Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hey Joe....

Let's talk about gratuitous product placement. We all know what it is about and there is rarely a day that goes by in our lives where we don't have it shoved right in our face. Like last week for example, when on page three of the T.O. Sun, a columnist named Joe Warmington, or as I prefer to call him, Joe Wormington, wrote a column called "Slow Boom or Long Bust in Bolton". This was all about gratuitous product placement for the Caledon Chamber of Commerce. While this article may have appeared as the writer's regular column, it was in my opinion, nothing more than a pimped out, straight up plant of a purchased product placement in the TO Sun. The only thing missing from this article was that tiny little disclaimer that reads "Advertisement". It was a plant that I'd say was akin to the Giant Hogweed, which is noxious and can cause skin eruptions upon coming into contact with. The Hogweed, which has turned up in Peel, most recently seems to have found it's way into the newsroom down at the Sun and more specifically at the desk of Joe Wormington. Time to get the Calamine lotion out.

So how is it that just four weeks before our municipal and regional election does a gratuitous piece of product placement masked as a news article just happen by chance to turn up in a Toronto daily? C'mon peeps, think about this. A girl with a pair of ruby slippers ponders this question. Coincidence? Nope, probably not.

I'd say that Mr. Wormington's column was really the fodder of well placed greed and probably a few favour markers. You know what I mean by a favour marker right? This gets a girl wondering about how many IOU markers are going to be floating around, at Caledon's cost, after this election is over. I shudder to think. It also gets me to wondering about the true costs behind having friends in such high places. Friends who have the ability to get you placed into major dailies and on to Toronto radio talk shows. Friends with benefits. Friends who's clients have included the likes of Mike Harris, John Tory and most currently the obnoxious, racist and frightening Rob Ford. Then I get to wondering about how much a friend like this would cost in terms of a monetary perspective. After all the real estate at Dundas and Yonge is mighty pricey these days and I'm quite certain it takes more than a few pictures of Robert Borden to pay the rent in that part of town.

It got me to thinking about who picked up this tab? Is the Caledon Chamber of Commerce that flush with cash or have that many favours it can kick about? I would think that the board of directors, including their head cheese, KD, might be a bit more concerned about their rapidly diminishing credibility and their disgruntled and disillusioned membership. After all, if their AGM turnout is any indication of their membership, they've got mighty bigger problems that they need to focus on. If this Rent-A-Lobbyist was hired by the Groves campaign then it'll need to be reported in their election expenses. Stay tuned for that one. I'm betting though, the money for this horse and pony show came from a third party who just might have a vested interest in ridding Caledon of a chunk of its current council and more so, its incumbent Mayor. Oh gee, I wonder who that might be. Cannoli's anyone?

In his column, Mr. Wormington wrote "In my assessment, what is needed here is compromise. Developers are not the devil but towns have learned lessons from getting too big too fast. If the mayor and the chamber of commerce can’t see eye to eye, I suggest Premier Dalton McGuinty send in a third party to take a look at Caledon and make sure everything is being done appropriately."

In your assessment? Hey Joe who asked you for your assessment? Who even gives a Caledon cow patty about your assessment. Hey Joe do you live in Caledon? Hey Joe do you own a business here? Hey Joe do your children go to school here? Hey Joe do you shop, work or even play here? I've seen that pic of you in your fedora pal, you just don't strike me as a guy I'd bump in to on the TransCanada Trailway between Palgrave and Caledon East. Oh no wait a second, I know what it is. You wanted to come up to Caledon just for some breakfast at Cora's. Hey Joe how about instead we meet up at Kathy's Restaurant or the Riverside, which are both booming breakfast spots in Bolton and I'll buy you a real cuppa Joe. You can use it to wash down a delicious Caledon meadow muffin freshly squeezed out just for you.

Let me provide you with the coopSpeak translation of Mr. Wormington's statement. What he really meant was "Let's let the Ontario Municipal Board decide Caledon's future development." Right, right....gotcha there big fella. Assessment duly noted and thank you for your input. Now why don't you just kiss my grass and go back to pimping yourself out to the likes of the racist rant master Rob Ford and his hired gun lobbyists. Please pass me the Calamine lotion, I can feel that rash coming on.

