Category Archives: Culture

The Weekender: Let’s Talk About Let’s Talk

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Motives are rarely unselfish, so when a massive media conglomerate dedicates an entire day to raising money to deal with mental health issues in Canada, we should have in the back of our heads that Bell Media is not a humanitarian organization. Obviously, they’re getting a tonne of press, and not just from themselves, for the fact that they’re giving a nickel for every tweet, share and the like for a whole 24-hour period to battle the stigma of mental health and combat its causes. Meanwhile, hidden beneath the self-congratulation, is a company that doesn’t care about its own people when they suffer from mental health concerns.  Continue reading

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From Spanner Book: A Home Which May Have Never Existed

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Spannerbook

It’s a completely Canadian thing to possess a perfectly formed alternative national identity that surfaces on occasion. It tends to emerge when there is a soccer tournament or some other international event happening that precipitates putting a small flag of another nation on your vehicle. It’s always a bit more complicated for those of us from the UK because the soccer teams of each nation within the kingdom united compete separately, except in the Olympics. The 2012 Great Britain olympic men’s soccer squad had no Scots or Northern Irish on it. It was pretty much a foreshadowing of the Brexit vote. They got clobbered as well. 

I am continually pressed into service to explain the finer points of the UK and always get the feeling when I’m finished that whoever asked still doesn’t get it or their eyes glaze over when I say things like “…after the Act of Union…

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The Weekender: Why So Serious?

captainamerica

There’s a lot to love about Superman: The Movie, Richard Donner’s still seminal big screen adaptation of the Man of Steel from 1978. Christopher Reeve, who at that point mostly known as a New York theatre actor, was plucked from obscurity to play the hero, who as soon as he reveals himself as Superman saves both Lois Lane from a crashing helicopter, and a little girl’s cat who’s stuck in a tree. In the end Superman saves the world, takes Lex Luthor to jail and says, “Don’t thank me, Warden. We’re all part of the same team.” That’s modesty. But 40 years later, it’s not enough for heroes to just save the world and fly away, they have to beat each other to bloody pulps now. Continue reading

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The Weekender: Are We Too in Love With Our Cars?

marcomuzzo

Most fast food places have drive-thrus, a convenience invented for the purpose of allowing consumers to pick up food quickly and smoothly and take it elsewhere to be consumed, perhaps with family. Still, take a walk past a restaurant with a drive-thru and look at the parking lot, and you will see people, eating in their cars, after picking up their food. Why eat your meal crammed behind the dashboard of your car instead of eating it at a table or a booth inside the restaurant? It’s part of, what I think, is a dangerous fetishization of our cars. Automobiles are no longer a convenience, they are an extension of self that people feel they’re entitled to.  Continue reading

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The Weekender: That Stupid Lottery

Powerball

I’ve never understood cross-border shopping. Sure, when you live in Windsor or Niagara Falls, it makes some kind of sense, but living here in Guelph, doing the five-hour round trip, waiting in line at the border, the cost of gas, and basic losing a day to base commerce, the math has never seemed to add up. I had a similar feeling this week watching Powerball madness grip not just those in the U.S., but those Canadians that got in their cars and headed south to play along in the 1 in 292 million chance that they might become billionaires.  Continue reading

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Happy Holidays – Or Else!

happy holidays

Spannerbook

Sometime early next April, I’m going to load up my computer with every single song I can find about the working life and play it loudly on a continuous loop at my desk for my co-workers to hear. It will be a wide range of stuff; the majority of which will be obscure and long lost like the Red Army Chorus singing “L’Internationale” or “Car Wash” by Rose Royce.  The ones that I really like will get played over and over. I’m going to leave it on overnight so when I walk in at 8am, there is no pause. If anyone complains, I will admonish them openly. Why don’t you like Mayday? Don’t be such a scab! I will counter complain – why can’t you respect my Marx given right to excessively celebrate the actual most popular holiday in the world? When I whistle “Working Man” off key every day…

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The Last Word of #elxn42 Goes to… John Oliver(?)

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We’ve heard from a variety of different people during this historically long campaign, and the fact that for Canadians it has been historically long is, to use one comedian’s word, ” adorable.” Last night on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver got his satirically sharp knives out for the last hours of the 42nd Canadian Federal Election. From mocking Tom Mulcair’s campaign style, to watching Justin Trudeau show folks how to fall down stairs the right way, to mocking Stephen Harper’s band with reckless abandon, Oliver was on fire, and as a Canadian I have to say, he got us good! Continue reading

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