CANADIAN POLITICS WINNIPEG:
HARPER ESCAPES RIDICULE BY THE SKIN OF HIS TEETH:
Here it was last Tuesday, and Molly was zipping along the roads of Winnipeg dodging the spring crop of Grand Canyon sized potholes. It was local news time on the radio, and one item caught my interest, even more than the ever deceptive "puddles" that could easily be a car swallowing shaft entrance to a pit so deep you can see a red coloured guy with horns, a tail and cloven hoofs at the bottom.
Now just for the info of non-Canadians we are into an federal election campaign, and Stephen Harper, the leader of the Conservative Party, was making a pit stop in this benighted town. Seems Sneaky Stevie was up to having a little star glitter rubbed off on him, and his apparatchiks arranged that he would visit the home of popular culture wonder Maria Aragon in what one media report called "a rough, west-central Winnipeg neighbourhood". Now "rough" and "west central" are largely synonymous in this town.
Aragon is a ten year old girl who went straight to the heart of pop culture celebrity last February when a video posted to her sister's You Tube account of her performance of Lady Gaga's song 'Born This Way' caught Lady Gaga's attention. LG posted a twitter link to the video, and within 6 days it had received over 26 million views (It now stands at about 27.4 million views-Molly ). The rest is history. On March 3 Aragon performed with LG in Toronto. She has also appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show.
What does all this mean gentle reader ? Well...Lady Gaga just so happens to be the most followed person on Twitter in the whole big world. Personally I have little doubt that there are at least ten times as many people in the world who now know of Maria Aragon as compared to people who would know who on Earth Stephen Harper is, let alone pick him out of a lineup of other corporate criminals. This Aragon kid is BIG, and her appearances have probably increased the number of people in the world who know there is a place called Winnipeg by over 50 times.
Well Sneaky Stevie isn't going to let an opportunity like this go by. His local flunkies rapidly contact the Aragon family and "offer" them a media spot of 'Maria Meets Stephen". Now understand that Stevie is known for many things but definitely not for his kind, gentle, forgiving nature. Obvious exploitative political plug or not this sort of thing would be called "Un'offerta che non potrà rifutare" in the mountains of Sicily.
The day arrives, and so does Stevie. The first jolt they get is when the Aragon family insists that everybody, media, flunkies (campaign workers) and even the Harpers, have to remove their shoes before entering. I honestly love these people. Then it's Stephen and Maria at the piano as she sings out her version of 'Born This Way'. Now understand that said song has a very clear and direct point about the acceptability of gay love and sex. It's also, however, the song that made Maria famous so Harper keeps that old fundamentalist concrete plug firmly up his ass and doesn't vary his facial expression one tiny bit. What, after all, is a little fundamentalist so-called "morality" when votes are at stake ? Stevie got through it though I suspect he had to spend two hours on the can that night to finally pass that plug.
Almost done, but then Stevie slips on the banana peel. Somebody from the crowd of media and hacks suggests he take a turn at the piano himself and sing a duet with Maria. "Hot ziggedy zam", thought Harper, a photo-op beyond belief. Understand that Harper fancies himself something of a musician and singer. To be fair he is OK, but a combo of Glen Gould and Pavarotti he is not.
"Do you know any Beetles' tunes says Harper to the little girl. A sweet innocent voice pipes up, "Only 'Imagine'". SLAM; Speaking of Imagine I imagine the sound of the trap closing on Sneaky. "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit", he thinks. Now understand that it is one thing to sit quietly through a rendition of a song saying that gay people are OK. It is quite another to have to join in and mouth the words to 'Imagine' which pretty well runs the full gamut of things Harper dislikes. Especially as the song was written while Lennon was in his full lefty phase. Having recovered from an almost terminal case of chintzy new age religiosity, Lennon felt obliged, like an ex-alcoholic or an ex-smoker, to throw his atheism into the song with all the subtlety of a front end loader.
