Cheers & Jeers

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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.

Geographic location: Ireland, Ottawa, Gander

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Recent comments

  • AW
    August 27, 2013 - 01:32

    Jeers to the Telegram for posting Jeers to the victim of a violent crime. The police confirmed they sent Patt to hospital how he chooses to deal with an attack on his person is his own business and shouldn't make him a target for scorn. If you've seen the amount of harassment that's been circulating around social media and possess a grain of empathy than you might understand why Patt isn't encouraging more attention. Also he didn't set up a collection for himself that was done by a friend/s. In order to believe this is a scam you'd have to believe he has a conspiracy of persons involved and that's absurd. It's idiots leading the idiots on social media, Jeers to the Telegram for following suit.

  • Pierre Neary
    August 26, 2013 - 17:42

    Trudeau is going to make a good PM.

  • Colin Burke
    August 26, 2013 - 10:58

    Jeers "to"? Cheers "to"? Rather, jeers "at" bad grammar, and cheers "for" those who correct their errors after these are pointed out. See you next Monday?

  • Virginia Waters
    August 26, 2013 - 08:36

    Breaking unjust or unreasonable laws is unfortunately necessary to overcome legislative inertia. Bad laws are rarely repealed without citizens with the courage not only to break them, but to do so publicly. I have never smoked pot and don't advocate that others do so. And yet it is well established that pot is less physically, socially and economically destructive than alcohol. Just as the prohibition of alcohol produced an evil underworld class that preyed on human frailty, so too has the banning of pot. Polls have shown that a majority of Canadians favour its decriminalization - as do the police chiefs of Canada.These are not all pot smokers but rather people who understand that the consequences of legalized access to pot cannot be any worse than the status quo. We have to stop ruining young lives and giving a small number of people the freedom to enrich themselves at public expense. We also need to redirect the enormous budgetary allocations away from the futile enforcement of pot laws to the interdiction of more serious, life-threatening drugs. I was no great fan of Trudeau's father but I do have respect for anyone with the courage of their convictions - people who are prepared to lay their career on the line in order to call attention to a stupid, backward law that serves the interests of the very few. I'll take his kind of law breaking any day over the much more insidious, pervasive and greed motivated violation of Canadian laws and constitutional protections we have witnessed under this present government.

  • Mr. Logic
    August 26, 2013 - 08:17

    Jeers to The Telegram for criticizing... oh, I don't know... chemical attacks in Syria, gay-bashing, Senate misspending... while failing to criticize all those people who flaunt the law daily by texting and talking on the phone while driving. Any criticism of anything anywhere should include a harsh rebuke of texting and talking on the phone while driving. E.g.: "I found his portrayal of the Young Sebastian to be rather contrived while the middle of the play starting to drag, but not as bad as texting and talking on the phone while driving."

  • Steve
    August 26, 2013 - 07:35

    So you would have preferred if Justin Trudeau would have lied? Haven't we had enough of that from our politicians?

  • Eli
    August 26, 2013 - 07:35

    A polititian talking (or yelling) over a speaker to prevent that person from getting his/her point across is as old as Buckley's goat, an everyday practice that's essential to a polititian's way of weaseling out of a dicey question. The host/hostess is to blame for not shutting down one or the other.

  • Ed
    August 26, 2013 - 06:50

    Jeers to The Telegram for criticizing Trudeau, while failing to criticize all those people who flaunt the law daily by texting and talking on the phone while driving. I think this practice is much more dangerous, and The Telegram is in a position to do something about it. How about some editorials, articles, etc., about the dangers, and even better still, get your photographers out there, and capture some pictures of the offenders. You can set the cameras up in the Village Mall parking lot, or on the parking lot across the street, as both those locations are right next door to where The Telegram is. Hopefully, we will see some pictures online soon.

    • Eli
      August 26, 2013 - 10:09

      Jeers to yourself Ed for criticizing The Telegram! You'd make more sense if you were addressing our police force. It's their job to nab crooks, not The Telegram.