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Houellebecq’s new book “Submission”

January 17, 2015

In today’s Globe and Mail Russell Smith has an excellent review of Michel Houellebecq’s new novel “Submission”. It is provocative and amazingly frank about a book that has recently been published that speaks to the recent events in France.

Russell points to so many areas of concern about the world we now live in. One thinks about the freedom of expression and the need to be vigilant with guarding this basic tenet in our fragile democracy. We need to consider what those that would hamper that right, by the suggestion of ultimate protection with a proposed security regime, would have in the lessening of that freedom. Maybe our understanding of what sacrifice means has to be changed. The freedoms we hold dear will never be guarded by anyone other than the individual and that may mean an ultimate sacrifice.

To people that knock on our door and attempt to convert us to their brand of religion I tell them that though I disagree and will debate what they are presenting, I will stand with them against any group or organization that attempts to take away their right to express their views. Without that diversity of expression, that only comes with that freedom, we will return to serfdom.

Insomnia

September 25, 2014

Can’t sleep
with go-karts running
trackless
in my head.
My eyes are closed
yet the ceiling
is crystal clear.
You just wait
and wait
and wait
to get drowsy.
You may see
dawn and are glad
it is fall
because dawn
comes later.

Who’s next?

September 1, 2014

This morning I was listening to The Who and their 1971 album “Who’s Next?”. This album captured something of that time. What was it like then and how was it any different than now?

The album cover speaks of the youth’s obstinance then. It was a time of confusion. It was a time of optimism though. Personalities had come and gone but nothing or no one seemed in want for much. We had arrived with our ideals, our education, our minimal but refreshing means to do just about anything. We hadn’t met any diversity that we could not either accept or overcome in some fashion. Our new found courage was grounded in being naively youthful. Energy and passion wore out the obstacles. We resisted little as there was little to resist. Our suffering had not arrived and the world was still bound in its happenings, sharpness had not started. Our idealism would not be prevailed upon. The world and its events were belonged by no one and it was still ‘us’. ‘Me’ and it selfishness had not been born. ‘Now’ is not of that age.

 

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‘Tell us what democracy looks like!’ Protesters march to Parliament Hill

August 28, 2014

‘Tell us what democracy looks like!’ Protesters march to Parliament Hill

This is what it is about. Why do political parties not understand this is a prime motive for citizens to be vocal because we live in a democracy.

Douglas Coupland

August 8, 2014

Went to the Vancouver Art Gallery yesterday to see the Coupland exhibit. It was excellent! I had no idea the extent of the creativity of this person. There is a lot to see and it is definitely a show you can attend more than once.

The intrigue about his work is substantial. You can see a unique perspective of the world we now live in. You can see elements of being a Vancouverite and a Canadian. There is boldness yet intricacy in the presentations. It is exciting to dismantle and then reconstruct, in a different fashion, one’s view of something. So much of his art does this and it is brilliant.

One very neat thing is the invitation to take pictures with the hashtag #couplandvan.

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Holidays

August 6, 2014
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Half way through a 3 week holiday and for the first time in a long time I feel somewhat rested.

We seem to get into an everyday work cycle that is not very easy to shed. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to stay away from the business aspect of your life with the immediacy of smartphones and the ubiquitous internet. It seems we have woven our personal and business lives in such a fashion it is hard to take them apart. A staycation is more like part time work.

The next week will be how well my mind can reset. And how hot and sunny it will be!

Last day at CUWaterCooler Nashville

October 18, 2013

The CUWaterCooler is just about over. There are two more presentations before it will be the end of this years Symposium. It has been as different as all the others before it.

We missed a few of the editors like Ed Brett from Westminster Credit Union. The venue is probably the best ever and those returning knew the neighbourhood so getting around was easier. We reunited with old friends and made some new ones. We talked about the same old things and some new debates began. Matt Monge’s presentation about ‘Servant Leadership’ was extremely valuable and really challenged anyone who was a CEO. Rob Oxoby’s “Behavoir, Savings and Borrowing of the Lifecycle: Insights from Behavioural Economics’ gave us some remarkable experience in Games Theory. Every presentation was valuable and relevant to anyone in a credit union. And as always there was an entertainment factor at times. When I get home I need to find that old Monopoly game.

One can’t really put a tag or singular definiton about CUWaterCooler. It really needs to be experienced. It is fun and it makes you think is some new fashion. Thanks to everyone who came, to those who contributed, to Tim and Matt who work so hard to make it what it is, to Ron who always gives us some incredible insight and to Nashville for being a wonderful host.

Funny, once you drink from this watercooler you always want to come back.

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