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The critics are sort of raving


 

The Citizen’s Richard Todd reviews the NAC gala.

Intermission had to wait just a bit longer when a rock group called Herring Bone came on stage. They were joined by Ma, who seems to be up for just about anything, and—are you ready for this?—the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who played the piano and sang, both unobtrusively. They all put together a spirited rendition of the Beatles’ song, A Little Help from my Friends.


 

The critics are sort of raving

  1. This is sort of a step-up from Paul Martin's stage 'show' with U2, although I hear harper spent more time in the make-up chair than the rest of the performers combined… Sir Paul may prefer to let Gordon Brown defile his music than Harper…

  2. A screenshot of Michael Ignatieff as he sings: "What would you do if I sang out of tune?" at a press conference, in an attempt to mock Harper's NAC performance.

    http://i37.tinypic.com/zvaf6c.jpg

  3. There's a video going around – Richard Nixon playing the piano on Jack Parr in 1961.

    Nixon didn't show well on TV and some felt that's why he lost the election. He gets himself a makeover – makeup lady, etc. – image booster. Now, how did that turn out?

    I'm not against Harper playing the piano – far from it. Everyone, especially those with stressful jobs, needs an outlet.

    But the grandstaning is far too obvious.

    I don't vote by what instrument or sport a person plays.

    • Actually, it worked out pretty darned well for Nixon — he won in '68, and was re-elected in a landslide in '72.

      See Nixon playing "Happy Birthday" for Duke Ellington here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rRhI-aawwY

      Watergate, on the other hand — not such a great political approach. :p

    • Actually, it worked out pretty darned well for Nixon — he won in '68, and was re-elected in a landslide in '72.

      See Nixon playing "Happy Birthday" for Duke Ellington here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rRhI-aawwY

      Watergate, on the other hand — not such a great political approach. :p

      • You're missing the point. Piano playing doesn't necessarily reflect the essence of a man.

        Ya, Nixon won – then the truth of the man comes out.

  4. Jack Layton reacted corrrectly by giving the PM credit for a gutsy performance. Meanwhile, Michael Ignatieff blew it by being snarky. He now comes across as a sore loser. Igantieff needs new PR advisers.

  5. Polling question: If you saw a video of Prime Minister Stephen Harper singing a Beatle's song in front of a live audience at an art's gala, would it:
    1. Increase your estimation of him as a good leader and PM
    2. Decrease your estimation of him as a good leader and PM, or
    3. Your estimation would stay about the same

    We know how it turned out.

    • Harper's problem is that a non-trivial portion of the people who think he's a decent PM think he's a miserable human being. (See grudging endorsements last year, see Rick Mercer's column against the various politicians a week or two back, etc.)

      Looking at it purely politically — which would be a mistake, but what the heck, we're all political junkies if we're here — this goes right to that point.

  6. Completely agree. Iggy should take a couple days off and reset. Everything he touches is going the wrong way right now. But then again, if we'd had a convention …

  7. I guess it's a sign of the times that Liberal commenters can only criticize and complain. These are dark times for the Liberal Party and the partisan's mindset, as shown in what they say and write, is a reflection of same.

    Speaking of whcih, has anyone visited Iggy spinmeister Warren Kinsella's blog lately? It's a cauldron of negativism.

    This the "new" face of the Liberal Party?

    • Jarrid i swear you believe this s—! You're becoming the new Kody.

      • Settle down k—-jarrid speaks the truth. Iggy was not always a Negative Man but after a year of listening to Jennings and Fry scream in his ear and watching the seething anger of the likes of Dryden and McGuinty, he`s starting to question what the heck he`s doing back in this country—–could be a long cold winter—-any ideas about where we could send him for a little rest.

        • Jarrid is a dead parrot. He couldn't recall what 'the truth' is if you ran 50,000 volts through him. By your logic Harper should be just about gagga fom having to listen to the likes of junk yard dogs like Baird and Vanmoan frothing at the mouth every other QP.

          • Volts are across something. It's the amperes that go through…

          • Sigh!…Thankyou.

          • This seething anger seems to have spread to the blurbs from little k—–I have an exercise for you —-try humming along with a little tune—you know—" what would you do if I sang out of tune………..I get by with a little help from my friends "—-you will find it very relaxing and soon you won`t be able to get it out of your head.

      • Many refer to him as Ignegative.

        • Oh surprise Wilson – you get back into the constant childish nickname thing. You just keep drooling over Deceivin Stephen/Harpercrite/Harperbizarro.

          Keep those attack post-it notes handy.

  8. How does the lead singer of a band sing and play "unobtrusively"? Wouldn't that be a bad thing?

    • Depends on the voice. If ever I were a lead singer, everyone would agree I should be as unobtrusive as possible.

