Random Thoughts For January

It’s a month after Santa Claus, a week after the credit card bills told us how much he cost us, and winter has settled into the Northern hemisphere.  This year, Mother Nature seems particularly unhappy with her children, but life goes on.  So, a few random thoughts for January.

After enduring nearly a year of a planetary plague, I can now fully understand why all the women in Renaissance paintings are a little overweight and braless.

I’m a hockey fan, and I’m glad to see the Boys of Winter back on the ice.  My team, the Vancouver Canucks, aren’t doing very well, but this is hockey — and if it were easy, they’d call it baseball.

Speaking of baseball, Hank Aaron passed away last week.  He was the last great pure baseball player – just a regular guy who worked hard and hit the ball better than most pitchers could throw it.  Since Hank’s time, baseball players have become walking pharmaceutical experiments.  There are so many performance-enhancing drugs in professional baseball these days even Lance Armstrong is embarrassed.   

And sticking with sports, this year’s American football Super Bowl is going to be unique.  Tom Brady will be the oldest quarterback ever to probably cheat in a championship game. 

I’ll betcha right about now, Joe Biden’s thinking, “Hey, people!  I’ve got mittens, too!”

In Canada, the Governor General (FYI, this is Canada’s symbolic Head of State) Julie Payette resigned when an independent inquiry found she had created a “toxic workplace.”  She’d been verbally abusing the staff, and (come to find out) has a history of losing her cool – including being charged with second degree assault.  (Rumour has it her ex-husband got a noggin floggin’ one angry night in Maryland.)  You’d think somebody would have checked to see if Ms. Payette was actually the right person to represent the world’s politest nation.  So much for the Canadian “I’m sorry” myth.  Not to worry, though: Ms. Payette is going to get an annual $150,000.00 pension.  Apparently, being a bully has a financial upside – even in Canada.

Kiera Knightley said she will no longer do nude scenes in films with male directors.  Okay, your choice.  But, quite frankly, if you’re willing to take your clothes off for the entertainment of a million or so movie- going strangers, I don’t think it matters which gender tells you how to do it.  Personally, I think nudity in films is never necessary.  Every movie I’ve ever seen would be just as good (or bad) without it – except porn, of course, where nudity is, in fact, “integral to the storyline.”

I’m almost binge-watching a Dutch television series, Adulterer (Overspel) on Prime.  It’s 10 years old, which shows you how far out of the loop I am — but hey, the last time I was relevant, The Clintons roamed the Earth.  Anyway, it has a good storyline, nuanced characters, some twists, a couple of turns, suspense and a few surprises.  Plus, if you look closely and don’t mind hitting the pause button (a lot) you get a look at Dutch design and some very cool art.  That’s the thing about European television — you can get a total cultural experience just looking behind the actors at the sets.

And finally:

I remember Larry King not for his CNN suspenders but for his voice – on the radio.  He and I became friends in the early 80s when, once a week, I drove through the late night/early morning vast American desert.  For a couple of hours, with nothing to do but break the speed limit, Larry introduced me to America.  On his program, I heard people from all over the country — the great America tribes talking to each other – agreeing, disagreeing, unconsciously sharing their common ground.  To a Canadian kid who had only seen America in the movies, this was quite an education, and so, I will always remember him fondly.

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