Month: February 2018

Spring Geography and Columbia Clutch by Fred Wah

Installment 12 brings together a poem from Fred Wah’s So Far (1991), and a new one, “Columbia Clutch” (2018). Both poems enact impending shifts, abrupt unearthings. Matter breathes, reveals, holds our attention. Yet the latter piece also attends to the double-edged amalgam of awe and harnessing at the heart of our interactions with nature: “Roll on Columbia, roll on/ Your power is turning our darkness to dawn.” (Photo credit and copyright: Halcyon Ploss) *** Spring Geography Things appear suddenly not new but as they remain left over from the winter for example. dead logs caught in the brush at all...

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From the Vaults: Manic Street Preachers: Generation Terrorists

From the Vaults: Manic Street Preachers Generation Terrorists Columbia There used to be this great newsstand on Bank Street in the Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa.  In my early undergrad years, I used to go there to get the British music press, the NME and Melody Maker.  I was always disappointed that the music samplers that came with the magazines in the UK didn’t make it to Canada, but this was how I learned about British and Irish music, the music that didn’t get played on MuchMusic (Canada’s MTV), let alone the commercial alternative radio stations in Canada.  So, I knew all about...

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Evangelicals and Jerusalem

Palestinian flags wave at a Palm Sunday procession down the Mount of Olives into the Old City of Jerusalem, 2017. Photo by Scottgunn..Are evangelicals the magic ingredient in the recipe that led Trump to claim he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? Yes and no. Vice President Mike Pence unquestionably influenced the discussions in the White House, and Trump certainly felt himself in debt to white evangelicals in the US, but the role of Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed bin Salman in promoting a “peace plan” that betrayed Palestinian hopesfor Jerusalem as their capital also had an immediate and forceful impact. American...

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Franz Ferdinand: Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand Always Ascending Domino Records I remember the first time I heard Franz Ferdinand.  I was in Vancouver in the spring of 2004, in a café on Denman St. in the West End, and the track ‘Michael’ was playing.  It was catch as all get out.  I investigated further, wandering across town to A&B Sound on Seymour St. (RIP), gave their début eponymous album a spin and bought it.  Since that day, they have been one of my favourite bands, I must admit.  Their last album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, was somewhat of a surprise, coming a full...

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The Memorial Project: Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC

There are 58,318 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, marking the deaths of a generation of young men, and eight women, in the United States’ military intervention in Southeast Asia between 1956 and 1975. The names are engraved in highly polished black marble set into the earth in Constitution Gardens at the western end of the National Mall. The memorial reveals itself gradually to visitors as they pass long the path skirting the lake: a memory first glimpsed, and then only fully apprehended as they confront it directly. At certain times of the morning, in the spring...

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