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+

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+

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+

Symphony of the Absurd at the White House

Symphony: something regarded, typically favourably, as a composition of different elements.

The current occupants of the White House have been presenting an almost daily symphony of discord, asininity,  and moronic half-witted actions!

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+

Kellyanne Conway’s CNN Caper

This morning I watched Counselor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway ramble on for over an hour on CNN. They should have changed the name to Conway Nonsense Network for the segment. It was not an interview, although Chris Cuomo did address numerous questions to  Conway, more of an exercise in avoidance and obfuscation on her part.

Conway’s caper this morning was nothing short of laughing up her sleeve – and by extension the Trump administration’s sleeve – at the U.S. electorate.

As a kid I used to hate it when a classmate was making a fool of himself; I would feel embarrassed for them. That same sense of unease was what I experienced today watching the ever-grinning Conway.

It is not uncommon for political spokespersons to nuance their replies to touchy questions. Conway choose to ignore them entirely only to later claim she answered them. It seems to me that the people of the United States deserve to have straight answers to straight questions from any spokesperson, Democrat, Republican or Independent.

Conway’s caper this morning was nothing short of laughing up her sleeve – and by extension the Trump administration’s sleeve – at the U.S. electorate. There was nothing nuanced about it, nothing shrewd or crafty about it. She merely responded to questions with questions or spoke about an entirely unrelated topic.

CNN must alter its approach to covering the Trump administration

No doubt exasperated, Cuomo reached a point when he allowed Conway to run on. Letting her pull out as much rope as she wanted to hang herself.

CNN must alter its approach to covering the Trump administration. Rather than pander to the White House for Conway to appear, the network should continue to cover the president but refuse to present her, or any other spokesperson without some sense that the person will not ignore questions and filibuster.

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+

Canada’s Reputation Tops World

“Well your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation”

When Billy Joel sang that line in his Only the Good Die Young he was of course referring to a bad reputation. Or maybe a fun one. But if reputations count, Canada is sitting pretty as, on the eve of our 150 birthday, we have been named the world’s most reputable country!  I realize that this and $4.85 will get you a cup of Starbucks’ coffee, but it’s nice to be appreciated once every so often.

I’s just so damn hard living up to it!

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+

 

Alert Ready TV Ads and the Boy Who Cried Wolf

As we approach our 150th birthday on July 1st, Canadians can now feel a sense of security with the new Alert Ready warning system.

According to the website:

Alert Ready is designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television and radio. The Alert Ready system is developed in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Environment and Climate Change Canada, The Weather Network and the broadcast industry to ensure you receive alerts immediately and know when to take action to keep yourself and your family safe.

On several occasions I have heard the alarm from the next room and rushed to see what form the impending doom would take. Of course it was just the ad – again.

All fine and dandy, just one problem. As this coordinated alarm system is new, the powers that be have been promoting it heavily on TV. In my house the television is on all day in the background, usually with a news channel. The ads that explain Alert Ready to the public feature the actual alarm sound and flashing red screen. On several occasions I have heard the alarm from the next room and rushed like a magnet to steel to see what form the impending doom would take. Of course it was just the ad – again.

So now when I hear the alarm I assume it is the ad and I just ignore it. What could go wrong? If there is a real disaster, I will have to rely on my current system; it has worked so far.

Remember Aesop? Remember the boy who cried wolf? May I suggest the good folks behind Alert Ready remove the alert sound from the adverts. Perhaps direct viewers to the website where the sound can be played at will.

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+