Leonard Cohen for Governor General

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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Leonard Cohen for Governor General

Post by sturgess66 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:33 pm

A blog in the On Campus section of MACLEANS.CA -
http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2 ... r-general/
Leonard Cohen for Governor General
By Jeff Rybak | April 11th, 2010 | 12:08 am
Filed Under: Blogs • Rybak's Rules

The Facebook campaign

We take it for granted today that social media is a force to be reckoned with – with students and younger folks leading the charge. It’s really amazing how fast this new reality took hold. I had my stint in student politics from 2003 to 2006 and I never leveraged social networking for that. It all came later. Well, I’m all socially networked now. But I still haven’t tried to use it to make a real point yet. Maybe I haven’t had a truly original point to make until now. Now I think Leonard Cohen should be our next Governor General.

For those who haven’t heard, Stephen Harper recently announced that he would not be recommending Michaelle Jean for a second term as Governor General. Although the Governor General is nominally the Queen’s representative, in actual practice it will be the Prime Minister’s decision as to who is appointed. This decision is effectively one that Mr. Harper can unilaterally make, but all kinds of practical constraints intrude. It has to be someone who won’t embarrass either the nation or Harper’s party. And for all that the Governor General may be very important for a brief time in some constitutional crisis (prorogation anyone?) the odds of this happening again any time soon are so long that it isn’t worth buying a lot of negative press with an unpopular choice. So where does that leave us? This is politics played in the theatre of public opinion. And this is what social media was made for.

So here is Leonard Cohen for Governor General – The Facebook Campaign.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wal ... 6982005770
And really, why not? He is respected and even revered both internationally and domestically. He is fluently bilingual and is gladly claimed by both French and English Canada. He loves our nation in the quiet way only true Canadians understand. He is spiritual and morally centered without pushing his faith on anyone else. He’s a heck of a good choice in every respect, save perhaps that he’s probably too smart to get suckered into the job. That, and he makes a much better income on stage.

But leaving aside the unlikeliness of the choice, does having a bunch of people in a Facebook group really prove anything? I don’t know. I waffle back and forth on this one. But I do believe in the power of an idea. And social media gives me the power to turn a quip over breakfast into a potentially national movement to draft this man into office. And that’s pretty cool. If enough people join maybe we can actually get his name in the mix. Who knows?

What really matters, more than anything, is that we demonstrate to the government that we are indeed still watching. We care who represents our nation, even in a role that is often just ceremonial. Our choice for Governor General sends a message about who and what we are as a nation. The message I’d like to send to the world is that we’re a nation not afraid to be led by a poet.
—-

Questions are welcome at jeff.rybak@utoronto.ca. You can also follow me on Twitter.
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by Darling » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:03 pm

Putting aside the debate about the whole idea of a Governor General (as representant of the Queen), yes, Leonard Cohen would be a great choice that for once would unite the country. (I would even become a monarchist, provided we name him King.)

However I would rather have him give concerts than attend official ceremonies and, as they say, he is too smart to take the job. :)
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by mutti » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:22 pm

However I would rather have him give concerts than attend official ceremonies and, as they say, he is too smart to take the job.
Darling

great reply Darling!!! I totally agree...
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by lizzytysh » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:00 pm

If I could cast my vote [are United States citizens to be listened to in this], I would do so, and will still try via Facebook. Let him be nominated for this honour and let Leonard be the one to choose. Are the two, seemingly disparate endeavours necessarily mutually exclusive?

These are the comments I love most:
He is respected and even revered both internationally and domestically. He is fluently bilingual and is gladly claimed by both French and English Canada. He loves our nation in the quiet way only true Canadians understand. He is spiritual and morally centered without pushing his faith on anyone else. He’s a heck of a good choice in every respect, save . . .
. . . We care who represents our nation, even in a role that is often just ceremonial. Our choice for Governor General sends a message about who and what we are as a nation. The message I’d like to send to the world is that we’re a nation not afraid to be led by a poet.
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by st theresa » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:16 am

Well, he was young then but....here is a reason both against and for...

Speaking of the Governor General's awards:

"In 1969 poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen declined the award for his winning collection, Selected Poems 1956-1968 (1968). According to the Globe and Mail (28 May 1969, p. 6), Cohen would not accept the honour because “the world is a callous place and he would take no gift from it.” On the night of the award ceremony, he partied at Jack McClelland’s hotel room with fellow authors and declared: “I would like to be Governor-General” (Globe and Mail, 17 May 1969,"

Taken from:
http://www.editoreric.com/greatlit/authors/CohenL.html
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by sturgess66 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:57 pm

I think that the offer should at least be extended to him - laid at his feet. :D :D

Jeff Rybak who started this FaceBook campaign admits that it is probably not realistic - that Leonard is too wise to accept - even if offered - but likes the message that choosing Leonard Cohen would represent.

