History is so we don’t forget

An Englishman of some renown once wrote this in a book: “It is unquestionably an advantage that the East African negro should develop a taste for civilized attire. In no more useful and innocent direction could his wants be multiplied and his desires excited, and it is by this process of assimilation that his life… Read More

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The extent of my religious training growing up was the film ‘The Ten Commandments,’ released in 1956 and starring Charlton Heston as Moses. According to my family, this was pretty well as it happened. I have seen it since and think it’s one of the worst movies ever made. While biblical history and ‘history’ aren’t… Read More

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The time to write

The first thing of any length that I ever wrote was a play in university. It was performed by drama students before an audience and one of my friends asked if I had written it the night before. The night before? Well no, it took longer than that. Any writer will tell you the key… Read More

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When my mother died in 2009, I decided to honour her memory by sponsoring a child through an organization called Plan International. Letters and photos are exchanged, and it’s like the film About Schmidt. In the final scene the character played by Jack Nicholson bursts into tears upon receiving a letter from the little boy… Read More

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Lest we forget

I once met Pierre Berton at an authors’ event at his home in Kleinburg, Ontario and he was hosting. The venerable historian wrote many books. One of them captured the glory and horror of Vimy, and that’s what the book is called. Vimy. Of course, I caught all the media coverage about that momentous World… Read More

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George Orwell and his epic novel 1984 are making a comeback. His character Winston Smith existed in a world where freedom and privacy have disappeared. Some think this is happening today. His colleague H. G. Wells wrote War of the Worlds and because of that we can thank Wells for introducing us to ‘fake news,’… Read More

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Writers, weird writers and nudity

Writers are a weird group, each one with his or her own particular quirks. Make no mistake, writing is torture, especially fiction, but it’s pleasant torture in which you proceed bit by bit to the end even if the process takes years. Michelangelo was asked how he, at the tender of 24, was able to… Read More

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One year ago I lambasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for issuing a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that had no mention of Jews in it. I found his words hollow, without substance, and displaying a shameful naivety and ignorance about history. He deserved the criticism. Last Friday he issued this year’s statement. “Today… Read More

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