Donald Trump, Charlottesville and Chubby Checker

(KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

In a recent post I mentioned how the video from Charlottesville was a bit grainy you might mistake for something from the sixties. Lately one line of a Chubby Checker song, also from the sixties, has been stuck in my head. As I watch the news in the US again and again this snippet of lyric pops into my mind. It has nothing to do with twisting, a word that would make Checker a rich man over the years and one that could certainly be applied to President Trump’s take on history as well as current events.

He has an ability to twist facts and images to his liking

He has an ability to twist facts and images to his liking. But people are not fools; looking at the coverage of the heinous events over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia it is clear that there was a group of armed Nazi thugs and a group of protesters. The fault falls on one side – the Nazis – and one side only. No amount of twisting will change that.

What ignited this riot was the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee … That Lee is on a horse did not bring to my mind the Checker song Pony Time.

What ignited this riot was the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The white supremacists and Nazis look to Lee as a hero, so they were spitting their vile racist epithets in protest if the statue’s removal. That Lee is on a horse did not bring to my mind the Checker song Pony Time.

No, the song came to me after the riots, after the murder of Heather Hayer, after two statements from Trump. While watching the ‘leader of the free world’ rant and rage in the lobby of his tower in New York, listening to him equate the protesters and the Nazis, levying equal amounts of blame to each side (in fact, placing the onus on the protesters who did not have a permit) is when the Checker lyric burned itself into my mind. The words come from his 1962 hit Limbo Rock and are ‘How low can you go?”.

Every time I have seen rebroadcasts of Trump’s hissy fit I can’t help but repeat that line to myself.

How low can you go?

My greatest fear with regards to Trump is that he is soon going to show just how low he can go.

Sad.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Odd Traffic Sign and Pride Week in Montreal

Willy-Nilly is defined as “random, without direction or planning”. I recently came upon a street sign that needed a bit of willy and perhaps a dash of nilly. Pictured above is the culprit. The upper sign clearly indicates that you cannot go straight; yet the lower sign informs motorists that they must keep right and go straight. Huh?

Fortunately this sign is not in a heavy traffic area, but nonetheless it could lead to significant confusion.

And ironically this go straight – can’t go straight conundrum came to my attention today, during Montreal’s Pride Week. With so many people wearing T-Shirts that say “I can’t even think straight” one can only imagine the turmoil this sign could bring to someone questioning their sexuality. Yikes!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Charlottesville: Blood On The President’s Hands

Had the video been poorer in quality, a bit grainy, maybe even black and white, you might have assumed you were watching a history documentary on CNN last Saturday afternoon. Something about civil rights marches in the sixties. But no, the scenes of mayhem in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia were live. It was enough to make one’s skin prickle with the fear that this will never end.

Had the video been poorer in quality, a bit grainy, maybe even black and white, you might have assumed you were watching a history documentary on CNN last Saturday afternoon.

As a group of white supremacists gathered to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee they were met by a group of opponents, including some wearing Black Lives Matter shirts which must have been like wearing targets. It did not take long before tensions elevated to the boiling point, leading to violent racist havoc, destruction, injury, and death.

Thank goodness for the president’s calming good words. He spoke from his vacation home and clearly pointed out that no white supremacy will be tolerated in the USA. His words were like a salve that cooled things in Virginia and made citizens remember why they had elected this man.

Oh no … wait a moment … that was just what should have happened. What actually did occur was perhaps the most non-presidential thing Trump has done. He did indeed address the violence, condemning it yet stating undoubtedly that the problem came from all sides. Rather than call out the white supremacists as the problem, he chose to group all the protesters into one big mass. How about tossing a little gasoline on that fire Mr. President?

It was incumbent upon the president to differentiate and lay the blame where it belonged. Why will he, 48-hours later, still not do this? Does he not want to upset his base?

But that’s not the case, some of those present were, by all accounts, merely protesting the well-armed supremacists. It was incumbent upon the president to differentiate and lay the blame where it belonged. Why will he, 48-hours later, still not do this? Does he not want to upset his base?

He is scheduled to talk today, but frankly it is too late. Even if he points the finger of blame at the white supremacists now, it will not excuse his refusal to do so immediately.

Shame on Donald Trump

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Sports Look Faster In Person – Usually

Ernesto Escobedo serves to Nikoloz Basilashvili

I am a fan of sports. But not being a fan of crowds I tend to limit myself to television coverage. Recently we were given a pair of “Prestige Passes” to attend the Rogers Cup ATP event in Montreal.

Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

With a sunny day forecast, free parking provided and fifth-row seats how could I say no. So off we went to Parc Jarry in the city’s northern section, a place I had not been to since I worked on the Pope’s visit in 1984. The new tennis facility which integrates the original home of the Montreal Expos is lovely.

We took our seats in the fifth row to watch a match pitting American Ernesto Escobedo against Nikoloz Basilashvili of the Georgia. Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats.

I have attended hockey games, football games, baseball games, Formula 1 races, even a few soccer matches.  What always strikes me, particularly in the case of F1 races, is how television coverage does not do justice to the speed of the event. In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats. A football running-back’s dart down the field and the physical contact of the game are impressive, to say the least.

Then there is tennis.

This was my second professional tennis match. The first was many years ago and featured Gabriela Sabatini. On both occasions, I came away thinking how slow the game is in person. With the exception of the delivery of services, or serves, which are tremendously fast. Tennis looks better on TV to this armchair athlete.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Sorry, But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

Originally published September 3, 2013

This post was linked to by CNN to explain the backhanded apologies of some Canadians!

Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society

It is often said that we Canadians are polite to a fault.  As a Canadian I would suggest, but certainly not argue, that it is impossible to be overly polite. People point out that we say thank you too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!

800px-Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04But maybe we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.

… because (Canadian apologies) can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic

The Canuck will probably be the first to say cheerily “Sorry about that” even though  both were equally at fault, or no fault existed. The other person may also apologize, just as cheerily, resulting in what is known as a civilized exchange. Then again he or she may seize upon the Canadian’s apology to feel superior and reply “You certainly should be sorry” or some other witty retort.

… don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings

In this case the subtlety of the sorry masks its true intent, which is along the lines of: “Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”. You see, the sorry in this case is more akin to the sorry expressed to someone recently bereaved; you weren’t responsible for the death of the loved one, but you “feel” sorry for their loss – you empathise with them. In our case you feel sorry for the cloddish boor for being a cloddish boor.

Keep this in mind the next time a Canadian apologizes to you; don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

State-Of-The-Art Construction Elevator

Recently while out for a stroll taking in some of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary festivities we came across a state-of-the-art construction elevator. Much like those pneumatic tubes once used in department stores to send cash to a main cashier, and still used in hospitals, this device gets workers from street level to upper parts of the project.

The elevator is not yet in common use, but as part of a display it had been erected to demonstrate the efficiency of modern technology. Being curious, and always looking to spice things up, I volunteered to give the lift a whirl. In no time at all I was being sucked up the red tube on my way to the top level, then as the pressure was eased back down I gently came.

What will they think of next?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Millennials Lag Behind Hippies When It Comes To Concert Nudity

Warning: This Post Contains Non-Millennial Nudity

One often hears that millennials, those folks born around the turn of the millennium and in their late teens and twenties now, are more open to some of the things that we older people wrestle to grasp. Gender used to be a zero-sum game: male or female. Now it is a spectrum, a continuum, with transgender pronouns being bandied about in university lecture halls.

These open-minded people, children of the Internet, brought us sexting, Snapchat, and easy access to online pornography. Pretty liberal sorts aren’t they? Well, maybe not.  

This past weekend thousands of millennials descended upon Montreal for the annual Osheaga music extravaganza. Three full days with numerous acts, few of which I had ever heard of.

Every year this event has me thinking about the big festivals of the late sixties. The grand-daddy, Woodstock in 1969, is still the benchmark against which these events will be forever compared. Like Woodstock this year’s version of Osheaga had thousands of young people, hot weather, significant rainfall and, mud.

Woodstock 1969

Unlike Woodstock, if media coverage is to be believed, there was no nudity. I was too young to attend music festivals in the sixties, but the photos of the event, and many other similar festivals clearly indicate a penchant for attendees to get naked. Concert goers are shown ambling about starkers, or in various states of undress.

 

In July of 1972 to Rolling Stones played the Montreal Forum. It was a hot night both outside and inside the building. A photo on the front page of the next day’s Star newspaper showed a topless woman on a guy’s shoulders enjoying the show. Rumour has it that she kept a copy of the paper with her and bragged about her instant fame all over town.

Were there similar photos in today’s newspaper? Nope. The concert made the front page, but all are clad. C’mon millennials, what gives? Even as recently as 1985’s Live Aid concert in Philadelphia people got into the spirit and shed a garment or two.

Live Aid

Jeez, talk about a stuck-up generation!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+