From the FaceBook group "Leonard Cohen For Governor General" -

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/gro ... 6982005770
Yes, we're serious! At least we're serious about the point we wish to make. Read the group info, share your thoughts and ideas, and definitely invite all your friends!
This group exists to promote the idea that Leonard Cohen would make an ideal choice to be Governor General of Canada. He is respected and even revered both internationally and domestically. He is fluently bilingual and is gladly claimed by both French and English Canada. He loves our nation in the quiet way only true Canadians understand. He is spiritual and morally centered without pushing his faith on anyone else.

Is this realistic? Likely not. Mr. Cohen is probably too wise to accept the job even if it were offered to him. But endorsing Leonard Cohen as a candidate still sends a message about who we want to represent our nation as Governor General. Not a cynical choice. Not a politically expedient choice. But a choice that reflects our true pride as Canadians in who and what we are. A nation not afraid to be led by a poet.

Let's send a message to Mr. Harper that ordinary Canadians do care who leads our nation, even in a largely ceremonial role. And we've been reminded lately that our Governor General is still very much more than a figurehead, under the right circumstances. This may not be an election but it can certainly be a public issue. If we're to have a new Governor General, it should be the one that we want, and not the one that's foisted off on us.
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by Sochijava » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:11 am

He is far too wise to accept the nomination, and our PM (sadly) is not the Leonard Cohen type. Still, I'll be voting for LC for GG on Facebook! I live about a block from the GG's residence, how wonderful would it be to have LC as my neighbour??
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by lizzytysh » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:38 am

I LOVE that photo of Leonard, Theresa. To think that, that sweet young boy wrote "You Have the Lovers." Such an eloquent imagination Leonard has always had.


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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by bridger15 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:10 am

Frankly, this whole idea is silly and unrealistic. Someone is just playing with your heads and people are buying into it.

By convention, the position tends to alternate between the anglophone and francophone communities. The current GG is a resident of the province of Quebec. The next GG will be from an anglophone community.

The other consideration is the relationship of a GG with his/her official host/hostess. Adrienne Clarkson quickly and quietly married her significant other before assuming the position of GG.

Aw c'mon folks. It ain't going to happen and it ain't even on the Canadian radar.

---Arlene
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Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by sturgess66 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:12 pm

Seriously Arlene - if you read what Jeff Rybak said about this campaign, I think he is a few steps ahead of all your logic. :lol: :lol:

Here it is again -
Yes, we're serious! At least we're serious about the point we wish to make. Read the group info, share your thoughts and ideas, and definitely invite all your friends!
This group exists to promote the idea that Leonard Cohen would make an ideal choice to be Governor General of Canada. He is respected and even revered both internationally and domestically. He is fluently bilingual and is gladly claimed by both French and English Canada. He loves our nation in the quiet way only true Canadians understand. He is spiritual and morally centered without pushing his faith on anyone else.

Is this realistic? Likely not. Mr. Cohen is probably too wise to accept the job even if it were offered to him. But endorsing Leonard Cohen as a candidate still sends a message about who we want to represent our nation as Governor General. Not a cynical choice. Not a politically expedient choice. But a choice that reflects our true pride as Canadians in who and what we are. A nation not afraid to be led by a poet.

Let's send a message to Mr. Harper that ordinary Canadians do care who leads our nation, even in a largely ceremonial role. And we've been reminded lately that our Governor General is still very much more than a figurehead, under the right circumstances. This may not be an election but it can certainly be a public issue. If we're to have a new Governor General, it should be the one that we want, and not the one that's foisted off on us.
I'm not exactly sure what is "on the Canadian radar" - but I suppose you could say that part of the logic of the campaign is to do just that - put the idea on the Canadian radar.

Now - I have read that Leonard Cohen enjoys a good fish fillet. I wonder how he would feel about popping a piece of raw seal heart in his mouth? Hard to say. :lol: :lol:
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/arti ... or-general

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAcNUNKPYlI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Lq9Xa9GAU
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by bridger15 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:44 pm

if you read what ---- said about this campaign
I have and it is still gibberish and he knows it. He is playing around for fun and has achieved his goal, his own 15 minutes of fame. And all those willing participants are willing to repeat his name, which is what he wants. The only radar in which he is interested, is his own. He is probably already "dining out" on this prank.
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Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by sturgess66 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:51 pm

bridger15 wrote:
if you read what ---- said about this campaign
I have and it is still gibberish and he knows it. He is playing around for fun and has achieved his goal, his own 15 minutes of fame. And all those willing participants are willing to repeat his name, which is what he wants. The only radar in which he is interested, is his own. He is probably already "dining out" on this prank.
I think Mr. Rybak has you covered on that argument as well Arlene.

