When I worked with Garth Turner at the Toronto Sun, I could sometimes overhear such words as "pompous," followed by a precise vulgarity. There's a possibility I might have even used them.
Then in November, 2006, I had a change of heart when Turner stood up to the present-day puppet master, Stephen Harper, and his so-called Conservative puppets; and for his grief, he was tossed aside.
As a seasoned "blogger," Turner claimed his boot from Harper and his sad-sack band "was the symbol of just how bankrupt the political system has become. After all, my electors were screwed in this incident, and for all intents and purposes, the national party just doesn't care."
Then he went on to "blog," with these words: "The party brass refused to tell them why I was tossed, or provide evidence to support it, or come clean or why they decided in secret I will be disqualified as the nominated candidate and in fact banned from the Tories again. Apparently not content to kill me once (kicked out of caucus last month), they killed me again last Friday (no longer a candidate, and never to be one)."
With his dismissal from the Conservatives and Harper's gang, Turner was labelled with the tag of "maverick," which he wore proudly around his neck.
And so, what I and thousand others in the burgeoning nation of "bloggers," believed was a new era when our voices would be heard and Turner would, begrudgingly, become a leading force, there definitely was an aura of hope.
But wait, in just the last day or so, this so-called "Maverick" has jumped from the "blog nation" to Stephane Dion's weak-kneed Liberals and destroyed, completely, his image as someone honourable and one who might deserve some respect in that self-centred profession, known as politics.
Turner has turned his back, not only on the Conservatives, but on the rest of Canada, not because he's joined the Liberals, but because he has scuttled the dream, any dream, of people who had almost forgotten how to dream.
The nightmare of "business as usual" in Ottawa continues and as Roy Clancy of the Calgary Sun wrote about Turner and his ilk, "they'll break your heart every time."
Then Clancy quoted some bloggers, who mumbled the likes of "You want to know (Turner) why Canadians are cynical about politics, then take a good long look in the mirror." Or as another hissed: "Finally, a sheep in sheep's clothing" and then continued on with his diatribe.
Perhaps, Turner has every right to pussy-foot around the Liberals or whoever will pat him on the back and mutter, "now you be a nice boy, and we'll buy you lunch," but then again Canada was looking for a hero, a maverick, but what we got was just another non-principled politician.
The shame of it all.
Some day, my fellow Bloggers, a real hero will emerge. I think.
YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP: The plot thickens as the attractive American astronaut is charged with "trying to murder the woman she believed was her romantic rival for a space shuttle pilot's affection" and that's just the opening scene. The love triangle has a dozen plots and sub-plots and it's all entangled because these two female rivals are, allegedly, on the prowl for another (male) astronaut. No, it's far too complicated for the movie of the week, but you can catch it on your nightly TV newscast.
FRANKIE COULD BELT 'EM OUT: The neighbours could hear my bellowing a mile away, I think. Although some of the words were juggled, I was trying to deliver my rendition of Frankie Laine's That's My Desire, That Lucky Old Sun, Mule Train, Jezebel and even the theme from Rawhide. In an era of big-voiced crooners, Laine was the "king" and he died on Tuesday. He was 93.
THEIR REAL NAMES (From the Best of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader): Did you know that Woody Allen was really Allen Konigsberg; Jack Benny was Joseph Kubelsky; Michael Caine was Maurice Mickelwhite; and Frankie Laine was Francesco Paulo LoVecchio.