  9. Michael Ignatieff was mocking Stephen Harper's performance at the NAC gala? Are there any links to video footage of this or any media reports of it? If this is indeed the case,

    Talk.
    About.
    No.
    Class.

  10. And for his next performance, to connect to today's yoots, Stephen Harper will perform;

    Lady Gaga: Pokerface

  11. Try and look on the bright side MI. Harper could have been an Abba fan. Maybe C&W. [ shudder ]
    Wonder what jack woulda played? You don't get me i'm part of the union…?

    • Actually, I've just been reminded elsewhere that Jack has performed elsewhere before…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl0Mk1idNXg

      I think that Harper's pipes are somewhat better (more in key), but he's about a decade younger.

      And Jack wrote his own lyrics, and that's definitely worth something.

      • Guess that explains Iggies reaction…just jealous i suppose. Don't worry MI, just think about all them books you wrote. Anyone know how Steve's books coming along?

        • Bet it doesn't get out until after Harper's done being PM.

          Well, Ignatieff's books are real accomplishments — novels nominated for the Booker, the authorized biography of Sir Isaiah Berlin, family histories, ruminations on nationalism and ethnic warfare… Strange how his voice as a politician is so different from his voice as a public intellectual.

          Go figure.

  12. I saw Paul Martin at Barrymore's in Ottawa a few years ago in which he jumped on the stage with a guitar and mimed along with the band. He had the good sense to realize that he can't play a guitar but it sill showed a willingness to join in the fun. I liked what Martin did and he derserved the positive publicity photos that appeared in the press.

    Politicians of all stripes get credit when they show a willingness to take risks or join in. Michael Ignatieff's negative reaction to the PM's gutsy performance was a serious political mistake. Ignatieff would have been better advised to say nothing rather than try to make political hay. He'll live to regret this classless move.

  13. I saw Paul Martin at Barrymore's in Ottawa a few years ago in which he jumped on the stage with a guitar and mimed along with the band. He had the good sense to realize that he can't play a guitar but it sill showed a willingness to join in the fun. I liked what Martin did and he deserved the positive publicity photos that appeared in the press.

    Politicians of all stripes get credit when they show a willingness to take risks or join in. Michael Ignatieff's negative reaction to the PM's gutsy performance was a serious political mistake. Ignatieff would have been better advised to say nothing rather than try to make political hay. He'll live to regret this classless move.

    • See, the Martin thing made my skin crawl and the Harper thing provoked a similar reaction. But I'm weird about musicians, and sensitive when people act as though what they do is easy to mimic. I do think that, to the extent they gave it a second's thought, most people found what the PM did on Saturday night delightful. This gets to what would be one of Wells's Rules if I had a hell of a lot of them, instead of only four: "Most people are willing to cut the prime minister, whoever he is, a lot of slack."

      • Would you have felt any better if he had have sang out of tune? Er, no…probably not eh?

      • Harpers performance provoked me too.
        Not impressed with this SPIN.

        • Star Editorial had it exactly right on the coverage: "fawning".

  14. I am no fan of Stephen Harper. However, I will suggest that his piano and singing performance will soften his image which is good for Harper. His actual piano playing and singing doesn't matter as much as he seem to be having fun.

  15. Tables turned here eh? Remember Bob Rae's song- something along the line of 'can't we all just get along'- don't remember the lyrics and not really that interested in googling it. I seem to remember he performed it sometime near the end of his tenure as premier. Oh the righties had a field day with THAT!

  16. Whether or not you view this as being as calculated as the sweater vest ads, the man pulled it off. If he had gone up there and embarassed himself, the line up to roast him would have been miles long. Instead, he showed a side of himself that has nothing to do with how he will govern, but has a lot to do with playing it smart and swaying voters.
    I am still not a fan of how he runs his ship, but I have to admit, he put on a good showing at the NAC gala.

  17. Whether or not you view this as being as calculated as the sweater vest ads, the man pulled it off. If he had gone up there and embarassed himself key, the line up to roast him would have been miles long. Instead, he showed a side of himself that has nothing to do with how he will govern, but has a lot to do with playing it smart and swaying voters.
    I am still not a fan of how he runs his ship, but I have to admit, he put on a good showing at the NAC gala.

  18. Whether or not you view this as being as calculated as the sweater vest ads, the man pulled it off. If he had gone up there and embarassed himself, the line up to roast him would have been miles long. Instead, he showed a side of himself that has nothing to do with how he will govern, but has a lot to do with playing it smart and swaying voters.
    I am still not a fan of how he runs his ship, but I have to admit, he put on a good showing at the NAC gala.

  19. Also on the plus, side the Jane Taber article in the Globe can be cited for years to come as a masterpiece of spin doctoring. Great resource for journalism and public relations profs.

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