Monday, December 23, 2013

Senator Hugh Segal

Canada has been in the throes of a scandal in its Upper House of Parliament, The Senate, this past year. Hugh Segal, a Conservative appointee by the Harper government, has just announced that he is resigning his post at age 63 though he could by rights hold it until age 75. Segal succinctly defined conservatism as the promotion of equal opportunity for all compared to socialism which he states seeks to legislate equal outcome for all. Pretty clever. He would be considered on the left wing of his party (at least under the Harper regime) and he claims his support for unions and mechanisms to eradicate poverty only harken back to Tory policies post Confederation i.e. early 1870s. When asked on CBC The Current to define his politics he said he was a traditional Tory, one who holds an integrated view of society and who wishes to facilitate connections between people. Those he considers neocons he says are all about the aggrandizement of selfishness, insensitive and representative of the me, me, me approach to life. Harper he says is an everyman PM, somewhere in the middle of the conservative spectrum. This last comment makes me begin to doubt him.

Jingle Bells

This Xmas season I have made a concerted effort to listen to commercial radio and I attempt to sing along to or mime the lyrics of the yuletide classic songs. The utter failure of a guest I listened to on a quiz show to complete the second line of some very well known songs, challenged me to do better, with little success. So now I am cementing in my memory at least the opening couple of stanzas of the best known crooner hits. But as the promo on one station put it, “on the 26th we will get back to the music you love,” which by implication means they will continue to force feed the music we don’t until then.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Meaford Fire Hall

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Slow TV

A curious phenomenon which is catching on in the western world is that of slow TV. Seemingly as a counterweight to the fast pace of society, viewers in countries led by Norway are turning in unprecedented numbers to pedantic programming. In terms of sports there has been a well established habit of Norwegians to watch hours of skating and cross-country skiing. This has segued into large audiences (a fifth of the country at a time no less) watching the likes of people knitting, fires burning in a hearth, a cruise ship sailing along the coast for days and a train making the seven hour trip from Bergen to Oslo. That latter option I get since I have actually made that trip myself with a Eurail pass. You go through mountains and along fjords and end up in picturesque destinations. OK in North America, how about a camera on board a Great Lakes freighter leaving the Lakehead and making its way to Montreal. Hours and hours of the lake they call Gichigoumi, as Gordon Lightfoot would be first to say. Or on the dashboard of the lead car that has just tucked in behind a tandem of snowplows for forty minutes! Or maybe of a floral clock turning and growing!