Monday, April 03, 2006

Explosion at Tronna Tim's: Is nothing sacred?

One man dead in apparent explosion at Toronto Tim Hortons store

It's hard to explain to Americans just how Canadian Tim's is - if apple pie is all-American, then Tim's is defintely all-Canadian. Even if you "don't like their donuts" - it's a bit of a national debate, but everyone knows how they feel about Tim's, Tim's donuts, Tim's coffee ("double-double" just got into the Canadian Oxford Dictionary). . . . They've used "True Patriot Love" (a quote from the national anthem) as an advertising slogan, for pete's sake, and a Tim's is being sent to Afghanistan, at the request of the Canadian equivalent of the American Head of the Joint Chiefs, to help fuel the Canadian soldiers there. So -- you can imagine how people were reacting when this story was breaking.

If a serious act of terrorism is committed in the near future on Canadian soil, the reality of it would have a hard time topping this -- how could you do that to a Tim's, you dirty bastard??? -- It almost seems custom-made to rile your honest Johnny Canadian.

Of course, it could be a stockholder or trader disgruntled about his options performance so far . . .

(No, not really, from what I understand things are going well there.)

I like this quote from the police spokesguy who was there giving bites for the media yesterday:

"He's not a strap-on, al Qaeda bomber guy," Toronto Police Staff Sgt. Don Cole said Sunday evening. "It sounds to me like a guy who either wanted to do a torch job or commit suicide."

Yeah, maybe. But he's dead and you didn't get to ask him, as far as I can see from the story, so how do I know you're not just trying to make sure people in the gun-violence-freaked-out-GTA don't stampede or something?

For contrast, here's what the chief of the less-politicized FD said:

Chief Blair described the incident at Yonge and Bloor as a fire, not a bombing. He refused to specify whether it was believed to be deliberate or accidental, but said police were not looking for suspects.

"It appears that there has been a very hot and intense fire in an enclosed area within the washroom," he said.

Blair declined to speculate on the cause of the fire.

"Until we determine precisely what happened in that cubicle and what caused those flames that took that man's life, I really can't speculate," he said.

I guess that's all I'm saying: It's one thing to say "No comment", "I can't talk about that right now", or "Until we have more hard information, I just can't speculate". But for the politicized police department to say, right away, oh yah, nope, not terrorism, no problems here in Toronto, no just your usual cranky guy in a Tim's with a can of gas, you know, well, it might be true and in that case it ought to be reassuring but, after New York, Madrid, London, London, and some of the the crazy crap that's gone on in cities like Stockholm and Amsterdam but has not been very widely reported in the English-language press, to be honest a bit of "We really have no comment until we've looked at the situation a little more closely" would have been a better idea. For a few hours.

Minor point: If you want to know why right-wingers like me get all cranky about "media bias", take a look at this fine sentence from the totally unbiased CTV: A coroner is performing an autopsy on the body of the victim today. Victim? Hey, until we know more, why not try the more neutral "deceased"? It's journalism, not rocket science, you know?

Reax at just about any Canadian or Can-Con blogger.


Blogger dag said...

I'm grabbing a couple of paragraphs from you for inclusion at my blog. should be up in an hour or so.

Thanks, Dag.

4/03/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My God! Not an attack on your Tim-ness. This could be seen as a direct attack on Timism itself!

(In all sheepish honesty, I had read about Tim Horton's on Canadian blogs, but truthfully, I thought he was some old character in Wagon Train. It certainly looks to me as if the media is tap-dancing around terrorist possibilities.)

P.S. This is probably not news, but on another subject, my favorite Catholic writer, Ralph McInerny, a phiolosphy professor at Notre Dame, has written an autogiography. It is titled "I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You: My Life and Pastimes".

He's probably best known for the Father Dowling mysteries. I liked his book "Red Hat" and his earlier "The Priest." A lot of his titles are Irish this and Irish that, but he should not be confused with Andrew Greeley (no hot sex).

The Vatican has asked him to help re-vitalize the philosphy of religion.

It's over on Amazon.

--Greg outside Dallas

4/03/2006 04:22:00 PM  

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