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    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    It's true. Toronto men ARE punks.

    What's up?
    It's Tuesday, and my mind is all over the place... However, I just emptied it into my blog, and as that was the majority of what I was thinking of today (outside of the conversations being sparked over Now magazine's cover story on Hip Hop in Toronto - I'm sure I'll spout something off about that in the next few hours). I've transcribed my blog stuff into my email and my email's p.s' into my blog. Now you don't have to read both.
    So here's what I was thinking today.
    IT'S TRUE.

    After years of arguing with my female friends, this past Saturday at re:connect, I realized it. It's true. Toronto men are punks. Yes. We are. Yes Jem. You've been right all this time. Alright already... If I wanted to be nagged I'd go back to my ex. (Not any ex in particular - it's a phrase).

    I have, for years, vehemently defended the men in Toronto. Us. I've stated in true Jay-z 22 twos form that "too many ladies in Toronto are stuck up from too many sexual advances". I've sited examples like my friend Keith asking for the time only to receive a rude response; to my own experience trying to tell a girl that her skirt was in her pantyhose to a response of "Arrrgh. I'm here with someone". I wasn't trying to pick you up girl. I was just trying to show you that your arse was outta door. Don't flatter yourself.

    But this past Saturday, I was forced to face facts. I held a small "private like party" for about 150 friends and acquaintances. Re:connect. Like a house party but without a house kinda vibe - although they did beat the wall as one point. Now granted there were just under 100 people there, but in the quaint surroundings of Toika, it was a good little party.

    Jester was just killing it. I was jamming. Then I noticed. All the ladies were on or around the dance floor. Some were looking like they were leaning of a base in baseball ready to run to the washroom if the pitcher took his eye off them. All the guys were leaning by the bar. The bar. Nursing a drink.

    Now. The ladies really really came out looking nice. Really nice. Really really nice. And they looked like they were down to meet someone. I suggested to some of the guys that they approach and make conversation. As the evening went on, I physically pushed the guys on to the dancefloor. They resisted... like when you're trying to pull a dog into a bathtub? Like that. They argued that it would be suicidal to approach ladies in groups that large lol.

    Eventually, everyone ended up on the dance floor together and as the dancing heated up, so too did the interaction. [Editor's note: The interaction wasn't the only thing that heated up... hopefully Spud's picture of the back of my light blue shirt turned dark blue with sweat doesn't materialize on Facebook, but if it does, at least I put it out there first lol].

    I digress. For years, my female friends have complained. They've applauded the forward nature of our American counterparts - and I've dismissed it as Mikeyism. They'll eat anything, and somehow that has worked for them. And we won't. Furthermore, I've argued that American men pay to play - and we don't. I've argued that if they buy you a drink that there comes and expectation with that drink. If they take you out for dinner, there's a price for that too. And maybe there is. But you know what? We're STILL just not forward enough. I don't mean we should be walking up asking how she likes her eggs in the morning... fertilized? But damn. We're like mimes. And this includes me. I don't approach women.

    I'm terrified. We're terrified. But not for the reason that Toronto's women have deluded themselves to thinking we are. No ladies. Sorry to burst your bubble. We're not intimidated by the fact that you have your ish together. It's not your paycheck. Or your education. It's not your nice car, or your beautiful home. No... it's not that you have stuff and we don't or that you're further ahead in life and that frightens us. (Many times you think that even though it's not the case and we can't be bothered to correct you to make ourselves worthy... we just let you go on talking your ish).

    We're afraid of rejection - plain and simple - and probably not without cause as Toronto women are one half of the reason we're the screwface capital. As Monolith so poetic-ly put it years ago, "West end got girls by the plenty, East end got girls by the plenty, Megacity got girls by the plenty, but ain't too much a dem gyals friendly". Say word. Word.

    But with that said, Toronto is also home to the most beautiful women on earth. And lately the most lonely. Living with cats in big houses by themselves lonely. With lots of certificates and degrees on their walls and no one to push their feet under on the couch (I HATE THAT) lonely. Watching movies alone and telling themselves that they don't need a man lonely. [Editor's note: If I hear one more woman say she doesn't need a man, I may scream. NO. You don't need a man. You don't need an arm, but it's a good friggin idea]. Back to my point. Toronto women are lonely. Oh so lonely. And Toronto guys aren't stepping up. Not the ones my age anyway.

    Sidebar. Not the one's my age anyway. This has led to the cougar effect. Rooaaaorr. It's all the rage. Every woman I know right now is dating younger. If they're 38 they're dating 28. If they're 33 they're dating 26. If they're 26 they're dating 19. Although I might warrant a guess that they've got more interest and stamina than my peers, that's not it. The young bwoy dem are interested. And I had too long a day in my corporate world to ask too many questions about what happened in yours. Cause frankly, I'm really just trying to put this mortgage down. And he's really just trying to find out if you resolved the problem with the woman from the office of "blah blah" that was bothering you.

