As Parliament resumes, we present the 2012 Summer Outlandishness awards

Some vacation highlights as politicians get down to business

by Scott Feschuk

We know what they did this summer

Getty; Reuters; CP; iStock; Photo Illustration by Taylor Shute

Parliament is about to resume, and I for one could not be more excited. The pomp! The legislation! The third thing I’ll eventually think of!

But before our MPs get back to the serious business of braying like jackasses at one another’s sub-moronic rhetoric amid an appalling display of puerile partisan obstinacy that would make democracy—were it a living being—shoot itself in the face with a cannon, let’s look back on the summer that was.

People in and around politics grasp that even reporters can space out during the months of sun and heat. I’m pretty sure there’s an annual bet to see who can say the most outlandish thing and have it taken seriously by the media. So let’s congratulate the summer 2012 winner—retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie! He got loads of ink this week for proposing that Canada revive the Avro Arrow fighter, because nothing says 21st-century jet warfare quite like “airplane designed before Sputnik was launched.”

But wait! MacKenzie says the Arrow would be totally upgraded—in fact, it would become a magical super-jet that would fly twice as fast as the rival F-35 fighter and up to 20,000 feet higher. Also, it would be invisible and actually a unicorn. Supersonic space unicorn, guys!

This was a tough break for our Prime Minister, who had been the favourite for Summer Outlandishness honours since the moment he named five more Conservatives to the Senate and declared that his appointees would “benefit the entire country.” Can you feel yourself benefiting yet, Canada? No? Maybe it takes a while for the healing waves of cronyism to ripple across the land.

The best part of the Senate announcement was listening to it being defended by Tim Uppal, the democratic reform minister. Uppal hailed the new senators as having “a wide range of experience . . . with backgrounds in economics, law and banking.” Hold on, their expertise runs all the way from economics to banking? And now we’ve got us a lawyer in the Senate? That’ll really balance out all the carpenters and baristas.

The summer wasn’t all work for the PM. In August, he went fishing with the mayor of Toronto. “I stand up in the boat all the time,” Rob Ford said after their outing. “He says, ‘Sit down.’ I say, ‘No, no.’ ” This is a troubling revelation. Stephen Harper has been talking tough on Iran, but you have to wonder: how is he going to coax a country to abandon its nuclear program if he can’t persuade a grown man to sit down in a boat?

Harper also embarked on his seventh trip to Canada’s North. It’s a neat tradition. Every summer, the PM heads to the territories to do a variety of things he looks awkward doing, such as a) riding around on an all-terrain vehicle and b) interacting with human persons. In Yukon, he declared: “That great national dream—the development of northern resources—no longer sleeps.” Two things: first, I had no idea a dream could itself go to sleep. That’s some mind-blowing Inception stuff right there. And second, is that really our great national dream? Digging up stuff and selling it? Resource wealth is awesome and everything, but you’d think that at minimum our national dream would be to eliminate child poverty or take a cooking class.

Meanwhile, people across the country have caught Liberal leadership fever—or at least a mild case of Liberal leadership sinusitis. That’s because Justin Trudeau is definitely probably running!

When the nation’s top pundits focus their Mighty Powers of Analysis upon a potential Trudeau candidacy, they achieve consensus on one critical point: he sure is purdy. Reporters write about Trudeau the way they used to write about Belinda Stronach. A female reporter in Windsor, Ont., noted high up in her recent story that Trudeau showed up at a barbecue “in jeans, sandals and a loose white shirt unbuttoned at the top.” Readers were left to infer her dreamy sigh. Earlier this summer, a Globe and Mail writer labelled Trudeau “impossibly handsome [and] charming,” before going on to describe him as a “hot-buttered scion.” The writer has since been obliged by court order to enroll in hormone management counselling.

Meanwhile, New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair made progress of his own this summer: only several major media outlets spelled his surname “Mulclair.” One day, many Canadians will even be able to pronounce it correctly, and then there’ll be no stopping him.




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As Parliament resumes, we present the 2012 Summer Outlandishness awards

  1. I must protest that photo, i suspect it was photo shopped. That looks like a very nice Ian Oughtred or Joel White skiff. It wouldn’t behave at all like that were PMSH to be in the bow and mayor Rob to stand up like so. Of course it might have a little less free board than shown too.

    • no, that’s a real photo, straight out of camera, no manipulation.

