Category Archives: Culture

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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Please Leave a Message

In the early nineties answering machines on phones were ubiquitous, which means that nearly everyone had left a message on one and therefore knew what to do upon hearing the greeting. For some reason, that didn’t stop people from leaving … 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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Colleen and the Church Lady

Church Lady: “So lovely to see you here today, girl. On Christmas Mass at least. You haven’t attended in months.” Looks significantly at Colleen’s mother. Mother: “She has school and lots of work.” Colleen: “Nice to see you too. It’s … Continue reading

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Ignorance, Knowledge, and the Environment

We often presume that someone who doesn’t care about their environment is merely ignorant. They just don’t know, we say to ourselves when pondering the person throwing recyclables in the trash, or making arguments about buying a larger vehicle. If … Continue reading

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The Cryptic Nature of Ghosts

Although sceptics around the world reject the existence of ghosts, there are also many millions of people for whom ghosts are either an uncomfortable and constant presence or a remote and threatening possibility. Those who claim to have seen a … Continue reading

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The Walmart Generation

My ex-girlfriend’s mother was a member of the Walmart generation, and when I first met her she showed us around the house. Part of this tour meant that she pointed out the new coffee table. I realize now that it … Continue reading

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Maybe the Algorithms are Working Against Us

Most news, internet search, and social media platforms have optimized their offerings to suit what their viewers most frequently choose to see. That makes sense in terms of ad dollars, for they want to have a targetable demographic, but as … Continue reading

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The Saltpeter Mines of Northern Atacama, Chile

Saltpeter, or nitrate, was a major export of Chile until artificial production began in Germany in the thirties. Then, like much of the world staggering as a result of the global depression, Chile suffered from the loss of nearly fifty … Continue reading

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Consumer Misery in Steve Cutts’ “Happiness”

The terrible truth that Steve Cutts reveals in his short animated film “Happiness” is that consumerism entices but does not lead to happiness. His rats are surrounded by consumer messages that promise that they—even the main rat character—will be happy … Continue reading

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