The Ranting Canadian

I’m surprised I have never seen anyone post this song (click on the video link above) in relation to the fucked-up Ford brothers, Doug and Rob. Maybe I have just missed it. The original lyrics don’t all apply to the Fords, so here is an amended version.

Asshole (Rob Ford version)

(SPOKEN)
Folks, I’d like to sing a song about the Etobicoke dream.
About me, about you, about the way our bigoted suburban hearts beat way down in the bottom of our bigoted suburban chests. About the special feeling we get in the cockles of our hearts, maybe below the cockles, maybe in the sub-cockle area, maybe in the liver, maybe in the kidneys, maybe even in the colon. We don’t know…

(SUNG)
I’m a millionaire regular Joe who’s never had a real job.
I’m your silver-spoon elite, white suburbanite slob.
I like football and cocaine and acting like a boor.
I’ve got an enormous, but plain, house with a nice hardwood floor.
My wife, my “job”, my kids, my Escalade that’s black.
My feet on my table and a pipe full of crack.

But sometimes that just ain’t enough to keep a man like me interested (oh no) no way (uh-uh). No, I’ve gotta go out and have fun at someone else’s expense.
(oh yeah) yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

I read while I drive drunk in the ultra-fast lane,
While people around me are going insane.
I’m an asshole (He’s an asshole, what an asshole)
I’m an asshole (He’s an asshole, such an asshole)

I use public toilets and piss on the seat,
I walk around in the summertime saying “How about this heat?”
I’m an asshole (He’s an asshole, what an asshole)
I’m an asshole (He’s the world’s biggest asshole)

Sometimes I park in handicapped spaces,
While handicapped people make handicapped faces.
I’m an asshole (He’s an asshole, what an asshole)
I’m an asshole (He’s a real fucking asshole)

Maybe I shouldn’t be singing this song
Ranting and raving and carrying on
Maybe they’re right when they tell me I’m wrong…
NAAAAH!

I’m an asshole (he’s an asshole, what an asshole)
I’m an asshole (he’s the world’s biggest asshole)

(SPOKEN)
You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna get in my Cadillac Escalade SUV — mafia-black, with whale-skin hubcaps and all-leather cow interior and big brown baby seal eyes for headlights. Yeah! And I’m gonna drive around in that baby at 180 kilometers an hour, getting 3 kilometers per litre, sucking down quarter-pounder cheeseburgers from McDonald’s in the old-fashioned non-biodegradable Styrofoam containers! And when I’m done suckin’ down those greaseball burgers I’m gonna wipe my mouth on the Toronto flag and then toss the Styrofoam containers right out the side, and there ain’t a God-damned thing anybody can do about it. You know why? Because we got the mob, that’s why!

Two words — gangsters and guns, OK? Chow, Soknacki, Stintz - they can have all the democracy they want. They can have a democracy cakewalk right through the middle of Tiananmen Square and it won’t make a lick of difference, because my friends got the guns, OK? Al Capone’s not dead - he’s frozen! And when we find a cure for pneumonia, we’re gonna thaw out Capone and he’s gonna be pretty pissed off. You know why? You ever taken a cold shower? Well, multiply that by 15 million times. That’s how pissed off Capone’s gonna be.

I’m gonna get Capone and Sandro Lisi and Giorgio Mammoliti (Hey) and Fabio Basso (Hey) and a case of Vodka and Gatorade (Hey) and fly to one of my other homes in Chicago… (Hey, Hey, Hey)

(Hey you know you really are an asshole)
Why don’t you just shut up and sing this song pal.
I’m an asshole (He’s an asshole, what an asshole)
I’m an asshole (He’s an asshole, what an asshole)
A – S – S - H - O – L – E.
Everybody, A – S – S - H - O – L – E.

Arf Arf Arf Arf Arf Arf Arf
Fung Achng Tum Chng Fum Afung Fung Ooh

(SPOKEN)
I’m an asshole and I’m proud of it!

