Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Significant Anniversaary

In 1928, Canon Charles E. Raven of Liverpool wrote Women in Holy Orders, declaring "The admission of women to Holy Orders on an equality with men is inherent in the teachings of Jesus and necessitated by a true understanding of the nature of the is a matter of theological principle, even more than of justice and expediency."

It took almost half a century for it to happen, but on St. Andrew's Day, November 30, 1976, women were ordained as priests in the Anglican Church of Canada. This year, there are fortieth anniversary celebrations across the country, with women priests in nearly as many parishes as men, and more than a few women bishops.

The Canadian church has not yet had a woman Primate, but one--Victoria Matthews, then Bishop of Edmonton--has been nominated, and in the United States, Katherine Jefferts Schori served for years with strength and boldness and dignity as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

As Herbert O'Driscoll predicted, what was considered a daring and radical move--largely orchestrated by Archbishop David Somerville, as chair of the Committee on Ministry--has "settled into a quiet and stable methodology."

Reverend Ladies--congratulations.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Gentleman's Guide to Carrying a Walking Stick

If you are one of those whose back occasionally goes on strike, you may have occasion to employ a walking stick. If so, here are a few points to observe:

1. Swing the stick rakishly from time to time, striking a pose reminiscent of Ronald Colman in "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo."

2. Should someone inquire regarding the cause of your limp, tell them it is a souvenir of the 90-yard run you made to win the Grey Cup for your team in 1967. Or: that you were assailed by villains when you rescued the beautiful Selma Hayek from a dungeon fortress. You dispatched the mob with the sword concealed in your walking stick.

3. If someone should have the temerity to call your stick a cane, strike him with it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Triumph of the Underdog

Remember the Al Cohn-Dave Frishberg song "The Underdog"? Okay, not many do. Spoon has one, too, with that title.

It was underdog's day at BMO Stadium in Toronto as the Ottawa Redblacks astonished the country and demoralized the Calgary Stampeders, who had just swept the CFL awards, with QB Bo Levi Mitchell, named Most Outstanding Player, already elevating himself into the all-time all-star hall of fame.

Bo and other Stampeders were notably absent from post-game interviews, but Calgary coach Dave Dickenson did present himself for one dignified if sorrowful on-camera conversation.

Meanwhile, Chris Jones and Wally Buono are probably meeting for drinks at the Schadenfreude Bar.

Congratulations to all who had money on the underdog. Most of the country was betting on the highly favored Stampeders, but, as Manny Goodman of the Jazzmanian Devils reminded us, "In the age of Trump, nothing is sure."

--Slap Maxwell.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Blues

Black Friday hasn't yet had a song named for it, but having just returned from a 48-hour vigil outside Crazy Frank's Electronic Supermart, we want to say it deserves to be right up there with "Stormy Monday" and "Gloomy Sunday."

Something to consider: the designation "Black Friday" has, until recently, been associated with economic collapse and financial disaster--in, to pick a couple of bad years, 1866 and 1869. And 1929 was no fun, either.

Who was the marketing genius who dubbed a sales extravaganza (read: "Get rid of this stuff") Black Friday? Was it the same guy who wanted to promote Titanic Cruise Ships and Kamikaze Airlines?

Just asking. Enjoy those bargains.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Amnesty for Turkeys!

President Obama, in one of his last official acts, has granted a pardon to the White House turkey. The turkey lives to gobble another day.

But across the U.S., as Thanksgiving dawns, millions of birds are saying, "How about amnesty for all turkeys?"

Meanwhile, trained counsellors are standing by to mediate political discussions at families' Thanksgiving dinners.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Awake and Sing!

November 22--feast day of Saint Cecilia, patron of music.

Deep thanks for all she has inspired, J.S. Bach to Lyle Lovett, Louis Armstrong to Maurice Ravel, Billie Holiday to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Henry Purcell to Hank Williams.

Cecilia, born in Rome two millennia ago, and born blind, is believed to have been the inventor of the organ, and created music so beautiful, an angel fell in love with her.

On this day, the Worshipful Company of Musicians processes to St. Paul's Cathedral in London for divine services.

Last words to Dryden:

                       "At length divine Cecilia came,
                        Inventress of the vocal frame."

Monday, November 21, 2016

One More Unnecessary Election Analysis

Political commentators, hoping to hold on to their jobs a few more weeks, continue their analyses of the recent US presidential election.They try to determine the voting impact of various groups--millennials, Latinos, suburban matrons, white high school dropouts, professional tightrope walkers, et al.

But the answer is that the outcome on November 8 was due to the actions of just three groups: the cool, the uncool, and the terminally alienated.

