My fellow Canadians, I write to you at the most auspicious time of the year. When lists are made.
Now, there are certain parties who scorn lists. Those people wear very skinny jeans, order "flat white" at the coffee shop and think that having a beard (facial hair, not a person who carries out a transaction for someone else in order to conceal the other's identity) is having a stance on life itself. They can go chew on their beards. Lists are important.
The most fraught list is the one that tackles the most absurd people: the preposterous, the boastful, the deluded and the foolish. Those who take the cake. The irritating.
The matter of determining the top most-irritating Canadians on TV and in the TV-related arena is vital. At this most auspicious time of the year, we are often given to declaring, "Enough already!" And we are entitled. Irritation flares up often when you watch TV and we all watch TV.
The year 2015 has been astounding. When it opened, Our Glorious Leader (OGL) was hard-nosing his way as usual. As it ends, we live in a magic kingdom, ruled by Justin the Good (JtG), who sprinkles goodness like fairy dust.
In compiling this list, my fellow Canadians, your many e-mails of snark and dissatisfaction have been taken into account. Please note, however, that each year brings a new batch of those who take the cake.
So then, after due consideration, this column unveils the Top 10 Most Irritating Canadians 2015 (TV-related).
1. Amanda Lang
First, in January, Lang had a long-winded defence against allegations of compromised reporting and interviewing. It was aimed at what she calls "the malevolent." Eventually, the CBC Ombudsman decided, "CBC policy was violated in the case of Ms. Lang's involvement in the coverage of RBC." And eventually Lang went away to join Bloomberg TV Canada. Many, many months after she should have resigned from CBC. It was the umbrage and haughtiness that was galling. That makes her No. 1 on this list.
2. Tie Domi
For more than two years, Domi has been telling TV viewers to "stand up" to the big phone and cable companies, on behalf of Comwave. We get it. Yes, we get it. He's little and he stood up to the big guys in the National Hockey League. Point taken. We've been hit so hard with the same sloganeering, it's getting to be like a concussion.
3. The Belairdirect guy
The idiot in the suit of clanking armour. "Contact us for a quote," he says. Here's a quote you can use: "This commercial makes Belairdirect look ridiculous."
4. The penguins on the CIBC mortgage advice commercial
Hello? Penguins have a good name. Everybody thinks penguins are adorable critters. Now, because of this irritating nonsense, we see them as cantankerous curmudgeons, squawking complaints about banks. It's a disgrace to nature and the noble penguin. How Julia from CIBC can stand them is beyond me.
5. Former immigration minister Chris Alexander
An exchange between Rosemary Barton and Alexander on CBC News Network's Power & Politics helped cost the Conservatives an election, and little wonder. His venom-filled defence of the Conservatives' inaction on the Syrian refugee crisis was beyond cringe-inducing. After the election, a defeated Alexander was interviewed by Global News and was still venomous: "We're still the party that sees reality as it is, doesn't want to go on some hippy-trippy jaunt down memory lane and put marijuana in the windows of every store," he said. As non-gracious in defeat as you'd expect.
6. Brad "Brad" Smith, host of Chopped Canada
The dullest hunk of manhood in Canada has moved on from being the Bachelor Canada. He is the dull host of Chopped Canada on the Food Network, a show that is not supposed to put you to sleep, but it does now. "I'm beyond thrilled to be joining Chopped Canada and to work alongside such an esteemed roster of celebrity chefs," he announced. "I'm an avid viewer of Food Network and I'm excited to take my career to new heights." You are, sunshine, you are.
7. Chrystia Freeland
The first most-irritating person to emerge from the government of Justin the Good, Freeland was irritating with her stunt of crashing a Toronto men's club where Conservative finance minister Joe Oliver was supposed to speak. The engagement had been cancelled, but Freeland crashed it anyway, harrumphing like nobody's business. Next, you could not miss her at the new government's swearing-in, with the red dress. Since then, it has been one red dress after another. Possibly it's the same one, which will need to be surgically removed. And her appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher was a dud, an exercise in more preening, again in a red dress. And no, that's not sexist. Freeland worked at the very top in media for years and I can assure you there are few people as lacking in the common touch as her. (And I'd know; full disclosure, she was Deputy Editor of the Globe and Mail at one point.)
8. The government of Nova Scotia
Way to kill a film and TV industry. A national disgrace. The slashing of tax credits has eliminated an important cultural achievement – placing a Maritime and Atlantic Canada culture at the centre of the national psyche. Now, actor Jonathan Torrens is offering to fly Nova Scotia film workers forced to move away because of industry cuts home for Christmas, using his Air Canada points. Now that is the real Nova Scotia spirit.
9. The Bell Media bosses
Big profit announcement followed by hundreds of layoffs.
10. The guy in the Wal-Mart steak commercial
You know the one – the guy who shouts at his missus about the steak, "Get two more. No, three. And I love you." That guy needs to meet up with Brad "Brad" Smith of Chopped Canada for a celebration of male dullness.