Whiskey & Cream for February 17th, 2021
Host: Ari Shapiro
0:42-7:38: “When familiarity breeds contempt”
Once upon a time, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators had the kind of rivalry that transformed their respective cities in what was fondly referred to as The Battle of Ontario. If you’re old enough to remember what those halcyon days were like during the mid 2000’s with names like Daniel Alfredsson and Darcy Tucker leading the charge, then you’ll appreciate why the NHL’s new divisional re-alignment can be seen as a throwback to the time-honored notion that familiarity breeds contempt. The excitement and animosity generated by provincial rivals is something that Gary Bettman and the NHL front office are gambling to help mitigate the fallout from a pandemic reality that’s transformed the way one looks at professional hockey competition.
Steve Warne (@TSNSteve) is a broadcaster, writer and podcaster who spent over two decades hosting on TSN morning radio. His appreciation for the Ottawa Senators and the NHL’s newfangled North division is clearly on display when he looks at the value of having geographic enemies face-off against each other on a regular basis. For him, the league is creating home-and-home series with potentially indelible confrontations that could serve to bolster fan interest in familiar and yet unprecedented ways.
7:39-15:21: “The forced quiet that saved her life”
Anxiety and despair seem to have become the pandemic’s best friends, and thanks to the rampant nature of our increasingly volatile and uncontrollable world, most people are ignoring the steps necessary to avoid forming destructive habits and holding patterns that lead to the kinds of coping mechanisms which hold us back rather than freeing our minds. It’s hard enough dealing with the financial devastation and emotional pain of displacement caused by our divided world, but soon the word “self-care” began to lose all meaning when treated like a romanticized stigma rather than an open concept to explore how to get at the root of mental health challenges. And although big corporations with their glitzy social marketing campaigns try to sell you the notion that everything is hunky-dory if you just send a text or make a donation, the truth is that without real grass-roots awareness it all becomes just a series of empty buzzwords and nonchalant lip service.
Sammy Nickalls (@sammynickalls) is a freelance writer, editor and social influencer who believes that the world is filled with inordinate amounts of pain and grief that shouldn’t simply be covered up and shelved away. She created the popularized hashtag #talkingaboutit which invites social media users to openly and seamlessly share their feelings about mental wellness in a manner that underscores the importance of honesty over stigma, openness over shame, and diligence over complacency.
15:22-21:34: “To have no master and become untouchable”
From the earliest days of Lenny Bruce through to Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Hicks and Greg Giraldo, the history of comedy is paved with trailblazers who refused to accept the limitations of the business they were in and embraced free speech as a true mantra. In an era where social media and internet politics can make or break a career, more artists have taken to the internet to create exposure and weaponize it without the permission of Hollywood or big tech companies. As a result, there’s a seismic shift in play where creative and financial success can be found through personal resiliency rather than public affirmation.
Josh Denny (@JoshDenny) is an actor, podcaster and a stand-up comedian who has done work with The Food Network. He’s no stranger to controversy by virtue of his position on political incorrectness and the growing cancel culture in the United States, but it’s his knowledge of the industry and love of comedy that’s allowed him to empower himself and others in embracing technology to help overthrow the traditional gatekeepers who have exploited artists in the name of stone cold profit.
21:35-31:18: “A blockbuster trade that made sense”
The Winnipeg Jets have the unenviable task of trying to work with an established nucleus of players who may have missed the chance for ultimate glory. Although they remain laden with enormous amounts of overall talent – players such as Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, Jacob Trouba and sensational netminder Connor Hellebuyck, something simply wasn’t clicking. With the recent decision to trade their 2nd overall draft pick in the 2016 lottery, the team said farewell to the gloriously talented goal-scoring machine that was Patrik Laine and replaced him with Pierre-Luc Dubois; a centre whose rare mixture of size high-end skill represented a rare “win-win” scenario for both teams involved.
Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) is a multimedia journalist with the Winnipeg Sun and NHL.com. For him, the Jets remain a bona fide contender because of their ingrained leadership and key personnel that captivated an entire country’s imagination several years ago. The decision to part ways with a cog in their wheel should be seen as a chance to format the right kind of chemistry for a ravenous fan base hoping for legitimate reasons to cheer in the spring.
“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.