Narrative hyperbole, Canadian-style: the Gerald Butts yarn doesn't hold water.

The columnists are marching lockstep, a huge sign that the story told isn’t the real story.

Both the National Post and the Globe and Mail seem to Gerald Butts — aka General Jeeves the Manservant General — was responsible for Trudeau being Prime Minister. Don’t kid yourselves.

As I have said long before this mess, Canadians love their luxury brand politicians. Mom and/or dad was a politician of note? You will be, too. You can mess up, and people will still vote you, at least in the beginning. Zero-Risk dictates that train of thought.

A Trudeau doesn’t need a Gerald Butts to become a Prime Minister. He has the name. That’s good enough.

Much has been made of Butts’ tenure under premier Dalton McGuinty. Big deal: McGuinty also has the name. That’s good enough.

The press has made it sound as if Butts was a visionary founder of a start-up he made from scratch when what he has is a talent for riding in already-established properties.

And what makes him indispensable or cunning? Bitch-slapping critics on Twitter? Sticking close to the ones in power, never giving them any space or chance to see how they function without him? Meddling and keeping people away? “Virtue-signalling” that hints at deliberate deflection because of the idea that offence is the best defence?

That sounds like a crap marriage to a control freak rather than a strategy guru. That doesn’t take any particular brains or skill.

And for all the gushing, McGuinty had to bail. Trudeau’s first lap around 22 Sussex has been plagued by scandals usually exposed during the second or third lap. This kind of bad publicity and in-fighting is unprecedented in a freshman regime here. What the hell?

Butts failed upwards until he couldn’t deliver the goods, which he never really had to do because his overlords had built-in votes.

This passage from the National Post made me laugh:

In 16 years, I have never had occasion to think he lied to me, so I am obliged to take at face value his statement that he has done nothing wrong, and that he quit as Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary on Monday because he doesn’t want to be a distraction for a government fighting to retain its credibility against the background of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

He didn’t do anything right, either. He knew how to name-coast. The end. Big whoop.

And the Globe headline is even funnier:

Where does Trudeau go without Butts?

Maybe if the little brat had to do his own original thinking for once and not listen to hangers on, perhaps he could actually do the job, but that takes guts, not an entourage, and not cheap props like ugly socks, a selfie stick, or culturally appropriated Bollywood costumes.

We tend to forget how much random factors play into our lives. The zeitgeist and ortgeist often make our good timing seem as if there is something more to it. Keep close to power and often people will think you are a cause for it.  Correlation does not imply causation.

A lot of people will be rattled, nonetheless. The Grits blinked, and that’s bad enough. The cracks have opened enough weak spots to strike, and it is interesting to see how easily people delude themselves — and then psyche themselves out as the rest of the world watches…

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First Julie Payette, now Jody Wilson-Raybould: Slag the Female as a political tool.

When Julie Payette was slagged in the pages of the National Post, you knew that she wasn’t behaving according to what her overlord thought she should, and then employed journalists to chasten her.

She was difficult! She is in for herself! Really, she is just not a nice person, and poor us for having to put up with the likes of her.

And we see the same playbook used for Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The Canadian Press was employed this time to do the public shaming:

Several Liberals approached Friday said they were confident the story came from Wilson-Raybould herself.

“She’s always sort of been in it for herself,” said one insider who didn’t want to be identified. “It’s never been about the government or the cabinet. Everything is very Jody-centric.”

Not a team player. Not a good girl.

Here she is, just an average schmuck, who got a visit from the political fairy godmother, and gave her a posh cabinet post, and then, she let it all go to her head and gave Prince Charming sass and lip, and she just ruined the Sunny Ways Narrative! How dare she?

Yeah, imagine that. A woman with her own convictions and stands by them.

I thought the hatchet job on Payette was calculated. I have the same thoughts on Wilson-Raybould.

Mind you, I do think there is some misunderstanding of the political process going on: people think a cabinet minister has autonomy: sure, just so long as you do whatever the reigning PM dictates you do. You get marching orders along with your paper crown or plastic tiara, and you march.

It is the reason I don’t get giddy over politics. It has always been about optics. Those optics are there to placate the Middle Class who think fairytales are reality and they can ignore how they are being played because some They is looking after them.

Now that the curtain has been lifted, it is making people very uncomfortable, and the more the PM tries to spin this, the worse it becomes. I seriously doubt this will be the only scandal to smack the Grits before October…

Actrivism, Part Four: Journalists vogue around the edges. An actrivist acts inside the core.



Bunny Yeager.jpg


Bunny Yeager was a pin-up model and a contemporary of Bettie Page, but she was also a photographer who captured her fellow glamour model.


