Author: Matthew Barlow

Nothing Says Cluelessness Quite Like Joking About Gentrification

Gentrification is a topic I have written a lot about here (for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and, finally, here).  And, of course, I wrote a book about Griffintown, Montreal. In other words, I think about gentrification a lot, occasionally curious about it, occasionally appalled by it. Last week, a Denver coffee chain found itself in the midst of a firestorm over a really stupid sandwich board sign outside of its outlet in Five Points neighbourhood.  Of course, the name Five Points carries with it various derogatory ideas, largely connected...

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Who Built The Moon?

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Who Built the Moon? Sour Mash Records If you’ve paid any attention to rock’n’roll for the past three decades, you will know that Liam and Noel Gallagher do not like each other much.  Liam is the ex-frontman of Oasis.  Noel is the ex-lead guitarist and main songwriter of Oasis.  They are, of course, brothers.  Liam just put out his own solo album, As You Were.  Much to my surprise, it’s excellent.  Noel is a little more experimental than his brother and is, on the whole, the much more accomplished musician. Who Built the Moon? is not...

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Football and CTE

This past weekend was Grey Cup weekend in Canada.  The Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders met at TD Place Stadium in the Nation’s Capital.  The Argos won 27-24 in another classic.  In the lead up to the game, Canadian Football League Commissioner Randy Ambrosie declared that ‘we don’t know‘ if there is a connection between CTE and football.  Around this time last year, the former CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said the same thing and was roundly criticized.  Ambrosie is being suitably raked over the coals. But here’s the thing, Ambrosie should know better.  He is a former CFL player himself, he was a lineman for the Stampeders, Argonauts, and Edmonton Eskimos (why no one protests this name is beyond me).  Ironically, he retired due to injuries.  And he should know about the damage done to his own body by the game.  I am certainly aware of what football did to my body, between the cranky knees, shoulders, and, of course, the concussions (added to, of course, by hockey, where I played goalie). More to the point, it looks pretty damn likely that there is a connection between football and CTE.  This is just media one story from this past summer (out of many) that reports on a study that found that 88% of brains donated by now-deceased former football players had some form of CTE.  CTE was also...

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Art Bergmann: Remember Her Name

Art Bergmann Remember Her Name Weework Art Bergmann should be rich and famous.  He is Canadian punk rock nobility.  Away back in the mists of time (and the rain forest Vancouver is carved out of), Bergmann was the frontman of the seminal punk band, the Young Canadians.  Vancouver was once a major epicenter of the punk rock world, but no one knows this.  Perhaps it’s because Vancouver is isolated in the Pacific Northwest, deep inside that rain forest.  The nearest city is Seattle.  And in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Seattle was as unimportant as Vancouver.  But Vancouver...

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The Moral Conundrum of Roy Moore

The Roy Moore scandal makes me sick. Like physically ill, which is surprising, because I’m normally pretty much inured to most things. What nauseates me more is watching people defend Moore, or otherwise express backhanded support for him, such as Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has. Ivey has publicly declared that she believes the women who have accused Moore of misconduct. She also is in power because the previous governor, Robert Bentley, was forced to resign due to his own sex scandal. But Ivey is going to vote for Moore because he’s the GOP candidate. Others have defended Moore by...

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