Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Feminism: The Golden Years

It seems to me that this eventuality was blindingly obvious to anyone forty years ago, and is richly deserved. The tragedy is that so many men and children were dragged down with them:

I am a feminist, I really am (I’ve never let a man pay for anything), but feel the current generation of women in their 60s, the first to abandon the way of life of their mothers, which meant they pursued careers, married and had children late, had affairs then got divorced, all in the name of liberation, are now imprisoned in debt, alcohol abuse and loneliness, wishing they could die, and do it soon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Irish Canadian Hall of Fame

Joe Malone of Les Canadiens: scored the first goal in the NHL.

Writing in the National Post today, Terence Corcoran proposes that Canada should have an Irish-Canadian Hall of Fame, with Jim Flaherty as its inaugural inductee.

I think this is a fabulous idea. The Irish contribution to Canada, I believe, is under-appreciated—one hears far more about the French, the English, and the Scots. But more than this: a celebration of Irishness would encourage Canadian unity, since Irishmen have been prominent on both sides of the French-English language divide. Both Tom Mulcair and Peter Lougheed, for example, are ethnically Irish. The Irish could be an ethnic glue to keep Canada together.

I have a further suggestion: that the Irish Canadian Hall of Fame ought to be located in Gananoque, Ontario. Gananoque is a tourist town; it could use the attraction. It is a historically Irish area. And it is roughly equidistant from the three large historical Irish settlements (and major population centres) of Montreal, Toronto, and the Ottawa Valley.

To emphasise how important the Irish have been in the history of Canada, here is my own list of potential inductees. If you don't know who some of them are, consult my Irish-Canadian historical map for more information.

Joe Beef (Charles McKeirnan)

Irish Canadian Hall of Fame:

Thomas D'Arcy McGee
Jim Flaherty
Brian Mulroney
King Clancy
Red Kelly
Timothy Eaton
Mary Travers (La Bolduc)
Joe Beef
Gratton O'Leary
Fr. Bernard Lonergan
Stompin' Tom Connors
Edward Blake
Marshall McLuhan
Sam McLaughlin
Kate & Anna McGarrigle
The Leahys
Catherine and Mary Margaret O'Hara
Francis Collins
Robert Baldwin
Emily Murphy
Lorena McKennitt
Patrick Burns
Sir Guy Carleton
St. Brendan the Navigator
Edmund O'Callaghan
James Ready
Mother Barnes
John McLaughlin
Sir John Thompson
William Henry Drummond
Brian Moore
WP Kinsella
Alden Nowlan
Mack Sennett
Ruby Keeler
Mary Pickford
Thomas Ahearn
Charles Fenerty
Tommy Ryan
Aimee Semple McPherson
Joe Malone
Don Cherry
Bobby Orr
Ambrose O'Brien
William McMaster
Conn Smythe
Peter Lougheed
James Boyle Uniacke
Charles Allison
James Austin
John Bassett
Thomas E. Kenny
Paul Kane
Tim Horton
Emile Nelligan
Patrick Roy
Bishop Michael Power
Mac Beattie

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Special on at Ogilvy's

Not as I remember it.

On my way out of Ogilvy's, I got caught in a revolving door
And never left.
I still and always see my image in that glass,
Going the opposite way.
It stays eight as I grow apparently old.
And ever and ever and ever again we spin,
Between the warm interior full of fantastic jewels
And the cold and busy street that goes one way.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Who Is Privileged?

A good rule (not my own, but I do not remember where I heard it) for figuring out who is really in the cat bird seat in a given society is to figure out who you are not allowed to criticize--at least not in polite company, or with folks you do not know well.

It pretty well goes without saying that anyone officially designated as "privileged" is not in this group.

So go to it--who is it you dassn't razz at a cocktail party of supposedly well-bred folks?

World's Best Prose Narratives

Not my field, exactly; I'm more of a poetry guy. Being a poetry guy, I dislike long, rambling books, and am drawn to language that is fine in detail. The piece also has to have a deep and powerful vision to be on this list--not just a rip-snorting read. These are books that explain the universe.

Andersen, Hans Christian, "The Princess and the Pea"
Andersen, Hans Christian, "The Emperor's New Clothes"
Burgess, Anthony, A Clockwork Orange
Carroll, Lewis, Alice in Wonderland
Carroll, Lewis, Through the Looking Glass
Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness
Defoe, Daniel, Robinson Crusoe
Dostoyevsky, Feodor, Crime and Punishment
Golding, William, Lord of the Flies
Kafka, Franz, The Metamorphosis
Orwell, George, 1984
Orwell, George, Animal Farm
Wells, H. G., "In the Country of the Blind" (short story)
Wells, H.G., "The Door in the Wall" (short story)

Nope, no Joyce. Too much of a chore to read. 

Happy for suggestions re what I am missing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

RIP Jim Flaherty

As far as I have seen so far, the Canadian press, to their credit, is pussyfooting around it. But it seems most likely to me that former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty committed suicide.

He was still rather young to die by other means. He had no known life-threatening diagnoses. The timing seems striking, only weeks after he had stepped down from Cabinet. No other cause of death or apparent cause of death has been  given. He did have a very painful disease, and the treatment for it has depression as a known side effect.

Update: looks like I'm wrong. The police are now saying it was a heart attack.