Whiskey and Cream: Episode 005

Whiskey & Cream for December 23rd, 2020.

Host: Ari Shapiro

0:36-7:35: “A kinder, gentler brand of politics”

It always comes down to the fundamentals, that we’re different from them. That’s how it feels looking at the United States from a distinctly Canadian perspective. The pandemic has caused immeasurable harm to the very fabric of their society in ways that defies the imagination and begs the question: why isn’t more being done to help their citizens during a time when compassion is needed more than ever. And why does their culturally innate suspicion of government and resistance to being told what’s best for them – inevitably finds a way of steering them into the realm of greed, paranoia and conspiracy? Furthermore, one has to wonder if a correlation exist between populist and progressive governments when it comes to empathy in their political leaders?

Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) is a celebrated Canadian lawyer, author and musician who has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post. He’s collaborated and interacted with numerous prime ministers and political bigwigs during his time, and when it comes to understanding the true merits of effective governance, his take on the differences between Canada and the United States during this global pandemic is squarely focused at our existential differences and how having trust in government is essentially what separates our two democracies.

7:44-13:48: “The men and women of science were correct”

Toronto is heading towards a lockdown on Boxing Day, an announcement that sent shockwaves through those living in Ontario and across Canada. A first wave that was met head-on by the conservative government in the province has long been forgotten in the face of a second wave that’s exposed a shocking level of excuses, pivoting and the passing of the coronavirus buck. With Ontario averaging over 28 deaths a day, the sense of urgency has never been greater even if the credibility of the messengers seems minimized by their tendency to speak out of both sides of their mouths.

Mary Ormsby (@MaryOrmsby) is one of Canada’s most respected journalists who has covered Olympic games, World Cups, and major professional leagues across North America for over three decades while writing for The Toronto Star. She’s spearheaded features about concussions, women in sports, homelessness and clergy abuse with award-winning features spanning over three decades of investigative journalism. For her, Doug Ford presents two phases – or “faces” as she calls them – that’s tested her limits when it comes to political leadership. Whereas she felt he was the right leader at the right time for the first wave of COVID-19, his foot-dragging disposition and chronic insistence of ignoring the men and women of science who were correct is making her wonder why a lockdown didn’t happen sooner.

13:51-18:22: “Always eliminate the window dressing”

Vaccine-hesitancy has quickly become one of the most controversial terms of the day, and when you eliminate the window dressing, it essentially bogs down to a tempting desire to reach for conspiracies over having the gumption to explore the real truth. Behind masks, behind social distancing, behind a vaccine to help keep us safe and healthy. But in an era where the written word has caused so much harm, are we perhaps underestimating the power of the spoken word?

Adam Corsair (@AdamCorsair) is a professional baseball and basketball podcaster whose literary passion for the Toronto Raptors and Blue Jays makes him an instant favourite here at Whiskey & Cream. His heart may be Canadian, but his family lives in Rhode Island – where faulty information and propaganda remains a daily battle for sweet, lucid sanity. His craft is reflected nicely in the gorgeous tonality and dissonant manner to which he passionately explains his plight in a world where fiction becomes fact in the click of play button.

18:35-22:44: “The Coronavirus Athlete”

Living during a global pandemic as a sports fan means settling for a new reality where your season, playoffs, rules and regulations seem permanently amorphous and subject to change. And that’s left some armchair fans scratching their heads and wondering if an asterisk needs to be deployed as a reminder that these achievements are happening during exceptional times. But as the business side of hockey, baseball, football and basketball continue to forge ahead amidst all this societal doom and gloom, there’s immense solace to be found in the astonishing power of sport and what it can do for a stir-crazy, cabin-fevered audience that can’t leave the house to enjoy Pascal Siakam, Auston Matthews or Bo Bichette.

Jim Lang (@JimLangSports) is Canadian sportscaster, writer and radio host who has covered major sports… For him, escapism is about savouring the real stories of courage and fortitude that exist to help soothe our burgeoning layers of anxiety and depression. That means embracing the notion that things will get better if we support those who train, excel and overachieve in pursuit of sporting excellence. In doing so, he tips his hat to the modern day coronavirus athlete.

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

Ari Shapiro on TSN 1260 (Edmonton) – The Corey Graham Show (12-02-20)

My latest appearance (12-02-20) on TSN 1260 Radio (Edmonton) with host Corey Graham (@CoreyGraham) talking Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, the fate of the SkyDome, and those fabulous but extinct Montreal Expos.

We discussed the Blue Jays off-season strategy, what will become of the taxpayer-funded SkyDome in the face of looming real estate ambitions from their ownership group, why an Expos renaissance is in the works across most of Canada, why fans should remain excited about the Maple Leafs, and how Gary Bettman and the NHL shouldn’t ruin the momentum of a pandemic-influenced season by not allowing millionaires to continue bickering with billionaires.

Be sure to check out Corey’s fine show on TSN radio (@TSN1260) and don’t forget to catch the latest episode of the Whiskey & Cream podcast at arishapiro.ca.

Shapiro’s Round Table: The Glorious Game vs. The Almighty Dollar

Another edition of Shapiro’s Round Table which straddles the line between sports and politics with a side of existential musings.

I’m joined by legendary Canadian sportscaster and journalism professor Tony Ambrogio (Tony_Ambrogio), radio broadcaster at The Neutral Zone on AMI Radio and host Cam Jenkins (@NeutralZoneCamJ), and sports editor at La Portada Canada and analyst Eduardo Harari (@edharari).

We talked about: how different leagues are handling their proposed post-pandemic playoff formats, which organization has impressed the most and demonstrated the worst, is this the death knell for Major League Baseball and can they afford to lose a season at this junction in their history, why it seems insane to consider a return to normalcy at this stage from a sports perspective, and how fans should perceive ruthless monetization efforts that make little sense. In other words, plenty of baseball bashing.

Don’t forget to subscribe to arishapiro.ca. and receive all my latest literary, audio and video content. Tonight’s round table was recorded on June 2nd, 2020, and is proudly brought to you by: Cloudwifi (@cloudwifiInc) – a better kind of internet worth discovering!

Theme: Fragments/Ascension (Thievery Corporation, 2013)

Shapiro’s League of Seven: Playing The Blame Game

Shapiro’s League of Seven: “Playing The Blame Game” (Episode #06)

Guests: Jon Reid, Chris Henderson and Marshall Auerback
Hosted by Ari Shapiro
Recorded: April 17th, 2020 (33:25)

With the coronavirus now fully entrenched as a permanent part of our lives, it has become painfully obvious that the most vulnerable, downtrodden and disenfranchised members of society don’t stand a chance in the wake of our lack of empathy and foresight. The League returns after a short hiatus to feature a lively round table where we discuss the concept of attributing and perhaps navigating the reality of how and why this pandemic is proving to be so difficult to overcome.

We discussed the legitimacy of the World Health Organization (WHO) throughout this pandemic, why the old world globallist institutions and post-1948 safeguards failed the world so miserably, the fiasco that reveals how poorly we look after nursing home and special care needs patients, how Donald Trump’s insistence on re-opening the economy has put him in the crosshairs of individual states and their autonomy, and how the cultural rot of media personalities such as Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil has fractured the psyche and innate confidence of all Americans.

Theme: Into The Woods (Tycho, Weather, 2019)

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