It has been a few weeks since I posted and boy, a hell of a lot has happened. The Pittsburg Penguins won the Stanley Cup and we saluted team member Sidney Crosby (from Nova Scotia) for his works. In Toronto, a garbage strike has taken place, which has also led in other certain city workers on strike as Parks and Recreation (no gym for me, exercise only at home if I can), Day Care,etc. In the entertainment world we said goodbye to several celeberties. One lived to nice ripe age (Ed MacMahon), one’s long time struggle with terminal cancer has ended (Farrah Fawcett) and two deaths that were mercilessly sudden and swift (the guy on the commercials Billy Mays from hypertensive heart disease and the one that has dominated the headlines since that warm (in Toronto) but strange, surreal and tragic evening this past Thursday, the King of Pop, the late Michael Joseph Jackson from cardiac arrest). It is interesting to note that Billy Mays and Michael Jackson were both born in 1958 and it was never in the cards to see their respective 51st birthdays this year (July 20th) and (August 29th). In the Toronto Sun shows a cartoon that the spirit of Michael Jackson meeting the spirit of his former father-in-law, none other than Elvis Presley (remember Michael`s marriage to Lisa Marie) ìn heaven. The spirit of Elvis tells his former son-in-law, Michael, `Deja vu all over again!“ Michael Jackson was a very complex man but wrote transformational music of our time. I could write an essay on how Michael Jackson was a pop influence in my life. I really don`t know where to start. Well I was a teenager in the `80`s and my dad bought me the Thriller album in cassette form when I was 13. I was raised in my mom`s then strict fundamentalist religious sect (me and mom left in the late `90`s, my younger brother got smart and left in the late `80`s but that`s another story for another time) and it seemed that the ultra-conservative culture of that church hated the whole Jackson family (they should have concentrated on strong objections about the father, Joseph but again that is positively another subject for another time). Trust me in my faith blog at My Own Generous Orthodoxy, I will write some stuff relating that. I think I still have my own Junior High School newspaper “The Emery Times“ from March 1984 which we had some articles written about Michael Jackson. Those who wish that the coverage of Michael Jackson`s death would go away qucikly, I will say bluntly, `You better get used to it man.“ This is the death of a major popular music star. At age 7, I was around when Elvis died, at age 10, former Beatle John Lennon was assassinated—Marvin Gaye died when I was 14 (and loved Marvin, I thought he should have more tributes the year he died) and Kurt Corbain died when I was 24—I have been through this before and until Kingdom Come (literally!) when death is LITERALLY swallowed UP, we will have periods of the Day the Music Died throughout our lifetimes. I, too never conceived Michael Jackson would enter his 70s or his 80s and probably would not see past 60. Actually he would only live half a century and no more. Like other media, I will be writing about Michael`s controversies (hopefully as delicate as possible) before and after his death. My prayers are with his three children that they will find strength to pull through this very traumatic time of their lives and at least afterward live a healthy (physically, emotionally and mentally) lives free of major dysfunction. As of now I will charitably draw the curtain on the subject of the death of Michael Jackson for now.
Also in June there was tension in Iran of alleged (I believe actual) rigged elections. I have been disappointed with President Obama`s cold response. Toronto Sun Eric Margolis likes that. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach doesn`t. Yes, I am a Rabbi Boteach fan (and proud of it), I think he`s right.Watch him and say right on brother! Makes sense to me!
The happiest thing I think happened here in June on my brother`s 35th birthday this past Saturday was the leadership election of Tim Hudak who now becomes the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. He replaces John Tory who`s carefully weighing his options on being mayor of Toronto in 2010. I believe a Mayor John Tory and a Premier Tim Hudak would definately benefit the province of Ontario (and yes, the rest of Canada). I look forward to the end of city unions running the city in the ground, a serious and vigourous war against Toronto gangs and the end anti-business regulation and crazy tax and service fees hikes. Provincially, I want this province to have a balanced budget, less bureaucrats,more efficient (and effective) government, rapidly increasing middle class (which I can finally prosper as I hit 40 in January) and take Ontario out of the `have-not“ status (which Premier McGuinty dragged us in) and take us back to being the economic engine of Canada. Trust me, if Mayor Miller gets a third term in 2010 and Dalton McGuinty gets a third term in 2011, let me assure you that both the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario are in for difficult and unimaginable tragic times ahead (I could forsee Toronto becoming like Detroit and all the problems they have). I, too pray both for John Tory and Tim Hudak to lead Toronto and Ontario into a different direction.
By the way, if Tim is reading this blog, I suggest three books for him to read this summer. One is Reihan Salam”s Grand New Party, the other is David Frum`s Comeback and this might sound strange but if he wants to solidify the ethnic vote—especially the black community in Toronto (as John Tory tried to do) is read Bill Cosby`s and Alvin Poussaint`s book called Come On People. I think Tim would enjoy the latter of the three suggested. It is a good old common sense values that can apply to anyother ethnic group other than African Americans (or Canadians). I hope to write a blog post on why Tim Hudak should read these books this summer. Also for President Obama, I also have a summer reading list for him to and it has to do with the late former NDP leader and Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas (the father of medicare)…
I guess July should also be just as interesting.