From the Maclean’s article -
For those who haven’t heard, Stephen Harper recently announced that he would not be recommending Michaelle Jean for a second term as Governor General. Although the Governor General is nominally the Queen’s representative, in actual practice it will be the Prime Minister’s decision as to who is appointed. This decision is effectively one that Mr. Harper can unilaterally make, but all kinds of practical constraints intrude. It has to be someone who won’t embarrass either the nation or Harper’s party. And for all that the Governor General may be very important for a brief time in some constitutional crisis (prorogation anyone?) the odds of this happening again any time soon are so long that it isn’t worth buying a lot of negative press with an unpopular choice. So where does that leave us? This is politics played in the theatre of public opinion. And this is what social media was made for.
Jeff Rybak is a graduate of University of Toronto (or about-to-be-grad in 2010 - law). This is his bio on Twitter -
Writer and commentator on post-secondary issues, lecturer at U of T Scarborough, sometime corporate director, and law student (almost done).
This is his website -
http://www.jeffrybak.ca/home.html

If you look on Twitter you can see how the project quickly evolved.

Really - I don't see that what he is doing is any way harmful to Leonard Cohen - and certainly not disrespectful. Au contraire. Inherent with the name "Leonard Cohen" is his music, his poetry, his literature. A lot of Mr. Rybak's young colleagues are joining in the fun of this social media campaign and it is entirely possible that a by-product for some young fortunates will be discovery of the most wonderful Leonard Cohen. 8)

Oh- it’s possible that this campaign may have already fizzled out, bit the dust, bought the farm, tapered off, run its course. It may have peaked with the Maclean’s article. Who knows?

But - it was still gaining this morning! Whatever – no harm done in seeing Leonard Cohen’s name connected with a prestigious position in Canada. :D :D 8)

Now – I am just reminded of something! The “Willie For President” campaign. LOL I went to one of Willie’s shows a couple of years ago and the guy in front of my yelled “Willie For President” – I actually have it on video – a pathetic little 40 second clip where you can also hear the usher shutting me down with “no video!!” :lol: :lol: But I didn’t realize at the time that there was an ongoing affectionate campaign amongst his fans – “Willie For President.” :lol:

http://www.petershamcommon.com/willie.htm
http://www.petemerrigan.com/willie.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBRBXBwYCl8

