Me most days: I hate Twitter, I love Twitter.
On Tuesday, I loved Twitter.
Not because it provided me with a great story lead or insight into an issue that I often write about such as housing, homelessness or drug addiction.
No, my interest here was purely for my appreciation of comedy, if you can call it that. Or maybe I was just looking for something to write about on the lighter side of civic life.
Must be the sunshine.
First, some background: Some of you may recall a video that a few of us media types shot back in December that captured Vision Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie sparring with NPA Coun. George Affleck over tax hikes.
Verbally sparring that is.
I still chuckle when I watch it because Louie and Affleck kind of remind me of that old Looney Tunes cartoon I used to watch as a kid about Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf.
This is the cartoon where Sam and Ralph would cordially greet each other in the morning, punch a clock and then go to work. Sam’s job was to protect the sheep while Ralph tried to make them his lunch.
The two would go at each other all day, sometimes using (and diffusing) dynamite, until the shift was over. Then they’d punch the clock, bid each other a pleasant good night and repeat again the next day.
I’ve seen Louie and Affleck do kind of the same, greeting each other as recently as two weeks ago in the council chamber lobby, before going to battle in the chamber.
Sans dynamite, of course.
On Tuesday, the two went at it again in council, with Louie telling Affleck he shouldn’t be calling Premier John Horgan’s government “socialists” or questioning whether they were “communists.”
Those comments were related to debate around a motion to support small businesses, which by the way occurred on the same day council was promoting Pink Shirt Day, where some of the councillors wore pink shirts to symbolize a stand against bullying; neither Louie, nor Affleck wore pink.
I tweeted out Louie’s concerns about Affleck’s description of Horgan’s government, and here’s the Twitter thread that followed:
#Vanpoli update 2: Vision Coun. @RaymondLouie tells @george_affleck shouldn't be calling NDP provincial gov't "socialists" or questioning whether they're communists. Just think, only 9 months until the election.— Mike Howell (@Howellings) February 20, 2018
Louie: Name calling on Pink Shirt Day…guess politicking trumps all.
Affleck: Since when did identifying politicians where they sit on a political spectrum become name calling?
Louie: Here is what RationalWiki says: Red-baiting is a dusty old notorious bullshitting tactic, used almost exclusively by the right-wing. It consists of making a false and/or groundless accusation that some person is a communist or fellow traveller.
Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer chimed in: It’s not a new tactic for [Affleck]. He called Adriane Carr a Marxist a while back in council. It’s kind of funny coming from a guy whose main claim to legislated fame is championing government sponsored “love locks.”
Me: OK need to know, who is Sam Sheepdog, who is Ralph Wolf?
Affleck: Your age is showing Mike. Can we put in Marvel context?
Me: Go for it.
Affleck: I’ll get my kids on it ASAP.
Reimer: Sorry, before my time. Raymond or George may be hip to that scene.
Louie: In the marvel universe, the Banshee is a good fit.
The Banshee? A good fit for whom?
I looked up this Banshee character on Wikipedia.
Here’s the description: “An Irish mutant, Banshee possesses a ‘sonic scream’ capable of harming enemies’ auditory systems and causing physical vibrations. He is named after the banshee, a legendary ghost from Irish mythology said to possess a powerful cry.”
Only eight months to go before the municipal election. Good night Raymond, good night George.