Today my phone buzzed with the story of a film blogger calling 911 because he was bothered by someone using their cellphone during a screening. It's kind of a funny story to most, I suppose -- one that illustrates just how wrapped up people can get in this odd world. Except I didn't find it funny. At all. On any level. As a guy who spent every day of my working life for eight years trying to keep up with the volume of calls pouring in to 911 -- legitimate calls, each of which carried with it the weight of someone possibly dying -- I find Billington's action offensive.
Is suicide really contagious? Along with celebrity suicides, research has linked copycat deaths to news stories describing specific locations and/or methods of committing suicide that increases the likelihood of vulnerable people killing themselves in the same way. However, looking at the data on a per-country basis reveals a different story about how suicide is reported, and why.
Toronto's Devin Cuddy (yes, son of Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy) is carving his own niche. His unique style effortlessly marries New Orleans Blues and Country Music with a distinctive element of Canadiana. Here Devin tells us about the state of his kitchen, best meals for an up-and-coming artist and most romantic thing he's ever done for a girl.
Toronto Police Const. James Forcillo, the cop who allegedly shot 18-year-old Sammy Yatim nine times, was charged Monday with second-degree murder in Yatim's death. Since the Special Investigations Unit's inception in 1990, Forcillo is the 11th officer in Ontario to be charged with second-degree murder or manslaughter. The unique case is prompting a lot of questions. For example, "It is rare that a police officer in the course of his duties is charged with second-degree murder. Is this a case of overcharging by the SIU to appease public opinion?" Here are answers to that and other questions.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, featured on the cover of the July 19, 2013 edition of Rolling Stone is famous, but for all of the wrong reasons. Tsarnaev is not an up-and-coming pop star nor is he a budding Hollywood actor. Tsarnaev's fame stems from being accused of committing an act of unthinkable horror upon an unsuspecting public. And I couldn't agree more with your decision to put him on the cover.
The issue behind this general outcry and uneasiness towards the cover of the August edition of Rolling Stone is not because it portrays Jahar Tsarnaev as innocent, but because it makes Americans come to terms with that which was seemingly brushed aside post-9/11 and which they fear the most; an enemy within. I applaud Rolling Stone for tackling this issue head on and for their choice in cover because it makes us confront this issue which is easily dismissed by this narrative that radicalization must somehow begin abroad.
Today hundreds of people will gather in the Trinity Bellwoods Communtiy Centre to address the concerns of angry neighbours who want to put a stop to the practice of drinking in their community park -- a practice from time immemorial, recently popularized by hipsters. The hipster backlash to these complaints is, predictably, short-sighted and narrow-minded. When individuals decry the possibility that police may start ticketing drinkers they erase the perspective of those who are the common targets of the police. These people -- aboriginals, people of colour, people living in poverty -- have never enjoyed the privilege of being free from these drinking tickets, or any tickets for that matter.
As Canada turns 146, many recent surveys show that most Canadians are hankering for a new constitution. So is Canada's Constitution a completed document? Some commentators have claimed since 1995 that Canadians are tired of constitutional talks, and while this was likely true back then there is no evidence that the fatigue continues. As Canada moves toward its 150th birthday in 2017, what more appropriate national discussion could take place than about the document that founded both our country and our governments, and about the changes Canadians want in a new constitution?