Showing posts from January, 2018

Flowers for Canuckistan -- and my parents

Flowers for Canuckistan, and my parents    Versions of this article were originally published in the Toronto Star and in the Kingston Whig-Standard.   I hated to see my 83-year-old mother with a shiner. She died years ago, after a thirty-five year fight with Parkinson's disease. When she went, she couldn't speak, walk, feed herself or go to the bathroom for herself, and she had been unable to do these things independently for several years. It was sometimes hard to tell what she was feeling, but in spite of it all, I know she kept her indomitable spirit. She had been a pioneer palliative care nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and helped establish one of the first units of that sort in Canada. She knew exactly what dying meant. Years before, my parents, sister, wife and I had a night out at a well-known downtown restaurant with a family friend visiting from England. Mother was having trouble feeding herself and I began doing it for her. She c

So, here's a New Year's toast to #MeToo

So, here's a New Year's toast to #MeToo Awhile back, I was having this futile argument with a Trump supporter (my cousin, who ought to know better, but doesn’t, haha). He is a born-again Christian – I like the term Christianist – who loves Trumpworld because he thinks those judges whom the orange grotesquerie is appointing will, in the end, get around to rolling back Roe v. Wade and abolish that biblical abomination -- legal abortions.  To paraphrase my desert island artist, Leonard Cohen, "First we take Washington, then we take Ottawa." When I criticized the way capitalism treats its women and its workers, he brought up Rwanda. When I said I thought that was a pretty low bar to comparing Canada with on the world stage, he said he wasn’t comparing – no, no, not at all. Right. Of course not. So I stumbled across the video link below, this morning – perhaps a better comparator for judging progress in Canadian society than Rwanda! Iceland is