As promised, here are the first 20 scans of the ads from the 1927 North American Almanac I recently mentioned. If there is interest, I’ll do another set later this week. There are probably another 40 or 50 pages of ads in the book. I think these ads give us a wonderful window into the […]
Convalescing from a wicked cold that’s beating the crap out of me, I watched a trio of movies about amazing musicians: Joe Strummer, Ginger Baker, and Sixto Rodriguez. In the films, other musical geniuses were highlighted along the way. What a delight! But as Ginger, Jack and Eric talked about people with the gift of perfect time, my first reflexive response was, “How many kids are told they can be a great musician if they just put their mind to it?”.
In class this week, yet another student insisted that intelligence has minimal genetic basis compared to effort. Anybody (Read more…)
It’s dark in the cup, but in the glass pot for brewing, it’s a deep copper. It smells of earth and age, a hint of horses and leather. A rich, slightly sweet and crisp taste. Black, no milk. With milk, it changes to a hot-chocolate light brown, and the flavour mellows. I prefer the slightly […]
Robin & Stewart – Our Veterans Submitted by Robin and Stewart on Mon, 09/23/2013 – 14:40
“Canadian soldiers bravely put themselves in harm’s way, prepared to sacrifice for their country. By some estimates one in five will return with the invisible wounds of PTSD” (War in The Mind).
The complexities of war and mental illness are bewildering, convoluted, and deeply saddening. Robin and myself have read so many articles from brave, outspoken veterans, battling PTSD. Talked to friends about their daily battles. And we’ve cried with heads in hands as we read about the desperation and courage of (Read more…)
Today, for an hour, I swam with Vivaldi. Not the actual composer, of course. He died in 1741 at the age of 63. Would have made a mess of the pool to dig him up and toss him in. The “red priest,” as he was called (for his red hair), probably couldn’t even swim. Not […]
I will be doing regular updates on two events to increase awareness about PTSD, particularly as the Canadian Forces spends too little on treatment of its members and PTSD. Regardless of all the ways we could improve our military or the Canadian government’s often imperialistic foreign policy, the real human beings who signed up are being mistreated. We cannot stand for this.
Kate MacEachern is walking from Cape Breton to Ottawa and Robin and Stewart are running in the Victoria Marathon, all to raise awareness and funds for PTSD
You can donate to either or both campaigns by following the (Read more…)
Once in a while, but not frequently, someone does something in the media that helps me understand that there is still integrity in journalism. At least in some places.
Once upon a time, I wrote about Paris Hilton’s post-incarceration image make-over. Sure, that was 6 years ago. And I honestly hadn’t tracked her to see if she’s become more puritanical.
But this weekend, I stumbled across an MSNBC news program with three journalists at the anchor desk. One was quite bothered that a story about the Paris Hilton make-over was going to be the lead.
She was reluctant (Read more…)
I have no words, at least I thought I didn’t.
It’s bad enough that men rape women, then modern culture shames women for wearing anything but a burlap sack.
I do not condone rape or sexual assault, but I think the male teens often so accused are not wholly to blame.
via Exhibitionist modern culture breeds excess | The Chronicle Herald. by Mary Bowen [whose 15 minutes I hope are now up]
Bring back the burka, Mary Bowen? Turns out you’re uninformed about this too. If only no one wearing a burka ever got raped. What a simple little universe (Read more…)
The buzz around Ottawa’s electronic dance music group A Tribe Called Red has spread like wildfire. With sold-out shows as far apart as Austin, Texas, and Brighton, England, the three young men behind A Tribe Called Red are winning fans with each engagement while also opening the door for a much needed conversation about Indigenous politics and cultural appropriation.
While audiences overseas may not pick up on the political and cultural motivations behind the music, people are paying attention.
“It’s definitely different,” says Ian Campeau (DJ NDN), who is accompanied by group members Dan General (DJ Shub) and Bear Witness. (Read more…)
Ff course one can’t really be against memes, because it would do no good. It’s not like they can be voted off the internet island. But there are a few reasons to be suspicious. While cats worldwide are no doubt thrilled at the digital attention they always knew they deserved, humans, and especially labour and social justice activists, might have reason to be wary of the meme.
First, it’s important to recognize the origins of the idea itself. In his pathbreaking 1976 book The Selfish Gene, Oxford geneticist Richard Dawkins introduced the idea of a mimeme (or “meme”) as (Read more…)
When Hank Aaron left the Negro Leagues for major league baseball in the early 1950s, a woman named Toni Stone took his spot on second base. Rejected from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (of A League of Their Own fame) due to the colour of her skin, Stone was determined to play at the highest level possible. Her story, as detailed in a biography by writer Martha Ackmann, has the makings of a Hollywood biopic. More than 50 years later, Toni Stone’s story is still stunning. This is how little progress we have made in shifting attitudes about women’s (Read more…)
Google informs me that there are already people and schools taking advantage of back-to-school sales to gather supplies for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. While I think it is great to try to give extra joy to others, I want to write to urge people not to support this program.
