January 2013

Divorced lesbian new Premier of Ontario!

Should we be cheering?


Kathleen Wynne (left) is congratulated by runner-up Sandra Pupatello on Saturday.

And something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

— Bob Dylan, "Ballad of a Thin Man"

Photo by The Phantom Photographer; image manipulation by Geoffrey Dow.

January 28, 2013, OTTAWA — Early Sunday morning on Facebook, I posted a knee-jerk response to the selection of Kathleen Wynne as the Liberal Party of Ontario's new leader — and thus, the province's new Premier. Wynne won on the third ballot, edging out Sandra Pupatello. The women had been the front-runners right from the start. (Entirely coincidentally, but most serendipitously, Wynne's victory came only two days before the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision declaring that women have a fundamental right to control their own bodies.)

I wrote:

Those of you who think that nothing changes, please take note. In some very important ways, the world *is* getting better and it's important we remember that. A divorced, gay, woman is now Premier of Ontario.

Woman. Gay. Divorced. 30 years ago (or less!) any *one* of those facts would have automatically disqualified her.

That's a sea change, ladies and gentleman. A fucking sea change.

There is more to it than that, of course, and finding myself living in a country in which six of its 14 First Ministers are women does not mean we have reached Utopia.

But it is significant.

So significant that it deserves not just an emphasized paragraph all of its own, but consideration at some length. The perfumes of change.

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On the dole, and other magnificent obsessions

(Canadian man really loves trains!)

January 22, 2013, OTTAWA — Some people think Man was put on this earth to pray, others to work, and still others, to tell one another stories.

I think, at least for some of us and for some of the time, our purpose is to play. And that's not such a bad thing.

This morning, allow me to present to you, a man who spent 40 years tape-recording radio programs, and one who has built a full-scale model VIA Rail car in his basement. (I'll leave it for you, the reader, to assign significance to the fact that both men claimed to have wonderfully understanding wives.)

The full story lies behind the link (of course).

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Catching up on 2012, Part I

Publication!

Reviewing Christopher Hitchens' Mortality

 

January 21, 2013, OTTAWA — P.T. Barnum is alleged to have said, "There's no such thing as bad press, so long as they spell your name right." But what is one supposed to do when the press is good, but the spelling is not?

Shoot the messenger, bite the hand ... and toot one's own horn, I guess. So damn the clichés and full speed ahead.

I suppose I would better have done all of the above when I first got my complimentary copies of the magazine in the mail back in December, but illness and the press of other business got in the way of proper self-promotion.

Those copies made for a sort of early Christmas present, but signed with an insult (presumably unintentional).

 

Or, as the old joke goes, I found good news and bad news in my mailbox.

Since I am one who prefers his misery lessened rather than his happiness punctured, that's how I'll tell the (brief) story.

The bad news was that Humanist Perspectives magazine thinks my first name is spelled GeoffEry, not GeoffrEy.


The good news is, its Winter 2012/2013 edition contains my review of Christopher Hitchens' post-humus meditation on living with the cancer that led to his death, Mortality.

(And, perhaps karmically, though the ultimate E and R are reversed in my byline and the table of contents, both my name and my website address (that's www.ed-rex.com folks!) are exactly right inn the two-line bio below the essay.)

I won't pretend it isn't gratifying to see some of my work in actual (paper) print again. 2009 was a while ago.

But, though the Winter issue of Humanist Perspectives is still the current issue and can still be found on better newsstands across Canada, I think it's time to share the work with the rest of the world.

The full text (very slightly modified from its magazine publication) lives behind this link.

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By my own, idiosyncratic, calendar . . .

(Happy New Year at last!)

January 18, 2013, OTTAWA — What a year it's been. Okay, 17 days, but it's almost *felt* like a year since, and more, since I last rode my bicycle, leaving it at the airport on the Friday before Christmas. The snow started coming down, joined by freezing rain, just as I started to head for home, so I circled back, parked the beast and took a bus.

Do you want to know what kind of year it's been (so far) for your humble narrator? Please click here for the good, the bad and the sickly.

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Spread the word!