Brian Fawcett A True Blast from the Past by Brian Fawcett

The Evening Colonnade, by Cyril Connolly, Harcourt Brace Janovitch, London and New York, 1975, HB, 469 pages Cyril Connolly was a type of writer that no longer exists. He was a literary critic—an occupation from the last century with social utility and some prestige now wholly... [Read more...]

Stan Persky The Young and the Restless, and Laura Kipnis by Stan Persky

Laura Kipnis, Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation (Metropolitan, 2014). I’ve been trying to review Laura Kipnis’ latest book, I really have, but the intrepid author of Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation has been lately sighted at so many embattled barricades,... [Read more...]

Stan Persky Letter from Berlin: Quo Vadis, Greece? by Stan Persky

James Angelos, The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins (2015). Berlin — The Sunday evening (July 5, 2015) that Greek voters delivered a resoundingly loud “No!” — 61 per cent marked “Oxi,” Greek for “no,” on their... [Read more...]

Newest Articles

The Young and the Restless, and Laura Kipnis

“Feminist students protest feminist prof for writing about feminism”: the Laura Kipnis story.

Letter from Berlin: Quo Vadis, Greece?

Questions about Greece that maybe even the Delphic oracle can’t answer.

Medal Madness at the Pan Am Games: a participant’s report

Brian Fawcett files a report on the Pan Am games, currently blotting out perspective and meaning in Toronto

Who is David Thauberger and Why is He Painting Pictures of Prince George?

Brian Fawcett wants everyone in Northern British Columbia to see the exhibition of David Thauberger’s paintings of Prince George. Here’s why.

Defender of the Faith

A few months ago, Conrad Black returned to the Christian faith. John Harris looks it over, and says, “Not so fast”.

Read all articles

Newest Reviews

A True Blast from the Past

Brian Fawcett finally reads Cyril Connolly’s The Evening Colonnade after 40 years. He wishes he hadn’t waited so long.

Letter from Berlin: Quo Vadis, Greece?

Questions about Greece that maybe even the Delphic oracle can’t answer.

Hobo with a Shotgun

John Harris reviews Rob Budde’s award-nominated Dreamland Theatre, and the Prince George Poetry War continues

Self, with or without Selfies

Look in the mirror. Who do you see? Or: What do you see?

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No! It’s an Ex-Superhero Actor Looking for Artistic Redemption!

It’s Oscar time, and Dooney’s goes to the movies in search of a Best Picture.

Read all reviews

Newest Dictionary Entry

Mother Canada

If we weren’t such devoted and devout followers of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his beloved Conservative government, we might have to admit that not only is he depressingly anti-democratic, and a fetishist or fascist about terror and crime, but a dolt without a drop of cultural taste. His aesthetic appreciation seldom rises above the level of a family Selfie.

Harper family selfie.

Harper family selfie.

Having slashed cultural and communications budgets over his decade (it feels like a century) in office, when he does make an artsy proposal, it turns out to be “offensively tasteless,” “Stalinist” and the mother of all ugliness. We’re referring, of course, to the proposed Mother Canada 10-storey-high statue slated to be placed on the shore of Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. The cloaked and nun-like female figure with its arms stretched out towards the Atlantic Ocean is meant to honour Canada’s soldiers who died overseas.

Mother Canada

Mother Canada

The project, a $30-million private venture, fast-tracked by Harper, is the brainchild of a well-meaning Toronto businessman, Tony Trigiani, who was inspired by a visit to a Canadian war cemetary in Italy to set up the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation. The foundation hopes to raise $25 million to complete the scheme by selling corporate sponsorships that will be acknowledged on the site. In addition to the statue, the memorial will include the Commemorative Ring of True Patriot Love, the True North Square and the With Glowing Hearts National Sanctuary. (Excuse us for a sec, gotta upchuck.)

Local opponents of the plan, the Friends of Green Cove, call the Mother Canada proposal a “kitsch glorification of war.” Cape Breton resident, 93-year-old Valerie Bird, a World War II veteran, says, “It is vulgar and ostentatious. It certainly doesn’t belong in a national park and I don’t think it’s going to do a darn thing for veterans… This is a monstrosity.”

A Globe and Mail editorial said the giant statue was “a hubristically arrogant act of unoriginality. The bigger is better approach is best left to Stalinist tyrants, theme park entrepreneurs, and insecure municipalities hoping to waylay bored drive-by tourists.” The latest argument against the scheme, reported in the Sydney, Nova Scotia Cape Breton Post (July 9, 2015), is that the Green Cove location is a significant Mi’Kmaq aboriginal cultural and spiritual site. Even cartoonists have been lampooning Mother Canada.

Cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon weighs in.

Cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon weighs in.

Gee, maybe beauty isn’t in the eye of the political beholder.

Read all dictionary entries