Dead Wild Roses: Form is Harder than Formalism – The Wasteland that is the 5 Paragraph Essay.

   I’ve written more than my fair share of five paragraph essays.  Graded a few in my time as well.  It would be nice if we could spend the time and teach people different ways of grappling with thoughts and ideas in their writing.  The online Aeon Magazine has some surprisingly good and thoughtful articles, ...

Scripturient: Our civic centre the Block forgot

During the January 15 council meeting, there was a lengthy presentation of a strategic planning exercise (a real one, not the bogus one The Block call our “community-based strategic plan,” which was neither community-driven nor strategic) for the Parks, Recreation and Culture department (read more about it here). The presenter asked council to answer three ...

Scripturient: Does poetry make things happen in 2018?

I was thinking about how little poets seem to matter to modern political administrations. Maybe to modern society as a whole. Their light has, it seems, been waning for several decades as our collective attention shifts. I was thinking about what an odd, awkward fit it would be for a poet to be invited to ...

PostArctica: Some Sculptors

Subodh Gupta “Subodh Gupta (born in 1964) is an Indian Contemporary artist based in New Delhi. Trained as a painter, he went on to experiment with a variety of media. His work encompasses sculpture, installation, painting, photography, performance and video. He is married to artist Bharti Kher and is represented by Hauser & Wirth and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2018 Links

The latest from Saskatchewan’s NDP leadership campaign as the entry deadline has passed and the membership deadline approaches. – While I haven’t tracked endorsements all that closely, it’s certainly worth keeping track of any changes since previous leadership campaigns between two candidates who have run before. And on that front, it’s worth noting that 2009 ...

Scripturient: Guillermo, monsters and me

Tucked away at the bottom of a tall display case in the ‘At Home With Monsters’ exhibit at the AGO is a small collection of seven old, well-thumbed books, all by the 19th century French naturalist and entomologist, Jean-Henri Fabre. At the very bottom of the pile, its title almost hidden in the shadows, is ...

Dead Wild Roses: Scripting, Colours, and Online Services, Oh My!

Hard hitting social commentary to resume soon on DWR. Today, I have a bit of personal fluff that I hope will bring a smile to your day. TL;DR version provided at the end if you’re pressed for time. Just scroll all the way down. I do not do well with real world objects or processes. ...

Scripturient: Cultural appropriation is the new gluten free

Like food fads, political fads wax and wane as the gnat-like attention span of their followers gets diverted by the Next Big Thing. Political Correctness has of late given birth to Cultural Appropriation just like the gluten-free food fad gave rise to lectin-free food fad. All such fads are fuelled by the earnest desire of ...

PostArctica: The Giants in Montreal

Went downtown today to check out the giant marionettes that are dominating the scene in the city this weekend. It is pretty cool because the crew that accompanies each giant are energized and organized much like a Cirque du Soleil act. The down side of this is that it really is like watching a one ...

PostArctica: Printemps

I may have said this before but it bears repeating… I once had a problem photographing something in terms of composition, or maybe it was just attitude, in any case, I advised myself to just go in like Friedlander shooting cacti. And it has very much become a part of my personal aesthetic as I ...

Dead Wild Roses: The Power of Moms – Disney Princesses

Always trust Mum’s to fix things up in a jiff.   Filed under: Arts Tagged: Disney Princess, Fairy Tales, The Power of Mum

Scripturient: Auden, Trump and poetry

There’s a poem by W. H. Auden (1907-73) going the internet rounds these days with suggestions of Auden’s prescience towards the latest American president and contemporary politics. It’s a powerful piece, but the bad news for conspiracy theorists is that Auden was a poet, not a prophet. A good poet, even a great poet, mind ...

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Christian Pop Culture Beyond Salavation

There was a time when religion commissioned great and wondrous art. Awe-inspiring cathedrals were built by the most grand and innovative architects. Beautiful music for masses were composed by the greatest musical minds in history. Religious paintings were created with skills and passion that have yet to be matched, even hundreds of years later. Art ...

