Cast of ‘Lost’ celebrates Hurricane Irene knocking series finale to 2nd place on ‘Most Overhyped Event of the Millenium’ list.
Aug 2011 29

FujiTamale Breaking News, Toronto



Jack Layton (1950 – 2011)
Aug 2011 22

Whether you supported his political ideals or not, it’s a sad day for Canada with the news of Jack Layton’s death this morning. He certainly brought a passion to Canadian politics that we hadn’t seen in recent years and you had to admire his conviction. Jack certainly had a way of making you believe. Not just in what he stood for if you were an NDP supporter, but truly make everyone believe that his public persona was also the private one. We BELIEVED him. The man.

And it was this genuine quality about him that got me working for him as a member of the team that produced the advertising for the NDP’s federal campaign this past spring.

Frankly, at first, I didn’t want to do it.

In my career as a copywriter, I’ve worked on a lot of products that didn’t live up their hype. That’s part of the game. We present the product as we’d like it to be perceived. Not as it really is. At first I expected Jack would be one of these products.

And what truly changed it for me was one afternoon in Ottawa.

I was sent to the NDP HQ to present scripts that we eventually ended up producing for the federal election. As part of my day in Ottawa, I was invited to Question Period to sit in the NDP area of the gallery. It was right in the middle of the Bev Oda scandal where she had been caught for allegedly tampering with a document and cutting off funding for a group.

I had never been to Question Period before and hadn’t really watched it on TV other than the snippets you see on the news. I was warned that a lot of it was just backbench MPs hoping to say something that would end up as a sound bite on TV to build their profile, or the leaders spewing rhetoric to attack each other. But it was riveting. I walked in and felt the energy of the room and I was hooked. The Conservatives taking up almost a whole side of the room and the Liberals, NDP and Bloc sitting across from them. It was a good old-fashioned free for all argument.

As I listened to everyone speak – Bob Rae, John Baird, Michael Ignatieff and even Stephane Dion – I kept watching Jack. It was the first day he was on crutches, which were leaning against the back wall of the house. He was rather silent and just taking notes, watching everyone and listening. Maybe he wouldn’t speak today. Maybe he was going to be New Coke afterall. Lots of hype but lunchbag letdown. I had just presented a bunch of scripts to help the guy become Prime Minister and he was just sitting there.

And then he got up and spoke and the room changed. I changed. The way he spoke was different than everyone else. He meant what he was saying. He believed in his words. He wasn’t just towing the party line and regurgitating what everyone else had said. Good god, this man actually believed what he was saying. Whether I agreed with his words or not, I knew he was genuine. This was a product I could believe in. This was a person I could believe in.

We’ll never know what kind of Official Leader of the Opposition Jack would’ve been. But I do know that whatever stance he took on an issue, you’d know he wasn’t lying to you. Whether you agreed with him or not, this was a man who was sincere in his beliefs. He definitely was not New Coke.

Jack, thanks for making me believe.


Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland
Aug 2011 18

My friend Dianna (who gave me hearing loss this summer when I rode next to her on the Behemoth) just sent me this news. A new coaster next year at Wonderland. The fifth largest in the world — Leviathan.

Commence throwing up in your mouths.

Looks amazing… POV video from their site, below…

Woman resists looking at own reflection for three whole storefront windows
Aug 2011 17

FujiTamale Breaking News, Toronto



Fallen Princesses
Aug 2011 15

Well I’m back from an unbearable extended stay at a cottage. As I get used to writing and the big city again — and the absence of a Muskoka chair, beer fridge on the dock and barbecued meat for every meal — I’ll share this website I came across via

It’s called Fallen Princesses, a photo collection by Vancouver’s Dina Goldstein that imagines what REALLY happened to some of our favourite fairy tale heroines like Snow White, Ariel the Mermaid and Rapunzel. As my four-year old niece continues to choose some very questionable female role models like Barbie and (insert Disney Princess name here) , I found Dina’s collection really interesting, laugh out loud funny, and even sad.

Image Copyright © 2011 Dina Goldstein

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