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Anthony Wilson-Smith March 6 2000
Overture

Overture

Anthony Wilson-Smith March 6 2000

Overture

@macleans.ca

Anthony Wilson-Smith

Shanda Deziel

Over and Under Achievers

Zap/ PM job tricks

Hocus-pocus, let’s all focus: magical PM makes jobs appear, disappear!

Prince Andrew: For 40th birthday, ex-wife hosts party and five ex-girlfriends attend. That’s what you call a real prince charming.

Jean Chrétien: The Amazing PM makes jobs vanish—and reappear elsewhere: after Bloc Québécois MP gets federal employment grant for local factory, he discovers—poof!—the plant has moved to PM s riding.

Paul Martin: The less he does and says during Grantscam controversy, the more he looks prime ministerial. Now, it’s budget time: show us the money. ...

Darva Conger: She was shocked—shocked!—

when her new husband actually kissed her on Fox TV’s Who Wants to Marry a Multi-millionaire? After all, everybody knows TV isn’t real. CanCon: Three Canadian singers—Sarah McLachlan, Diana Krall and Shania Twain— win Grammys. Our women rule!

The NHL: National HackingLeague. With their lax approach to violence, the pro game’s officials are making it a sport to die for—literally.

Kidspeak: how to break the code

Some current in-phrases-and what they mean in translation:

My bad: my mistake, as in, “I didn’t know that was your boyfriend -my bad’.’

It’s all good: relax, things are fine, as in, ‘There’s enough beer for everyone, Its all good’.’

Riff: perfect for each other, as in “Julia, you and Justin riff on each other.”

Molesters: couples groping each other in public places, as in “those molesters over there should get a room.”

Fly: cool, as in, ‘That coat is fly.”

Dope: a synonym for “fly,” as in, ‘That’s a dope ride (car).”

Sick: (pronounced “siiiiiiiick”) something outrageously good, as in,‘Those platform shoes are sliiiiick”

Whack: something or someone decidedly uncool, as in, “My parents, they’re just so whack’.’

Junk Watch

Here's another reason for fast-food junkie Jean Chrétien to declare Canada the world’s best country: you can junk out more cheaply here than many other places. Runzheimer International, a Wisconsin-based research group, measured the cost of fast food around the world, using Los Angeles as the standard. For every American buck you spend on a cheeseburger, fries and soft drink there, you’ll spend $1.63 in Copenhagen-the most expensive location-and 44 cents in Rio de Janeiro, the cheapest. Toronto, the Canadian city measured, comes in at 86 cents. That means a combo trio that would cost you five bucks in Los Angeles will set you back more than $8 Copenhagen-and $4.30 in Toronto.

Pass the mustard, please, prime minister.

Overheard

Go or no?

Where does Brian Tobin fit in the undeclared race to replace Jean Chrétien? A year ago, says a key organizer, he declared he was not interested.

taking shots at corporate Canada and likely contenders Allan Rock and Paul Martin.

Now, some Liberals wonder if he’s changed his mind. One sign came in January: Tobin, who is taking French lessons, made a speech in Ottawa defending medicare and

Liberal insiders say Tobin may be encouraged by Chrétiens insistence he will run again. That would hurt Martin, 61, and help Rock,

52, and Tobin, 45. But most agree that in a race today, Tobin would be a nonstarter. A poor networker, he has no grassroots team in place. And his hardline stance with Inco Ltd. over the Voiseys Bay, Labrador, nickel deposit infuriated corporate Canada. “Brian looks like the kind of guy it’s impossible to make a deal with,” laments a prominent Grit with strong links in the business community. And politics is the art of doing just that.

John DeMont

White House Watch

Hail Poutine!

Last week, CBC s This Hour has 22 Minutes went to Canton, Mich., to attend a rally for Republican candidate George W Bush. The visit was part of one of their favourite rituals—lampooning American ignorance about Canada. Rick Mercer,

posing as a reporter, told three people—Michigan Gov. John Engler, his secretary of state, Candice Miller, and Bush—that Prime Minister Jean Poutine endorsed Bushs candidacy. Miller called the prime minister “a very smart man” for that, and Engler said he showed “very good judgment.” Then came an exchange with Bush—who recently flunked a radio hosts test on his knowledge of foreign affairs: Mercer: “Mr. Bush, a question from Canada.” Bush: “What about it?”

Mercer: “Prime Minister Jean Poutine says you look like the man to lead the free world into the 21st century. What do you think ?”

Bush: “I’m honoured. I appreciate his strong statement. He understands our belief in free trade. He understands I want to ensure our relationship with our most important neighbour to the north of us, Canadians, is strong. We will work closely together.”

The episode airs this week.

Overbites

“Canada can sometimes be annoying. Their celebrities are getting too celebrated (Peter Jennings, Dan Aykroyd, Alanis Morissette), Canadian food is terrible. Did you ever hear anybody say, ‘Honey, lets send out for some Canadian food’? Their skins are too white, jokes too tepid, etc.”

-Helen Gurley Brown in her new book Tm Wild Again: Snippets From My Life and a Few Brazen Thoughts

“Health Canada is warning the public not to consume Gecko Lizard Herbal Tea Mix, commonly used and promoted as an ‘energizer.’ Gecko Lizard Herbal Tea Mix comes in a clear plastic box, containing various plant and animal materials individually wrapped in cellophane.”

-Public warning issued last week by Health Canada

Jennifer Flanagan and Jason Côté will soon serve their one-millionth customer. The Ottawa-based pair are national co-ordinators of Actúa, an organization that brings science and technology programs to youth. Flanagan, 25, from Fredericton and Côté, 26, from Sudbury, Ont., began running their own educational science programs in the mid1990s. In 1998, they teamed up, and now work with 800 employees and volunteers at 27 sites offering programs and classroom workshops. They focus on bringing educational activities to young people in remote areas via the Internet. Flanagan and Côté say a wish to motivate drives them. “Technology,” says Flanagan, “is a tool we use to develop skills like self-esteem, creativity and innovation.”

Over There

Life amidst strife

Fredericton native Corey Levine now works in strife-tom Kosovo for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Recently home on leave, she described day-to-day life in the region and some of the people she has met:

Communication is a large problem. The best way to contact my colleagues from the United Nations, who may be working three buildings away, is to call by satellite phone to a number in New York and ask to be patched through to their extension.

For New Years, I went to a former ski resort in the south of Kosovo. It was in a Serbian enclave. In minority enclaves there is this sense of normalcy, but underneath you know there can’t be. People can’t visit friends and relatives in other places in Kosovo unless they have a lot of protection. The UN runs a shuttle bus between Serb enclaves. This service

started the latest round of rioting and a UN bus was fired upon and three Serbs were killed.

For elderly Serbs, it is very difficult. A Kosovar Albanian lawyer had been helping an elderly woman sell her flat so she could move to Serbia. The 70-year-old woman waso being constantly harassed— stones thrown at her win-

dows, banging on her doors and one night, quite scared, she called the lawyer, who

came over. While they were sitting there, masked men all dressed in black broke into the apartment. They took the man away to the outskirts, beat him and threatened him saying what are you doing helping a Serb?’ The woman disappeared and she hasn’t been seen since, which is very common.

As for the future, I don’t think we’ll come easily to a democratic, unified multiethnic Kosovo. It will take a long time to achieve that.