Why? Let me count the reasons.
1) Each box is filled with different objects, some of which will not be culturally appropriate. Even presumably benign things like soap or toothpaste implies to people that we don’t think they can maintain adequate hygiene without our charity products.
2) Gift-giving is not a part of the (Read more…)
You need to trust the media less.
Almost a year ago, and before the last US presidential election, Gallup determined that there has been a stunning decline in citizens’ mistrust of the media [see below].
It crossed over from mostly trust to not so much trust around 2004-2005. If you recall, the US imperialist invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the accompanying atrocities and war crimes were given a broad pass by the media. Thankfully, trust in media dropped by 10% then. Now there is a 20 point spread with mostly trusting plummeting to just 40%
That number (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: You Aren’t Sufficiently Critical of the #Media
Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.
- Katie McDonough reports on new research showing the devastating effects of poverty on an individual’s ability to plan and function: According to researchers at Harvard University and the University of British Columbia, people living in poverty experience reduced cognitive functioning as a result of regularly wrestling with how to make ends meet. People struggling to get by were found to suffer a drop of as much as 13 points in their IQ, approximately the same difference found in people who go an entire night without sleep.
“Past research has often blamed [poverty] on (Read more…)
I used to be so proud to be Canadian and that’s wavered over this difficult period in our history. I was searching for this book to loan out, and once found, I got totally engrossed in re-reading it. It made me feel so much better. It’s an important book about who we really are: A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada by John Ralston Saul (2009). What a delight!
Like Hedges’ Empire of Illusion, this book focuses on our cultural stories or myths. How we understand ourselves affects how we live and act, our beliefs and allegiances. And (Read more…)
MexAmeriCanada doesn’t have to be our future.
I think I’m guilty of being a bit slow and uncreative. The bogeyman of deep integration, North American Union, the United States-ification of Canada, the United States OF Canada, and Canada becoming states #51-60 plus three more protectorates is just too simplistic.
We just have an inherent Canadian urge to be colonized. Maybe because it’s all we really know.
It’s not about someone stealing our sovereignty, or losing our sovereignty, we just seem to feel more comfortable as a nation, being someone’s colony. Like we can’t grow up and make our own decisions, (Read more…)
There was a time when the idea of military pomp at a Canadian sporting event would have seemed absurdly out of place — that was an American thing. Oh, how the times have changed.
These days, when you settle in to watch the Jets beat the Leafs on Saturday night, you do so understanding that there will almost inevitably be some kind of military spectacle on display. Maybe soldiers will rappel from the rafters to thunderous applause. Maybe there will be a moment of silence for our fallen heroes. Maybe Don Cherry will take us on an unscheduled trip to (Read more…)
As long as there have been organized sports in the United States, they have walked hand-in-hand with empire. From the beginning, the message was that men should be men, girls submissive, and war is good. In the late 19th century, empire was on the march, with the US invading the Philippines, Latin America and the Caribbean. The values of sports were tied to ideas about spreading Christianity by force and conquering other lands. An early baseball owners, Albert Spalding — as in Spalding sporting goods — spoke proudly about offering a helping hand for US empire, writing, “Baseball has proudly (Read more…)
A few summers ago,walking down Corydon Avenue in Winnipeg, I found myself reading a political message blazoned on the T-shirt of a young woman just ahead of me. “Second place is the first loser.”
One or other version of this message is so common in both the culture of sport and the wider culture that it has become a cliché. Who hasn’t heard the aphorism “nice guys finish last,” attributed to baseball manager Leo Durocher (1939)? Henry Russell (“Red”) Sanders, former coach of the fabled UCLA Bruins football team, is famous for having memorably captured (1950) the gist of (Read more…)
Janelle Joseph is a Banting Research Fellow at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Her research represents the first national interdisciplinary study to merge theories of youth studies, Afrocentricity, criminology, education, and physical cultural studies. Dr. Joseph’s research and teaching also include studies of transnationalism and sport, with a focus on issues of equity, race, and gender.
Simon Black: What forms does racism in Canadian sport take today? How are these forms different from the past?
Janielle Joseph: In Canada today forms of racism are both similar and different to the past. There is much less of (Read more…)
Terry Eagleton has got it wrong. In his 2007 book The Meaning of Life, the literary theorist and doyen of the British Left proclaimed, “It is sport, not religion, which is now the opium of the people.” For Eagleton, the human desire for solidarity and physical immediacy are the raw materials of movements for social change. Yet when these desires are fulfilled through sport, collective struggles go wanting. In Eagleton’s worldview, we either charge the barricades or lace up the skates, march on Parliament or sit in the bleachers, organize a demonstration or organize a softball league.
Yet (Read more…)
Every attempt we made to start a serious debate was met with responses such as “feminism and rape are both ridiculously tiring”.
via What happened when I started a feminist society at school | Education | theguardian.com.
For all the sons and daughters that you know and love, read this story.
Not understanding what 21st century feminist backlash looks like is dangerous.