Whiskey & Cream for April 19th, 2021. Host: Ari Shapiro 0:34-24:53: "Pragmatic Truths over Ideological Lies" There are 124 seats in the Ontario legislature comprised of an incredibly unpopular and short-sighted Conservative majority government and a smattering of largely ineffective opposition. This, of course, is left over from the remnants of a slightly less unpopular Liberal regime that led to this tidal wave of populism we're experiencing today. The Green Party has one of those seats. That's right, in a province comprised of left-to-right forces scattered around moving, ideologically-wired fenceposts, the one party which is all about saving our children's future and defending our planet from human exploitation is only just getting started, and it knows it has a long way to go Mike Schreiner (@MikeSchreiner) is the leader of the Ontario Green Party and the MPP for Guelph. In a province overwhelmed with unscrupulous politicians bent on flexing their dogma in the face of science and nature, he's a rare breed of leader - one that's willing to negotiate and compromise at all costs if it means preserving the future of the next generation. Because for him, it's always and only been about the air we breath, the land we inhabit, and the water we use to cleanse ourselves. 25:01-43:51: "Wake up and smell the Pravda" The hypocrisy inherent to living in a dreadful era where we use social media to validate ourselves, our ambitions and our dogs and cats is quickly revealing why living in a technocratic age is killing us slowly and not so softly. With every turn in cyberspace, it seems as though the Facebooks and the Twitters and the Instagrams and the TikToks have aligned themselves to bring out the very worst in people by preying on their growing insecurities and lingering fears. In doing so, it's given birth to a degree of self-determination that's matched only by the level of self-immolation caused by horribly impressionable human beings who stopped being critical-minded a long time ago and take everything at face value. Zeynep Yinesy (@zeynepmyenisey) is a luxury travel and lifestyle writer whose work has been featured in Maxim and countless other international publications. Her anti-woke nature reveals a fiery character that's fed up with all the pandering and posturing caused by social media overreactions. When she was recently banned from Twitter for impersonating herself, it opened the door to understand just how profoundly unfair and all-encompassing big tech had become. In struggling to understand the awesomely unmitigated power of forces that couldn't possibly know authenticity from fraud much like it struggles with facts versus fiction - it represents a stunning rebuke of supposed free speech guarantees that simply no longer exist or maybe never even existed in the first place. 44:02-1:04:21: "It's the best game you can name" Hockey continues to rumble forward like a pre-ordained cultural fact of life that refuses to give in to the reality of the pandemic, and it's a marvel to watch. As the celebrated trade deadline passed and the fallout from the variant-riddled Vancouver Canucks remains fresh on the minds of NHL fans, players and executives alike, there can be no doubting that pure, wondrous escapism continues to be in great supply for a league that's weathered the storm of rule revisionism and syntax upgrades in an effort keep the faithful satisfied in their need for genuine competition and personal excitement. Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) is a hockey author, blogger and podcaster who writes for the Montreal Gazette and Sportsnet. Becoming a father made him appreciate not only what the sport continues to mean in his own personal life, but in why he remains committed to his craft as a way of providing a true distraction for his readers and followers who value direct and no-nonsense expertise. For him, the prospect of witnessing his beloved Montreal Canadiens taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs might just be the glorious tonic needed to get all fans of the sport rallying together through the difficult dog days of a ruthless pandemic summer to come. 1:04:33-1:17:09: "Stormin' Norman versus the volcano" For an audiophile enjoying the glory years of Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark and Felix Potvin, there was nothing quite like tuning in to the post-game talk radio experience around these parts featuring hosts who left an indelible impression with their mighty, unfiltered passion for telling it like it is and not pulling any punches. Sadly, as our broadcast journalism landscape gradually devolved into a virtue-signaling battlefield controlled by penny-pinching corporate executives concerned more with the bottom line rather than industry integrity, a terrible thing happened that left many feeling to marginalized after having devoted most of their lifetime in the field. Norm Rumack (@NormanRumack) is a professional sports journalist known better by Toronto sports enthusiasts of my era as "Stormin Norman Rumack" and is part of the old guard of golden-era radio and television hosts who've been rendered largely extinct thanks to big media buying up and owning big sports franchises and treating their employees as nothing more than a content-filling means to a financial corporate end. If you grew up around these parts, you probably know him by the sound of his unique and distinguished voice - one that still resonates and evokes imagery of epic on-ice calls and Saturday night conversations that, for many of us on this side of the pond, will never be forgotten or replaced. “Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.
