Sunday, August 27, 2006

Men's toilets, the Liberal leadership race, and "Our Friends in the North"

After catching POGGE's post & commentary on the Globe's epic Ignatieff profile, I felt compelled to read the whole thing for myself. Here's what greeted me on Saturday's globeandmail.com:
Let's allow that flattering juxtaposition sink in for a moment :)

Coming next Saturday to the Globe Features section: "Rest stop tampon dispensers" and "Gerard Kennedy: just how big of a lush is he?"

{see The Dan Report, if you're confused about that last one}

As for Valpy's Ignatieff feature...I couldn't help thinking of that 1996 British series, "Our Friends in the North." The 9 part series followed a group of Newcastle friends from 1964 to 1995 (Labour Party corruption, miner's strike, Thatcherism, police corruption, starting off a family and watching the family fall apart...parent gets Alzheimer's, the whole 9).
Ignatieff's odyssey from 60s socialist leader to London media gadabout to candidate for the Liberal leadership reminds me of Christopher Eccleston's "Nicky" character in Our Friends. Nicky cycles through several personae and repeatedly alienates himself from his gang. Here's Nicky's path through life...see if you catch the resemblance:
  1. student -->
  2. Labour party flack-->
  3. militant anarchist-->
  4. (unsuccessful) Labour candidate-->
  5. (successful) photographer
Having become a big-shot photographer, Nicky cheats on his wife, leaves for Italy and abandons his deteriorating father (Alzheimer's). He returns home to attend his mother's funeral and to reconcile with his ex-wife.

The Valpy piece does not paint a flattering picture. And poor Andrew Ignatieff! I'll never use the term "Iggy" again!

Footnote: Our Friends aired on TV Ontario back in the late 90s. I've been dying to get it on DVD but, alas, tis only on Region 2.

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