Just watch me! With Justin Trudeau, can anyone do otherwise?

Opinion Mar 31, 2016 by Jim Coyle OurWindsor.Ca

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t explicitly dared the country, as his father famously did, to “just watch me.” He hasn’t had to. Canadians, and apparently the world, can’t seem to pry their eyes off him.

Photographs (both new and old) of Trudeau the son regularly go viral. The latest is a several-years-old image of the prime minister doing the yoga “peacock pose” on a table in the Liberal caucus room on Parliament Hill.

It is a pose reminiscent of one his father struck to similar impressive effect on the South Nahanni River in the summer of 1970.

Such casual shows of physical strength and kinetic aptitude reveal the obvious ways in which the PM was influenced by his father.

In both, there is captivating physical grace, a daring and confidence. There is a quicksilver thrill of spontaneity and yet the hint of calculation and awareness of pleasing effect.

Always, there is large statement without words.

It would be reasonable to imagine, however, that the yoga picture speaks to the‎ PM as much of his mother, Margaret, as his father.

It was while being treated for bipolar illness that Margaret Trudeau started doing yoga as part of a health-care regimen‎, found peace and a sense of balance. It was during those days that her eldest son was most impressively devoted to her.

The growing gallery of Justin Trudeau at exuberant and accomplished play seems to declare not just a new political philosophy ascendant in Canada, but a new generation and cultural aesthetic. Behold, where once presided a dour, suspicious, ungainly economist, there is now installed a sleek feminist with his yoga mat and mantra of sunny ways — but a former bouncer who one takes lightly at one’s peril.

Both Trudeaus showed a shrewd understanding of the power of an image.

PET’s former chief aide Jim Coutts revealed after‎ the boss’s retirement that Pierre Trudeau “did and said little publicly that was not carefully rehearsed in advance.”

The celebrated Canadian photographer Doug Ball, who took the famous photo of PET dashing off a pirouette behind the Queen, told the Star not long ago that “he made photographers, because you had to be ready. If you weren’t ready, you were screwed.”

In speaking once of the Pierre Trudeau she knew, Jean Wadds, former Canadian High Commissioner to the U.K., recalled a visit to London by Pierre and Justin when the son was 8 or 9.

Justin was concerned that his camera had jammed and he’d missed some much-wanted photos.

“Don’t worry, son,” said Pierre. “You’ll have those pictures in your mind’s eye forever.”

Together, the father and the son have produced a virtual album, one in which Canadians can see past and future, art and aspiration, manhood redefined and leadership adapted to modern times.

In the doing, half a century apart, the two men have offered others around the world compelling images of a confident new Canadian sensibility — one that seems very much admired.

Toronto Star

Just watch me! With Justin Trudeau, can anyone do otherwise?

Columnist Jim Coyle says latest photo to go viral of PM shows Trudeau’s knack for making a statement without words, one he shares with his father

Opinion Mar 31, 2016 by Jim Coyle OurWindsor.Ca

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t explicitly dared the country, as his father famously did, to “just watch me.” He hasn’t had to. Canadians, and apparently the world, can’t seem to pry their eyes off him.

Photographs (both new and old) of Trudeau the son regularly go viral. The latest is a several-years-old image of the prime minister doing the yoga “peacock pose” on a table in the Liberal caucus room on Parliament Hill.

It is a pose reminiscent of one his father struck to similar impressive effect on the South Nahanni River in the summer of 1970.

Such casual shows of physical strength and kinetic aptitude reveal the obvious ways in which the PM was influenced by his father.

In both, there is captivating physical grace, a daring and confidence. There is a quicksilver thrill of spontaneity and yet the hint of calculation and awareness of pleasing effect.

Always, there is large statement without words.

It would be reasonable to imagine, however, that the yoga picture speaks to the‎ PM as much of his mother, Margaret, as his father.

It was while being treated for bipolar illness that Margaret Trudeau started doing yoga as part of a health-care regimen‎, found peace and a sense of balance. It was during those days that her eldest son was most impressively devoted to her.