Whiskey & Cream for April 11th, 2021. Host: Ari Shapiro 0:34-32:35: "When we don't heed the distant early warnings" It's a terrible thing to be confronted with a reality where your freedoms are restricted, your children are at home and growing up without a proper education, and your small business and general livelihood is going down the tubes. But what's especially unnerving for so many of us is the stunning realization of just how divided this world is when it comes to tackling an existential problem that requires a sensible and disciplined solution. That's where Canada, the United States and most of Europe discovered the hard way that even with all the financial resources and human capital at their disposal, our inability to set aside political and social grievances has ended up conspiring against us in more than ways than one. Dr. Eric Fiegl-Ding (@DrEricDing) is North America's leading epidemiologist and health economist who is also a Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists and was a researcher at Harvard Medical School and John Hopkins University. His now infamous tweet which signaled the virulent and infectious nature of the virus went largely ignored at first, which is why he remains vigilant and committed to educating the world about the true nature of the virus while debunking some of the propaganda and toxic myths associated with the pandemic. 32:36-45:15: "When Bubbe and Zayde are no more" Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time for soulful commemoration and personal reflection on an event in history that is quickly slipping away like kernels of sand in a celestial hourglass. In their battle against the pandemic, Israel has emerged as leader in their vaccination efforts amidst a brutal paradigm of divided political forces in their society - and it's come at a terrible price. After spending an entire lifetime rising from the ashes of genocide, it seems so profoundly unfair to know that over 900 survivors met their end; alone and abandoned in a hospital bed and apart from their loving families. Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) is a correspondent at the Israeli public broadcasting corporation. For him, the pandemic has brought out the worst in his nation's ideological divisions, especially when it comes to confronting the sad and gruesome reality that over the next 10-20 years, most accounts of the Holocaust will not come from the survivors themselves, but from those left to grapple with a growing wave of revisionist history and dubious authenticity thrown at them by the enemies of the state and Judasim. 45:16-52:50: "Lifestyles of the rich and famous and infected" When it gets to the point that you're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a golf membership during a pandemic, you're probably one of the exclusive and select few who are looking to migrate your wealth to the best possible spots on the planet. And considering that the coronavirus has infiltrated different regions of the world differently, it's fascinating to see where the wealthy are preoccupying themselves amidst a world that's buckling under the strain of endless financial stress. David Scanlan (@ScanlanDavid) is the senior finance editor for Bloomberg news in Singapore. As someone who has covered the financial health of dozens of countries for many years, there's very little left that surprises him. In fact, his recent work has focused on highlighting the success of new gig economy industries - from Zoom to online retailers to Malaysian glove makers, everything it seems is being driven by high demand based on geographic and socio-economic incentives which are quick to reveal a fundamental division between rich and poor never experienced in the history of mankind. 45:16-102:15: "Cut from an entirely different pandemic cloth" Adversity comes in all forms during these times of trouble, especially with certain industries that no longer value the human element in their business equations. If the pandemic has shown as anything, it's that modern sports journalism will never be the same once this is all said and done. With corrosive a trickle down effect from big, duopolistic media companies cutting their losses and streamlining their profits, to the surreptitious exploitation of genuinely talented men and women who were household names for decades; the media is definitely the message..and the message is closed for business. Ashley Docking (@SmrAsh) is an award-winning, multi-sport athlete and collegiate basketball coach turned national broadcaster and social influencer. For awhile there, it seemed like her natural resiliency would bring her success in the monolith's media realm where creativity is almost always dictated and the fallout is easily cleaned up with a quick termination. But unlike others who disappeared without a whimper, she's going all-out to make her voice heard loud and clear when it matters most. “Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.
