Archive for May, 2008

Cyclist Union born “with complications” Mez leaves, infant to be raised by committee

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Dave Meslin warned us he wasn’t in it for the long haul. We know him as flighty. We know him as fanciful. We love him like that, even if he infuriates us as he jumps to the next great idea, leaving us holding the sticky residue. He said he’d hang around and see that the Cyclist Union had a smooth birth process, and a healthy first year. But he had already left for greener pastures back in April, at the Cyclist Union-sponsored “advocacy workshop,” which we participated in.

The Toronto Cyclist Union, now free to be called TCU or the Cyclist’s Union, or whatever moniker it ultimately chooses for itself (“Fred?”), is to be raised by a committee of 44 or so, led by “coordinator” Rick Conroy and “assistant coordinator” Yvonne Bambrick. Already, the future of the pale, shallow-breathing infant is in jeopardy. Who changes diapers (or a flat) in this town? Will it have a CAA-style roadside assistance program? No. Will it have a magazine with a kick-ass attitude and a party all its own? Later, we’re promised. What will it have? a bunch of political wanna-bes posing in city hall council chambers on a Sunday? We were there. We saw it with our own eyes. Clout at city hall? Maybe.

We were at the launch and heard Gil Penalosa slam the book on political timidity that poses for leadership in Toronto. Mayor David Miller was there too, with his handler, Don Wanagas. But Miller might not have heard Penalosa; Wanagas drew his boss aside for a photo-op just as Penalosa got started.

Now, with “Bike Month” underway, we begin in typical fashion: a cyclist has been killed in the city of Toronto. The Cyclist Union is suddenly on record as the expert: Yvonne Bambrick has been quoted (misquoted, we hope) in the Globe and Mail and Car Advertiser saying cyclists should not daydream when they’re on their bikes. The cops are on record themselves, saying it’s unlikely charges will be filed: “what could possibly be negligent about not seeing a cyclist?”

What’s next? A Cyclist Union meeting under a “Rob Ford for mayor” banner?

Guy Giorno uses reference in ALLDERBLOB as springboard to top job

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a regular follower of all things Allderblobdingnagian, has selected one of our more frequent correspondents, Guy Giorno, as his new chief of staff. Just a couple blobs
one of these blobs is not like the other

In our “research” into the story, we came across this strange insinuation from the Toronto Star and Car Advertiser: “…Giorno is also friends with Environment Minister John Baird…” Elsewhere, the Star is careful to note that Mr. Giorno, the former “choir boy,” is now married with a child. So whatever “insinuation” they were making, it’s clearly not that Guy Giorno is a closeted homosexual. So what is the insinuation?

Could it be that the ravages inflicted on Ontario by Giorno, Baird, Harris, et al, in the hilarious “least common sense revolution,” may now be enjoyed by the entire country as Giorno joins “environment minister” Baird at Harper’s hip?

Giorno failed to support Harper in his leadership bid for the Conservative party, so Harper is taking a big risk now. On the other hand, against an anaemic opposition who can’t seem to form two coherent sentences on why a carbon tax might be a long-term benefit to the country, even this new troika of Harper, Giorno and Beard will probably manage to maintain its weak Frum-like control of Parliament.

Who’s a genius?

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Chilly Gonzales in Toronto, May 9 2008. St Lawrence Forum (Jane Mallett theatre). Were you there? Everyone wants to know.

We were there. We were the ones hollering “Who’s a genius?” as Sr. Gonzalez climbed up the chair backs to the top of the theatre. He hiked straight toward us, there in the sixth row. What a moment! Who wouldn’t have asked about geniuses at a moment like that? We hollered it at least twice, maybe three times, and Sr. Gonzales paused, his hand on our head, no doubt voguing in his lonely moment of recognition. “Who’s a Genius?” A second later he moved up a couple rows, and as if to prove our conjecture a reality he hoisted himself onto the shoulders of a bald guy, who teetered under his weight for a moment, then as if a miracle had occurred, stood straight and tall–then teetered again so Gonzales correctly climbed down.

But who, or what, is this Chilly Gonzales, you will rightly be asking about now.

In short, he is a mythical confection, created and served to meet the buying public’s demand for sweets. He lives only so long as he can be digested and reconstituted, tasted and smacked over, and for that he has to be on his toes. The public clamours for the next sweet! The public will not be satisfied long with a Ritter’s sport bar of marzipan filling!

So Gonzales, whom we last enjoyed as the warm-up act for the Popeye con Leslie Feist [please check transcription before publication–should that be “pop icon?” –ed.] about a year ago, is back this year with a new record and a new act. This time, he’s got “Gonzpiration,” and his act is the bilingually redundant “Together Ensemble” consisting of Katie Moore, Mocky, Socalled, and Matthew Flowers, among others. You will know them by their orange polyester neckties, their suspenders and (tight) black trousers. Except Katie Moore wore a skirt.

photo by maryam S.

What happened to the sweet, ivory-tinkling Gonzales of a year ago? Did he get bored of the pained artist stance? Evidement, my friends.

“Singing is where the money is,” as Gonzales says. “Singing is a good little racket.”

We heard that smarm-meister Jian Ghomeshi interview Gonzales on the CBC show Q (podcast is here, but you have to skip through some junky interview with that nobody Don McKellar in order to get to the good stuff–Sr. Gonzales is about a third of the way in) a week or so after his show. It was clear Gomeshi had not seen the performance, but he did his best to sound knowledgable. We wish we could have interviewed Gonzales instead. We would have gotten to the heart of the matter: you know, “Who’s a genius?”

Silent Blob no more

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Here at the ALLDERBLOB we pride ourselves [which goeth before a fall –ed.] on our up-to-the-minute tracking of all things hep and kul [umlaut! get me an umlaut! –ed.] in this strange burg known as TO-RON-TOE. [ Â¨ now, imagine that over the u. –ed.]

We take pride in the fact that we alone blob about the lonely Phinn Park, as if no one else has ever noticed its existence. We take pride in the fact that a search for the Molson Indy logo turns up our site every time.

Am I Abu Graihb? drink beer, drive fast

We imagine the recent news of the potential return of the Molson Indy to Toronto is going to bring a lot of searches for the logo. Use it with care, bow-tie boys! Pasty car advertisers

We read Scott Feschuk in today’s Toronto Star and Car Advertiser pussy-foot around the delight he takes in the rush, the roar and the barely controlled twitch that Indy Car racing brings him. Believe it or not, the column was in the “Sports” pages, as if there is anything sportive about car racing anymore. Why not on the “Health” pages, or for that matter, “business,” since either category is just as germaine to the topic of this crummy donut-fest returning to terrorize the residents of West-end Toronto. Don’t get us wrong–Feschuk made some good points–notably his observation that the Indy’s claim to be “green” on the basis of its taking corn from the mouths of starving kids rather than oil from the blood of middle-eastern ones is so much bumf.

But while we appreciate Feschuk’s candour about his lowbrow enjoyment of the promotion of “beer-drinking and fast driving,” we’re waiting for the observer who will note the irony that while the city that gave the Indy its name, Indianapolis, is moving on in its quest to be a sustainable city by building its first streetcar line, wanna-be “world cities” [there’s a phrase we thought was deep in the dustbin –ed.] like Toronto still act like having an “Indy” here to call our own is some kind of mark of cosmopolitanism.