Heroes or Traitors

Mild spoilers ahead. I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday. One of the film’s protagonists is Finn (John Boyega), a Stormtrooper who deserts his unit and joins the Resistance after being ordered to participate in the slaughter of civilians on the desert planet of Jakku. That’s why I found it so jarring to … Continued

We Need Dissent

We need dissent. We need the internal dissent of the bureaucrat calling bullshit, the dissent of the scientist freely explaining the world, the dissent of the back-bencher representing a local concern that goes against PMO policy, the dissent of an enraged segment of society taking to the streets. To be sure, these expressions of dissent … Continued

False Controversy

I sent the following to the Canadian Press because someone who I respect on Twitter suggested that people ought to respond to a shameful piece of “journalism” that’s getting far too much play in Canada today. This is RIDICULOUS. White people getting upset that they are not the centre of attention on social media is … Continued


Sook-Yin Lee was nearly fired as host of DNTO in 2003 after being cast in John Cameron Mitchell’s film Shortbus because CBC management was uncomfortable with a prominent host appearing in non-simulated (consensual) sex on screen. There was considerable public backlash at the time from folks in the arts community who pointed out, quite rightly, … Continued


I’m really going to miss Just Us! on Barrington Street. I started working there in the autumn of 2004, when I was eighteen. As I recall, I did not make a good first impression. But with some effort, I convinced the manager of the time that I was worth retaining, and my life would not … Continued

Of High Horses

Pat Martin: They rode into Ottawa on their high horse of accountability, and all we have to show for it is the mess that horse left. They should take their Federal Accountability Act and run it through that horse and throw it on their roses for all the good it has ever done us. Guy’s … Continued

On Just Us!

In July 2010, I resigned my position as manager of Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-operative’s Spring Garden café over concerns I had with the co-operative’s senior management. While I stand by that decision and the reasons I gave the co-operative’s senior management and board for it at the time, I am not convinced that my … Continued

Fine Arts

Tomorrow morning, I’m meeting with my university’s Dean of Fine Arts to discuss all of this. The facts are these: between 15 and 20 per cent of the Fine Arts faculty’s $3.9 million non-salary and non-permanent budget will have been cut when Concordia’s 2013-14 fiscal year begins on May 1. I had a thought after … Continued

Message Failure

According to pollster Nik Nanos, Canadians had a hard time getting excited about the War of 1812. “What I thought was quite surprising was that things that affected the day-to-day lives of Canadians, like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the vote for women, had a significant amount of support in terms of something to … Continued

Online and Offline

A valuable recognition that leapt out at me the from flood of remembrances for the late Aaron Swartz: I think he knew that the amazing platform provided by the Internet could only bring about real changes if people were willing to put them into action. That documents and data and records posted online would need … Continued