Monday, June 28, 2010

Just a few lines on the G20 Summit

The Muskoka G8 and Toronto G20 summits have been analyzed from here to back online, but here are just a few lines from John Doyle in today's Globe & Mail:
Nobody on TV was prepared, or indeed intellectually equipped, one suspects, to see the enormous fences and the extreme disruption of downtown life and business, as a symbolic act of hostility against a population, and as symbolic examples of the remoteness of the powerful from ordinary people.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fox in the Henhouse

Much hand-wringing, name-calling, glee, and angst from commentators of various political stripes over the prospect of a "Fox News North" as Quebecor plans to expand Sun TV - which I get on my TV, and seems to broadcast mostly The Casino Rama Grill Room sports talk show - into a conservative news network. Publicity that Quebecor couldn't buy otherwise. I do find the trumped-up indignation of both Fox News and Sun TV amusing, as they protest that a conservative voice is absent from the "lamestream media." In Canada English-speaking conservatives have The National Post, the entire Sun newspaper chain (which in turn owns virtually all of the local papers in my area), talk radio, and Maclean's magazine. As well, conservative talking heads are part of CBC and CTV news coverage. But, of course, it plays well to the base if one is constantly foaming at the mouth about how there is a media conspiracy against one's point of view. The left does the same thing.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rare Bibles

I'm home from the Medieval Festival at Upper Canada Village - a very sanitized version of the Middle Ages. Many visitors were there from Quebec, where medieval re-creations are very popular. The all-pervasive influence of the Church was left out of this version of medieval times - nary a cross or friar in sight, although a couple of Roman Catholic priests were among the spectators (I was incognito).

But further on ancient times, and my last blog posting about the Lowy Council, this article is about amassing a collection of old Bibles. The Lowy Collection has a first edition of the Authorized Version, the King James Bible, as well as editions of the Torah and the Tanakh, the complete Hebrew Bible.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Judaica and Hebraica

I'm on the Council of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection at Library and Archives Canada - the Lowy donation is Canada's national collection of Judaica and Hebraica, meaning Jewish and Hebrew literature. We had a meeting tonight with Library and Archives officials to discuss how the collection will fit into modernization of the agency, while adhering to the terms of the deed of Mr. Lowy's gift in 1977 (pre-public Internet). But I do need to pay tribute to our retiring curator, Cheryl Jaffee, and welcome the incoming part-time curatorial team led by Leah Cohen. It's a privilege to be part of the Lowy Council and to be surrounded by books that speak of heritage and survival.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Church is good for something...

According to the Tamil rapper Maya (aka M.I.A.). In this profile in the New York Times Magazine, Maya is driving by a church in East London and says:
“That church saved my life. Christ Church! That’s the last time I got to be a high-school dropout: I should have been in school, and a youth worker at the church, who had been in prison, grabbed me and slammed me against the wall one day and said: ‘What is the matter with you? If you stay around here, you’ll end up living in one of these apartments with six babies before you’re 20.’ I used to be hanging about, getting into trouble. He changed my life.”

I haven't blogged for so long! Been relying on Twitter and Facebook. I'm just back from the annual meeting of the United Church of Canada's Montreal & Ottawa Conference in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, and the annual meeting of the Canadian Theological Society at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, held at Concordia University. Montreal was great as always - smoked meat, distractions like the boutique at the Musée des beaux-arts and the Apple Store, hundreds of people around Concordia and on Crescent Street on a Monday night, driving up and down the Main and St. Urbain.

And I'm mourning the death of the Rev. Rod Carter, who taught restorative justice at Queen's Theological College. Rod had been in prison and received a pardon, going on to serve in the military and as a Correctional Services of Canada chaplain, making a difference in the lives of many, many offenders and students - his story is a good counter to the portrayal of pardons by the federal government and media. A gentle man who had a quiet passion for justice.