Comic superheroes are the modern era’s version of Greek gods

In this new religion, heroes speak the truth and model the behaviours, values and norms of an increasingly diverse society

Comic superheroes are the modern era’s version of Greek godsThe movie Captain Marvel is a stunning box office success. Finally, it seems, an historic wrong has been arrested. Females have broken the male hegemony on physical violence and taken their rightful place in the annals of warrior gods. Females aren’t the only new members of this celebrated superhero club. There’s Black Panther, Moon Girl,…

Ireland’s greatest mythical hero

The story of Cuchulainn is one of heroism. But it has also become a cultural touchstone and a political rallying cry

Ireland’s greatest mythical heroWith St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us, it’s appropriate to write something with an Irish theme. And what better subject than the greatest hero of Ireland’s mythical past – Cuchulainn. As the word is derived from old Irish, a bit of phonetic assistance would help. The variation familiar from my childhood is “Coo Cullen.” It…

Endeavour’s voyage of enlightenment added a hemisphere to the world

And, according to author Peter Moore, the endeavour attitude is characterized by dreaming of our better angels, not by acquiring more stuff

Endeavour’s voyage of enlightenment added a hemisphere to the worldMy daughter choreographs reading that plays to my whimsical non-fiction interests through Christmas gifts of books. This year, I carefully opened a beribboned volume by British author Peter Moore entitled Endeavour: The Ship and Attitude that Changed the World (2018). Right away, I recognized Endeavour as James Cook’s ship on his first epic voyage of discovery…

From communism to Canada

Local reverend recounts the humorous and the trying in his life adventure

From communism to CanadaJoan Janzen for The Clarion Kindersley resident Piotr (Peter) Strzeleck experienced the culture shock of transitioning from communist Poland to our nation of Canada in the fall of 1993. Though his homeland had already been free of communist rule for several years, Rev. Peter couldn’t recall any dramatic changes that took place as a result.…

One sentencing standard for all offenders

Terri-Lynne McClintic shouldn't have been sent to a healing lodge. In fact, the very nature of such institutions defies fair practise

One sentencing standard for all offendersTerri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of the 2009 abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tory Stanford, was recently moved from federal prison to a healing lodge. Canadians were surprised – to say the least – that the transfer of a convicted child murderer to a healing lodge was not something new but had being going on since…

Dreaming of a Filipino Christmas

‘In the Philippines, Christmas is a really long celebration. Christmas decorating starts in September’

Dreaming of a Filipino ChristmasJoan Janzen of The Clarion Did you ever wonder how all our Filipino friends in Canada are accustomed to celebrating the Christmas season? If you have, you’ll be happy to know I asked my friend, Grace Tan to tell me all about Christmas in the Philippines. So I asked what’s the biggest difference between Christmas…

Russian rap: turning rants and raves into culture

Vladimir Putin wants Russian bureaucrats to regulate the nation’s rap music. What could go wrong?

Russian rap: turning rants and raves into cultureOver the weekend, news reports circulated that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Russian bureaucrats to regulate the nation’s rap music. Without regulation, Putin says, Russian rap – obsessed as it is with “sex, drugs and protest” – could lead Russia down “a path to the degradation of the nation.” Putin showed ample wisdom by advising…

Real country folk a welcome change from the urban posers

Teaching Country Dance for Beginners to actual rural folk proved to be an eye-opener

Real country folk a welcome change from the urban posersBack in my not-so-halcyon days of youth and yore, when I practised the challenging social craft of ballroom dance instruction, I accepted a contract to teach 'Country Dance for Beginners' at a community centre in the small hamlet of Thorhild, Alberta. I had taught at various community centres in and around Edmonton to urban posers,…

Staying when the government tells you to move

How a decision to remain in an ancestral village helped ensure a family maintained strong ties to a culture

Staying when the government tells you to moveIn 1968, my father took me to Yuquot on Nootka Island, off the west coast of Vancouver Island, because he wanted me to see where Capt. James Cook first stepped ashore in 1778. Little did he know that because of this visit, our family was about to begin a lifelong friendship with Ray and Terry…

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?

Protecting cultural industries from competition and propping them up with public money is just wasteful

Does Canadian culture warrant widespread taxpayer support?Many advocates for cultural diversity have a sudden change of heart when the topic turns to Canada's ‘cultural industries.’ As they say in Argentina, for money, the monkey will dance. What constitutes Canadian heritage, given its complex milieu, tends to be in the eye of the beholder. However, the heritage is so weak that, supposedly,…

Stan Lee, left-wing culture warrior

Under his leadership, Marvel directly challenged societal norms on race, religion, war, gender and sexuality

Stan Lee, left-wing culture warriorStan Lee passed away on Nov. 12. The larger-than-life personality of Marvel Comics for seven decades, he helped create some of the world’s most beloved superheroes, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Black Panther. The 95-year-old son of Romanian-Jewish immigrants, Lee was a genius and great innovator in the comic book industry –…

Rhodes cultural policy is a template for Canada

The Greeks believe that supporting the arts and culture is not a luxury but an investment in human progress

Rhodes cultural policy is a template for CanadaThroughout the ages, Greece has created a significant footprint and an inspiring legacy in the arts and culture. Hardly a day goes by when we don’t recognize the foundational endowments to the modern arts and culture made by ancient Greece. Renowned Greek philosophers, architects, sculptors, poets and playwrights have left their mark for future generations.…

Canada’s identity forged by struggle that created shared values

Trudeau is wrong – it's not just diversity that makes us strong, it’s how our diverse parts find so much in common

Canada’s identity forged by struggle that created shared values“Be proud of your heritage – be passionate about your country,” was the motto of The Ukrainian Voice, a Winnipeg-based newspaper that recently ceased operations. First published in 1910, it was the leading advocate for Ukrainians in Canada. In this digital age, it couldn’t survive. Read by many in its day, it will be missed.…

The subsidy table is set, and actors and writers will dine

The CRTC has backed away from a 21st-century funding model for the creation of Canadian content. We'll all be poorer as a result

The subsidy table is set, and actors and writers will dineThe leaders of Canada’s creative rebellion have emerged victorious after two years of struggle. That means consumers will almost certainly pay more for years to come for their much-loved Canadian television content. The news came just prior to the Labour Day weekend. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a decision confirming that it…

Why has WestJet lost its fun (and competitive advantage)?

When we value minimization over people, morale begins to suffer because nothing is rewarded except saving money

Why has WestJet lost its fun (and competitive advantage)?There was a time when you could take a WestJet flight and walk away from the experience wanting more. Ticketing staff, flight attendants and even pilots seemed like they really enjoyed working there. There were jokes on the flights, gags and laughter. That sense of fun made you want to fly with them. It was…
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