    So its true. I had noticed it for months proceeding, but it wasn't until I heard the loud cries of "If he don't love you... the way he should... then let him go" on Saturday that I realized the writing was on the wall. Many Toronto men are afflicted with that disease, Bitchassness, that Diddy was talking about *(see p.s.' for link).

    This is my official call for Toronto men to stand up. This Friday, there are going to be about 350 ladies in a club called Blurr for an event called Soul Kitchen ~ Soundtracks. Pause. In defence of the Toronto men at the party on Saturday night, they all looked, dressed, and smelled fly. However, I must say, that generally speaking, the ladies - scene to scene - from soca to reggae... r&b to hip hop, fashionista to baller to fake baller scenes just generally look better than the men. Toronto men - STEP YOUR GAME UP.

    There will be 350 mature ladies between the ages of 23-35 on Friday night at Soul Kitchen and another 200 from the soca scene on Saturday at Big People Fete. Like Russell Peters said "Be a man".

    Stop that bitchassness now... (I'm getting the shirt - available fnow from Sean John LOL - no really.).
    Oh... I almost forgot. This is an entertainment email list. So here's how it goes down for the weekend. And I did say there was good news, bad news and more good news.
    So as you hopefully know by now, it's finally the week for the most anticipated Soul Kitchen concept event that I've done since - ummm Mary J. Blige or maybe Lauryn Hill tributes... This Friday, we pay tribute to all the best music from our favorite movies... From Strictly Business to Mo Money... School Daze to Boomerang... Sprung to Blue Streak... Belly to... You get the idea.
    The $10 all night guestlist for this Friday's Soul Kitchen ~ Soundtrack edition is CLOSING - consider this your last warning... Govern yourself accordingly or you may receive an email saying "unfortunately the guestlist for this Friday's Soul Kitchen is closed". Last chance.
    Sidebar: The doors at Soul Kitchen were closed just after midnight at the Valentine's Edition for capacity. THIS EVENT WILL SELL OUT. That's not rhetoric... it's fact. Come early or hear about it in the morning.
    I have however, opened up a $10 all night guestlist for the Saturday's Big People Fete. I had printed tickets weeks ago, but in all honesty and truth, I wasn't going anywhere to flyer in the sub-artic weather, so I decided to do this instead. This one, however, is limited to 100 people for myself and 100 for Dr. Jay, so again, govern yourself accordingly. I've had a ton of calls asking price, dress code etc and they are as follow. Admission to BPF is $10 before midnight, and $15 after. Dress code is adult. If you have to ask, don't wear it. Attitude is Big People. Not old. Big. No kids. The venue, the Great Iron Pot, only holds 350 and this is the first Big People Fete of the year. Need I say more?
    Oh. Good news. Everyday without fail I get a few emails about Amnesia. We're coming. Sooner than we expected. Look out for the sickest 3 man team since ummm Tribe Called... (yes Frank... that was 4), umm? Elimidate? I don't know. Since. Ever.
    Gotta run... but if you're interested in the hip hop scene in Toronto, there's a story in this week's NOW magazine that you may want to check out. I think I may blog about it later...
    Shoutout to NOW magazine who listed me in the "Get your Hip Hop Fix" listing the clubs and promoters you need to know... Although I think there are far more deserving "hip hop promoters", I'll take the forward graciously... Actually, it was good, as they uncovered a link that I haven't used in years that I was forced to update - anybody seen Jef from Toronto-lime? I fear he may be at Jamaica's carnival...
    Until next time...
    Dance like no one's watching, sing like you're in your room with your brush, eat (but not more than you need), and try to be happy. Desiderata.

    Yours sincerely,
    Ian Andre Espinet (still Dre).

    p.s. Check out my new blog at
    p.p.s. So it's evident Alicia Keys has a thing for Jamaicans like those guys from Roots Canada, the ill Nana (Fox Boogie Brown) and Lauryn Hill, but damn, what's up with all the frumpy reggae remixes? They sound like what I would imagine the "reggae" setting would be on a casio keyboard.
    p.p.p.s. Boonks booonks... boooonks bunks.... (the sound we make when we think of reggae).
    p.p.p.p.s. You know... like when you think of calypso, you go "ting ti ta ting ting"
    p.p.p.p.p.s And when you think of hip hop, you want to cross your arms and do a beatbox like the fatboys...
    p.p.p.p.p.p.s. It seems that Toronto guys are going on with some bi%cha$sness.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. Click here, to learn about the affliction Diddy has commonly referred to as "bi%cha$sness". LMAO. Get your official no bi%cha$sness t-shirt here... Diddy is the greatest marketer of all time.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. Damn Gina! My little manicurist (you're wrong... she's not Korean), scrapped up my backfoot so clean, that I nearly fell and buss my ish in the shower, and then again in the kitchen today. I guess I need a little sand paper for traction.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. I had to get it cleaned up... its just not hot when your footback pulls on the bed sheets... but it sure does come in handy when you need to scratch your other foot. Don't front. You know you do it.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. Who in he!! greenlighted that Mariah Carey "Touch my body" song.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. Do you love the Boondocks? Do you hate BET? If so, you need to see the banned Boondocks Season Season 02, Episode 14... Watch it here! Warning... this may be offensive to some.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. Isn't it funny how when we stop to talk about our favorite songs from Soundtracks, and Soul Kitchen in general, someone always says "I did a dance to that song"? Laugh. You know it's true.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. Isn't it even funnier how everyone has a "I was a dancer" story from their youth? We couldn't have ALL been dancers... Some of us kinda sucked. LOL.
    p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s. Congrats to our home town heroes Jully Black and Russel Peters who will be holding down the Junos. I've never had a reason to watch before. That's the realest talk ever.


