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Three-Ring Meal: The Grasping Novelty of Modern Dining

I sat frozen, wanting to reach for my wine. My extremities had long ago been numbed by the cold but the syrah was icing over. With two layers of thermal underwear, a parka, and wearing my puffiest down-filled winter mittens, every manoeuvre required precision. I reached out, formed my hand into a claw, advanced it […]

Cindy Lauper's She So Unusual cover

Thanks for Nothing, Pop

Pop music remains amongst the most accessible and inclusive cultural conversations because, for the past half-century, it hasn’t really changed. In 1967, for example, I Think We’re Alone Now took Tommy James and the Shondells to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and then twenty years later, with negligible updating, Tiffany to #1. Then there’s […]

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Burden of Proof

In late 2011, no longer able to provide for its inhabitants the basic necessities of life – clean water, adequate shelter, proper sanitation – the Attawapiskat native reserve in James Bay, Ontario, declared a state of emergency. The squalor and third-world poverty depicted in newswire photographs shocked the national and international communities and triggered intervention […]

Photo: Dan Sackheim

In Profile: The Populist

The fifty or so buildings on the sprawling Fox Studio lot in Beverly Hills, California, take three primary shapes: the sleek glass and steel of the executive offices in the southeast corner, the giant airport hangar-like sound stages in the middle, and the low-slung two-storey apartment-style production offices along the west edge of the lot. […]

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On the Record: Theatre of War

Friday Night, The Levi’s Store, H-Market, Lahore, Pakistan. I’d tried on five pairs of jeans already. Why I needed five pairs of jeans I wasn’t exactly sure. But the Levi’s Signature Editions were eight bucks a pair and they seemed to fit pretty well. They were also taking my mind off things. I’d been having […]

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Threshold

My husband is a liar. When I complain about the wrinkles on my neck, he says, “What wrinkles?” Then I laugh because I don’t want to press the point. Would it be a good idea to have him examine, truly, the decay that is my neck skin? Think wattle. Think chicken with pinfeathers that spring […]

The author on Douglas Channel, near Hartley Bay | photo by Julian MacQueen

Bearing Witness

Let’s say you’ve never heard of the Great Bear Rainforest. I never had. Let’s say it’s a theory, a conjecture, a proper noun three words long and as real to you as fabled El Dorado or the moons of Jupiter. There it is in the subject line of a Facebook message: “invite to the great […]

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Hazard

Ever since he had settled in Manila, Cedric Ramanathan’s greatest pleasure had been golf. There was nothing he liked better than to whack a ball down the fairway and then stroll after it with no thought in his head except whether to use a seven-iron or a six for the next shot—the occasional plonk in […]

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Dream States

In the nineteen-eighties I started having recurring nightmares. The nightmare part wasn’t so unusual: like many people, I’d had my fair share of dreams about being swept away by rogue waves, or driving cars that couldn’t make it up steep hills, or flying in airplanes that couldn’t seem to climb any higher than the treetops. […]