You can practically hears the gears whirling and see the sparks flying off Sneaky's head as his weasel-like brain frantically tries to find a way out of this dilemma. Here's the problem. Singing the actual words of the song will not endear him to other members of the local Ottawa congregation of the Blessed Reformed Pentecostal Evangelical Church of the Holy Inquisitor. Whisper, whisper, gossip, gossip. On the other hand both refusing or actually singing different words in the offending portions will make him a laughing stock not just nationally but probably internationally as well. Stevie can see his brilliant little photo-op circling the drain and threatening to make him a world wide laughing stock.
What to do ? The correct answer would have been to lie and say he didn't know the song and suggest another singer. Stevie, however, panics. First he tries, "do you know any other Beetles' songs ? What about 'Hey Jude' ? "No, only 'Imagine'", says the sweet childish voice.
By this time I'm practically ecstatic. Now I have to admit to a personality fault here. It's the reason why I would make a piss poor smuggler. Lacking a concrete butt plug I suppose that I couldn't equal Stevie in controlling my facial expression. I am, however, pretty good. The problem is that, just after clearing the exit door I would feel an overwhelming urge to turn around and give a combined middle finger and cocked elbow salute while loudly insulting Customs for not catching me. In other words I find "gottcha-now-you-son-of-a-bitch" moments of triumph irresistible. Even if the triumph is somebody else's.
This is beyond belief. I'm listening in as a ten year old girl traps one of the most sly, slippery, conspiring, mendacious lower forms of reptilian life that has ever "graced" Canadian politics. Stevie tries one more tack saying, "I have my own lyrics for that song". Probably true, but he ain't getting Maria to sing them. This bizarre proposal freezes in midair, and Stevie resigns himself to a lot of strange looks at the soul saving gatherings for years to come. Maria sang the first verse :
"Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No Hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today."
And now it's Stevie's turn for verse # 2. His pants ripple as his anal sphincter tightens as hard as possible on that old concrete enema.
"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace."
While singing the "and no religion too" part Stevie's amygdala took over and he had to say "I'm going to get in trouble for that one". One can only speculate if this was actual worry, an attempt at damage control or perhaps a rare sighting of a bird most have thought extinct for decades...Stephen Harper's sense of humour. Who knows ?
While gathering up their shoes and leaving the Aragon household some of the reporters present decided it might be interesting to ask Maria's father if he is a Conservative supporters. This was out of the question, and Stevie's thugs (excuse me, "campaign staff") made it very plain that the media would have no chance to talk to the family.
Thus ended Sneaky's attempt to catch as much of the star dust as possible from the fame that surrounds Maria Aragon. Hardly as successful as he might have hoped. I have to say that my opinion of Maria and her family is that they are some of the smartest people in this city. One thing they may not know, however, is what to do now. My usual advise to anyone who lets such a circus through their door is simple. Phone Poulin's Exterminators, the oldest such company in Winnipeg. Don't think you are safe just because the politician and his gangsters have gone out the door. For all you know they could have laid eggs, and as anarchists through the centuries have found out to their sorrow government pests are harder to get rid of once developed than any other pest on Earth.
Now, courtesy of a secret agent the law firm of Molly, Molly, Molly and Mew has placed in the PMO are the actual words of Sneaky Stevie's own version of 'Imagine'. In full. You can see what Harper's version is just as it is sung in intimate moments in the Harper household.. An exclusive to Molly's Blog Enjoy gentle reader:
"Imagine there's no freedom
It's easy if you try.
All proles below us
We can do it on the sly
Imagine all the wages
Much lower than today
You may say I'm a tyrant
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
As consultant 901
Imagine there's no unions
It isn't hard to do
Nothing but planes and prisons
And no high pensions too
Imagine all lower people
Living life in debt
Imagine there's no welfare
I wonder if you can
No need for medicare
Woman once more under man
Imagine all the people
Working for $10 a day