John Waters: The Full Interview

John Waters and Gary Varro at a dinner held during Camp, Trash, Filth

Our June 8-21 issue featured a cover story on legendary American filmmaker, author, artist and provocateur John Waters. It was in advance of a June 24 appearance he made in Regina as part of Camp, Trash, Filth organized by Queer City Cinema artistic director Gary Varro.

Waters’ contract stipulated no media while he was in town. He did agree to two pre-appearance phone interviews from his home in Baltimore. I snagged one, and wrote the above mentioned cover story, along with a second story using recycled and new material for the CARFAC SASK newsletter.

Now that both articles have been published, I thought I’d stitch together a fuller picture of my 25-minute interview with John Waters.

Could you offer a snapshot of what it was like growing up in Baltimore?

Well, the ’50s were horrible. You might know them from watching television and hearing doo-wop music and seeing cool cars, but it was a time of terrible conformity. That’s why rock ’n’ roll went crazy. That’s why Elvis Pressley was a Martian who scared the whole world. Then beatniks started, and hippies, then punks, grunge, gangstas, and now hackers. So there’s my history.   

Your family may not have understood what you were doing, you’ve said, but they were still supportive. What about life outside your home in Baltimore? Did you ever feel repressed?

I felt repressed, certainly, by people I went to school with. Most of the teachers I had too, especially in high school, would never encourage what I ended up doing for a living. I didn’t care that much, though. I wasn’t bullied because the bullies thought I was crazy, so they left me alone. And I created a lot of friends in my mind and even a character for myself. And I had a career as a puppeteer when I was 12 for children’s birthday parties. I also wrote stories that would horrify people at summer camp, and the counselors would call my parents. So that was always my comfort. Continue reading “John Waters: The Full Interview”

Sunday Matinee: Spotlight On A Murderer

I love Arrow Films. Not only do they bring old cult favourites to blu-ray but they can dig up some lost classics that people may never have heard of. For example this 1961 mystery from French director Georges Franju.

Georges Franju is best remembered for his second feature film, the brilliant and excellent Eyes Without a Face. Another of his movies was the 1963 remake Judex. But before he made Judex he made this 1961 mystery Spotlight on a Murderer.
Continue reading “Sunday Matinee: Spotlight On A Murderer”

DA: 100 People Party Planet

Daily AggregationHellooooooo Regina! You’re probably just finishing your sardine sandwiches and lunch pickles. Yum! Looking for a noon-hour news link round-up? I have just the thing.

1. THIS WEATHER! Did I mention? Wind! Snow! Grounded planes! Eeek!

2. SASKATCHEWAN IS BACK IN SESSION The Legislature is sitting again and yesterday was the first day of spring session. And what a day it was! Brad Wall won’t sell SaskTel! Don Morgan has fresh ideas* to stop impaired driving! New MLA Ryan Meili is the NDP shadow critic for poverty! Out of province political donations are destroying democracy! As for today? Brad Wall wants to cut MLAs’ pay by 3.5 per cent. May I counter-propose five per cent, and 10 per cent for ministers and Premiers? I think I may! CONSIDER IT PROPOSED.

3. DEALS WITH DRAGONS Can Canada have closer economic ties to China when China is a human rights shitshow? First step: consultations!

4. DEPORTING CANADIANS You might be a fuck-up, but if you’ve lived in Canada all six decades of your life you’re OUR fuck-up. Meanies disagree.

5. TRUMPCARE The diabolical dummies release their dumb anti-Planned Parenthood Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan. Douchebags. I like Tom Tomorrow’s take.

6. WAIT, THE CIA HAS THE ABILITY TO GET INTO CELL PHONES? No way.

7. INCRIMINATING USE OF A FOUR-POUND HAMMER After two sleeping homeless people had their heads bashed in, Las Vegas police arrested a fellow who beat the shit out of a mannequin’s head. The mannequin was posing as a sleeping homeless person. “I knew it was a mannequin,” says hammer guy. Uh huh.

8. GEORGE MICHAEL IS STILL DEAD But now we know he died of natural causes. Continue resting in peace, good sir. You are  missed.

