(Maria Vargas Llosa: The Storyteller, Death in the Andes)
I’ve taken a travel year with my family, heading more or less East until we find ourselves back in Quebec (or prove the Flat-Earthers correct!) I’ve always liked to read something from the places I travel to, and I thought it would make a fun quest to explore the world simultaneously through the books of each country we visit. Like a literary Anthony Bourdain.
Of course, we can’t pretend to understand a culture from a few books; we aren’t going to catalyze a series of epiphanies and insights here… …no, OK, we can pretend. And pretending is fun. And cultures are different. Arts are different. Sensibilities and worldview differ. What a boring world it would be otherwise!
And if this project doesn’t turn up any cultural insights — which I’ll be honest, insights are pretty far between for me — it will still be fun. So let’s go.
Peru: land of mystery!
The biggest of which is: who to read? It turned out, Peru has it’s own literary giant, almost comparable to Colombia’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez in terms of world and domestic stature, and poetic-polysyllabic nomenclature: Maria Vargos Llosa! That name just tastes great, doesn’t it? Say it out loud. It also doesn’t rhyme with anything. The closest are bossa nova, cosa nostra and Operation Barbarossa. And so, I gave up on my plans to write this instalment as a ballad.[Read more…]
Pre-amble: I’ve taken a travel year with my family, heading more or less East until we find ourselves back in Quebec (or prove the Flat-Earthers correct!) I’ve always liked to read something from the places I travel to, and I thought it would make a fun quest to explore the world simultaneously through the books of each country we visit. Like a literary Anthony Bourdain.[Read more…]
Come join me!
RSVP on the FB page here:
I am very proud to announce that Chapters-Indigo bookstores across Canada have launched Tragically Hip, Twisted. Outside Ontario, it may not be available in every store – just ask, and the store can order for you. It is extremely rare for a self-published book to get picked up by Canada’s pre-eminent book chain. I hope we’ll reach some more readers and raise more funds for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research.
Update: I have a web page for my Tragically Hip-inspired ebooks, and my new hardcover illustrated collection, Tragically Hip, Twisted. Check it out here. But if you still want to read this post, by all means, read on…
Over a decade ago I began a hobby that I’ve still not given up, though I get to play at it seldom. I write short stories based on Tragically Hip songs. Not the songs that tell a story – because they already tell a story. But the songs that don’t quite, on their own. I’ve always found the Hip’s music expressionistic and evocative. Their music put stories in my mind, even when the lyrics don’t tell one directly. They tell story snippets. The listener can piece together a multiplicity of possible stories from them.
My new op-ed in the National Post on the much ignored Stabbing Intifada and how it demonstrates the absurdity of using death toll ratios to condemn Israel.
When a society worships death, honours suicide attackers and forces civilians to serve as human shields, they are going to have a high death count.
I’ll be volunteering in support of a medical mission to rural Tanzania in February. The mission is organized by Canada-Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA-ASCCA) , a very grassroots Ottawa NGO that has been doing great work abroad for more than a decade. (For those worrying I’ll do more harm than good, I won’t actually be doing medical work personally.)
If anyone is interested in donating to support the mission, as well as the long term projects in the communities we’re visiting, please go to this web page for more info:
I love whitewater canoeing. Having a chance to contribute to the fantastic Ottawa Outdoors Magazine on my favourite subject was great. Basically, a primer to get readers out onto the plentiful whitewater rivers of our region.
This year, a miracle has been unfolding before my eyes.
My son is becoming a reader. Yes, Grade One: Where miracles happen! [Read more…]
Chaverim! Jews! Lantzmen!
I know there’s a lot going in the world today. Sure, there was a war, and most of the world sided with the jihadi death cult over Israel. Now there are anti-Jewish riots across Europe, synagogues attacked, old ladies punched, children threatened.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before! [Read more…]
I wouldn’t normally re-publish a comment on an article website, but the Canadian Jewish News actually deleted my comment, so I thought I’d repost it here.
A CJN op-ed by an off-and-on Liberal operative named Adam Goldenberg caught my eye because of its provocative headline, on one of the news aggregator sites:
I don’t know anything about Mr. Goldenberg, but I have seen his articles before, trying to move Jewish voters away from the Conservatives.
This article is basically a Trojan horse for that mission. The putative story “Jews Will Know First” is silly, and I think the author knows this, but he uses it as an excuse to get a few digs in at Harper for a Jewish audience.