Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Reality TV

The Real Councilors of Richmond County was always going to have a hard time topping the expense scandal arc of the 2016-2017 seasons, with its investigations and forensic audit and revelations of “opportunistic and self-serving” spending on “travel, alcohol, Valentine’s Day flowers even a taxi fare paid to a Houston gentlemen’s club.”


The 2019 season was pretty good, what with the firing of the CAO, the resignation of the warden, the wrongful dismissal suit filed by a former municipal employee and the letter to the minister of municipal affairs — signed by 14 former councilors — asking him to step in to “restore trust in the municipal government.” (Not to mention the separate letter, written by two residents, asking the minister to flat out dissolve the council.)

But the 2020 season has taken things in a completely unexpected direction, one I certainly didn’t see coming. During Monday’s meeting, the all-male council, displaying killer political instincts, chose not to fund a conference aimed at encouraging more women to run for office.

Better still, some of them chose to explain, on the record, why they opposed funding such “training.” As Tom Ayers reported for the CBC, Councilor James Goyetche said:

…female politicians have served Richmond County well, but it’s not up to taxpayers to support them.

“That’s up to the electorate to decide,” he said.

“I think it would be kind of irresponsible on my part, and kind of stupid, to use taxpayers’ dollars to encourage somebody to run against me.”

Lots of viewers have taken issue with Goyetche’s contention that women face no barriers unique to them when it comes to political participation in this province, but I can’t get past his notion that his job as a councilor is to ensure he keeps his job as a councilor.

Is this foreshadowing drama to come? Will “I will not use taxpayers’ money to encourage people to run against me” become “I will not use taxpayers’ money to stage an election in which I might be defeated?” Will Goyetche declare himself Councilor for Life? Do I watch too much reality TV? Tune in next month to find out.

Meanwhile, if you’re catching up on this month’s episode, the “female leadership school” is item 11 F and it comes up at roughly the 21:48 mark


1,000 Words

I’m burnt out on this week’s news cycles, to the point where I don’t think I could say something coherent about coronavirus (other than that the media seems to want a worldwide pandemic) or US politics (which I’m obsessed with but refuse to write about because who needs another hot take from a Canadian?) or whatever is happening in Alberta (where Jason Kenney’s government is making the Richmond County council look downright sage) if I wanted to.

In this tumult, I have found comfort in a most unexpected place — Twitter, a social media platform more often described as a cesspool than a safe harbor.

More precisely, I’ve found comfort in a particular Twitter account, @CanadianPaintings.

I have no idea who or what is behind it, in place of any biographical information there is simply a quote from Lawren Harris:

Above all, we loved this country and loved exploring and painting it.

It tweets out Canadian works of art throughout the day, so that you can begin your day:

And end your day:

With art.

Nice, no?



Speaking of art, I wrote a play, or rather, it wrote itself. I’d been struggling with the ending but then I read Thursday’s Post and it all came together beautifully. I had wavered over whether to write it as comedy or tragedy but it has revealed itself as farce:


The Smart Shop Around the Corner: A Play in Three Acts










Featured image includes “Chinook City” by Peter Thompson courtesy of @CanadaPaintings.