Whiskey & Cream for April 7th, 2021. Host: Ari Shapiro 0:34-11:21: "Peanuts, crackerjacks and COVID-19" Major League Baseball has returned...and with a mighty vengeance. First, it was all about bringing back a 162-game extravaganza season in the midst of the worst that a pandemic has to offer. Then, it involved confronting the state of Georgia and rescinding an All-Star game promise that's drawn the ire of Trump loyalists everywhere. And finally, they went along with having the Texas Rangers host their home opener in a brand new billion dollar facility with over 40,000 humans all eating, drinking, and potentially superspreading themselves into baseball oblivion. Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) is a beat writer with the Toronto Star covering the Blue Jays and their seasonal travails. In her eyes, the city of Toronto has much to look forward to when it comes to competitive and worthwhile baseball around these parts. But in welcoming the return of peanuts, crackerjacks and the chance to one day root for the home team in person, she's also willing to confront certain gruesome realities that simply can't be ignored - including the profound risks taken by big business in pursuit of pandemic profits. 12:48-17:45: "On fire and passing the generational torch" Here's the thing about the subject of voter suppression that seems be getting lost between the battle lines of left versus right: at the end of the day, it's all about democracy. It's really as simple and elegant as that. Now, you can go ahead and choose to debate the merits of how and why the United States chooses to tackle the grim reality of gerrymandering and the brutally unfair district demarcation that's transpired across the union for decades, but in the final analysis it really comes down to empowering people and having them succeed through elected officials who care more about their actual dignity than the almighty dollar. Aaron Parnas (@AaronParnas) is lawyer, writer, podcaster and social influencer based out of Florida. His work with the MeidasTouch political action committee has galvanized his passion for reaching the largest possible audience when it comes to pursuing his agenda for fairness and justice in modern day America. Stuck between the conservative nature of the Gen-Y demographic and the predisposed liberal tendencies of the average Millennial, his thoughts on the passing of the proverbial torch from one besieged generation to another are as frank as they are indelible. 19:23-25:43: "One shift, one period, one breath at a time" The NHL is doing many things right in the quest to keep their audiences happy during times of trouble. But a deeper look reveals that all that glitters isn't necessary gold. Minor league hockey franchises all over North America are folding left, right (and pardon the pun), centre, while recent virus outbreaks like the one that subdued the entire Vancouver Canucks team is a stark reminder that, in some ways, the worst is yet to come. And that means hockey will need to demonstrate the kind of leadership and resolve that's kept it ahead literally ahead of the game when it comes to running a business for themselves, their players, and most of all: their fans. Eric Engels (@EricEngels) is a writer, radio host and senior hockey columnist with Rogers Sportsnet. As someone who professionally and personally covers the Montreal Canadiens and has dedicated most of his adult life as an authority on the sport of hockey, his opinion on the manner and method to which Gary Bettman and the league have battled the coronavirus is one balanced equally between a healthy sense of optimism and an idealistic desire to see things improve without sacrificing the integrity of the game he so dearly admires. 26:05-39:28: "And now for something completely different..." Between Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford, it's become almost a picture of banality to hear the average Canadian sounding off on the nature of the job that our elected leaders are doing as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. The predictable criticism and fatalistic scorn of traditional red and blue pylons debating their ideological views at a time when some human beings are sleeping in makeshift tent in downtown Vancouver and Toronto is beyond surrealistic; as is the simultaneous realization of having to reconcile a mind-boggling reliance on outsourced and incompetent vaccine rollouts along with dubious lockdown strategies in the struggle to keep our fragile population healthy and safe. Abhijeet Manay (@AbhijeetMonet) is the deputy leader of the Green Party of Ontario. For him, the battle of moving forward from dystopian times has little to do with human ideology and everything to do with our connection to nature. Slowly but surely, the growing trend of citizens more concerned with their children's future rather than the need for instant gratification is essentially the reason why his party is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds thus begging the question: can the Greens find a way to cut through the hot air of political hypocrisy and evolve into a mobilizing force that can one day offer the country something more than the usual string of false promises and smug excuses? “Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.