KEVIN O'LEARY AND OTHER BEEFS
I don't mind the cursing on TV. Most of the time they bleep it, but if it gets through, so what? You hear worst floating out of the school yard at recess.
What I do mind is when jerks like Kevin O'Leary call people cockroaches just because they came on the CBC TV show called Dragons' Den and had the temerity to present their scheme not the way O'Leary wanted. So they're called a gross insect.
Actually, it is O'Leary that should be careful because his preening bombast resembles the chest-thumping of a gorilla except, of course, a gorilla has much more hair. His colleagues are generally more sympathetic even to the cockeyed proposals, especially when they're embarrassed by O'Leary. And this is a panel of self-confident individuals used to fawning attention from the poorer folk.
Now O'Leary is hardly a wordsmith. In fact, English may be his fourth language. He is boringly shallow in his attacks on government spending, which is amazing when you consider the target is so easy and enormous. So his amateurish trash talking, copying dumb super athletes and dumber talking heads, is rather silly.
As a veteran columnist and editor, I have never called anyone a cockroach, nor would I allow anyone else to say that. I had a contract for weekly commentary on CBC Radio for more than 10 years, and also was on dozens of political panel shows on CBC, CTV and Global. I was considered a blunt talker, but if I started slanging people that way, not only would any cockroach-like comment not make it to air, I wouldn't have been invited back.
The problem for O'Leary and commentators like him who crave attention is they have to tart up their aggression and dumb down any pretence of intellect if they are to compete with all the talking heads and desperate bloggers and columnists who figure the only to become famous is to be the meanest mouth on the block.
So they flame everyone with acid and insults as if they're a failing comic at a roast.
I used to have would-be columnists send in submissions that slighted everything and everyone. I told them that if I wanted a rant I would write it myself because it didn't take any time, research or insight.
I suspect that O'Leary will eventually crash like a spent meterorite because the public will tire of his bombast and goosed rhetoric. Too bad because hidden somewhere below the bald bluster must be a clever person because, after all, just ask him, he's made a lot of money.
RISING REAL ESTATE NOT GREAT FOR ALL
The famous business lady was pleased to report that it was expected there would be a slight increase in 2011 in real estate prices. Thank heavens was her attitude. The sky isn't falling for realtors and builders.
Since I really don't care that much for realtors and builders, I didn't smile. What I did was wonder whether the famous business lady had ever had to raid even the piggy banks when she bought a house.
I have. Mary and I literally ended up without a cent in the house just to make the down payment. I hoped my lawyer, who was a famous politician, wouldn't charge me the going rate but she did and we ate a lot of hamburger helper before we could pay her. My down payment was 22% of the cost of the house. The house now is worth 17 times what I paid for it. I scraped and paid the mortgage off in 10 years by working at a second newspaper job and accepting every hour of overtime ever offered before I became a boss.
So I worry more about the people wanting to buy a home than the people selling one. After all, since buying rather than renting is one of the most important things a family can do to keep financially healthy, it's more important that prices are stable rather than climbing up and up and seducing all the millions of people now in trouble in North America because they bought more house than they could afford hoping that rising markets would justify the gamble.
RUN, DON'T WALK
The other day, I had to cross the expanse of University Ave. I walked as fast as possible when the light changed and got to the other side just as the light changed again.
Just how do really old people or ones who lack the mobility of a race horse manage it. The answer, of course, is that they don't. They have to wait in the centre or attempt a feeble run. For example, there is no way my wife can keep up with me when I have to canter across a ceremonial avenue.
There once was a good City Hall columnist, Ron Haggart, who in between his lengthy columns packed with details would take a populist look at the malfunctioning of the municipal infrastructure. For example, he timed traffic lights. It's several decades later but the pedestrian is still hampered at too many lights. Then there are intersections with the lights set to give too much time to traffic moving in one direction. So we learn to avoid them, thus screwing up the flow of traffic.
Now we have the ascendancy of Mayor Rob Ford and many sensible politicians who don't think we should continue to screw up our lights just to handicap traffic. And they'll give pedestrians a break too, knowing that not everyone gets to ride in a cab like the socialists who scorn the private car.
I encourage you to report your worst examples of traffic light timing to your councillor. Since we need to do a block-by-block review of our traffic flow to reverse the damage done by the anti-car majority of council, let's cure the worst intersections first.
SOUNDS PETTY BUT IT'S ANNOYING
Why can't we just walk down a street without doing a zigzag dance around all the meandering obstacles?
Now there are few things easier than taking a walk. Just strolling along, happy you're doing something healthy, looking around at the neighbourhood which you never really see when you're zipping by in the car or on the bus.
Why is it that so many people haven't figured out that you pass on the right when you're walking, just like you do while driving. You're ambling along Yonge. There's a woman balancing a tower of boxes marching right into you because you, stupid sod, don't realize you're blocking her as she tries to pass on the left.
I know they don't teach this at school because, I guess, it's too simple. You see the results whenever some junior classes go on an excursion. Any silly adult trying to use the same sidewalk has to wade through the kids, teachers and parents riding shotgun.
Cows are more orderly heading to the barn for milking. But I better be careful. I'm not competing with Mr. Bald Bluster to be a rudeness king.