Naked no more

For years now, my favourite opening gambit for inviting a  prospect to an Interview was, “Meet you, 10:30 A.M., Naked,” It always worked as an intriguing hook.  But soon, there will be Naked no more in Caledon.

Yes, sadly, my favourite meeting place is closing and the wonderful and talented Svetlana is moving on to new chapters in her life.

I have met politicians, journalists, budding authors, neighbours and new friends over the years at Naked Café and loved every minute of it. Whether it be lessons in journalism from Hap, editing sessions with Max, neighbourhood gossip with Bob, ghost writing with Ruth, or meetings with random spirits, it was all wonderful.

One of my favourite memories  was recreating a “Coffee in Cars with Comedians” episode when one of my former students turned up in her Porsche to take me out for a local coffee. Of course we went to the Naked Café, We titled that story, “Coffee in Cars With Canoeists.”

And most recently, I walked in to Naked to protest the closing, and met Bonnie for the first time, She was just picking up her order to go. We started up a conversation over our shock at the closing, and now Bonnie and her long distance twin Clyde are literary confidents. It reminded me of that famous Leo Buscaglia story, where he gets on an elevator with a total stranger, says hello enthusiastically and gives him a big hug, “Do I know you?” asks the other man. “You do now!” answered the always ebullient Leo.

The Naked Café had a loyal following who enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, great fresh food, and specialized baked goods. Svetlana, you and your wonderful staff will truly be missed … but not forgotten.

So this week, I have booked it up – today Bonnie & Clyde, Wednesday Max, Thursday Bob, and Friday for a solo Turmeric latte. Next week, who knows what random intersections and conversations may occur. If you’re looking for a good story, I’ll meet you there … Naked at 10;30 …

***

For anyone who may have missed the sign on the door, Friday, January 31 is the last day to go Naked in Bolton.

 

 

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Ontario News Now … IS NOT

Skid Crease is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists, an author, an internationally renowned speaker, and a lifelong educator currently living in Caledon, Ontario.

***

In 2018, Doug Ford, candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party of Ontario, blocked the mainstream media from his campaign tour and instead co-opted Lyndsey Vanstone, reporter turned staffer,  to be his “media spokesperson” for “public events” that were privately recorded and staged. Enter Ontario News Now!

Lyndsey moved up quickly through the Doug Ford dynasty beginning in June of 2018. In less than six months she rose from being his Press Secretary, to his Executive Assistant, to the Deputy Director of Communications for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Impressive! Granted that Lyndsey has a legitimate broadcasting certificate from Seneca College and has a personable and articulate onscreen presence, which makes “Ontario News Now” seem like a legitimate news outlet.

It is not.

It is a propaganda tool, pure and simple, for Doug Ford and the “Progressive” Conservative Party of Ontario. Much like Fox News and Breitbart works for Trump, so does the Toronto Sun and “Ontario News Now” unabashedly support the right, some would say far right, of the political spectrum. And while the Sun is classified as legitimate, lower grade reading level media, “Ontario News Now” is not legitimate news in any way.

“Ontario News Now” is the private tool of a political party with a populist political boss. It is to legitimate news broadcasting what the now defunct and disgraced “Caledon Perspectives” was to legitimate community newspapers – in that case, the marketing ploy of a development corporation that sought to intimidate and misinform the citizens of Caledon. That propaganda newspaper is gone, but the damage remains with the wool still pulled over the eyes of a segment of our tribalized community. The only difference between these two media manipulations was that one was paid for by a private corporation. the other is paid for by the taxpayers of the province.

“Ontario News Now” will probably be with us for the next four years. Let’s hope that the provinces’ citizens become more media literate and can learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Here’s a good sensory image to help us . Every time an “Ontario News Now” broadcast or Tweet comes across your phone, imagine that you have just stepped in an unwanted warm pile of poop that a neighbour’s pet left on your lawn. It’s what my olfactory nerves pick up every time I see Doug Ford on the screen intoning, “My friends…”

The way I smell it.

***

Skid Crease, journalist, Caledon

*image from reddit.com, original by cartoonist Graeme MacKay

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A Picture is Worth …

There is a beauty to political cartoons that captures the essence of a moment in one visual that a thousand words could not explain. A few days ago, I asked a young friend, artist and blacksmith-in-training Chris Dywanski, to see if he could come up with images that could capture the ludicrous nature of a megalomanic dictator using a Finnish leaf rake to stop the California wildfires, or a magic wand that could bring back GM factories.

This is the true magic of creativity. Fellow organisms on Planet Earth, I introduce to you political cartoonist, Chris Dywanski.

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