Whiskey and Cream: Episode XVIII

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 and Cream: Episode XVII

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 and Cream: Episode 003

Whiskey & Cream for December 5th, 2020.

Host: Ari Shapiro

0:35-8:51: “Music is medicine”

Canadian music correspondent, blogger and radio host Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) is celebrated as one of the country’s best known and in-demand industry influencers. He shares his love of music in a candid way that’s brought him real peace and serenity – even if he’s not certain about what the future holds. In his world, it’s all about survival of the fittest and staying resilient at time filled with cruel, lingering memories and ruthlessly shortened attention spans.

9:05-15:44: “A system so profoundly corrupt”

Marshall Auerback (@Mauerback) is a research associate and celebrated economist who writes for multiple front-line and mainstream publications across the globe – including The Nation and Counterpunch. His academic research and political opinions are as fair as they are pragmatic, which makes him a rarity in this world. And he understands better than most why Canadians should be fortunate they aren’t more like their neighbours down to the south.

16:01-23:51: “An intrepid Torontonian”

Karim Kanji (@karimkanji) is a senior digital strategist by day and one of Toronto’s most popular podcasters at night; his branded series Welcome To The Music offers him tremendous opportunity to interview actors, musicians, politicians and activists that have made him proud to call Toronto home. In doing so, he offers an organic perspective of how he’s personally endured an entirely avoidable wave of coronavirus danger in his beloved city.

“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.

Whiskey and Cream Episode 002

Whiskey & Cream for November 30th, 2020.

Host: Ari Shapiro

0:35-8:31
America’s leading psychiatrist Dr. Allen Frances (@AllenFrancesMD) provides an unflinchingly scathing assessment of the Donald Trump presidency and explores how the country is dealing with the mental health fallout of a sustained period of anxiety and depression. He also delineates the fundamental differences between Canada and the rest of North America when it comes to struggling with the global pandemic. Note: “Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes The Age Of Trump” published in 2017 is your tome of reference and is worth a deeper dive.

8:35-13:28
Conservative MP for Dufferin-Caledon and rural internet crusader Kyle Seeback (@kyleseeback) drops by to remind us all why internet in Canada remains a travesty, and how his grass roots efforts and social media efforts have rallied the cause for rural Ontarians struggling with affordability and accessibility. This segment is sponsored by: Cloudwifi (@cloudwifiinc).

13:35-18:53
Author of the Baseball Thesaurus and 2019 Minor League Broadcaster of the Year Jesse Goldberg-Strassler (@jgoldstrass) is in studio to talk about the pending extinction of the SkyDome and how the Blue Jays organization could approach the end of an era with reasons for optimism from the fans and hope for fellow Torontonians who cherish the memories brought forth from consecutive world championships in the 90’s.

19:01-24:47
Sportsnet journalist and site expert of Tip of The Tower, David Morassutti (@d_morassutti) joins the show to elucidate on why the Toronto Maple Leafs remain the most inspiring draw in professional sports across a city that’s three generations removed from the last time they won anything worthwhile. Some would say it’s a tragic comedy, but this segment may change your mind.

“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.

A conversation with Casey Michel

My conversation with writer, analyst and investigative journalist Casey Michel, whose writings on global corruption, government kleptocracies, western relations and post-Soviet geopolitics have been featured on the BBC, NPR, MSNBC and countless other mainstream news sources. His editorials on nationalism, populism and extremist have also been featured on The Atlantic, The Washington Post and Sports Illustrated.

We discussed: his recent article entitled “The Oathkeepers Are Today’s Blackshirts” featured in The New Republic and the rise of extremism, if he feels that North Americans should be mindful of the burgeoning paramilitary forces that represent ultra-right nationalism, how he’s kept track of historical firsts when it comes to the Donald Trump presidency and how badly it’s undermining democracy in America, the likely scenarios that will unfold during the upcoming November election, his feelings on the shamelessness of an era no longer bound by traditional history and rife with cultural revisionism, which aspect of society should be blamed for the current state of affairs in the White House, if he’s more worried about China or Russia when it comes to the future, and how he wrestles with the dystopian realities confronted on a weekly basis through a steady diet of worthwhile video games and enthusiastic bird-watching.

Don’t forget to follow Casey on social media (@cjcmichel) and check out all his brilliant work at caseymichel.com.

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