Welcome to the Monday Mailbag on Tuesday, where at the time of this posting the list of top terms people use to arrive at Macleans.ca via search engines – a list that is usually dominated by the names Paul Wells, Andrew Coyne and Kady O’Malley – stands as follows:
- julie couillard
- julie couillard pictures
- julie couillard dress
- julie couillard pics
- julie couillard photos
- julie couillard photo
- julie couillard’
- paul wells
- julie couillard dress picture
I know this is your opportunity to ask me questions, but I have to inquire: What is the deal with you people? You realize there are other pretty ladies on the Internet, right? If you go look right now you might even catch some of them before they put their tops back on. Alternately, one must ask the question: how many different ISPs can Peter MacKay have at his disposal?
On to the mailbag. As ever, these are actual questions actually submitted by actual readers.
Dear Mr. Feschuk: What “Lord of the Rings” character is Iggy most like? Gandalf — with the you-know-what’s? Aragorn — steely gaze, noble background, arrives from abroad, destiny, etc.? Boromir — tempted by the Ring? – Jack Mitchell, Toronto
Dear Jack –
Come on, Jack. What a ridiculous question. This is the Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition we’re talking about. You don’t go comparing the Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition to some fictional midgets with hairy feet – not until 2011 when Jim Flaherty has the job, anyway. And you don’t compare him to wizards or elves or dwarves. Especially when it’s totally obvious that he’s much more like Sam the Eagle from The Muppet Show.
Granted, Michael is not quite as conservative as Sam, but he does share a number of the eagle’s characteristics.
He constantly feels underappreciated, he’s prone to delivering long lectures, and his eyebrows are most efficiently trimmed with a riding mower.
Even many of Sam’s most memorable quotes could have come from the mouth of Ignatieff himself, including his signature line, “I don’t want to see this foolishness!” and his heartfelt declaration, “It’s times like this I’m proud to be an American.”
But if we must liken the new Liberal leader to a character from the Lord of the Rings, I’d have to go with this one:
Remember the motto of Treebeard and the Ents:
“We never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.”
Dear Scott: I’m no investigative journalist but I think I’ve stumbled onto a big scoop: I think Michael Ignatieff’s eyebrows have gone rogue. Or at least one of them has. When he’s talking it always seems like one of his eyebrows (his right one – the one on the left when you’re watching him on TV) is moving all over the place, acting all unstable, while the other one is remaining calm and staying in place. Is this rogue eyebrow trying to tell us something? – Dan L.
Dear Dan –
No, of course not. It’s not trying to tell us anything. It is merely trying to escape.
For you see, Dan, the eyebrows of Michael Ignatieff are large and magnificent enough to be sentient beings in their own right. I won’t bore you with the science of it all. Suffice to say that his eyebrows are just like you and me – they feel, they dream, they long for a mate (alas, it was an enjoyable summertime fling but things just didn’t work out with Lawrence MacAulay’s combover.)
But Michael Ignatieff’s brow ridge holds, in addition to approximately a pound and a half of thick, tangled hair, a terrible secret: his eyebrows came into this world at the same time, sharing the same origins, but one of them – the one on our left – is… the evil twin! (You can tell it’s the evil one because if you look very, very closely, you can see that the left eyebrow has its own tiny goatee – the universal hallmark of the evil twin.)
We know the story of Michael Ignatieff the academic. We know the story of Michael Ignatieff the politician. And now you know the story of Michael Ignatieff the hero. By being vigilant, by striving to foil the escape attempts of his evil eyebrow, by keeping his evil eyebrow upon his face at Great Personal Cost, Michael Ignatieff is protecting our country from an inordinate number of implausible plot developments and a potential guest starring role for David Hasselhoff. You’re welcome, Canada.
Dear Scott: I was reading about a U.S. study from 2006 that concluded that most men are almost always thinking about sex. You’re a man (so far as I know) – is that true? – Anne, Kingston (not Anne Kingston)
Dear Not Anne Kingston –
No. Of course not. We often hear this tired notion that males are obsessed with sex and frankly I just find the whole stereotype to be completely vagina.
