See Steve sing

Quite a few Canadian blogs are discussing the Prime Minister’s musical performance on the weekend, so why not this one.  Here he is, at a ‘rich gala‘, crooning away and ticklin’ them ivories… sing, Steve, sing!

Obviously Harper didn’t just decide to spontaneously burst into song at this event (at least one person, Laureen Harper, admits to being aware of Harper’s hidden musical agenda).  It was a stroke of PR genius and whoever came up with it should get a raise.  Hell, even I momentarily liked the guy a little more while I was watching this (not that that’s saying much), so one can only imagine the effect it had on some of the mushy-middle types who’ve been ambivalent towards Harper because of his lack of warmth and charisma.

Harper’s opponents would be wise to give him props for having fun, and move on.

UPDATE: Pale’s more reality-based version.

46 Responses to “See Steve sing”


  1. 1 Sister Prole Monday, October 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Pale has the “pop up videos” version up at our place. ;)

  2. 2 hemmingforddogblog Monday, October 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    He gets high with a little help from his friends! hahaha

  3. 3 fern hill Monday, October 5, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    That pale is a genius. Go. Watch. Enjoy.

  4. 4 JJ Monday, October 5, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Prole – Nice work by Pale.

  5. 5 Bruce Monday, October 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Pale’s version is much better.

  6. 6 JJ Monday, October 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Bruce – I agree. But this was a good PR move by Harper, just what he needed to shake up his boring old fart image. He’s obviously found someone to advise him who knows what they’re doing.

  7. 7 J. A. Baker Monday, October 5, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Somewhere, a dog is howling in pain at PM Harper’s “singing” voice.

    And in other news, Keith Olbermann is going to have an hour-long Special Comment™ on health care reform here in America. Be sure to get the popcorn!

  8. 8 JJ Monday, October 5, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    JAB – Oh, it was fairly bad, but then he’s not a musician. He’ll have to keep his day job, I guess.

    I still say it was excellent PR — there are a whole lot of fence sitters out there who don’t care that much for Harper because he’s so boring and not fun. I am sure this probably knocked a few of them off the fence and onto his side.

    I don’t get MSNBC waaahhh! Is there a streaming video I can watch?

  9. 9 Bruce Monday, October 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    At the risk of sounding like a bitchy old queen, yes, it was a great move by Harper as proven by the fact that every fucking Liberal or Progressive blogger in the country posted the fucking thing like the viral sheep they are. (Present company excluded, but only barely.)

    Sure he actually sang well, but can does anybody think for a moment this thing wasn’t planned and rehearsed? Stevie doesn’t leave shit like this to chance you know. It’s another one of his classic, planned megalomania moments.

  10. 10 JJ Monday, October 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Bruce – Of course it was planned and rehearsed. Probably for weeks if not months. He sang okay for an amateur, but he’ll have to keep his day job… unfortunately. But that’s not the point. I wasn’t blown away by the magic of the Harper’s music.

    I was impressed with what an effective PR move this was, that’s all. Just because I don’t vote for the guy, I can still appreciate good PR when I see it, and this was good PR.

  11. 11 Bruce Monday, October 5, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Honey, you worked in advertising and you walked right into it. Just like I’m about to do right now, but for my own reasons.

  12. 12 mouthyorange Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 3:11 am

    I can’t bear Steve, so much. I can’t bear anything he does. My heart breaks over the damage he’s doing to Canada and our way of life, and I am horrified and concerned that so many people are willing to be manipulated by him.

    I know many others feel the same way. It’s just, I can’t even bear to play games with the guy.

    (goes off to vomit)

  13. 13 sassy Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Mouthyorange – I am one of those many others.

  14. 14 Peter Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Of course it was planned and rehearsed. Probably for weeks if not months.

    Considering nobody in the NAC orchestra or staff knew anything about it and Yo-Yo Ma was in Indianapolic two days earlier after a month in Europe, I somehow doubt that. Unless you count singing to Lauren in the basement of 24 Sussex as a rehearsal.

    There’s nothing like a good, bilious anti-Harper rant to start the day, is there?

  15. 15 J. A. Baker Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 5:33 am

    I don’t get MSNBC waaahhh! Is there a streaming video I can watch?

    But let me guess, you get Fux Propaganda just fine, right? :lol:

    As for streaming video, usually there’s a link on MSNBC’s front page when there’s something live that MSNBC’s covering that they want people to watch, such as the Shuttle taking off/landing or a major Presidential speech, but otherwise the live stream link is nowhere to be found. Strange, that.

