Entertainment and Sports

A Day in the Paper

Kevin just read the news today, oh boy.

By Kevin Somers
Published October 06, 2006

The news is too distressing to take in on a daily basis, but on Saturday, September 30, I picked up a copy of the Speculator to better acquaint myself with the world.

On the front page, A1, were four stories. The main piece was about Bill Sturrup, a Hamilton sports figure who is dying of cancer. It's a touching story and Sturrup's courage is inspiring. The article was written by Scott Radley, a talented, prolific columnist who is always on the mark.

Also on the front page was a report on a major biker bust in Ontario, which resulted in the arrest of 27 Hell's Angels and associates. Evidently, one of their own became a police informant and was dishing dirt to the cops like a vexed school girl.

It was reported that loose lips is now in hiding. No kidding. I'd flea the planet if the Hell's Angels were looking for me.

There was also a report of the tragedies that have beset the Canadian military's Charlie Company in Afghanistan. Along with Somalia, Iraq and Hell, Afghanistan is one of the last places on earth I'd want to be. God bless those soldiers.

Finally, although I'm not sure why it merited front page coverage, there was a comical piece about a battle between two chess geniuses. A Russian player was accused of cheating by his Romanian opponent because of his numerous trips to a private bathroom.

Hoping the indignity would curtail his trips to the head, officials locked the exclusive john and told the Russian to use the public toilet to pee, pace, and plot, as he claimed he was doing.

The Russian, who obviously liked his own toilet, protested and refused to play until he got his potty back, which didn't happen. After an hour, the match was awarded to the Romanian. How silly is that?

On page A3 there was yet another sad story of people killed by an idiot driving drunk. Michael Smith and Stephanie Opalchuk were only 21 years old when the SUV they were passengers in went off the road and hit a tree. I cannot imagine how their parents feel. The driver, who was going at a ridiculous speed, survived, of course, and is facing a litany of charges.

This is Canada, so he can expect a short spell of easy time in something approximating a jail, but nicer. The Karla Homolka treatment, I call it. Stiffer sentencing might not be a deterrent, but what's wrong with olde fashioned punishment for heinous crimes?

Still in the front section, on A10, was more gossip on the Tie and Belinda saga. Belinda, who really gets around, is not happy with the negative press, obviously, and I'm sure she'll beat on little Domi like (Hamilton's own) Brian McGratton did last season. I don't like the Ottawa Senators much, but McGratton is alright.

I keep hearing how beautiful Belinda is, but I don't see it. If you put a blonde wig on Domi, he'd look a lot like his Liberal lover.

The frightfully moneyed Belinda fits right in with the limousine Liberals, who are in the midst of choosing a new leader. Finding one as dumb and incompetent as Paul Martin won't be easy, but I'm sure they're up to it.

Joe Volpe continues the tradition of sleazy Liberal shenanigans by signing up dead people to support his leadership bid. Apparently the deceased would like to see Volpe lead the Liberals and eventually succeed Stephen Harper as Prime Minister. There was a photo of Volpe, who has no pride or shame, on page A14.

Interestingly, Harper's photograph and an accompanying piece was lower on the same page. Our PM, who was arguing on Canada's behalf at an international conference about causes, effects, and aftermath of the Israel/Lebanon war, was again playing fourth or fifth fiddle to the scandalous Liberals. It's hard to take “the media” seriously when that's usually the case.

Still in the first section, on the business page, was a piece about Conrad Black, a pompous windbag, and all the criminal charges he is facing. I think it would be funny if the Lord of Crossharbour suddenly found himself Sultan of Slammer, Duke of Dungeon, or Prince of Prison, and sharing a cell with a big gay biker who has a fetish for fleshy white-collar fiends.

The best part of any paper is, without doubt, the sports section.

Scott Radley's Way Offside was hilarious; he takes shots at Tie and Belinda that are incredibly clever; rearranging the letters in her name spells “red hot cannibals”. On SP3, was a photograph of a steroid abuser, Gregg Valentino, who has the biggest biceps I have ever seen, next to mine.

There were several pages dedicated to the sadly hapless Tiger Cats. Mercifully, their season is almost over and these poor cats can be euthanized. Thankfully, however, the hockey season is upon us and Toronto is a shoe in to win it all. Go, Leafs! Go!

There's an entire section, New Homes, dedicated to selling all those new homes; you can't swing a dead cat in Canada without hitting a new subdivision. An unwittingly related story in the Discover section, on page D11, reported there is a housing glut in the US and it's having negative effects on the value of real estate. I'd connect a few dots before investing heavily in suburban blight north of the border.

D12 is an entire page of photographs of couples celebrating at least 50 years of marriage and they all look happy. Two pages later was a piece, originally published in The Economist, declaring George Bush delusional and unfit, but that's old news.

There was plenty more in the Saturday Spec, some parts more interesting than others. Like millions of others, I enjoy reading the paper. It's just a shame there isn't more good news to offset all the bad. I suppose, however, that's the nature of the beast.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

7 Comments

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By adrian (registered) | Posted October 06, 2006 at 14:42:07

How do you back up your comment that Belinda Stronach "really gets around"? How many relationships of hers are you aware of? Because the only ones I've ever heard about are the one with her old boyfriend MacKay and now Domi.

If anyone should get the disparaging "really gets around" label, it ought to be Domi, who, unlike Belinda, is (was) in a committed relationship when they had sex. Belinda, on the other hand, is single.

Belinda's claims of "double standard" notwithstanding - she is a public figure and thus her actions are exposed to public scrutiny - I think this comment does indicate a double standard.

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted October 06, 2006 at 21:05:18

Oh man, what did they do to the spec this week? All it needs now is a simple book-style tabloid fold and we'll have the Hamilton Sun. I don't know who keeps throwing this thing on my porch but they'd better cut it out.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 07, 2006 at 23:11:53

tell me about it....hey we aren't complaining here. The worse the Spec gets the better opportunity for other sources of media to shine.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 09, 2006 at 08:26:09

Well, I'm complaining.

Like it or not, the Spec is the city's main newsmedia entity for the forseeable future. The worse they get, the worse it is for the city as a whole.

I don't want to see the Spec fail, I want to see it succeed - as an excellent paper, as an invaluable source for citizens to participate meaningfully in our democracy, and as a voice for the many viewpoints and approaches we need to consider so we can make the best decisions.

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By kevin (registered) | Posted October 12, 2006 at 18:47:45

adrian:

I was talking about Belinda's career-hopping tendencies. If you jumped to the your conclusion, that's your problem.

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By oops (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2006 at 18:51:02

I meant to say,if you jumped to the wrong conclusion...

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2006 at 20:22:22

the spec eats it. it's a total embarrassment, not unlike the local TV station and i'm not talkin' about cable 14. back to the paper, i love all the tabloids that are popping-up around town but i think we need someone to step-up with a daily to compete against the spec. that won't happen, of course, but a guy can dream can't he?

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