One-time Cold War correspondent and current Toronto Sun crackpot Peter Worthington is having a red scare flashback, uncovering commies behind every potted plant in the trash tab's King Street offices. Worthington, who's now in closer touch with the Florida sun than with the one he helped found, unleashed a wild anti-union rant in the paper after the editorial staff's vote to go union. Team player Pete calls his colleagues "lemmings" and beached whales, and dreads the day when staffers answer to "brother, sister and maybe even comrade." Ugh. "I'm a newsroom lemming" signs are popping up on desks at the Sun.
Hall of Fame awards are perilous prizes at the best of times. You mean my career is over? How old am I? Am I worthy? But pity poor Tom Cochrane, unveiled as 2003's Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee at this week's Juno Awards launch. Bachman Turner Overdrive were supposed to get the nod -- that makes sense -- but the feudin' prairie boys won't appear together. So Tom subs in, his career, such as it is, supposedly still red ridin' along.
We'll take Manhattan
If you're heading to Manhattan for Saturday's (February 15) monster peace march against the planned U.S. war on Iraq, don't count on doing a lot of marching. In a bizarre move as sadly symbolic as the UN's shrouding of Picasso's Guernica, an American federal judge has ruled that peace lovers gathering on First Avenue will not be allowed to march. Citing "heightened security concerns," the judge said only a stationary protest would be permitted. Don't think pacifists will take this lying down. OK, maybe lying down -- but in the road, blocking traffic. Count on other creative responses as well in the war on war.
Hell, no, I want the El Mo
Like in the good old days when Margaret Trudeau's panties -- or lack of them -- kept the El Mocambo deep in controversy, storm clouds still swirl over the long-time club. Until last Friday, if you called 411 looking for the newly re-opened neon-palm-lit bar, you'd be directed to former El Mo booker Dan Burke's answering machine and the listings for upcoming shows at the Silver Dollar. The Spadina El Mo hadn't yet bagged a Bell listing, and disgruntled Dan continues to use the name El Mocambo Productions for his shows around town. Trip Phoenix were booked for the Spadina El Mo, and when they called the number given by 411 to confirm sound check time, a voice on the other end declared the gig cancelled. They went to Spadina anyway and the show was on. Now callers to 411 are asked if they want the Spadina or Bathurst listing.
Don't club baby NDP leaders
Amusing to see the violent reactions of animal lovers to nouveau NDP leader Jack Layton's decision to ditch his new chief of staff, Rick Smith, after Smith's seal-loving ways became an issue. The Animal Protection Institute declares "high hopes for the NDP misplaced," while Liz Smith of the Animal Alliance of Canada ends a lifelong commitment, her NDP card "now in pieces in my wastebasket." Stephen Best of Environment Voters shrieks, "Jack Layton is a failure." Foaming-mouth freak-outs by animal activists less than a month into Layton's run just leave them isolated on the political ice floe. Layton and the NDP remain the best hope for Canada's environment and cute, fuzzy creatures everywhere.