WORLD OF 100 What would it look like if the planet’s population was represented by only 100 people? Video swiped from the always excellent Kottke.

Requiem For An American Dream

This 2015 documentary by Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared Scott is probably not for the faint of heart — at least as far as the willingness and ability of the viewer to grapple with complex ideas about the state of democracy in the Western World in the 21st century.

Filmed over a four-year period Requiem For An American Dream focusses on American intellectual Noam Chomsky, and sees him break down the steady march of our society toward neoliberal nirvana where wealth and power, over the last number of decades, have been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands — leaving massive numbers of Americans on the outside looking in as far as the so-called American Dream goes.

The documentary screens at the RPL Film Theatre Friday May 27 at 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday May 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. Here’s the trailer:

Daniel Cross

Canadian documentary filmmaker Daniel Cross is in Regina later this week. On Tuesday, May 24 the Saskatchewan Filmpool is hosting a session at the Regina Public Library where Cross will be in conversation with Regina filmmaker Mark Wihak about his 20-year career in film. That goes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and more information can be found on the Sask. Filmpool website.

The following night, Wednesday May 25, there will be a free screening of Cross’s latest documentary I Am The Blues at the RPL Film Theatre at 7 p.m. The documentary sees Cross journey to the American South to visit with some of the original innovators of southern blues who are now in their senior years.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Cross. Here’s the trailer for I Am The Blues

Five Alive

Tonight the arts hub Creative City Centre is hosting a fifth anniversary party. Located on the second and third floor above what used to be Loggie’s Shoes (now the Capitol Jazz Club) at 1843 Hamilton, CCC was the brainchild of Marian Donnelly and various partners in the arts community.

Since opening five years ago, CCC has hosted scores of concerts, spoken word nights, art exhibits and other events, as well as serving as home base for Articulate Ink print collective and a handful of other arts organizations. It’s been a welcome addition to the downtown, so congratulations are very much are in order.

To find out more about what’s in store tonight, visit the CCC website. The fun starts at 5 p.m., and will include a reception for a textile exhibition by Melanie Monique Rose, live music and open houses at various artist studios.

To give you one example of what the CCC has accomplished, here’s a 2015 video from its Empty Room series featuring Saskatoon singer-songwriter Kirby Criddle performing her song “You Are A Cyclone”

Behind The Songs & Trifecta Concert Series

There’s a couple of multi-musician showcases happening in Regina tonight.

At Creative City Centre (1843 Hamilton), there’s another instalment in the popular Behind the Songs series where local singer-songwriters sit down with each other to talk about their craft and perform songs for the audience. Stepping up tonight are Megan Nash, Grey Gritt and the Stillhouse Poets. As always, there will be an open mike afterwards.

Doors at Creative City Centre are at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20. You can find out more information on the CCC website.

Just down the street at Ragged Ass Barbers (1965 Hamilton, above Victoria’s Tavern) there’s the second instalment in the Trifecta Concert Series. The performers tonight are Keiffer McLean, Nick Faye, Acadence, Madison Nichol and Nolan Grand. Doors are at 7 p.m., and admission is $8 before 9 p.m., and $10 after.

To close, here’s a 2015 video for Nick Faye’s song “Head In Your Hands”:

Weekly Reckoning: Checkon Yourself Before You Reckon Yourself Edition

weekly-reckoningIt’s a reckon every second around here.

WENCHES WELCOME HERE Local vanity project owner Jason Hall is in hot water this week after an ad for event staff at Kitschbomb Stonehall Castle asked for applicants’ measurements. Hall seems to be under the impression that his reputation as a landlord is making him a target for ire, rather than the fact that he asked for women’s exact measurements.

FINALLY, SOMEONE WITH THE RIGHT IDEA Slate’s Daniel Engber takes a look at the state of the world and decides that the best solution is to eradicate all of the mosquitoes. What a great idea! Even if they’re not showing up to the party with Zika and malaria and chikungunya and that old dengue fever, they’re still making off with our blood and leaving nothing but itchy bumps behind. Let’s whip these welters.

I’M STARTING TO THINK THAT FLINT IS JUST DYSTOPIA’S TEST LAB You think that lead content in Flint’s water is a disgrace? It’s so much worse than that.

