Oh what a completely gratuitous way of getting you to read this blog! Shameless sensationalism, pure and simple. We try to be more high-minded than that at HuffPost, at least over here on the blog rail, where we would neverpost links to the red-headed royal frolicking around a Las Vegas hotel room in the buff, with an equally starkers "poker" (poke her? surely that's what the reports meant ...) companion. At most we would publish a serious think piece on the increasingly diminishing returns of the monarchy -- one which would thoughtfully weigh its relevance to our country, one which might indeed spark an important national debate on the topic.
Unfortunately, no such blog appeared in my inbox.
Instead, I had to contend with the fall-out from another royal screw-up, this one involving a certain Republican congressman from Missouri ("Mizzoruh"). Rep. Todd Akin's musings on the ability of "legitimate rape" victims to become pregnant immediately prompted a viral reaction from the international blogosphere, including among our own outraged contributors. Canadian HuffPoster Daniel Alexandre Portoraro weighed in here; U.S. vagina expert Eve Ensler weighed in here; and perhaps my favorite reaction was by UK HuffPoster Tom Doran here -- who offered readers a handy questionnaire as to whether they had been "legitimately raped" or not. Among the questions:
1. Am I Pregnant?
If YES, congratulations! You weren't raped. No less an authority than Representative Todd Akin of Missouri's 2nd congressional district says:
"First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare [...] If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Not willing to let such left-wing diversions as so-called "medical expertise" and "common decency" stand in his way, the good congressman is here to give all you ladies a refresher course in reproductive health. When a woman is legitimately raped (once the perpetrator has waited the required 6-8 weeks for his Rape License to come through), a microscopic set of steel hangar doors immediately seal her fallopian tubes shut, rendering fertilization impossible. Rep. Akin is currently running for Senate, so GET DONATING! It occurs to me that I neglected to mention his party identification, but that's probably unnecessary.
If NO, proceed to the next question...
And so on.
Also causing a racket on the blog rail was, of course, the imminent Quebec election. Again I had hoped for some serious, high-minded think pieces here, but this seems impossible given the candidates who are running. From Anglo Canada, it's like watching a Cirque de Soleil clown show, with all the buffoonish antics but absent any comedy. Especially not funny was Mark Milke's calculations upon how much all those extravagant election promises might end up costing the rest of Canada.
We did not lack for humorous commentary, however. HuffPost media critic J.J. McCullough offered a helpful user's guide to the spectacle. And in his blog, "So a Loser, a Salesman And a Bigot Walk Into a Quebec Election," Yoni Goldstein sums it up thusly:
As a general rule, one can find at election time a candidate or two who inspires at least some slight degree of votability, who seem to be on a basic level inspiring or, ideally, just plain normal. Not so this time around in Quebec, where the three major candidates -- Jean Charest, Pauline Marois and Francois Legault -- are a uniquely unlikeable trio. Each one, should he or she win, will in their own unique way set about moving the province backward, possibly on the road to ruin. I do not pity the decision Quebecers will be forced to make September 4 because there is, quite literally, no one to vote for.
Peter Worthington, meanwhile, took the endlessly face-grab-causing Marois to task on her open hostility towards English, in "Was it Something We Said, Pauline?" while Bernie Farber took issue with Marois open hostility towards everything and everyone who is slightly different from herself.
Give the woman this -- actually, there is nothing to give her. Except maybe one of those "too Asian" $100 bills the Bank of Canada sent back to the drawing board. That's more enough for a bus ticket out of town.
PRINCE HARRY NUDE PIX!!!!!!!
Got your attention back?
Seriously now -- and we DID have some serious stuff over here -- one of the most remarkable series of blogs we've run lately was by Former Liberal party candidate Daniel D. Veniez on the deluded attitudes Canadians hold towards their health care system -- despite its glaring and often shocking failures. The series was prompted by Dr. Brian Day's battle with the B.C. Medical Commission, which has told Day he can no longer charge patients at his private health clinic, the Cambie Surgery Centre. I urge you to read all three parts of Veniez's series: One, Two and Three.
Readers on all three English-speaking HuffPost sites will now be able to get exclusive inside commentary from Syria, by our boots-on-the-ground blogger Andrew Sheehan (who will be writing under a pseudonym for safety as long as he is based in Damascus). You can read his first post for us here.
David Suzuki greeted his followers with the (almost) happy news that, "Climate Change Deniers Are Almost Extinct -- But is it Too Late?" and Samuel Getachew offered a very intimate view of Jack Layton on the anniversary of his death, "Talking to Jack Layton Was Like Talking to Canada Itself."
And sorry kids, we continued our back-to-back back-to-school coverage over in Living, highlighting some more FUN THINGS you can look forward to, aside from the stench of banana in your lunch box. We helpfully offered a list of some of the strange things that schools have banned (more strangely, bananas in lunch boxes was not on it). Among the items? Yoga pants (Ottawa); hugging (Brampton) and, wait for it, best friends (UK). We also offered a recipe as to how to make your own hand sanitizer. I should stress that this was not a suggestion for a substitute for a banana in your lunch. Although I'm sure it would smell a heckuva lot better.
PRINCE HARRY NUDE PIX!!!!
Or did I already say that?