Dear Scott: Like most people, I make my life easier by looking to celebrities to help determine what I should wear, say and care about. But I’m a little confused – I still see famous people telling me to fight climate change, but then I still read about famous people flying in private jets and owning 19 houses and all that. So should I do what they say or should I do what they do? – Jason W., Toronto
Dear Jason –
You highlight an important nuance, Jason: Hollywood has declared war on climate change – but it has largely done so symbolically. And nobody does things symbolically quite like the entertainment industry.
Let’s be realistic: celebrities are not going to completely alter their lifestyles. They’re certainly not going to stop flying on private jets. And most won’t be living in smaller houses or living in fewer houses or owning fewer SUVs or riding in fewer limos or doing anything that requires real sacrifice or, if we’re going to be honest about it, anything that requires any sacrifice. But they will write hectoring rock songs in which they badger us to turn down the thermostat. And they will continue to appear alongside Al Gore, and not only because he makes them look thin.
It’s true that the rich and famous – by virtue of their lifestyles and general all-round fabulousness – tend to be among the most grievous personal contributors of carbon emissions: all those huge mansions, all those heated pools, all those high-emission robot hookers*.
But I believe these people of action – these role models, idolized by teenaged girls and certain victims of severe head trauma** – can and will do more. I believe they stand poised to up the ante and do more tangible good in the name of fighting climate change.
A calendar of expected highlights from the year to come:
Feb. 3 In an image that promotes environmentally sustainable transport, actor Rob Schneider is photographed on a rickshaw. But then a customer comes and he has to get down and pull.
April 22 Rosie O’Donnell announces that in a selfless effort to reduce the number of animals that produce harmful methane emissions, she is going to personally keep eating three steaks and four burgers per day. Plus the one hoof.
May 16 William Shatner replaces his hairpiece with twin solar panels – claims his ego is now self-powered and completely off the grid.
June 19 Al Gore personally hosts a gala tribute in honour of Orlando Bloom, who despite many successful years in the movie industry has somehow maintained a zero level of charisma emissions.
July 28 In a world exclusive, Us Weekly reports that Sharon Stone has switched over to a hybrid vibrator.
Sept. 20 Kanye West enters his third grueling month of trying to come up with a rhyme for “Kyoto.”
Oct. 4 Vin Diesel officially changes his first name to Bio.
Nov. 6 In an example to up-and-coming celebrities across Hollywood, Lindsay Lohan and Tara Reid car pool to rehab.
Dec. 11 Determined to reduce its electrical usage, CBS agrees to unplug Andy Rooney from Mondays to Saturdays.
* Charlie Sheen only.
** Charlie Sheen only.
Mr. Feschuk: Apparently there is a large acorn shortage this year in North America, which at first I didn’t find troubling at all. Then I thought about the poor squirrels, and still, not terribly concerned. However, then I read a quote from a wildlife biologist in Northern Virginia regarding what the squirrels will do given the lack of acorns: “Animals are resourceful,” he said. “If they’re hungry, they’re gonna find something to eat.”
“If they’re hungry, they’re gonna find something to eat.”
I spend so much time worrying about killer robots that I’ve never given a moment’s thought to squirrels. Should we begin preparations for the inevitable? Can we survive the squirrels turning on us, and what should we do to prepare? I fear that once the squirrels develop a taste for human flesh, no amount of acorns will be able to satisfy their hunger. – Lord Kitchener’s Own
Dear Lord Kitchener’s Own –
I once had squirrels in the walls of my house. They were quite entertaining and numerous. They’d run across the ceiling and then they’d run back. It was a bit like having upstairs neighbours. Except that they never slept and never shut up and they were probably rabid and dropping their feces everywhere. So I guess it was a bit like having the Osbournes as upstairs neighbours.
In any event, I don’t think we as adults have too much to worry about. Squirrels are probably more interested in our garbage and babies. So, you know, bullet dodged. But just to be safe I’ve gone out and purchased for personal protection The DeSquirreler 5000, a top-of-the-line robot programmed to use its proprietary net gun and high voltage electro-shock wand to safeguard me from potential assault by tree-dwelling rodent. Let me just activate the power cell and, yes, there, now the unit is on and… could I trouble one of you to come get me out of this net before DeSquirreler triggers its – yoooowwwwwwwww!
Dear Me: You promised people naked photos of Julie Couillard. What gives? – Scott Feschuk, Ottawa
Dear Scott –
What are you talking about? I said no such – dammit, it must have been Michael Ignatieff’s left eyebrow. It’s so… evil.