In this four-part series, I’ll explore where each of the Toronto pro sports teams stand […]
Posted 6 months ago Tagged Ari Shapiro Climate Change Donald Trump Dr. Allen Frances Eric Smith Fred Wellman Joe Biden NBA Pyschiatry Storm Chaser The Lincoln Project Tom Eves Toronto Raptors Twilight of American Sanity Whiskey & Cream
Whiskey & Cream for March 20th, 2021.
Host: Ari Shapiro
0:45-16:12: “Lincoln would be proud”
By now you’ve probably heard about that scrappily intrepid American political action committee known as The Lincoln Project. Formed in late 2019 as a bulwark against Trumpism while ultimately endorsing future President Joe Biden, this band of political brothers named after the illustrious Abraham Lincoln is essentially bent on preserving democracy by respecting the country’s constitution during a post-modern authoritarian wave that’s swept across the globe much like the virulent nature of the pandemic.
Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) is the executive director and co-founder of The Lincoln Project. As a veteran of both conventional and political warfare, he remains a crusader of free and truthful speech – something that’s in short supply across his country and over social media. That’s why his heart and soul is about being more than just an anti-Trump Republican but in representing a strong and heavily patriotic number of traditional economic conservatives who deserve a party that’s less about demagoguery and racism, and more about progressive agenda-building and the pursuit of real social justice.
16:13-23:51: “A species bent on psychological annihilation”
On some micro-level, it pays to be a human being. Our individualized, self-actualized thoughts offer a myriad of mental and physical realities that rely us to endorse a balanced measure of rational thought and primal instinct when it comes to dealing with everything from the coronavirus to which breakfast sandwich is worth your attention in the morning. But in the final analysis, an abdication of this characteristic of free will can also lead to a herd mentality resembling scared and desperate lemmings going over a cliff. And when the priority of the day is about educating yourself about health dangers and mitigating poor decisions with wise practices, you can imagine how frustrating it can be for the men and women of science.
Dr. Allen Frances (@AllenFrancesMD) is a writer, professor and America’s most prominent psychiatrist. Aside from writing a number of books and medical journals on the importance of how mental health and wellness is diagnosed and treated, he’s also become politically active in the fight against voter suppression and gerrymandering across the United States. In his view, our species doesn’t stand a chance for survival if we keep ignoring the most basic and elementary ways of treating everything from pandemics to climate change to the rise of stone cold authoritarianism.
23:51-39:45: “A basketball culture second to none”
It may seem like the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship eons ago even if it’s been only a year and a half. I suppose throwing in the arrival of a dystopian plague mixed with revealing traces of institutionalized racism will do that to even the most hardy of basketball crusaders, and this team is no exception. Even as they continue their 2021 campaign in Tampa during these unusual times, it’s refreshing to know that the character and class of an organization that was built by Masai Ujiri and driven by Nick Nurse has continued to shine as a true example of human dignity during largely indignant times.
Eric Smith (@Eric__Smith) is the voice and host of the Toronto Raptors basketball team on Fan 590 and Sportsnet TV. In covering the team for over 20 years, he’s not only perfectly positioned to offer his perspective on the leadership and personnel nuances of the 2019 NBA champs, but to further elaborate on what’s been a positive cultural impact across an entire country that’s not only stood up to the pandemic but also challenged the conventional ways in which we look at athletes and their intangible contributions to society.
39:45-48:49: “Cosmic storms and our global reckoning”
There’s an electricity in the Ontario air that I haven’t felt since I was a very young boy. After years of assigning myself to an urbanized existence based around the notion that the city can protect us from the weather, I’ve come to appreciate why living in the country opens a small portal to the mind when it comes to understanding nature and why the symptoms of our organic existence are always on display around us – if we take the time to notice and analyze the sad and grim reality that is climate change.
Tom Eves (@EvesTom) lives in Barrie and is Canada’s Storm Chaser. His penchant for investigating volatile weather patterns and earth-shattering climate events has made him a popular authority over social medias and on this side of the pond. In devoting a life to understanding the elements, he’s endeared himself to tends of thousands over Facebook and beyond who seek a better awareness of the unpredictable reality that constitutes our cosmic storms and their global reckoning.
“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.
Whiskey & Cream Round Table for February 26th, 2021.
Host: Ari Shapiro
Guests: Stephen Burns and Marshall Auerback.
Narratives: Toronto Raptors basketball; Adam Silver’s weaksauce apology to Masai Ujiri, Doug Smith and the tyranny of words when using social media, and why the sport itself is a blessing during dark times.
WARNING: Listener discretion is advised. This podcast contains seriously blunt truths, excessively mature language, ruthlessly candid perspectives, and the kind of intellectual discourse that serves to enlighten, educate and punch through the darkness until it bleeds daylight.
Posted 8 months ago Tagged Ari Shapiro Blake Murphy Dan Robson Donald Trump Joe Biden John Myers Los Angeles Times Measuring Up Nora Loreto Sandy and Nora podcast The Athletic Toronto Raptors Whiskey & Cream
Whiskey & Cream for February 4th, 2021 Host: Ari Shapiro 0:46-11:08: “Discovering the tools left […]
Posted 8 months ago Tagged Arden Zwelling Ari Shapiro Asif Hossain Canada Dim Sum Donald Trump Doug Ford Eric Rosenhek Luke Fox Microstory Sportsnet Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Maple Leafs Whiskey & Cream
Whiskey & Cream for January 23rd, 2021
Host: Ari Shapiro
0:46-8:30: “There is increased fire here”
It’s still very early in the abbreviated and pandemic-influenced NHL season, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are already feeling the weight of fickle fans who scrutinize their every win and loss in much the way you’d cheer for heavyweight fighters exchanging blows. But this year, there’s a bona fide sense of urgency and a real commitment to team defense. Although the Northeast division will undoubtedly make it easier for them to avoid some of the juggernauts of the past such as Boston and Tampa bay, the team is poised to succeed if goaltender Frederik Andersen can do his best to resemble Grant Fuhr rather than Andrew Raycroft. But with all their young and highly coveted talented players, this would seem to be the year that they could find a way to win a single playoff round.
