Alberto Bruzzone, oil on canvas, 1976 • Located in Mar Del Plata (Buenos Aires)
It was 30th May, deep autumn in Argentina. The streetlights had been turned on an hour earlier, just as I was entering the house/museum. Now inside, it was dark, silent, warm and cozy.
Magda Konopacka de Bruzzone brought two cups of tea upstairs, after locking the gate. For a while, we sat in silence.
“Now tell me about the world outside,” she whispered, after I took my first sip.
“People are freezing to death,” I said. “Argentinean people are dying.”
She looked at me and (Read more…)
I spent the past couple of weeks diligently working on updating and expanding our Collingwood Public Library Ukulele Group (CPLUG) songbook. I’m happy to announce it is completed – and that I can get back to my regular blogging. I had put together two smaller songbooks previously for group use, as well as sent along several […]
Image from the Office of War Information
The shocking murder of nine journalists and three others in a brazen, coordinated attack in the offices of French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo demands sympathy for the victims’ families and has provided a chilling reminder to many writers, editors and satirists who challenge orthodoxy of the potential costs of their willingness to provoke. That shouldn’t, and won’t, be forgotten.
We have already heard political leaders from across the globe represent these attacks as attacks on democratic values. Stephen Harper called the attacks “barbaric” and vowed that “Canada and its allies will not be (Read more…)
In a recent story titled “Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the Eight Books Every Intelligent Person on the Planet Should Read,” the eminent astrophysicist listed his top eight book titles – from a Reddit conversation that was going on back in December, 2011. Here are the books he chose back then (check the linked story above […]
I know what you’re thinking. “Fascinating subject Arb, do tell us more!”
Okay, perhaps not as gripping the other newsy bits we we have around here but none the less a subject that shouldn’t be casually swept aside. Living in Alberta means that for three to five months of the year, snow will be on the ground. The lovely first fall of snow marks the official end of mosquito season and the transition to having ‘exposed flesh stick uncomfortably to metal season’. Some might balk at all the freezing rain, sleet and snow – but (Read more…)
This week, after watching the 2013 film, 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves, I had to wonder why Hollywood felt it necessary to take a powerful story, a great historical drama, and mess with it. And, of course, why they would put Keanu Reeves into a film about 18th century Japanese samurai. Or, for that matter, […]
Image from United States Library of Congress
An undiscovered text by Karl Marx. titled, Dialectics of Santa Claus: Critique of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Here is Marx’s analysis of Santa using materialist dialectics:
A review of Hegel’s Science of Logic teaches us to go beyond mere appearances, to indeed “look at things twice”. Notice the relationship, the very contradiction of daily lived experience of being judged “naughty or nice”. The notion of a Santa Claus (a character based on the the religious reference to St. Nicholas now turned into a fetishized figure created during the full swing of (Read more…)
The so called war on drugs contains so much irony, we’ll need a new solar system to keep it in check.
“As long as demand and prices remain at current levels in wealthy drug-consuming nations, traders will enter almost any potential production area with wads of currency to elicit supply that can meet this demand. Over the past thirty years, the U.S. and UN prohibition has simply served to push production and processing, and smuggling of illicit drugs back and forth across the globe’s three critical trafficking areas – between Turkey and Laos within the Asian opium zone, (Read more…)
Photo by TampAGS
Most “Year in Review” lists of popular culture are pretty predictable. Such lists are jam-packed with consensus contenders for big industry awards such as the Oscars and Grammys and they tend to be reflections of what is “popular” as defined by sales. Indeed, the typical “Year in Review” list highlights profitable popular culture. As the pop culture columnist for Canadian Dimension Magazine, I have assembled an alternative “Year in Review” list showcasing elements of progressive popular culture from 2014.
I have created the following list by polling CD collective members as well as readers on social media (Read more…)
We watched the last of Season Two of the Falling Skies series last night. After a bit of research this morning, I learned I have two more seasons to watch and a fifth season has been scheduled. Something to look forward to. I wasn’t sure about how it would turn out, but the series has […]
Photo by Anton Bielousov
My mother was a Dentistry graduate at the University of Toronto in 1943. As I look at her class graduation photo, I count 44 men and three women. She practiced dentistry, then taught dental hygienists, for 40 years. When I was a child, she never attended class reunions and, as far as I know, was never friendly with the men who graduated with her. Years ago I asked her why. She said, “The boys in my class were awful. They insulted me and the other two women. They played nasty tricks on us.”
