I Never Loved a Hat (The Way I Loved Hers)

A commentator yesterday quite rightly pointed out that I’ve been talking about Barack Obama far more than Canadian politics. It’s a fair point. To use a John McCain analogy, it’s like I’ve been talking about Britney Spears when I could’ve been discussing the McGarrigle Sisters.


The McGarrigle Sisters are wonderful artists with fine voices and, umm….oh dammit, why can’t Anna just shave her head and go nightclubbing without panties??!!

In my defense, I’ll just refer my critics to the word “zeitgeist,” which is German for “nothing else on TV.”

Obviously, Obama’s swearing-in (and the eagerly awaited end of the Bush Nightmare) was THE big story yesterday but I was surprised by all the controversy. No, not from Rick Warren (whose flat, rambling prayer did nothing to offend gays or interest anyone) or from Obama himself (his team promptly revamped the White House website with a surprising, pleasing laundry list of gay rights initiatives — Merry Christmas!). No, the biggest controversy on Inauguration Day was Aretha Franklin’s hat:

Do you love it? Do you hate it? Everyone’s got an opinion! Rumour has it, Obama loved it so much, he made it Secretary of Commerce while Michelle ordered the secret service to have Franklin killed.

What does that have to do with Canada? NOTHING! But as we wait for Stephen “Not Obama” Harper to reopen our country’s non-Obama-led parliament next Monday, we news junkies must be satisfied with weird court cases like the Calgary soccer coach’s mother-son love triangle or the bold tactics of Winston Blackmore, who’s fighting his arrest on charges of polygamy with a legal combo of religious persecution complaints, gay rights precedents and the lawyer for serial killer Robert Pickton. Wow, good luck with that.

Blackmore says he’s being persecuted for his Mormon faith and defiantly announced, in time-honoured musical theatre fashion, “I am what I am.” Why, I hear a song coming on:

I am what I am,

I don’t want praise, I don’t want pity.


I need twenty wives,

Why should I choose? They’re all so pretty!

And so what, if I never let them see daylight,

My lawyer says it’s just like gay rights!

Teen brides are the plan, says the Book of Mormon,

I am what I am!

Now, having butchered musical theatre, I’m off to listen to Barack Obama’s iPod — see you tomorrow!

A former editor of the late, lamented fab magazine, Scott has been writing for Xtra since 2007 on a variety of topics in news pieces, interviews, blogs, reviews and humour pieces. He lives on the Danforth with his boyfriend of 12 years, a manic Jack Russell Terrier, a well-stocked mini-bar and a shelf of toy Daleks.

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