“Gibberish” is a terrific word that comes replete with onomatopoeia – and that reminds me of “Jabberwocky.” Here’s a bunch of “gibberish” – total nonsense!! . LOL :lol: :lol:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

~~~Lewis Carroll

Funny story about Ms. Clarkson's stealthy trip to the alter in the interest of political correctness. :lol:
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by MaryB » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:22 am

I remember when Pat Paulsen was running for President :roll: . He was definitely not in the same league as our LC, but this looks like it's being done tongue-in-cheek also and I say 'let them have their fun'. Prestigious position and yet another instance to heighten Mr. Cohen's visibility. No harm done.

Kindest regards,
Mary

Boy, would I feel stupid if someone, somewhere started to consider this seriously :oops: LC, with his deep thoughts and sensibilities, hmmmm......
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by sturgess66 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:55 pm

The campaign grows -

From the Globe and Mail - Ottawa Notebook -
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/pol ... le1534439/
(Go the the link to see the comments - 7 pages and growing.)
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 1:49 PM

First Manhattan, Then Rideau Hall for Leonard Cohen?

By: Jane Taber

Image
Singer and poet Leonard Cohen sits down for lunch at his home in Montreal on April 28, 2007.

Hallelujah, hallelujah. A Facebook group has sprung up touting Leonard Cohen – singer, songwriter, author and poet – as the country’s next governor-general.

So far, the Montreal-born Mr. Cohen, who has been described as a fringe figure in Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd and has lived in a Buddhist retreat during his long career, has 917 supporters.

Compare this to Preston Manning, the former Reform Party leader, who is also being pushed for the job on another Facebook group. He has 481 supporters.

“This group exists to promote the idea that Leonard Cohen would make an ideal choice to be Governor General of Canada,” say the singer’s Facebook proponents. “He is respected and even revered both internationally and domestically.”

It is noted that he is “bilingual and is gladly claimed by both French and English Canada.” He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada.

(Although Mr. Manning may have the political chops he is not bilingual. And popular - and populist - though he may be, Alberta songwriter k.d. Lang never covered one of his songs as she did Mr. Cohen’s Hallelujah.)

At 75, Mr. Cohen attracts fans and followers from all age groups. Indeed, the creator of the online campaign to get him to Rideau Hall is a University of Toronto grad student, Jeff Rybak.

“I'm a fan of Cohen's work, yes, but not a rabid one,” Mr. Rybak told The Globe. “What I appreciate most about him is that he's an artist who's succeeded for the right reasons, without compromising his work, without making efforts to be commercial.

“He's tremendously influential within the music world and in literary circles, but most people are more likely to know a cover version of his work rather than his own recordings.

“And he's fine with that. His attitude towards major success, which came late in his life, seems somehow Canadian to me. I appreciate his modesty.”

He said that he devised this scheme after “one of those random discussions” with a friend.

“A few names were batted around and I said Leonard Cohen, because I like him, yes, and appreciate his role as an unlikely Canadian icon. But then after thinking about it for a bit I realized he really is a good choice. And thinking about it some more, I realized he's an ideal choice.”

The issue of Michaëlle Jean’s replacement has been in the news for the past couple of weeks in the wake of reports Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not planning to extend her term. Ms. Jean will have been Governor-General for five years in September, the usual tenure for the position.

There have been all sorts of speculation for replacements, including hockey commentator Don Cherry, spinal cord research activist Rick Hansen and even hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

And Mr. Harper has an opportunity with her replacement to make his very first viceregal appointment. Ms. Jean was appointed by former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin. The last time a Conservative appointed a governor-general was Brian Mulroney in 1990 when he named Ray Hnatyshyn to the post.

The Cohen-for-GG Facebook group argues it’s time for the public to get behind their choice rather than have someone “foisted” on them.

It’s acknowledged that this choice may not be entirely realistic as Mr. Cohen is “probably too wise to accept the job even if it were offered to him.”

“But endorsing Leonard Cohen as a candidate still sends a message about who we want to represent our nation as Governor General,” the group says. “Not a cynical choice. Not a politically expedient choice. But a choice that reflects our true pride as Canadians in who and what we are. A nation not afraid to be led by a poet.”

(File photo: Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail)
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Re: Leonard Cohen for Governor General (Macleans.ca 4/11/10)

Post by sturgess66 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:20 am

From ChartAttack.com -
http://www.chartattack.com/news/80977/f ... or-general
Image
Leonard Cohen
Facebook's New Pet Cause: Leonard Cohen For Governor General

04/14/10 4:16pm

by Kate Harper (CHARTattack)

Leonard Cohen's one of this country's most beloved songwriters, poets and novelists, and his career is over 50 years in length.

The 75-year-old Montreal native has won the Governor General's award for his poetry, is a Companion of the Order Of Canada, has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and won a lifetime achievement Grammy Award this year.

Now, a Facebook group has been set up stating Cohen should be made Canada's next Governor General.

The group already has about 1,300 members. Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has recently said he won't extend Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean's term when it ends in September, so that means he'll have to find a replacement.

"Mr. Cohen is probably too wise to accept the job even if it were offered to him," a description reads on the Facebook group, which points out Cohen is the "ideal choice" to be Canada's next Governor General since he's bilingual and has contributed a great deal to Canada's culture.

"But endorsing Leonard Cohen as a candidate still sends a message about who we want to represent our nation as Governor General. Not a cynical choice. Not a politically expedient choice. But a choice that reflects our true pride as Canadians in who and what we are. A nation not afraid to be led by a poet.

"Let's send a message to Mr. Harper that ordinary Canadians do care who leads our nation, even in a largely ceremonial role. And we've been reminded lately that our Governor General is still very much more than a figurehead, under the right circumstances.

"This may not be an election but it can certainly be a public issue. If we're to have a Governor General, it should be the one that we want, and not the one that's foisted off on us."

In Canada, the Governor General serves as the Queen's representative as head of state. The position is largely ceremonial, but the Governor General has the power to prorogue and dissolve Parliament and give royal assent to bills that pass through Parliament and the Senate.

Cohen will again spend the early fall on tour, playing dates throughout Europe. You can see him here:

July 25 Zagreb, Croatia @ Arena Zagreb
Sept. 15 Caen, France @ Zenith
Sept. 17 Grenoble, France @ Palais Des Sports
Sept. 19 Strasbourg, France @ Zenith
Sept. 21 Marseille, France @ Le Dome
Sept. 23 Tours, France @ Parc Des Expositions
Sept. 25 Lille, France @ Zenith Grand Palais
Oct. 4 Katowice, Poland @ Spodek
Oct. 7 Moscow, Russia @ Kremlin Palace
Oct. 13 Bratislava, Slovakia @ Incheba Expo Arena
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