Courier columns: Rollin’ on the River with Mark Taylor


“The difference between being prime minister and not being prime minister is that people actually applaud you for barbecuing.” Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell

I was watching a sports show called Tim & Sid this past week. Sid was talking one night about how the sports teams seem to be really taking defeat hard this time around which shines a light on what society is going through. Certainly, going through a global pandemic has changed all of our views and ways of life. He noted that the “losers,” seem to be devastated after being eliminated, more so than in the past. Then, he felt the need to make note that he meant the term “loser” literally and it was at that point that I realized just how politically correct the world is.

Guaranteed, if he didn’t add the little point at the end, some Twitter Warrior would chastise him for calling a certain group people a bunch of losers. They would run the clip to show it and then the fun begins. Then, nobody would even bother to investigate it and would start a boycott campaign that would knock your socks off if you even wear any. If there is any way that somebody can take something the wrong way, they will. It is getting to the point where it’s almost impossible to not offend somebody is almost as impossible as picking up a piece of poo by the clean end.

I have said before that if you’re going to spend good money and time to put up a sign, at least try to spell everything correctly. The same would go with newspapers and the headlines and stories. I recently came across some unbelievable headlines which makes you wonder if the proofreader was napping. Stuff like, “Rooms with broken air conditioners are hot, World Bank says poor need more money, Scientists to kill ducks to see why they’re dying,” and probably my favourite – “Homicide victims rarely talk to Police.” No, these are not in the National Exaggerator, they are in newspapers that are allegedly legit. I can tell you from experience it’s tough to proofread your own work as you know what you want to say and sometimes your brain is faster than your finger. Yes, that’s right – singular. As I’ve said before, if I lost nine fingers, I wouldn’t type any slower.

I recall some time ago I quoted Canadian comedian Mark Critch who said that the late Gord Downie was as Canadian as Anne Murray apologizing for spilling a double-double, which was a very accurate comparison. I am keenly aware of what the rest of the world thinks of us Canucks and I’m okay with that. Being polite is not a crime. If it was, I know of people who have no worries about getting busted for that one. Having the best hockey players is pretty cool too. Steve Nash being the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets is okay too.

It was the late comedian Robin Williams who said of Canada – “You are a big country. You are the kindest country in the world. You are like a really nice apartment over a meth lab.” You can draw your own conclusions on what meant by that. Heck, I’ve picked up a bottle of maple syrup and took a big swig but I witnessed something this past weekend that rivals all of this stuff. No, I didn’t see Gordon Lightfoot in a canoe wearing toque playing The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald. It was a calm and warm Saturday night. I was sitting on my perch by the Bonny and Magaguadavic Rivers sipping an ice-cold Alpine listening to Blue Rodeo when a beaver came swimming by. If I’m lying, I’m dying.