Pierre Trudeau’s last rollercoaster ride

Trudeau’s fourth and final term was to be his most controversial of all

Pierre Trudeau’s last rollercoaster rideTrudeau’s fourth and final term was to be his most controversial of all There was a whiff of unreality in the air as Canada’s 32nd parliament met for its inaugural session in the spring of 1980. Mere months earlier, Pierre Trudeau had been consigned to the political scrapheap and Joe Clark’s newly-minted Tory government was…

Popular historian Paul Johnson dead at 94

Popular historian Paul Johnson dead at 94An enthusiastic polemicist with no qualms about giving voice to his particular perspective on the world The English journalist Paul Johnson died on January 12 at the age of 94. In addition to being a columnist and author of popular histories, he was an enthusiastic polemicist with no qualms about giving voice to his particular…

Christmas pantomime a charming holiday tradition

Christmas pantomime a charming holiday traditionThe entertainment imperative trumps ‘authenticity’ every time People raised in North America aren’t usually exposed to the phenomenon of the Christmas pantomime. Some might even think it has something to do with mime, which it most assuredly doesn’t. But those who grew up in Britain or Ireland will have an entirely different perspective. Pantomime –…

Roadshow movies once provided musical magic

Roadshow movies once provided musical magicUnfortunately, nothing lasts forever Roadshow movies were once a thing, particularly in the 1960s. And certain characteristics defined the genre. You could reserve seats in advance; tickets were pricier than the norm; and the films were longer than usual, thus facilitating an intermission that mimicked the live theatrical experience. While it didn’t quite have live…

Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright

Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is brightBing Crosby’s Silent Night is one of the best-selling records of all time Silent Night, probably the most famous Christmas carol of all, will be over 200 years old this Christmas Eve. It was first performed at the parish church in the Austrian village of Oberndorf during midnight mass on Dec. 24, 1818. And, fittingly,…

Pelé, the World Cup and the launching of a legend

Pelé, the World Cup and the launching of a legendAfter the 1958 World Cup, international football suddenly had a new superstar Albeit in a sad way, it’s perhaps appropriate that news of Pelé’s declining health coincides with the World Cup. The tournament was, after all, the stage where he first came to international attention back in 1958. He was 17 at the time. Being…

The Search for Bridey Murphy a tale of reincarnation

The Search for Bridey Murphy a tale of reincarnationSales of the book far outpaced expectations I was 12 years of age when I first became aware of reincarnation. And it came courtesy of the movies. That happened a lot. While it would be too pretentious to call our local cinema a theatre, the Sunday matinee was a staple and one Sunday’s featured film…
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