The growing gallery of Justin Trudeau at exuberant and accomplished play seems to declare not just a new political philosophy ascendant in Canada, but a new generation and cultural aesthetic. Behold, where once presided a dour, suspicious, ungainly economist, there is now installed a sleek feminist with his yoga mat and mantra of sunny ways — but a former bouncer who one takes lightly at one’s peril.

Both Trudeaus showed a shrewd understanding of the power of an image.

PET’s former chief aide Jim Coutts revealed after‎ the boss’s retirement that Pierre Trudeau “did and said little publicly that was not carefully rehearsed in advance.”

The celebrated Canadian photographer Doug Ball, who took the famous photo of PET dashing off a pirouette behind the Queen, told the Star not long ago that “he made photographers, because you had to be ready. If you weren’t ready, you were screwed.”

In speaking once of the Pierre Trudeau she knew, Jean Wadds, former Canadian High Commissioner to the U.K., recalled a visit to London by Pierre and Justin when the son was 8 or 9.

Justin was concerned that his camera had jammed and he’d missed some much-wanted photos.

“Don’t worry, son,” said Pierre. “You’ll have those pictures in your mind’s eye forever.”

Together, the father and the son have produced a virtual album, one in which Canadians can see past and future, art and aspiration, manhood redefined and leadership adapted to modern times.

In the doing, half a century apart, the two men have offered others around the world compelling images of a confident new Canadian sensibility — one that seems very much admired.

Toronto Star

Just watch me! With Justin Trudeau, can anyone do otherwise?

Columnist Jim Coyle says latest photo to go viral of PM shows Trudeau’s knack for making a statement without words, one he shares with his father

Opinion Mar 31, 2016 by Jim Coyle OurWindsor.Ca

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t explicitly dared the country, as his father famously did, to “just watch me.” He hasn’t had to. Canadians, and apparently the world, can’t seem to pry their eyes off him.

Photographs (both new and old) of Trudeau the son regularly go viral. The latest is a several-years-old image of the prime minister doing the yoga “peacock pose” on a table in the Liberal caucus room on Parliament Hill.

It is a pose reminiscent of one his father struck to similar impressive effect on the South Nahanni River in the summer of 1970.

Such casual shows of physical strength and kinetic aptitude reveal the obvious ways in which the PM was influenced by his father.

In both, there is captivating physical grace, a daring and confidence. There is a quicksilver thrill of spontaneity and yet the hint of calculation and awareness of pleasing effect.

Always, there is large statement without words.

It would be reasonable to imagine, however, that the yoga picture speaks to the‎ PM as much of his mother, Margaret, as his father.

It was while being treated for bipolar illness that Margaret Trudeau started doing yoga as part of a health-care regimen‎, found peace and a sense of balance. It was during those days that her eldest son was most impressively devoted to her.

The growing gallery of Justin Trudeau at exuberant and accomplished play seems to declare not just a new political philosophy ascendant in Canada, but a new generation and cultural aesthetic. Behold, where once presided a dour, suspicious, ungainly economist, there is now installed a sleek feminist with his yoga mat and mantra of sunny ways — but a former bouncer who one takes lightly at one’s peril.

Both Trudeaus showed a shrewd understanding of the power of an image.

PET’s former chief aide Jim Coutts revealed after‎ the boss’s retirement that Pierre Trudeau “did and said little publicly that was not carefully rehearsed in advance.”

The celebrated Canadian photographer Doug Ball, who took the famous photo of PET dashing off a pirouette behind the Queen, told the Star not long ago that “he made photographers, because you had to be ready. If you weren’t ready, you were screwed.”

In speaking once of the Pierre Trudeau she knew, Jean Wadds, former Canadian High Commissioner to the U.K., recalled a visit to London by Pierre and Justin when the son was 8 or 9.

Justin was concerned that his camera had jammed and he’d missed some much-wanted photos.

“Don’t worry, son,” said Pierre. “You’ll have those pictures in your mind’s eye forever.”

Together, the father and the son have produced a virtual album, one in which Canadians can see past and future, art and aspiration, manhood redefined and leadership adapted to modern times.

In the doing, half a century apart, the two men have offered others around the world compelling images of a confident new Canadian sensibility — one that seems very much admired.

Toronto Star