Of Leonard Cohen and I

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“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”
– Lucille Ball

It seems that I am not the only one “celebrating” a birthday this weekend: Montreal’s favourite son is turning 80 on Sunday, and we have a nice feature in The Gazette today about him. But I suspect that Leonard Cohen and I and others born at this time some years ago are not exactly “celebrating” the odometer change in our lives.

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Of office emails and dust in the wind

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(As posted to my Montreal Gazette blog)

“The graveyards are full of indispensable men.”

A former colleague made that well-known quip — often attributed to Charles De Gaulle — shortly before he left The Gazette several years ago, after I told him he would be missed. Some readers may remember him: Garry Steckles was the Entertainment editor here for several years, and he was, and probably still is, a huge reggae music fan. He wrote about it and made sure we covered the scene here. And he was just a great journalist who put in far more hours than he was paid for, and an all-around nice guy. Yup, I do miss him . . . but The Gazette has rolled on, as you all know.

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Aftermath: Scotland’s referendum results

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Animated-Flag-Scotland-1Many are breathing a sigh of relief today after Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. But even though there was never any question in Scottish minds about Scotland’s status as a country, I heard some Canadian on-air news people refer to the referendum there as a vote on whether Scotland should be a country or not. Perhaps if more Scots had heard those comments, they might have voted Yes instead of No on Wednesday.

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Cameroon: Irish Cream can get you arrested

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Well, a judge in Cameroon has reportedly confirmed it: real women drink Bailey’s Irish Cream. That’s why I’ve always loved that drink.

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Sex lives of celebrities should stay private

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I wonder how many of us sometimes wish we could be rich and famous, then decide we are happy with our anonymity when we read about celebrities whose lives are invaded by paparazzi and individuals seeking to profit from them. Some might say it comes with the turf when you are a celebrity, but I don’t think that’s right. I think the sex lives and personal relationships of celebrities — and politicians — should be private unless they choose to make that information public. And I think those who indulge in sexual and/or BDSM activities — ie. mistresses, dominas, lovers and other strangers — with those folks should keep it private, too.

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U.S. expands airstrikes against ISIS

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A tweet from U.S. Central Command:

Says the report: “The airstrike southwest of Baghdad was the first strike taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense, as outlined in the President’s speech last Wednesday.”

Nude selfies and technology gone wild

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An article I read in The Gazette several years ago about Mae West mentioned that the legendary American actress’s home had a life-size picture on the wall of her posing nude. Not exactly a smartphone selfie, but a self-image nevertheless.

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A dominatrix should not flog and tell

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I applaud retired dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford for her battle against Canada’s prostitution laws and, now, against the Conservative government’s Bill C-36.

But I won’t be applauding if she — and others in the trade — rat out some of their politician customers, as she has suggested she might do. (See Postmedia News column by Stephen Maher.)

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