The Harper Cons have announced they are naming the new Finance Canada building after the worst finance minister in Canadian (and Ontario) history, “Deficit Jim” Flaherty.  To reflect Flaherty’s disastrous political record and mean-spirited personality, it will:

Be small and useless
Go billions of dollars over budget and have a huge mortgage
Be funded by money embezzled from veterans’ services, Employment Insurance, healthcare, scientific research, job training programs, environmental conservation, etc.
Be built by underpaid temporary foreign workers instead of Canadians
Be constructed and operated under unsafe conditions
Have a false front
Feature a gazebo, a fake lake and a barrel full of pork
Cause significant, long-lasting environmental damage
Be filled with overpaid, underworked upper-level managers instead of frontline workers
Be plastered on the outside with Conservative “Economic Action Plan” propaganda signs
Be decorated inside with fake-Irish kitsch made in China, as well as many portraits of Dear Leader Stephen Harper
Be inaccessible to average working-class Canadians
Have special entrances for private bankers and other corporate elites
Have an even more special, luxury VIP entrance for members of the Ford crime family
Have an extra-large parking area for limousines and oversized SUVs
Above the main entrance, feature a sign that says “Work Will Set You free”
Crumble under the weight of Stephen Harper’s iron fist
Cause the premature deaths of hundreds of Canadians
Eventually be sold to a foreign corporation for pennies on the dollar and rented back from the new owners at an insanely high cost, under a lease with terrible conditions.
Have its true costs hidden for years, and only revealed after the courts force the government to do so.

The Harper Cons have announced they are naming the new Finance Canada building after the worst finance minister in Canadian (and Ontario) history, “Deficit Jim” Flaherty.  To reflect Flaherty’s disastrous political record and mean-spirited personality, it will:

  1. Be small and useless
  2. Go billions of dollars over budget and have a huge mortgage
  3. Be funded by money embezzled from veterans’ services, Employment Insurance, healthcare, scientific research, job training programs, environmental conservation, etc.
  4. Be built by underpaid temporary foreign workers instead of Canadians
  5. Be constructed and operated under unsafe conditions
  6. Have a false front
  7. Feature a gazebo, a fake lake and a barrel full of pork
  8. Cause significant, long-lasting environmental damage
  9. Be filled with overpaid, underworked upper-level managers instead of frontline workers
  10. Be plastered on the outside with Conservative “Economic Action Plan” propaganda signs
  11. Be decorated inside with fake-Irish kitsch made in China, as well as many portraits of Dear Leader Stephen Harper
  12. Be inaccessible to average working-class Canadians
  13. Have special entrances for private bankers and other corporate elites
  14. Have an even more special, luxury VIP entrance for members of the Ford crime family
  15. Have an extra-large parking area for limousines and oversized SUVs
  16. Above the main entrance, feature a sign that says “Work Will Set You free
  17. Crumble under the weight of Stephen Harper’s iron fist
  18. Cause the premature deaths of hundreds of Canadians
  19. Eventually be sold to a foreign corporation for pennies on the dollar and rented back from the new owners at an insanely high cost, under a lease with terrible conditions.
  20. Have its true costs hidden for years, and only revealed after the courts force the government to do so.

No wonder Rob Ford is so screwed up. His mother is Dame Edna and his father was Nosh from the movie Eat the Rich (see photos above).

But seriously folks, you good people of the great city of Toronto, there’s something disturbing about Ford’s mother Diane. Don’t be too quick to fall for her crocodile tears and her claims of being shocked about the extent of Robbie-Bobbie’s addictions to drugs, alcohol and acting like an asshole. Drugs and crime are no stranger to the Ford household.

According to several reports, Dame Diane is the ringleader who strong-armed Rob into becoming a career politician. Perhaps she was the one who pushed her now-deceased husband into politics as well. The ruthlessly ambitious matriarch certainly didn’t want Robbie running the family business into the ground, and she knew he wasn’t qualified for any other profession or trade.

Now that Robbie and his associates have butchered her selfish plan of turning the Ford crime family into political royalty, she may be seeking retribution. The authorities and the media should keep a sharp eye on this potentially dangerous puppet-master.

