In praise of a bored dilettante nerd
Unfortunate news from last week - Colby Cosh has announced that his semi-weekly National Post column is being cut back to weekly. I've already stated I'm a fan (scroll to last paragraph of linked post); my considered opinion is that there is no other commentator out there who is as adept at organizing and articulating a point, even if I do have to frequently consult a thesaurus. And for a self-described "bored dilettante nerd amidst a house full of pizza boxes", he's pretty damn observant.
Since he hasn't married rich, nor does he have a profitable side business (nutri-ceuticals, anyone?), he has indicated this situation may force him to change "employers" entirely. It would be a shame if that meant he ended up reviewing books for an American publication; Canadian readers would suffer from the loss of his screeds on our politics and courts.
As such, I hope that those of you who agree with me will take a few minutes out of your day to share your opinion with the National Post's editor. Likewise, a recommendation to the editor of the Globe & Mail might also prove beneficial.
I'm not trying to embarass the guy - I don't recommend ranting like you're trying to save some crappy sci-fi TV program that's already been cancelled three times. Just a simple letter that you enjoy reading Mr. Cosh's work, and the more the better. If you are a newstand grazer like myself, you ought to also identify what impact this business will have on your decision to lay down a loonie from time-to-time.
All that said, if you are unconvinced that Cosh is a unique talent, I present the Top 10 Turns-of-Phrase from Colby Cosh, all within the last several months.
10. On the high floor for Liberal polling numbers: "...even if Paul Martin were caught on camera humping roadkill Tom Green-fashion, it's unlikely the party's poll numbers would drop below 38% or so."
9. On his own importance as a political commentator (paging Mr. Roget!): "The psephological professionals, who to a man earn more than I do for my onanistic belletrism..."
8. On Malcolm Azania's provincial electoral prospects: "Amidst the more concentrated campus idiocy of the smaller provincial riding, Malcolm would probably win."
7. On the Supreme Court upholding the Elections Act: "Five other judges -- our best and brightest -- subscribed to this wad of fiat in apparent contentment." Also, "dusty shred of bumf" is nice.
6. On the Green Party's promise to "create opportunities for more outdoor physical activities": "Am I the only one who suspects this means, 'If we ever win, you'll have to walk to work'?"
5. On returning officers and scrutineers: "...they have not learned, and will not learn, the priggish imperiousness of the cop or the civil servant. And who would say they perform their duties less well?"
4. On his political leanings as a 17-year-old: "I didn't yet have a coalesced political world view, beyond being opposed to blatantly stupid things."
3. On Joe Clark and Paul Martin: "Clark performed some reluctant anilingus on Martin Thursday, which allowed the Star to openly refer to rampant rumours that Joe Who is Senate-bound."
2. On the Supremes' Elections Act ruling, again: "Seems odd to me, but I never went to law school or suffered a major head trauma."
1. On NDP MP Libby Davies (no emphasis required): "That's a New Democrat for you--sexism's all right as long as I perpetrate it, and against males. If somebody called Women's Libby a "girl" (or, say, a "plank-thick twat") on the floor of the House, you know her head would explode."
That last one's a bad example, I suppose: not much chance you'll ever see that expression printed in the Post, even if he's contributing five times a week.
Other examples are welcomed in the Comments.
UPDATE (215PM): I would like to add this honourable mention - it nearly caused me to pull the apocryphal cliche of "spitting coffee all over the keyboard".
On bloggers' roadtrips: "... unlike most webloggers I can't really afford some sort of schmancy wireless-equipped laptop that would allow me to post second-by-second from the road. (Now I'm in a bar! Now I'm on the observation deck of the CN Tower! Now I'm shooting smack down by the Don River!)"