Category: Society

Books, Movies, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Society, Theatre, TV

In Praise of Cultural Appropriation

This article is about the accusation of “cultural appropriation” being thrown around at works of art. I may not be entitled to write this.

Philosophy, Society

Alternative Facts Are Older Than Facts

aka Western Philosophy Caused Alternative Facts We are told that so-called “alternative facts” are a new threat to us as a society; to how we view and understand the world and how we make decisions about the world (policies etc). But I think the idea of an “alternative” fact is far older and, worse, rooted …

2017, Personal, Politics, Society

Fascism is Alive and Well in the United States of America

I must admit that I have been somewhat of a “Trump optimist” these last few months. I believed in his obvious, demonstrable incompetence at just about everything he does (except branding and self-promotion, obviously). (He’s been abetted in this incompetence by untold numbers of people if you’re wondering why someone who is generally incompetent can …

2016, Politics, Society

Well that was Stupid

Regardless of how you feel about last night’s US general election, why did that take 18 months? Why does it take 18 months to make a decision about who should be president? 18 months! This is not normal. No other democracy in the world takes this long to pick its head of state. None. This …

2016, Philosophy, Science, Society

Detective School

If I have learned one thing from immersing myself in too many true crime podcasts, TV series and movies, it’s this: most detectives have never been taught to think. There seems to be an obsession with relying on instinct and (supposed) “known knowns” and nothing else; no rigorous investigation techniques, no awareness of the infamous …

2016, Music, Religion, Society

The Tragically Hip Live at the K-Rock Centre, August 20, 2016

I wasn’t going to watch this show. The cynic in me found the sudden outpouring of interest in The Hip weird. I felt like people I’d never heard mention this band previously were now obsessed with getting tickets to shows, all because someone (Canadian) famous is dying of cancer. Instead, I was going to watch …

2015, Movies, Society

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015, Stanley Nelson)

Age is a funny thing. I watched this movie months ago, perhaps more than that, on Netflix and forgot to review it (I think!), forgot to rate it, both things I do religiously. And then I got it from the library this week. When I started watching it (because Olympic golf is on!) I got …

2016, Politics, Psychology, Society

Is Trump the Greatest Con Man in American History?

Sorry for the clickbaity headline. What I really mean to ask is “Is Donald Trump trying to become the Greatest American Con Man of All Time?” because only if he wins the Presidential election will he achieve this feat.

2016, Psychology, Society

We do not want to know what we do not want to know

People say we’re rational. Human beings may be animals, but we are animals who have overcome our animal natures to make calculated decisions about our choices. I mean, look at all we’ve accomplished with our big brains. We tell each other we think rationally, even logically. And we  want rational explanations for what is happening …

2013, Books, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Society

Informing the News (2013) by Thomas E. Patterson

This book was written to make the case for “knowledge-based” journalism. It was sponsored by an initiative that is trying to establish that kind of journalism. The author believes strongly in the cause ans has been a crucial part of the initiative that sponsored his work here. But despite the fact that this is very …

2009, Books, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Psychology, Society

The Peep Diaries (2009) by Hal Niedzviecki

This is a relatively interesting and amusing book about how modern technology and modern culture have created a brave new world that we don’t really understand how to navigate (and which could have all sorts of unintended consequences for us. However, the book suffers from a number of problems which make it not among the …

2011, Movies, Politics, Society

Better This World (2011, Kelly Duane, Katie Galloway)

This is an important film that is really, really worth your time. What starts off seemingly as a portrait of some well-intentioned youths that got into some bad shit (and feels, perhaps, like an apology for such behaviour) soon reveals itself to be the story of something so much worse. Though it’s weird to say …

Politics, Society

An Open Letter to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston

Your Excellency, I don’t need to tell you that as the Queen’s representative in Canada you are essentially our Head of State. Regardless of the massive changes that have occurred since the position of Governor General was created, you remain in a position of actual authority even if the weight of the office has diminished …

Politics, Society

Abolish the Senate?

A lot of people are calling for the abolition of the Senate lately, and these calls will increase if the chamber dose what everyone expects, and passes C-51 this week, while at the same time, hearing a report about Senate corruption. (You have to love situations like this: a body tasked with being the “sober …

2015, Politics, Society

My Message to Senator Yonah Martin

Dear Ms. Martin, I would like to express my deep disappointment with you and your fellow Senators regarding Bill C-51, a bill that is unconstituional (and will be found so, I have no doubut). The idea of the Senate is that is a place to reevaluate government legislation. Ostensibly this duty should be above partisan …

2015, Politics, Society

It’s not just C-51 that’s the problem, it’s the System

I haven’t posted anything original in this space since February, in part because I am writing a new book, but in part because I have been a little depressed about the seeming inevitably of the government passing the worst piece of Federal legislation I have seen in my lifetime. (If you don’t know what C-51 …

2015, Politics, Society

A short primer on Bill C-51

Please take 13 minutes to watch this video about Bill C-51, which will drastically alter freedoms and civil liberties in Canada. [vimeo 120103590 w=500 h=281] Bill C-51 (Antiterrorism Act 2015): Short Primer on Key Aspects from Craig Forcese on Vimeo.

Politics, Society

Open letter to Parliament: Amend C-51 or kill it

I was struggling with writing a long post about the current legislation in parliament and this government’s history of caring not for the rules of the game. However, this open letter says what I think with more detail than I could have possibly mustered.

2015, Politics, Society

Open letter to Parliament: Amend C-51 or kill it

I was struggling with writing a long post about the current legislation in parliament and this government’s history of caring not for the rules of the game. However, this open letter says what I think with more detail than I could have possibly mustered.

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

The belief in Justice is probably the breeding ground for injustice

I have long identified myself as an atheist (even though I’m an agnostic) in religion, an existentialist in philosophy and “anti-apocalyptic” or “anti-ideological” person in politics (i.e. a pragmatist). I have long struggled with this last definition, not because I don’t know what I am – I know exactly what I am, politically – but …