Why cultural appropriation is a good thing

It’s difficult to point to an attribute in any culture that hasn’t been copied from another culture. Sharing cultural properties is how humanity advances

Why cultural appropriation is a good thingThe first time I heard the term cultural appropriation was a few years back when a volunteer-run yoga class at the University of Ottawa was denounced by university administrators and suddenly cancelled. This bizarre story quickly went viral, with many wondering if this was a Canadian April Fool’s Day prank. Regrettably, the university officials who…

America’s entrenched social chasm: revisiting the King riots

We're doomed to repeat cycles of anger as long as we live side by side without ever having the first inkling of what life is like for others

America’s entrenched social chasm: revisiting the King riotsTwenty-five years ago, in the spring of 1992, I first experienced what has since been called “two Americas.” I was fresh out of the insulated world of university and living in Los Angeles. I didn’t know I was about to have a front-row seat to the social disconnect and divide that can exist between citizens sharing the…

The lost art of face-to-face interaction

When is IT disruption of human communication disruptive of humanity itself?

The lost art of face-to-face interactionPOWELL RIVER, B.C., April 23, 2017 /Troy Media/ – The other day, I had to walk downtown to meet with my tax accountant. After a half-hour meeting, I was informed of my 2016 taxes owing and decided to pay them immediately just across the street at my bank. I realized as I walked over that this…

Western culture’s paralyzing crisis of confidence

University students are increasingly intolerant and, indoctrinated with a poisonous cocktail of negativity, taught that western civilization is immoral

Western culture’s paralyzing crisis of confidenceNew York Times columnist David Brooks, in his April 21 piece The Crisis of Western Civ, has opened a serious debate on the collapse of confidence in western civilization. His stunning conclusion: “These days, the whole idea of Western civ is assumed to be reactionary and oppressive.” Brooks notes that this cultural pessimism is most fully…

A simple mistake shouldn’t lead to public shaming

Our society is very quick to throw stones of outrage at anyone who has made a mistake and instantly condemn their failings

A simple mistake shouldn’t lead to public shamingNEW YORK, N.Y., April 23, 2017 /Troy Media/ – Jeff Varner made a mistake. Who is Jeff Varner? He’s the Survivor contestant who revealed fellow castaway Zeke Smith was transgender during tribal council – the climax to every episode of the reality program when one person must be voted off the island. The fallout was immediate,…

The stone cold truth: marijuana clouds reality

Contrary to decades of marijuana proponent propaganda, it’s not a drug like alcohol or caffeine. It's very purpose is intoxication

The stone cold truth: marijuana clouds realityOTTAWA, Ont., April 16, 2017 /Troy Media/ – There’s something quasi quaint about the federal government introducing legislation to legalize marijuana. News reporting on the budding bill has generously employed terrible puns to create a sense of giggling excitement about it. A Canadian Press story advised that all of Ottawa is “buzzing” at the audacity that dope…

Finding meaning through the eyes of a survivor

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl helps students embrace some of life's most fundamental lessons

Finding meaning through the eyes of a survivorPRINCE GEORGE, B.C. Dec. 8, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Often when we make concessions for others, we create great moments for ourselves. As a teacher, I'm always open to expanding and improving my program. For years, I've studied the Holocaust as part of my Social Justice 12 course. This year, I gave my students more choice…

The frenzied barking of dissent without substance

A group of about 1,000 Albertans chanting “Lock her up” about Premier Rachel Notley exhibited values that insult the very core of this nation

The frenzied barking of dissent without substanceRED DEER, Alta. Dec. 6, 2016/Troy Media/ – A friend’s dog runs off in a frenzy, barking wildly, when anyone utters the word “bunny.” It’s the emotive, reactive response of an animal with a limited faculty to filter stimulus and information. The human equivalent, in 2016 Alberta, is apparently to utter the words “Rachel Notley,”…

We can’t afford to take charities for granted

Many forms of caring and cultural enrichment need lots of dedicated people to be fully realized and charities multiply the common good

We can’t afford to take charities for grantedHAMILTON, Ont. Nov. 30, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Imagine you're the crew of a ship sailing from Italy to Canada. You arrive in Hamilton, Ont., only to discover that complications related to the sale of your vessel means it's in limbo in the harbour, you with it. Who will look after you? This happened to the…

Canada’s culture of volunteers sets us apart

Qualities such as sharing, accommodation, cooperation, thoughtfulness, and togetherness differentiate us from Trump's America

Canada’s culture of volunteers sets us apartVANCOUVER, B.C. Nov. 27, 2016/ Troy Media/ - Canada has a distinct culture of volunteer participation and governance. Our culture is broadly accepting of diversity of gender, ethnicity, language, economic and political beliefs, sexual orientation and age. It is tolerant, basically polite, reverential of its heroes, committed of both wallet and mind, and it searches for…