I first meet Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics, co-editor of the Machine of Death series, and author of To Be or Not To Be: That is the Adventure, at a recent Toronto reading. North was presenting the sequel to TBoNTB: TitA, a second choose-your-path Shakespeare novel titled Romeo and/or Juliet.
When I was in high school, my least favourite class was English. It wasn't my teacher's fault; it was just that, somehow, the lessons of ancient literature did not resonate with my teenage mind. But I've come to appreciate the relevance of the life truths buried within those classic writings we were obliged to study years ago.
Music, much like all art and cultural productions, thrives because musicians are constantly borrowing, sharing, and reacting. Slap a copyright on a chord progression, melody, riff, or a tone and watch the endless variety, one of the most beloved qualities of music and the 21st Century, wither. That's why we're fighting back against TPP copyright extremism.
So the next time something happens on the streetcar -- because it will -- find something beautiful to see. No, it won't solve the communication and planning problems that create unannounced short turns and painful detours, or the management and electoral problems that make Queen Street at rush hour possible. But it might ease a few things onboard, while we wait.
If David Gilmour is indeed refusing to teach literature by women, queer, Chinese, and Canadian authors, then he is actively excluding them from the history that he imparts to his students. My fear for the future is that students are being denied the opportunity to learn from, be inspired by, and empathize with literature that doesn't fall under the white-hetero-male domain.
There are so many reasons a literary community remains silent when faced with the unpleasant business of sexism or misogyny: many writers fear the repercussions of speaking out because many of the people who get away with both blatant and subtle forms of hate are also in positions of relative power in the literary community.
Morrissey (as an artist and public figure) has always had the uncanny ability to charm and repel at the same time. His staunch animal rights activism, his hatred of the throne, his refusal to adhere to any of the tenets of accepted celebrity behaviour have often landed him in hot water. But what's wrong with a little hot water when today's music and music industry is so depressingly tepid?
Comic memoirs facilitate emotional, intellectual, and ethical investments in the experiences of others. It is not about appropriation, or belittling empathy, nor is it a search for satisfaction via vicarious experience. It is about imagination and the transformative power of visual/verbal works that document the world around us, as anti-racist work calls for the re-imagination of that world.