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The Dark Side of Pink

In 2002, when I started working in the breast cancer screening department of what was then the Alberta Cancer Board, one of the recurring agenda items in staff meetings was what to do with the world’s longest pink ribbon. Stapled with intense resolve by Calgary staff and volunteers, many of the 24,000 ribbons inscribed with […]

Colin and Scott on stage
photo by Ryan Girard

Stages of Intimacy

Intimacy and connection are at the heart of musical performance, no matter how large or small the act or venue. Some big names, such as The White Stripes, who announced their breakup this past February, knew how to get at it or were at least willing to try. In 2007, the band staged an ambitious […]

Brothers

One spent nights on the junior high school roof. My mother had kicked him out when the police told herhe was selling drugs, and before that, selling tires he stole from gas stations. One stole a teacher’s carfrom the senior high school parking lot at lunch time, got a case of beer, and drove around […]

michelangelo-buonarrot

Have A Little Faith

On the late January morning I went to meet Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the former Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, and, since last fall, the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops at the Vatican, I first paid a visit to the Vatican Museum. The two frescoes I found myself returning to over and over […]

watergun-boy

How I Lost The War Against War and Learned to Love Arnold Schwarzenegger

In 1982, at the fervent age of eighteen, hippy-skirted, long-hair everywhere, I bussed to New York City to be one of the million who rallied in Central Park during the UN Second Special Session on Disarmament. My heroes were Helen Caldicott, Mahatma Gandhi and the Berrigan Brothers, two priests who snuck into a nuclear missile […]

So Much Rain

So much raineven the spiderweb rusts. The spiderin glistening oilskinscreaks the winch that pullsin the dead fly. Somethingfar inside me follows.But only the fly appears to pray. The layer of dust on the floorsof the condemned houses of my childhoodthe layer of dust on the top of my midlife library between the footprints of the […]

CP Images

Unrequited Dub

To break up is to drown, slowly, like a pelican in crude. Deepwater-sized break-ups comprise many of today’s rap themes, and songs of regret for what’s gone and won’t come back have made a comeback in electronica as well. But isn’t a master beatmaker always looking for the next perfect break? If love can feel […]

John England on Ellesmere Island, 1975

Radical Emptiness

John England has been visiting and studying the Arctic for close to four decades. He is a professor at the University of Alberta and the Northern Chair for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. This notebook was filled by Dr. England on Ellesmere Island in July of 1975. John England on Ellesmere […]