  2. “But before our MPs get back to the serious business of braying like
    jackasses at one another’s sub-moronic rhetoric amid an appalling
    display of puerile partisan obstinacy that would make democracy—were it a
    living being—shoot itself in the face with a cannon,…”

    LOL

    • So much truth and imagery packed into a single sentence! Top that you twit(ter)s!
      – Myb f u elm8 mst vwls

  3. If the good Judge Hacker makes a finding on the Mayor’s Conflict of Hearing Inquiry, the penalty could include Rob Ford cleaning up the deck of Harper’s tax payers yatch. And his Worship could also clean up the Harrington Lake area, recycle the beer cans etc. This may cause Mr. Harper to reflect on the dire need for environmental protection that affects the health and the socio-economic well-being of citizens from coast to coast to coast. Did they decide to throw the large bass back into the lake because it was unsafe to eat or a member of an endangered species similar to our tea party large “C” fishing friends?

  4. Just have him sit in the lake attached to a boulder….

  5. I guess Feschuk is living down to his usual …”quality”. Wow! Journalism is sure a great career move for the untalented and unskilled. You don’t have to produce anything of value. You simply have to wait until someone ELSE does something and write something snotty about it.

    • Well I’ll have you know, good sir, that your description of what I do for a living is… fairly accurate.

    • Why on earth would you read a Scott Feschuk column if you *don’t like* Scott Feschuk’s columns?? It’s not as though you need to stand against him arguing a particular ideology, or driving public opinion on policy debates (Sorry Scott… and sorry policy debates for suggesting that anyone has them). Clearly lots of people do like his writing, so the “anything of value” argument is a bit weak… though, as you so rightly point out, journalist just wait for OTHER people to do stuff, and then they WRITE about it. For realz? When are they gonna get off their fat laptops and start BEING the news. Scott, announce a major subway expansion, will ya?!

      • LOL! I just popped over from BC Blue. It’s so much fun to to see these tough, hardboiled journalists get all pissy because someone daaaarrrrees to critcize them. Ooooooo aaaaaahhh. You should see the comments about feschuk that are going on over there hee hee. :D
        Yes, I believe “wuss” is probably quite accurate here given the immediacy an energy of the reaction by feschuk and his sock puppets (oops I means colleagues – damn! I meant fans)
        As soon as a member of the public exhibits the gall to do anything other than gush about a journalist it’s “Circle the wagons!” and all the other MSM low lifes jump in.
        Like dot who apparently thinks she is being quite profound because she can cut and paste from the dictionary.
        Then Shenping lifts his nose and gives the audacious critic a good lecture. May I ask you Shenping, are we to understand journalists are above critcism?
        —-”Journalists have to fill pages even when nothing exciting happens on their beat. That`s why it`s called work.”
        Whoa! deep thoughts there confucious! Yeah, sitting on your lazy ass firing off 800 words of really nothing more than snotty remarks about people. Yep – tough job. Probably did it half sloshed on a lap top in the bar 5 minutes before deadline. “Please someone notice me! I’m an important journalist working here!”
        Then Godless lawyer chimes in because … well …scumbags of a feather….you know.
        Then finally Matt Ramsden whines…”Whyyyy dear gawd Whyyyyyyy???”
        Umm because maybe myself and apparently others get sick and tired of useless, sneering smart asses who do nothing better than sit around pissing all over others. Yes, Mr. feschuk you fit into this catagory as do most of the other journalists in the country.

        • Oh, wait! I thought I’d add one more little question for “godless lawyer”. Why do you put the word godless in your handle? I mean really, can you tell me the name of one(!) lawyer who believes in God or (even has a moral compass of any kind for that matter)?
          You probably won’t reply cuz y’know you’re busy. People to sue pedophiles to free, work work work. :D

        • So you go looking for useless sneering smart asses? Ya, same here. I really don’t enjoy overly partisan bloggers – especially those who name drop their blogs in online comments – which is why I troll those blogs, get all fired up, and leave biting comments. Oh wait, no I don’t, that would be silly.

          • Actually I don’t go looking for them at all. I mean really, they aren’t that hard to find anyway. But when one of those sneering smart asses has a regular column in a national news magazine I don’t really think it’s too out of line to let him know what a complete complete Starbucks sipping, snot, shitstain he comes across as.
            And no, I don’t read Feschuck’s clolumns normally. Gee… another guy who thinks he’s funny doing politics based humour from an overwhelming left wing perspective. ….Oh – my – gosh – nobody – does that – how – very – original – and – cutting – edge – you – rebel – you.
            If he doesn’t like the feedback, fine, don’t write columns then. Go back to disguising your anti-Harper anti-Ford opinions as news stories like the rest of the MacLean’s staff do.
            Now, I’ll ask you the same question that Shenping and Snot Facefuck were too cowardly to answer. Do you believe journalists are above critcism?

