Posts By: Busby LeClair

Busby LeClair

Exploring Canada: Field Notes of an American Anthropologist

In the frigid, sub-arctic territory of Vancouver, British Columbia, I am in the living room of Doris Baker, a middle-aged beauty salon manicurist and part-time Zamboni operator. We are seated in hushed darkness, watching the closing ceremonies of the Torino Olympics. The event is being broadcast by the government entity known as the Canadian Broadcasting… Read more »

Genius Will Win Out

Critical acclaim is a notoriously fickle and elusive thing, with neither rhyme nor reason applying as to why the work of one so-called talented writer is lauded and fawned over, whereas the oeuvre of some other, clearly more talented, practitioner of the art is shockingly overlooked or dismissed. How else to explain the fact that… Read more »

The 50-Cent Controversy

There was an interesting news item a couple of weeks back about Dan McTeague, the Toronto Member of Parliament (MP) who wants to keep “bad boy” rapper 50 Cent (also known as “Fiddy”) out of Canada (Pedwell, 2005). As his reasoning, McTeague cites the fact that Fiddy has a criminal record. There is concern that… Read more »

Some of the World’s Most Prolific People

A good work ethic is a lot like a sense of humour in that very few people in our society would admit to not having one. Courtesy of the workaholic, 24/7 mindset that is a lingering hangover from the early European colonizers of our country (for example, all those dour Scottish Presbyterians, fastidious Germans, and… Read more »

If Voice Mail Were Honest

Thank you for calling the offices of MegaLog Corporation Canadian Division, located in West Virginia. Both of our part-time telephone operators for the entire Western hemisphere are currently frustrating and bewildering other customers with our incomprehensible corporate policies. As we are an enormous global financial entity — more powerful than either church or state —… Read more »

The Birth of a New Cultural Event

Every once in awhile amidst the daily jumble of boring and depressing news stories, there is an article that restores your faith in humanity, a feel good piece that leaves you with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. Latest case in point, I learned through the radio news this morning… Read more »

The Lost Dreams of Childhood

In the halcyon days of my youth, like so many starry-eyed youngsters before me, I had wild dreams of a career in the pest control business. My father, unfortunately, had other plans. I’ll never forget the look of seething rage on his face when he caught me flipping through an old tattered, dog-eared catalogue of… Read more »

Just Be Yourself

There is a scene in Rob Reiner’s rock mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, starring Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer as David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, and Derek Smalls respectively, in which Derek Smalls, the heavy metal band’s bass player, sets off an airport metal detector because he has stuffed his crotch with a… Read more »

I Hate Pretentious People

I was sitting listening to Mahler last night, sipping an amusing little French wine, and thinking about the embarrassing pretentiousness of some people. Of course, I’m referring to the sort of phony pseudo-intellectuals who continually about blathering on about Strindberg and Noam Chomsky. Personally, I like to consider myself a man of the people, and… Read more »