Monday, December 17, 2018

a news service

Dictionary entries are filed alphabetically: choose a letter to view entries.
The dictionary contains 611 entries.


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Labour

Depending on who’s talking : a.) a vestigial element in capital accumulation. b.) the most heroic of victim classes and the source of all human virtues. Nobody has ever been very clear about what labour is, but there’s a popular belief circulating within the business community right now that in 21st Century economies it has no purpose.

Labour Day

End-of-summer holiday after which former workers head down to the UIC offices to discover that their entitlements have run out, and that they’re no longer eligible for welfare either.

Lakes

Pre-reservoirs/or holding tanks for sewage and liquid industrial waste. In Eastern Canada outside the ground-pollutable areas, acid rain has lowered the pH balance in most lakes to levels that are lethal to fish and most other aquatic life-forms, but merely corrosive to human epidermis.

Land Claims

Native Indian program to overturn the treaties they signed–usually at gunpoint, while drunk or physically absent–between 1550 and late last week Unfortunately, settling land claims will force Native Indians to become opportunistic real estate entrepreneurs and provoke a new variety of absurdist theatre that enables those without cultural concepts of land ownership logical and dignified entrance to a collapsing culture that is entirely based on the ownership and division of property.

Landry, Bernard

Latest Quebec Premier to attempt a resurrection of New France by removing Quebec from 2nd Nation status within Canada and bringing it into the North East Power Grid as a resource extraction zone and Hydro-electric reservoir. It’s hard to say where this movement is headed except to note that the pathfinders are becoming progressively less witty and more hysterical as they drift to the right of Rene Levesque.

Landsberg, Michelle

Stephen Lewis’ wife, and constant, high-pitched whiner. Once a gifted feminist journalist, now serves as an example of why the New Conservative movement is so ascendant.

Lang, KD

Vegetarian entertainer and lesbian culture hero. She may or may not be the reincarnation of Patsy Cline, but she’s literally everything Alberta’s Wild Rose Party would like to eradicate.

Lapierre, Jean

Paul Martin’s lieutenant in Quebec, Lapierre is a former Montreal radio host, more former founder of the Bloc Quebecois and really
former Liberal MP and organizer of Paul Martin’s 1990 Liberal leadership campaign. “Comical Ali”, as he was called by the more fun-loving members of the Quebec media because of his stubborn insistence that things were great when they obviously weren’t, Lapierre’s “I’m a federalist, now I’m a separatist, now I’m a federalist again” routine turned off Quebec Liberals
in droves and led to the resurgence of the Bloc Quebecois. That he almost lost Outremont in the 2004 election, a riding where Karla Homolka could win as a Liberal, speaks to his appeal in his home province and the Liberal fortunes there in the future.

Lastman, Mel

Toronto’s tiny, imperfect former mayor. With his dyed, permed hair and his loony wife, Lastman often appeared clownish. But through his first term as Mega Toronto mayor, he consistently got the last laugh because he was on the job when and where it counted. For a while, he seemed to recognize when politics is showmanship and when it isn’t, and he wasn’t afraid of anyone except those two look-alike who claimed he was their dad. In his second term, he lost it, got old, and was a clown.

Latimer, Robert

In 1993, Saskatchewan farmer Robert Latimer rerouted carbon monoxide into the cab of his truck while his severely handicapped daughter was inside, and allowed her to die. After a succession of court decisions and appeals, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Latimer is guilty of second degree murder and must spend a minimum of ten years in prison. Latimer’s decision—or crime—has literally every sector of Canadian society doing contortions. Extremists from both ends of the spectrum are tripping over their own righteous certainties, while the rest of us struggle to figure out whether Latimer’s actions were the right thing to do, and more generally, if there really is a right thing to do in such a situation. Meanwhile most of us agree that the Prime Minister ought to exercise his right to commute Latimer’s sentence so that he can go on with what’s left of his life as a decent, thoughtful man who circumstances once put into an impossible situation.

Layton, Irving

Now-elderly Montreal poet, blowhard and self-declared Nobel Prize candidate with a perpetually over-eager “cowled friar” no Canadian woman has ever quite been willing to go on record as having actually seen. Until Layton’s son David spent an entire book slagging him in unmistakably Laytonesque sentences, it wasn’t clear that he had one at all.