Y IN THE SKY January 28 marked the 30th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle explosion. Jason Kottke has a round-up of stories on the disaster.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU: CETAPHILE? I’m aware of how tortured and ridiculous that pun is, but these are ridiculous, torturous times. Especially when you discover that Justin Trudeau wants to ratify the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, or CETA.

Dressler & Chick Released

Rider LogoThe changes keep on coming for the Green & White, as the team announced today that it had parted ways with two fan favourites: receiver Weston Dressler and defensive lineman John Chick.

Both are veteran players in their 30s with relatively large salaries, and in the team’s announcement GM/Head Coach Chris Jones said efforts to renegotiate their contracts had not been successful and the team had reached the difficult decision to release them.

Jones has said that he wants to get bigger at the receiver position, and with both Dressler and impressive 25-year old rookie Ryan Smith on the small side, it seemed unlikely that both would remain on the roster. Smith is a free agent, so jettisoning Dressler could clear the way to signing him. Or the team may decide to not pursue him either.

As for Chick, he enjoyed some dominant years with the Riders, and celebrated Grey Cups in 2007 and 2013. But again, he’s in the twilight of his career, and carries a hefty contract, and in a salary cap environment finances inevitably play a role in player personnel decisions.

We’ll be running our first Rider Fan Forum of the 2016 CFL season in the Feb. 18 issue, by the way. In November, Ron Mexico forecast that both Dressler and Chick could be on their way out. So it’ll be interesting to see what he and Earl Camembert, Cal Corduroy and John’s Chick have to say about the team.

Christmas Bird Count

Each year between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, naturalists in different locations in North America and elsewhere make a point of getting out and doing a bird count to get the lay of the avian landscape during the depths of winter. This year’s count in Regina and area goes on Sunday Dec. 27 between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

You can find out more information on the bird count, along with details on how to participate, by visiting the Nature Regina website. If you check the event calendar, you’ll see that a second bird count is being held in the Balgonie area during daylight hours on Saturday, Jan. 2.

As a side note, we did an article on citizen science a few issues back, and one of the projects we highlighted was an online data base called eBird where people who are interested in bird-watching can register and then record birds they see both in their home region and any other areas of the world they might happen to visit.

You can find out more about eBird here.

Digestible Budget Nuggets! They’re Easy To Digest!

Council met last night for a special, marathon meeting on the 2016 city budgets. Here are all my tweets so you can live every minute of a six hour council session.

But since you’ve probably got better stuff to do with your day, I’ll spoil the highlights: Council was able to reduce the proposed 3.9% property tax increase to 3.3%. And they dropped the proposed utility rate increase from 6% to 5%.

You can follow all my live-tweeting of city stuff at @PDCityHall.

There will be a summary of the council meeting in the next issue of Prairie Dog (out Thursday). And I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll be discussing the budget on Thursday’s Queen City Improvement Bureau — that’s the radio show I do with Aidan Morgan every Thursday evening at 7pm on 91.3 CJTR (episode archive here).

Advance Polls

Earth_Eastern_HemisphereSo I guess advance polls are open over the Thanksgiving weekend. If you’ve received a voter information card, and assuming the information on it is correct (which apparently it always hasn’t been), your advance poll location will be listed on it.

Unlike with previous federal elections, advance polls are open on Sunday as well as Friday, Saturday and Monday. That was a change the Harper Conservatives made in the Fair Election Act. It’s been speculated that was done for political advantage. Since polling stations are often located in churches, the idea is that the faithful will go to church on Sunday and then troop downstairs to vote. Find out more in this Ottawa Sun report.

There’s also some arrangement going on at the University of Regina where students who are in town to study can vote in their home riding by doing some write-in thing. Find out more in this CBC report.

So if you’ve got your mind made up, and want to cast your ballot before Judgement Day on Oct. 19, have at it.

Election 2015: Where In The World Is Trent Fraser? (And, For That Matter, All The Other CPC Candidates)

BLAHBLAHBLAHIHATEWORDPRESScbcontrentfraser

cdnelxncircleUPDATE: Surprise. According to the L-P’s Emma Graney, Trent Fraser will be at tomorrow night’s televised Access debate.

