Was there the tragic loss of a truly great Canadian political leader last week, or did the National Post LOSE THEIR MIND? How about both?
This just happened to be the week that I planned to profile the National Post, and it happened also to be the week that they ran out of their annual allotment of appropriate things to say.
Before we get to that, some explanation. Last week I said that the Globe and Mail was Canada’s paper for “smart people”- Imagine! Competition over intelligence! In this day and age?
Well, it’s not so simple. The Post had to strike out on their own – one haughty, mostly conservative paper wasn’t cutting the mustard for haughty, entirely conservative Canadians. The Post stepped in to fill the fictional void left open for readers who want stunning anti-reason, intentionally over-articulated so that it seems correct by virtue of wrestling words to the ground and holding them there for the count.
So, following the untimely death of NDP leader Jack Layton this week, and the heartening outpouring of emotion from Canadians from across the political spectrum, the Post let loose the infamous Christie Blatchford.
As far as I can tell, she was in that weird no-man’s land between TurboDogs and Heartland, and Evan Solomon came on and bothered her. And, rather than being rational and saying to herself, “Man, is his voice ever annoying. How did a guy with such an annoying voice get so far in news broadcasting, a field that tends to favour those with pleasant articulation?”
Instead, she hopped on a rollercoaster headed straight for the nickel-word “vainglorious”.
If you think that’s a word only someone like Christopher Plummer or Kenneth Branagh would say, I would like to point out that it’s because the expression is only used by Shakespeare.
Blatchford slowly unravels the mystery that Layton was not just a public figure interested in politics, but, in fact, a politician! She asks who says of himself, “All of my life I have worked to make things better?” Most non-nihilists, I would wager.
But Blatchford only understands nihilism. She works at the Post, where they don’t believe in evil.
By the way, can we briefly reflect on how lame the Internet has made everything, including evil? It’s like the whole web has become one of those suburban mall comic book stores that don’t even sell interesting superhero comics- just ones drawn by Rob Liefeld.
“These people”, right? Then she drops the D-Bomb: since Princess Diana died (1997), people worldwide cry over dead people THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN MET! Why would you care? Ohhhhh, Canadians. You and your stupid, stupid feelings. Your stupid feelings you haven’t learned to control by sticking to a strict regimen of stomping panhandlers to death in back alleys at night, popping children’s balloons as you walk past them and kicking every dog, regardless of their temperament. You need the resolve of the Uberblatch. Did you know that she can eat raw chicken and think her way out of salmonella?
But after Da Blatch got pounced on, Mr. And Mrs. Kay came to her rescue! Memories of the ass-drubbing the royals took over Diana’s clearly illegal funeral are still weighing heavily on Barbara Kay’s shoulders. And because the Queen of England owns us, we ought to follow the laws and customs of the empire. Never mind that most people contributing the taxes which would be put toward a state funeral aren’t ever afforded a state funeral . THERE ARE RULES, YOU SICKENING, SHIT-COVERED PROLES!
Again with the Diana complaints. Why does it still bother them so much? It’s as if they’re wondering who we are to tell the royals, or the government, what to do. God chose them, to rule over all of our ordinary, misguided, berserker-emotional lives.
Remember when the Queen had to say in public that she was sad her ex-daughter in law died? That wasn’t about the no-longer-necessary royals being out of touch with their subjects. It was about their subjects being out of step with protocol, the only thing between us and the fucking zoo.
Then Mr. Kay steps in, and takes it from about a 3 that seemed like a 10 to a 10 that feels like a 100: cynical manifesto! IS JONATHAN KAY ON DRUGS?! It’s not sadness at the loss of a life, he says, it’s enforced sentimentality! I think what Kay means is having feelings other than seething hatred. Unless hunger for souls is a feeling. Nope, I just checked the Wikipedia entry, and hunger for souls is a sensation. The Post is really focusing on their target demographic- bileful sociopaths. That is, the bileful sociopaths that they haven’t put on the payroll yet. And his words!
“Promiscuously mingled laudable paeans”?! Is the idea that if you say it and the reader feels vaguely stupid for never, ever using those words, it must be true? What if you convince people that there is such a thing as aphoristic mother’s milk with poisonous ducks swimming in it? What does any of that even mean? And on the day the man died? Really? I say: nihilists.
Looking for something a bit more measured? How about, “Nobody fights cancer”?! Apparently, nobody tells anybody when they’re out of their fucking mind, either, because they’re too busy riding their horse at that cancer windmill. John Moore tut-tuts you Canadians and your sexism. Also, your swearing. But he, like the rest of the Post, won’t stop comparing Jack Layton to Princess Diana.
How about something that almost reads like a glowing eulogy until the author uses the words “yappy dog”?
Thank you, John Ivison. It’s not often that someone uses the word “idiocy” when talking about a man who has just died.
I’m being too hard on the Post. Resident longhair Chris Selley was not just respectful, but showed genuine admiration.
Of course, the rest of the staff signed in using their anonymous-ish usernames and sullied the comments section.
“Chin that walked like a man’!!!!! “LIEBERALS”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, no week of eulogizing is complete without a “He left town and I stayed and I ignored his big-city ways.”
I’m not someone who thinks that “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all” is good advice. But I also think that putting your dick in a stranger’s drink and then saying, “What? It’s a free country” isn’t going to win you any friends. Furthermore, I think “I didn’t want the kind of friends who expect me to respect them” speaks for itself.
I sincerely hope the National Post enjoys dying alone and unloved.
About the author: Matt Collins reads and judges the four major newspapers every week.
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