UNCLE BRUCE, Hermaphroditic Prussian Mongrel

Advice by Uncle Bruce - - Everything Else, News & Politics

Dear Uncle Bruce – While snapping selfies with the jubilant throngs at Toronto’s Pride Parade, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his intention to follow Premier Kathleen Wynne’s bold initiative with Ontario-issued ID (driver’s licences, health cards), and push for federally-issued ID (such as passports) that will allow the holder to identify as neither male nor female but as gender ‘X’. “That’s part of the great arc of history sweeping towards justice,” he eloquently proclaimed; following that up with the not-so-loftily formulated: “It’s something we’re looking at federally . . . we’re just trying to figure out the best way to get around to doing it.” Still, you know what he’s driving at. So I’m curious, Uncle Bruce – the next time one of these documents requires renewal, which box will you be ticking? – Sincerely, Is This a Great Country or What? Continue Reading

AROUND TOWN – Then Play On

Then Play On By Dave Clarke - - Music & Food

The Northern Pikes - Home County Music & Arts Festival - 
July 16th


Saskatoon Saskatchewan’ s Northern Pikes had already released two indie eps before signing with Virgin Records and releasing their debut album, Big Blue Sky, in 1987, that contained their first single, the post punk track, Teenland. They opted for a more rootsy sound on its follow-up, 1988’s Secrets of the Alibi, which included singles Let’s Pretend, Wait for Me and Hopes Go Astray and set the stage for their biggest album, Snow in June and a top ten single, She Ain’t Pretty, with a heavily rotated video that earned them one of their five Juno nominations. The band called it quits after the release of their fourth album Neptune in 1993, but were coaxed back into performing for the release of their greatest hits album in 1999. They have continued to record independently, preferring a more casual schedule and avoiding the pressure of answering to a big record label.

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Walking on Water — Christo’s Floating Piers

Art Review By Maggie Lucchesi - - Art & Books

More than conceptual art, Christo’s Floating Piers is really performance art”

You find yourself in the same country as the latest (rare) Christo event – what choice do you have but to try to get there? Who could resist the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to literally walk on water, crossing a stunning mountain lake on a shimmering yellow ribbon, 3 km of it?

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A photocopier launched my pamphleteering career 47 years ago 

Yodelling in the Canyon By Barry Wells - - Everything Else

Within a day or two, I was happily running off libelous copies of a small poster I’d created about a beatnik-type English teacher with whom I had no particular axe to grind, so my actions were somewhat inexplicable”


As a natural-born communicator, the printed word has always enthralled and delighted me. It can also land you in hot water, as I learned 47 years ago when I was attending South Collegiate in London circa 1969, when I was in grade 10 or 11.

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Chicken Feather Examines the War on the Home Front

Theatre Space By Adam Corrigan Holowitz - - Theatre & Film

The titular subject of this play is the white feather movement, where young women would pin a white chicken feather on a man’s lapel to shame him into enlisting”


When Jeff Culbert was commissioned to write a play about World War One for Fanshawe Pioneer Village he first went to the back issues of The London Free Press. He looked at newspapers from just before the war started. This was to understand what Londoners would have been reading during that time and what the perceptions and opinions on the coming war were. “When you read a newspaper you get all kinds of cultural information, as well as getting the news of the time. I wanted to know what a person who lived in London would think about the war because the Free Press would have been their main source of information” says Culbert.

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Unravelling the Mysteries of Crime, Politics and the Human Heart

Book Review By Susan Cassan - - Art & Books

“David Adams Richards’ strongest quality is the ability to give voice to the inarticulate, those who are not cushioned by wealth or education from the battering life metes out to the disadvantaged”

Principles to Live By
By David Adams Richard
Doubleday Canada ($32)
When summer comes, the eye turns to the racks displaying mass market offerings in the popular genres. One of the most compelling is the mystery. For those who love the great writers of the field – P.D. James, Elizabeth George, Ian Rankin – the flabby books bound in flashy covers are discouraging. Trying to find a writer to fill the shoes of the masters of intricate plot, rich characterization and depiction of social trends is an exercise in hope and frustration.

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Books for the Hopelessly Bookish

Hermaneutics By Herman Goodden - - Everything Else


 About a half century ago, a handful of British writers swam against the tides of specialization, academicism and politicization – then still rising towards the intimidating stature they’ve achieved today – and dared to produce sweeping histories or outlines that charted the overall development of literary culture. The first of these that I encountered, taking on the largest canvas of all and therefore not probing so deeply as the others, was prolific novelist and playwright J.B. Priestley’s (1894-1984) Literature and Western Man (1960); an intelligent, non-academic (the word ‘phallocentric’ doesn’t appear once) study of writers from Machiavelli, Montaigne and Cervantes to James Joyce, William Faulkner and Thomas Wolfe. There are other broad literary surveys of this kind written by such worthies as Will Durant and John Cowper Powys but what impresses me so much about Priestley’s opus is the humility and forthrightness of his approach. Published when he was 66 years old and dedicated to Tolstoy’s dictum that any truly great work of art should be assimilable by the average person, this book collects the gleanings of more than five decades of omnivorous and wide-ranging reading. Priestley may not pronounce the last word on any of his subjects but he does a wonderful job of displaying the full array of what’s out there and giving you a sense of its flavour. I first read this book in my teens and consider it an ideal road map to pass along to any young person with an affinity for reading. Continue Reading

My Game, My Rules

Pegg’s World By Robert Pegg - - News & Politics



Things don’t go as we would like so we shake things up to get the result that we wanted all along – so long as it serves our purpose”

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