Luke Fox (@lukefoxjukebox) is an NHL writer with Sportsnet in Canada and has published a variety of books on rap music. In covering the team on a national level, he believes that there’s increased fire in the way the team has been constructed under general manager Kyle Dubas, and that by adding players like Wayne Simmonds, Joe Thornton and Jimmy Vesey, he believes that the team added a measure of toughness, leadership and skill that offers priceless intangibility and fire in a payroll that’s dominated by a nucleus of game-breaking talent short on professional success.
8:50-15:42: “A baseball team is a big company designed to make money”
Most fans of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021 have come to accept the limitations and scope of what their baseball team is all about. After decades of playoff futility and cultural rot, the organization seems to be a shadow of its former championship self. You know, that glorious platinum standard set by the exploits of Carter, Alomar, Molitor and company. But then suddenly and as quickly as it came, the steady development of 80’s talent and the cultivation of a family-oriented brand began to erase itself from the hearts and minds of an entire generation. For awhile there, it look like the sport itself was drifting into irrelevancy through doping, the cheating and the commitment to heartless austerity by billion-dollar corporate owners. Although 2015 brought a mighty reprieve to cynical fandom everywhere, the current front office has been besieged by lingering expectations of competitive play that hasn’t existed for half a decade.
Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) is a writer and multiplatform contributor with Sportsnet. He’s also the co-host of At The Letters podcast where he breaks down this team for a living. For him, the Blue Jays front office of Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have been transparent with their intentions from the moment they arrived in Toronto, and although most people are turned off by their corporate doubletalk and public relations tone-deafness, it all comes down to a baseball team being a big company finding ways to make a profit. When asked about the recent George Springer signing and his outlook on the team in 2020, his responses were as refreshing as they are candid.
15:55-22:49: “Oh Canada! We stand on guard for thee”
Once upon a time, Canadians were known for the sport of hockey, maple syrup and peacekeeping. But as populism raged across the western world and took most of empathy and compassion with it, a nation respected for centrism and balance finds itself grappling with its identity amidst a global pandemic. It’s not a stretch to think that if things get worse and more people become unemployed and homeless, that this country could find itself facing an existential crisis that strikes to the very core of what it means to be a liberal and conservative.
Asif Hossain (@asifintoronto) is a social influencer and has worked with MLSE, Tennis Canada and the Canadian Olympic committee. His eloquent contempt for political misanthropes and posturing leaders comes from a belief that most Canadians have a generally favourable view of their government and are willing to work together and compromise. Perhaps that’s why it’s so disheartening for him to witness countless examples of elected leaders who continually let us down with their hypocrisy and lies.
23:07-28:51: “The power of a microstory”
Microstories might be better than teletherapy. I know that’s a bold claim coming from someone who isn’t a psychiatrist and hasn’t published a book in his lifetime, but nothing seems to bring me genuine catharsis more than a compelling short story wrapped in the mental shape of a bite-sized piece of chocolate. In a world where doomscrolling has become a tradition and reading a book seems blase, it’s nice to find true escapism through the musings of someone who combines delicious yiddishkeit humour with the cold, steel pragmatic irony of our modern times.
Eric Rosenhek (@TheHek) is the author of Dim Sum Stories, a series of heartfelt microstories available exclusively at arishapiro.ca. For him, the capacity to visualize intriguing narratives cobbled forth in small spaces offers him the chance to channel his stress and anxiety in all the best ways – through the promise of literary escapism where the white noise stops and all you can hear is the sound of your heart beating. Hearing his observations on the pandemic and what keeps him sane reveals a touching look into the mind of someone whose creativity defines the very essence of his soul.
“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.
My latest guest appearance (05-28) on AMI Radio (@AMIaudio) with hosts Ramya Amuthan (@allramz) and Brock Richardson (@neutralzonebr) talking about the newly proposed NHL and NBA playoff formats.
We covered my thoughts on both leagues, what the future holds in store for Adam Silver and Gary Bettman respectively, why the profit-mongering nature of certain leagues may prevent them from returning anytime soon (hint: MLB), and why neutral cities may prove to be the tonic every fan needs once this pandemic is officially declared over.
Be sure to subscribe to The Neutral Zone (AMI.ca/listenlive) and enjoy their fine work as an accessible television channel offering professional reading and original content to blind and partially sighted Canadians.
My latest conversation with celebrated Sportsnet anchor and radio/television host Alex Seixeiro, whose industry success, commitment to his craft and informed opinions make him a powerful conversationalist and a worthwhile authority on the subject of Toronto sports.
We discussed his thoughts on the Blue Jays and their torrid off-season, the Raptors and their sublime excellence night in and night out, and the Maple Leafs and their quest to end over half a century of futility, along with his candid position on the changing of the guard (Don Cherry, Bob McCown) when it comes to broadcasting personalities and sports journalism in Canada.
Be sure to check out Alex and his fine work on social media (@alexfan590) and across all Sportsnet affiliates.
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