Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: "Marie Antoinette"

The key to understanding Marie Antoinette, in my opinion, is its anachronistically modern flavour. I quite enjoyed it. A few years ago I was writing a murder mystery set in the late 19th Century. I needed to do research on the period, and so I turned to the short stories of Arthur Conan Doyle. To my surprise, I found that there was very little description of the things I was interested in: hansom cabs, trains and subways, the nature of indoor lighting and plumbing, etc.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Essay: "You are a hiptser"

When I first became aware of the term "hipster" I was not aware that it was an insult. I had a friend who lived downtown, listened to Indie music, and only drank microbrewed beers. I told him casually that he was a hipster and he strenuously denied it.  That's how I learned that the word "hipster" is a term of contempt - because no one will admit to being one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Essay: "The Purifying Effect of Power"

It's hard to remember now, but not so long ago the biggest impediment to the old Reform party taking power was that someone in their party would say something stupid.  The Reform (or the Conservative Party, after the merger) would be riding high for a while, and then the Honourable Member from Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump or somewhere equally remote would pipe up about how he didn't believe in evolution, or some ghastly personal opinion about immigrants or homosexuals, and then the Liberals would coast to another majority.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Essay: "The Tyranny of Memory"

I have something to confess; I do not particularly like to travel. I mean, of course I like to travel.  I’ve been to China, Uganda, Morocco, and all over Europe. But I seem to like it less than most people.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Essay: "The Modern Professional Class"

I saw the movie “Margin Call” recently and I thought that it was very good.  The cast was strong (Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany) and the story did a good job of encapsulating the financial crisis without a) being confusing; or b) excessive exposition.  But more than that, it seemed to capture some part of the essence of the modern professional class, of which I was a humble member for a number of years. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Essay: "Stand By Your Phone"

Faithful readers will recall that I recently wrote that I needed a new telephone.  Specifically, I acknowledged that I should probably get an iPhone but admitted that I was not sure that I could bring myself to so.  Well, I finally got my new phone last week.  After briefly considering all of the four major smart phone options (Windows, Blackberry, Android and Apple) I eventually settled on the Nokia Lumia 900, running Windows 7.5.  The main reason for my decision was that the Windows Phone was the only one I had no experience with, and I was curious to give it a try.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Essay: "Regrets"

The greatest disservice done to our generation was that we were told we should do what we were “passionate” about. It’s not our parents fault; they were trying to be nice. They may also have been trying to make up for the mistakes of their parents, or the regrets of their own lives.