Whiny, Petulant Man-Children 4

An article in the Globe and Mail was recently brought to my attention, titled “If you really loved Ontario families, Mr. McGuinty, you’d kill the LCBO.

It’s essentially an example of how not to be taken seriously and a petulant tantrum on the part of the columnist.

He starts out with concrete assertions of Dalton McGuinty’s lack of manliness, asking whether he had purchased a set of testicles. This is, of course, the best way of getting people to take you seriously. If only someone had asked William Lyon MacKenzie King whether he was on crack, I’m sure that the political discourse of the day would have advanced significantly and that he would have stopped holding seances. Start with a personal attack. Yeah, that’ll definitely ensure that you’re not simply dismissed as a whiny crackpot.

The most embarrassing part of this article is the almost complete lack of self awareness involved. Mark Schatzker (see smug file photo) is framing his desire to be able to purchase alcohol in a corner store in an argument which largely seems to blame his children for making him drink.

And I quote:

For example: When an Ontario toddler melts down at dinner because his parents insist he at least try the homemade meatballs that his Ontario father slaved over, it would be nice if it were possible to procure some beer (which, studies show, can prevent heart disease when consumed in moderation) within, say, a streetcar stop of said meltdown.”

Which translates roughly to: “Waaaah. My kids don’t like my cooking. I need a drink, but I don’t have any beer on hand and the liquor store is too far away.” This behaviour seemingly justified by the idea that he’s somehow combating a mild setback in his personal life with drinking on the basis that it may have some long term health benefit.


Similarly, when a four-year-old informs her Ontario family there’s going to be a clown performing at the birthday party they’re on their way to, and it suddenly dawns on her Ontario parents that maybe they should have brought a bottle of wine, it would be nice if it were possible to stop on the way to get such a bottle of wine without making a 15-minute detour.”

Which translates roughly to: “My kids are going to a birthday party. I can’t deal with clowns without being slightly inebriated. Oh God, why is there no wine? This is going to be the worst hour and a half of my life!”

He seems to have had a traumatic experience with someone in a red shock wig and rubber nose as a child and feels the need to self medicate or he seems to consider bringing wine to a party solely for his own benefit.

The real problem with the article is that he has managed to frame a reasonably sane request (Allow sales of beer and wine outside of officially approved LCBO outlets) in the most childish, selfish, petulant manner possible. Completely ignoring the idea that there might be long term consequences to getting rid of a very profitable government venture (the proceeds from which almost certainly benefit actual families in a real and measurable way) he seems to feel that provincial law should be changed due to his slight inconvenience

In the words of Charlie Sheen: Plan Better.

It’s not as though he hasn’t lived his entire life under these rules. Buy some stuff in advance, you whiny schmuck!

The most glaring part is the infantile attitude of the article, and the way in which he is mirroring the behaviour of the child who refuses to eat meatballs. That child will almost certainly be given something else to eat. Mark Schatzker has declared that he is not about to eat the LCBO’s meatballs and is now waiting for Dalton McGuinty, who he refers to as “Premier Dad” in a manner that suggests some worrying freudian issues, to make him something else.

Public discourse does not work for the benefit of any one person, no matter how badly they may want a drink after putting training wheels on a bicycle. Schatzker has declined to point out how something like this would come about and has declined to think about the long term consequences of that action. He just wants a cookie. And he wants it now. He feels he deserves that cookie because he had a bad day at school.

If I were the Globe, I would have been bloody embarrassed to print that.


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4 thoughts on “Whiny, Petulant Man-Children

  • Jason Foster

    I have to say I really appreciate your take on this. Far too often in public policy debates (on anything, but particularly beer) childish, reckless, irrelevant issues are tossed into the mix, only to cause everyone to lose sight of the real issue.

    That column, as you point out, is an embarrassment to everyone who enjoys good beer. In fact, as a parent, I can also say it is an embarrassment to all parents. My kids have turned their noses up on my food many times. It is not an excuse to drink. It is an opportunity to eat their share (just kidding!). I fail to see how his immature reactions to life’s little challenges furthers the argument that the LCBO needs to be reformed.

    I am from Alberta – the place over which most beer people get rather giggly and silly. However, I have tried to write about the complexities and downsides of a fully privatized system, yet far too often get some kind of “you could be living in Ontario” argument. Which misses the point entirely. Ontario’s LCBO has issues. Alberta’s free-for-all has issues. But we can’t work through it if we denigrate, dismiss and generally devolve.

    Thank you for calling out this boor.


  • Mark Altosaar

    His article could easily be turned around as a reason to maintain the status quo. “Look: If booze was more accessible, this man would now be an alcoholic drinking all his problems away.”

  • Greg Clow

    I hate to rain on your rant parade, Jordan, but Mark Schatzker’s weekly column is actually intended to be satirical.

    Whether or not it’s actually humourous is a point for debate, but humour is what he’s going for, not serious commentary.