Category Archives: Activism

An Island Overrun with Prisoners and Soldiers

When William Golding imagines his feral schoolboys in Lord of the Flies, he thinks that they will inevitably shed the shallow indoctrination of the arbitrary and recently acquired rules of polite society and fall back upon their baser instincts which … Continue reading

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Canada’s Difficulty with Reconciliation

The rediscovery of unmarked gravesites at the Kamloops residential school in the summer of 2021 brought a grisly history into the public eye. Although people had found bones on the site before, the use of ground penetrating radar went a … Continue reading

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Pondering the Media During the 2022 Ottawa Trucker Convoy

The various media systems of the world are overworked, and in the case of many of them, underpaid. This is exposed by the request, below most online news stories, to report any errors. With editors in short supply, the news … Continue reading

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Cultural Covid

Now that Covid-19 has been with us for two years, its profound effects on the different societies of the planet are becoming more obvious. Relatively democratic societies, for all their flirtation with fascism, are descending into mob rule as unscrupulous … Continue reading

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Teaching Farley Mowat

Farley Mowat occupies a curious position in Canadian letters. He is a kind of Ernest Hemingway of the north, but in the academic world of English study, he is never dressed well enough to be invited to the party. Some … Continue reading

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Always a Working Light Bulb

No one who has lived in the west and has observed the rampant consumerism and waste will be surprised by yet another example of still functioning goods thrown away, but when people learn about the light bulbs, many are still … Continue reading

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Racist Rob and Corrupt Politicians

I’d only been teaching a few years when I had a student who was so racist that I was forced to confront several of his statements in class. As anyone knows who has dealt with such behaviour, this demands a … Continue reading

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Found Sentences: The Environmental Movement and Going Back to Green

When Cousin Nick wanted to make a documentary about me he wasn’t that impressed when he interviewed my friend Mento Wong. Mento was a biker friend of mine who’d spent his life railing against conformity and worked as an operator … Continue reading

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Hatred of Muslims and the Latest Red Scare

I had the pleasure of growing up in North America when the reigning hatred was of communists, although most people didn’t know what a communist was and—because of weak historical understanding—only vaguely associated them with the Soviet Union. Because I … Continue reading

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A Response to the Signs

When a sign about the exploitation of children went up in my neighbourhood, I thought little about it, partly because it didn’t look professional enough to have come from the desk of an official service. Instead, it had more in … Continue reading

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