If you designed a computer program to react "rationally" on the model of great power leaders pursuing what's consensually viewed as the National Interest, it would probably "behave" as Putin has.
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 Toronto Star.
The fine Canadian painter with a Ukrainian heritage, Natalka Husar, dropped by with her book Burden of Innocence. The work is figurative, kitschy, classically iconic, exotic yet disturbingly familiar.
Theatre could never compete with film's spectacle but what it had was the live presence of actors, in a room, interacting and co-creating with an audience.
It's the shots of British Prime Minister David Cameron slogging through the floods there in wellies that convinced me: fatalism is back.
Rick Salutin reviews former rower Silken Laumann's memoir 'Unsinkable' in preparation for Olympics coverage and determines that success and winning in sports isn't always the best metaphor for life.
Pete Seeger, who died this week at 94, embodied a radical version of alternative culture. He was alt as an artist because of how he did it: in total interaction with his audience.
So Stephen Harper finally got his Birthright trip to Israel. Good for him, even if he pushed the 26-year-old cut-off date. And it ended as such emotional excursions should.
The spread of surveillance has acquired the unstoppable aura of climate change. The amorphousness seems to overwhelm people and undermine their ability to fight back, or even flail in rage.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is closing seven of its 11 libraries and dismantling their contents, not just books but maps and journals of rare quality.
Today newspapers aren't the dominant journalistic force they were in Karl Kraus's Vienna. But they can still play a vile or almost angelic role in the grand drama of public life and debate.