Friday Wrap #42 – Rants and Rick Mercer

I walk through an alley daily to get to the office I work in. Recently, some un-artistic people with too much free time on their hands have taken to spraying more and more graffiti on the walls. It’s starting to look more and more like the alley used by comedian Rick Mercer as a backdrop for his weekly rants when he hosted The Mercer Report. I miss watching The Mercer Report.

For those not familiar with it, Mercer hosted this show from 2004-18 on the CBC. The show had satire, comedy, and was a bit of a travelling documentary of Canada.

My favourite part of this show was his aforementioned rants. A single-camera walking point of view through that graffiti filled alley where he would use just the right amount of angst, guile, and knowledge to take a topical issue and make some point. I didn’t always agree with his perspective or conclusion, but I respected his view and how he presented it.

Walking through the alley on my way to work inspires me to rant a bit myself. My problem is, there are so many topics to rant about – how do I narrow it down to just one?

I could rant about how provincial politicians seem to be working to bring industry and jobs to all parts of Ontario – except for the areas east of Brockville.

A week doesn’t go by that there isn’t an announcement from some Ontario ministry that a new battery plant is going here, or a new manufacturing plant is going there. London, Hamilton, Pickering, Ottawa, Fort Erie, and even Loyalist Township (west of Kingston) all have great new plants and “investment” by the government to bring those jobs there. The real Eastern Ontario is part of the same “team” as the rest of the provincial government and all we see is money for stopping car theft and the promise of maybe some support possibly for a tourist attraction yet-to-be-built.

I could also rant about the lack of sidewalks in my area of town. It’s difficult to promote a community as being a place that promotes active living when people who want to walk have to dodge cars on the road.

Maybe I could rant about how people are facing tougher economic times, higher housing prices, and continued food and income insecurity, but its nice that politicians in Toronto and Ottawa are able to bicker back and forth like children and accomplish nothing substantial to help.

Still I could rant about people still putting raisins in butter tarts and cookies.

No. These aren’t rants, rather complaints. Mercer’s rants presented a clear problem, defined a solution, and always ended with a thought provoking question. Clearly I lack that focus. But given the times we are in now, I think we need Rick Mercer back. We need the Mercer Report back.

Three things:

Something to watch – Of course, it’s a Rick Mercer rant. This one is one of my favourite ones (; and this one (; and this one (

Something to listen to – Miles Davis performing Time after Time (

Something to read – The Wit’s Guide to Free Will. I used my free will to add this link. (

Final word – I think I am going to open up a cardboard box stand. Given the events of the last couple weeks, I think setting up one near my local municipal offices will prove lucerative. I need to save money for a new camera lens anyways!