Awareness fatigue weighing us all down, particularly millennials

They are the gatekeepers of so much change necessary to forge new norms of behaviour and social standards

Awareness fatigue weighing us all down, particularly millennialsI had a discussion with a bright young millennial in my family network last week and predictably learned something new. “I think I have awareness fatigue,” he said. “What?” I inquired. “Awareness fatigue, Mike. Too much knowledge of too much stuff that collectively is emotionally hard to carry.” Arguably, the syndrome currently includes: the whole…

Religion helped defeat the first Catholic U.S. presidential contender

Al Smith fell prey to the three Ps – prohibition, prejudice and prosperity – in 1928

Religion helped defeat the first Catholic U.S. presidential contenderWhen John F. Kennedy was running for the U.S. presidency in 1960, the ghost of Al Smith hung over public discussion of the campaign. Smith, a New York Catholic, had been soundly beaten in the general election of 1928. And his defeat generated the conventional wisdom that no Catholic could be elected to the presidency.…

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?

Special interest groups demanding a say in casting choices flies in the face of diversity and freedom of expression

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?Visiting the Globe Theatre in London, England, is an unforgettable experience. When viewing the modest grounds and realizing that the ‘groundlings’ – the people in the cheap seats – were sometimes privileged to see original Shakespeare plays, it brings home the long and important history of the performing arts. On our tour of the theatre,…

Support for multiculturalism declining in Sweden

The influx of immigrants into Sweden in 2015 is threatening the country's vaunted beliefs in multiculturalism, immigration and political conformity

Support for multiculturalism declining in SwedenAs the final votes are counted in Sweden’s general election, the rifts in this famously conformist society are getting deeper. Sweden may be the western world’s most self-consciously liberal state, but significant cracks are appearing in the foundation. To get a sense of the trend, look at the trajectory of the gradually-building support for the…

John McCain’s legacy of public service and sacrifice

In the selfish era of Donald Trump, McCain’s life offered a shining example of how to serve with distinction

John McCain’s legacy of public service and sacrificeIt’s hard for Canadian citizens to take the full measure of an American politician like John McCain, whose route to public service glory began in the combat of the Vietnam War. Our country doesn’t particularly valourize the military and those who serve, unless perhaps they do peacekeeping missions with the United Nations overseas. McCain’s career…

The double standard behind #MeToo allegations

Patrick Brown lost his job. Justin Trudeau appears to have emerged unscathed. It's all a question of political support

The double standard behind #MeToo allegationsAs a result of the #MeToo movement, past sexual transgressions are haunting high-profile men. How many is anyone’s guess but the list is probably long. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the latest casualty. I’m quite sure Trudeau will survive the allegation, but perhaps it’s worthwhile to ask why some politicians who are confronted with allegations…

Your silence is more dangerous than any idea

If you have an opinion, speak it out loud. Form a circle to discuss or promote it. Tell the politicians who represent you

Your silence is more dangerous than any ideaYou have opinions. I know you do. You have opinions about immigration, gun crime, people who let their cats run loose, and the prospect of a return of Major League Baseball to Montreal. You have deep thoughts about the Indigenous, levels of taxation, transsexuality and the state of the roads in your town. And I…

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common good

Beware the arrogance of the new age. Attempting to cleanse history is a fool’s or, worse, a tyrant’s errand

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common goodIn the interest of righting a genuine and grave historic wrong – the suffering of our Indigenous peoples – the historical hubris of our present Canadian age is distorting history yet again. Enter the City of Victoria and Sir John A. Macdonald. In removing his statue from in front of Victoria City Hall, the denizens…

An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for good

I’ve become much more prone to analyze daily social situations on the grounds of age, ethnicity and gender

An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for goodBeing older (I’m 67 and increasingly told this is old), white and male is being pointed out more and more these days. In less than glowing terms. While Donald Trump is arguably the global archetype of the boomer personae I’m describing, the phrase “old white man” is getting more deliberate usage in different parts of…

Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of genius

A thriving intellectual culture requires that we stop our adoration of the masculine genius and start valuing all academic labour

Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of geniusLike it or not, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson is a cultural sensation. Over the past year and a half, Peterson has gained notoriety through his open hostility toward trans rights and feminism, as well as his characterization of universities as tools for indoctrinating students into what he terms “neo-Marxism.”  He has throngs of…