Friday, September 27, 2013

Rock the Bells hip hop festival cancelled - the end of an era?



Today, a friend mentioned to me that the Rock the Bells hip hop festival stops in DC and NJ was cancelled

Perhaps it was just a matter of poor promotion...but I suspect it's more than that.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Newman and the essence of artistic creativity



The first time I saw Barnett Newman's Onement 1 (1948), I voiced in abject perplexity, "what is it?" Little did I know that this was precisely the question Newman wanted me to ask, so he could answer, while stifling a chuckle, "it is...what it is."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lincoln Alexander leaves Queen's Park for the last time


Signing guest register. Photo courtesy Ann Green
I was able to get downtown last night to pay last respects to Lincoln Alexander and shoot this video of his motorcade pulling out and heading to Hamilton.

There's plenty written about his life, work and legacy all over the internet - he lived a life dedicated to not only making Canada a better place, but also to inspiring people to do the same. 

I'll just echo one quote of his that I particularly embrace:
"I'm proud of being black, but my role in Canada is to serve all the people. I'm a Canadian. Period."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Birds, miracles and Elgan's big move



Yesterday we moved Elgan into his dormitory to start grade nine at a private boarding school, out of town, but within a half hour’s drive if traffic isn’t killer.

A remarkable thing happened when we arrived but, in order to appreciate it, I’ve got to tell a story of something that happened to me a few years ago.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spain's bailout indicative of a bigger problem


I read today that Spain is going to need a $125 billion bailout.

Here are some relatively recent unemployment rates according to Wikipedia:

North America
  • Canada, 7.2 percent
  • United States, 8.2 percent
Europe
  • Germany, 5.4 percent
  • United Kingdom, 8.1 percent
  • France, 10.2 percent
  • Italy, 10.2 percent
  • Portugal, 15.2 percent
  • Greece, 21.7 percent
  • Spain, 24.3 percent.
Compare Spain's 24.3% unemployment rate against Canada's highest rate during the Great Depression: 19.3% in 1933; the United States reached 24.75% in that toughest of years. 

The thing is, Spain “a few years ago took pride as the continent’s economic superstar only to see it become the hot spot in the Eurozone debt crisis.”

What’s the value of a system that can call a nation a superstar even while the very machinations of its undoing must have already been underway? How do they get to Depression Era unemployment numbers without us seeing it coming?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Diffusion of responsibility, NIMBYism and deciding to be someone in support of a free society



Scenarios

In 1964 New York City, Kitty Genovese is repeatedly attacked over the course of a half hour in the courtyard encircled by several apartment buildings. No one calls police. 

In your typical baseball game, a high fly ball is falling in shallow centre. The 2nd baseman has tracked back while the centre fielder as ranged forward. At the last moment, both stop and the ball drops between the two millionaire professional baseball players.

In a standard social psychology textbook, these are examples of what is called “diffusion of responsibility.” And, in the case against Luka Magnotta (born Eric Newman), diffusion of responsibility can't impose upon jury availability if we want justice, but who is going to want to view the video evidence of the murder, indignities and dismemberment of Jun Lin?