Scripturient: Leonard Cohen deserves the Nobel Prize, too

News that songwriter Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature shook the literati worldwide. Here was a pop icon sitting in the august company of Alice Munro, Mario Vargas Llosa, Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, V.S. Naipaul, Gabriel García Márquez, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Yasunari Kawabata, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, Rudyard Kipling ...

Scripturient: Why Fonts Matter

The first problem I have when receiving a new book on typography is that I spend far too much time looking up the typefaces described or sampled therein, and searching for them online, instead of reading. Then I start looking at (and critiquing) the typefaces chosen for the book itself. It’s a trees-not-the-forest kind of ...

Scripturient: Boris Godunov

I’m not sure why Boris Godunov, moves me like it does, but it has a curious, emotional effect on me. It’s a sprawling tragedy mixed with politics and betrayal, weighted down by brooding and scheming characters, a fickle mob, a holy fool, a ghost, an imposter as pretender to the throne, and the overthrow of ...

Scripturient: Loteria de Camacho

Ever since I first visited Mexico, more than 30 years ago, I’ve been fascinated by its culture. It’s beautiful, exotic, alien, yet also comfortable and attractive. One of the things that have intrigued me since the start is the lottery game: loteria de camacho. I’ve seen it for sale in many stores, and played at ...

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Musical Interlude: an Odd Intersection

When it comes to musical taste, I guess you could say Arb and I are a little… odd?  We’ve shared our love of classical and choral music quite a bit, but then we also like the hard stuff.  Here is a whole group of young people who seem to feel the same way: Viva Vox ...

The Canadian Progressive: Michael Geist: The Trouble with the TPP’s Copyright Term Extension

The TPP’s copyright term extension discourages creativity, restricts access, and imposes enormous costs on Canadian consumers and educational institutions, argues Internet law expert, Michael Geist. Meanwhile, the term extension is “a major windfall for the United States.” The post Michael Geist: The Trouble with the TPP’s Copyright Term Extension appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Scripturient: Judas, a Biography

Long before Darth Vader, long before Lord Voldemort, long before Stephen Harper, Judas Iscariot reigned as the supreme icon of evil in Western mythology. Judas betrayed God. How much worse can you get?* For 2,000 years we’ve used the term Judas to refer to anyone who betrayed anything, any cause, any belief, any friendship. Yet, like all ...

Dead Wild Roses: Christmas Friday Musical Interlude – Silent Night (again)

Arb may not be such a fan of Silent Night, but it will always be special to me.  In my church while I was growing up, we would end our Christmas Eve service by all getting out of the pews to stand in a huge circle around the sanctuary.  We’d pass out candles, then turn out ...

Dead Wild Roses: And now for something completely different…

Us folks at DWR seem to be all full of Holiday sweetness and light and goodwill, this year.  Just to reassure y’all that we haven’t gone totally soft, I’d like to share this video with you.  It helped me earlier in the season, when I wasn’t ready for celebrating yet, and I needed an antidote ...

Dead Wild Roses: Rebecca Solnit – Men Explain Lolita to Me

Just a great article through and through.  Go read it all here. “I sort of kicked the hornets’ nest the other day, by expressing feminist opinions about books. It all came down to Lolita. “Some of my favorite novels are disparaged in a fairly shallow way. To read Lolita and ‘identify’ with one of the ...

Dead Wild Roses: Friday Classical(ish) Interlude: Beethoven’s 5th… for electric guitar

A love of Beethoven was one of the things Arb and I bonded over, early in our relationship.  Going on a road trip in the mountains together, we brought along all nine symphonies, and the combination of gorgeous music, gorgeous scenery, and of course, plenty of New Relationship Energy, made for an almost transcendent experience. ...

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Classical Interlude: for Paris, and Beirut, and Baghdad

(I’m writing this early in the week, for publication Friday.  I’m dreading coming back and editing this list…) and Garissa, Kenya; Yola, Nigeria and all the places being terrorized by “our” side… Gustav Mahler wrote his song cycle Kindertotenlieder, Songs on the Death of Children, over a century ago, a setting of five (out of over ...