    But usually they have clips from Countdown by the time the first rebroadcast of the night airs. Usually.

  16. 16 J. A. Baker Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Oh, it was fairly bad, but then he’s not a musician. He’ll have to keep his day job, I guess.

    Are you really sure you want Harper to keep his day job, considering what he does for his day job? After all, you are part of that “left-wing fringe group” known as “women.” :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  17. 17 Torontonian Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 6:01 am

    He can’t sing to save his soul, he can’t play better than
    Grade 4 Royal Conservatory, he’s awkward and cringinly
    socially inept. He can’t run a country .

    What good is he??? I really ask you, what good is he?

    He’s never had a real job and earned a real paycheque
    and probably doesn’t know the price of a pound of butter
    or how far $20 will go to feed a hungry family.

    BUT, he sure can kick a good person who’s down and he
    can undermine members of his own cabinet and show his
    boorish nature at international conferences by holding
    the delegates hostage ’til he’s said his piece.

    He’s an economist who’s runing the nation. Who would
    ever hire him to work in the financial services sector?

    His childhood was in Leaside–a community now blended
    into Toronto. The only good thing to come out of Leaside
    are the railway tracks.

    Why don’t we put his guy on the rails and send him back
    to a firewalled Alberta?

    How much longer must this country suffer his ineptness?

  18. 18 Peter Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Perhaps a while yet, Torontonian.

    Have a good day.

  19. 19 mouthyorange Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 6:59 am

    He endgenders nastiness. Peter is proof.

  20. 20 balbulican Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Oh, you guys.

    His piano playing was as basic as Ringo’s drumming. He held a tune, sang quite competently without a speck of soul, seemed to be enjoying himself.

    It was a shallow, minor pr ploy, and it worked wonderfully. I don’t like anything about Harper, but I have to grudgingly concede that for a few short seconds he forced me to acknowledge that he is, in fact, human.

    What’s depressing, however, is the somber realization that after three years of very badly managed messaging and a long string of incompetent spin doctors in his orbit, he may actually have found someone with imagination and humour who’s actually going to manage a reimaging. That’s scary.

  21. 21 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Peter

    Unless you count singing to Lauren in the basement of 24 Sussex as a rehearsal.

    If it was done with the idea of sneaking a “surprise” performance into one of Laureen’s NAC events, then yeah, I count that as “rehearsing” And why not? So what if it was rehearsed? That’s not my point. My point is, it was an effective PR move.

  22. 22 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Balb

    What’s depressing, however, is the somber realization that after three years of very badly managed messaging and a long string of incompetent spin doctors in his orbit, he may actually have found someone with imagination and humour who’s actually going to manage a reimaging. That’s scary.

    Thank you! That’s more or less what I’ve been trying to get across here, and not doing too well (speaking of bad messaging).

    Harper’s opposition should be worried about the fact that he’s found someone who knows what they’re doing to advise him on one of his biggest electoral hurdles, his image. The Liberals and NDP fight among themselves about bullshit, while Harper’s busy polishing up his image… that suggests he’s not too worried about the outcome of the next election, whenever it may be.

  23. 23 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Torontonian – I’m not a Harper supporter by any stretch of the imagination, but I am willing to call it like I see it, and in this case I saw a great little PR stunt that I have no doubt will push some people off the fence and into voting for him. And the opposition needs to work on a better response to Harper than “Yabbut Layton/Ignatieff is a jerk!”

  24. 24 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:28 am

    JAB – No, I don’t get FOX either. I have the lowest tier cable “bundle” or whatever they call it. I get ABC, CBS, NBC and canadian stations, that’s about it. Oh and KVOS.

  25. 25 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:36 am

    You know, I’m really sorry I posted anything about this. Apparently, the willingness to see something for what it is and acknowledge it means failing some kind of ideological purity test :roll:

    Fuck this.

  26. 26 pale Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:40 am

    And the opposition needs to work on a better response to Harper than “Yabbut Layton/Ignatieff is a jerk!”

    And this is a massively important point here.
    The game of pointy finger against each other is a distraction from the real game that is going on.

    Political games and partisanship are how Harper keeps on going. And this is not going to change, cause the partisans are too stuck in that rut. :)
    Divide and conquer and all that.
    Hardcore Libs are not going to vote NDP, and Hardcore dippers are not going to vote Lib. Its the ones on the fence that are saying, well fuck y’all.
    Harper may have to muzzle all his wingnuts, and his messaging is always lockstepped. Only one part of that is what people see through the Corp media lens……Cohesion.

  27. 27 mouthyorange Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 8:02 am

    JJ, I can see what you’re doing in this post and I’m sure that others can, too.

    Could be that part of what’s happening in the responses is that people are so upset about Harper and it’s almost too upsetting to see and think that he might gain a few points with another calculated PR move. So people are reacting to that. And are worried about anything that might help him along, and wish that nothing and no one would.

    It’s just that it’s traumatizing to think that this guy could go on controlling what happens in the country for another second, let alone any more substantial period of time.

    YOu know you just have to say Harper and because of the way he conducts himself and what he is doing to the country, people vomit.

    If somewhere deep inside him the guy wants to be genuinely liked, he sure has picked a self-defeating strategy.

  28. 28 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Pale

    The game of pointy finger against each other is a distraction from the real game that is going on.

    Interesting point, that. Makes me wonder if the strategist who came up with this piano playing idea had more in mind that just humanizing Harper. If so, mission accomplished.

  29. 29 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 8:11 am

    orange

    …people are so upset about Harper and it’s almost too upsetting to see and think that he might gain a few points with another calculated PR move.

    It’s one thing to be worried about it, as well we should be — it’s quite another to be pissed off at someone for pointing out the reality of the situation.

    If the “left” wants to inhabit some kind of lala land where we don’t acknowledge things that upset us or give credit where credit is due, count me out.

  30. 30 Alison S Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I hope he personally paid the royalties. Given his propensity for trying to get taxpayers pay for his party’s advertising, this is a little item to check out.

  31. 31 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Alison – I could be wrong, and maybe psa or frank frink can set me straight if I am, but I think royalties only have to be paid if the performer makes money off the song.

  32. 32 Peter Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 9:30 am

    JJ, leaving partisan jabs aside, I’m going to suggest that many on the left have a real blind spot here. With all due respect to balb, this didn’t start on Saturday night. The hard fact is that Harper has regularly topped “best leader” polls for quite some time and is more popular than his party. Like it or not, and I know you don’t, he instills confidence in and impresses many people among the non-aligned with his demeanour and presence, and his credibility is good. He is seen as a competent manager of that behemoth called the government. Notwithstanding all the Tim Horton’s and bathroom jokes, he is also widely seen as having performed fairly well on the international stage. How many leaders can boast they have established close personal relationships with both Bush and Obama? And perhaps most importantly, he isn’t feared any more than the other leaders.

    I’m not arguing or preaching here, I know where I am. But the point I want to make is that I don’t think all this is going to change much if the strategy of those who “really, really, really” hate him is to tell everybody twice as loudly that they “really, really, really, really, really, really” hate him. Isn’t it worthwhile to invest a little more reflection in trying to figure out why the majority doesn’t?

  33. 33 Sister Prole Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 9:43 am

    It was a good move, JJ, that’s for sure. And let me tell ya. If Steve’s hypocritical warbling at an elitist arts gala manages to single handedly give the Conservatives a majority, I don’t want to ever hear another word about Americans being the most singularly and spectacularly stupid population on earth. (Not from you, specifically, just in general.) We’ve got our very own teabaggers and fisters in Canada, albeit only like 100 of them that could be bothered to show up to protest their own party’s policies, it’s not too far of a stretch for the population to vote in a Con majority because they want to “have a beer with” Steve.

    The opposition had better get its shit together and fast before Canada has a Bush presidency.

  34. 34 pale Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Well Peter……Part of that is because so much actual factual information goes unreported. The supposedly unbiased media seems…Seems…to cover lots, but misses so much. Ask a regular person, who isn’t a political junkie about the Religious right postings to the PMO, and you know? They have no idea about it. It worries them, but they really didn’t know. :)

    The majority of Canadians? Please. Try to be factual.

  35. 35 balbulican Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 11:45 am

    ” You know, I’m really sorry I posted anything about this. Apparently, the willingness to see something for what it is and acknowledge it means failing some kind of ideological purity test.
    Fuck this”

    Naw, don’t be silly. The ideologues on our side don’t like it when you break lockstep? Fuck’em – do a pirouette. They’re wrong. You’re right. End of story.

  36. 36 Peter Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks, pale. Sure, there is lots of spin and disinformation coming out of Harper’s office, but surely that isn’t the issue. The issue is whether there is any difference in kind between that and what we’ve always seen since Parliament passed the universal suffrage, and also what we could probably expect from the Libs or even the Dippers if they ever made it. (I always find it bizarre to defend Harper and the Cons on this issue against some righteous soul who supports a party guided by Warren Kinsella.) This explains why politicians are generally held in such low regard by the public. It doesn’t explain why one should be considered any worse than the other.

