By Paul Wells - Monday, January 7, 2013 - 0 Comments
Paul Wells on the more reserved prime minister
So, Stephen Harper, what would you do if a brutal Middle Eastern dictator used chemical weapons against his own people?
“To be blunt about it, any military intervention in this part of the world, any talk of that, should be undertaken with great caution,” the Prime Minister told Global News anchor Dawna Friesen in a year-end interview. “There are enormous dangers here, enormous risks.”
The Prime Minister’s year-end interviews are always worth close reading. Partly because he gives few interviews. Partly because those interviews, widely spaced, show how his thinking changes as circumstances do. This year the changes are stark.
The part I’ve just quoted came when Friesen asked Harper about the possibility that Bashar al-Assad might use chemical weapons against Syrian opponents of his regime. Continue…
Famed Julia Child editor Judith Jones on her new book, ‘The Pleasures of Cooking for One,’ and why she felt the need to write it
By Anne Kingston - Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 12:40 PM - 2 Comments
A conversation with Anne Kingston
Legendary book editor Judith Jones is renowned for discovering and editing Julia Child’s first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, published in 1961. But she was also the literary muse behind many gastronomical luminaries, among them Jacques Pépin, James Beard, Madhur Jaffrey and Edna Lewis. Jones also co-authored three cookbooks with her husband, the food writer and editor Evan Jones. Now widowed, the 85-year-old is about to publish another, The Pleasures of Cooking for One.
Q: You write in the book that after your husband died in 1996 you didn’t think you’d ever enjoy preparing and eating a meal alone. How did you come to rediscover the pleasure in cooking for yourself?
A: I just did it and found that it was so—and at the little table that we always ate at with the candles and nice napkins. He was always a great one for respecting the things that make something pleasing for the eye. He’d never let us put a ketchup bottle on the table, for instance. So I just found it was respecting and honouring something that had been a part of my life. And there was this sense of the past and the present melding.
Q: It seems the stereotypes of people eating alone are someone gulping down something over the sink or eating in front of the television. What is your ritual?
A: I almost always listen to music, either a classical station or something I put on myself. I don’t like the distraction of talking voices. I do often read, though, either a newspaper or The New Yorker. And I always have a glass of wine. Continue…
By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 4:30 PM - 4 Comments
I haven’t written much about The Jon Dore Television Show, now in its second season, but it’s doing well in the ratings, and is a fairly decent show of its particular type, though it’s not a type of show that I love to watch regularly. Dore, who created the show after his successful gig on Canadian Idol (oh, the CTV synergy!), plays himself as a complete insensitive moron who is nonetheless convinced that he is in fact a good, gentle soul striving to be better in a world that lets him down. Every week, he vows to learn more about some issue or cause, and does so through a mix of mockumentary interviews with real people; when he tries to carry out what he’s learned, he winds up doing things like holding a woman in front of him as a human shield.
The show is influenced by The Sarah Silverman Program and Borat, but also the mock-interviews on The Daily Show some episodes really come across as a longer version of a Colbert Report piece, where an idiot TV guy goes into the world to learn about some issue, and asks real people incredibly stupid questions that demonstrate his own refusal to believe that there’s anything wrong with him or that there are any real gaps in his knowledge or understanding. But Sarah Silverman seems like the biggest influence, right down to the use of some other word or phrase where “show” would do just as well.
What makes these shows very much of our time is that they show idiots who go out among “serious” people and create havoc — but we’re not supposed to like Continue…