violence

#NaBloPoMo, Day 17: Grateful for #LoveOverFear

Yesterday, after a weekend of global shock and grief and feverish discussion over the Paris attacks, a Toronto woman was attacked from behind by two men while on her way to pick up her children at school. They pulled violently on her head scarf, took her down and beat her up. They accused her of being a terrorist and told her […]

Dear Jian Ghomeshi: you inspired my list of heroes. Now what?

Dear Jian, In March 2013, I was inspired to write a blog post entitled “Living Canadian Heroes.” I had been moved by the interview I’d just listened to on Q – the one you had with Stompin’ Tom Connors, replayed on the occasion of his death. I remember thinking how often we talk about Canadian heroes who are not alive – […]

Are police officers supposed to be scary?

If you’re Ontarian, or even Canadian, you’ve probably heard about Sammy Yatim, the 18-year-old who was shot dead by police a couple weeks ago on an empty Toronto streetcar. You’ve probably heard that he was armed with a knife, that he was acting threatening, and that he was shot at nine times. (Eight of the shots are said to have […]

Now I’m just sad.

Now the Boston manhunt has come to its conclusion and the case is waiting, I am left with a broken feeling. After my last post, two of my philosophical readers had a discussion in the comments. One wrote: Imagine you live in a small, impoverished village in a third-world country like Pakistan or Afghanistan. Imagine that one day you hear […]

Sigh.

I just don’t understand. What point could you possibly be trying to make? You got something against long-distance runners? Did you try to do the Boston Marathon once and not finish? Or do you have something against mobility in general? Thanks to you, dozens of people have lost limbs. Boom. Just like that. Perhaps you’re an amputee with a bitter […]

Newtown

Images dropping before my mind’s eye like slides: lockdown drills suddenly in sharp focus, children huddling with their backs against the wall, invisible to an intruder, teachers shushing them and hoping they’d manage in a real emergency. Now there are real pictures. Children who will now always feel sick at the sound of a loud bang, who will always remember […]

An Open Letter to the Gunman

Dear Mr. Shooter: So. It appears, from the status of the person you succeeded in killing, that your decision, i.e. to open fire in the crowd at the food court in the Toronto Eaton Centre yesterday, was gang-related. We, the public, still don’t know who you are or where you’re from. We don’t know what your history is. What we […]

The Hunger Games and the Tough Questions

Okay, folks. If you haven’t read Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, stop reading this silly old blog RIGHT NOW and go read it. I’m not kidding. Go. If you HAVE read The Hunger Games, then you know. I’m sure there must be people out there who didn’t like the series (and guaranteed there are people out there who will diss […]

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