Last week, Trent Fraser, Conservative candidate for Regina–Lewvan, informed the CBC that skipping public debates and forums is part of his party’s election strategy.

Personally, his confession strikes me as a pretty serious gaffe but it hasn’t received much attention. Not even locally. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this would get overshadowed by that other cornerstone of the Conservative’s election strategy:

Stoking fears of terrorist fifth-columnists!

I guess we’ll find out tonight if Fraser is sticking to the Conservative playbook as there’s another forum for candidates in Regina–Lewvan. It’s being put on by the Cathedral Community Association board at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre. (That’s across the street from the 13th Ave Safeway at 2900 13th Ave. Show starts at 7pm Show up earlier if you want a seat.)

Continue reading “Election 2015: Where In The World Is Trent Fraser? (And, For That Matter, All The Other CPC Candidates)”

Election 2015: Random, Folksy, Stephen Harper-Themed Sayings

cdnelxncircleI’m writing this thing about the election and I get to this point where I think I need a folksy saying. And I say to myself, “I want something like ‘Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings,’ except it’d be about Harper.”

That line about bells and angels is from Zuzu Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life and it has this great Mad Libs structure: “Every time [blank] a [blank happens]“. It’s been used by comedians for-basically-ever. My personal favourite is from Dylan Moran: “Berlusconi, in Italy, right… He’s so fucking crooked he sleeps on a spiral staircase! So thoroughly corrupt, every time he smiles an angel gets gonorrhoea!”

Anyway, I wanted something like that. Except I’m no Dylan Moran so I was thinking, shit, wouldn’t it be great if there was a random generator for this sort of thing? Then my job would be done. And I googled and googled and there was nothing quite right so I thought, great, I’ll just have to do it myself. And that means I could put my actual work aside for a while and take on this utterly useless exercise.

Here it is for your amusement and/or use in your next article about the election. All you need is a ten-sided die (because everybody has ten-sided dice lying around their house, right? RIGHT?!). Roll it twice, once for each column, and you can make your own folksy sayings like “You know what they say, every time Harper goes up a point in the polls somewhere an oil executive gets a hard-on.”

Farper-randomizer

#ShoutYourAbortion

Further to anti-abortion bullshit like the “We Need A Law” tour I mentioned in Daily Aggregation … I’ve just learned that Lindy West, a great writer and one of my heroes, created the #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag on Twitter a couple of days ago. It’s function: to let women share the fact that they’ve had an abortion.

Women sharing their stories is important, because when abortion becomes something people are scared to talk about, it’s easy for religious psychos and vicious politicians to attack it, outlaw it and shut down women’s health clinics (which they do because terrorizing people is a way to have power over them, duh). This madness is happening in the United States and religious lunatics are working hard to, step by step, bring the same kind of restrictions to Canada.

Also, some strongly pro-choice people are male humans, and it’s good for us male humans to hear stories about important female experiences that we’re inherently clueless about.

#ShoutYourAbortion was inspired by West’s friend Amelia Bonow, who wrote a powerful Facebook post on her abortion experience:

“Like a year ago I had an abortion at the Planned Parenthood on Madison Ave, and I remember this experience with a near inexpressible level of gratitude … I am telling you this today because the narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about. Plenty of people still believe that on some level – if you are a good woman – abortion is a choice which should be accompanied by some level of sadness, shame or regret. But you know what? I have a good heart and having an abortion made me happy in a totally unqualified way. Why wouldn’t I be happy that I was not forced to become a mother?”

Bonow has described her abortion more fully in this staggeringly good column. Back to Lindy West. Says West:

“The fact that even progressive, outspoken, pro-choice feminists feel the pressure to keep our abortions under wraps — to speak about them only in corners, in murmurs, in private with our closest confidantes – means that opponents of abortion get to define it however suits them best. They can cast those of us who have had abortions as callous monstrosities, and seed fear in anyone who might need one by insisting that the procedure is always traumatic, always painful, always an impossible decision. Well, we’re not, and it’s not.”

