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SARS Keeping Shitty Musicians Out of Toronto

TORONTO (DPI) - Some residents of Canada's largest city are fearful that the World Health Organization's recent travel advisory will affect tourism and the local economy. Others, however, are breathing a sigh of relief that the outbreak has forced the cancellation of several shitty concerts by lame-ass musicians in the city.

In recent days, Styx, The Notwist, Lisa Marie Presley and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson all have canceled concerts and appearances here, which suits Dwayne Thibodeau just fine. "Oh, Lisa Marie'a not coming? What a fucking shame," Thibodeau, 27, told reporters. "I guess there's just that much less suck in the city this week." He was equally critical of the other cancellations. "Ooooh, Styx isn't coming," he said. "There's going to be at least a dozen very disappointed ticket-holders."

Thibodeau, a noted music snob who likes "better" music like Sigur Ros and Radiohead, was equally blase about Clarkson's cancellation. "Yeah, that's pretty devastating," he said. "You mean our city has to do without the manufactured pop crap endorsed by Paula Abdul? I'm fucking crushed. Hey, folks, why not just go to a karaoke bar? It's the same fucking thing." His opinion changed slightly, however, when he found out that Clarkson had canceled an appearance on a talk show, Open Mike With Mike Bullard. "Actually, that is a shame," Thibodeau said. "Maybe if she'd appeared they would have shut the whole show down for 10 days. Man, I hate that fucking show."

Overall, said Thibodeau, the controversy created by the SARS outbreak has annoyed him. "For the love of Mike, out of 16 deaths, only two of them have been under 60 (year old)," he said. "It's harmless, people. What's wrong with you?" However, he was thankful for what he called "the stemming of horrible music coming in to our city" and pointed to punk group Sum 41 as proof that "Toronto has enough lame-ass music already. We don't need more."

Thibodeau also criticized Major League Baseball's stance on the disease. Recently, MLB issued an advisory to teams who were travelling to Toronto to play the Blue Jays about how to avoid contracting the disease, including not signing autographs, not taking public transportation and avoiding large crowds. "Major League Baseball is telling ballplayers to avoid large crowds?" he said. "That must be why they haven't canceled any games."

(Reported by Greg Preece)

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