The proposal for a 24-storey waterfront tower with condos, sticking like the proverbial sore thumb above the skyline, well higher than any building permitted by the town’s height bylaw, simply doesn’t fit. And, frankly, it’s big-city ugly. Boxy. Style-less. Drab. Collingwood deserves better. This is our historic waterfront, after all, and the building will be seen from the hills and Blue Mountain, as well as from many places in town. As a former councilor and newspaper editor/reporter, over the past … click below for more!
I admit to a nostalgic affection for the American (dubbed) edit of the original Gojira — renamed Godzilla, King of the Monsters — because it was the first film in the franchise I ever saw. It helped give me a love of monster movies I still have, more than 60 years later. At that time, I also saw a lot of other scifi and monster B-films in the ’50s and ’60s on TV, in theatres, and at the drive-in, but … click below for more!
Like most North Americans, my introduction to Godzilla (aka Gojira) came later than the first (original) film. For me, it was the 1956 American edit of this film (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, with Canadian actor Raymond Burr; review to follow), watched sometime in the late 1950s. I didn’t actually see the unedited, Japanese original until fairly recently, although I’ve known of its existence since the 1960s. After it was first released for North American audiences in 2004 (now on … click below for more!
To pass the time doing two things I enjoy — writing and watching Godzilla films (and, yes… reading books about Godzilla films…) — I thought I would watch each Godzilla film in order, one per week, starting with the 1954 original, and write a synopsis/review of each one, trying to look at each one from my current perspective and knowledge (no comments about being in my dotage, please). I’m also preparing myself by renewing my knowledge of the franchise in … click below for more!
Animal Fairm is a 2022 translation into Scots of George Orwell’s classic satire on Stalinist (and in far too many ways, modern conservative) politics and ideology. As the cover of this edition says, it was “translatit intae Scots by Thomas Clark.” I recently purchased the book for my reading entertainment. And quickly discovered it’s so delightful that it makes me want to read more of and learn more about the language. The book is published by Luath Press, in Edinburgh. … click below for more!
Christians pray to Jesus, but get no reply. They pray to Jesus for parking spaces closer to the mall, to win the lottery, to make their boss disappear, to lose weight, to restore Donald Trump to his lost presidency, for their kids to win the little league game, for better business sales, and other really important stuff. And yet nothing ever happens. But would you respond if someone called you by another name? If your name was, say, Bob, or … click below for more!
As I promised in a previous post, here’s my almost certainly true and accurate explanation of why the language you’re reading now is the result of one man’s writing back in the 14th century. Yes, of course, I mean Chaucer; author of The Canterbury Tales. Thanks to him, you’re reading this in modern English. In his day, there wasn’t a cohesive form of English, but rather several dialects that were all Middle English (see map); each was influenced by its own … click below for more!
I received a couple of new Chaucer books recently and, despite my love of reading Chaucer, frankly, I was disappointed by both. My expectations for both greatly exceeded what little joy I received from them. I was deeply disappointed by both. And I’m here to tell you why. Let me back up a bit, before I get into my reviews. I have a couple of dozen books by or about Chaucer and his language on my bookshelves, which suggests he … click below for more!
A Repugnance of Republicans. A Sycophancy of Saundersonites. A Conspiracy of Conservatives. A Misanthropy of MAGA-Hatters. A Cowardice of Councillors. A Laziness of Reporters. A Slyness of Staff. A Corruption of Politicians. A Disingenuity of Candidates. A Fallaciousness of FOX Commentators. A Malice of Mayors. A Lying of Lobbyists. A Bloviation of Bloggers. The Game of Venery is all about coming up with collective (aka corporate or multitude) nouns under which to group animals, people, professions, and things. And the … click below for more!
I recently read a good opinion piece in The Meaford Independent, titled, The Challenge of Remaining Informed & Engaged in Municipal Governance in Our Busy Modern World, In it, editor Stephen Vance opines about the difficulties of engaging the public in municipal issues and government. It’s refreshing to see an independent paper in a nation where almost all media is owned by corporations, and even more to read a salient, locally-focused editorial, something sorely lacking in our own local media … click below for more!
The proper collective noun for a group of politicians is “an odium,” at least according to James Lipton in his delightful book, An Exaltation of Larks (Ultimate Edition, Penguin Books, 1993). I was thinking of how appropriate that term is, this week, when I read the odious comments from our mayor in the Connection. Odium, the Collins Dictionary tells us, means “dislike, disapproval, or hatred that people feel for a particular person, usually because of something that the person has … click below for more!
The headline in CwoodToday reads, “OPP concludes investigation into JI events; no charges laid.” After ten years, the OPP finally shut down the investigation that actually concluded several years ago. And even then we knew the results: no one under investigation broke any laws. Not even the Municipal Act or the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Ten years during which innocent people were under suspicion, had their lives and work affected, were accused of wrongdoing, had reputations ruined, and suffered … click below for more!
I can’t recall just when I first encountered haiku, that subtle, concise and often baffling Japanese poetry, but I suspect it was sometime in the late 1960s, not long after I was first introduced to Buddhism. I recall having the four-volume set of seasonal haiku by Blyth back in those days, but long since gone from my library for reasons I can no longer fathom. I’ve had several other books of haiku on my shelves since then, and turn to … click below for more!
Okay, I’ll admit I’m a gadget-loving guy. I am easily seduced by devices that have buttons, programming, switches, dials, and LED displays. And if they’re kitchen devices, I’m even more vulnerable to their siren song. Walk through a store display of Instant Pots, pressure cookers, stand mixers, panini presses, pasta makes, air fryers, or convection ovens, and my knees grow weak. I start to hyperventilate in the appliance aisle of a box store, touching the displayed appliances in an unseemly … click below for more!