Photo Gallery: May Day 2014 in Toronto

The theme of the 2014 Toronto May Day (International Workers Day)  event was Honour Communities: Fight Capitalism. The chilly evening rally started at Allan Gardens, transformed into a march west on Carlton/College, and concluded at Queen’s Park with a few more speeches.

Toronto’s May Day event didn’t get much media coverage, likely because it was overshadowed by two bigger local political stories:1) Toronto’s untrustworthy, unethical, incompetent, promise-breaking mayor Rob Ford having another public meltdown and then taking a leave of absence, and 2) the untrustworthy, unethical, incompetent, promise-breaking Ontario Liberals putting forward their new budget bill (which was rejected the next day, thus triggering a provincial election).

Toronto’s march was energetic but peaceful, unlike the event in Vancouver, where police officers vicously attacked a few individuals, seemingly for no legitimate reason. Videos of violent Vancouver arrests are linked here and here.

Some Canadian content for May Day (International Workers’ Day):

This video is a documentary about the Toronto folk music group The Travellers, who started out in 1953, mixing traditional folk songs, Canadian patriotism, communism and Jewish culture (sometimes singing in Yiddish). They were inspired by, and worked with, Pete Seeger. They are  best known for the Canadian version of “This Land is Your Land”.

The Travellers were deeply involved with a left-wing Jewish summer camp in Brampton called Camp Neivelt, which still exists. In their early days, The group performed at many benefit concerts for the labour movement and other related causes.

They had several line-up changes and eventually took a more mainstream commercial approach, even releasing two non-political children’s records and performing in a beer commercial. They eventually split, seemingly over artistic and political differences. Nevertheless, Jerry Gray, a founding member, performed with a group as “Jerry Gray and & Travellers” as recent as 2011.

For more information, see:

The Travellers in the Canadian Encyclopedia

Jerry Gray: A Historical Archive

"Something to Sing About" by The Travellers

"This Land is Your Land" by The Travellers

Short clips of songs from the album ”The Travellers: A Century of Song”

April 25 was Liberation Day in Italy, a national holiday commemorating the end of the Nazi/Fascist occupation of Italy. The above photo portrays the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his entourage, hanging upside down after being executed by Italians who were fed up with their bullshit.
Predictably, as the failed capitalist system continues to collapse around the world, the dark forces of fascism and quasi-fascism are again rearing their ugly heads (even within Canada’s Harper-Conservative government). 
Meanwhile, the working-class socialist labour movement languishes in a weakened state; many so-called “progressives” focus on sniping at each other over semantics and intellectual minutiae; opportunistic liberals kowtow to the corporate elites; and the apathetic masses sleepwalk through life, ignoring anything beyond their immediate concerns. All signs point to history repeating itself. 
In order to prevent the tragedies of the past from happening again, fascism and extreme capitalism must be stopped in their tracks. It’s a monumental task, but it can be done. Are you up for the challenge?

April 25 was Liberation Day in Italy, a national holiday commemorating the end of the Nazi/Fascist occupation of Italy. The above photo portrays the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his entourage, hanging upside down after being executed by Italians who were fed up with their bullshit.

Predictably, as the failed capitalist system continues to collapse around the world, the dark forces of fascism and quasi-fascism are again rearing their ugly heads (even within Canada’s Harper-Conservative government).

Meanwhile, the working-class socialist labour movement languishes in a weakened state; many so-called “progressives” focus on sniping at each other over semantics and intellectual minutiae; opportunistic liberals kowtow to the corporate elites; and the apathetic masses sleepwalk through life, ignoring anything beyond their immediate concerns. All signs point to history repeating itself.

In order to prevent the tragedies of the past from happening again, fascism and extreme capitalism must be stopped in their tracks. It’s a monumental task, but it can be done. Are you up for the challenge?

Due to the poor attendance at Rob Ford’s campaign kickoff party, his new theme song could be “Half Empty Halls” by The Evaporators.

