bridge

A Bridge to the Past

A s a child, I ventured almost every year to British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands and I became fascinated with the history of the places I visited there. It wasn’t so much the tangible traces that intrigued me—the skeleton of a building or a scrap washed up upon the tide line—as the absences and spaces […]

Curtis Gillespie receiving a haircut from his father circa 1968

The Memoir Bank: In the Chair

I grew up in a lower-middle-class western Canadian home with a limited haircut budget for male children—zero, to be precise—which meant a tension-filled hour for me and my four younger brothers whenever our father brought his Sears  Craftsman thirteen-piece barber kit out of the closet, the one that claimed on the box to contain “all […]

The End of Men by Hanna Rosin

The Twilight of the Patriarchs

I was eighteen when I heard Margaret Atwood tell an interviewer that none of the details of daily life in her patriarchal dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale—the militarized religious state, the religiously-prescribed and ritualized rape, the policed pregnancy, the enforced prostitution, the absence of basic human autonomy—were made up. These, Atwood asserted in her deadpan, deal-with-it […]

It was a suspension of not just gravity, but time

The Descent of Man

I stood under a cloudless sky near the peak of Mont Fort, at Verbier, Switzerland, staring at the glaciers of Grand Combin, which shone like starched sheets. Mont Fort is one of the steepest ski runs in Europe. Most of the people who came up on the tram went back down on it. My friend […]

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 […]