By Scott Feschuk - Friday, November 16, 2012 - 0 Comments
It’s that difficult time of year again, but come on people, we can get through this together. To better navigate our ordeal, it’s important that we take the time to review the challenge ahead. Here are the seven stages of Canadian winter:
1. Anticipation. As the long, hot summer surrenders to the first hint of an autumn breeze, many of us experience a small thrill: winter is on its way, bringing relief from the heat and promising the many splendours that accompany the most Canadian of seasons. We envision snow-flecked landscapes, ice-covered ponds and joyful Christmas choirs. Digging deep into the closet, we gaze fondly upon our parkas and mitts. We dream of frosty adventures ahead.
2. Despair. The first cruel winds of November cut through us and we pretty much want to fall down and die right there. Three days of hostile muttering ensue.
3. Sarcasm. A huge December snowfall—awesome! And maybe a little freezing rain in there because THAT WOULD BE PLEASANT. Wake up and there’s a metre of snow in the driveway—and hey, great, it’s the wet, slushy kind that weighs about a squillion pounds per shovelful and lays those of weak heart in their graves. Yay winter! Just when we finally get it cleared—literally, just as we finish clearing it away—the plow pushes a huge drift back in front of the driveway. Thanks for that, buddy! And for the record, that could have been anyone’s snow shovel that flew through the air and struck the window of the plow’s cab. We only ran away because we were in the mood for some exercise. Continue…
By Paul Wells - Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 11:07 PM - 0 Comments
The newish Canadian military commander in Kandahar promises “massive activities” for the autumn. His predecessor promised something similar for the summer. I was young and naive then, so I bought it, more than I should. Basically we are being given the runaround and have been for some time. Not even really intentionally: it’s not that all those sunshiny briefings were mendacious, it’s just that at every point in this conflict, commanders and civilian governments have preferred to hope for the best. So the title of this post is ironic: Every quarter for nine years it’s been easy enough to find someone who thought the Afghanistan conflict was turning a corner. And of course, if you turn enough corners you eventually realize you’re going around in circles.
Meanwhile what’s actually happening is that it is all getting worse. Violent incidents of all kind in Afghanistan were up by half in August over their level in August 2009, and everyone used to think the elections would make August 2009 the worst thing anyone could imagine. So August of 2010, last month, was half again worse than what everyone thought the worst would be. The Obama White House is trying to figure out how far downward they can redefine success. I have no particular fresh insights into any of this. Probably as a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid screwing up a war for seven years before you pull your socks up. At some point, pulling up your socks is no longer much help.
By Paul Wells - Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 1:02 PM - 0 Comments
UPDATE: We get email. Here’s the latest:Please credit the source of Justin’s article, which is MusicalAmerica.com of which I am the editor. I made the link to it free, so I’d appreciate your crediting us and putting a link in.ThanksSusan ElliottEditorMusicalAmerica.comwww.musicalamerica.com
Since the post already had a link in it (it’s cleverly disguised as the word “link” at the bottom), and since many of you have already followed the… link… to MusicalAmerica.com, I’m feeling a bit redundant this morning, but for now, please enjoy the fine prose that follows, which comes to you thanks to all the fine folks at MusicalAmerica.com:
Pulitzer-winning classical music critic Justin Davidson on how newsroom managers are responding to declining audiences by mutilating the product…
After I left Newsday, where I worked as a critic from 1996 until I joined the staff of New York magazine last year, the paper virtually ceased coverage of classical music. In the most recent spasm of buyouts, it also sacrificed two movie critics, a visual arts critic, and a TV critic and cut loose the freelancer who wrote about dance. But to put that in context: In the past few years, Newsday also shuttered its foreign bureaus, closed the national desk, halved its Washington staff, pulled out of New York City, whittled down every other department and slashed its total number of pages.
…and on how blogs aren’t the answer:
An army of amateur bloggers can’t send reporters to war zones or spend months sifting through obscure records in search of government abuse. There are some forms of journalism that only professional journalists, backed by the resources of major news organizations can tackle. Abandoning those stories squanders the protections afforded by the First Amendment: Why would the government bother abridging the freedom of the press, when the press is doing such an efficient job of abridging itself?
By Andrew Coyne - Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 12:03 PM - 0 Comments
Day three dawns, and the crowds have thinned. Maybe a dozen spectators today, none…
Day three dawns, and the crowds have thinned. Maybe a dozen spectators today, none of the protestors (pro-Steyn!) of the first day. Media is down to me and Brian Hutchinson of the National Post, whose fine piece on yesterday’s proceedings is definitely worth a read. Ian Mulgrew also offers a trenchant article in the Vancouver Sun. (UPDATE: My mistake. The Province is here, as was Terry Milewski of the CBC, at least to start. Also some smaller publications.)
Further assigned reading, on the whole damn mess: Convenant Zone.
First witness today is Faiza Hirji, an expert in “analyzing stereotypes in the media with regard to minorities,” with a speciality in Muslim minorities. She’s a prof in communications at Carleton School of Journalism. Also heavily into gender and “discourses.” Masters thesis on “representations” of Afghan women during the 2001 war. Doctoral work on media “constructions” of religion and nationalism in Bollywood films. Currently writing an encyclopedia entry on media and the Muslim world. She talks very quickly.
10:00 AM Maclean’s counsel Roger McConchie is working through her c.v., perhaps in an attempt to poke holes in her credibility. Personally, I think she’d make a fine human rights commissioner.
Her dissertation, he’s pointing out, was in Indian cinema and identity construction, and not, say, stereotyping of Muslims in Canadian national weekly current events magazines. Now going through her publications in refereed journals (sample title: When Local Meets Lucre: Commerce, Culture and Imperialism in Bollywood Cinema.) Other articles deconstruct Queen Latifah, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and … still more Bollywood. Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 5:26 AM - 0 Comments
Despair and Isolation – Several orphans struggle to comprehend the human condition in a cruel world where the only constants are heartbreak and suffering. Running time: six hours.
Isolation, Despair and Also Anguish – Several thinner orphans struggle to comprehend the human condition while wheezing in a slightly crueler world where the only constants are heartbreak, suffering and their leprosy (the skin kind and the social kind). Running time: six hours.