Aretha Franklin. No disputing the greatness and impressiveness of her life well-lived and well-loved.
and I’ll say it again. The current Edmonton City Council is on an irrational, runaway course to destroy what was once a fine, livable city.
They have destroyed the road system, parking, and ease-of-movement everywhere. They have sold out tourists, car drivers and homeowners to bike agendas and crazy, poorly-thought-out LRT fantasies. They apply dangerous calcium chloride on winter roads and try to open a toxic beach. They spend millions tearing up public space and initiate disastrous projects that never end.
Theirs is a horrible record of waste, inconvenience, lack of safety, and a distinct lack of public reality. They have flushed this city down the toilet over and over again. Don Iveson is the worst mayor we have ever had and, likewise, this is the most stupid city council ever. Period. A study in absurdity and stupidity since their election. Now nothing will ever fix or save our poor, warzone-looking burgh. Pity poor Edmonton, a once-livable nice city.
are getting an eerie sense of how future summers will be with weird morning and evening skies, unhealthy to dangerous air, and numerous effects even on ordinary activities and work. Climate and weather have suddenly become the big stories of Canadian summers (winters have long limited Canadian lifestyles).
So far this summer I’ve also reported on Space Wars and how technology can take out all electrical systems including people’s umbilically-connected phones. But what will even a hardy people like Canadians do when weather and climate begin to affect their daily plans, vacations, work, and daily breathing and personal health?
The economical effects for putting out widespread fires could eventually beggar local, provincial, and national budgets. Factor in added mass health expenses and you begin to see how life, as we’ve known in, is beginning to change for the worse on a permanent basis.
It is tragic, incidentally, how many people have already lost homes, how towns have been devastated, and how much destruction has been done to the great Canadian landscape which has long been the pride of the nation, too.
No, like a lot of things these daze, normal does not live here anymore, only continuous change, mostly of the negative variety.
Today, in Ottawa, a boa constrictor on the loose.
In Quebec, black widow spiders.
When will those killer bees get here for all the sun-tanning enthusiasts?
“One trillion litres of sewage leaked into Canadian lakes and rivers over the last five years.”
—Toronto Star headline today
Uh, where are Justin, the premiers, and all the eco-types like Greenpeace?
And while we’re talking eco, what about all that sewage dumped into Victoria harbor with the consent of the mayor, city council, and B.C.premier? But, no, maybe the first two are busy doing more important stuff like removing a statue of the Father of Canada.
in dangerous behaviors. I sprayed for wasps previously in a small hole by a sidewalk; there are some jobs you do yourself. But, at other times, it’s time to call in an expert to deal with bigger problems such as a large hole under a patio or a wasp nest under a hose rack in the open.
Why take on unnecessary personal risks and do a questionable job when you can open up your precious wallet to have someone else do the job right and safely, one time, at no risk to oneself or family?
I’m afraid a lot of people prefer to do everything themselves mostly out of ignorance and cheapness.
I will also add that I defer to experts when it comes to all sorts of things like heavy load moving, getting a haircut, having a massage, fixing a car, doing taxes, cleaning eavestroughs, dealing with plumbing problems, getting trees and bushes pruned, or going to a doctor or dentist.
You see, experts and professionals deal with specific problems that the average mortal knows zilch about. So, inevitably, these things are going to cost to get problems fixed right and safely, and to cease to be problems. There is a reason why they exist and if you want more stress-free problems, then defer to more experts.
All those wildfires out of control again this year. Makes you wonder how much of those beautiful forests will be affected in years to come. I’ve often driven by burnt-out sections on the way to Radium and marvelled at the ruin caused by these out-of-control fires.
I remember one trip 10 years ago or more travelling with my daughter from Radium to Calgary as a fire took out large sections by the roadside. We had to stop the car a few times, waiting for escorts. A massive smoky pall hung over everything and the air smelled like pure ash. It was scary. One had a sense of Dante’s Inferno or of being in a wasteland, not certain if one was ever going to leave.
Now with the climate changing, most obviously in summers, one has a sense that this cycle of fires will continue and burn down large tracts of western Canada and elsewhere in the country, too. No place seems safe and this is the new normal.
The bill for all this is huge and could help to beggar the economy. There is also the potential for towns and cities to be taken out. (I would not want to be living in the Okanagan valley.) As we’ve seen with smaller places, people’s homes and lives have been disrupted and destroyed (Fort Mac, Slave Lake) and it is either a long way or no way back to previous lives.
This award-winning Canadian production skilfully directed by Sarah Polley is a successful adaptation of Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came over the Mountain”. It is the story of couple married for 50 years who suddenly have to experience Alzheimer’s, its process, and collateral damages to both parties.
This is Julie Christie’s most memorable performance in 40 years and she is very convincing as Fiona, the main patient. There are not too many Hollywood types these days who would allow cameras to realistically show their actual age on film. Hers is a muted, but effective, eloquent performance. Gordon Pinsent is perfectly cast as her long-suffering professor-husband who has been far from perfect. He captures the nuances of pain from his wife’s taking up with one of the other patients played by Michael Murphy in his quietest roles ever. Olympia Dukakis plays a convincing wife of the Murphy character, struggling with her own adjustments in tandem with Grant (Gordon).
The film surprises toward the end with its unexpected events after Fiona is committed to the second floor and Grant is revived by new love. I should also add that Wendy Crewson is an effective foil as the sympathetic aide who advises Grant in the facility scenes. And that the women’s feelings and characters are poignantly and realistically portrayed throughout by Polley.
Both Christie and Pinsent could easily have gotten and deserved Best Supporting Actor and Actress Awards. Highly recommended especially in the 2 disc Mongrel Media DVD set which has several interesting extras. If you are looking for a contender as one of the Great Canadian Movies, then 2006’s Away from Her would be the most recent one and is very educational with no-holds barred.
Now here’s a classic which really deserved restoring. This 1946 post-WWII-war British film by the famous Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger direction-production team is about a British aviator (David Niven) who has been shot down, but in the process, has first miraculously contacted an American radio operator (Kim Stanley). When he lands, apparently still alive and intact, he happens to meet her on a beach, but then a heavenly messenger shows up to correct the after-life bureaucratic error.
Everything about this fantasy-drama is wonderful: the script, the extraordinary visuals and sets (including the most memorable staircase in movie history–the American title was Stairway to Heaven)), the innovative use of Technicolor for Earth and black and white for the after-life, the themes, and acting. Jack Cardiff’s cinematography was way ahead of its time and Powell’s direction is flawless.
There are many extras on the supplements disc that make this DVD well-worth the purchase even for an aficionado who’s likely seen this film more than once. Highly recommended for its surprising and moving scenes. A must-see romance.