Working from both sides of the profession was helpful and that eye of hers contributed to many of Page’s most iconic images.

The photographer who snapped my picture for Hamilton magazine was a beauty queen and model before becoming a photographer herself. By sheer coincidence, we went to the same middle school and were in the same homeroom class, but as there were three different grades in each homeroom class (6,7, and 8), we weren’t in the same grade or classes; so we knew each other, but hadn’t seen each other after the year was over.


I usually don’t like being photographed, but she did a stellar job of capturing me as I am.

She used natural light in that magazine. I have had my photo taken professionally over the years, but the way she did her job was unique — and it was her experience from the other side of the equation that did it.

There is a balance that is a subtle representation of that era of my life — the boxer’s muscle, the prim and proper punkiness, and, of course, the computer.

The nuances of details — the comic book vibe, the jewelry, the perkiness, the black turtleneck (out of the several tops I was asked to bring — it was the one she picked) — it is all in there.

And that is not as easy to capture as it looks — all without being busy or cluttered.

Which itself reflects me: a Trompe-l'œil minimalist.

I was extremely impressed with the subtextual complexity.

But that was her genius, not mine. I was no control freak and had no expectations coming in. No overt or subtle hints from me.

But that’s what happens when you study something from both sides of the equation: no one has to tell you anything: it becomes one with the very stuff of your soul.

And you don’t need to fake anything: you’re merged inside the core because you are acting inside of it and know its every grain.


Journalists always had to fake it. They vogue and have to spin a big, melodramatic narrative. And one that never aligns with reality.

Because they have no idea what this whole objectivity is about. They think it is being around the edges because it is a bad thing to be in the core.

But that’s the atom of reality. Objectivity does not mean you don’t immerse yourself or move in the very eye of the storm.

Because Left and Right is the huge red flag that you are voguing at the edge.

You are not in the atom of reality.

The Radical Centre.

When you are an Actrivist, on the other hand, you have to act, and that means you are always moving around exploring everything.

You want to get into the heart of the thing that you are studying. You are walking among the subjects and environment you are studying, but also in its core.

You are in the eye of the storm because you do not want to waste your steps. You want to understand the deepest truths — so you go right in to the core to see what is the heart of the reality to find its Truths.

Once you understand the core — the real reasons why reality is in its current state — no one can lie to you by trying to push you away from the core and toward the façade — the edge.

Left and Right are misdirections.

Both sides will try to sell you lie that they are different with one being superior to the other.

And they will point to the content, which is another misdirection.

I can tell you I believe in saving bunnies, but if I shove them in cages in the dark, then my words are meaningless.

It is the structure of my actions and methods that are important.

What are the motives, strategies — and stratagems?

That’s what you need to find out.

Journalists vogue for the public, telling them they are the guardians of the universe and all that jazz.

If you don’t know what they are doing, you will take them at their word.

If you are walking in the core of that profession, you can square the words with the behaviours.

And then you don’t have to be dependent on anyone’s word.

You have the actions. You have the results.

You have the structure to see if it contradicts the honeyed content.

But when a profession keeps the cores of what they are covering at arm’s length, you start questioning why are they so afraid of it.

Because they fear their own core — or lack thereof.

Actrivism is the way of conduct research to become one with the core. By the time you are done, if becomes part of you.

And you develop a feel and see the feints, ruses, and rigs used to keep other’s at arm’s length.

But by then, you see the misdirection of voguing and know precisely where to look and how…

Tampa Bay Times soliciting citizen lobbyists.

Print is dead. Newspapers peddle in disposable news: important today; old news tomorrow. The Internet would be a natural fit for the format, but newspapers never kept up with the times -- either you structure yourself to the permanency of the medium of print, or you realize you are appealing to short-term memory and just make the permanent leap to the Internet.

Mind you, I think there is a future for print, but not the way it is being done now. Journalism articles in academia works well for that profession. I used to subscribe to the New England Journal of Medicine as an undergrad, and I kept most of those issues. I have all sort of academic journals in my collection, from Critical Review (where I had a journal article published) to others that deal with topics from music education to genocide.

But newspapers are in trouble, and the current threat to tariffs in print has gotten many in the industry running scared.

The Chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times made a plea -- basically trying to rally readers as troops to lobby their government officials to demand something that benefits the newspaper.

The lines have been blurred as of late to the point those in the industry honestly believe they can use their vehicle to force both readers and politicians to bend to their will. It is inappropriate: the point of the newspaper is to provide facts; not try to get free lobbyists to save them from the destruction of their own making...