The Book of Knowledge: 3

Back in the Mesozoic of my life, I came across a quotation from Giacomo Casanova that, as far as I can remember these days, went “No man can know everything, but every man should attempt to.” For many decades, I didn’t know the source, or whether it was misquoted, misattributed, or simply a fake as we experience so often on most internet quote sites (aka clickbait … (more–>)

Milton Was Wrong

In 1644, the English poet and pamphleteer John Milton wrote an impassioned defence of free speech (or, more factually, against censorship of print and in favour of restriction-free publication) called the Areopagitica. It was subtitled A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England. In it, Milton argued that, given the choice between truth and lies, people were … (more–>)

Smith, Rock, and the Trivialization of Western Culture

If Neil Postman were alive today, sitting in a bar or café with Chris Hedges, I wonder which one would say “I told you so!” first after seeing social media this past week? The story that clogged the social media pipes this week was the slap one actor gave another on stage during the performance of the annual onanism festival called the Oscars. And as soon … (more–>)

Conservatives Eat Their Own

So the alt-right segment of the Conservative Party dumped Erin O’Toole, its latest leader, for being too moderate. Too much like a human, methinks, and that made him vulnerable. The alt-right members are dragging the party into the Repugnican side of politics: an authoritarian, pseudo-Christian, racist, and separatist/libertarian ideology. The elect-then-dump-’em routine would be comical if it weren’t scary because one day these neo-fascists might become … (more–>)

Don’t Blame the Liberals

Risible rightwing piffle still circulates online about who is responsible for the rising costs of fuel and food. Conservatives and libertarians love to blame the Liberals, but that’s self-serving claptrap from people who love to give handouts and tax cuts to corporations and billionaires and then wonder why governments have no money. Oil and gas prices are set by the oil corporations (most of which are … (more–>)

Jail the Unvaccinated

In a recent opinion piece in Macleans Magazine, Scott Gilmore wrote what I expect many vaccinated Canadians felt about those who still refuse to get vaccinated and help end this pandemic: We need to begin treating the vaccine holdouts as the fools they are. It is not fair that reasonable and responsible Canadians should pay the price for their deadly selfishness. No more soothing tones and … (more–>)

A Quick Word for the Internet Trolls

For the social media trolls and whingers who never take the time to read, or listen, or check facts before spewing out their bile, here are a dozen points to consider before you bloviate further (yes, I realize the chance that the hard-of-thinking will actually read this is slim, but I live in hope): The judicial inquiry (or as it’s known locally, the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial … (more–>)

We’re Doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

While walking our dog recently, we encountered another couple “our age” (somewhere between 65 and 90) also walking their dog. While the two pets sniffed and frolicked, we chatted with them (at a safe distance, of course). And, as might be expected during a lengthy pandemic, one of the first questions we asked them was, “Have you had your shot yet?” Shockingly, they both answered, “No! … (more–>)

We Need New Names for Stupid

I was reading a story in CollingwoodToday about another anti-mask/anti-lockdown protest recently — this one in Barrie, Sat. April 24 — and thought to myself that our language does not have the appropriate words to describe the combination of selfishness, stupidity, and ignorance that fuels this sort of event. Sure, we have lots of individual words to describe these people, but it seems the pandemic has … (more–>)

The COVID-19 Vaccination Screw Up

For a long time during this pandemic, Susan and I were in the “not eligible” age bracket for the COVID-19 vaccination (65-79 years old) here in Ontario. Why our age group was left out I have never been able to uncover. Maybe some politicians felt we were more expendable than other groups. But late last week, the provincial government finally announced it had expanded eligibility to … (more–>)

Remembrance Day thoughts

An article on the Global News site titled “Fewer Canadians plan to wear poppies this Remembrance Day, poll finds” made me think again about what Remembrance Day is for. The article opens: Fewer people plan to participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies or wear poppies this year, according to a poll from Historica Canada that also suggests knowledge of Canadian military history is dwindling. To be fair, … (more–>)

Post-election musings

Media reports suggest that, like me, most Canadians breathed a large sigh of relief when Joe Biden won the US election and ended the proto-fascist regime in the USA. Not that I think he’s some sort of saviour of American politics: for all the rhetoric the Trump campaign spewed at him and his party, the Democrats are not leftwing, let alone radical. The most “radical” of … (more–>)

The Long Read Lost

“What we read, how we read, and why we read change how we think, changes that are continuing now at a faster pace,” wrote Maryanne Wolf, a neuroscientist, in her book, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in the Digital World (Harper Paperbacks, 2019). It’s the sequel to her previous book on reading and neuroscience, Proust and the Squid (Harper, 2007). In that latter book, Wolf … (more–>)

Back to Montaigne

When I find myself in times of trouble, I go back to read Montaigne. Seeking words of wisdom, Read some more… (to the tune of Let It Be, with apologies to the Beatles) I was up late these last few nights reading Michel de Montaigne into the wee, dark hours. Although I used to read him rather frequently and found him an inspiration for several posts, … (more–>)

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