Now here's the coopSpeak assessment of Joe Wormington's column about my community. "In my assessment, what is needed here is a good swift boot in the drawers of this writer for being so compromised and wasting the space in the newspaper on an issue that he clearly has no business putting his two cents towards.." Yup, I think that about covers off that sentiment.

While we are assessing things, let me add to that list. "In my assessment I think it is time for the Town of Caledon to look for a group of people who'd like to form a Board of Trade, that would really work cooperatively with the whole community, both urban and rural, industrial, retail and agricultural."

Bubbye Caledon Chamber of Commerce and hello to the Caledon Board of Trade.

Hey Joe, should you decide you'd like to give up pimping yourself down there on your King Street hood, where you buy your double Americano's at the Dark Horse Cafe and move uptown you might want to consider this career option. Perhaps, the now defunct Caledon Perspectives, which was owned by a developer, could be resurrected and you could find yourself a new hood to work in. Better yet, perhaps your writing winger could be former Caledon Perspectives employee, Marky Mark Pavilons and he could bring along his funky bunch from the Caledon Chamber Pot of Commerce. Who knows, maybe by that time Kelly Darnley might be looking for a career change if she hasn't moved out of town up to her Muskoka mansion yet.

Four weeks and counting. Time to click my ruby slipper heels together. I just keep telling myself....there's no place like Caledon for home. Just a word of warning, beware of the flying monkeys.

One last comment, the toilet escapades of Mr. Clean is a completely true story. I've had people say "Oh come on, you must have made that up!" The toilet tale is true. Mr. Clean, anytime you wanna check out my porcelain throne, come on over to the Beaver. I'd be happy to give you a personal tour of my low litre flusher. Perhaps you might want to consider offering up toilet inspections as part of your door knocking campaign.


This just in....more telephones are ringing. This time it is a pollster saying "Annette Groves is running for city councillor does she have your support?" to guess at what my response might be.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Telephone is Ringing.....

These are the moments that I wished that I could insert sound bites to deliver the opening of the latest installment of coopSpeak. I often use caricatures and pictures, particularly of late a lot of pics of baked confectionery. But for this column, voice overs and some music would have truly have done it justice. So here's my screenwriters version of how this latest installment of my blog would sound like:

(Insert the theme music from The Twilight Zone) (Voice over by the late Rod Serling begins)

Imagine are sitting in your home....enjoying your evening single malt scotch....and the phone rings....slowly you reach for the receiver only to find yourself transported to the Election Zone.....

I like to give my readers some choices so at this point I would direct you to now insert any one of the three following sound bites here because in my opinion they all would work:

1) Theme music from Jaws
2) Theme from The Godfather
3) The sound editing from the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's film, Psycho.

When it comes to telephone solicitation of any ilk I generally find that I have the attention and patience of a two year old. As soon as I hear "Good evening ma'am can I please speak to Mr. or Mrs. Cooper" or "You've just won a week in Florida..." or "Please hold for this important message..." my knee jerk reaction is Well last week Caledon entered a whole new kind of surreal election zone when we received our very first pre-recorded "Vote for me" message. Or in this case it was more of a "Don't for vote for that person" message. Care to take a guess at what confectionery coated Developer's mayoral wannabe lined this 3 cents per call of silliness up? At first I thought it was a man's voice speaking until I listened more closely only to realize who was calling. It was a photoshopped voice, much like her Madame Tussad airbrushed pictures, but no question in my mind, it was definitely the wannabe mayor or as I often refer to her.....the "cupcake",.