    Anonymous said...

    loved it

    Toronto realtor said...

    I really enjoyed your article. And I think you are right. Problem is that I am the one of those "nursing a bar" too:-) It is not so easy to change it for me even if I am trying hard. Working in a Toronto realtors team and attending boring parties I will try to change it. It always look like you have described.

    QueenBea's sushi chronicles said...

    I loved the fact that you've come to this realization. It's funny though, I've never once thought that Toronto men don't approach for the reasons you've listed, I just think they(okay some of them) are PUNKS lol.

    Funny story, a couple weeks ago I went out to a reggae club in Yokohama with my girl. Within the space of 10-20 minutes we were offered 3 drinks by 3 different guys. If you saw the look of shock on our faces as we looked at eachother and tried to make sense of what took place, you would have died of laughter. Three times in one night!!?? I don't think I've been asked that many times in my Toronto life by someone other than my male friends.

    Anyway, loved the entry. Keep 'em coming

    Anonymous said...

    You'd be surprised at the sheer number of women I know who have actually left Toronto for this same reason. They are now living happily in NYC or Atlanta or LA or someplace, married to an American guy who wasn't afraid to...*gasp*...start a conversation! I even know one particularly stunning woman who came to Toronto from Brooklyn, intending to stay long-term, at the beginning she was even thinking she might stay permanently (family/work reasons). She left after 10 months. She went back to NYC because she said she couldn't handle the fact that none of the brothers seemed to want to talk to her, (even when she tried to strike up conversation) the social atmosphere was very cold at best, non-existent at worst. She didn't have one date the whole time she was here. And this girl is beautiful, inside and out! Very kind and friendly, outgoing type. In the club, they were either elbowing her outta the way to get to Becky, or just straight up ignoring her. Funny enough, I've heard on more than one occasion from an American man and from a UK man about how much Toronto women (Canadian women in general, really) are very much liked the world over, because they are seen as being very appreciative and self-sufficient, I was told you literally have to fight them at first to be able to pay for anything for them (after all those years of buying their own drinks and opening their own car doors, I

    Also, this notion of complaining because women don't approach men is a moot point. Like it or not, the fact is that women generally are not socialized to approach men, or to be the forward/aggressive ones. No woman wants to be seen as "easy" or "forward". Period. So if you don't approach, they'll get swept away by someone else who will...that's usually a man from another country, unfortunately. Especially lately. And when you factor in the Internet dating, then it's really a wrap.

    Toronto men, reclaim your women! Like Ian said, just step up your game, don't be afraid...the women will be receptive to you if you just take your place as men. You can do it!

    sherviegirl said...

    Lol... this made me laugh... I've always said the minute I land in Toronto I feel like I'm ugly or something... and I've always felt Toronto men are wack (with a few exceptions)... I'm glad a man from Toronto actually says that Toronto men are kinda lazy on the follow through. Thank you:)

    Jodie said...

    Ummm... well, I have been in Toronto for three weeks now. My experiences thus far have not jived at all with what you are saying. I find the men here to be extremely aggressive. I have received business cards, phone numbers, website links, you name it. I've had men sit (uninvited) next to me at sushi bars, walk me home (despite my obvious lack of interest), and follow me down the street. I have been told dirty, dirty things by complete strangers, to the point that it made me blush. Honestly, I have written home several times and told my friends about how the men here are fucked! Compared to men in Alberta, the dudes here seem like wild beasts. Definitely not a bunch of shrinking violets.

    My issue is that Toronto men are ugly. Sorry dudes - no offense, but if you are not picking up the ladies, it is probably because they are way hotter than you. I moved here from Edmonton, and I must say, in the three weeks I've been in Toronto, I've seen less hotties than I typically see in a one-hour stroll down Whyte Ave (E-town's main drag). Edmonton men dress better, have better haircuts, and even possess bigger, better muscles. I thought I'd never say this, but I must: Alberta beef - best in the nation!