I was back in my old stomping grounds – on talk radio – for most of last month. And now I’m done again for a while. Probably a good thing.
Guest-hosting The Rutherford Show this time gave me a few potential reasons to feel pretty cocky.
- My interview with Luke Azevedo, Calgary’s commissioner of film, TV and creative industries, succeeded in putting the spotlight back ontoThe Alberta Creative Hub, a proposed permanent, purpose-built facility for film, TV and digital production including soundstages here in Calgary. The Redford Government inexplicably seems to hope the proposal will die if they can just ignore it long enough. The Azevedo interview went viral enough in the creative community to generate a lot of media interest and now, like the magic of the movies, the Creative Hub is a lot harder to ignore. (The Creative Hub is a brilliant idea in my opinion, and I will write more about it in the next day or two. It absolutely should be part of Alberta’s Plan B.)
- I brought Mayor Naheed Nenshi onto the show to talk about his frustrations with the Redford Government over a trying to negotiate a fair deal for Alberta’s big cities. The next day, the story made it onto the front page of the Calgary Herald’s City Section and the Herald even credited me for the interview.
- And I got Alison Redford to come onto the show – albeit only for 15 minutes, but that’s fifteen minutes more than the Premier had been willing to give The Rutherford Show since the election last spring. I even got her to admit that her government has a spending problem – which made news for another 24 hours or so, until she started announcing more spending was coming.
So…impact. Feathers in the cap. The old dog’s still got it. The boys are back in town…all that. Really rather heady stuff, if I wanted to let it go to my head.
Except the Alberta Creative Hub was already a good idea and a good story before I reintroduced the audience to it. Nenshi is doing exactly what he should be doing as our mayor – advocating for Calgary and I merely gave him another vehicle for that.
And Redford? Well, you need to know that I’d been trying to get Redford to come on since the first day of my first round of guest-hosting Rutherford last November. Most of that time, I couldn’t even get her communications people to acknowledge receipt of my requests. Early on in this run, I did at least get that much, followed quickly by a promise that it would probably happen…but the interview did not happen until the very last day my guest-hosting assignment. I only got confirmation of the interview two days prior. And I got only 15 minutes with her, not the half-hour I’d requested.
So, about cockiness: Of course it feels good when you have success, and it feels even better when you win the game or the election or otherwise best your adversaries, and better still when others laud you for your victories. But the more success you have, the more you ought to remind yourself – or to surround yourself with those who will remind you – not to let it go to your head.
Why am I bringing this up now? Because it seems to me that celebrities and heroes and superstars of all sorts who fall from grace do so only after they’ve come to believe in their own invincibility. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone fall from grace so quickly, so spectacularly, so utterly, as Tom Flanagan, the guru of the conservative movement in Canada.
By now, you’ve undoubtedly read what he had to say about child pornography, or seen the YouTube video of him saying it. I won’t rehash it here. You and I both know his comments were unforgivable. But beyond whatever prompted him to utter those comments – and I’m sorry, I have neither the professional credentials nor the depth of human understanding to even attempt a guess at that answer – whatever possessed Tom Flanagan to think that he could get away with uttering them??!!??
I will take a stab at that one. Because no matter what other synapses may or may not be misfiring in Flanagan’s cranium, I submit that he could only have thought he could get away with those comments because he believed he was invincible.
Right up until he discovered he wasn’t.
Gentle reader, I wish you success. But no matter how much of it comes your way, remember what my grandfather used to say – that you still have to put your pants on, one leg at a time.
(He also said the Queen has to sit down to pee just like everyone else, but on that one he was only about half right…)