An apropos reminder from John Barber

Quoting from his column in last Saturday's Globe and Mail:

Torontonians wondering why the Harper government insists on treating them contemptuously should remember the wise words of John Stuart Mill: "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."

(Yes, I am that far behind in my reading. Since there are no newspapers available except what I brought with me, I am reduced to reading every single article from the Saturday Globe, word by word.)



Having watched and learned from shows like Goodfellas and the Sopranos, I know what to expect when an authority figure tries to lure the victim into a deserted area, say an empty warehouse, or a parking garage, or in my case an empty eXcite centre... that way when things get ugly there will be no witnesses.

On Monday morning, I received an email from my manager to meet her at 10h00 sharp on the seventh floor of the building next door to our own (new, only been there a week) office.

Having been fired before, I knew the signs: Monday morning, an impenetrable email summons, a meeting in a place that I have never been before.

A classic corporate whack.

My boss met me at the glass doors at 10h00 sharp. Luckily, because, as I mentioned, the seventh floor was deserted and there was no one else to let me in if she wasn't there.

She activated the door, then escorted me past empty offices (empty except for the one where the man who would prove to be my 'outbound counselor' was busy unpacking his bags and assiduously avoiding any eye contact) to a meeting room where 3 eXcite desks had been arranged in a triangle formation.

One for me, one for my manager, and one for the heartbreakingly nervous HR representative. (I suspect this was her first firing. She was so nervous and cute!)

The upshot? A pretty good package, as far as I am concerned. I kept things classy (I had even packed up my belongings and took them with me to the meeting), so did they, so I think things worked out pretty well.

Off to Cuba for a week, starting tomorrow!


Dogan Update

I had the opportunity, last weekend, of asking my elderly polish-canadian catholic relatives if they were 'dogans' and the response was universal. 'Dogan' is a pejorative term for Irish Catholics, not Catholics in general. Polacks have their own 'nicknames', it seems.

Another linguistic conundrum solved!


An amusing reminiscence involving George Galloway

A couple of winters ago, just before he left for the Great Satan to proactively defend himself against various Greater Satanic governmental accusations, "Gorgeous" George Galloway gave a speech at a church on Bloor St.

I don't remember most of it (I had seen his performance before, and it hadn't changed much) but one part stuck in my mind as a classic example of what I now recognise as classic the Office-style comedy (ie. embarrassing, no laugh track).

GGG, in his fine scots tenor, was haranguing the packed house:

I have talked to leaders throughout the Middle East. I have listened to the students at religious schools and secular universities alike. People have called for the destruction of Israel...

And here he paused for a deep breath of air. Before he could finish his sentence

...which I reject ENTIRELY!

there was an enormous burst of applause from the audience. It was really awkward for a moment or two.

The sponsor of the event, an ancient lady with a jewish name, had been introduced to the audience just minutes before. At that time, we were congratulating ourselves on how tolerant we all were, Jews, activist Christians, Moslems, lefties, and freaks alike.

Then this perfect Office moment occurred!

GGG paused for a moment, then tactfully carried on with his schtick as if nothing had happened.

I bet he made sure that particular pause wouldn't occur the next place he took his tour to!

In a lot of ways, George reminds me of Don Cherry. The problem is that I despise Don Cherry but I kind of like George Galloway.

Huh... certainly something to think about...