“La Vie Boheme” is Terrible: Here’s Why In Agonizing, Painstaking Detail

Through all of RENT’s flaws in plot and characterization and dissonant tone and staging, the song “La Vie Boheme” manages to stand out as a particularly egregious example of what makes the musical so tone-deaf and ill-conceived. So, being a pedant and a miserable person who hates joy, I decided to dive head in and take a look at “La Vie Boheme”, line-by-line, and dissect its unique awfulness.

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Hidden Toronto: The Secrets of City Council

In Hidden Toronto, acclaimed author and amateur historian Nicholas Tristan seeks to discover not the Toronto of Drake, that weird sports bar Wayne Gretzky owns, and $16 cocktails; but rather the hidden Toronto, the Toronto that has been forgotten by the so-called “historians” with their “professional degrees”.

So you’ve been elected to Toronto’s City Council. Congratulations! That’s not an easy task -- first of all, you needed money, organizational skills, and a well-oiled political machine; not to mention some old fashioned country gumption. You also had to make a deal with that wizened old crone that lives in the hidden catacombs ‘neath Old City Hall -- she’ll return for her end of the bargain, don’t you worry.
 

But what does all this all mean? Everyone knows what the mayor does: mayoral duties, mayoring, cutting large ribbons, handing giant cheques to orphans or corrupt city developers, and lane swimming at least three hours a day. This is, of course, in addition to other mayor-related activities.
 

City councilors, on the other hand, are in a bit more of a nebulous position. Sure, you vote on bills and filibuster from time to time and sometimes you say something like “the chair is out of order!” or “this whole damn system is out of order!”, but is really the whole of your job? Of course it isn’t! Allow me to explain some other perks:
 

  1. Free meals. Everyone knows kids eat free at places like Denny’s and Applebee’s, but this generous promotion also applies to duly elected members of Toronto’s city council! Simply tell your server “goo goo gah gah I’m a councilor” and you will be entitled to absolutely anything from the kid’s menu, free of charge! Even a milkshake, you ask? No, not a milkshake actually. Those...those aren’t free.
     

  2. You now understand Japanese.  日本語をはなす! すごい! ヤーッス クィーン! Isn’t that exciting? Yes, being a member of Toronto’s council endows you with fluency in the language of the land of the rising sun due to a pact signed between the cities of Toronto and Yokohama in the mid-80s! It’s too confusing to explain how and why in this article, but it happened for some reason. The important thing is now you can watch all your favorite anime films and television series neither subbed nor dubbed, making you the coolest member of your local anime club or Japanophile society!
     

  3. Deers now respect your authority. Finally. Those fuckers have been mocking you for too long.
     

  4. You get to decide what movies John Travolta makes. Ever wondered why Travolta has turned down roles in hits like Chicago, An Officer and a Gentleman, Top Gun, and Forrest Gump while appearing in dreck like Battlefield Earth and this year’s megaflop Gotti? All the work of Toronto’s council chambers, who vote on the actor’s career choices in a special session every year. At each meeting Travolta will plead with the council for some decency, some semblance of mercy, but is always met with cruel and mocking laughter. So go ahead, have Travolta play a time-travelling Mozart who falls in love with Cleopatra: he’s under your control.
     

  5. Toronto summers aren’t unbearable. Forget the humidity, the heat waves, the garbage smell: you’re protected against these things by a climate-controlled dome you spend every waking second in! The dome is invisible to everyone but other councillors, as well as the dome repair people because they gotta see them to be able to repair them. The domes do break a lot, but what are you gonna do? Not live in a climate-controlled dome?
     

  6. Hard drugs are legal. I mean, you probably already guessed this one thanks to Rob Ford. Our other councilors are more discreet -- Mike Layton, for instance, is a raw ether fiend. Joe Cressy is never seen without his vial of laudanum. And Ana Bailão can’t get enough of ibogaine, a rare psychoactive drug found mostly in Africa. Have fun, and be careful!
     

There you go! Who says being a councillor is a thankless job? Now go out there and pass some laws, yell at the mayor, and don’t forget to do whatever the old crone under Old City Hall tells you to do. No matter what. You made a promise.

