Archive for September, 2006

Putting Canada to shame

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Harper North

(Canscene) –Prime Minister Harper’s decision not to attend to offer Canada’s official welcome to delegates at the opening of the recent International AIDS Conference in Toronto is another blot on the escutcheon of the man who during the last federal election begged us to “stand up for Canada.” The excuse that he was “committed” to the Arctic visit was lame; he could have postponed it until a later date. More »

Voting system shuts out minorities, women

Friday, September 1st, 2006

(Canscene) –Canada’s current voting system discriminates against women and minorities of all sorts, and it’s time for a change, according to Fair Vote Canada, a national citizens’ movement for electoral reform. More »

Pirates now the “in” crowd

Friday, September 1st, 2006

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pirates
by Gail Selinger and W. Thomas Smith, Jr.
Alpha Publishing, 381 pages, $25.00

(Canscene) — Move over Long John Silver, Captain Hook and Captain Blood — here’s Jack Sparrow, newest in the fictional Pirates’ Hall of Fame!

As if to commemorate Johnny Depp’s second summer blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean — The Dead Man’s Chest, here comes this guide to the history and practice of piracy More »

Watch for new musical: Curtains for Copas

Friday, September 1st, 2006

(Canscene) –Toronto’s Gay Guide blog carries this little gem of neo-con lore:

In what could be lifted from a Saturday Night Live sketch, but is sadly true, a decorated sergeant and Arab linguist in the U.S. Army, Bleu Copas, was discharged … after his superiors received a series of anonymous e-mails outing him. More »

Wrong again, George!

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Bush

(Canscene) — Quite by accident, early on the morning of August 9 I was watching BBC tv news when I caught the opening announcements of the alleged plot to blow up translantic passenger planes and the arrest of alleged terrorists.

I was impressed to see the tone of news broadcasts and other reports was much more restrained than on previous occasions, recognizing that democratic principles were being observed.

However, later that morning, U.S. President George W Bush when asked for a comment referred to the alleged terrorists as “Islamic fascists.” Apart from his usual rush to judgment before the suspects and their ethnic origins had been identified, the president displayed his usual tenuous grasp of reality. More »

Travel the world in a theatre seat

Friday, September 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — Looks like Dan Brambilla and his team at Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts has circled the globe to create their upcoming season. It reflects the diversity of Canada and audiences can visit the world without having to buckle themselves to airplane seats. More »

New Indo-Caribbean website imminent

Friday, September 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — The following is an shortened version of a communiqué received on a new website
Who is an Indo-Caribbean? (A Caribbean person of Indian ancestry) How many Indo-Caribbeans live in Canada? (Over 150,000) How many Caribbean countries do they come from? (At least 14) Who is the earliest known Indo-Caribbean to come to Canada? (Trinidadian Kenneth Mahabir in 1908) How many Sunday religious services can you find in Greater Toronto with significant numbers of Indo-Caribbeans? (At least 30) Where can you buy a Caribbean style roti in Toronto? (Too many places to count)

Answers to these and many more questions More »

Loach film has tremendous impact

Friday, September 1st, 2006

wind-barley3.jpg

(Canscene) — At about 8:30 one morning recently, I finished Canadian Derek Lundy’s fine book The Bloody Red Hand. It’s an objective history of the six provinces partitioned from the remainder of Ireland when a treaty was signed with England in 1922. Those provinces became known as Northern Ireland.

Two hours later, I was at a preview of British director Ken Loach’s newest film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, More »

A problem no longer swept under the rug

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Racial Profiling in Canada
by Carol Tator and Frances Henry
University of Toronto Press 251 pages. Paper $35, Cloth $75

“This book is dedicated to all those who dared to break the silence surrounding racial profiling in Canada: victims and their families; Black and Aborginal communities; the publishers, editors and journalists at the Toronto Star; and those courageous members of law enforcement agencies who dared to challenge the official dominant narratives of denial, deflection and oppression.” So goes the authors’ dedication. More »

Interesting subject treated too lengthily

Friday, September 1st, 2006

White Civility, the Literary Project of English Canada
by Daniel Coleman
University of Toronto Press. 320 pages, $55.00

(Canscene) –The author, an associate professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University examines the roots of white bias that existed from early colonial times in much of anglophone Canada and to some extent, persists to the present. More »

The last word

Friday, September 1st, 2006

(Canscene) –From an address by Canadian author Ronald Wright scheduled for delivery to the 2006 annual Couchiching Conference, but not given due to Wright’s unavoidable absence.

Our greatest experiment — civilization itself — will succeed only if it can live on nature’s terms, not Man’s. To do this we must adapt principles in which the short term is trumped by the long; in which caution prevails over ingenuity; in which the absurd myth of endless growth is replaced by respect for natural limits; in which progress is steered by precautionary wisdom. This ideological shift is the most urgent task for science and society, for professors, politicians, priests and writers.

What we humans with our……faith in the bigger, the better and the more complex–have naively called “progress” is now moving so quickly, and with such unforeseeable consequences, that its promises can no longer be taken at face value.

Instead of hoping for the best we have to imagine the worst — and by doing so strive to forestall.
–30–