          • You sound fun to hang out with.

          • I’m glad my postings are interesting enough that you feel the need to keep responding. Too bad you don’t have the guts to answer a simple question (above).
            As for you hanging out with me?
            Eeeewww no thanks, I have standards. and journalists…. (AKA – snotty, holier than thou, weasels who look down their noses and smear everyone else in print) aren’t part of my circle of friends.
            . But if wish to hang yourself, hey! Please do so.

          • Actually I think I’m going to be the first to pull the plug on this little on-line flame war. That’s enough and I’m finished. Godnight sleep tight.


        • Like dot who apparently thinks she is being quite profound because she can cut and paste from the dictionary.

          dick·head (dkhd)

          short form: D

          n.Vulgar Slang

          An inept, foolish, or contemptible person.

          • Whoa another deep one from dot.
            Do try to think of another joke dot. You’ve done the dictionary bit already. Mind you, you’re probably a Maclean’s staffer or member of the media so smarts just ain’t one of your more outstanding qualities are they?
            Otherwise you might be doing something USEFUL for a living.

    • Being a political journalist, production of value is a lot lower down the ladder than that. Someone produces something of value, someone regulates & taxes it, someone buys up the company and moves the production of value to China, and the reporters cover it. I don`t think the media is generally expected to produce anything of value, unless you count affordable liners for hampster cages. And if you want something exciting in the beginning of September, you`ll have to read up on a different subject than Canadian national politics. Journalists have to fill pages even when nothing exciting happens on their beat. That`s why it`s called work.

  6. “….because nothing says 21st-century jet warfare quite like “airplane designed before Sputnik was launched”
    And nothing says “I-don’t-have-a-fucking-clue-about-what-I’m-sneering-about” better than professional wuss Snot Feschuk(Facefuk?).
    Apparently s a journalist he is an exppert on pretty much anything you can imagine. So he is no doubt considered that an undated version of the Arrow design migh … gee… I don’t know be vastly inproved with advances in metallurgy, composite materials, computerized avionics and structural design? Yes, of course he would! He’s a… (bump badda bum bump BUUUMMMM) — JOURRRRNNNALLLIST!!!

    • You honour me by respecting and acknowledging my hard-earned status as a “professional” wuss. Thank you.

      • Scott, I admire your uncanny ability to incite such rage with so few words. Your approach is clearly much more effective than those of other MacLean’s staff. You should run a seminar!

        • Thank you, asshat. (Kidding. Just inciting rage with ever-greater efficiency)

        • I think you have to dock some points because he neglected to imediately change his Disqus handle to ‘snotfacefuk’.

      • You missed the clue in his name:

        ran·dy (rnd)

        adj. ran·di·er, ran·di·est

        1.a. Lascivious; lecherous.

        b. Of or characterized by frank, uninhibited sexuality.

        2. Scots Ill-mannered.

        Hot buttered true dough scone with a chocolate Mulclair…mmmm

  7. take a deep breath, guys…it’s called satire.

  8. I enjoyed the visuals you painted with your words almost as much as the honesty of your witty banter, which is way easier to take to than the recent trash bin of political ‘truthiness’…have you heard the one about the NDP carbon tax?

  9. Scott, I come here for the humour. And this effort had me laughing out loud four times. But then, I read the comments. I laughed a couple of times here, too, but the real value was in the learning. And what I learned is that Conservative supporters really, truly, don’t have an ounce of funny. They don’t see irony, they don’t see sarcasm. I find that a bit funny, but mostly very sad and dangerous.

    • Waaaaaa “sad & dangerous”. Typical lefty canuk. Chickenshit to the core.

  10. Lots of haters on this column Scott. It must make you feel warm all over. There’s a distinct Fordy touch about some of them – could it be the great man himself, i wonder? Must make you feel like writing another one – it would me. Must be fun to be loved like that. I’d be depressed if none of them turned up at all.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • I imagine just the thought of torquing your bolts down one more notch would be reward enough for him to keep churning them out. I think you’re pissed because there doesn’t appear to be any funny right wing political commentary out there – at least not in this country. But I can see why trying to get a decent laugh out of a poison toad like you might be considered murder.

