Writer’s strike ends: ALLDERBLOB resumes production

Some of our regular readers will have noticed the paucity of entries here at the ol’ blob. In fact it’s been a dry spell of some weeks. But now, as the slogan has it, you may “Ask me about my vow of silence.”ask me about my vow of silence

Is the ALLDERBLOB in fact a loser, as has been asserted around these parts since December 8 of this year? Or is there another explanation? Have our writers perchance been on strike?

As usual, it’s a little of one and a little of the other.

Yes, we’re losers. But we’re also rubber, and you’re glue, so what you say, etc and so on.

the writer’s strike according to “get fuzzy”

Fact is, we at the ALLDERBLOB have been sitting on our laurels a bit much this December. True, we have many successes this year: to us goes credit for the impending downfall of Jack Lakey at the Toronto Star and Car Advertiser, who will soon be deleted from the typist roster at that august car advertiser. Doubt us? Remember what happened to Giles Gherson? Remember Michael Goldbloom?

Jack Lakey, be afraid. Be very afraid. You know what happened to Case Ootes. You know what happened to Jacob Richler. You know what happened to Margaret Wente.

The latest clue to his impending downfall is the self-congratulatory article from the so-called “fixer” himself in today’s paper, where he takes credit for “hammering flat” 81% of the nails he’s seen sticking up around this city in 2007. Pride, as we can well attest, goeth before a fall. When the Fixer, a.k.a. the Smasher, gets all boastful about how he’s gonna get to the bottom of the “burnt toast smell” to be found around Jarvis and Front (earth to Fixer: it’s not burnt toast, it’s a sign of epilepsy on the part of your correspondent), we imagine Jack Lakey will soon be writing about the crumbs in the Star’s lunchroom–and editorial offices (closer to Yonge and Front, but you get the picture).

Lakey could redeem himself if he started to address something that matters: the life-or-death issues that face cyclists and pedestrians everyday in this city, rather than the cosmetics. Lakey could keep his “fixer” moniker if he’d actually address, for example, why it is that the speed limit on the Dundas East bridge, where the road narrows against cyclists and traffic gets more congested with the addition of streetcars and Don Valley Parkway-turning cars, why it is that the speed limit actually increases from 40 to 50 km/hr? Even if Lakey wanted to stick to the problems of car drivers, as is his usual pattern, he might still redeem himself: he could address the fact that the biggest cause of death among teenagers is car crashes, by advocating for more zones free of the car to be built throughout the city. For that matter he could start by calling for the removal of the automobile from the Dundas bridge–after all, for most of the past year the city got by fine without being able to drive there. And now, with the streetcar back in place, there’s even more room on the other bridges that cars use.

But we’re not holding our breath for Lakey. He’s got greener pastures, anyway. Any day now we expect to hear about his move to San Diego to join Jacob Richler and Case Ootes in a Winnebago. Ootes, Richler and Lakey–but which one is which?

But while we’re taking credit for Lakey’s imminent conversion or downfall, whichever happens, we must also round out our summary of the year 2007 by noting a couple other feathers in our cap. Christopher Hume, another writer at the Toronto Star and Car Advertiser, has been doing a remarkable job of late, and we think it’s because of the ol’ blob. Why do we think this?

Because we take credit for everything good that happens, that’s why.

Hume hates cars (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and in practically every article he’s written in the past couple months has put the knife in and turned it a bit: “Whatever the appeal of the car may be, mobility has little to do with it.” or: “This is a city that invites you to hop into the family vehicle and drive on downtown for a workout.” Etcetera.

Unfortunately, Hume’s strong writing talents and sharp insights are unlikely to protect him from the wrath of Canada’s largest newspaper and car advertiser for long, and we expect the hammer to come down on Hume in one form or another before the new year is out. Unless Lakey moves to San Diego first, that is.

We said a couple other feathers, and so far we’ve just mentioned Hume. Dare we mention the heroic creation of the “Danforth Model” for the city’s redesign? After all, it’s on these pages you first read about the Danforth Peninsula; it is here you first heard of “thickening” as a strategy to celebrate the fact that cars like traveling in bunches, just like pedestrians, and the best way to tame the one while providing safety for the other is to crush them together in an over-programmed jumble where the speed of a bicycle beats everything going.

Will the Danforth Model prevail–not just on the rest of the Danforth, east of Pape, but throughout Toronto wherever there are four-lane streets needing better facilities for pedestrians, cyclists shoppers and parkers? Will we see the Danforth Model on Bloor, on Jarvis, on Front, on Eglinton? The new year may hold some surprises for Torontonians.

But as for Jack Lakey, we offer our last word of advice: “Go, man go! There are plenny car problems to fix in San Diego, and you can reach them by the freeway. The Winnebago beckons!

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