Meanwhile, the president-elect continues a tradition of communicating with the people. As FDR had his Fireside Chats, DJT has his 3:00 a.m. tweets.

And how about the cast of "Hamilton" confronting Mike Pence? Trump was very annoyed. But wait for what happens when Mitt Romney takes him to "The Book of Mormon."

Trying to break ourselves of politics addiction. Trying..trying..

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Dealing with Time Change Lag

Sure, we all know about jet lag, but how about the more common, even widespread, time change lag?

Following the shift in time from Daylight to Standard, we stumble around as though we'd been breakfasting on a pitcher of Tequila Sunrise. When we try to speak, the words come out like a spoonful of alphabet soup. And driving? Forget it. Please, forget it!

The only place in Canada immune from this affliction is Saskatchewan, where there is never a deviation from Rational Bovine Time. Saskatchewan, where cows set the clocks.

We wish we could prescribe a cure for time change lag. Ironically, the only remedy is time itself. But take heart--your symptoms will diminish. In about six months. Just when the calendar calls for another time change.

Friday, November 11, 2016

One More Time

We were about to declare this a Politics Free Zone, but thinking of Trump, Christie snd Giuliani making their way to the White House, we were reminded of the film "Going in Style," with George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg as senior citizens embarking on a last run career as bank robbers.

They don't make it, but they do have style, which is more than one can say for the seniors Messrs. Trump, Christie and Giuliani. Will that aging trio succeed? Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Grow that 'Stache! (Not you, Madam)

The calendar may read November, but all red-blooded, hairy-lipped men know that it is Movember--the month in which all males are expected to grow moustaches as a statement on behalf of men's health issues. Like baldness. And failure to get dates.

There are a number of handsome styles from which to choose: the handle-bar, the pencil-line, the walrus, the Zapata, the Fu Manchu, the Doc Holliday, the Salvador Dali, and the John Bolton. And for those who are challenged in this regard, there is the Groucho Marx--just apply with charcoal makeup.

The group which has always risen to the Movember call with enthusiasm is the Canadian Football League. Players, coaches, even those guys in the press box and broadcast booth begin to display hirsute upper lips. The one who has the edge is Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly, for whom it is Movember year-round.

And this is the month when the CFL finals begin, leading to the Grey (not Moustache) Cup on November 27. May the best 'stache win!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Country's in the Very Best of Hands

That's one of the songs Johnny Mereer and Gene DePaul wrote for the musical, "Li'l Abner," and it's full of the irony and sardonic humor Al Capp so often expressed.

But the musical we want to remember today is "Of Thee I Sing," written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, with songs by George and Ira Gershwin. The first production ran for 441 performances, beginning in 1931, and it was the first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize.

In the story, John P. Wintergreen runs for president on the Love ticket, and while the score includes the song "We'll Impeach Him," the most memorable is "Love Is Sweeping the Country." Sample refrain:

                      "Love is sweeping the country;
                       Waves are hugging the shore;
                                  All the sexes
                                  From Maine to Texas
                       Have never known such love before."

A cheering sentiment for today.

And we leave you with a consoling thought for those distressed by the end of all the fun of the US Presidential Election campaign: only two more years, and there'll be another!

One for the road

It's quarter to three, no one in the place except you and me;
So set 'em up, Joe; got a little story you oughta know...

A good night to all putting away their Champagne and reaching for the bourbon.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hey Don, Hill--What're You Doing Tuesday?

The US election campaign is, mercifully, almost at an end. It is like coming out of six months of the flu. And it is warned there may be after effects.  Post-election trauma, here we come.

Meanwhile, the real question is what to consume while sitting thru the long hours of vote counting on Tuesday. The more stylish of Hillary's supporters will be having wine spritzers and hors d'oeuvres. The Trump camp is going for Jack Daniel's and raw meat.

The nominee himself may be having Red Bull or Diet Pepsi, as he does not allow himself alcohol--which may be the worst recommendation for abstemiousness we can think of. In fact, our local branch of the WCTU says that if the Big Orange wins, "we are all going to get roaring drunk, and stay that way for the next four years."

And prepare for the possibility of a mass migration of Americans to Canada.

British Columbia  promises not to replace the Peace Arch with a wall.

P.S.: It is noteworthy that Big Don had no comments on Beyonce's appearance when she performed at a Clinton rally. It is rumored, however, that Kellyanne Conway had to duct tape his lips.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hallowe'en--the Morning After

Don, it's over. You can take off the wig and the fat suit, and wash off the Day-Glo orange.