Hidden Toronto: A List of Toronto’s Forgotten Mayors:

In Hidden Toronto, acclaimed author and amateur historian Nicholas Tristan seeks to discover not the Toronto of Drake, that weird sports bar Wayne Gretzky owns, and $16 cocktails; but rather the hidden Toronto, the Toronto that has been forgotten by the so-called “historians” with their “professional degrees”.

city hall.jpeg



First up: we all know John Tory, Rob Ford, Mel Lastman, and Mr. Gravy Train himself, David Miller. But did you know Toronto has had many other mayors? Let’s find out about them -- together.
 

 

 


Reginald Toronto 

 

Not the city’s namesake as many have erroneously thought, but rather the namesake of the famous “Reginald” we all love and enjoy today.
 



Emma Fletcher

 

A soft, gentle spoken woman, Mayor Fletcher’s tenure as mayor is often forgotten except in discussions about how the dulcet tones of Mayor Fletcher were the only thing that calmed the bees. God, the bees. That’s for another article.
 

  A typical bee, now that "all that" has been dealt with.

A typical bee, now that "all that" has been dealt with.


A Ghost

 

Yes, it seems hard to believe now, but for a brief period in the 1920s Toronto’s mayor was officially a ghost. One of those bedsheet ones with the eyes cut out, really classic ghost stuff. Having completed its unfinished business of being the mayor, the ghost disappeared into the spirit realm, never to be heard from again.
 



Another Ford

 

One of the lesser Fords was mayor for a time, maybe before Rob? Maybe after? During -- is that even possible? Anyway, another Ford was mayor and he’s best remembered for tripping over a hot dog bun.
 



Leprechaun (name unknown)

 

A mysterious leprechaun was briefly the mayor of Toronto last May after tricking John Tory with riddles three. Some say he’s still the mayor, controlling the machinations of council with the promise of gold -- gold beyond their wildest dreams! Of course, those “in the know” have known this to be false -- the hated leprechaun is dead, beaten to an unrecognizable pulp by a frightened and dehydrated Tory in an attempt to end the madness.

  Begone, foul Celtic grime goblin, and haunt John Tory's dreams no further!

Begone, foul Celtic grime goblin, and haunt John Tory's dreams no further!



Caligula

 

The Roman Emperor Caligula, famed for his cruelty, was once the mayor of Toronto. Seem impossible to you? Buddy, you haven’t been reading this list if you still think that! It’s anything goes on this list!




Alastair D. Tremblay

 

Mayor Tremblay thought to differentiate 1960s Toronto from other Canadian cities by ditching Toronto’s outdated, moralist “Toronto The Good” image and embracing pure and utter depravity. All manner of sadistic and sensual acts could be found in Tremblay’s Toronto, some under lock and key but some practiced in daylight under the eyes of a deeply ashamed Creator. Tremblay’s new Sodom was toppled, though, by an expenses scandal midway through his administration. Mayor Tremblay resigned, and all the horrible and hideous and wonderful heresies and fantasies laid out in the city were quickly replaced by rapidly expanding Pizza Pizza locations and a return to sensible haircuts.

  This is  not  Sponsored Content, as Pizza Pizza has not indicated one way or the other where they stand on utterly depraved acts of the flesh, and it would be irresponsible to assume that they are opposed until explicitly stated.

This is not Sponsored Content, as Pizza Pizza has not indicated one way or the other where they stand on utterly depraved acts of the flesh, and it would be irresponsible to assume that they are opposed until explicitly stated.



Both Kenny and Spenny

 

That show probably hasn’t held up, has it? Anyway, I use to love it, and they were the mayor at the same time, serving two non-consecutive terms.




You, The Reader

 

Has this list gotten too conceptual for you? Well, you can put a stop to it. You are the mayor, after all.
 



Justin Trudeau But His Words Are All Backmasked Like The Dwarf In Twin Peaks:

 

In retrospect, a good mayor, though some have speculated that his long and unwieldy name is what prevented him from a move into provincial politics.




Ozymandias, King of Kings 

 

Not a lot left of his legacy, kind of a shame.

