Columns

Fly on the Wall—Television as the Screen Du Jour

Q: “You act like you’re the smartest person in the room; why does everything have to be a lengthy lecture with you?” A: “Oh yeah, no, I know I’m acting!” Performativity, that cherished theme of Mannville, Alberta’s sociological superhero Erving Goffman, is ground zero for how we present ourselves.  Yet, even if we know that… Read more »

A Small Act of Doing

After a restless night, you get a late start on the day.  It’s well after ten o’clock, and you’re still drinking your morning coffee, gloomily contemplating the day ahead.  A spider web in the corner of the ceiling, a partially clogged drain, a sink full of dirty dishes, a basket full of unwashed clothes.  All… Read more »

Cities in Six—St. John’s, Newfoundland

St John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, is Canada’s easternmost city.  The city is on the Avalon Peninsula in southeast Newfoundland, facing the Atlantic Ocean. The site of seasonal fishing camps centuries ago, the large protected harbour made St John’s an attractive location for a major trading centre.  St John’s was established as a… Read more »

Everyday Spycraft

One of the most potent aspects of art is that it can help us understand and come to terms with the darker aspects of the world and ourselves.  The mysterious power that the storyteller brings to bear is their ability to simultaneously call forth, examine, and assuage the fears that haunt us, the traumas that… Read more »

Beyond Literary Landscapes—Contemporary Mexican Literature

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile. From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and… Read more »

Cities in Six—Rovaniemi, Finland

Rovaniemi is in northern Finland, nudging up against the Arctic Circle, and is the regional capital of Lapland.  The city was almost completely destroyed by the retreating German army in 1944, but rebuilding commenced immediately after the war. In addition to being the official home of Santa Claus (who you can visit at Santa Claus… Read more »

Beyond Literary Landscapes—Classic Cookbooks

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile. From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and… Read more »

Beyond Literary Landscapes—Global Cookbooks

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile. From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Wired to the IT’s

Technology, that manna from nerd heaven that turns slinky skateboarders into sedentary specimens and geeky weirdos into well-heeled billionaires, in our times has assumed the mantle of a Good Thing.  When deployed properly, the wisdom goes, there’s a general consensus that technology can wend us out of many a challenge.  This parallels the delicious synchronicity… Read more »