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Since Doug Ford decided to run for the leadership of the PC Party on January 29th, I’ve received at least one email from him or his supporters every day, even though the only reason I’m on his mailing list is that years ago I signed a petition to support the Toronto Public Library that was sent to his brother, then-Mayor Rob Ford. But Rob never cared that I wasn’t a supporter, so why should Doug? On Day 12 there’s an inkling that I might not be on his side, in the form of an email entitled “You are not a member”… but the emails have kept coming anyway, even though I never have nor never will be a PC Party member.

Doug’s emails might be written by Scribbler and Devoted Follower Joe Warmington, since they mirror his style of short, simple sentences, each of which is its own paragraph. In honour of whoever is behind Doug’s outreach, I’ve compiled the titles of all of the emails in order, which gives a sense of what any of the individual emails looks like. I call it the poetry of desperation.

It all ends with the most recent email (although I’m sure, not the last), one that I wholeheartedly agree with: “It’s time to stop.”

Doug Ford, please heed your own advice: it’s time to stop. Stop sending me emails, stop trying to be leader of the PC Party, and above all stop trying to outdo your father and your brother who, for all of their faults, were better people than you could ever hope to be, you unblinking, soulless narcissist.

 

DOUG FORD ENTERS RACE FOR LEADER OF THE ONTARIO PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE PARTY

Join us for a Rally for a Stronger Ontario!

I need your help

I need your help

The hard truth

This is nuts

The plan

It’s about winning

Six days

Education

Let’s get it right

You are not a member

Support Doug at the debate!

Welfare for politicians

Broken government

RE: I agree with Doug

Tax tax tax!

Deadline today

Grassroots vs. the media

Tough times

We haven’t won yet

A small deficit?

Tiny little deficit!

Listening to the grassroots

Fighting for our members

It’s time to stop

Where are we as a nation that used to be proud of its beer heritage when by far the biggest displays in the Beer Store (don’t even get me started on the loss of that quirky and humble name, Brewer’s Retail) are Budweiser and Coors Light? Admittedly, Canadian and Blue aren’t good beers, but at least they’re ours. But not only have they been pushed to the margins of the store shelves, they lag in sales and aren’t even entirely Canadian-owned anymore. It makes me sad to walk into the Beer Store; Canadians used to boast that our beer was stronger (“why is American beer like having sex in a canoe? Because it’s fucking close to water”)–if not better–than American brews, but now our southern neighbours have colonized our alcohol consumption like they long ago did our movie theatres and fast food chains. Why, they’ve even got rid of the wall of beer, which we would stare at and often find some unusual brand that we’d think of trying before going for the safe but almost-adventurous 50 or Carling, in favour of a touch-screen menu.

Wake up, Ontario! You’ve lost your beer heritage and are in danger of losing your very identity!

When I worked at a cigarette/lottery shop in Windsor, Ontario, there were a lot of characters.  It wasn’t the nicest part of town, and there were a lot of people on welfare or otherwise had pretty tough lives.  Here’s a transcript of an actual conversation I had with one man:

“I’m losing the tips of my fingers… you know how that happened?”

“No.”

“From puttin’ out cigarettes.”

“Why don’t you use an ashtray?”

“What for?  Why bother, when you’re already psychotic?”

The first single I ever bought was Taco’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” b/w “Living in My Dream World”.  I listened to it incessantly and it was wonderful every time.  Did the footsteps echoing away come at the beginning or the end of the song?  I can’t remember anymore, but all I know is that was probably my first exposure to the concept of “radio edit”, because as big as that song was, I never heard the footsteps on the radio.
I think the record cost $1.49, twice as much as a comic book, so a significant investment.  I bought it at Woolco, at Tecumseh Mall in Windsor, Ontario, memorable as well for Whoppers, corn dogs, and the store where Todd Troy was caught trying to steal a Playboy.
I digress.  Taco.

TacoThe first single I ever bought was Taco’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” b/w “Living in My Dream World” (despite the image here, back then most 45s came in rather bland paper sleeves with holes cut out of the centre so the label could be read).  I listened to it incessantly and it was perfect every time. The footsteps echoing away at the end of the song are on the single, and definitely in the video (which I saw recently as part of VH1’s countdown of the greatest one-hit wonders of the 80s), but I don’t remember hearing them on the radio–this was probably my first exposure to the concept of “radio edits”.

I think the record cost $1.49, twice as much as a comic book, so a significant investment and tough decision to make.  I bought it at Tecumseh Mall’s Woolco in Windsor, Ontario, memorable as well for Whoppers (the chocolate-coated candy balls, not the hamburger), corn dogs, and the store where Todd Troy was caught trying to steal a Playboy.

I digress.  Taco.  The early 80s was a great time for synth-pop music that seemed to originate in another dimension: I probably wasn’t familiar with Kraftwerk then, but their offspring, like Gary Numan (my sister had a 45 of his “Cars” and that was another favourite of mine), Thomas Dolby and A Flock of Seagulls were all well-represented on the charts, even if they didn’t have much staying power.  Taco, however, was more novelty than musician ahead of his time.  This description from allmusic.com is succint: “Born Taco Ockerse in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 21, 1955, he recorded ‘Ritz’ in Germany in 1981; a year later, the song (originally popularized by Fred Astaire) hit the upper reaches of the U.S. pop charts, accompanied by a video depicting the singer decked out in a bow-tie-and-tails ensemble emblematic of the Depression-era movie musicals his image strived to emulate.”  And while I have subsequently purchased other albums by Gary Numan and Thomas Dolby (whose album Aliens Ate My Buick is, I believe, one of the overlooked classics of the late 80s) I’ve never once listened to one other note of Taco’s oeuvre, although I wish him well, as someone whose music has given me a lot of joy over the years; even now, when I hear “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, I can’t help but smile, and yes, dance just a little bit.

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