You can read more about #ShoutYourAbortion here. On Twitter, West (@thelindywest) said she’s being harassed and getting death threats and I’m sure Bonow is on the receiving end of attacks too. That’s what happens when you stand up to thugs and crazies.

Fortunately, they’re not alone.

Daily Aggregation: Oink

daily-aggregation-21. WAS BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON ONCE A POTHEAD WHO PUT HIS PENIS IN A PIG’S SEVERED HEAD? Well? Was he? This is a serious question.

2. BIG BLACKOUT IN REGINA  One woman was stuck in a hotel elevator. She and the elevator are both all right.

3. EMISSION TEST MONKEYSHINES: VOLKSWAGON VERKLEMPT “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” says VW chief Martin Winterkorn. I bet. Here’s the Canadian angle.

4. F-35? EFF THAT Justin Trudeau says the Liberals will bail on Canada’s F-35 purchase. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Trudeau doesn’t understand “the way these things work”. The trillion-dollar F-35 is the world’s most expensive weapons system but it can’t beat 40-year-old planes in air combat. Also, the Harper Government has played fast and loose with the plane’s true costs, which are approaching $50 billion. And that’s not the only scandal: in 2010, SOMEone removed criticism from the F-35’s Wikipedia page from a Department Of Defence computer.

5. MORE ABOUT DAVID CAMERON’S PENIS’ ALLEGED INTERACTION WITH A PIG’S SEVERED HEAD “And so we find ourselves enjoying arguably the greatest day in British history,” says Vice’s Joel Golby. Indeed.

6. RCMP BRING NACHOS TO LUMSDEN-AREA PARTY Also: salsa.

7. THE NHL IS BACK TONIGHT! Pre-season games all over the place! The Columbus Blue Jackets! Connor McDavid! Woo!

8. FORMER NHL ENFORCER TODD EWEN KILLED HIMSELF Not all the hockey news is good.

9. MILEY CYRUS STICKS UP FOR WOLVES The pop star visited British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest this weekend after she was told to “stick to twerking” by BC Premier Christy Clark. Cyrus has criticized BC’s wolf cull, which the province says is needed to protect critically endangered caribou herds. A study says the herds are in decline due to habitat destruction caused by logging, oil and gas drilling, pipelines and road construction.

10. WHAT IF IT WASN’T DAVID CAMERON’S PENIS IN THAT PIG’S SEVERED HEAD? The Daily Mail story that started this rumour doesn’t specifically say “penis”. It says, “…the future PM inserted a private part of his anatomy into the animal’s mouth.” Did Cameron teabag that pig head?

11. SOURCES DISMISS “PM’S PENIS IN PIG’S SEVERED HEAD” REPORT That’s just what you’d expect them to do.

12. ANY EXCUSE TO TYPE “PIG’S SEVERED HEAD AT THIS POINT Vox has published a #PigGate Explainer. It should answer any remaining questions. Aside from “is this really true?” That, we might never know.

Daily Aggregation: Moore Invasion

daily-aggregation-21. SASKATOON 14-YEAR-OLD WHO APPARENTLY SHOT HIS FRIEND FACES CHARGES Depressing.

2. CAR DRIVES INTO REGINA BEAUTY SALON  No injuries, good.

3. UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY Sept. 11 2001 sucked.

4. #ELXN 42: SO POLLS, MUCH CLOSE CBC’s Poll Tracker essentially has the three main parties in a dead heat. I’d like to see Conservative support drop under 20 per cent; it’s depressing that between a quarter and a third of my fellow citizens country are gullible and/or malicious enough to vote for Harper’s party. Cut that to one in five and it’d cheer me up: I could probably dial back on the SSRIs.

5. NEW BRUNSWICK: WET Massive rainfall on the east coast. How massive? Up to “a month of rain in just 24 hours” massive.

6. ROB FORD: NO NEW TUMORS I’m glad Rob Ford doesn’t have any new tumors.

7. WELCOME TO THE FAMILY, H. NALEDI Oh yeah, scientists discovered the fossilized remains of a new species of human. Here’s the story in National Geographic.

