Yesterday’s Laughs

It may be a small conceit to say I was brought up watching the Marx Brothers movies on TV, but there’s some truth in that claim. I remember seeing them on our small, B&W TV set on weekends when my brother and I were allowed to watch the programs of our choice. I also recall seeing the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and … (more–>)

The Cancer Diaries, Part 31

It’s been about eight months since I last penned a post about my ongoing experience with prostate cancer, my subsequent surgery, treatment, my recovery from treatment and what’s happened since. That last post was written at the height of last year’s pandemic and lockdowns. Since then, I have only had phone consultations with my oncologist and urologist, but I expect in-person consultations to begin again with … (more–>)

Ontario, I Am Ashamed and Embarrassed

This morning, Ontario, I am ashamed of you. Ontario, you had an opportunity to do the right thing, and chose — deliberately chose — not to. I am ashamed and embarrassed by your choice. And that includes your choice not to vote. At stake was the future of this province; its education, healthcare, environment, libraries, long-term care; at stake were our seniors, and our children. None … (more–>)

Right v. Left in Modern Politics

There’s a lot of palaver on social media about right v. left (or left v. right if you are so inclined), with webs of comments about the differences between these opposing political wings. And, at least among the comments I’ve read from Americans, there’s also a lot of misinformation and disinformation in play, especially about what constitutes the left (usually coupled with invectives and name-calling from … (more–>)

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–>)

The Book of Knowledge: 2

Last post I mentioned I had rescued a set of encyclopedias from the dumpster at the end of this year’s Mother Of All Yard Sales (MOAYS; an Optimist Club event). I didn’t explain what I saved and why, but I’m here to explain, and to show. Bear with me. First, let me give you some personal background. Aside from being a writer, in my career I … (more–>)

The Book of Knowledge: 1

When I was growing up in the Fifties and Sixties, having an encyclopedia in your home was the bee’s knees, to use my grandmother’s phrase. It was a sign of sophistication and learning, of culture and wisdom. And being reasonably well-off, because encyclopedias were not inexpensive. I can still hear Jimminy Cricket singing the song (it’s how I learned to spell encyclopedia). Many school libraries had … (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–>)

Kerouac’s Haikus

Haiku is like a razor blade: small, light, but yet strong and incredibly sharp. Haiku says “Look over there!” and then smacks you from the other side. Haiku is the neutron star of poetry: stunning density combined with astounding brightness. Haiku swims in a sea of metaphor, darting like quick, bright fish among the forest of words. Haiku has a formal definition: “an unrhymed verse form of … (more–>)

Freedom or Just Free-Dumb?

It’s a sad statement on modern affairs that the word “freedom” has been reduced to a generally meaningless term, thanks to the constant gaslighting by the right.  Every rule, regulation, protocol that the right doesn’t like, doesn’t agree with their ideology or that hurts their feelings is trumped up as an attack on freedom. The right thrive on such conspiracies. But while they press all the … (more–>)

Should Candidates and Officials Disclose Criminal Records?

Some questions about openness and truth to consider as we start a year in which we have both a provincial and municipal election coming… Should a candidate for office disclose their criminal records when they campaign? Should they disclose it only if they were convicted of an offence or should they disclose charges as well? For full public transparency and accountability, should officeholders disclose any charges … (more–>)

The Cancer Diaries, Part 30

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together… (Shakespeare: All’s Well That Ends Well, Act IV, Sc II.) Elumbated.* It’s an archaic word meaning “weakened in the loins” according to the OED. It apparently derives from the Latin elumbis “having a dislocated hip (from e out + lumbus loin).” I thought that the word itself might be well resurrected to describe … (more–>)

How Can Anyone Afford a New House Here?

My sources suggest that a local retailer recently bought the Blue Shores house shown on the right, paying more than $100,000 over the asking price, for a total of $1.15 million By my standards, that’s a helluva lot of money. Where would anyone working in retail get the funds to buy and maintain a home that sold for that much? I did some rough calculations. The … (more–>)

Ammon Shea is My New Hero

Eyyyyyyy Wssup guys This was the entire first post that started a thread in a group I belonged to on Facebook. I think seeing it aged me a decade, and encouraged me to leave the group afterwards. Walking barefoot on broken glass would cause me less distress. All the poster needed to do to make me despair enough to seriously consider slitting my wrists would have … (more–>)

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