Expo daydreams & Montr̩al Magazine Рworth reconsidering

I came across an interesting little bit of nostalgia a few days ago, in the form of an online copy of Montréal Magazine dating back to February of 1967. They couldn’t possibly have had any idea at the time of just how successful Expo 67 would ultimately prove, yet were nonetheless optimistic hopeful it would get the new Montréal on the map.

Going through the magazine and I couldn’t help but wonder why the city doesn’t pump out more propaganda praising the people and places that make up our city. What’s more, 43 years ago they had no problem issuing a fully bilingual monthly review. But I bet you people would say it couldn’t, or shouldn’t be done. It seems as if we hit a high water mark that year and have been retreating, in some senses, ever since. We’re still a kinda-global city which occasionally makes itself relevant, but we seem to have a hard time sustaining interest the way we used to. Perhaps a result of too much navel-gazing, too much existential angst.

I hope these photos – none of which are my work of course – at least convey an element of the excitement felt that fateful summer, as all too many people have told me the air was electric, and everyone was really happy to be a Montréaler. Who wouldn’t? I always ask, despite not knowing what the sensation is like in real time. I suppose all I do know is that I prefer what I see above as to what I see below:

Though to be fair, Calder’s Man is an awesome monument. I just wish we had more and they were more prominent within the cityscape.

Judith Woodsworth pulls a Sarah Palin @ CON-U

For the second time in three years, Concordia University is sans president. Another one bites the dust, and much like other presidents and VPs from the past few years, she will receive a major severance package to quit. The Gazette’s Peggy Curran indicates that it seems as though Ms. Woodsworth was under rather intense scrutiny from within, and was in essence pushed out.

Hmmm, $700,000 to quit your job? Is there any wonder why the youth of today have so little in common with The Man, and so little respect for those who run our institutions? The Man thinks it deserves to be rewarded for not completing their job. Just like how Palin quit being Governor of Alaska to eventually have her own reality TV show. Think about what stories like this actually say: don’t worry if you can’t do your job properly, you can always quit and make double what you would have normally earned. Talk about abusing the trust and faith of the people; this kind of thing only happens at the top. Down at the bottom, whether in a factory or in class, failure costs you. Why do we constantly reward the failures of our elites with big-time payouts?

Of course, being from the corporate side of modern academia, who could blame her for graciously accepting the pay-off and jumping ship? I mean, she needs to be free to move up the corporate ladder no?

Just in case anyone was wondering, her $700,000 Christmas gift could have paid the equivalent of 20 scholarships for full time study. I guess we can be thankful that, unlike in the USA, Ms. Woodsworth will be heavily taxed for her ‘earnings’.

Leeroy Edwards has crossed into a new dimension; RIP

Photo credit: Martin Ujlaki

The Happy Wanderer has wandered off this mortal coil. I never spoke with him, never knew his name until quite recently, but I remember seeing him, here and there, in his unmistakable cosmic robes, staff and the weird magical way he carried himself (see comment by Air Canada pilot at the bottom of the Gazette article). This was a Montréaler sans pareil; an individual completely comfortable with himself and his world. And what a world he lived in!

Apparently, he circumnavigated the globe at least three times, traveled to upwards of fifty cities and took over 10,000 photographs along the way. He lived at the same address on Coursol Street since 1953, and watched the city grow around him as he grew into the city he loved. I hope the family preserves those photographs, I can only imagine what a unique perspective that camera benefited from, and what an amazing exhibition it would make. He certainly deserves it.

He was as much a fixture of the Métro as a fixture of the city’s great festivals, and was welcomed wherever he went. A tribute to the independent, free spirits of our city, he will be dearly missed but soon forgotten. L’Chaim!

Lambasting Larry Smith

Apologies for the delay, glad to say I just finished exam season and have a lot more free time. And wouldn’t you know it, the Irony Gods threw me a solid. Larry Smith became a senator, announced his intention to run as an MP, and put his foot solidly in his own mouth, all in the span of the last week. Quite an achievement indeed.

You see, our dear Mr. Smith, ever the everyman, announced publicly he views the $132,000 he’ll make as a Senator, a dramatic, catastrophic pay cut. I can only imagine the kind of money he made as coach of the Alouettes.

If you’d like to make a charitable donation to help Larry make it through this tough holiday season, visit Save Larry Smith.

If you’d like to publicly humiliate Mr. Smith for his egregious statement, possibly via tar-and-feather method, the intrepid appointed Senator has stated he won’t just waltz into cabinet, as some suspect. He believes he must earn a spot in Cabinet and so will run as a Tory candidate in the Lac-St-Louis riding.

Hmmm, so he’s got a problem with being appointed to Cabinet, yet no problem with being appointed to Senate. is it me or is this guy completely unaware of the world he lives in?

Montréal needs more Conservative representation like a hole in the head. Moreover, it’s been solid Liberal turf for more than twenty years. While this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a win next election, I would hope that most West Island residents see this for the ploy it is. Its clear right out of the gate that Mr. Smith is not an appropriate representative of the people of Montreal’s suburbs. The Tories are remarkably absent from representing Canada’s major urban centers, and with mouthpieces like Larry Smith, they only further spoil their image and demonstrate the vast differences between them and the overwhelming majority of Canadians. That they have the balls to call Liberals or NDPers elitist is simply beyond the pale. Yet, I’m not pessimistic as many Canadians are, and I’m hoping this holiday season for a Tory defeat comparable to the disaster of the 1993 federal election.

As the video points out quite clearly, nepotism is ripe in the Conservative Party of Canada, and the Senate is more and more of a joke with every appointment. They’re driving themselves into the ground. I couldn’t be happier.