Friday, March 31, 2006

Election follow-up

As it turns out, my mom didn't win the vacant provincial parliamentary seat in Toronto-Danforth. NDP candidate Peter Tabuns squeaked out a narrow victory over former anchorman and star Liberal candidate Ben Chin. The seat was vacated when longtime incumbent and deputy NDP leader Marilyn Churley left to unsuccessfully run for a seat in the federal parliament. (Well, she actually left to successfully run for a seat in the federal parliament; she didn't lose on purpose.)

Here's something I didn't know about my former MP, courtesy of her Wikipedia entry:
After the 2003 Ontario election, when the NDP lost official party status in the Legislature, Churley threatened to legally change her surname to Churley-NDP so that the Speaker would be forced to say NDP when recognizing her in the House. (A non-official party loses the right to have its members addressed in the Legislature as members of the party.) A compromise was later reached which made this change unnecessary, and the party regained official status when Andrea Horwath won a 2004 by-election.
You know who else did something like that? Professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior.
In 1993, Jim Hellwig had his name legally changed to Warrior in order to retain the legal rights to use the name outside of the WWF. The one-word name appears on all legal documents pertaining to Warrior, and his children carry the Warrior name as their legal surname. The domain is registered to "Mister Warrior."
The Ultimate Warrior has also turned his thoughts to the political area in recent years. However, he's considerably more right-wing than Churley. Also, unlike Churley, he's a complete freaking lunatic with a messianic complex. My favorite example of why the serial comma is necessary is the hypothetical book dedication "To my parents, Ayn Rand and God." The idea is that a comma between the second and third items is necessary to emphasize that this is a list of three items, not an example of an appositive. Unfortunately, one reason that Warrior is such a notoriously incoherent writer may be that this example fails to make any impression on him because he actually believes his parents are Ayn Rand and God.

Update: Shame on me for not including this link to a YouTube video of the Ultimate Warrior's infamous public speaking appearance at the University of Connecticut right around this time last year, which I actually watched the night before making this post. This is the one where he gets into a screaming match with the audience and shouts "queering don't make the world work." It's a lively discussion, to say the least, although I was sort of hoping for a chair-throwing fracas like when the neo-Nazis used to visit The Morton Downey Jr. Show.

Speaking of which, you know what the Ultimate Warrior has in common with Morton Downey Jr. besides their controversial right-wing politics?1 Both appeared at Wrestlemania V, right around this time in 1989.2 I imagine the two of them probably had a lot to talk about backstage.3

1. Credit will not be awarded for the answer that there were two Morton Downeys and two Ultimate Warriors.
2. Both of them came out on the losing end there too. Warrior was pinned for the Intercontinental title to "Ravishing" Rick Rude thanks to interference by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, while "Rowdy" Roddy Piper responded to having smoke blown in his face during his Piper's Pit interview with "The Big Mouth" by putting out the latter's cigarette with a fire extinguisher.
3. I mean, besides their shared determination to give themselves cancer—Downey via cigarettes and Warrior via anabolic steroids. Downey was more successful in this, meeting his ultimate end in 2001.


Anonymous Abe Wonderful said...

I'm having a hard time making sense of this: "My favorite examples of why the serial comma is the hypothetical book dedication 'To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.'"

But I hope we can still be friends.

3/31/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

If the serial comma were in its rightful place (i.e., if the sentence read "To my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.") the author would be thanking his parents, thanking Ayn Rand, and thanking God. However, as written without the serial comma, the sentence could be read as meaning the same thing as "To my parents, who are Ayn Rand and God."

3/31/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Dickolas Wang said...

I had trouble too, until I said "Why the serial comma?" aloud. The reason I said this is because I still haven't progressed past reading pho-ne-tic-al-ly.

3/31/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

I might have helped if I hadn't kind of botched that (now fixed) sentence. Try it now.

3/31/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Here are some people who are ignormauses: your readers, George Bush and The Ultimate Warrior.

3/31/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Kendal said...

I believe the plural of 'ignoramus' is 'ignoramii'. Haha.

I actually understood your comma complaint, but I did read the amended rant. Also, I have an unhealthy obsession with comma placement.

4/02/2006 06:37:00 AM  

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