Ah, Democracy. They say it’s the best system of government we’ve come up with so far…by which they mean, it sucks, and we’re working on it as fast as we can. But in the meantime, there’s what we’ve got, and elections every now and then as a byproduct. It’s all very wonderfully tedious, and it gives us the opportunity to flex our electoral musculature and vote for the wealthy white male of our choice to command us for the immediate future (really, it IS better than it sounds on paper). More happily, it gives us an excuse to have another WRECKING BALL, to mock the living shit out of said process.
The Wrecking Ball is the name given to a series of political-themed rallies/variety shows held around the country nigh election time (our last one was just before the last Mayoral shindig here in town), and since the election is mighty nigh, it was time to saunter on down to the Montgomery Legion hall and see what our local talent had cooked up for this go-round. The chosen performers only had 2 weeks to come up with something for the evening’s entertainment, but considering the talent they’d assembled, that was likely a week and a half longer than they needed. I mean it, they had some powerhouses lined up for the evening. You know who they had just working the door? Nancy Kenny! That’s like when the Justice Society had Wonder Woman as their secretary!
Once inside, I even got allowed to sit at a grown-ups table, and what grown-ups! The adorkable ™ Nadine Thornhill, Richard Hemphill, Bronwyn Steinberg, Greg ‘Ritallin’ Frankson, Will Somers…perhaps they thought I was someone important! I didn’t correct their mistake, basking in the coolness-by-association. Shortly, the good times got underway, with Pat Gauthier and Pierre Brault sharing/fighting over hosting duties in admirable political fashion. My galpal Nadine was up first after that, with a dandy zinger of a spoken-word bit called…
…ahh, never mind. Just watch it for yourself, then turn green with envy ’cause I get to have lunch with this dynamo in a couple of days:
The evening kept on hitting hard after that, with musician extraordinaire Glenn Nuotio striking a blow for Feminism via Alanis, comic Don Kelly getting down for Aboriginal rights, and the unbeatable team of Kate Smith and Cat Leger (and okay, Pat Gauthier too) channeling Laureen Harper and Yoko Ono and, yes, if you weren’t there you damn well should have been. Especially since next up was Todd Duckworth (whose rendition of ‘Love me I’m a Liberal’ was the hit of the LAST Wrecking Ball), and his new Phil Ochs-inspired ditty, Here’s to the State of Stephen Harper, brought the house down.
A wee intermission followed (and a couple more bottles of 50…this IS a legion hall), and when it was done, BOY was it done. Ritallin took to the stage, and crushed it convincingly with a torrent of verse appropriately titled OUTRAGE. Then came the return of Kate Smith, this time as beleaguered former Tory Helena Guergis in a Brault-penned bit that proves once again why Kate Smith is a theatrical force not to be trifled or messed with, only to be bowed down to and worshipped. Awesome.
Some more music to round out the evening…a pair from Actor and recent Rideau Award-winner Paul Rainville, and a home-rum cabaret-style finale from Doreen Taylor-Claxton (accompanied by returning Glenn Nuotio). If you listen, you can still hear the echoes…
It was a grand, fun night, and I even got a ride home and an invite to a media call out of the deal, so it doesn’t get much better in MY books. I’m thankful I went out, saw some great theatre and heard some great words and songs that’ll be running thru my noodle for days and weeks to come. And on Monday next, after work, I’m gonna line up, and I’m gonna vote. And not because I’m terribly sentimental about the democratic process, or because I want to preserve my mythical ‘right to complain’ or anything like that. No, I’ll be voting on May 2nd because John Baird is the Conservative MP in my riding.
And FUCK John Baird.
See how easy it is to find a reason? Go vote. You’ll feel all cool and stuff. Peace, love and soul,
The Visitor (and Winston)