Layton, Jack

Late leader of the federal New Democratic Party who became, due to late-in-the game (and utterly unpredicted) success in the 2011 Federal election and some self-designed post-humus PR moves, the only revered federal politician since Pierre Trudeau. After a carefully righteous but not-always successful career in Toronto civic politics, he blended in better in Ottawa what with his questionable fashion choices (see ties, orange) and his relentless commitment to making every moment of his life a media opportunity.  Until the end, making an impact on the federal scene  proved difficult. Early on, he bungled the hiring and subsequent firing of his anti-seal hunt executive assistant and, more surprisingly, the all important and generally hilarious Press Gallery Dinner. Instead of being a wet-dream come true for this media whore, he was badly outplayed by Canadian comedic geniuses like Stephen Harper and Peter Mackay. That said, he was nearly always close to the right place, even if it wasn’t always the right time and he rarely got past the cliches. Sure, not many political animals get that far these days. But what if the payoff is an ocean of sentimentality, a political movement drowning in it, and a song written in your honour by children’s singer/songwriter Raffi Cavoukian, who also perpetrated “Baby Beluga”?

Leacock, Stephen

McGill university professor and Canadian Uncle Remus beloved of sentimental university professors and public sector broadcasters all across Canada. Recently replaced by Gordon Lightfoot as official tourism spokesperson for the City of Orillia, Ontario.

Lebreton, Marjory

Marjory LeBreton: She was the last person in Canada willing to defend the reputation of Brian Mulroney in the aftermath of his political demise, possibly because when Mulroney elevated her to the Senate in 1993, she though it was the U.S. Senate. Aside from giving Stephen Harper motherly advice (Don’t talk to any of those commie bastards) she is the chairperson of MADD, and the more-or-less-official bridge between the old Tories of Eastern Canada and the Calgary Mafia.

Lee, Pamela

The most-recognized Canadian on the planet, even if no one knows she’s a Canadian and her most distinguishing physical feature is American-made silicon.

Lee, Sook Yin

One-time Bob’s Yer Uncle vocalist out of Vancouver and Western civilization’s revenge on Chinese immigration, and vice versa. Will she end up as Adrienne Clarkson: The Next Generation or as merely another in an endless and boring string of affronts to conventional behavior? By the time she’s been fully processed by Moses Znaimer’s universe, will anyone care? Now hosting CBC radio’s Definitely Not the Opera, and making movies in the nude.

Lemieux, Mario

Archetypal Canadian Character, late 1980s: Oversized, bilingual, ambivalent. He’s interested primarily in money and is physically fragile: “If you try to stop me, I’ll reach around you and get what I want anyway.” Lives in the U.S and retires young.

Levesque, Rene

Short, balding, cigarette-smoking leftist Quebec political leader not to be confused with anyone in any major 1990s Quebec political movement. Levesque wanted Quebec to separate from Canada because he believed that English Canada was getting all the bonbons, was suppressing Quebec culture and the French language–and that it would continue to do these things. To refute his claims, Ottawa has had a bonbon hose down Quebec’s throat ever since and Quebec culture now has a better chance of surviving globalization, Disneyfication and the New Conservative movement than anything comparable in English Canada. But it isn’t all good news. The ideas about cultural autonomy that energized Rene Levesque have about as much to do with the Quebec separatism of the 1990s as Che Guevara’s ideas about socialist revolution have to do with the Cuba of the 1990s. Quebec’s current leadership seems determined to put a high percentage of Northern Quebec under water in order to gain membership to the U.S. Northeast Power Grid , and the leaders themselves want to take long paid vacations in Paris and New York under the pretense of attending G-7 and U.N. conferences.

Lewis, Avie

Son of former Ontario NDP leader, grandson of former federal NDP leader. Lewis the youngest is himself a former MuchMusic intellectual, now hosting a “what do those dreadful young people want” show for the CBC. Unfortunately for the CBC, Avie Lewis is bright enough that he might actually find out what the young want.

Libel Chill

A set of legal maneuvers and moral intimidations more used in Canada than anywhere in the world outside of Disney to protect the solitude of the money-counting classes and to silence annoying journalistic and artistic inquiry.

Liberals

Reactionary Conservatives who buy and hang the work of prominent Canadian visual artists in their homes and too lazy to get hot about their own reactions. Not to be confused with American liberals, who are extinct.