This pre-recorded message had 30 seconds to grab my attention and win me over with a positive message about why I should support Candidate Groves for Mayor. The monotone, auto pilot message missed the bullseye by a Caledon mile. So let's look at why this telephone call campaign was such an epic failure and how it serves as just another reminder of why this little mayoral wannabe cupcake is all fake glitter and no true grit. If the Groves campaign had been smart they could have used this telephone ploy in a whole different manner than what they did. Instead they chose to make this whole message nothing but a bashing, bad mouthing, vulgar, ill natured tirade of nastiness and vitriol. Personally I thought the comment about the Mayor being cozy with the developers when it was convenient for her was flirting with slander. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Is this how Annette Groves demonstrates the qualities of a leader by doing nothing but finding the fault in others? Benjamin Disraeli once said "How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct." If this council is as screwed up she has inferred, then what does this also say about her? After all, our little Red Velvet cupcake, has just spent the last ten years of her political career sitting on her tushie up on Old Church Road. There's a decade we'll never get back for Bolton. What a waste of the taxpayers hard earned dollars.

Ms. Groves likes to portray herself as a rather ecumenical sort of councillor person. A decent, honest, respectful person. Uh huh. What ever happened to the "Judge not lest ye be judged yourself" thinking? Or the "Let those without sin cast the first stone" biblical reference. I know that reading isn't the forte of the Groves team so let me try this out with the Hooked on Phonics approach, say it slowly and phonetically....HIP-OOOOOOO-KRIT..... Maybe it'll sink in that way.

If you want to point out some real dysfunction then I say let's get the mirror out and start by having a really damn good look in it and see what reflects back at you. Mirror, mirror on the cupcake's wall....

Apparently, the mayoral wannabe put it like this in her message: "She fought hard against the punishing taxes imposed upon us by the Mayor...." The only punishment going on here is John Q. Taxpayer being subjected to these stupid phone solicitations. After I hung my phone up I just wanted to run to the bathroom and wash my hands, it felt all that grimy and slimy. This is the shape of the politics in her world. Now I know what it must feel like to be a fire hydrant when a dog lifts their leg on it.

Councillor Groves, my dictionary defines the word council as "a body of persons specially designated or selected to act in an advisory, administrative, or legislative capacity: the governor's council on housing." Taxes are not imposed upon the residents by one member of this council, in this case the Mayor as you keep alluding too. Don't think you are getting yourself off the hook with your slight of hand rhetoric about how you never voted in favour of the budgets. You don't get absolution for your sins with that ploy. This particular distasteful tact speaks volumes about Ms. Grove's lack of ethics for her oath of office,to her constituency, her lack of respect to this community, but most obviously to her inability to be a team player.

If you can't be a team player then most certainly you can't be a team leader.

This whole "I didn't vote in support of that" ploy that she loves to engage is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. While we are on the topic of smoke and mirrors let's talk about "getting cozy" with developers. Hmmmmm....lemme think here a minute, hypothetically speaking....would getting cozy with a developer also perhaps include showing up at lets say a very glitzy gala, all decked out in an evening gown, coiffed and covered in bling, on the arm of a man who isn't your husband but perhaps let's say.....a developer? Could this also be considered getting cozy? Or is that a different kind of cozy than you referred to in your telephone message of ignorance to the masses.

There was one thing that Ms. Groves did say in her message that made sense. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Now that is a sentiment I could really get behind. Enough is enough....of her, of this Vaughan like style of electioneering. Election day can't come quick enough for me.

I'm just going to close this blog with a small but symbolic tidbit of information that I just learned earlier today. Last Friday, Mr. Groves or as I affectionately refer to him,Mr. Clean, actually went out to the town of Caledon buildings and requested to see the Mayor's toilet. I'm not kidding you. He wanted to see her bathroom. Maybe he wanted to scrub out her toilet, after all, he is Mr. Clean. Or maybe he just wanted to sit on the throne. Who knows. But doesn't that just seem a little over the top and maybe even a little teeny tiny bit strange to anyone? Excuse me Madam Mayor but I'd like to see your crapper. I think, in a nut shell, that request is symbolic of this whole election.

Oh itsy bitsy last bit of street prattle...speaking of potties....the word on the street is that the Groves team along with some assistance at the Caledon Chamber Pot of Commerce has brought in some hired guns/lobbyists/strategic planning experts in election & political stuff to try and fix the leak on the toilet that has become the Groves campaign.

Don't you just love the sound of flushing toilets.