By most accounts, the April 17, 2014 event was a flop, with low turnout, no “history in the making" moments (another Ford promise broken), none of the celebrity appearances that were anticipated, and a lackluster speech full of lies, clichés and vague pledges. According to some, Ford was even heckled a bunch of times.

TV footage showed a lot of people waiting in line to get Ford T-shirts and bobblehead dolls, but it seems that many of those people were not genuine supporters, and left soon after getting their memorabilia, perhaps to sell online.

View during Rob Ford's 2014 campaign kickoff speech.

The Ford campaign booked an enormous banquet hall; rented tables, chairs, tablecloths, sound equipment, etc.; shelled out for servers and other staff; hired a rock band and bagpipers; hung large printed banners; gave away free alcohol and snacks; handed out other freebies; and brought along an old fire truck as a prop (which brother Randy bought for $4,000 at an auction). There were probably many other expenses too.

Whenever I see these massive Ford crime family events, I wonder who the hell is paying for it all. What political financing laws are being broken? What business expenses and tax refunds are being claimed illegally? How much drug money is being laundered? I doubt the full costs will ever be revealed to the authorities and the public.

In the last Toronto election, more than one third of the [on-the-books] money donated to the Rob Ford mayoral campaign came from outside of Toronto, from people who could not vote in the Toronto election. Many of the people at his April 17 kickoff event do not live in Toronto either. In May, Ford’s first fundraising event for this campaign (a $300-a-plate gala for the rich elites he claims to hate) will be in Vaughan instead of Toronto. A few months ago, wackjob city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (a Ford ally) held an illegal fundraising event in nearby Woodbridge, at which lobbyists and other sleazy operators paid $5,000 per table. This is the kind of backroom corruption that the Fords pretend to oppose, but fully embrace in practice.

Attendees of the Ford kickoff party who spoke to the media displayed low intelligence, pathetic gullibility and almost no sense of reality. They are lost causes who will never be swayed by facts, so the Olivia Chow campaign has to move past them and focus on getting her own supporters to vote in October, and on convincing swing voters to come on board.

Torontonians cannot be complacent. Although polls show Chow in the lead, when one takes into account the margin of error, there is essentially a three-way tie between Chow, Ford and John Tory (Ford-lite). The election is months away and everything is still up for grabs. A Ford or Tory victory would be another win for the rich corporate elites and their cronies. Chow is the only option.

Video of Jello Biafra appearing in the satirical comedy show Portlandia.

"Yuppies … Yuppies … Yuppies! … How could people let this happen?"

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine are on tour right now. See: http://www.alternativetentacles.com/tours.php?sd=x-dgd4VF9l48AYpUWGA

"I can’t even get my friends to like me."
Mark this date: April 16, 2014. Disgraced Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper tells the truth for the first time in his political career, as he campaigns at the state funeral of former finance minister Jim Flaherty. The rest of Harper’s speech was full of lies and propaganda, as usual.
Harper should be more like Flaherty (in his current state).

"I can’t even get my friends to like me."

Mark this date: April 16, 2014. Disgraced Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper tells the truth for the first time in his political career, as he campaigns at the state funeral of former finance minister Jim Flaherty. The rest of Harper’s speech was full of lies and propaganda, as usual.

Harper should be more like Flaherty (in his current state).

This song is “Crad Kilodney Was Innocent” by the Toronto punk band Armed and Hammered. I post it here in response to the news that cult author Crad Kilodney has died. He was a unique and eccentric fixture on downtown Toronto streets for many years, selling off-the-wall self-published books on his own. His titles included Pork College, I Chewed Mrs. Ewing’s Raw Guts, Blood Sucking Monkeys from North Tonawanda, and Putrid Scum.

At some point, I acquired a signed copy of one of his little books of short stories, Sex Slaves of the Astro-Mutants, but I must confess I have never cracked it open. Maybe it’s time to take a look.

From CBC Toronto:

"I started out with this idealistic view that the public was reasonably intelligent," he said in a 1992 York University documentary ​on his life. ”I must say, after 14 years on the street I’ve had all of my illusions about the public shattered. …”

The Crad Kilodney Literary Foundation is at http://www.cradkilodney.com