Lies

Canadians are neck-deep in lies just like everyone else in the world. Lying about what’s happening has become the only non-denominational activity all Canadians share. The lies come from our politics, our commercial system, our media and press. The lies come from the political right, where the power lies, but they’re also coming from our fast-shrinking centre and left. The lies come from our collective and individual greed and intolerance, from our public and private myopia, and they come from an education system so overwhelmed with correctness-crazed safety freaks it’s only willing to teach our kids to have a nice day. Some of the lies are planned and deliberate futurehype, others are designed to habituate us to products (or lately, to the absence and uneven distribution of product) and some are designed to overload and disable our critical faculties so more lies can be stuffed down our craws. These kinds of lies are a testament to the growing fear of democracy and openness that is the dark side of the information revolution we are experiencing. The more powerful the engine of lying, the greater the wastage and debris and polution.

Lindros, Eric

Archetypal Canadian Character, 1990s: Oversized, too aggressive, too interested in money, endurance questionable. Slogan: “Get the fuck out of my way or I’ll run over you”. Resides in his mother’s lap in suburban Toronto during the offseason when not getting into bar-fights or recovering from the concussions that seem likely to end his career and/or lead to the collapse of the NHL.

Lisa Raitt

Harper Government’s loose-tongued Labour minister, former CEO of Toronto Port Authority and slayer of former Conservative loose cannon MP Garth Turner, who was  defenestrated from the party for periodically telling the truth about Harper’s intentions. Aside from calling her cabinet colleagues morons and thinking that nuclear isotopes are “sexy” while an aide’s tape recorder was on, Raitt has publicly mused that the “economy” should be declared an essential service, thus removing the right to strike from everyone, and revealing that the smooth running of the national economy—however the Harper Government chooses to define it—is more important than the Labour Code, or, for that matter, the Charter of Rights

Lobster Scandal

A 1980s incident, possibly apocryphal, in which federal fisheries attempted to stock several west coast inlets with 140,000 juvenile Atlantic lobsters, but forgot to remove the elastic bands from their claws before releasing them. In the real world, the lobsters would have died of oxygen starvation on the plane coming from Nova Scotia when fisheries scientists stopped in Calgary to get drunk and chow down on some Alberta grain-fed porterhouse steaks. The next lobster scandal will be their virtual disappearance from the east coast due to overfishing and pollution.

Logic, Applied Commercial

If we’ve really created a secure continental marketplace with NAFTA, and have gained ready access to the global marketplace through GATT, and if capitalism reigns supreme and constitutes the only possible road to social and political justice; and if we’re really concerned about excessive government—Can’t we disband the Federal Trade Secretariat, fire the hordes of nattering government economists, tighten up the rules on non-profit societies to exclude political lobbies, close the industrial development cargo cults that now moulder at every level of government, and let capitalism do its work? Or are we missing something, or not being told what the downscaling & deregulation of government is really about, and for?

London, Ont

The only city in the world where women are forced by civic ordinance to dress in Laura Ashley designer fashions. Populated mainly by insurance executives, accountants and visual artists, determined not to be mistaken for citizens of London, England or anywhere else.

Los Angeles

California city where Canadian media figures refuse to emigrate to–unless offered work. Thought by unobservant actors and other chronic optimists to be under the control of Lorne Greene, Leslie Neilson and Wayne Gretzky. Most of the actors who move there return home two years later with permanent tans, inflated body parts and deflated bank accounts and egos.

Lotusland

A term coined in the 1970s by one-time humourist Allan Fotheringham to describe the lifestyle of about 10,000 wealthy Vancouverites who spent most of their time in Hawaii pretending they were from Los Angeles and yammering about what a splendid place B.C is to visit and/or to exploit. Dwellers in Lotusland have seen their numbers swelled by Hong Kong’s financial refugees in recent years, and it is now compulsory to spend at least a week each year skiing and taking drugs at Whistler. But attitudes and behaviors in LotusLand are otherwise unaltered by a quarter century of self-delusion and environmental and economic abuse. In the real world, Southwestern B.C. has rainy summers, suicide-inducing winters, and a dangerous obliviousness to the declining Third World economy of the rest of British Columbia

The Lunatic Fringe

No, not B.C and Alberta. These are born-yesterday political movements who’ve made the Rhinoceros Party from days of yore seem like moderates. One of them is the Heritage Front, which is Canada’s only admitted racially motivated political party outside of the Parti Quebecois. Most of the fringe parties are less nasty , but still harbour beliefs in things like Elvis, UFO’s, Black, Asian and Jewish conspiracies, and other tenuous grips on reality. The Natural Law Party, for instance, believes that the road to good management lies through a national Yogic frequent flyer program. These believers are likely to become more extremist in their views as Reform and other elements of the mainstream parties stop pretending they’re sane and occupy the natural territories of the conventional lunatic fringe under the aegis of the Reform/Alliance