Monthly Archive: June 2016

Sound the retreat

No one knows what will happen as a result of Brexit, least of all me. But because I’ve lived in England and travelled extensively in the former United Kingdom, I do know why Britons voted to leave. Just as an individual’s strength can also be that person’s weakness, so too with island residents. As Britain proved during the Second World War, they can be resilient and resolute. But they can also be revisionist historians and fail to remember that others came to their help. Worst at this failure of memory are the educated twits today who should know better but...

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The play’s the thing

My daughter Alison celebrates Father’s Day by taking me to Stratford for lunch and a play. This year it was Breath of Kings: Rebellion, a melding of Richard II and Henry IV Part 1. Such Shakespearean combinations are new to me but worked particularly well in this case because Richard II is a play rarely presented. And because it leads inexorably to the dethroning of the old and the uplifting of the new, the edited pair fit together well. Just as I’d never seen a play of this genre, nor had I previously been to the Tom Patterson Theatre, the perfect...

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Cast of thousands

I hate to draw attention to this one particular institution, but a full-page ad in my morning paper from the faculty of business at Athabasca University announced the graduates from its MBA program. There were 172 of them! A string of universities, some of them better known, have recently run similar ads. The Financial Post published an article saying 4,000 international students come to Canada annually to do graduate work in business management and administration at Canadian universities. Not all are taking MBAs, but whatever the proportion is, when you add Canadian MBA grads, the annual total must be in the thousands. Time was when an MBA was a real cachet....

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A missed opportunity

The Parliamentary Press Gallery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a book entitled Sharp Wits & Busy Pens. Not the best title one might imagine, but it’s not the best book, either. It’s a collection of essays by current and former gallery members as well as words from a few politicians all accompanied by photos, historical and otherwise. Topics include the fire of 1916, the war years, treatment of women and Jews, the power of the press and the advent of social media along with a series of brief oral histories. Some interesting facts are unearthed but I was disappointed there...

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When elephants die

The news that yesterday was Canada AM’s final day came as a shock. Then, my next thought was: When was the last time I actually watched the morning show? I couldn’t remember. It was reminiscent of the announcement in 2012 that Newsweek would stop publishing its print edition. Again, on reflection, I realized I hadn’t read it in years. There was a day when both Time and Newsweek were must-reads. According to Globe writer Simon Houpt, the average Canada AM audience had fallen to 300,000 with only about one-quarter in the 25-54 age group most desired by advertisers. So three-quarters of the...

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The future may (or may not) have arrived

The year’s not yet over but I believe the 2016 award can be given for The Most Pretentious Seven-Paragraph Story in any newspaper. It appeared here in my morning paper. I’m providing translations for those who can’t read pretentious. Paragraph one sets the tone. “The Globe and Mail has forged a deal that will make it the largest North American news organization to adopt the Washington Post’s custom-built publishing platform.” (Translation: We gave up trying to figure this out and bought something off the shelf. It’s American; it must be good.) Called Arc, “the suite of publishing and storytelling tools [were] crafted...

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