he has lacked for far too long. He may be ineffably sad, but the sadness sits well on him.

Plenty of folks have similarly been struck by how changed Trudeau now seems to be. And – ironically, and whatever is the cause – that it has matured Trudeau.

It may sound a bit like Kremlinology, but it can’t be denied that Justin Trudeau is different, now. Even his detractors say so.

One of his biographers, the CBC’s Aaron Wherry, has observed that Trudeau is showing more introspection, and more humility, than ever before. He seems “less youthful,” declared The Economist.

“Humble,” agreed someone at the Toronto Star. “Sombre,” they said. Even card-carrying Trudeau critic Rex Murphy has acknowledged it: “There has been a change in his manner since the election.”

Now, it’s not as if Trudeau lacks justification. Raging wildfires in Australia, dozens of Canadians killed by Iranian missiles, crippling weather, an impeached and distracted president, climate change and economic uncertainty, a coronavirus global emergency: 2020, the experts agree, has deeply sucked, and it is only days old. There is little about which any Prime Minister can celebrate.

But there’s something else at work here – something that is not easily attributable to 2020’s bleak headlines. More than current events explains the change in Justin James Pierre Trudeau, PC, QC.

The conservative rageaholics tweet wild speculation about Trudeau’s personal life. All of it is fair game, to them. And all of it is is mean and lacking in proof.

The answer, like so many things in politics, may be hiding in plain view. It’s not a mystery.

Justin Trudeau is downcast – humble, sombre, older, changed, and all of the things the commentariat say he is – because he lost the election.

Because, you know, he sort of did. Everyone, including his opponents – particularly the Tories, who selected Andrew Scheer because they thought he’d be a reasonable placeholder leader, until someone better came along – believed Trudeau was preordained a second Parliamentary majority. It was his birthright.

And he didn’t get one.

Blackface, LavScam, Aga Klan, GropeGate, deficits, the Griswolds Go To India: all of it came together to bring Justin Trudeau down Earth. And at the worst possible time, too. An election.

It can’t be denied, of course, that Scheer and his campaign manager ran one of the worst election efforts in recent memory. Jagmeet Singh lost half his caucus. Elizabeth May could only add a single, solitary seat to what she had.

Trudeau did poorly in the 2019 federal general election, bien sur. But he knows he is only Prime Minister because his adversaries did a lot worse.

So, he’s sad. He looks humbled. He’s seemingly older.

Canadians like it. An Abacus poll conducted a few days ago concluded that “a clear majority see him doing an acceptable or better job.” His party is more popular than it was, and Trudeau’s negatives – while still a bigger number than his positives – are shrinking.

We don’t know why you’re so sad, Justin Trudeau.

But we’re kind of happy about it