   Percy Bysshe Shelley  is a well-known poet of the English Romantic era, who lived from 1792 to 1822.

Percy Bysshe Shelley is a well-known poet of the English Romantic era, who lived from 1792 to 1822.



Timecop (1994)

 

We tried making a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie the mayor, and it didn’t work. Toronto’s not perfect, okay?




Barbara Hall

 

Had to double check she was actually mayor. Neat, right? I once vigorously made out with a guy at a park named after her, so I was like, “maybe she was the mayor?” and sure enough, she was! Anyway, Marco, you were fun and please feel free to reach out if you’d like to, you know, grab a coffee or something.




Reese 

 

Reese was an adequate mayor. That’s all we can say about Reese!

  Reese, buddy, you did fine! That's sometimes all it takes.

Reese, buddy, you did fine! That's sometimes all it takes.



--

That’s it for this edition of Hidden Toronto. Next time: why does Toronto have so many mysterious wells that its citizens are intrisically drawn to fall into? We’ll find out!

What Great Classical Composers Would Be Up To Today, If They Were Still Alive

A list by Nicholas Tristan

Ludwig van Beethoven: Retweeting 132-tweet threads about Trump’s Russian collusion, blocking anyone who tries to talk to him about his music.

Richard Wagner: Yes yes, he would be super racist and anti-semitic. Everyone knows this. BUT he would also be inexplicably into Pinterest.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Making incomprehensibly arcane Lutheran memes and posting them on his Facebook feed.

William Byrd: The same, except Catholic memes instead.

Frederic Chopin: Listing his sexuality as “sapiosexual” on OK Cupid, getting into clove cigarettes.

Alexander Scriabin: Really fucking into Apple products.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: 4chan, but he’s not too serious about it.

Antonio Vivaldi: Successful country and western music career.

Johannes Brahms: Hosting a podcast that makes $60,000 per month on Patreon.

Richard Strauss: Conservative YouTube personality, making videos with titles like “What SJW Snowflake Feminists Don’t Understand About PENISES”

Joseph Haydn: Attending the Women’s March, taking selfies in a shirt that says “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like”.

Franz Schubert: Responding to numerous sexual harassment allegations.

Jean Sibelius: Bear Grylls-style survivalist personality.

George Frideric Handel: Writing a craft beer blog that makes the occasional allusion to the violent bar fights he periodically gets in.

Benjamin Britten: Reposting faux-profound comics about how technology controls our lives, man, still subscribing to Adbusters.

Modest Mussorgsky: Getting increasingly furious at people accidentally tagging him when they want to tag the band Modest Mouse.

Claude Debussy: Still shocked after discovering what the gay community thanks a “bussy” is.

Igor Stravinsky: Writing novel-length My Little Pony fanfiction.

Franz Liszt: Talking your ear off about Hungary at a party while completely obliterated on cocaine, not sharing any of this cocaine.

Johann Strauss: Strangely enough? Still pretty much just waltzes.

Clara Schumann: Attending “Women Going Their Own Way” meetings, writing blog posts about polyamory for a website called something like “Femmeist”.

Philip Glass: Philip Glass is still alive, so living in Cape Breton and hanging out with Ashley MacIsaac, apparently.

Carl Orff: Serious anime nazi, under investigation by the FBI.

Samuel Barber: EDM producer.

Maurice Ravel: Doing MDMA every weekend, but like, the good stuff.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky: A DeviantArt account full of bizarre fetish porn.

Leonard Bernstein: A DeviantArt account full of tasteful fetish porn.

Amy Beach: Fox News Contributor who talks about the War on Christmas and how it’s illegal for any student to pray in school anymore.

Dimitri Shostakovich: YouTube recaps about the Dungeons and Dragons game he DMs.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Listen, I still don’t know if I’ve ever heard a Rimsky-Korsakov piece in my life, I can’t extrapolate a funny modern thing for him. So, uh, let’s say he likes going to the zoo.

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Internationally ranked Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player.

Hildegard Von Bingen: Moderating an old BBS for nuns and really abusing her power there.

Gustav Mahler: Mahler is, unfortunately, still dead in this scenario.