The ability of TikTok stars to mobilize enough fans to require a police alert, followed by news stories grasping to decode the app’s ascent, provided 2020’s first evidence of where media is headed. But law enforcement has also taken to TikTok, like Toronto’s Officer Arsenault, along with newbies Justin Bieber, Tim Hortons and National Post.
The mother of political chaos
Word of Diane Ford’s death at age 85, after a battle with cancer, required a detour from discussion about her son Doug filming greetings in front of a green screen upon which Queen’s Park enemy terrain was transposed. His mother’s influence was enshrined when the premier entered the Ontario political arena from her basement.
Marilyn Lastman dead at 84. The passing of Mel Lastman’s wife roused memories of when she was married to a mayor, in North York and Toronto, between 1973 and 2004. During his first month in office, Marilyn was involved in a kidnapping plot, which was never solved; 26 years later, she was arrested for shoplifting, but wasn’t charged.
Alt-weekly roll-up continues
The Georgia Straight, published in Vancouver since 1967, has joined Toronto’s Now Magazine in being sold to Media Central Corporation—whose plan involves linking “creative class” weeklies to more cannabis content. Dan McLeod, the publisher who said the paper was “not worth anything” when it turned 50, is pleased with the deal:
Torstar is officially slimming the mothership down. Monday and Tuesday print editions of the Toronto Star are incorporating GTA, Entertainment, and Life pages into the A section, with Sports and Business in the B. (Craig Macinnis, a former entertainment writer for the Star, recently contemplated the shrinkage of that section.)
“Train Daddy” can’t sit down
Andy Byford’s move to Manhattan from Toronto has finally been validated through Brooklyn street stickers that gave him a nickname. “Train Daddy” was also asked about where he stands on a meme asking which was the best subway seat out of five—he’d only say that each one is special. But it’s a debate that any passenger can get behind:
“Rupi Kaur is the Writer of the Decade.” The declaration concerning the Instagram poet was surely the most viral thing ever published by The New Republic. Less likely to rouse dissent, in the category of coverage of Punjabi-Canadians in American political magazines, is a story from Reason: “Indian Immigrants are Saving Canadian Hockey.”
Finally, what you were born for
Chani Nicholas has gained enough attention as an online astrologer to write a book, You Were Born For This, and get profiled in the New York Times. Born amidst the hippies of Nelson, B.C., Nicholas attended what she calls “lesbian finishing school” in Toronto before moving to L.A. in search of the stardom that she found in horoscopes: