Whiskey & Cream for January 12th, 2021
Host: Ari Shapiro
0:36-7:50: “Freedom is about respecting other’s freedom”
It isn’t a stretch to say that this pandemic has revealed a deep and inexplicable hypocrisy when it comes to political leadership and our notion of civic pride. Ask yourself this question: why is the city of Toronto failing at protecting its most vulnerable during these troubled times? Cases of infection are spiralling out of control, hospital ICUs are filled to capacity, and now we’ve gone from a full lockdown to a proposed curfew similar to neighbouring Quebec. So, what’s going on? Is it a lack of moral courage or empathy when confronted with such overwhelmingly large numbers of bad behaviour? Or have we stumbled so badly in helping one another when other countries are showing us that different paths do exist *and* are being followed? And what about those people out there who represent the service class – you know, the working stiff who prepares and cooks your take-out food, throws out your garbage, delivers your furniture and looks after your elderly parents in retirement homes? All being let down horribly while more and more elected politicians are taking vacations to Caribbean islands. And that’s not even mentioning the scores of elderly dying in abandoned and poorly run retirement communities.
Shawn Micallef (@shawnmicallef) is a celebrated writer and known authority on Canadian urbanism. He’s written for the Toronto Star, teaches at the University of Toronto and is the co-founder of Spacing Magazine. In his recent article chronicling the recent spate of Canadian political controversies, he reveals the extent to which some people are willing to break the delicate and coveted social contract that no longer seems to protect the most vulnerable and essential members of society.
8:01-13:45: “Being online has revealed a new consciousness”
The distinction between peaceful protestors being tear gassed during the BLM movement and the spectacle from earlier this week was jarring and hit many progressive idealists right in the gut, and hard. Ignoring the more concerning issue of who was responsible for the DC police and Maryland national guard standing down for a moment, what transpired at the US Capitol will be poured over and examined for quite some time to come. But what it really does is raise powerful new questions about what the internet is doing to us when it comes to the way we dissect information and the sweeping conclusions that we ultimately reach.
Richard Cooke (@rgcooke) is the critically-acclaimed author of “Tired of Winning: A Chronicle of American Decline” and is correspondent and contributing editor with publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post. In his eyes, the recent US Capitol riots and “insurrection” that took place reveals the kind of breakdown between government and its people which speaks to how we perceive the internet and the flow of information being fed to us on a daily basis. For him, it’s all about a new type of consciousness that has no precedent and so our vigilance becomes everything moving forward during challenging times of actual established truth versus cobbled myopic fiction.
13:58-20:22: “Trouble in Jurassic Paradise”
Fans of Toronto basketball are trying desperately to reconcile what’s happened to their 2021 Raptors. The team is sliding fast and losing games at a rate that isn’t sustainable in a shortened NBA season if you’re serious about making the playoffs. Although players like Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet have shown up of late in a desperate effort to stem the tide, the once mighty NBA champions who came off an even more impressive coronavirus shortened season last year are beginning to live more off their nostalgia and less off the potency of their once-feared bench and indefatigable leaders. And while coach Nick Nurse is doing everything in his power to right this sinking ship, the faithful are turning into faithless faster than you can say James Harden.
Luca Rosano (@lucarosano3) is the host of The Luca Rosano Show and is a respected Canadian sportscaster seen on TSN and ESPN. As someone who considers this team near and dear to his heart, his sobering conclusions about their trials and tribulations is clearer to him than most people; that the front office failed miserably on recruiting high-priced free agents while letting go of key stalwarts who could have made a major difference in their chances for success this year. Without a Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol and the promise of “The Greek Freek” one day joining their ranks, the future seems bleaker than most fans could ever have anticipated.
20:30-26:35: “In Kyle Dubas We Trust”
The Toronto Maple Leafs are about to embark on a new hockey campaign this week and considering that they haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 54 years and didn’t make it past the first round of playoffs since the last Canadian federal election, there’s this sense that maybe this year might be different. That perhaps after half a century of front office excuses and player alibis as to what went wrong, that maybe, just maybe, this roster has what it takes to win a single playoff round. With a nucleus of ruthlessly talented young forwards including the mercurial Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, along with savvy veterans like John Tavares, Wayne Simmonds and San Jose’s prodigal son, Jumbo Joe Thornton, the team finds itself heading into a season where everyone has something to prove.
Marshall Auerback (@mauerback) is an international economist, acclaimed author and popular blogger who bleeds blue with stunning regularity. When it comes to the buds and his view of the long and troubled history of the Maple Leafs, he leaves nothing behind in his candid assessment of general manager Kyle Dubas and the desire to switch gears in bringing players well past their prime and still hungry for a championship. In doing so, chronic weaknesses that previously existed seem to have evaporated and the future seems bright indeed for the last remaining hockey cynics left in this insufferable city.
“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson