Alan Thicke dead at 69. The self-aware branding that made him a Canadian icon even as he was doing whatever schlock Hollywood asked of him is explained well by Bill Brioux. A celebrity tribute plaque was installed long ago in Thicke's hometown, Kirkland Lake—a place he was happy to escape. In Toronto, there was a modest effort to make his star shine a little brighter.

Canada’s other ‘80s TV dad can save us from Kevin O’Leary. Peak Globe and Mail from Lawrence Martin: “To rein in Trump, Canada needs Brian Mulroney.” (Last week, the former PM praised the president-elect, noting his kids don’t smoke or do drugs.)

“No matter where I am or who I am talking to I always talk about the same thing.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending cash-for-access fundraisers—becuase, he says, it’s not his fault if some lobbying comes up. His dealings with China have now spawned a Taiwanese animation:

Rosie DiManno’s anger is being managed. The Toronto Star columnist’s July assault charge headlines didn’t get much follow-up. Who'd travel to Bancroft for what she insisted was a private family matter? The case was adjourned last month pending a rehabilitation process, which, if DiManno completes it, would get the charges dropped. Frank figures the entire matter will be withdrawn through a peace bond.

Sebastian Bach’s book’s sequel: a Skid Row reunion. Talking about 18 to Life on Skid Row has led to lively interviews on Q and in GQ, where the ex-rocker talked about how he was plucked from the Gasworks at 18 to win the heavy metal lotto. Inevitably, he's trying to get the band back together. For now, Bach is busy signing books for a cavalcade of characters:

“Twitter essays” get the takedown they deserve. The practice of threading together numerous tweets to make an argument, a shtick Toronto writer Jeet Heer claims to have popularized, became widely known as “tweetstorming.” But liberal male pundits will hopefully be discouraged from the practice now that it has been gendered:

Last chance to join tomorrow’s 12:36 year-in-review party. Just bring a nominee for the 12:36 Word of the Year, as we use Slack to chat about 2016 through the lens of this newsletter. The party starts tomorrow at 12:37 p.m., and goes till 3-something. Click right here to sign up. An email with full entry details will arrive beforehand.

Word of the moment


Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown censured socially conservative MPP Rick Nicholls for claiming the party has one of these ready to use if they win the 2018 election.

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