The most chilling phrase in the Norwegian horror was the killer's statement, through his lawyer, that it was "atrocious," or in another translation "gruesome," or even just that he was sorry.
Rick Salutin is a Canadian novelist, playwright and critic. He is a strong advocate of left wing causes and writes a regular column in the Globe and Mail.
Discarnate is my fave among the many terms slung by Marshall McLuhan, who'd have turned 100 yesterday. It means, Philip Marchand wrote here, "almost literally bodiless."
Can we declare a moratorium on Canadian Schadenfreude over Rupert Murdoch and his British tabs? They deserve what they're getting and more. But it tends to conceal the mote in our own eye.
The film Bad Teacher is an attack on a rotten system that overstresses test results and undermines real teaching. It's satire, stupid, in the tradition of classical theatre like Moliere's plays.
Our table is set for multiplicity by our past experience. And it's made inevitable by our present reality: globalization, immigration, birth rate, underpopulation.
People experience a reality; the words and symbols follow. As the guy in Field of Dreams might have said: Build it and they will name.
Humans are emotional beings, but you can also think of us as symbolic. Sports is part of that. We remain prey to our feelings and the symbols that embody them.
What's the cultural opposite of ambition? Modesty. That could be our cultural keyword. For a great example, go to the National Film Board of Canada website and check out 'Welcome to Pine Point.'
Hope is indispensable in public and private life. I don't mean brainless optimism in the face of facts. I mean hope that finds a way to persist in honest awareness of how bad things are.
The most jarring phrase, to my ears, during the recent election, was: "Many people say Stephen Harper is a mensch."