Maybe Next Year, Frank

And the winner of the 26th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the worst opening line to an imaginary novel is… drum roll please… not Frank Hilliard. D’oh! In fact, it was the unfortunately named Garrison Spik, a 41-year-old communications director and writer from Washington, for the following submission:

“Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped, ‘Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.’ ”

Brilliant flourish at the end! Although, I quite liked the Canadian entry from Sarah Totton of Owen Sound, Ont., who received a “miscellaneous dishonourable mention” for this hilariously descriptive bit of surrealism:

“The penguin stood on the iceberg, cutting a striking black-on-white profile, much like the silhouette produced by a person standing behind a screen in front of a bright light while holding up a Twinkie to represent the penguin and placing it atop a Yorkshire terrier to represent the iceberg.”

Complete results can be found here. Remember to take the usual precautions to protect your keyboard from harm before diving in.

p.s. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include some of Frank’s deathless prose:

The first Susan heard about it was when Ron’s red F-150 pulled up in the driveway. She watched him get out and amble up to the door with the imposing presence his bulk always generated in the opposite sex. At 6’ 2” and 240 lbs, Ron Westlake was a handsome hunk of a man, respected by women, deferred to by men.


Up the Hill Backwards

Another day, another demonstration that Stephen Harper’s promises of ensuring a greater degree of “transparency” in the way government operates weren’t really serious commitments after all. The latest instance concerning the process by which Supreme Court Justices are appointed is a puzzling “step backwards” as the Globe & Mail put it in their editorial today.

As noted by the Globe, the process employed in the appointment of the moderately conservative Justice Rothstein in 2006 was “a vast improvement over the previous government’s charade of a hearing” and yet, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear (although we can speculate), the gains previously made are now being sacrificed by changes that not only restrict the size and range of the Supreme Court selection committee, but effectively concentrate influence in the Prime Minister’s Office. This, of course, runs directly counter to long-held beliefs of the Conservative party and its predecessors in striving to de-politicize the judicial appointment process.

Does it matter to so-called “conservatives”? Probably not, given so many of them appear to have surrendered any pretense to abiding by their ideological principles in favour of partisan politics and absolute faith in their present leader. But it should, because they were right — in the best sense of the word — and the process had, for a while at least, seemed to be heading in that direction.

h/t: The ever-vigilant Impolitical.

Making Mockery with Nicholls

“Not being a psychologist maybe I shouldn’t say what I am about to say,” begins the always hopeless Gerry Nicholls in his Toronto Sun column this morning.

I fully concur. He should have stopped right there. But no such luck, I’m afraid.

Basing his entire article on the idle speculation of one “unnamed MP” that he quotes as having opined that the “sweet spot” for calling an election would be late November in order to benefit from “the afterglow of hope and change with Obama,” Nicholls goes on to label this as “delusional” because, and I know this will come as a shock to you, Stéphane Dion is no Barack Obama.

Well duh.

This blindingly obvious revelation does, however, give Nicholls the opportunity to unleash some of his remarkably “funny” barbs; claiming, for example, that Dion “not only has no charisma he actually emits rays of ‘anti-charisma,’ which have been known to repel voters over a five-km radius.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Unlike, say, Stephen Harper, who feels the need to pose, creepily smiling, while he fondles non-headless kittens to um… prove something, I guess.

The Scum Also Rises

For some mysterious reason, the New York Times devoted some of its valuable front page space yesterday to profiling the latest “bestselling” book by Jerome Corsi, the nasty Smear Boat Vet and World Nut Daily crackpot who co-authored the despicable Unfit to Command in 2004.

The new hatchet job, err, “piece of scholarship” (to quote its publisher) is called The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, apparently contends that the presumptive Democratic nominee is some kind of a stealth Islamofascist, amongst other things. Not surprisingly, significant parts of the book’s veracity have already been challenged as being “misleading or false.”

Last night, Corsi appeared on Larry King Live along with Paul Waldman of Media Matters for America.

The above is just the first part. The entire segment can be viewed at MMFA’s website, where they also have an extensive de-bunking of the numerous falsehoods and bogus claims Corsi makes.


Sun Media is reporting today that Environment Minister John Baird has tapped a University of Calgary professor to head the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy, that the paper describes as “a group charged with advising the government on whether to institute a national carbon tax.”

“Needless to say, given the political nature a lot of people are pretty interested in what we’re going to be saying,” said Bob Page, a research chair and professor of Environmental Management and Sustainability at the U of C.

No kidding.

At Least They Didn’t Pray for Locusts

I mean, that would have been like crazy. This video had supposedly been taken down, but evidently not. So, in case you missed it, here it is again.

Recently, Focus on the Family (“the GOP’s long arm of Christ” as one wag put it) created this spot asking whether it would be wrong to pray for “rain of biblical proportions” during Barack Obama’s Aug. 28 appearance at Invesco Field at Mile High to accept the Democratic nomination for president.

I suppose that depends on whether or not you’re one of the people flooded out of their homes by such an event (according to these same wingnuts, the last Biblical flood created the Grand Canyon, after all). Although considering how badly Obama’s speech before a mass audience in Berlin played, maybe being rained out wouldn’t be such a bad thing.