Tag Archives: social glue

Last Harvest at Whistler

No, this post is not about some ecological disaster …  Last Harvest, the documentary by Hui Wang, won two awards at the Whistler Film Festival:

*Alliance of Women Film Journalists Inc.

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Highway home

The comfort of friends is a cocoon.  Within, every nuance is amplified;  without, by comparison is an indifferent place.

Leaving the comfort and enjoyment of a friend’s home to drive home to Toronto late at night is like spinning through outer space, through an asteroid field of hurtling alien objects.

What’s up? Doc? Storytelling for the 21st century

In the 21st century, this increasingly web-connected world may at times feel like everyone everywhere is trying to tell you something.

Throughout history, societies have had voices that tell stories to pass on the news, reinforce or change values, or whatever. Today, in addition to professional news media, peer-to-peer news (think of Egypt) has emerged, a manifestation of  Marshall McLuhan’s global village – bless the visionaries –  yet often cannot provide the thoughtful reflection that requires time and resources and the storyteller’s skill.

Since time immemorial, the place for the storyteller who reveals as well as tells has been an important element in the social glue that keeps societies, communities, families and individuals connected.  In the pre-web 20th century documentaries emerged as one medium for storytellers to reach a 20th century world – beyond the family and community to whole societies.

A great inheritance from the late 20th century is the web, that lets storytellers, including documentary storytellers, break out of societies to touch other societies in a peer-to-peer language but with a professional’s skill.

With the retreat of government and broadcasters in Canada from documentary support, the doc community and DOC are speaking up in many ways. Find and enjoy documentaries on the web and in the theatre;  you will be richer for it.

Lobster dinner in Little Harbour

A couple of years before the turn of the turn of the millenium, I had an epiphany in the hamlet of Little Harbour near Twillingate Newfoundland, just after a lobster dinner.

My host had walked me down to see the boats he and his neighbours had built, and we were soon engrossed in discussion …  follow this link for more …

a stage in Newfoundland is a shed built over the water

stage at Little Harbour

Habitat for Inhumanity

Every now and then you see something you almost wish you had not seen. It disturbs you; it forces you to realize something about your world that you might rather not think about.

Below, watch Canada’s first prefab prison being built.  It’s not far, just minutes away from my comfortable home where I can settle in one of several rooms filled with the paraphernalia of my life and look out into my yard or my street, open the door and step out or just crack the window and hear bird song. Reminds  me somehow of Johnny Cash . . .

There is nothing humane about prisons, no matter what the spin.  Who ‘deserves’ to be in one? There are no simple answers really, and perhaps that’s what’s most disturbing.

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Christmas past, Christmas presence

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After, I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas.

When asked how he put a particular terrible experience out of his memory, the Dalai Lama apparently said something like “Why, I haven’t”.