        • Ooooo Oooo Noooo you don’t like me :D
          Actually I hope that dipshit keeps churning them out. An enemy that shows his face is easier to hit. And I don’t care how much he pretends the comments don’t matter to him, the fact that he responds to them means he’s read them…. and if he’s read them, then they must matter enough for him to take the time to do so.
          Sooooo dumb ass? He will keep writing and so will I.
          As far as no right wing political commentary? There is some. I love Ezra, mostly because he is absolutely vicious in his attacks on the media. (and it it so funny to see how pissed these pompous buffoons get in response)
          But of course you won’t count him because as a lefty you hate his guts. (I know. You won’t admit it. You’ll just say he isn’t funny – to that I respond by referring you to the last statement of your own posting).
          Now, as far actually reading Facefuk’s columns, – - – naah I’m not going to even bother.
          I don’t need to hear more of his predictable urban metrosexual sneering to know exactly what he will say on any given subject. (Journalists are pretty consistant that way – as soon as you see the headline and get an idea of the subject matter, you know exactly how the column is going to play out.)
          I AM(!) going to hang around to throw wrenches into the incestuous little lefty love fests that these echo chamber boards are though.
          Should be fun.

          • Also? Thanks kcm2 for confirming, once again how overwhelmingly liberally biased the … “news” media in canada (particularly MacLean’s) actually is.

          • “Sooooo dumb ass? He will keep writing and so will I.

            …Now, as far actually reading Facefuk’s columns, – - – naah I’m not going to even bother”

            What i love about guys like you is how you’re soooo evidently smarter than all us so called lefties. How’re you going to keep on writing about them without reading them? Oh well this is a circular argument so i’ll quit. I’d recommend you keep your posts to ten words of less, it should make it easier to not contradict yourself that way.
            As for Ezra…he’s funny all right, but not for the reasons you cite.

            “Journalists are pretty consistant that way – as soon as you see the headline and get an idea of the subject matter, you know exactly how the column is going to play out.)”

            Wow you’re a genius. You’ve discovered the purpose of headlines.

          • “What i love about guys like you is how you’re soooo evidently smarter than all us so called lefties”
            Thanks for admitting it. :D But please don’t say you “Love me” again, ok? It really creeps me out.
            “Wow you’re a genius” Thanks again – I know.
            As far as your comment about headlines. You are obviously too fucking stupid to understand my point. The fact is that the news media and opinion writers are so completely predictable. Whether it’s a story about the homeless or fighting Afghanistan, you know exactly wghat tone it will be written in. What slant it will take. What facts will be included and more importantly what facts will be carefully overlooked.
            The fact that you couldn’t understand this pertinent point shows just how dim you are. But don’t worry, stupidityis one of the qualifications of a good lefty. You’ll be fine.
            “Ezra…he’s funny all right, but not for the reasons you cite.”
            Yes, we all know how hyper-sensitive the lefty & media types are that he attacks. Dish it out – can’t take it. I told you that you would react that way. You obviously were too dim to figure that one out too.
            “How’re you going to keep on writing about them without reading them?”
            Oooohhhkaaaayyy let me try this one more time. Read it more than once or get mommy to help you ‘kay?
            Lefties in the news media are completely predictable. You know ALL of their talking points and how they will be presented on any imaginable subject matter BEFORE you even read the article. If you have a basic idea of what the piece will be about you can say “Ok, here’s what he’s going to say and 99.999% of the time you will be dead right.
            These “comedy” writers like Facefuck are all the same. They are all lefty and all say the EXACT same thing every time. For fux sake they should just write a software program to crank this shit out.

          • You broke the golden rule. I dozed off after the tenth word. I only got one word now – bye.

          • Typical lefty, no staying power.
            BTW? You don’t make the rules. We’ve got the majority – remember? All you can do is whine & bitch in the press and blubber to the courts.. Look forward to the next time muffin.

          • muffin! lol…bye again.

  11. Mr Fuschek, Maj-Gen Lewis Mackenzie said nothing outlandish.

    He said something perfectly sensible. It would certainly be better than the F-35–change that. ANYTHING WOULD BE WAY BETTER THAN THE F-35!

    By the way, of course Rob Ford stood up in a boat. That’s the sort of awful guy he WAS. Now he’s worse than that.

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