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This is no time to be arguing about time. We don't have the time.

By Kevin Somers
Published October 02, 2008

The Canadian edition of Time Magazine is delivered to our house 50 weeks of the year. It's a good magazine, but Time drives me insane when they publish the height and weight of people, athletes in particular, in metric.

Dear, Time Editor: nobody knows what you're talking about. Sid the kid is 5'11", 190 lbs., that's it. Stop wasting my time.

Perhaps making inane metric conversions helps the Time Canada employees on Bloor St pass the time because in the Sept. 29 issue I'm flipping through (the cover features a weeping bull), I didn't notice any mention of Canada. Not this time, anyway.

Time is an interesting name for the magazine. As their stories often reflect, too many people simply look back in time and fail see what's coming. If hindsight were really 20/20, our foresight would be better, but humans learn slowly from their mistakes. We see that time and time again.

Besides the sad, mad cow, the cover features four other stories. "A Relaxed Obama Has the Democratic Party in a Panic" looks interesting. For a time, it seemed Obama was a shoo-in to be president, but that has changed. In most Western countries, Barack Obama would mop the floor with crazy grandpa and his crazier sidekick; but in the US, where it counts, it's a dead heat.

John McCain might be the next president. Time< will tell. McCain is 72 and has had skin cancer. Sarah Palin could be president in no time. I'd rather see George Bush and Dick Cheney have a third term. Sad times.

Canadians disparage American voters but millions here support the federal Liberals, some of whom should be doing hard time. The last time the Liberals got together, they elected Stéphane Dion as their leader. The merciless, cynical, taunting Tories make fun of pitiable Dion all the time. It's a sad time for Canada, as well.

Another of Time's cover's features, "The Volt: Inside GM's Latest Electric Gamble," makes me wonder - again - about the "best and brightest" running the world. The price of gas keeps going up. Why hasn't GM been focusing less on SUVs and more on efficient cars for a long, long time?

Many conservatives argue that if we let oil companies drill wherever they wanted, the gasoline crisis would be solved, we'd pay 50 cents a gallon again, and go blissfully back in time.

They only see the supply side of the equation, of course. North Americans are less than five percent of the world's population, yet we consume more than a quarter of its oil. It's been a great gig, but, suddenly, the rest of the world wants in on the oil action and global demand is surging. The cheap oil party is over. Didn't anyone at GM notice closing time was approaching?

I don't have to read another cover story, "Why Women are Still Dying In Childbirth," to know the answer. That problem, like many others, is related to greed.

Time's feature this week is also about greed. "Wall Street: The Price of Greed," screams the main headline. It's not really news: everyone knows some people hoard, hoard, hoard, just as everyone knows poor women are more apt to die delivering babies. It's been that way since the beginning of time.

The first two pages of Time's greed issue, ironically or not, are devoted to a big, glossy Rolex Cellini ad: a timepiece designed for a prince.

Page three is the index, a favourite. There are usually interesting photographs and every story in the magazine is listed with a short slant. It's nice to get the gist of the magazine's content if you'd like to read everything but haven't the time.

There's a small photo of O.J. Simpson on the index page of the Sept. 29 issue because he's in court again. Simpson's lawyer reminded the jury they were sworn to forget O.J.'s murder trial. I hope The Juice is convicted this time and does time for his crimes.

There's a caption on the index page that says, "Game Over, Big names on Wall Street go belly up." It's accompanied by a photo of a moneyman leaving his Manhattan office for the last time.

Is anyone surprised? When you lend people who shouldn't get car loans enough money to buy houses, bad things will happen over time.

There's a third photograph on the index page. An African newborn is alone on a hospital bed because her mother died after delivery. Time Magazine, which delivers plights from all over the planet to my place of residence, can be depressing. Big time.

Of course, there's a lot more to Time Magazine's Sept. 29, 2008 edition, but I haven't the time or word count to go on. It's time to wrap this up.

Indeed, it's that time.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.


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