Monday, November 13, 2006

Paul Wells. Right Side Up.

It has been an incredible run since our first post in January of this year where we tried to make sense of the almost certain results 48 hours before the election. We were angry with Martin then; angry with what the Liberal party had come to represent to Canadians. But we took that anger, channeled it and called it Next Face. With the help of AP, our co-host and regular contributor we posted the Next Face Manifesto. Not long after, we identified 3 candidates that we thought had the best chance to take the Liberal Party down the road to salvation: Ignatieff, Dion and Dryden. Later and after some debate we added Rae. In early April we began espousing the virtues (and shortcomings) of the four candidates. The rest as they say is history.

What followed was unexpected and remarkable: Exclusive articles written for Next Face by Sheila Copps along with some insightful emails exchanged between the former Deputy Prime Minister and the blogger, exclusive interviews with Dion first, then Dryden and lastly Rae, a mention in the Toronto Star sending us over 2,000 hits in one day and later a few hundred words in the Globe and Mail courtesy of Jane Taber's Notebook.

Then of course, there was the Kinsella nod with the addition of Next Face to his blogroll.

But as a fitting end to this year long journey our best memory was still ahead of us and it came together by way of a phone call from AP to me while I was in the midst of a renovation project. It seemed AP - who is among the most learned Liberal scholars and perhaps among the most naturally gifted political talents never to have yet appeared on a political stage - was reading the recently released Right Side Up. The Fall of Paul Martin and The Rise of Stephen Harper's New Conservatism by Paul Wells when he came across a reference to our (sometimes not so) humble little blog. On page 275 Mr. Wells refers to Next Face and our interview with Ken Dryden and takes liberty with the transcripts for that interview, turning a portion of it into a pretty funny poem. (For the actual transcripts to the Three Part Dryden Interview see our Archives on the right for June and July.)

The reference in Right Side Up reads something like this :

"...Ken Dryden, the former hockey goalie and minister seems to have captured many Liberals' affection by transforming himself into a kind of balladeer of Liberal self-regard. His speech has begun tumbling out in urgent haikus of wounded virtue, and the Liberal crowds I've seen proceed to eat it up. Here's an excerpt of an interview he gave a blogger named Arnone, whose Next Face is one of dozens of Liberal blogs that have sprung up since the leadership race began. Transcribing Dryden's comments as prose didn't seem to do them justice. Here's the way they seemed to want to order themselves...

a found poem by Ken Dryden.

That is what is so disturbing about the Conservative government.
It is so small.
It is so pinched. It is so

It is so unhappy.

It is a government that is so about now and so about me.

And "now" and "me" are so important but we want tomorrow to be part of it and not just now.

And we want our neighbour to be part of it and not just me.

And we feel better if both are a part of it and I don't think that is what the Conservatives offer.

(End of poem)

Wells goes on to say that one of the surprises in the Liberal race is the fact that its only poet is a "...lumbering ex-jock..."

We will be reading the book this week having made our 35 dollar contribution to the Paul Wells retirement fund while at Indigo last night.


Anonymous said...

The Haiku is, unfortunately, not such an original idea, as this post from March 28 Public Eye Online provides yet an earlier one:

AP said...

I see a book in the making. From Sheila Copps to Paul Wells: My year in the political blogosphere by NextFace.

Too bad Ignatieff didn't have the cojones to have a telephone interview with NextFace. Imagine if he had taken the twenty minutes you offered him how much better his campaign would have been going.

Look at how Rae, Dion and Dryden benefited imensely from their interviews with NextFace.

I'm afraid that Ignatieff's political antenae are still of the rabbit ear variety.

I think that NextFace should offer Paul Wells an interview to discuss his book and to give some more Wellsian observations on the seemingly never ending Liberal leadership race -- No strike that. I think NextFace should interview Wells and have him talk about his book, jazz and Bruce Springsteen.

Yes that must be the next project.

tobias said...

Consider it done. Wells and Springsteen - almost too good to be true!

Paul Wells said...

Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.