8. SPEAKING OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC It’s now majority owned by Rupert Murdoch. That’s Rupert Murdoch the climate change skeptic. Well grrreat.

9. DOUCHE SUSPENDS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN Goodbye Rick Perry. Douche.

LET’S WRAP UP THE WEEK WITH A MOVIE TRAILER This came out today. It’s for Michael Moore’s new movie, Where To Invade Next. Looks all right.

Infinitely Polar Bear

Based on a true story, this movie stars Mark Ruffalo as a father struggling to cope with a bipolar disorder that causes him to be manic depressive. When he suffers a breakdown, it forces some dramatic changes in his family’s living conditions, and his wife (Zoe Saldana) decides to enroll in business school in New York.

That leaves Ruffalo’s character as the primary caregiver for the couple’s two daughters. Infinitely Polar Bear is billed as a comedy, and it’s garnered reasonably positive reviews.

The film screens Thursday and Sunday at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m., and Friday and Sunday at 9:15 p.m. Here’s the trailer

The Roughriders’ Season in Rats Alley

The Saskatchewan Roughrider season isn’t so much over as it is in Rats’ Alley, where the dead men lose their bones. Forty-eight hours after Winnipeg journalist and Canadian Football Hall of Fame member Gary Lawless reported that head coach Cory Chamblin would be relieved of his coaching duties at the end of next week, the Rider brain trust said nada. Not a sausage. Bugger all.

Chamblin, whose manic-depressive coaching career in Riderland has gone from carrying the Grey Cup out of Mosaic Stadium in 2013 to winning two games in the 15 games since Darian Durant suffered his first season-ending injury last season, was left as the obligatory sacrificial virgin, to be thrown down the volcano to appease the Gods of Rider Pride. Maybe not today but sooner rather than later.

On the holiday Monday — after Lawless first made the report, which was picked up by TSN – general manager Brendan Taman said Chamblin is not going to get fired. Then he said Chamblin has more talent at his disposal than Greg Marshall did in the 2011 season (where he was canned before Labour Day, in his first and only season as head coach). Which brings a whole lot of questions.

If the Riders have more talent than they did in 2011, then why are the Riders not winning? Is it because the Riders are making the same kind of mistakes over and over, leading to broken plays and penalties? Isn’t that a coaching problem? And why didn’t the president and CEO of the club, Craig Reynolds, attend the press conference? Could it be that just as Taman has his meat shield (Chamblin), Reynolds has his (Taman)? Continue reading “The Roughriders’ Season in Rats Alley”

Election 2015: Stephen Harper Boxes With Shadows

Stephen’s Harper’s quest for political immortality (immoraly? Hey, they both pass spellcheck …) turned from the quixotic to the bizarre a couple of days ago when he turned his rhetorical guns on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. It’s kind of strange because neither one is on October’s ballot, and it’s not as if he’s run out of people to piss off.
Going after Wynne, at least on the surface, may make good politics, if you remember how she led the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in the 2014 Ontario provincial election. Wynne won by uniting the progressive vote around her – a lesbian party insider. It also didn’t help that Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horvath ran a mean-spiritied, Lingenfelteresque campaign that was designed to united Ford Nation around her (as if). There’s no love lost between Liberals and NDP in Ontario, and Harper is counting on the two to commit parricide, split the vote, and bring more Cons to Ottawa.
The attack on Notley, however, doesn’t make sense at all. She and the Alberta NDP have been in power only since May’s stunning election upset, and blaming her for Alberta’s current poor economic performance is akin to blaming Mike Babcock for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ current Stanley Cup drought. It also ignores the fact that Alberta’s two largest cities are helmed by mayors (Naheed Nenshi in Calgary, Don Iveson in Edmonton) who are progressive policy wonks who have an ability to engage the public – in fact, the polar opposite of Stephen Harper. There must be times Alberta Conservative MPs get off the plane from Ottawa and think they’ve landed in a universe where Spock has a beard.
Jim Premtice tried to get elected by blaming Albertans for questioning his narrow vision, and look what happened to him. I guess Stephen Harper would know that if he didn’t spend all his time in his own little world, which is gradually contracting by the minute.