POINT-COUNTERPOINT: Love according to Jon

The punchline is that after spewing love all over Edmonton in the form of a blow-out multi-media variety show Monday night at the Garneau Theatre, stand-up comedian Jon Mick is moving to Toronto. He’s called the gig Edmonton, I Love You.

“This is my thank you,” he says. “I love you guys.”

Lies, lies, lies! Love stinks, Valentine’s Day is a crock and Edmonton sucks. There. Chew on that, comedy boy. Oh, you wanna fight? Let’s see how this “love” concept fares against good, old-fashioned hate. (Jon will play the part of “love.”)

HATE: Edmonton is too damned cold.

LOVE: It’s beautiful in the summertime. You know, I have the same complaints about Edmonton that most people do. Edmonton’s like that older brother of yours you really want to do very well, but sometimes he kind of gets himself into trouble and you say, come on, man, why are you acting like that?

HATE: Edmonton has too many bands, too many lousy bands and not enough places to play.

LOVE: I would disagree. I think there’s a ton of places to play, but there are a lot of bands. There’s going to be crappy bands and there’s going to be good bands – and you need the bad bands to remind you why you love the good bands.

HATE: The roads are terrible.

LOVE: I take the transit, so I can’t say I love Edmonton because of its transit system, so I’ll give you a point there. It would be nice if we all had individual pods we could step into and not have to interact with people on a bus, but if I didn’t interact with people on a bus, I wouldn’t have the half the material I have.

HATE: Artists here get so sensitive when you ask them questions about their grant money.

LOVE: I think a lot of artists do stuff for free in the city, so it’s nice to get money where you can. You don’t want to jeopardize any streams of revenue, even if it is a provincial or federal grant. You want to keep that stuff near and dear to your heart. Those are your lifelines.

HATE: Downtown Edmonton is dead.

LOVE: It’s kind of spooky at times. I love the downtown when it’s dead because you could imagine you’re in a post-apocalyptic environment and all the citizens have passed on and you’re left alone inside this giant concrete landscape.

HATE: That we have a homeless problem.

LOVE: There are homeless people everywhere. We need to look out for these people.

HATE: Edmonton is so cliquey.

LOVE: Everybody’s got a circle of friends, but I don’t think it’s cliquey to the extent that people are ignoring each other. I don’t think it’s as gossipy as the word clique lends itself to. I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I’m part of the clique.

HATE: The screwball deal the City Council gave to Daryl Katz.

LOVE: I have a tough time arguing that one, but go Oilers!

HATE: That everyone else in Canada thinks we’re a bunch of rednecks.

LOVE: I hate being labelled as a redneck, but just spend some time in Edmonton and you’ll see that not everybody is a redneck hillbilly with hitch balls (decorative testicles) hanging off their truck – although there are a good amount of hitch-balls around. They made them street illegal to have them on the back of your truck, but a lot of guys have defied the council to keep the pride alive.

HATE: That our nickname is Deadmonton.

LOVE: People make us sound like Gotham City without all the great architecture. It bothers me that people assume Edmonton is a desolate, prairie, oil refinery-ridden epicentre of filth – but there’s a lot to like about Edmonton.

HATE: We’re so isolated; it’s three hours to the nearest city, for chrissakes.

LOVE: But we have that lovely, insular, self-supportive arts scene, where everybody supports all different sorts of media. That’s the great thing about being isolated.

HATE: That you’re moving Toronto, and we’re losing yet another talented artist. Traitor!

LOVE: Because you get angry when you lose people. And the anger that’s been directed towards me only describes affection towards me.

HATE: I think I might be sick …


Final score: Hate concedes, love wins! Happy?