April 16th @ Free Times Café

You may have heard that the federal government has decided to prohibit their staff from using TikTok. This move by the Canadian government mirrors decisions made in many other countries around the world. You may be wondering, as I was, why? What harm has TikTok wrought?

My first thought was that it was all about the songs. You see, TikTok is apparently responsible for the fact that the average length of songs, particularly singles, has dropped by almost 30 seconds over the past few years. That’s right, if you listen to pop radio you will have discovered that songs are getting shorter and shorter. No more Hey Jude, no more Stairways to Heaven, no more Fight the Powers, long songs are dead and short songs rule the airwaves and cyberspace (and I know you probably don’t trust my take on pop culture but it’s not just me who has noticed this trend, check this article from Billboard.

As it turns out however, the federal government was not at all concerned about song length when they decided to ban staff from using TikTok – which just goes to show that they have no interest in the real issues that matter to hard-working Canadians. Apparently, their concern was that TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, could be an agent of the Chinese government.

It’s not necessarily that China would use TikTok as a springboard to gather confidential information about Canada. What might that information even be? Why Nanaimo bars are named after a city on Vancouver Island? Why the Leafs suck decade after decade after decade? These are big questions, but somehow I don’t think China particularly cares about the answers.

Perhaps China’s interest in Canada is not so much about our secrets but rather the secrets other folks share with us. You see, Canada is a member of what are called the Five Eyes. The Five Eyes consist of the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, and we share a lot of information between these countries and that could be why China is interested in us.

And while we’re on the topic of the Five Eyes, can I just say that it’s a stupid name. I’m sure a bunch of “intelligence” folks came up with it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dumb. If there are five countries wouldn’t there be ten eyes not five?

Now I realize that I’m being a bit anthropomorphic – if you can be anthropomorphic about a country – but if you hear that Canada is ignoring a threat – and that seems to be something we’re pretty good at – isn’t the allegation that Canada is keeping its eyes closed. You’ll notice that it’s “eyes” plural, no one says Canada is keeping it’s “eye” closed. So the name for this five-country thing should be the Ten Eyes, not the Five Eyes. Plus, what’s the logo for this group, five individual eyeballs, that’s just a bit creepy frankly.

And this then brings us back, as it always does, to Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room. You see, I’m kinda old school, not really, really old school, like pen and paper old school, but old school like e-mail old school. I’m not creating cute little TikToks about the band, largely because I don’t know how. But even if I bothered to learn, I get so rambly that I suspect whatever I rambled on about wouldn’t fit on a TikTok – which apparently is about 15 seconds. And one more question about TikTok – how much Tik could a TikTok Tik if a TikTok could Tok Tiks?

Anyway, back to the Living Room. We will once again be gracing the stage at the legendary Free Times Cafe (still on College just west of Spadina), on Sunday April 16th. The show will start, as it always does, at 8 pm and there will be lots of great music, good food and plenty to drink. And to celebrate the actual arrival of spring, there will be no cover.

So please join us if you can. Hope to see you there.


P.S. While I haven’t looked, there are probably lots of TikToks with bagpipes (and please don’t send them to me) and while that would be the bad news, the good news is that they’d all be really short.

April 16th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Bridget Oppenheim
Diamond Girl
Lucky Enough
Walk Away Renée
Saskatchewan Sky
Wild About My Loving
Double Wide Blues
A Prayer
Sooner Or Later
Pencil Thin Moustache
Whatever Normal Was
White Bird
Pretzel Logic
Word For Sky
City Of New Orleans
Silver Wings
Alabama Jubilee
New Speedway Bogie
Get Us A Billion
Transparent Dress
Wedding Bells
I Mean It When I Say
Barbara Ann
Yellow Submarine