Newsstand: August 2, 2010


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Newsstand: August 2, 2010

Illustration by Matt Daley/Torontoist.

Happy Monday, folks! Today in the news: Smitherman’s slick chicken is revealed, our non-Woodstock’s a bust, and a new law keeps intoxicated youngsters off the roads.

George Smitherman is taking the gloves off and bringing out the…chicken suit? A large, seemingly disco-era chicken with chilly ankles appeared in various locations around the GTA last week carrying a sign reading “Rob Ford—No Plan—Afraid of Debate.” It turned out to be a Smitherman volunteer, and this isn’t the first time the mayoral candidate has resorted to costumed taunts: back in 1999, he used a chicken to call out his opposition in the race for the Toronto Centre-Rosedale riding, which he eventually won. Bill Clinton also used a chicken-suited volunteer to taunt George Bush (the elder) back in 1992 for avoiding debate, and the ploy eventually earned him the nickname Slick Willy. Smitherman explains his use of the tactic by saying, “Sometimes you need a visualization to really make your point…I think [Ford’s] a chicken. He’s gone from Mr. Super-Tough-Football-Coach to the boy in the bubble.” Slick Smitherman? Ford spokesperson Adrienne Batra doesn’t think so: “Rob’s been called worse things by better people.” Zing.
It seems that our very own muddy festival of love is not to be, at least not as it was promised. Heralded by promoters as Toronto’s Woodstock, the Imagine concert was first announced back in February, and promised to be the biggest music festival in the history of the city, with 350,000 originally expected to attend each day. That number has now dwindled to forty thousand, the biggest name so far is Chubby Checker, and it’s now set for Labour Day weekend. SARSstock it is not.
Caribana went down, went off, and went wild this weekend across Toronto, and particularly on Sunday, as the festival’s annual parade once again proved true that age old adage: sequins and feathers go with absolutely everything. It’s frickin’ weird.
Ontario police got trigger happy—and we mean that entirely metaphorically—with a new zero alcohol tolerance law instated this weekend, prohibiting anyone twenty-one and under from having any alcohol before getting behind the wheel, regardless of driving class. Within ten minutes of the law taking effect on Sunday at 12:01 a.m., one young man in the Entertainment District had already been charged, fined $110, and had his license revoked for twenty-four hours.
In what can only be described as a pasty smorgasbord of angst, bloodlust, and infinite consumer tie-ins, the Twilight convention descended on Toronto’s Westin Convention Centre. For the low, low price of $299, fans were treated to actor Q&As, photos, autographs, and tickets to a costumed vampire ball. Jacob wasn’t there (sigh), but a shirtless stand-in did the trick for the more than five hundred girls and women in attendance.