More than (Read more…)
Lately, I’ve been redoing all the arrangements of songs I put together for the Collingwood Public Library Ukulele Group (CPLUG) this year, as well as arranging some new pieces for the group. I’m working on a new layout for the tunes that makes them easier for beginners to follow and makes the songbook somewhat easier […]
Photo by Damien D.
Now that Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with five criminal offences, including sexual assault and choking, what can we learn from this case, and more importantly – what can we do to make sure this does not continue to happen? We know that Ghomeshi was not the first media star to use his sense of entitlement to hurt women. Many white men especially, in all walks of life, use their entitlement, and power and privilege to get what they want from women. About Ghomeshi, we know this: at least four women have publicly condemned Jian Ghomeshi (Read more…)
Sometimes you just have to look at the good bits in a situation.
Yes this is a commercial for a life insurance company. Yes it free promotion for them. Yes, if you subtract the commercial bit at the end, this is how life should go.
Filed under: Culture Tagged: Capitalism went right for once, Commerical, Heartwarming Crap I have to Post, Life Affirming
While watching director Alfonso Cuarón’s film, Gravity, this weekend, I was struck by how powerful the mixed themes of isolation and survival can be. I was reminded not simply of films – Tom Hanks in Castaway came to mind immediately – but in literature, too; from Robinson Crusoe to Blindness. Stories of survival have captivated humankind […]
If there’s anything you can learn from Ferguson this morning, it’s that we need to check our race- and class-based social, political and economic entitlements.
It’s the least we can do this morning.
"If racism is something you're sick of hearing about, imagine how exhausting it must be living it every day." Jon Stewart
— Kendra Coulter (@DrKendraCoulter) November 25, 2014
Deaths from police shootings
US 461 (*updated, likely undercount)
— Conrad Hackett (@conradhackett) November 25, 2014
August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) July 15, 2013 Fearing Kate (Read more…)
For my money, Julius Caesar is simply Billy Shakespeare’s best ever play. I mean, what’s not to like in it? It has some stonking great speeches in it – including one of his top five ever (Marc Antony’s “Friends, Romans, countrymen….”) as well as a passel of memorable lines you can quote at parties (Who among […]
Personal relationships enrich us, work makes us feel useful, and goals give us purpose
via Lecture 1 – Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio.
Adrienne Clarkson speaks in this Massey Lecture about belonging.
The first peoples were here first. They established a sense of this land.
Europeans came to conquer and exploit and seek whatever noble goals orbited their economy. They helped remake and redefine the land and its people. For better or worse.
Since then, new people have come and contribute to this eternal project of ever-rebuilding Canada.
Harper isn’t interested in (Read more…)
If you read anything about Yes Means Yes, this week, read this paragraph, then click the link to read it all.
We all need to be talking about this around the water cooler this week.
We’ve come a long way in our acceptance of all manner of sexual relationships and habits, but the one I think is still in the closet, is the desire not to have sex. Abstinence-only education has become such a joke, that the choice to abstain has become denigrated right along with it. If we put up ads to suggest it’s okay, it comes across as (Read more…)
This year another remake of Godzilla was released, and of course I had to get a copy. I have many of the other Godzilla films made over the past 60 years, sadly not all of them. There were so many monster movies made in Japan through the 1950s and 60s that it’s hard to keep track […]
Globe and Mail.
I was struck by the report of an intimate exchange between a man and woman in today’s Globe & Mail; the woman later questioned how consensual the act really was. She said, “Please stop,” and he responded, “It’ll be fast.” Later she says “yes,” then later again “no.”
But that “fast” line struck me because of when else it’s typically said. We don’t offer the cushion that an event will be over quickly unless we’re well aware that it’s not an event that’s desirable. I might say it when my child’s about to get a (Read more…)
I cannot read Dylan Thomas’ poem, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night‘ without a lump in my throat. I read it at my father’s funeral, several years ago, so for me it has a personal context that retains its emotional impact. Many poems move me or touch my heartstrings, however, that have no such personal […]
Harold Camping has been dead for almost a year, but his legacy lives on. Not just in the broken dreams of his deluded followers, but in the many lives he destroyed through his madness. You would have thought that, having predicted the end of the world several times, and been wrong each one, because of the […]