Monthly Archive: October 2013

All dolled up

First it was candles and wrapping paper, then coffee and crumpets, now it’s to be dolls and accessories at Indigo. As a grandfather, I welcome the arrival of American Girl in Canada. My shopping will be handier. But as an author, I shudder at the thought of more floor space being stolen from books and given over to toys. Bad enough that Indigo has two-thirds of the book market in Canada, putting many independents out of business, now they’re getting out of the book business themselves, a few square feet at a time. Initially, American Girl will be in two...

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Always something there to remind me

A lot of people – myself included – have been blathering on about today’s loose morals because in recent weeks Miley Cyrus has appeared naked in a video and Robin Thicke performs in another video with naked women. It took an exhibit at Musée D’Orsay to remind me that nakedness for the sake of art is nothing new. Entitled Masculine/Masculine, the exhibit in Paris of male nudes in art includes everything from a naked Eminem by American artist David LaChapelle through Picasso all the way back to life drawings by Delaunay from the nineteenth century. Promotional posters on the Metro show...

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Newsmakers anonymous

There’s only one way to describe the Ontario Press Council ruling on The Globe and Mail story about drugs and Doug Ford: lily-livered. The piece, which sprawled over two pages in May, quoted ten unnamed sources on the topic of whether Councillor Ford did or did not deal in drugs during a misspent youth. Readers complained, as well they might, about such overuse of anonymous sources. One anonymous source in a long investigative story is plenty, two is too many, ten is ludicrous. Readers have a right to know who’s talking. The media has a responsibility to name the people...

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The Vision thing

If you missed tonight’s launch of The Zoomer: Television for Boomers With Zip, Conrad Black’s new TV show, consider yourself lucky. It was awful. The premiere on Vision TV was a one-hour mish-mash that included a large panel, two documentaries, a splenetic monologue, a musical interlude, an interview and an applauding studio audience. It was as if the producer kept saying, “Maybe if we add just one more thing ….” One of the panelists, aging rocker Ronnie Hawkins, told how he was cured of cancer over the phone. The cure was a miracle, said Black, “You’re half-way to sainthood,” which was...

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Black and BlueBerry Part 2

BlackBerry’s corporate problems were well documented in last Saturday’s Globe and Mail. The themes identified certainly jibe with what I’ve been hearing from Waterloo in recent months. The only problem the writers missed – and it’s a major cause of the corporate calamity – is the antagonism that grew between former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. The rift began in 2006 when Research In Motion paid US$612.5 million to patent troll NTP Inc. Everybody blamed anybody else. The schism between the two men gathered speed when the stock options back-dating issue was settled with the Ontario Securities Commission in 2007...

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