Jeers: to breaking the law. Justin Trudeau is probably the coolest federal politician since, well, since his father was on the scene. The Liberal leader has looks, cachet, charm — and even a few policy ideas. But admitting you still smoked pot after you became a Canadian legislator just seems kind of dumb. He said in a recent interview that he last had a puff three years ago when he hosted a backyard party. Yes, marijuana is not all that bad, certainly not as bad as hard drugs, and not as damaging or addictive as excessive alcohol use. Let’s get with the times, man. But whatever your stance on legalization, it is still against the law. He could say he didn’t inhale, but that’s been tried before. In any case, there’s a large constituency out there who still frown on such things, particularly families with young children. Smoking dope may be no big deal, but it’s not great optics, either.
Cheers: to graveyard mysteries — especially if they involve pirates. Last week, The Telegram posted a photograph of a recently rediscovered gravesite in Harbour Grace, in an old cemetery that had fallen into bad shape until a recent cleanup. The grave has five concrete stones on it, two of which contain a skull and crossbones. Readers have had plenty to say, some speculating about who is buried there and others reminiscing about growing up in the area. Perhaps the most interesting observations came from folklore professor Gerald Pocius, after The Telegram approached him for comment: “I saw this grave marker first back in 1974. I am certain it is the fragments of a table tomb; almost certainly it came from Ireland. I would say it dates from around 1800. The skull and crossbones is a typical motif at the time, found on English and Irish funerary art.” So, perhaps the pirate connection won’t pan out. Still fascinating, though.
Jeers: to loose ends. A high-profile case of gay-bashing became even more disturbing last week when the victim refused to co-operate with either police or media in fleshing out the details. Pattrick Blackburn posted a video and photos of himself on social media showing the aftermath of a beating he allegedly received late one night on the streets of St. John’s. But police have been unable to pursue the case because the victim won’t lodge a complaint. And Blackburn would not elaborate to The Telegram. He has, however, posted his email online and asked for donations — apparently to replace rent money stolen in the attack — and fundraisers have cropped up as far away as Ottawa. It’s all proven to be extremely frustrating, because while no one wants to “blame the victim” — particularly in a possible hate crime — too many questions remain unanswered.
Jeers: to yelling. As in, yelling during political debates. Liberal leadership hopefuls faced off in Gander last week for the first in a handful of debates across the province leading up to the party’s convention in November. There was a lot of yelling, particularly by the other male candidates when Cathy Bennett was trying to speak. STOP YELLING! That is — stop yelling, please and thank you.