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Mediacheck

Fast Rewind of a Weird Month

Libs Fry, Frey burns, Trump primps, Harper coughs up a cold war and more.

By Mark Leiren-Young 31 Jan 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Mark Leiren-Young is a writer/director/performer who spends too much of his free time worrying about the environment, the Canadian political scene, and the Vancouver Canucks (not necessarily in that order). Mark won the Leacock Medal for Humour for his comic memoir, Never Shoot a Stampede Queen: A Rookie Reporter in the Cariboo. He was a finalist for the WGC Award for screenwriting for his first feature film, The Green Chain. His most recent book, This Crazy Time, was written with/about controversial environmentalist, Tzeporah Berman. He's half of the satirical duo Local Anxiety. Their latest comedy CD, Greenpieces, is available on iTunes and their 21st century version of O Christmas Tree is becoming a holiday favourite thanks to The Tyee.

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It was a month of record-breaking rain in BC and a broken reigning record in Ottawa. With heady times for Tories, Hedy times for Liberals and a New Year's Revolution, it's time to get that check-up while it's still free and flash back at a January that was all wet. And if any of this isn't true, just remember: it's not a lie, it's a memoir.

On the formerly national scene…

Calgary rules. Get used to it. In order to make the new government more at home, there are already plans to launch an Ottawa Stampede and start drilling for oil on Parliament Hill.

Future footnote Paul Martin Junior, who stepped down on election night, finally explained to voters why he tried so desperately to topple Jean Chrétien, despite having no game plan for the country once he actually became prime minister. Said Martin, "Jean made it look so easy."

In his first major statement as Prime Minister-designate Stephen Harper started a cold war with the United States. Harper announced plans to defend Canada's Arctic sovereignty by using Canada's newest military technology. In order to track US subs in the far north, Harper is installing photo radar.

The Tories also announced plans to arm border guards; although they won't comment on whether they've been ordered to shoot any unauthorized submarines.

NDP leader Jack Layton planned to meet with his MPs to try to find some common ground with the ReformaTories, but so far all they can agree on is that they both hate Liberals.

Much wheezing in the media over rumours that Stephen Harper checked into an Ottawa hospital because of an asthma attack. In order to prove he was truly prime ministerial, Harper allegedly fought off the asthma with an Inuit sculpture.

'Fry the Liberals'

After defeating NDP hopeful Svend Robinson in the race for Vancouver Centre, MP Hedy Fry announced she's considering a run for the Liberal leadership. Fry noted that the only other female Prime Minister of Canada was from Vancouver Centre and, "Look how well she did."

A spokesperson for "Fry the Liberals" explained that the MP feels its important for someone from BC to run for the party leadership and that Dr. Fry is the best candidate to uphold our province's national reputation for providing political comic relief.

Although Svend Robinson lost the election, he hasn't given up all hope of a return to Parliament Hill. Svend supporters have announced plans to investigate blaming the loss on James Green.

Former deputy Prime Minister John Manley sent a letter to friends and supporters announcing that he won't be seeking the Liberal leadership. The Liberals' answer to Joe Clark made the decision after starting a letter to friends and supporters saying that he was running and realizing he only needed a dozen stamps.

After running a campaign that appeared positively Tory-like in its incompetence, the Liberals appear set to run a wide open Tory-like leadership race, as well thanks to the surprising decision by Prime Minister-in-waiting Frank McKenna to run… home to New Brunswick. The Liberals' new slogan, "come home Jean Chrétien, all is forgiven."

A new case of mad cow disease was discovered in Alberta, but Health Canada officials say not to worry. With the new ReformaTory government in place, they expect to follow the American approach to mad cow…and stop testing for it.

A new study for the federal government suggests legalizing polygamy - if only to boost the tourism industry in Bountiful, B.C.

The federal government is fighting to deport an American man facing a jail sentence in California for drug possession who claims that he needs medical marijuana to stay alive and won't be able to receive treatment in jail. However, Canadian government lawyers argued that, "everyone knows how easy it is to get pot in jail."

Meanwhile, down south…

Conservative guru Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation declared Canadians too "liberal and hedonistic" to abandon our "Marxist principles like same-sex marriage and abortion on demand" but has high hopes that a Harper regime will appoint Conservative judges who can eventually outlaw all those icky things. You thought those Liberal attack ads were kidding?

Good news for disgraced author James Frey. Following the revelation that his memoir A Million Little Pieces was, in Hollywood terms, "inspired by a true story," Frey has a new job. He's now the White House spokesman for the war in Iraq.

Google has refused to provide the US government with files on what people are surfing for. US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales decided not to press the matter after Google threatened to release a list of all the sites he'd ever visited.

Donald Trump may be running for Governor of New York - but only if he can turn his campaign into a reality show and fire anyone who doesn't vote for him.

Seventies teen idol Leif Garrett was finally arrested for crimes against music for his complicity in the disco era. He was also charged with cocaine possession. Garrett's defense: "Hey, I'm a freakin' disco star. Who knew it was illegal? It used to be tax deductible."

Eminem has remarried his ex-wife and high school sweetheart, Kim Mathers -- the bitch he used to sing about murdering. Eminem explained that he missed the muse who inspired such loving lyrics as, "BLEED, BITCH! BLEED!" Hockey superstar Mark Messier formally retired on January 11th at Madison Square Gardens in the longest retirement ceremony in NHL history. The former captain of the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers made no mention of his tenure as captain of the Vancouver Canucks, where he single-handedly led the team out of the playoffs for three straight seasons. However, there's still a chance he may get to the Canucks as the ceremony still isn't quite over.

Angelina Jolie is apparently procreating with Brad Pitt. Their fetus has already been signed to a multibillion dollar, six picture movie deal with DreamWorks and sources say the couple is currently searching for the strangest baby name possible.

Brokeback Mountain broke big at the Golden Globes, proving once and for all that the red states are pretty much right about Hollywood. The gay cowboy movie is expected to win the Academy Award for best picture, if only to make sure that right wing pundits have something to rant about to help distract Americans from the war on Iraq.

A new study shows that over-the-counter cough medicine is pretty much useless for adults and potentially deadly to children. On the bright side, it's a lot more expensive and comes in prettier bottles than placebos.

And finally…

Due to a shortage in sturgeon, the United Nations has banned the global trade in caviar, which means the French will have to find something else that's even grosser than frog's legs, fish eggs, goose livers and snails to declare a delicacy. Cockroaches and cooties are apparently very, very nervous…

Mark Leiren-Young, a screenwriter, playwright and journalist, files his 'Fast Rewinds' of the news for The Tyee at the end of every month.  [Tyee]

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