Category Archives: Our Culture / Ourselves

This Creature

cartoon by the late Charles Barsotti I am looking in the mirror. I no longer see myself; I have come to appreciate that this creature, this character, this strange water-filled bag of organs called a ‘human’, is not ‘me’, that … Continue reading

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If You Wanted to Sabotage the Canada/US Elections…

(In case it isn’t obvious, this article is meant as satire.) image from The Daily Show Canadians go to the polls for a federal election this fall; Americans do so next fall. There is already evidence of large-scale election meddling … Continue reading

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Links of the Quarter: September 2019

cartoon by Lars Kenseth in the New Yorker What have we to do But stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards In an age which advances progressively backwards?    (TS Eliot) Hiraeth (heer-eye-th) (Welsh) A word with no direct English … Continue reading

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What Underlies Oppression

Pride Vancouver Festival image from Daily Hive attributed to Public Disco/Facebook This past week was Pride Week in Vancouver. It’s a great parade and festival, and a celebration of the growing and hard-fought freedom of non-straight (LGBTQ+) folks to be open … Continue reading

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Kompa: World Music 101

What if you could take the best parts of a good song and amplify, loop, remix and riff off them? Would you end up with a better song? And whose song would it be then? This is an issue that … Continue reading

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Shortz Subject

If you’ve ever done crosswords, you probably enjoy the wordplay (and new knowledge) in some of the clues (often denoted by an appended “?”) as much as solving the puzzle. So, for some recent examples from NYT/New Yorker puzzles: • … Continue reading

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Aphorisms

photo by Allen Ishibashi, from Twitter In this week’s New Yorker, Adam Gopnik muses on the value, appeal and history of aphorisms. He differentiates the aphorism (wise) from its cousin, the epigram (witty). He touches on Twitter, the latest vehicle … Continue reading

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Conservatism as Trauma Response

comic by Reza Farazmand “It’s entirely up to us. If we fail — if we blow up or degrade the biosphere so it can no longer sustain us — nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the … Continue reading

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Playing Apart

image from the collection of Nick Smith, “possibly by John Wareham” All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.  … Continue reading

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Conversations That Matter: What It Takes to Have Them

photo by Maren Yumi on flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ironically, despite the fact that I engage in fewer conversations than I used to (maybe because since I’m retired I don’t have to, and because I find few conversations valuable anyway), I’ve started … Continue reading

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