8.2.08

The Scud Stud Chugged my Bud



Alberta Tory Candidate,
Arthur Kent

(not exactly as pictured).

Journal Entry. Winnipeg.
February 8th, 2008.


Got a big laugh out of today's Globe and Mail. A profile of my pal, Arthur Kent - now running for the Alberta Tories.

Arthur and I used to be boy reporters in the CBC Edmonton newsroom back in the film and telecine days when Linda Simms and Roxanna Spicer used to drink too much white wine and tell us we were "hot" (Or maybe it was just Arthur they described that way ... my memory's a bit blurry on this.)

Art's a born-and-bred journalist with a capital "J". So for the life of me I can't figure out what the hell he's doing running with Ed Stelmach and his posse. Dead-head Ed they call him around the Legislature - and this has nothing to do with him being a Gerry Garcia fan.

Alberta politics used to revolve around a Western version of the Two Solitudes. City slicker verses hay seed. Heineken drinking squash playing yuppies verses 20 cent draft swilling shuffleboard shooting red-necks.

Arthur is a single malt kind of guy. Ed drinks whatever Jesus is pouring. Tough to see them working together for long.

Half a lifetime ago I covered many a Peter Lougheed speech with Art, and Lougheed had this Alberta duality thing down cold. As soon he left the city limits of Edmonton or Calgary his vocabulary went rural retro.

"How ya doin', eh ?" The blue-eyed sheik would ask "Get the crops in OK, did ya?"

We used to say there were two Lougheeds -- Peter and his oxygen-deprived twin brother Petey. You could tell which one was going to show up by counting the number of half-ton trucks in the parking lot.

I'm always a bit disappointed when journalists run for politics. Not sure why. But it seems to me that as a political reporter you realize that by-definition almost every word out of a politician's mouth is self-serving and strategic. Good reporters fight their way through the crap to find those themes of truth.

In fact, I tell my class that the essence of being a journalist is to be a truth seeker.

And when truth-seekers wander over to the dark side looking for a window seat on the Death Star I always feel slightly betrayed.

Or maybe I'm just envious. Of the pension. The perks. The non-taxable allowances. The 100 dollar bottles of red wine at the Ranchmen's Club. The centre-ice seats to Flames' games. The nepotism. The people who suck up to you. The unimaginable wealth at your finger tips.

Envious ? Nah. I'd rather write a blog - for free.

But if Arthur's prepared to endure all this hardship to serve the Alberta public, I say more power to him. If elected he'll get a cabinet post for sure. And after that ? Premier Kent - why not ? He's been on Murphy Brown, you know.

I, on the other hand - may never have my hands on the reigns of power or be a guest on Letterman but I will have one helluva of an interesting book to write.

I think I'll call it ... "The Scud Stud Chugged my Bud."

1 comment:

Words Words said...

I'd vote for you, Don.

Think of how comfy the seats are on the Death Star.

And the view of the end of the world? Priceless.