    Full disclosure: I’m a Con supporter/sympathizer and I like him, but I’m not a serf and I do like to keep in touch with the thinking left. Call it self-discipline. Anyway, I must say I have the strong feeling that the Canadian left, like the American left did with Reagan and the British left with Thatcher, has wasted a lot of time on demonizing him as the reincarnation of Genghis Khan and has been very slow to see that, no, the public isn’t going to throw him out in embarassment once they log on to the right blog that reveals the full horror of it all and gives them something called “the facts.”

  37. 37 harpervalley Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    haha, is there any of us who didn’t post stevie singing?

    famous stupid people is on at harper valley :D

  38. 38 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Peter

    I don’t think all this is going to change much if the strategy of those who “really, really, really” hate him is to tell everybody twice as loudly that they “really, really, really, really, really, really” hate him.

    You’ve isolated the source of my ongoing irritation with Canadian politics in general and the leftward side in particular. It’s not enough to point out Harper’s negatives — every politician/party has negatives — the opposition parties also need to give the electorate a good reason to vote for them over the CPC. And they aren’t doing that. Dumping on Harper is okay, it’s just not enough. To make matters worse, when they’re not dumping on Harper, they’re dumping on each other! This is a source of amazement and frustration to me.

    Isn’t it worthwhile to invest a little more reflection in trying to figure out why the majority doesn’t?

    While I could argue that Harper isn’t favoured by the majority (41% is only a majority in our whacked out political system), you are right that he isn’t “really really really really hated” by the majority. Most non-political types probably inhabit an ambivalent middle ground with regard to Harper.

    So your point is well made. We’d be wise to consider the issues that move those middle grounders, because clearly they aren’t the same issues that inflame those who really hate Harper.

  39. 39 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Prole – I seriously doubt if one PR event would have that kind of power. It alarmed me because I could see that it worked, and that means he’s finally got some PR advisors who know what they’re doing.

    This kind of thing works, not because people are stupid, but because they aren’t very politically astute. Most people couldn’t care less about politics, and only listen to the news with half an ear. If they get a tax cut cheque, that’s usually enough to make them vote for the guy who sent it to them.

  40. 40 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    pale

    The majority of Canadians? Please.

    Peter has a point — the majority might not be madly in love with Harper, but they don’t really really really hate him. Those are the people who make and break elections — we ignore them at our peril.

  41. 41 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Balb

    Fuck’em – do a pirouette.

    *pirouettes around the room*

    There. Now for a nice long post about my thoughts on gun control.

  42. 42 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Scout – I’m there 8)

  43. 43 rev.paperboy Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    This whole thing is just another sweater vest moment and it won’t work any better than it worked for Nixon. The people who like Harper are the same people who liked or would have liked Nixon and they like him for the same reasons – because he’s medioce, just like them. They hate anyone smarter, better educated, better looking or more talented than they are and so they loved Nixon because, just like them, he wasn’t comfortable in his own skin and lacked any social graces at all. They don’t like anyone different from themselves and they don’t like new ideas or change. That’s why they like guys like Steve.
    If he was a great piano player or singer, his advisers never would have let him do this.
    But you have to ask why they feel they need to sell this idea that he’s human, that he’s a regular guy. Why are they trying so hard to convince us of this? Could it be that he is actually an android fuelled by the succulent flesh of tiny babies? Why doesn’t Stephen Harper, if that is his real name, level with Canadians and deny his baby-eating and the rumor that he’s an android?

  44. 44 JJ Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    rev.

    Why doesn’t Stephen Harper, if that is his real name, level with Canadians and deny his baby-eating and the rumor that he’s an android?

    Well, it is strange that he hasn’t come forward to deny these heinous allegations…

  45. 45 Frank Frink Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 12:09 am

    JJ, IRT to performance royalties it would be standard operating procedure and typical for an organization such as the NAC to pay an annual licensing fee to the each of the various performing rights organizations (e.g. SOCAN, ASCAP, BMI, etc…) which allows them access to the entire licensed catalogues.

    This is a fairly good article on how that sort of stuff works.

    If I’m also not mistaken, organizations like the NAC will also often recompense themselves for some of that licensing fee by charging ‘rentals’ for music licensing. Typically that’s down by withholding a small percentage (i.e. 2% or 3%) of the box office receipts from the renting promoter or arts company. That’s a standard contractual thing in the business.


  1. 1 The Galloping Beaver: Our own little Nixon Trackback on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

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