Monday, July 04, 2005

Cruising with Ezra Levant!

Many years ago I had beers with Ezra Levant, and we ended up yelling at each other long into the night. We had lots of fun and bored the hell out of anyone within earshot.

I guess at this point it could be his word against mine; he could very well deny the entire thing, but it happened I swear.

For anyone who is not familiar with Ezra he’s the guy that coined the phrase “Stockaholic” to describe one’s overwhelming loyalty to Stockwell Day. The phrase never caught on really; mostly it was just Ezra who used it, and always in reference to himself.

A longtime Alliance activist, Ezra spent a pant load of his own money in 2002 to win the Alliance nomination in the riding of Calgary Southwest. Then, in a stunning display of how Conservatives are all about the grassroots, Ezra was forced to give up his hard-fought nomination to his newly elected leader Stephen Harper. It was pretty decent of him really, down right Scott Brisonish.

Personally I would have liked to see Ezra in Parliament, but probably for different reasons than most of his supporters.

Ezra has since traded in any political aspirations for the magazine trade. He is the Founder and Publisher of the Western Standard. I am an avid reader.

It’s got all the conservative pundits you would ever want to read, the sensible ones and the not so sensible.

The June issue had commentaries on a variety of subjects including “Why Belinda is worse than a whore”, “Why the conservatives are better off without Belinda” and “How Belinda’s ambition will have long term repercussions for Canadian Governance”. Those aren’t the exact titles but that’s the gist of it. Unlike the Eastern Media, it’s unbiased journalism at its best.

I was always a news stand buyer but lately The Western Standard is available for free on any Air Canada flight. I say free but I guess somehow it’s factored in with the $14,000.00 ticket price

What I like about Ezra is that he doesn't just limit himself to publishing. Ezra is also bit of a professional shit disturber and I admire that in a person. It was Ezra who made the “It’s the stupid Charter” buttons that were distributed at the last Conservative Convention. Harper’s people were apoplectic when they started showing up on the floor. At first they thought it was a dirty Liberal trick designed to embarrass them until they saw the “Western Standard” logo at the bottom.

I interviewed one young guy who was proudly wearing three of the buttons. He told me with a straight face that the Charter should be burned and then complained that the young Liberals had stolen the idea of Ezra’s button because the Liberals had buttons that said “It’s the Charter, Stupid”. This poor misguided activist was incensed that the Liberals would steal from Conservatives and plus he said he didn’t appreciate being called stupid. To put it kindly I have seen brighter lights on small appliances. I didn’t put it on TV because I thought the kid probably had parents who might watch or he might want to go on a date someday. Later he was part of the crowd chanting “No Youth! “No Youth!” during the debate over the youth wing. To be fair every party has them.

Ezra’s latest coup is the now famous Libranos poster.

When Immigration Minister Joe Volpe saw a few Conservative MP’s chuckling over the poster he practically had an aneurism. He ran to the closest microphone and declared that the entire Conservative party was basically like the Ku Klux Klan. For this outburst alone Volpe wins the award for “stupidest comment from a Member of Parliament this year”. And what a year to win the honour! Kudos to Volpe on that one.

Personally, I think calling people Nazis or KKK members is grounds for bouncing a Cabinet Minister. It lets the KKK off the hook.

If you are going to call someone a Nazi or a KKK member, let’s make sure there are photos of them taking part in behavior fitting of history’s cruelest monsters, not just chuckling over photo shop.

Anyway Ezra has now set his sights even higher. He is no longer just a publisher and Conservative opinion maker. Ezra Levant is now a cruise director!

I admit when I first stumbled across the two page glossy ad for the “Inaugural Western Standard Caribbean Cruise with Ezra Levant” I thought it was another example of Ezra’s wit, but nope – it’s a legit enterprise.

According to Ezra he is offering you the opportunity to travel the Caribbean with “like minded Conservatives”. He’s a genius that Ezra. I’m sold. Personally I cannot think of a better way to spend a week in December than watching a group of like-minded sun-baked conservatives, liquored to the tits, gobbling Dramamine, and complaining about Canada.

You can go to his website and learn all about it. My favourite part is the speakers list. You guessed it: ten white guys! It’s like the Love Boat but without girls!

Highlights of the cruise will be the all you can eat buffets and the opportunity to have a photograph/autograph session with Colby Cosh, Ted Byfield and Andrew Coyne!

I am half tempted to sign up. I had fun with Ezra before, I’m sure I could do it again. Of course back then we weren’t stuck on a boat.

For a complete list of speakers joining Captain Ezra (including Ted Byfield top) visit